Juarez mayor explains why 1,000 National Guard troops left the city in the middle of a drug war

Border Crime

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Mexico City has recalled nearly 1,000 National Guardsmen from Juarez, but the mayor of that border city says replacements will be sent.

“We are told more will come. I imagine (the recall) has to do with the holidays, but we will be paying attention because (Juarez) needs the support of the (federal and state) governments,” Mayor Cruz Perez Cuellar said.

Mexican news reports set off alarms earlier this week in reporting the departure of most National Guard troops from Juarez, a city where drug-related murders remain rampant. The nonprofit Citizens Observatory reported 1,377 homicides for Juarez so far in 2021. Local authorities say 90 percent of the murders are drug-related.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador shored up National Guard presence in Juarez at the request of former Chihuahua Gov. Javier Corral. The president in August inaugurated new National Guard barracks and said more than 2,000 troops would remain in the city to help local authorities quell crime.

As of last Sunday, only 300 soldiers were still in the city, El Diario reported.

Perez Cuellar characterized the move as “staff rotation,” meaning the Army periodically reassigns troops to different regions of Mexico.

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