The El Diario report posted late Saturday (Feb 28) reported 29 homicides in Juarez in February. But late Saturday night, a young man was shot to death by a police officer bringing the total to 30. Channel 44 reported 31. These discrepancies have been fairly common over time. El Diario reported 37 homicides in January; Channel 44 reported 36.
At least 7 people have been killed in violent incidents in Juarez so far this weekend. On Saturday a municipal policeman was shot but survived the attack and injured the shooter. The policeman was taken to the hospital. Later on Saturday, near midnight, 5 people were killed and at least 4 others were injured when an “armed comando” attacked a house party in the Colonia Felipe Angeles. The report says at least 30 people were at the party–a birthday celebration–and included women and children. The attackers also set fire to several vehicles on the property. The owner of the house ran a tortilleria.
In another area of the city known as Granjero, a couple were attacked and the man was killed. The woman apparently survived. People in the area indicated that in the past several days there have been several execution-style murders and the residents are fearful.
Early Sunday morning, a man was executed at the Tequila Bar in the Pronaf zone near the Plaza de las Americas mall (this is a traditional tourist zone near the UACJ and the Las Americas bridge to central El Paso). -Molly
For those who believe that the violence is diminishing in Mexico… Consider the fact that we have no idea how (or IF) the mass killings happening now along the border in Tamaulipas or these mass graves in Guerrero even get into the official statistics. More details below from Animal Politico.
Thanks to Jim Creechan for these links to updates on the killings and disappearances of the 43 students. -Molly
Reports in La Jornada and a report from CENCOS:
Academic Investigators have refuted the claim that the normalistas were incinerated at the Cocula garbage dump. They provided a detailed analysis of why this was physically impossible. Some independent (academic) investigators have suggested that the students might have been incinerated in army crematoria or in other private crematoria. The investigators have called for the army to allow inspectors onto the base to check. The army rejects both the “possibility” that this could have happened and “access to inspect”. In fact, a letter in today’s La Jornada from a general argues that the army does NOT HAVE incinerators capable of burning bodies. Sanjuana Martínez interviewed an academic at the centre of these claims (on Sunday) and he suggested that there had been threats made against those who opposed the “official version”. On Monday, an opinion column in La Jornada warned about the growing signs of “suppression” and threats against those who oppose the official version.
Both the Mexican press and the intellectual class of Mexico continue to be worried that the ultimate government response to the missing students and the public protests will be another DIRTY WAR. And I’m guessing that these fears are even greater today after the announcement the death of one of the iconic voices of free speech [ Julio Scherer Garcia (Proceso publisher)died early this morning–http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/julio-scherer-garcia-journalist-and-irritant-of-politicians-dies-at-88/2015/01/07/a50ebb82-96a0-11e4-8005-1924ede3e54a_story.html ].
El Diario reports a total of 429 homicides in Juarez in 2014–a decrease of 11.5 percent over 2013 when there were 485 murders in the city. Interestingly, a couple of days ago (Dec 28) El Diario reported that there had been a total of 447 murders in the Northern Zone of the state of Chihuahua. Both figures are from the state Fiscalia, so I’m assuming that the difference has to do with which municipalities are included in the count. The criminologists and sociologists interviewed by El Diario point out that the year saw several examples of domestic violence in which fathers or mothers killed their children and in some cases also committed suicide.
“Criminologist Oscar Maynez Grijalva said that the conditions in the border city, in addition to being next door to the country that consumes more drugs than any other in the world, also suffers from a lack of opportunities, a weak and corrupt justice system and thus the violence and murders remain high.
“Violence within the family he said, is a product of the crisis generated by many causes of stress and is a symptom of something happening, that society is failing to protect victims, especially children.”
Bajan Los Homicidios En 2014: Fueron 429 (El Diario)
The accused killer of Juarez activist Marisela Escobedo (shot to death in front of the governor’s palace in Chihuahua on Dec 16 2010) is reported to have died of a heart attack in prison. Last year on the anniversary of the murder, Marisela’s family members were interviewed by phone from El Paso Texas where they are seeking political asylum in the US. On the 3rd anniversary of the murder of Marisela, they maintained that the person arrested for the crime was a scapegoat and that the real murderer of Marisela is Andy Barraza, the brother of Sergio Barraza who murdered Rubi–Marisela’s daughter–and who was released by the court in Juarez in 2010. Sergio Barraza was reported killed in a confrontation with the Mexican army in 2012: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2012/11/22/confessed-killer-mexican-activist-daughter-dies-in-shootout/
Below is an article from Dec 2013 and from [Dec 31].
Also, an article in PROCESO (posted below) on Dec 17 2014 reports that the cases of the murders of Marisela Escobedo and of her daughter, Rubi, will be brought before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in 2015–charging the Mexican State with negligence and culpability in these cases. It is hard not to view the death in prison of Marisela’s accused murderer on the last day of 2014 as (at least) an interesting coincidence. -molly
December 14, 2014
There was a confrontation [on Sunday] between armed groups lasting several hours […] in the town of Praxedis G. Guerrero in the Valle de Juarez. The latest posting in El Diario was at about 4pm [on Sunday] and confirmed 2 people killed, 3 injured and several are reported disappeared. One victim remained in a car at a checkpoint–his relatives were trying to take him to the hospital, but he died in the car.
Also below…it was reported in the morning paper that several members of the Archuleta family had fled their homes after three young men in the family were killed earlier this week.
December 15, 2014
More detailed account of the violence yesterday in the Valle de Juarez…The aggressions began about 3 weeks ago and people have been taken from their houses and disappeared. Some who return have been beaten or their bodies are dumped.
“Here there is no authority, we are less than nothing and mean nothing to anybody,” said a resident who has already lost a son to the violence in the Valle de Juarez.”No one, not one single authority came, no one has paid attention to this problem. We have been living with this for a year already and the people are more afraid than angry and for this reason, they do not denounce the situation to authorities. And it doesn’t do any good to complain anyway because there are no investigations.”
One of the complaints of the residents that exemplifies the official abandonment was the absence of medical services on Sunday. Not one medical institution was open and so those who were injured in the attacks had to rely on their own resources to get to Juarez. The family members of the injured people met the ambulances on the road. “Forced disappearances have returned, murders, many people are afraid and are fleeing.”
Consider this from the precis of Dawn Paley’s new book”… The communities in the Valle de Juarez have been extraordinarily violent since 2008 and the major state “law enforcement” presence in the area is the Mexican army… The Valle de Juarez is a gateway to cross-border development as well as bordering the western edge of new petroleum exploration and development in Texas, northern Chihuahua and Coahuila states in Mexico … molly
“This unprecedented book chronicles how terror is used against the population at large in cities and rural areas, generating panic and facilitating policy changes that benefit the international private sector, particularly extractive industries like petroleum and mining. This is what is really going on. This is drug war capitalism.”
There were at least 5 murders reported yesterday in Juarez–the three bodies left near the highway outside of Los Arenales in the Valle de Juarez and two more incidents. A man was killed early in the morning near the state offices of the Federal Attorney General (PGR) in Juarez. He was shot as he was getting into his car after leaving the bar El Museo located in the Pronaf tourist zone. The victim has not been officially identified. This crime occurred 5 days after a multiple homicide was reported at another Pronaf bar, 7 Pecados (7 Sins). Also yesterday, the body of a woman was found inside of a vehicle in the colonia Morelos II. It appeared that the body had been inside the car since Wednesday…
The article says that a total of 424 homicides have occurred so far in 2014. The total at the end of November was 401, so that would leave a count of 23 so far in the first 11 days of December. So far, 45 of the victims are women — almost exactly 10 percent. -Molly
There were 30 homicides–an average of 1 per day in November in Ciudad Juarez. A total of 401 people have been murdered in Juarez so far in 2014:
Total 1993-2007 = 3,538 (0.7 per day)
2007 = 320
2008 = 1,623 (4.4 per day)
2009 = 2,754 (7.5 per day)
2010 = 3,622 (9.9 per day) **
2011 = 2,086 (5.7 per day)
2012 = 797 (2 per day)
2013 = 497 (1.36 per day)
2014 = 401 (as of 30 Nov 1.2 per day)
Total killed since 2008 = 11,780
Total killed since 2007 = 12,100
Average of 4.6 people per day since Jan 2008
* Figures compiled from data reported by the State Attorney General (Fiscalia) for Chihuahua and reported in El Diario de Juárez
**original media tally for 2010=3,111; March 2011 Fiscalia report = 3,951; Fiscalia spokesman gave new figure of 3,622 to Reuters reporter in October 2011. Mica Rosenberg and Julian Cardona, Special Report: Federal Forces sully Mexico’s war on drugs, Reuters, December 27, 2011.
Seminario Zeta of Tijuana recently published a piece comparing homicide statistics from the Calderon and Pena Nieto administrations and has appeared in several newspapers and magazines in Mexico including Proceso, http://www.proceso.com.mx/?p=380354
The original piece is posted below.
The gist of the article is that even though EPN and his government secretaries say that homicides have been reduced significantly (30% or more), the truth is much more murky and that compared to the first 20 months of Calderon’s term, there have actually been more homicides, not less.
The discussion has to do with the fact that official homicide statistics come from two main sources: the SESNSP and INEGI. [I posted a brief explanation of these two sources here, http://fronteralist.org/2014/08/22/q-a-with-frontera-lists-molly-molloy/ ] written before this new Zeta piece was published.
Zeta also uses media reports and civic organization counts in different states and cities and comes up with tallies that are somewhat higher than the recent INEGI report: http://www.inegi.org.mx/inegi/contenidos/espanol/prensa/Boletines/Boletin/Comunicados/Especiales/2014/julio/comunica3.pdf
The INEGI report itself is not a final report for 2013, but a preliminary one. More recent statistics are available only from the SESNSP and from media. There is also an issue of which homicides are counted? Homicidios dolosos are those usually considered murder or intentional/aggravated homicide. There is a whole other category of homicidios culposos, usually translated as accidental or negligent homicides. Zeta points out that as the numbers of homicidios DOLOSOS is slightly lower than in previous years, the number of CULPOSOS (accidental or negligent homicides) are going up. This makes us wonder if the government is “adjusting” its classifications of causes of deaths to make it appear that many of the killings are the kinds of “ordinary” accidental homicides that do not indicate an organized crime problem, but just people behaving badly.
One comes away thinking several things: 1) It is becoming even more difficult to know how many people are murdered in Mexico. 2)The EPN administration is determined to pursue an aggressive media strategy to make things appear less violent. 3) Presenting the homicide numbers for arbitrary periods like the “first 20 months” of different administrations is not that useful for comparison. 4)The levels of homicide, forced disappearances and kidnapping are still extremely high in Mexico.
Even using the more conservative figures reported by INEGI and the lower homicidios dolosos numbers reported by the SESNSP, “more than 153,000 people–an average of more than 1,600 per month–56 people PER DAY–have been murdered in Mexico since 2007.”
An English translation of the article published in El Diario de Coahuila is provided from Borderland Beat. Also posted below… -Molly Molloy