One U.S-Mexico Border Town Had More Civilian Casualties Last Year Than All Afghanistan

March 3, 2011 - 9:31 AM

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

The body of a 24-year-old man, one of two people killed here by unknown gunmen on Thursday, April 8, 2010, lies on a street in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)

(CNSNews.com) - One U.S.-Mexico border town had more civilian casualties in its drug war last year than Afghanistan had in its entire country.

In Ciudad Juarez, Mexico--which sits across the Rio Grande River from El Paso, Texas—3,111 civilians were murdered in 2010. In all of the territory of Afghanistan, where U.S. forces are at war with Taliban insurgents, there 2,421 civilians were killed   

More civilians were killed last year in Ciudad Juarez, the Mexican city across the border from El Paso, Texas, than were killed in all of Afghanistan.

There were 3,111 civilians murdered in the city of Juarez in 2010 and 2,421 in the entire country of Afghanistan—the majority of them by anti-government forces including the Taliban.

About one out of every 427 civilian inhabitants was killed in Juarez last year, while about one out of every 12,029 civilian inhabitants was killed in Afghanistan.  (There are 1,328,017 people in Juarez, according to Mexico’s 2010 census, and 29,121,286 people in Afghanistant, according to the CIA’s World Factbook.)

The number of civilians killed in Afghanistan was compiled by the Congressional Research Service and published in a CRS report released on Feb. 3. The number of civilians killed in Juarez was compiled by Molly Molloy, a research librarian at New Mexico State University who maintains a count of murders Juarez and published it on the Frontera List Web site. Molloy’s work on civilian murders in Juarez was also referenced in a recent CRS report on Mexican drug cartels.

Much of the violence in Juárez is sparked by drug trafficking organizations battling over one of the major smuggling corridors into the United States.

The CRS said that of the 2,421 civilians killed in Afghanistan in 2010, more than 60 percent were killed by “anti-government elements, which include the Taliban and other individuals or groups who engage in armed conflict with the government of Afghanistan or members of the International Military Forces.”

“Pro-government forces caused 21% of the total civilian deaths,” said CRS.