Ciudad Juarez, Mexico's murder rate becomes world's highest

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The murder rate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico has become the highest in the world. There were an average of seven killings every day for the past twelve months in the city, which is currently in the midst of a clash between two powerful drug cartels.

The majority of the 1,986 murders this year remain unsolved, and most involve drug gang members who have come from elsewhere to fight for control of the drug smuggling route into neighbouring El Paso, Texas, as well as the lucrative local trade in drugs. There is a jump of 815 murders from last year.

107 women, 85 children, and 49 police officers are among the dead and many people have met particularly violent ends. One man was tethered between two trucks and ripped apart; others have been decapitated or dismembered. The violence results from a turf war between rivals Juarez cartel and Sinaloa cartel, the latter being run by the most wanted man in the country, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

In late 2006 authorities launched a crackdown on Mexican drugs cartels, with Ciudad Juarez receiving 45,000 troops during that time. However, this has failed to prevent the gangs battling to control the cocaine-smuggling trade run from the city.