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Juarez Violence is More Street Gangs than Cartels

The violence continues to intensify in Juarez, but most is driven by street gangs, not cartels, according to a Las Cruces Sun-News report. According to Juarez Mayor José Reyes Ferriz, law enforcement efforts have made it more difficult for drug cartels to transport cocaine into the United States as cartels are forced to find alternate routes.

Ferriz also noted that for the most part, the killings between the Sinaloa cartel and the Juarez cartel have ceased in Juarez. He instead blamed the majority of the 2,600 killings in the city during the past year on the feud between warring gangs, the Aztecas, the Mexicles and Artistas Asesinos.

These gangs are now fighting for control of the retail distribution of drugs in Juarez. The Aztecas are linked to the Juarez cartel, while the Mexicles and Artistas Asesinos are linked to the rival Sinaloa cartel.

The killings that have taken place in the city have often been as a result of the two cartels fighting over control of drug-trafficking routes. The Associated Press reported the Sinaloa cartel is winning the battle.

Ferriz could not confirm this information, but highlighted that citizens in Juarez no longer see a strong effort by either cartel to move their product through the city. "I think when they refer to Juarez, they are referring to the entire region -- Guadalupe, Praxedis (Guerrero), Palomas -- all of that which is much larger than Juarez," Ferriz said.

The government is fighting back. The city is planning to build five high schools on the west side, open another 100 daycare centers for children between the ages of 4 and 12, and develop free after-school programs. Ferriz highlighted another 28,000 temporary jobs will be created to provide a source of income for those who may otherwise be lured into drug killings for merely $40 a week.

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