More Civilians Killed Last Year in One Mexican Border Town Than All Afghanistan

February 25, 2011 - 5:07 PM

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

A federal police helicopter flies over Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)

(CNSNews.com) - 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.

On a per capita basis, a civilian was 30 times more likely to be murdered last year in Juarez, where there are 1,328,017 inhabitants according to Mexico’s 2010 census, than in Afghanistan, where there are 29,121,286 people according to the CIA 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.

In Afghanistan, the U.S. is in the tenth year of a war that has continued since the U.S. invaded the country in late 2001 to overthrow the Taliban regime that had given sanctuary to al Qaeda and to prevent al Qaeda from using that country as a base for terrorist attacks against the United States.

U.S. forces suffered 497 casualties in Afghanistan last year, making 2010 the deadliest year of the war for U.S. military personnel. Through Dec. 31, 2010, U.S. forces had suffered a total of 1,358 casualties in Afghanistan throughout the course of the war.

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.