EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – A violent day in Juarez on Thursday, with shots, heard on busy streets, gas stations attacked and vehicles burned.

A total of 11 people were confirmed dead from the violence on Thursday.

On Friday, the international bridges were not as busy as usual. With many people staying at home. One Juarez resident who works in El Paso decided to leave her home.

“In the morning when I woke up, I heard a lot of sirens from the police, and I did actually hesitate to leave my house, but in the end, I ended up leaving,” said Carolina De La Torre, who lives in Juarez and works in El Paso.

Another woman could be seen in tears after crossing from Juarez back to El Paso on Friday, describing what she saw, not wanting to share her name.

“People getting picked up and they were putting their shirts over their faces, I saw somebody get shot right in front of me, it was bad,” said the El Paso woman who crossed from Juarez.

A professor, who is an expert on Mexico teaches both in the United States and Mexico was in Juarez teaching at a University when he says they were all told to go home.

“Yesterday I came in for the inaugural conference at the university and to meet the new students and at about one o’clock we were asked to go home. All of sudden there were all kinds of cars being burned in the streets people being shot, businesses being burned down and we were asked to just simply stay home,” said Tony Payan the Director of the Center for the United States and Mexico at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Around the same time Payan was told to go home, a fight broke out between two gangs in the Cereso prison that left two inmates dead and 20 wounded.

“It spilled out because the gang members inside essentially communicated with the gang members outside the Mexicles and the Aztecas affiliated with the larger cartels, Sinola and Juarez that have a dispute for the territory in Ciudad Juarez,” said Payan. 

The Catholic Dioceses of El Paso say that 90 percent of the students who cross from Juarez to El Paso to study at catholic schools did not attend school on Friday. 

The Director of UTEP’s Center for InterAmerican and Border Studies, Josiah Heyman said the violence that was seen in Juarez on Thursday brought back a lot of memories of the violence years back.

“People were traumatized by the extreme violence that started in 2007 and that memory of that hasn’t disappeared and clearly people are retreating back into what they consider the safe places,” said Heyman.

Professor Heyman adds that it is important to know that the violence never completely went away.

 “Just because it was less dramatic, just because it was in fewer public places, just because they weren’t torching a store or gasoline station, just because there weren’t killings in the more public settings, doesn’t mean that people weren’t being killed at a disturbingly high rate,” said Heyman.

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