Juarez surpasses 2019 homicide totals despite lockdowns, pandemic

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Chihuahua AG says violence trending down recently due to execution of arrest warrants

JUAREZ, Mexico (Border Report) – Juarez has recorded more homicides in the first 11 months of the year than in all of 2019, as drug traffickers continue to ply their trade despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Police as of Tuesday morning were reporting 1,552 murders for 2020, compared to 1,497 at the end of last year. Of all the victims, 182 were women and 36 were minors. Nine in 10 homicides are drug-related, a state police spokesman said.

That would make 2020 the fourth-deadliest year in the history of this city across the border from El Paso, Texas, according to official stats.

Chihuahua Deputy Attorney General Jorge Nava on Tuesday put a positive spin on the numbers, saying crime is coming down and November had the lowest number of homicides, with 98.

He attributed the decrease to police executing 142 murder warrants last month. He did not comment on whether the city’s overnight COVID-19 preventive lockdown from late October to mid-November figured in the decrease.

“Despite the health emergency, our officers have continued to do their jobs. The (homicide) numbers reflect that. We knew that (executing arrest warrants) would be important to bring down crime and we see it is happening,” Nava said in a videoconference.

State and city police have captured 1,416 alleged murderers this year, he said, a number that almost matches the homicide tally.

Juarez recorded nearly 7,800 murders during the drug cartel wars of 2009-2011, with 2010 being the deadliest year on record with 3,158 homicides.

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