Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Rounding Out the Statistics of Death: Juarez

Hérika Martínez Prado, of Norte reports this morning that a review of the violence over the weekend raises the total number of homicides to 34. Eleven of these took place on Friday, twelve on Saturday, and another eleven on Sunday.

Among the dead on Friday were a professor of sociology at UACJ, a female police officer, and an attorney (see below).

On Saturday several young persons were killed, including Alfredo Sapien Alvarado, 15, a U.S. citizen who was celebrating his birthday at a family gathering when the shooting occurred, which also resulted in the death of Jose Luis Banuelos Garcia, 22, and an injury to a female child taken to a hospital. In a separate incident two young men were killed, Edgar Guzman Ortega, 17, and Hector Javier Caballero Zabala, 18, in Caseta. The killers used 7.62 mm. bullets, often used with AK-47 assault rifles. In another incident, at 4:10 p.m. on Saturday Mauricio Herrera Rocha, 18, was executed at Azufre and Begonias in col. Ninos Heroes. Early in the morning, at 5: 40, Luis Chavez Molina, 20, was murdered on Pablo Lopez and Tildio, in col. Granjas de Chapultepec.

On Sunday, aside from the cases described below, five persons were executed at 10:30 p.m. at a drug rehabilitation center, called Vida Sin Adicciones (click here for original Diario Story). Four men presented themselves at the center, forced their way in at gunpoint, and tried to free about 50 inmates who are locked in each night at 9:30 p.m. Not finding the key to the lock, one of the killers shouted at the men, "don't commit yourselves to coming here because this is what's going to happen at all the rehab centers in town." The men took the five persons to an office room and fired about 30 rounds at them. Fearing for their lives, some of the inmates broke down a door and found the bodies of Gerardo Leyva, Felipe Limones, Jesús Ignacio Palma, Adrián Chávez and the director of the center, Víctor Valenzuela, known as “El Borreguito”. All five were former drug addicts. During the day, Sunday, family members had come to visit and the atmosphere was relaxed when the killers entered, many inmates watching television.

Deadly Statistics:

Depending on who is counting there have been either 655 homicides from January 1 through May (Norte data compiled by Hérika Martínez Prado today) or 671 homicides during the same period (Diario data compiled by Luz del Carmen Sosa today)

Hérika Martínez Prado cites 136 homicides in January, 240 in February, 73 in March, 90 in April, and 116 in May, for a total of 655. During the same time period in 2008 there were 391 homicides.

According to statistics provided by the state prosecutor's office, 165 homicides from January to April were associated with organized crime; 13 were attributed to gang-related violence, 9 were caused by brawls or disputes, and 5 were associated with retail trafficking in drugs. Three more cases occurred during a theft, one during a quarrel, two were acts of vengeance, one during an attempted kidnapping, one was in self defense, one for "economic benefit," and another was a case of child abuse.

Most deaths were caused by firearms, followed by beatings. There were also cases of decapitations and burning bodies.

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