Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Beat: Homicides This Year At Seasonally Adjusted Record Pace

As of last night 823 murders have occurred in Juarez so far this year. This compares with 528 for the same period last year, which was a new record, and 249 in 2008, the first year of the escalated violence. Diario reports this morning (click here) that 32 persons were killed by gunfire in a 27-hour period this week, including eleven minors between the ages of 15 and 19. So the pace of homicides appears to be picking up, as it did last year at this time.

Yesterday, Wednesday, 21 persons were killed by gunfire in Juarez, including the execution of eight persons in the parking lot of the Aristos night club at Vicente Guerrero and Honduras in the early morning hours. At about 2:30 yesterday afternoon four youths, ranging in age from 15-19 were executed in a single incident at the intersection of Juan Pablo Segundo and Arizona, in Col. Fidel Velázquez.

With 246 days left in the year, if the pace set so far continues there will be about 2524 homicides in Juarez by the end of the year. This is less than the 2657 homicides registered last year. However, last year there was a lull in killings for two months after the Army sent in 7500 troops to patrol the streets in February. After that the pace picked up significantly. If seasonal patterns in the homicide rate (killings tend to go up in the summer and fall) continue, Juarez, our neighboring city, will set another global record for homicides this year, right across the river from El Paso, Texas and Sunland Park, New Mexico.

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