El Paso Times
El Paso, TX -- Juárez is deadlier now than during the Mexican Revolution, a border history expert said Thursday.
Oscar Martinez, a history professor at the University of Arizona, gave the first in a series of lectures at the El Paso Museum of History marking the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution.
Martinez said he is often asked about casualties in Juárez during the revolution compared with the current violence. The conservative estimate is that about 300 people died in battles in Juárez during the entire Mexican Revolution of 1910, he said.
"The important thing is the total number is only a fraction of the people killed in the last three years in Juárez," Martinez told an audience of more than 70 people at the museum. "It's a catastrophe. And that is no revolution going on. It is a civil war between cartels."
About 4,000 people have been killed in Juárez since 2008. Law enforcement officials have said that current violence in Juárez is part of a war between the Sinaloa and Juárez drug cartels for control of a lucrative smuggling routes into the United States.
Martinez, an El Paso native, teaches courses on the history of Mexico, the history of Mexican-Americans and the border. He has written several books. Martinez's lecture on Thursday was an over view of the revolution.
Sue Taylor, senior education curator at the museum, said more events linked to the Mexican Revolution would take place at the museum throughout the year. The lectures are sponsored by a grant from Humanities Texas.
Martinez said cities on the U.S.-Mexico border like El Paso played an important role during the revolution, which altered Mexico politically, socially and culturally. And no city was more important than Juárez.
"Ciudad Juárez was always on center stage in that decade. Ciudad Juárez was the prize city on the border," Martinez said.
The revolution was fueled by several factors, including resentment of the masses toward a corrupt elite that dominated Mexico. The revolution gave rise to changes that bore fruit decades later, Martinez said.