JUAREZ, Mexico (Border Report) – Soldiers set up unannounced checkpoints on busy Juarez streets Sunday, as the city experienced unusual violence this weekend.
Fifteen people were murdered between Friday and Sunday – most through gunfire, some through beatings and strangulation – to bring the homicide count to 925 so far this year.
Witnesses reported checkpoints manned by members of the Mexican National Guard on Avenida de las Torres, Niños Heroes and near the Downtown Juarez Monument Park. The soldiers were looking for illegal drugs and guns.
Juarez news media report 1,400 National Guard members are now in Juarez to deal with migrant trafficking and drug violence, which again is on the rise.
A KTSM camera crew witnessed soldiers inspecting vehicles at checkpoints and patting down motorists at random, including some who got off vehicles with U.S.-issued license plates.
Local officials like Juarez Mayor Armando Cabada said they support the presence of the National Guard as a deterrent to drug-related violence. Two major drug cartels and four to five major criminal gangs are known to operate in the city.