Cartel Violence Forces U.S. Gov’t to Prohibit Employee Travel to Downtown Juárez

Cartel violence in Juarez, Mexico.
File Photo: Jesus Alcazar/AFP/Getty Images

The United States Consulate General in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico has issued a security alert prohibiting U.S. Government employees from traveling into downtown Ciudad Juárez without advance permission for the next 30 days.

Breitbart Texas reports regularly on the escalation of cartel-related violence in the area known as the El Paso-Juárez Metropolitan Border area — to include three people who were recently shot near an El Paso-Juárez Metropolitan Border Area pedestrian bridge.

This security alert issued on July 13, 2018, goes into effect immediately and cites a marked increase in homicides throughout Ciudad Juárez. These include an increase in shootings in the highly frequented downtown area during daylight hours.

The security alert reads as follows:

U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling to downtown Ciudad Juárez without advance permission from the Regional Security Office for the next 30 days.  The restriction covers both official and personal travel and includes the area west of Avenida de Las Americas.  All approved official travel must be in an armored vehicle. The restriction will be reevaluated at the end of the 30-day period.

Actions to Take:

  • U.S. citizens should take this restriction into account when planning travel to Ciudad Juárez.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and monitor local media reports.
  • Contact the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy if you need assistance.

Breitbart Texas reported on the recent uptick in cartel violence in Juárez primarily attributed to a dispute between formerly allied criminal groups fighting over the valuable street-level drug market and old rivals engaged in a renewed turf war. The level of killings in Juárez the past few months are similar to those seen during the 2011 crisis. A fierce cartel war broke out at that time for control of the El Paso corridor between the Juárez and Sinaloa Cartels. In late June, the city of Juárez registered 22 murders in a single day. The Mexican government responded by deploying troops to the streets of Juárez for the purpose of quelling cartel violence.

Homicides by Month in Juárez:

  • January — 72
  • February — 44
  • March — 56
  • April — 65
  • May — 124
  • June — 180

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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