Click here to skip navigation
Embassy Seal US Department of State
 flag graphic

Click to go to our search page

Embassy News & Information
Latest Embassy News
>Press Releases 08
Press Releases 07
Press Releases 06
Press Releases'05
Press Releases '04-'03
About the Embassy
Public Affairs Office
Job Opportunities
Sponsored Events
Ambassador Corner
Presidential Meetings

Press Releases 08

Visit to Ciudad Juarez

Statement by Ambassador Antonio O. Garza

Ciudad Juarez, April 4, 2008 – “Like others, I have been concerned about the reports of increased violence and crime in Ciudad Juarez, and felt it was important to come to the region to see and hear first-hand how the current situation is unfolding.

“Despite valiant attempts by Mexican law enforcement in the area, crime and violence is rapidly increasing. The statistics are alarming: nearly 200 murders have been registered this year— well on pace to surpass the number of killings last year; almost 2,000 vehicles were stolen in January and February; bank robberies are at record levels; and kidnappings for ransom are also on the rise.

“Last week, members of President Felipe Calderon’s National Security Cabinet, including the Interior Secretary, Defense Secretary, Attorney General and others, met with the Chihuahua Governor Jose Reyes Baeza Terrazas in Ciudad Juarez to announce the launching of Operacion Conjunta Chihuahua. The objective of this Presidential initiative is to dismantle the criminal networks in northern Mexico piece by piece.

“Obviously, we support President Calderon’s initiative and also take this criminal activity seriously. Narco-violence and crime affects the lives of citizens on both sides of our shared border, and we must be resolute in going after these menaces to our society and way of life.

“Today I met with U.S. government law enforcement agents and others knowledgeable about the situation in Ciudad Juarez. They confirmed what I had been hearing by attributing the escalation of violence in part to competing organized crime networks vying for control of drug trafficking routes, as well as the governmental successes in disrupting these crime organizations.

“Lastly, with our current travel alert due to expire next week, this trip also gave me the opportunity to evaluate how we should inform Americans of the dangers associated with narco-violence in this area. While there is little doubt in my mind that the travel alert should be re-issued, it may also be necessary to heighten the alert to better reflect the increasing insecurity in the state of Chihuahua.”

back to top ^

Embassy of the United States