02-25-2011, 12:38 AM
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Re: Official Juarez drug war death count thread
KFOX 14 report: Many El Pasoans admit they overlook the rising death toll in Juárez
EL PASO, Texas -- Mexican President Felipe Calderon said he will be strengthening armed forces presence along the border which has become a bloody battleground. Fifty-three people were killed in just the three days. It shocked some, but it is everyday life for others.
When asked how many murders she thought there were in Juarez so far this year, one woman replied, “I’d say 30 or 40."
Her answer was off by several hundred.
"I would say about 200, 300," answered Miguel Duarte, of central El Paso.
A little more than 300 murders so far in 2011 is the correct answer.
"Ugh, no way. That's crazy," said one woman.
She has been visiting from out of town. When asked if she was scared to come to El Paso because of the violence across the border, she answered, “no."
She said she has heeded the warnings.
"I've seen it on the news a lot and it's just scary," she said.
It's the media coverage that has people living across the border immune from the daily deaths. There were 53 over the weekend, including four police officers.
"Everyday it's the same thing," said Duarte.
"It's something you get used to hearing about. It's very common now," said Natividad Villapando, of central El Paso.
Villapando has had a first-hand account of the violence. A woman she worked with was carjacked.
"She actually didn't want to give up her car, but there wasn't much choice with that," said Villapando.
She was one of the lucky ones. On Friday, a municipal police officer became one of 20 victims. He was killed by an assassin who belonged to a band of carjackers. It is a reality check for many El Pasoans who often times overlook the daily tally of murders.
"Who knows how long it takes before it might come over here," said Villapando.
At the beginning of 2011, a researcher at a Juarez university projected about 5,000 people would be murdered in the city this year. That is about 2,000 more than 2010.
An estimated 8,000 people have been killed in the city since the turf war began between battling cartels in 2006.