Hell on Earth: How people live in the World's Murder Capital of Ciudad Juarez
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Hell on Earth: How people live in the World's Murder Capital of Ciudad Juarez

25 December 2020, 14:50In the world
The Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez is home to one and a half million people.

However, the situation here is such that residents are forced to play every day, figuratively speaking, a terrible game called "Staying Alive": the metropolis is considered the most dangerous in the world and has long been known as "hell on Earth".

The crime in Ciudad Juarez is blatant. In 2018 and 2019, according to international human rights organizations, it was this Mexican city in the state of Chihuahua, located near the US border, not far from the Texas city of El Paso, that was, in fact, recognized as the world capital of murder.

In 2011, it set a "bloody record" for the number of murders in 72 hours: more than fifty people were killed, including four federal police officers. Local morgues were unable to process the incoming bodies, authorities said.

And according to the results, for example, of 2018, a record number of murders was committed in the city for the entire period of statistics: 1247. Several thousand more people disappeared without a trace, and the local police interpret this as "murders with the elimination of bodies" (that is, burial, dismemberment , burning, dissolving in acid, etc.).

Thus, the objective statistics of murders in Ciudad Juarez are somewhere between 15 and 20 per day!

Apparently, it was not possible to correct the bad reputation in the outgoing year 2020: in the first three months of this year alone, the number of murders in Ciudad Juarez jumped by 74.6% compared to the same period of this year.

Essentially, this border town is one giant drug depot for the Juarez, Los Zetas, Tijuana, Beltran-Leyva, Barrio Azteca cartels and others.

70% of those killed in Ciudad Juarez are from these cartels. As a rule, these are bandits who did not divide the territory or decided to appropriate other people's drugs.

And about 27% of those killed are civilians. These are accidental victims of sudden street shootings or people suspected of having links with the police and special services. Sometimes cartels kill entire families, including the elderly, women, and young children. Most of the killings are carried out with firearms, so there are no nights in the city when one of the local residents would not hear the shots.

If you climb a mountain a few miles out of town and look out over Ciudad Juarez on a dark night, you can see the flashes of gunfire. Skirmishes in the city take place all the time.

According to unofficial data from the Mexican special services, there are about 500 thousand unregistered weapons in the territory of Ciudad Juarez!

Also in Ciudad Juarez, killings for profit are common. A person can be shot because of expensive shoes, a spectacular wristwatch, or a few dollars in a wallet. Degraded drug addicts and frostbitten adolescents who are not even entrusted with responsible work are not entrusted with such murders.

The overwhelming majority of the population of the metropolis lives in old one-story houses, so most of the warehouses with heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine and other substances are located deep underground.

That is why, when searching a suspicious house, the police and special services always go down to the basement.

If there is a secret hatch in the basement, then the passage from it with a high degree of probability leads to a depth of 10-20 meters - to the very secret room where drugs are stored. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), up to 60% of all illicit opioids originate in the United States from Ciudad Juarez.

Tens of tons of the potion are transported in large trucks disguised as goods from Mexico, as well as in the wheels and seats of cars. In addition, drugs are delivered by individuals who illegally cross the border under cover of night.

Recently, criminals with US citizenship have often come to Ciudad Juarez. They hope to buy a few pounds of heroin, fentanyl or cocaine at a bargain price, and then sell it in New York or Los Angeles at a fraction of the price. On one pound of "potion" criminals earn from 20 to 100 thousand dollars. However, not everyone succeeds in drug dealing.

Some businessmen are killed by cartels after taking the cash, while others are arrested by border guards. For transporting large consignments of drugs from Ciudad Juarez to the United States, judges rarely sentence criminals to less than 15-20 years in prison.

The US Department of State ranks Ciudad Juarez in the fourth category of the Travel Advisory Levels rating. Ordinary residents are advised not to go there (Do Not Travel).

As for civil servants, among whom there are often representatives of the American special services, a third level of danger is provided for them (Reconsider Travel). They must travel only on certain roads and at certain times, and also have special permits from the US and Mexican departments.

The biggest risk for civil servants is kidnapping. Cartels dream of capturing an American drug fighter in order to then demonstrate their power.

Amazingly, the reputation of the most dangerous city on the planet has led to an influx of tourists to Ciudad Juarez, writes LiveJournal user Vitaly Drobyshev in his material dedicated to Ciudad Juarez.

Thrill seekers come here on day trips from both the United States and other cities in Mexico.

In the daytime, the city really looks majestic and safe. There are many churches, monuments and other structures associated with the colonization of these lands by the Spanish conquistadors (the founding date of Ciudad Juarez is 1659).

With the onset of evening, however, personalities with very unpleasant facial expressions begin to appear on the streets. Locals have long ago learned to identify bandits by their eyes - they are completely empty and cold.

It's hard to believe, but neither the Mexican nor the American intelligence services have yet been able to carry out a single effective special operation in the world capital of murders.

This is because the most criminal areas are in the center of the one-story part of Ciudad Juarez. As soon as the police car drives in the direction of the drug dealers' den, people working for the cartel take out their mobile phones and report the activity of the law enforcement officers. Over the next 20-30 minutes, while the police are moving to their destination, the bandits have time to dissolve.

Finally, it should be said that Ciudad Juarez ranks first in the world in terms of the number of inhabitants who dream of leaving it once and for all. However, the vast majority are hampered by poverty (average income is $ 5 per day), unemployment and the presence of numerous relatives.

Therefore, for many, the main goal is not life arrangement, career growth and prosperity, but banal survival. In the truest sense of the word.

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