While citizens of Juarez debated whether government measures to prevent the spread of swine flu were exaggerated or on target, the forces behind the high homicide rate were busy at work.
In spite of the presence of 7300 troops in Juarez (most arrived in early March), 5000 of which are assigned to municipal police protection, the homicide rate this year is double, so far, the rate last year. According to Diario de Juarez 530 persons were murdered between January 1 and April 30 of this year, compared with 267 persons in the same time period last year. In January 46 persons were killed, 49 died in February, 117 died in March, and 55 were murdered in April, according to official statistics. News reports indicate, however, that 81 persons were killed in April, a discrepancy that can be explained by the official distinction between narco-related homicides and non-narco homicides.
On Thursday night at 11 p.m. Lorenzo Fierro Santiesteban, 34, was found dead from gunshot wounds on the street at 6412 Delicias. Earlier, at 9 p.m., Gerardo Javier Loya Chavez was found dead, face-up, of multiple gunshot wounds to the head and body, on the corner of Sodio and Margarita. José Elías Devora López, 18, died at the IMSS hospital at around 9 p.m., after being shot at 565 Jalisco. Also at 9 p.m. Alfredo Ramirez Bautista, 43, was shot to death at the corner of Sinaloa and Dr. M. Ruiz. Earlier, the bodies of Elmer Leandro Varela Varela and Raúl Emilio Colunga López were found at the corner of Manila and Bucarest. And Monica Gabriela Muñoz Garcia, 19, was shot to death at the corner of Plutarco Elias Calles and Vicente Guerrero.