In light of the growing wave of violence that has occurred in the border city of Ciudad Juárez, elements of the Army were integrated yesterday to the patrols that make up the municipal, state and federal police.
The measure is taken five years after the soldiers stopped patrolling the streets to fight crime in this area.
According to official figures, in the last five days a total of 29 people were murdered in Ciudad Juárez and from January to date the number of homicides reached 368, a figure lower than those between 2009 and 2013 when up to 400 homicides occurred per month.
General Ricardo Fernández Acosta, the commander of the Fifth Military Zone, announced that the measure was taken in coordination between the three levels of government and follows a joint strategy to curb criminal gangs, particularly those engaged in drug trafficking and weapons. Unlike a few years ago, on this occasion, the military will act in coordination with all security corporations, since in previous operations they conducted their own strategies without the support of the local police. This situation aroused innumerable complaints of diverse social groups because in some occasions the military violated individual rights.
In 2010, the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Defense (SEDENA) announced a deployment of 7.500 soldiers in Ciudad Juárez to detain narco groups. At the moment there are 4.500 elements in the whole state territory. The majority is assigned to the surveillance of the Tarahumara mountain range.
Mayor Armando Cabada said that the violence is a result of the dispute over control of the region. He detailed that previously the cells belonged to the same side, but they were fragmented and the confrontation began.
He warned that the problem was aggravated because the cartels are recruiting young gunmen who are paid around MXN$2.500 for each murder. He denounced that according to the information he possesses, provided by the intelligence of the Municipal Police, most of the homicides are ordered from within the Cereso state prison.