UN peacekeepers for northern Mexico?

Business leaders in Ciudad Juárez are calling on the United Nations to send peacekeepers to police the Mexican border city in the face of escalating drug-related violence. Groups representing maquiladora plants, retailers and other businesses announced Nov. 12 that they will submit a request to the Mexican government and the Inter American Human Rights Commission. Members of the Maquiladora Association of Ciudad Juarez and Chamber of Commerce say the peacekeepers are needed to end the wave of extortion, kidnappings and murders.

More than 6,000 businesses have closed in the city this year because of the lack of security, the Mexican daily El Universal reported. The Mexican government has sent more than 5,000 soldiers to Juárez, but killings, extortions and kidnappings continue. The city has seen 1,986 homicides through mid-October this year—an average of seven a day in the city of 1.5 million people. By El Universal’s count, 6,476 people have been killed by drug-related violence in Mexico this year (already more than double the 2008 count).

A seven-year-old boy, three women and a university professor were among 15 people killed in a single day in Ciudad Juárez Nov. 13. The boy was a resident of El Paso, Tex., the city across the river from Juárez, who was visiting his father on the Mexican side. The boy, Raul Xazziel Ramirez-Ramirez, was killed together with his father. (El Paso Times, Nov. 16; AP, Nov. 15; Bloomberg, KWTX, Waco, Nov. 12)

See our last posts on Mexico’s narco wars.

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