BanderasNews
Puerto Vallarta Weather Report
Welcome to Puerto Vallarta's liveliest website!
Contact UsSearch
Why Vallarta?Vallarta WeddingsRestaurantsWeatherPhoto GalleriesToday's EventsMaps
 NEWS/HOME
 EDITORIALS
 AT ISSUE
 OPINIONS
 ENVIRONMENTAL
 LETTERS
 WRITERS' RESOURCES
 ENTERTAINMENT
 VALLARTA LIVING
 PV REAL ESTATE
 TRAVEL / OUTDOORS
 HEALTH / BEAUTY
 SPORTS
 DAZED & CONFUSED
 PHOTOGRAPHY
 CLASSIFIEDS
 READERS CORNER
 BANDERAS NEWS TEAM
Sign up NOW!

Free Newsletter!

Puerto Vallarta News NetworkEditorials | Issues 

Mexico Takes Different Tack on Juarez Violence
email this pageprint this pageemail usKen Ellingwood - Los Angeles Times
go to original
July 13, 2010


It's a very ugly environment, very tense. They promised a lot of things. We haven't seen any changes.
- Maria Elena Perez
Ciudad Juarez, Mexico The rifle-toting Mexican soldiers who patrolled in convoys have been sent to the barracks. Now 5,000 federal police officers are responsible for law and order in Mexico's deadliest city.

The shift in April from military to civilian police control is part of a broadened Mexican government strategy aimed at curbing street violence that has killed more than 5,000 people in Ciudad Juarez since early 2008.

So far, the results have been mixed. The bodies keep piling up and a fledgling "hearts and minds" campaign has yet to produce convincing gains.

The new approach includes a wide-ranging effort to address the vast social and economic ills that are believed to feed crime and gangs in Juarez. Officials unveiled the retooled effort after a huge outcry over the January slayings of 15 people when drug-gang hit men stormed a teen party in an apparent case of mistaken identity.

Saving Juarez won't be easy. Months after the new police deployment, the city's murder rate remains stubbornly high: about seven killings a day, according to unofficial tallies in the news media.

On a recent day, 22 people were slain. Another day, the mayor of a town outside Juarez died in a hail of gunfire at the home he kept in the city. Early this month, assassins ambushed and killed a deputy state prosecutor in her car.

Fear-stricken Juarez residents say the government has replaced one heavily armed federal force with another, so far without solving their biggest worry: the lack of security.

"It's a very ugly environment, very tense," said Maria Elena Perez, a 63-year-old resident interviewed at a shopping center that has its own private security force and offers unofficial haven from the daily violence. "They promised a lot of things. We haven't seen any changes."

Officials say they're on the right track in trying to mend the "social fabric" of the scruffy border city through a $260-million effort called Todos Somos Juarez, or "We Are All Juarez."

The project is in response to frequent criticisms that President Felipe Calderon's crackdown on drug cartels, begun in December 2006, has relied too much on firepower and given short shrift to addressing the kinds of problems that can steer young people to crime: deep poverty, inadequate schools and child care, and a lack of jobs and recreation.



In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving
the included information for research and educational purposes m3 © 2009 BanderasNews ® all rights reserved carpe aestus