Did someone win the Mexican drug wars?
Remember when the Mexican city of Juarez was in the news daily for its mind-numbing drug violence and murders?
After former president Felipe Calderon declared war on the Mexican drug cartels in 2006, the murder rate in that city skyrocketed, peaking at 10 a day in 2010. By August 2012, the murder rate was down to one a day. What happened?
I asked Charlie Minn, director of the documentary “The New Juarez,” which premiered Friday in Yuma. He pointed to three factors:
• People believe drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman won the war, so there are fewer people to kill.
• The federal army and police that Calderon brought in to stop the violence – and instead caused more – are out of the city for the most part, resulting in fewer deadly encounters.
• And there's a new “brazen” police chief in town, Julian Leyzaola, former police chief of Tijuana. Some people are surprised he's still alive, which has led them to think he's part of the drug industry.
I guess time will tell.