AMLO heads to peace discussions in Ciudad Juárez amidst growing homicide rates

The bodies of eleven people were found on Friday in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, and an investigation has been launched into the suspected multiple homicides. The incident came just days before President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador is set to visit the city, who tomorrow will be conducting a consultation on peace in the city called ‘‘Listen to Ciudad Juárez.’’

According to local statements, the bodies of three women and eight men were located in a house, possessing signs of torture. Although authorities are yet to determine the reason or identify the attackers, it has since been speculated that the incident was linked to gang crime.

The discovery is the most recent in a long line of violent attacks that mean Ciudad Juárez is one of Mexico’s most dangerous cities, a place which saw a total of thirty killings happen in just 48 hours over the weekend. According to Reuters, some have likened the area to a war zone and although crime rates have improved, the area is still rife with gang crime, drug trafficking and failed justice systems. It has led some locals to form vigilantes and take up arms to protect themselves against criminals amidst a growing distrust of police and their criminal involvement, says El Universal.

AMLO’s talk tomorrow is the first consultation of a series that will see the President-elect discuss and explore the ways in which peace and national reconciliation can be achieved within the country. According to his press team, the forum will also address the areas of importance for different regions of the country and look at the differing needs of the population. Tomorrow will mark the first day of over two months of town meetings that are geared at reducing crime rates nationally.

Taking part in the Ciudad Juárez forum, believes Animal Politico, will be victims that have experienced violence, local authorities, religious organisations, academics and civil groups. They will be joined by Autonomous University of Ciudad Juárez representative, Ricardo Duarte Jáquez; Olga Sánchez Cordero, proposal to be Secretary of the Interior; Alfonso Durazo, next Secretary of Public Security of the country and the governor of Chihuahua, Javier Corral.  The discussions will eventually shape part of public policies that the President will bring in after assuming his seat in December.

The key topics that the organisation aim to tackle will also cover migration, security and justice systems.

So far, little detail has been released regarding Friday’s tragedy since the bodies were found. Increased violence is anticipated within the city following the killing of suspected cartel leader Juan Arturo Padilla Juárez, “El Genio”, last Thursday in the prison of Aquiles Serdán. So far, AMLO is yet to make a statement about this week’s crimes or any extra details of his visit tomorrow.

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