From two stories inDiario this morning: In 2008 the official count was 1623. In 2009 the unofficial count is 2657. Women: 163. Thirty three of the women were killed in December, which was the annual total in 2005. Sixty six of the homicides last year were against police agents.
The pace of the killing, after a pause when 7500 army troops and 2300 federal police agents joined local police in March, increased dramatically after May. Common criminals, apparently emboldened as they observed that the strong presence of troops had not stemmed drug trafficking activity or homicides, began a wave of car thefts, kidnappings and extortions, mortifying the local population. Until this year most citizens felt relatively safe in Cd. Juarez, since the vast majority of homicides involved persons associated with drug trafficking.
With the new wave of violence hundreds of citizens fled the city, and many of those who can afford it have moved or are moving to El Paso. Several top restaurants in Juarez have moved over to El Paso, such as Maria Chuchenas and Shangri La, since the threat of violence has strongly reduced the number of persons willing to go out to dinner at night.
One of the last persons killed in 2009, according to La Polaka, was Jesus Reyes Favela, the owner of a hardware store, shot to death yesterday by gunmen apparently for failure to pay an extortion fee.
Car thefts: 12,923 as of December 31, according to Norte. This translates to a car theft rate of 861.5 per 100,000, slightly higher than Albuquerque's rate of 821.69 in 2007 and 730.81 in 2008, which gave Albuquerque a ranking of 8th place out of 361 MSA's in 2007.
The security crisis in Cd. Juarez is extremely serious, and the seven homicides per day is only the tip of the iceberg of a city under severe security stress.