Charlie Minn presenting The New Juarez at the University of Texas at El Paso. (Luis Hernandez/

Charlie Minn’s new documentary, The New Juarez, shows less violence in city leaning toward normalcy

EL PASO – A dwindling murder rate after years of bloodshed in a devastating drug war the city of Juarez never asked for is the subject of filmmaker Charlie Minn’s new documentary. “A lot has changed in the city,” said Minn, as he addressed a crowd recently at the University of Texas at El Paso. Minn has established credibility over the years by independently producing documentaries about Juarez, showcasing the atrocities that have plagued it since the drug war escalated to its most violent point back in 2010. In his third and final movie about the “murder capital of the world,” he focuses on the myriad changes the city has undergone in such a short but hectic period of time. According to Minn the most important factors responsible for the apparently declining murder rate in Juarez are the waning turf wars, the number of clandestine deals between top ranking officials in the Mexican government and drug lords, the demilitarization of the city of Juarez and the hiring of a new and controversial police chief.

New study provides context to the tsunami of drug-related violence in Mexico

EL PASO – The Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars has created a resource that provides background information on the major criminal groups battling for control of territory and lucrative drug trafficking routes in Mexico. Casualties have escalated to more than 30,000 people killed in drug-related violence since Mexican President Felipe Calderon began to crackdown on cartels. More than 50 U.S. citizens were killed in Ciudad Juarez in the past two years. “Given the extreme violence in Mexico, the United States in particular is looking at ways to support Mexican efforts against organized crimes,” said Eric L. Olson, author of A Profile of Mexico’s Major Organized Crime Groups and senior associate at The Mexico Institute. Olson said that President Barack Obama favors U.S. support of anti-drug Mexican efforts and that the U.S. has acknowledged partial responsibility for the situation in Mexico because of U.S. consumption of illicit drugs.

Juarez devastated by violence

CIUDAD JUÁREZ, México.- Nearly every day,  news reports record at least two to three deaths in Juarez. “In 2007 we counted 353 deaths, in 2008 1067, in 2009 2620 and in 2010 until Monday 19, 1611” says Fernando Quintana, a broadcast journalist with Channel 44 TV. “El Norte, every night reports eight to fifteen deaths on its website” adds Ismael Ruvalcaba, a reporter with El Norte newspaper. President Calderón arrived in Juárez on March 16, 2010, to attend a conference entitled Todos somos Juárez. Reconstruyamos nuestra ciudad.