Mexico's multiplying body count

Drug-related warfare leaves many of the dead nameless in the country's bloodiest city.


    A quarter of the Mexico's 4,500 murders so far this year have taken place in Ciudad Juarez

    Mexicans are reeling from one of the bloodiest years on record in their country.

    The most violent areas have been along the vital drug-trafficking routes near the northern border.

    While the Mexican government struggles to contain the bloodshed, continuing its policy of full-on confrontation with the cartels and the corrupt officials who secretly support them, ordinary Mexicans are trying to deal with the rising number of dead.

    IN VIDEO


    A 'backfiring' drug offensive


    Mexico's multiplying bodycount

    Enrique Lopez is a morgue worker in the country's bloodiest city of Ciudad Juarez. Aged 31, he finds the job exciting.

    "It's a sensation of adrenaline. Your blood boils when you are here so close to the bodies, and the more dead there are, the more your adrenaline rises," Lopez said.

    He earns his living collecting victims in one of Mexico's many brutal turf wars.

    As he brings the day's dose of bodies to the city's only morgue, the caseloads have quadrupled and his shifts have doubled.

    Nameless dead

    With about 1,300 drug-related murders so far this year in this Ciudad Juarez, the city's mayor, Jose Reyes Ferriz, admits he has a problem on his hands.

    "Many of those [bodies] are still in the morgue. They have not been identified; nobody has claimed them.

    Enrique's shifts at the morgue have doubled
     
    "It's a process where I'm very sure their families don't even know they have died."

    At one Juarez cemetery, bodies are now being exhumed.

    The government is hoping new scientific methods will help identify so many of the nameless dead in what is becoming a crisis of major proportions.

    The city now accounts for a quarter of the country's record 4,500 murders so far this year.

    "It's unprecedented. It's an atypical situation," Alejandro Pariente, a state justice official, said.

    "But we have assumed our responsibility to confront it, and the government must win."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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