The Official Count: 336 for August, surpassing the previous record of 313 set last June. Just five years ago (2005) the homicide in Juarez for the entire year was just 207. In recent times the first August record was set in 1995, with a total of 34 deaths, a record which held until 2007 when 38 persons were killed in August, and 320 for the year. The spike in homicides in the past two years has been dramatic. In 2008 there were 911 homicides from January through August, and last year there were 1496 in the same time period. This year the total for the first eight months is 2035. For monthly totals click here.
The Dead: The first person to be murdered on the last day of the month has not yet been identified. He was gunned down on a street in Col. Centro Industrial. Then Jesús Félix Nevares, in his 40's and Luis Aurelio Hernández Félix, 21, were gunned down in Col. Lucio Blanco II, in an incident in which another man was wounded. At about 1:30 p.m. the body of an as-yet unidentified man was found floating in an open sewage ditch near Blvd. Cuatro Siglos and Ave. Fco. Villareal Torres.
More: Then just before 3 p.m. a group of armed men burst into a home in Col. Mariano Escobedo and murdered four persons, Leticia Corral Nevares, 17, Julio and Arturo Corral Nevares, in their 20's, and Jesús Juárez López, 36. Leticia Corra's twin sister was saved when her brother Julio protected her body with his as he was killed. Witnesses remarked that the Corral Nevares family has been wiped out now, as another member of the family was killed in a bar a few months ago.
At 3:15 the murder of a municipal police officer, Raúl Aguirre Palacios, late 30's, was reported on Manuel Gómez Morín and Venus in Col. Satélite. Later in the afternoon two men on bicycles who had stopped to rest under a tree at the intersection of Juan Gabriel and the Casas Grandes highway, were killed in a volley of at least 25 rounds of 9 mm. ammunition. Then in Col. Azteca a man was killed on the street by a death squad, and in a separate incident two men were found dead of gunshot wounds near the Universidad Pedagógica Nacional on Ejército Nacional.
An Eye for an Eye? Later three persons were killed by a death squad in Col. Aldama. Socorrito and Beto Barraza, an elderly couple, were gunned down along with an unidentified man of about 25 years of age, outside their home. Witnesses said the couple were the parents of Sergio Rafael Barraza Bocanegra, who was released by authorities last April after confessing to the murder of his wife, Rubi Marisol Frayre, 17. She disappeared in September 2008 and her body was found on June 18, 2009. Her husband fled Juarez and was captured in the state of Zacatecas. He confessed to the crime and asked for forgiveness of her parents during the hearing in April. The authorities released Mr. Barraza after the prosecutor turned down at 20-year sentence Barraza had accepted (the prosecutor wanted the judges to impose a 60-year penalty for the crime). The three judges declared Mr. Barraza not guilty and released him altogether, explaining that the cause of death of the woman could not be established, and Mr. Barraza's confession might have been elicited through torture. The case was widely covered in the news media of Juarez.
The scene at the movies was all too real: Finally, a man was murdered in a movie theater at about 9 p.m. as a film was being shown in the Cinepolis at Oscar Flores and Zaragoza. The incident caused some panic as members of the audience rushed to the exits and the theater was shut down. Reporters did not ascertain the name of the movie.
Compiled from stories by Luz del Carmen Sosa, Diario (click here) and Felix A. Gonzalez. Norte Digital (click here) and Juan Salazar García, El Mexicano (click here)