Mexico: narco-war death toll doubles '07; Juárez femicide breaks records
Killings linked to Mexico's narco wars have more than doubled this year compared with 2007 and are likely to escalate before they start to fall, Prosecutor General Eduardo Medina Mora said Dec. 8. The number of narco-killings since the start of the year stood at 5,376 Dec. 2, a 117% increase over the 2,477 killings in the same period in 2007, Medina Mora said in a luncheon meeting with foreign correspondents. The bulk of the killings occurred in the northern states of Chihuahua, Baja California and Sinaloa. "These criminal organizations don't have limits," said Medina Mora. "They certainly have an enormous power of intimidation." But the New York Times reports that he "said the overall level of violence in Mexico remained moderate compared with that in other Latin American countries." (NYT, Dec. 8)
Meanwhile, local media in the Chihuahua border city of Ciudad Juárez report that 81 women were killed this year, breaking all previous records—in fact, more than doubling the previous record years of 1996 and 2001, which each saw 37 women murdered. The figure more than triples 2007's total of 25. The State Prosecutor General of Justice (PGJE) has recorded 508 murders of women in Ciudad Juárez since 1993.
Whole families have been decimated in the Juárez femicide and narco-bloodletting this year. The sisters Cinthia and Ruth Sagredo Escobedo were killed two days apart. Their father, Francisco María Sagredo Villarreal, who had spoken out publicly against sicarios (hired killers) leaving bodies in the street where he lived, was himself assassinated Oct. 3. (El Diario, Ciudad Juárez, Dec. 8)
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