Recalling Ciudad Juarez and the dead in the US-Mexico border drug war

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I could just imagine Ciudad Juarez, a border city of Mexico close to El Paso, Texas which had become a killing field of warring drug lords in the area. I was there when the warm dusty place South of the border was still peaceful, about two decades ago.

“Nearly 40 percent of the dead last year tested positive for cocaine or marijuana. About 20 percent were never claimed by their families, many out of fear. Cardboard boxes with bloodstained cowboy boots, cell phones and bulletproof vests are stacked to the ceiling in the crime lab…Ciudad Juarez, a city of 1.3 million across the border from El Paso, Texas, has a modern, estimated $15 million morgue and crime lab thanks to international support after another notorious spate of killings — the Women of Juarez. More than 400 women have been raped, strangled and dumped in the desert since 1993.”—-Yahoo News/ AP (03/08/09, Watson, J)

It’s appalling to know Ciudad Juarez which brings memories of cities in the Philippines has become a perilous place to be. The Mexicans living there whom I met were very friendly. As a group, they share many character traits of Filipinos. I feel sorry they are now in harms way as criminality surges in the area.

The rivalry for narcotics peddlers in the drug corridor had been fierce. Last year more than 6,290 died in drug-related killings which gripped both Mexicans and Americans living where gangs and their members operate.

Eight weeks after the start of 2009, a record number—-more than 1,000 people were mercilessly murdered, making the peace and order situation in the area worse. The morgues had been swamped with bodies of murdered victims, many with signs of foul play.

The Mexican army is being asked to help contain the spate of violence which makes even the morgue workers afraid. US students and tourists planning to travel in trouble-spots in Mexico are being warned of the dangerous situation.(Photo Credit: Hobby-Photographs) =0=

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