The number of murders in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s most violent city, has topped 3,100 for the year, making 2010 the worst year since a war between rival drug gangs sent the homicide rate skyrocketing in 2008.
A triple-murder on Tuesday in a neighborhood in southeast Juarez, located across the border from El Paso, Texas, pushed the number of homicides here this year to 3,103, the Chihuahua state Attorney General’s Office said.
Three men were attacked by gunmen, officials said, adding that two of the victims were pronounced dead at the scene and the third died while being transported to a hospital.
The most violent month of the year was October, when 400 people – 352 men and 48 women – were murdered in the border city, official figures show.
Ciudad Juarez, where more than 8,000 people have been murdered since 2008, has been plagued by drug-related violence for years.
The Juarez and Sinaloa cartels, backed by hitmen from local street gangs, have been fighting for control of the border city.
The murder rate took off in the border city of 1.5 million people in 2007, when 310 people were killed, then it more than tripled to 1,607 in 2008, according to state Attorney General’s office figures, with the number of killings climbing to 2,754 last year.
Juarez first gained notoriety in the early 1990s when young women began to disappear in the area.
More than 500 women have been killed in Juarez since 1993, with the majority of the cases going unsolved.
Ciudad Juarez, with 191 homicides per 100,000 residents, was the most violent city in the world in 2009, registering a higher murder rate than San Pedro Sula, San Salvador, Caracas and Guatemala City, two Mexican non-governmental organizations said in a report released earlier this year.
About 30,000 people have died in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon declared war on Mexico’s cartels shortly after taking office in December 2006.