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.
I’m certain that some will disagree, but since I get asked to talk about the violence in Mexico and I get asked hard questions, I thought I’d share some thoughts on this article from [the] NYTimes. It reports on a new study of lynching in America from reconstruction through the 1950s….nearly 4000 documented cases of lynchings of African Americans–700 more cases than previously recorded. The worst place was Phillips County Ark. where 237 people were lynched in 1919 during the Elaine race riot. The rest of the worst places are in Louisiana…my home state.
I am often asked how to explain the extreme violence of the killings in Mexico. The only way I can explain many of these actions–whether they come from directly from the state or from criminal entities sanctioned by the state–is that they are acts of terror designed to control the population.
The Guardian reported on the Equal Justice Initiative study also quoting Bryan Stevenson:
“I also think that the lynching era created a narrative of racial difference, a presumption of guilt, a presumption of dangerousness that got assigned to African Americans in particular – and that’s the same presumption of guilt that burdens young kids living in urban areas who are sometimes menaced, threatened, or shot and killed by law enforcement officers.”
Note the similarity with the Mexican practice of criminalizing all victims of violence (90 percent at least)… Note the similarity to the narrative of the murdered students in Iguala–portraying them as radicals, criminals and hooligans in order to justify their murders. The idea that the people killed in Mexico are all narcos or malandros and thus deserving of their violent deaths.
I read Bryan Stevenson’s book [Just Mercy]a couple months ago…and I can’t recommend it enough. But this new report is so important and shows the need to keep the record and to reclaim the truth of the terrorist history of our own country. I am also struck by the parallels to the current Mexican and Central American violence and forced migration…
“Lynching and the terror era shaped the geography, politics, economics and social characteristics of being black in America during the 20th century,” Mr. Stevenson said, arguing that many participants in the great migration from the South should be thought of as refugees fleeing terrorism rather than people simply seeking work.
The terror in Mexico has already claimed more than 150,000 lives and the official narrative continues to criminalize the victims. -molly
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
El Diario reports the statistics from the state fiscalia: There were 37 homicides in Juarez and the Valle de Juarez in January 2015. This is higher than January 2014 or 2013. Three of the victims were women, 8% of the total. The deaths of the women were determined to be related to “narcomenudeo”–the local retail drug trade. Details are provided for one incident that took place on January 2: Claudia Nohemí Figueroa Figueroa, 31, was presumed to be at a party in a hotel room where she worked as a prostitute. She was apparently surprised trying to steal some cocaine during the party, for which she was severely beaten and then strangled. Her body was then thrown out of a window and more than 3 hours passed during which her murderers destroyed the evidence and left the scene.
In the past couple of days there have been at least 4 murders in separate incidents in Juarez. Also, yesterday, 4 men were abducted in the Valle de Juarez. Also in today’s El Diario, anonymous residents in the Valle de Juarez report that many people have been killed or disappeared and that entire families are fleeing to the US. The links to these stories are below… And a brief note from Canal 44 on the abductions in the Valle de Juarez yesterday. -molly
El Diario posted a note after 11pm with the 7th murder victim of the day. A man killed inside his mechanic shop. I note that the “ejecutan” verb is coming back into the headlines… This term is used for those assumed to be killed in drug-gang-related disputes. It means that there will be no police investigation. – Molly
There were 2 more murders this afternoon in Juarez, bring the total for the day so far to 6. The 5th victim was driving with his wife in the colonia Nuevo Hipodromo when his attackers chased the car and forced him out and shot him in front of his wife. Later, the body of another man was found inside an abandoned store in the El Barreal neighborhood. He had been tortured and wrapped in a blanket.
No one was apprehended in either incident. molly
Four homicides were reported in Juarez before 8:00 am this morning. Three men were shot to death inside a house in Barrio Azul. Another man was found tied up and wrapped in a blanket inside his house in another neighborhood. – Molly
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)
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
The numbers cited at the PRI event are completely different from the official homicide statistics reported by INEGI.
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Estados Unidos Mexicanos
8,867 14,006 19,803 25,757 27,213 25,967 22,732
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.