EL PASO, Texas — Thousands, including many who crossed the border from Juarez, gathered to celebrate “16 de Septiembre” — 200 years of Mexican independence from Spain — at San Jacinto Plaza in downtown El Paso. Festivities here drew more people than usual because public events in Juarez were curtailed due to the current drug-related violence there. Juarez residents were asked to celebrate at home with a televised ceremony. Others opted to celebrate in El Paso at Mexican Consulate sponsored festivities. “We came to celebrate because we heard a big party was going to take place,” said Juarez high school student Diana Mojarro, 17.
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Chihuahua – When he was elected as Mayor of this border city in 2007, José Reyes Ferriz had no idea that he had won the most difficult municipal job in the world, running a city that had earned the title of the “murder capital of the world.”
The chaos and terror of a war between drug cartels that has killed some 7,000 persons in Juarez since he took office, Reyes Ferriz said in an exclusive interview with Borderzine.com, forced him to focus his efforts on insuring the safety of the citizenry. With that in mind, Reyes Ferriz placed the reconstruction of the city’s police force at the top of his list of priorities. Corruption was ingrained in all branches of the police force bureaucracy, he said. “Part of the police force reconstruction was recruiting and training new officers. The government hired 2200 new officers to bring the total to 3000.