Startling Numbers

Where do you think the most dangerous place on earth would be? Would it be in Somalia? Iraq? Perhaps somewhere else in the Muslim World, like Afghanistan or Pakistan?

An overpass in Tijuana, Mexico. Drug cartels have taken to using them as a way to show off their victims. Photo/Corey Hunt

President Obama is set to define the Afghan Mission as a war of vital defense and many of his advisers have labeled the Taliban strongholds of Pakistan as the world’s most dangerous places. But guess again. The most dangerous place for for well, just about anyone, is right over the US border, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s volatile border city of Ciudad Juarez has the world’s highest murder rate, followed by Caracas, Venezuela, and the US city of New Orleans, a Mexican security watchdog said Wednesday.

Ciudad Juarez — the scene of regular and brutal score-settling between rival drug gangs — has 130 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, said the Citizen’s Council for Public Security (CCSP) in a statement.

Caracas has 96 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, and New Orleans registers 95, said the Mexican non-governmental organization, which based its figures on media reports and an FBI report for the United States.

Caracas was listed as the murder capital of the world in the September 2008 Foreign Policy magazine, quoting official figures of 130 murders per 100,000 inhabitants.

The Mexican NGO put Baghdad, Iraq, in 10th position with 40 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, and another Mexican border city, Tijuana, in fourth place with 73.

I’ll make this point through another comparison. In the month of November, 88 civilians died violent deaths in Iraq, along with 34 members of the Iraqi Police and Army. After 6 years of war, this is considered to be the calmest month ever in Iraq, which now has a murder rate roughly equivalent to the United States. By contrast, more than 200 people were killed in Ciudad Juarez last month, making the Mexican border city pretty much the world’s deadliest place. Remember, Juarez is a city of 1.6 million people, while Iraq is roughly the size of California, making these numbers all the more startling. The incessant shooting sprees, abductions, and even grenade attacks have led some in the global media to believe that the region is “bordering on anarchy”. Reporters who embed with Mexican police and army units follow the same protocol as they would in a war zone, donning bullet-proof vests and helmets. The demented acts of violence committed by the drug cartels mirrors intimidation methods used by Al-Qaeda, redefining the meaning of a terrorist threat.

So what can be done in Ciudad Juarez? Well, the citizens of the border city are starting to feel that an international peacekeeping force may be the only option left, believe it or not. The deployment of thousands of Mexican Army soldiers and Federal Police has only made the cartels, who focus much of their energy on killing one another, even more aggressive. Its basically a ground zero and a gathering point for scumbags, low-lives, and the most grotesque individuals our societies on both sides of the border has to offer. In addition to the drug cartels; sex offenders, serial killers, and other organized crime also operate with impunity across the city, which has resulted in the unsolved murders of hundreds of young women. American citizens should think about this before going out for a fix. After all, its our obsession with drugs that helps these people operate in the first place. A visit to a Mexican border city might be a D.A.R.E. officer’s best way to keep kids off of drugs.

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7 Responses to “Startling Numbers”

  1. JG Says:

    The thing is, Corey, they don’t have nukes in Tijuana!

  2. Corey Hunt Says:

    Good point, but I would have to say that it seems like a visitor is more likely to get shot or kidnapped in Juarez as opposed to Peshawar. I could of course, be wrong. From first hand experience, I felt much more comfortable walking around South Asia at night as opposed to Tijuana, where I tried not to stray to far from my hotel when the sun went down.

    A breakdown in law and order could pretty much make Mexico the Western Hemisphere’s equivalent of Somalia.

  3. Jillian Galloway Says:

    According to the ONDCP two-thirds of the cartel’s incomes come from selling marijuana in the U.S. To protect this income the cartels murdered more than 6,000 people last year and are on track to kill at least 7,000 this year. Many of their victims are children, police officers and politicians.

    The federal marijuana prohibition is preventing legitimate U.S. businesses from undercutting the cartel’s marijuana prices, eliminating this income and ending their ability and reason to commit these murders.

    The cartels can’t stop these murders by themselves!

    It’s imperative that *we* act now to encourage Congress to legalize the commercial production and sale of marijuana to adults in the U.S. This is our duty to the children that will otherwise be brutally murdered by the cartels next year!

  4. JG Says:

    You have a point, Corey.

    I felt more safe in the West Bank than in Paris, believe it or not!

  5. Corey Hunt Says:

    Jillian,

    The Libertarian side of me agrees with you…if the government will allow its citizens to poison themselves with alcohol and cigarettes, there’s not much reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to smoke marijuana. Legalization would be a huge benefit to Mexican President Calderon, who has taken the brunt of the conflict on his shoulders with the deployment of thousands of troops.

    However, I don’t think that the cartels have any desire to stop these murders. That’s like saying the Taliban will stop killing people if we make opium legal…the cartels want power. Also, they would still make a killing on LSD, heroine, and meth, all of which have good reason to be kept away from our streets at all costs, They have also taken to smuggling people, pirated DVDs, and electronics. An article I read in the Dawn News Agency put it well…the cartels have evolved from drug smugglers into a ruthless, efficient mafia.

    JG,

    I believe that…you wouldn’t believe how frightening San Francisco gets late at night. Even during the day there are neighborhoods that are to be avoided at all costs.

  6. MK Says:

    Maybe they should clear the whole place of the law-abiding and just bomb the tripe out of the remaining scumbags.

  7. C.H. Says:

    I’ve been thinking about the horrific scenes that came out of Baghdad this morning…the Iraqis are saying Syria holds responsibility. I wish that Iraq had a functioning and efficient air force to strike back with!

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