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Mexico Institute in the News: Sharp drop in the murder rate in Juarez, thanks to the cartels?

Eric L. Olson

Eric Olson and Molly Molloy comment on the drop in murder rates in Juarez, Mexico for “AirTalk.”

KPPC, AirTalk, 8/21/2012

Once the epicenter of violent spillover from Mexico’s drug wars, Ciudad Juarez has seen a precipitous drop in the number of homicides.

Officials in Mexico’s federal government are proudly touting the improved crime statistics. But, as a long analysis in the Washington Post points out, that may not all be thanks to massive deployment of money and troops. The Sinaloa cartel has secured the region surrounding Juarez as its territory, causing many fewer conflicts between rival drug gangs.

One expert counters, it’s the exodus of 200,000 frightened citizens out of Juarez that explains the drop; there are simply fewer people in the city to be affected by the violence.

What’s really behind the drop in violence? How much peace can Mexican border residents expect– and for how long?


Molly Molloy, Latin American specialist at the New Mexico State University Library and co-author of El Sicario: The Autobiography of a Mexican Assassin

Eric Olson, Associate Director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC

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About the Author

Eric L. Olson

Eric L. Olson

Global Fellow;
Director of the Central America-D.C. Platform, Seattle International Foundation
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Mexico Institute

The Mexico Institute seeks to improve understanding, communication, and cooperation between Mexico and the United States by promoting original research, encouraging public discussion, and proposing policy options for enhancing the bilateral relationship. A binational Advisory Board, chaired by Luis Téllez and Earl Anthony Wayne, oversees the work of the Mexico Institute.   Read more