Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Beat: 291 Assassinations in July, 1701 On the Year

Juarez continues to rack up records. A few deadly statistics: last year at the end of July 1151 murders attributed to organized crime had been registered in Juarez, a record number. This year it is a nice round 1701. In all of 2009 my count is 2657. In 2008 it was 1653. In 2007 it was 318. In 2001 it was 194. Look like a rising trend? At the present rate of butchery 2010 will end with 2913 deaths attributed to organized crime, for an increase of over 9 percent over last year.

Definitions: In Mexico authorities distinguish between "homicidio doloso," which is murder, and "homicidio culposo," which is manslaughter. The deadly statistics you see on Juarez do not normally include manslaughter statistics. So if a drunk driver runs over a man and kills him, he is charged with "homicidio culposo." Problem is, sometimes agencies collecting statistics simply ask for "homicidios" for Juarez and end up with an exaggerated view of the cost of the drug war there. There is no need to exaggerate. The toll is bad enough.

January: 227
February: 163
March: 240
April: 205
May: 262
June: 313
July: 291

For an excellent wrap-up of the state of the violence in Juarez click here for a story in Diario by Luz del Carmen Sosa, who has been covering this for several years.

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