Monday, May 4, 2009

The Army in Juarez: Is it Worth the Expense?

The municipality of Cd. Juarez is paying the bill for the 5000 troops it brought in from the federal government to patrol the streets. The city will run out of funds for this in September and the troops are scheduled to leave at that time.

While many forms of crime have gone down since the arrival of the troops, the homicide rate, after dipping for a few weeks, is back to last year's record level. About 549 homicides have occurred this year, 29 against the police and 26 against women. In response to the violence this weekend troop commanders announced today they will initiate street inspections of automobiles. This will slow down traffic but it's effect on the homicide rate has yet to be proven. In spite of the city being virtually shut down the past few days due to the threat of the swine flu, whoever is committing the homicides is apparently undeterred by either the troops on patrol or the threat of swine flu. On the other hand the public unquestionably feels more secure with the visible presence of troops patrolling the city, and there appear to be behind-the-scenes efforts to find a way to keep the troops around a few more months. Don't be surprised at an announcement to that effect in the next few days.

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