Counting the four persons executed on Sunday, February closed in Cd. Juarez with a homicide toll of 149, down from the 207 registered in February 2009. As of this morning there have been 378 homicides so far this year. It is too early to tell whether the trend is downward. A year ago the armed forces brought in about 7500 troops to patrol streets accompanied by municipal police, and this was associated for a couple of months with a reduced level of violence, which then crept up again as criminal elements realized the presence of troops was not an effective deterrant to crime. After that there was an unprecedented spike in homicides, kidnappings, and, especially, extortions, which have all but traumatized the city during the past several months.
See note in Diario here.