Ciudad Juárez registered 1,247 homicides in 2018 amid a raging cartel turf war.
The state attorney general’s office reported the number of murder cases reached 1,247 for 2018, according to local media reports. The total number was a significant uptick in comparison to 2017.
The year continues an upward trend in violence compared to the middle of the current decade.
Homicide cases officially accounted for per year
Source: Chihuahua State Attorney General
The current outbreak of violence in Juárez is attributed to the resurgence of the Juárez Cartel or “El Nuevo Cartel de Juárez” and the recent split of a key leader from “Los Aztecas” to “La Línea.” Los Aztecas, also known as “Barrio Aztecas,” operate in the El Paso- Juárez Metropolitan Border Area by performing hits for the Juárez Cartel in addition to extortion, kidnapping, and street-level drug sales. Los Aztecas are also in the midst of an internal conflict between the “Old School Aztecs” and a second faction loyal to the recently captured leader of La Línea. The split set off a deadly turf war. Local and federal law enforcement sources also cite the presence of the Sinaloa Cartel as a cause for violence throughout the border state abutting Texas and New Mexico. One law enforcement source who spoke to Breitbart News on the condition of anonymity said it is believed La Línea and the aligned faction of Los Aztecas are currently eliminating the rival Aztecas faction.
The Sinaloa Cartel-aligned “Los Artistas Asesinos” are also reportedly in the midst of an internal struggle between “new” and “old” school factions—only exacerbating the local homicide count.
Juárez announced the gradual re-deployment of joint police and military patrols to quell cartel violence and enhance local security in December 2018. The joint patrols were initially deployed in late October after police suffered 10 attacks from cartel gunmen in less than one month–leaving two dead and several wounded.
In July 2018, the United States Consulate General in Juárez was forced to issue a security alert prohibiting U.S. employees from traveling into the downtown area without advance permission due to an escalation of cartel-related violence.
Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.) You can follow him on Twitter. He can be reached at email@example.com