Local

War in Juarez grows worse

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The drug violence in Juarez, Mexico, just across the Texas border, is growing worse.

So far this month, nearly 100 people have been killed. The city now holds the infamous title of "deadliest city in the world." Eyewitness News Anchor Art Rascon traveled to Juarez and he has a closer look at the violence in the region.

The world sees Juarez as repeated scenes of bloodshed where drug cartels rule.

On any given night, as we drive the back streets of Juarez, they are eerily empty. The main streets are filled with Mexican troops. Eight thousand troops have flooded the city, but it's hardly helped.

And the people? For good reason they're afraid to talk.

"It's a big problem. It's scary. I'm sorry, I cannot speak more," said one passerby.

The killing fields of Mexico and the epicenter is in Juarez, where the numbers are absolutely shocking. More than 1,800 people have been killed from drug cartel violence this year. That's more than 200 people a month.

There is no mercy in this war. Victims have been found hanging from bridges, tied on fences, gunned down in vehicles, homes and businesses.

While many of the dead are innocent bystanders, most work with one of two cartels at war with each other: the Juarez Cartel and the El Chapo Guzman Cartel.

Daily headlines blare more assassinations. Even Mexican journalists don't like reporting this slaughter. When we asked one journalist how he covers a battle like this without becoming a victim of it, he replied, "It's very hard. You just try to keep away from taking one side."

Journalists don't want to be identified and don't investigate the cartel. Too many have been killed.

"To sum it up, we are walking in a road that has no signs and you just keep going. Just report the issues, the facts, what's going on. There's no investigative reporting," said the journalist.

In our investigation into these drug cartels, we came across a self-proclaimed drug dealer and smuggler, a man who says he has facilitated the cartels for many years.

"In order to fight a war you will always need weapons and supplies," said the drug dealer.

This admitted drug cartel worker offers a deadly reality check about this battle.

"It's a war. You have innocent people who get caught in the crossfire of a war. They're casualties," said the drug dealer.

And in this deadly game of control, there is not even the slightest concern for innocent victims.

"I facilitate the runs. What happens after that, happens after that," the drug dealer said.

Those are hard words to hear for one Houston woman who rushed to Juarez to try and protect her mom.

"Every time I drive the streets I have to look in my back when I'm driving everywhere, and I get so nervous about it that I feel somebody is going to kill me on the side or on the back," said Houstonian Patricia Hilliard.

It's such a sad tale from that Houston woman now living in Juarez trying to protect her mother. On Eyewitness News at 10pm on Wednesday, hear more from the ruthless drug cartel worker on how the cartel works and why he believes the violence in Juarez is just the beginning of a growing epidemic of control that will find its way deeper into Texas.

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