Juarez Murder Rate Down, El Pasoans Still Concerned for Safety

Juarez Murder Rate Down, El Pasoans Still Concerned for Safety

POSTED: Sunday, February 5, 2012 - 11:03pm

UPDATED: Sunday, February 5, 2012 - 11:36pm

EL PASO - The murder rate in Juarez continues to drop every year, but some El Pasoans aren't comfortable going south of the border just yet.

Juarez police reported an average of four murders a day for the month of January. A much slower pace than in 2010 where an average of eight people were killed every day.

El Pasoan Charlie Cortina grew up in Juarez in the 1950's and said a lot has changed since then. He remembers crossing the border to visit family on a regular basis. Something he doesn't dare do anymore.

"I would never go back again," Cortina said. "I'm afraid for my life, I'm afraid as soon as I cross the bridge something would happen to me."

Juarez has made international headlines as the murder capital of the world. The worst year was in 2010 when more than 3,000 people were killed.

In July of that year, a car bomb detonated killing four people and injuring seven others. It's those headlines keeping Cortina from visting family in Mexico.

"I have a lot relatives living over there in Chihuahua and it's sad because I can't get to see them anymore," Cortina said.

Filmmaker Charlie Minn has spent the last two years documenting the violence in Juarez. He filmed 8 Murders a Day in 2010 during the deadliest year of the cartel wars.

His second documentary, Murder Capital of the World, highlights the changes helping lower the murder rate in 2011 and people feeling safer in Juarez.

"Obviously when you go from 3,100 murders to 1,900 that 35 percent dip is allowing people to go out more," Minn said.

Murder Capital of the World opens Feb. 17th at Premiere Cinemas in El Paso and Cineport 10 in Las Cruces.

Murder Capital of the World website:

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Wow, only four a day. That will be a great marketing campaign to gain more tourists....really?

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