Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Thursday, June 9, 2011

9,000 Cartel Members Estimated to be in Juárez

By Diana Washington Valdez\
El Paso Times
The Chihuahua prosecutor general said Tuesday that within the Juárez region there are more than 9,000 active drug cartel members.

It is the first time a Mexican official has quantified the warring drug cartel organizations' membership.

Carlos Manuel Salas, the state's chief prosecutor, provided the figures and other information in a statement after a meeting between Chihuahua officials and business leaders and ex-Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, who was invited to Juárez to discuss security issues.

Salas said Chihuahua officials have rejected the manner in which Juárez has become stigmatized by being called the most violent city in the world.

"What happened is that the cartels entered into a conflict, and then organized crime began to get involved in common crimes. What happened when we confronted this is that the Juárez cartel, which then had 500 people who controlled (their operations) throughout the state, added 5,000 gang members to its force," Duarte said, "and they brought weapons from the United States and began to fight the Sinaloa cartel that got hold of other gangs. In less than 60 days, this (Sinaloa) group had 4,000 armed members, and this is the challenge that the governor was faced with, but we are working each day to restore the peace to our state."

Several cities and other geographical regions in Mexico that are considered drug-trafficking corridors are identified with drug cartels. They include Juárez, Tijuana, Sinaloa and the Gulf of Mexico. Colombia had the so-called Medellin and Cali cartels.

Chihuahua Gov. Cesar Duarte said he invited Uribe to share his experiences in fighting the cartels in Colombia.

"The first time I met President Uribe, he told me that we should not permit a city to bear a cartel's name because it would give the city a bad name and it would be very hard to get rid of the stigma," Duarte said.

Salas said law officials have reported a 500 percent increase in detentions during the past eight months.

More than 8,000 people have been killed in the drug conflict in Juárez since 2008.

Juarenses will receive the Caravan for Peace today

By Lourdes Cardenas
El Paso Times

Today, the people of Ciudad Juárez will greet and receive the Caravana for Peace with Justice and Dignity.
The Caravana, headed by poet Javier Sicilia and more than a dozen civic organizations, will arrive to Juárez on June 9 after a journey of more than 1,800 traveling miles and several meetings in some of the cities most affected by drug-trafficking violence. Massive events in the city are planned for Friday.

Sicilia became a public figure after the brutal murder of his son, Juan Francisco, along with other six young men on March 28 in the city of Cuernavaca. Sicilia, who is also a journalist from the prestigious magazine Proceso, has become a strong voice demanding justice for all the victims of drug-trafficking violence and an end to the government's drug war.


  1. I'm at a loss for words. Everything's been said a million times before. Anybody have any clues, any ideas on how to stop, slow, or even change what's going on?

  2. Everybody knows that Ciudad Juarez is the most violent city in the world.
    Instead of denying it (leads to coverups, apathy, and more crime,) the government should simply admit the facts so that outrage can spur change.

  3. It is insane when you think about. What do you think the net sales on street drugs in Juarez and El Paso alone in one week are? Who knows, 5 million, 10 million, I don't know. And what is that, 2%, 5%, 10% of all their business? To think that the local cartel is going to allow an outside cartel to come in and take just that small portion of their business is just really naive. As long as the military and federal police attempt to support and assist the outside cartel, there will be hell in Juarez not that it was roses when they were the only player.

    This particular cartel war needs to be addressed by backing the military and federal police out of Juarez and letting the cartels battle until there is one winner. This battle would be over quickly without the federal support for Sinaloa and for what reason they are supported, I have never figured it out.

    If they backed out, Juarez would be along the lines of where Tijuana is. At least tourists are considering it as safe enough to visit. Calderon has made Juarez a cesspool for more than 4 years now because he is such a stubborn asshole.

  4. The following is part of an interview with Javier Sicilia.....
    On the Road With Mexico's Peace Caravan

    Javier Sicilia, leader of Mexico's growing movement to stop the drug war, called on the U.S. government to change its strategy and criticized the U.S. Merida Initiative as "an initiative that only has imagination for violence and war."

    Sicilia's statements are the first directly focused on the role of the U.S. government in the drug war, with the exception of a mention in his speech in the Zocalo May 8th. The following is an interview we did during a pit stop of the Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity on June 5.

    LC: Good morning and thank you very much for this interview. I wanted to ask you about the role of the United States, the Government of the United States, something that you mentioned in your speech in the Zocalo. What is the importance, how would you define this role?

    JS: Well, for us it's a terrible role. I believe that the United States, looking to protect its global interests, has in a way imposed this war against drug trafficking on us. Because that was how it was born, even though it has since acquired the tone of a war on organized crime, but at first it was a war against drug trafficking. They imposed it on us....

    LC: The U.S. government says that it is supporting Mexico through, up until now, $1.5 billion in aid under the Merida Initiative. They have no made mention of this movement for peace but have made many declarations in support of Felipe Calderon's war. What do you think of the Merida Initiative?

    JS: Well, it's very grave. It's an initiative that only has imagination for violence and war. If you really want to save this nation, to help it, you have to look at the problem integrally. The problem here in Mexico is very serious. It's not just our rotting institutions serving their own interests, as I have said, they also have interests, like the US banks do, with the cartels themselves.

    This is the situation, added to the country's rural problems–the countryside is devastated–, the erosion of the social fabric, the system of economic mutual supports at the community level that has been destroyed. Education is wrecked. There are no jobs. The destruction of mutual support systems has not been replaced by job creation; unemployment, salaries that are absurdly low, just like the era of savage capitalism. That is also national security.

    We need to think about the problem comprehensively. We need to go to the root causes of the issue: the young people without opportunities, who are being killed or live in terror, who have a limited chance to make a living because salaries are so low, or the others who, without opportunities, join the ranks of organized crime–or unorganized crime, because we don't even know what it is anymore, then the future of our country is dead; the future for our youth, our children, and our grandchildren is practically broken, undone.

    If we don't approach the problem holistically, if we just keep spending money on violent responses to it, then we're on our way to a military/police state–a disaster worse than what we're experiencing now.

    The United States must go back to the drawing board, listen to what citizens are demanding, and the United States should remember, as a democratic country, that sovereignty lies in the citizens, not in government officials. They must pay attention and look at what we are perceiving as citizens and what we are proposing to fix the situation that the Mexican and American governments have put us in, sunk us in, a situation that is truly horrifying....

    Unfortunately, Javier, this country, the USA, is not truly a democratic society unlike your opinion of us. We, the people of the USA, have become as powerless to change government policies as you are in Mexico. The Big Boys make all the decisions, and they buy their influence. That's true in the US as much as it is in Mexico.

  5. Yea the juarez cartel stil seems to b in control out there


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