|— City —|
|Nickname(s): Paso del Norte|
|Motto: Refugio de la libertad, custodia de la republica (Spanish for "Refuge of liberty, guard of the republic")|
|• Municipal president||Hector Murguía Lardizábal
|• City||188 km2 (73 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,137 m (3,730 ft)|
|• Density||7,027/km2 (19,290/sq mi)|
|• Metro||2,000,006 (september 2,013 census)|
|Time zone||MST (UTC−7)|
|• Summer (DST)||MDT (UTC−6)|
|Area code(s)||+52 656|
Ciudad Juárez (Spanish pronunciation: [sjuˈðað ˈxwaɾes]), known in the past as Paso del Norte, is a city and seat of the municipality of Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Juárez's estimated population is 1.5 million people. The city lies on the Rio Grande (Río Bravo del Norte), south of El Paso, Texas. El Paso and Ciudad Juárez comprise the second largest bi-national metropolitan area on the Mexico-United States border (after San Diego–Tijuana), with a combined population of 3 million people.
Ciudad Juárez is one of the fastest growing cities in the world despite being called "the most violent zone in the world outside of declared war zones" in 2009. In 2001 the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas published a report stating that in Ciudad Juárez "the average annual growth over the 10-year period 1990–2000 was 5.3%. Juárez experienced much higher population growth than the state of Chihuahua and than Mexico as a whole."
There are four international ports of entry connecting Ciudad Juárez and El Paso, including the Bridge of the Americas, Ysleta International Bridge, Paso del Norte Bridge, and Stanton Street Bridge. These combined allowed 22,958,472 crossings in 2008, making Ciudad Juárez a major point of entry and transportation for all of central northern Mexico. The city has a growing industrial center which is made up in large part by more than 300 maquiladoras (assembly plants) located in and around the city. According to a 2007 New York Times article, Ciudad Juárez "is now absorbing more new industrial real estate space than any other North American city." In 2008, fDi Magazine designated Ciudad Juárez "The City of the Future." In 2011, the State of Chihuahua appointed "Heroica" to Ciudad Juárez. It will only be a symbolic connotation and for promotional purposes in response to the role of this town during the Mexican Revolution. The name of this city remains the same. This year the "maquilas" has already generated 10,000 new jobs for a total of 19 factories located in Ciudad Juárez.
Ciudad Juárez was founded as Paso del Norte ("North Pass") in 1659 by Spanish explorers seeking a route through the southern Rocky Mountains. The Mission de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe was the first permanent Spanish development in the area. The Native American population was already located there. The Franciscan friars established a community that grew in importance as commerce between Santa Fe and Chihuahua passed through it. The wood for the bridge across the Rio Grande first came from Santa Fe, New Mexico in the 18th century. The original population of suma, jumano and immigrants brought by the Spanish as slaves from Central New Spain grew around the mission. In 1680 during the Pueblo Revolt, some members of the Tigua branch of the Pueblo became refugees from the conflict and a Mission was established for them in Ysleta del Paso del Norte. Other colonial era settlements included Senecú, Real de San Lorenzo, and the Presidio de San José. The population of the entire district reached some 5,000 around 1750, when the Apache attacked the other native towns around the missions. The 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo established the Rio Grande as the border between Mexico and the United States, separating the settlements on the north bank of the river from the rest of the town.
Such settlements were not part of the town at that time; as the military set up its buildings the town grew around it. This would later become El Paso, Texas. From that time until around 1930 populations on both sides of the border could move freely across it. Ciudad Juárez and El Paso are one of the 14 pairs of Cross-border town naming along the U.S.–Mexico border. During the French intervention in Mexico (1862–1867), El Paso del Norte served as a temporary stop for Benito Juárez's republican forces until he established his government-in-exile in Chihuahua. From 1882 on, the city grew with the arrival of the Mexican Central Railway. Banks, telegraph, telephone, and trams appeared, indicating the city's thriving commerce, in the firm control of the city's oligarchy of the Ochoa, Samaniego, Daguerre, Provencio, and Cuarón families. In 1888, El Paso del Norte was renamed in honor of Juárez. The city expanded significantly thanks to Díaz's free trade policy, creating a new retail and service sector along the old Calle del Comercio (now Vicente Guerrero) and 16 September Avenue. A bullring is opened in 1899. The Escobar brothers founded the city's first institution of higher education in 1906, the Escuela Particular de Agricultura. That same year, a series of public works are inaugurated, including the city's sewage and drainage system, as well as potable water. A public library, schools, new public market (the old Mercado Cuauhtémoc) and parks dotted the city, making it one of many Porfirian showcases. Modern hotels and restaurants catered to the increased international railroad traffic from the 1880s on.
The city was Mexico's largest border city by 1910—and as such, it held strategic importance during the Mexican Revolution. Villa and other revolutionaries struggled for its control (and income from the Federal Customs House), destroying much of the city during battles in 1911 and 1913. Much of the population abandoned the city between 1914 and 1917. Tourism, gambling, and light manufacturing drove the city's recovery from the 1920s until the 1940s. A series of mayors in the 1940s–1960s, like Carlos Villareal and René Mascareñas Miranda, ushered in a period of high growth and development predicated on the PRONAF border industrialization development program. A beautification program spruced up the city center, building a series of arched porticos around the main square, as well as neo-colonial facades for main public buildings such as the city health clinic, the central fire station, and city hall. The Cathedral, built in the 1950s, gave the city center the flavor of central Mexico, with its carved towers and elegant dome, but structural problems required its remodeling in the 1970s. The city's population reached some 400,000 by 1970.
Juárez has grown substantially in recent decades due to a large influx of people moving into the city in search of jobs with the maquiladoras. Now more technological firms have moved to the city, such as the Delphi Corporation Technical Center, the largest in the Western Hemisphere, which employs over 2,000 engineers. Large slum housing communities called colonias have become extensive.
Juárez has gained further notoriety because of violence  and as a major center of narcotics trafficking linked to the powerful Juárez Cartel, and for more than 1000 unsolved murders of young women from 1993 to 2003. Unfortunately, because of widely alleged police complicity (and perhaps even participation on the part of police and government officials and local elites), the serial murders continue and most of them remain unsolved, though the number of homicides has plunged since 2004 despite the increase of population. As a result of the murders, Juárez (along with the capital of the state, Chihuahua, Chih.) has become a center for protest against sexual violence throughout Mexico. Meanwhile, many continue working to maintain a positive image of Ciudad Juárez. Songs "Juarez" by the music artist Tori Amos and "Invalid Litter Dept." by At the Drive-In refer to Ciudad Juárez and its murdered women. A giant Mexican flag, bandera monumental, was erected in Chamizal Park on June 26, 1997.
Due to its location in the Chihuahuan Desert, Ciudad Juárez has an arid climate. Seasons are distinct, with hot summers, cool springs and autumns, and cold winters. Summer average high is 35 °C (95 °F) with lows of 21 °C (70 °F). Winter highs average 14 °C (57 °F) with lows of 0 °C (32 °F). Because of the high altitude Ciudad Juárez is cooler than other desert cities in Mexico. Rainfall is scarce greater in summer. Snowfalls occurs occasionally (4 times a year), between November and March. The record high is 49 °C (120 °F) and the record low is −23 °C (−9 °F).
|Record high °C (°F)||28.0
|Average high °C (°F)||14.7
|Daily mean °C (°F)||7.2
|Average low °C (°F)||−0.2
|Record low °C (°F)||−23.0
|Precipitation mm (inches)||12.1
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||3.5||2.6||2.1||1.3||1.8||3.0||6.7||6.7||5.2||3.8||2.6||2.5||41.8|
|Avg. snowy days||0.72||0.69||0.57||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.50||0.41||2.89|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||248||254||310||330||372||390||341||341||330||310||270||248||3,744|
|Source #1: 1 Servicio Meteorológico Nacional (record highs and October record low) (November record high, and record lows), |
|Source #2: Colegio de Postgraduados (snowy days)BBC Weather (sun only).|
The average annual growth in population over a 10-year period [1990–2000] was 5.3%. According to the 2010 population census, the city had 1,321,004 inhabitants, while the municipality had 1,332,131 inhabitants. During the last decades the city has received migrants from Mexico's interior, some figures state that 32% of the city's population originate outside the state of Chihuahua, mainly from the states of Durango (9.9%), Coahuila (6.3%), Veracruz (3.7%) and Zacatecas (3.5%), as well as from Mexico City (1.7%). Though most new residents are Mexican, some also immigrate from Central American countries, such as Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
However, a March 2009 article noted there has been a mass exodus of people who could afford to leave the city due to the ongoing violence from the Mexican Drug War. The article quoted a city planning department estimate of over 116,000 abandoned homes, which could roughly be the equivalent of 400,000 people who have left the city due to the violence. An article in The Guardian in September 2010 says of Ciudad Juárez – "About 10,670 businesses – 40% of the total – have shut. A study by the city's university found that 116,000 houses have been abandoned and 230,000 people have left."
Neighborhoods of Ciudad Juárez include:
The El Paso Regional Economic Development Corporation indicated that Ciudad Juárez is the metropolis absorbing "more new industrial real estate space than any other North American city." The Financial Times Group through its publication The Foreign Direct Investment Magazine ranked Ciudad Juárez as the "City of the Future" for 2007–2008. The Ciudad Juárez-El Paso area is a major manufacturing center. ADC Telecommunications, Electrolux, Bosch, Foxconn, Flextronics, Lexmark, Delphi, Visteon, Johnson Controls, Lear, Boeing, Cardinal Health, Yazaki, Sumitomo, and Siemens are some of the foreign companies that have chosen Ciudad Juárez for their business operation.
The Mexican state of Chihuahua is frequently among the top five states in Mexico with the most foreign investment. Many foreign retail, banking, and fast-food businesses have locations within Juarez, with examples including Sears, Starbucks, Wendy's, Denny's, McDonald's, Scotiabank, Burger King, Walmart, Little Ceasars, and HSBC.
According to the latest estimates, literacy rate in the city is in line with the national average in the country: 97.3% of people above 15 years old are able to read and write.
Juárez has three public and two private universities. The Instituto Tecnológico de Ciudad Juárez (ITCJ), founded in 1964, became the first public institution of higher education in the city. The Autonomous University of Ciudad Juárez (Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, UACJ), founded in 1968, is the largest university in the city. It has several locations inside of the city including the Institute of Biomedical Sciences (Instituto de Ciencias Biomédicas, ICB), the Institute of Social and Administrative Sciences (Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y Administrativas, ICSA), the Institute of Architecture, Design and Art (Instituto de Arquitectura, Diseño y Arte, IADA), the Institute of Engineering and Technology (Instituto de Ingeniería y Tecnología, IIT) and the University City (Ciudad Universitaria, CU) located in the southern part of Ciudad Juárez. The IADA and IIT share the same location appearing to be a single institute where the students from both institutes share facilities as buildings or classrooms with the exception of the laboratories of Engineering and the laboratories of Architecture, Design and Arts. The UACJ also has spaces for Fine Arts and Sports.
These latter services are considered among the best because they recluse nearly 30,000 participants in sports such as swimming, racquetball, basketball and gymnastics, and arts such as Classical Ballet, Drama, Modern Dance, Hawaiian and Polynesian Dances, Folk dance, Music and Flamenco. The Faculty of Political and Social Sciences of the Autonomous University of Chihuahua (Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua, UACH) which has delivered 70% of the city's media and news crew, is located in the city. The local campuses of the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and the Autonomous University of Durango (UAD) are private universities. The Monterrey Institute of Technology opened its campus in 1983. It is ranked as "third best" among other campuses of the institution, after the Garza Sada campus in Monterrey and the Santa Fe campus in Mexico City.
The main institutions in Ciudad Juárez are the Instituto Latinoamericano, a Catholic school directed from Spain, one of the colleges managed by the company founded by Spanish mystic Teresa de Avila, by direct order of the Pope to revert the effects of Protestantism in Spain; The Colegio Iberoamericano, The Middle School and High School of the ITESM, the Teresa de Avila, the Instituto Mexico.
Association football is the most popular sport in Juárez. A local professional football team was the Indios de Ciudad Juárez, which entered the Mexican First Division for the first time in 2008 but was relegated and later was denied a license for 2012 due to its financial woes, and has been disbanded. Ciudad Juárez served as host to the CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament in 2008.
Baseball, basketball, tennis, and American football are also popular, most of which are played at the high schools and university level. The Indios rent the stadium Estadio Olímpico Benito Juárez. Juárez has 2 large stadiums: Estadio Olímpico Benito Juárez and Estadio 20 de Noviembre, and smaller ones for baseball and different activities. Mountain biking is also popular, with the Chupacabras 100 km race held annually in Juárez.
Near the Cordova International Bridge is a large combination bmx and skatepark, Parque Extremo. This park features a 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) concrete area with multiple ramps, rails, boxes, etc., and a 7,000-square-foot (650 m2) dirt area with ramps and tracks for bmx riding. It is much larger than the skate parks in nearby cities El Paso, Texas, and Las Cruces, New Mexico.
In 2011, Juarez hosted the X Pan American Cup women's volleyball, where Brazil was the winner.
In 2012 hosted the XI Pan American Cup women's volleyball, where now United States was winner.
The city is governed by a municipal president and an eighteen seat council. The current president is Hector Murguia Lardizabal, an affiliate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Three national parties are represented on the council: the PRI, the National Action Party and the New Alliance Party. On February 6, 2010 the governor of Chihuahua, José Reyes Baeza, announced that he wished to move Chihuahua's state seat of government to the city, as a temporary measure to reduce crime.
Criminal activity in the domestic metropolitan area of Juárez has increased dramatically since the rise of maquiladoras. Violence towards women in the municipality has increased dramatically in the past twenty years; since the early 1990s there have been approximately 600 femicides and at least 3000 missing women. Escalating turf wars between the rival Juárez and Sinaloa Cartels have led to increasingly brutal violence in the city since 2005.
The Juárez police department had a force of approximately 800 officers in September 2008, following the removal of a third of its staff for various reasons. Recruitment goals set by the department called for the force to more than double. Juárez Citizens Command threatened to take action to attempt to put a stop to all the perpetrators of violence while government officials expressed concern that such vigilantism would contribute to further instability and violence.
In 2008, General Moreno and the Third Infantry Company took over the anti-drug fight in the town. They were removed in 2009, the general and 29 of his associates are now in custody and have been awaiting trial for three years on charges of murder and civil rights violations, etc.
In response to the increasing violence in the city the military and Federal Police's presence had almost doubled. As of March 2009 at least 4500 soldiers and federal police were in the city to curtail mostly drug cartel related violence. By August 2009 there were more than 7500 soldiers augmented by an expanded and highly restaffed municipal police force.
As of August 2009, Juárez's murder rate was the highest reported in the world, exceeding the holders of the second and third highest rates by more than 25%. The rate of 130 murders per 100,000 inhabitants is the same as Caracas' 2008 statistic for same period. Journalist Charles Bowden, in an August 2008 GQ article, wrote that multiple factors, including drug violence, government corruption and poverty have led to a dispirited and disorderly atmosphere that now permeates the city.
For 2012, there has been a significant improvement on this area, with a 57% reduction in the murder rate (as announced by the federal government, backed up by municipal and state officers and all major companies which are located in this city).
PBS Newshour in July 2010, reported one Juarense social worker's analysis that young boys in Juarez are given cell phones and money to monitor their own neighborhood street for the appearance of vehicles, and to continually report vehicular activity. The boys are told by the criminals to watch for vehicles of some given description. This has allowed criminals to evade law enforcement efforts much more easily and flexibly.
Angela Kocherga, an American reporter who covers U.S.-Mexico border issues, reports that one Juarez channel was blackmailed into broadcasting a tape from a drug cartel in exchange for releasing its reporter from kidnapping.
The city was also the site of widespread poverty and violence, including an infamous series of unsolved murders of female factory workers. The violence generated by the drug war translated into more than 2,600 killings in 2008. More than 1,400 of them occurred in Juárez, three times more than the most murderous city in the United States. And that number of killings increased to 2,600 in 2009. In 2010, 3,075 homicides took place in Juárez. This has led to a homicide rate of 229 killings per 100,000 inhabitants. In response, business groups in Juárez have called for UN intervention.
The violence has forced the residents of Ciudad Juárez to change their daily routine; many now stay home in the evening, and the fear of kidnapping or random violence has curtailed public life. In February 2009, the U.S. State Department announced in a travel alert that Mexican authorities reported over 1,800 people killed in the city since January 2008." On 12 March 2009, police found "at least seven" partially buried bodies in the outskirts of the city, close to the US-Mexican border. Five severed heads were discovered in ice boxes, along with notes to rivals in the drug wars. Beheadings, attacks on police, and shootings are common in some regions.
In September 2009, eighteen patients at a drug rehabilitation clinic called El Aliviane were massacred in a turf battle; the victims were lined up in a corridor and gunned down. The authorities had no immediate suspects or information on the victims.
Plagued by corruption and the assassination of many of its officers, the government is struggling to maintain Ciudad Juárez's police force, while other officers have quit the force out of fear of being targeted. In late 2008, one murder victim was found near a school hanging from a fence with a pig's mask on his face, and another one was found beheaded hanging from a bridge in one of the city's busier streets.
Between February 17–19, 2011, 53 people were killed, including four police officers. The increase in violence left city morgues overwhelmed, causing trouble for storing bodies. As of February 20, 2011, Juárez averages eight homicides per day.
Between the years of 1993 and 2003 in Juárez there had been over 4000 feminicides which have attracted wide attention. Bodies were often dumped in ditches or vacant lots. Grassroots organizations in the region reported an additional 400 women as missing. Despite pressure to catch the killers and a roundup of some suspects, few believe the true culprits were found. A 2007 book called The Daughters of Juárez, by Teresa Rodriguez, implicates high-level police and prominent Juárez citizens in the crimes. This topic is also discussed in the 2006 book "The Harvest of Women" by journalist Diana Washington Valdez, and in the novel 2666 by Roberto Bolaño, in which Ciudad Juárez is fictionalized as "Santa Teresa", a border city in Sonora.
Juárez has five local newspapers: El Diario, El Norte, El Mexicano, El PM and Hoy.
Some of the most relevant websites about news and politics in Juarez are:
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