At least 15 cartel-related murders were registered in Juárez in less than 24 hours late last week.
Violence in Juárez continues to trend upward as authorities believe a split in street gangs dedicated to the sale of drugs is fueling the bulk of the bloodshed. The city abutting El Paso, Texas, eclipsed 1,335 murders in 2019, compared to 1,247 in 2018.
The most recent wave began on Thursday afternoon and continued into Friday morning, according to Jorge Nava, the regional state attorney general for the district of Juárez. Nava said that before the murder spree, the city enjoyed two consecutive days without a single homicide, according to local reports. The violence erupted throughout various points of the city with 15 killed–including three women–all from gunshot wounds.
Authorities later announced the arrests of two members of “Los Mexicles” who operate as an armed wing of the Sinaloa Cartel. Mexicles also act as distributors of street-level drugs and are tasked with eliminating rivals on their turf. The two gang members were arrested in possession of four rifles, six pistols, and 1,310 rounds for different calibers. The pair is officially believed responsible for at least 10 homicides in November alone, according to Mayor Armando Cabada.
The gang members are identified as Gerardo “N.” and Jesús Omar “N.” Both were turned over to investigative personnel with the state attorney general’s office for follow up investigation and charges.
The state attorney general’s office attributes the bloodshed to the resurgence of the Juárez Cartel as it fights to retake turf from the Sinaloa Cartel’s local allies. Local street sales of methamphetamine and other drugs are contributing factors.
Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce completed work assignments in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year tour in Monterrey, Mexico, for the U.S. Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program.