45 Killed During Holy Week on Mexican Side of El Paso-Juárez Metro Border Area

A man lies dead after a shootout in Tijuana, Mexico, Monday, Nov. 17, 2008. According to the police, nine men were shot dead Monday in several shootings throughout the city. Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez have both seen nearly daily killings as Mexico is swept up in a wave of drug-related …
AP File Photo/Guillermo Arias

A total of 15 homicides were registered within 24 hours in Ciudad Juarez on Thursday and Friday during Holy Week.

The 15 killings occurred between Thursday evening and Friday morning and are believed related to the ongoing turf war by street-level drug dealers aligned with major cartels. Juarez is also a key sector for drug smuggling into the United States.

Holy Week Homicides in Juarez

Palm Sunday – 7

Monday – 10

Tuesday – 5

Wednesday – 8

Maundy Thursday – 7

Good Friday – 8

The series of 15 began with seven on Thursday and an additional eight on Friday, according to Julio Castañeda, a spokesman for the office of the Chihuahua Attorney General.

This month of April has been the deadliest in the past eight years with 129 homicides registered thus far. From January 1 to April 21, the city accounted for 449 murders. April 2019 is only exceeded by April 2011, when 171 killings were registered.

The municipal government was forced to announce the gradual re-deployment of joint police and military patrols in December 2018. The 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 issued a security alert prohibiting employees from traveling into the downtown area without advance permission. In 2018, Juarez registered 1,247 homicides.

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 robertrarce@gmail.com

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