Violence leaves 8,500 orphans in Mexican border city

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ciudad Juarez, Feb 25 (IANS/EFE) Over 7,000 killings in Ciudad Juarez in Mexico, bordering America’s Texas state, in the past three years have left nearly 8,500 children orphaned, a senior state official said.

The state government of Chihuahua has created a trust fund with 100 million pesos ($8.3 million) to help the children, Chihuahua Comprehensive Family Development System president Bertha Gomez said.

The fund will also assist the children of slain gunmen because it does not discriminate, Gomez said.

The beneficiaries must be younger than 14, she said.

Ciudad Juarez, which is across the Rio Grande river from El Paso, Texas, has been plagued by drug-related violence for years.

The murder rate took off in the gritty border city of 1.5 million people in 2007, when 310 people were killed, then it more than tripled to 1,607 in 2008, according to the state attorney general’s office.

The number of killings climbed to 2,754 in 2009, and more than 3,100 people were murdered last year, making 2010 the worst year in homicides.

The killing has not slowed this year, with more than 350 people murdered so far.


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