Juárez jumps back onto 'most violent cities' list

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) - After a year in the clear, Ciudad Juárez has returned to the list of most violent cities in the world, according to a Mexican think tank.

The list, which is put together annually by Mexico's Citizens' Council for Public Safety (CCSP), ranks El Paso's sister city at number 37 out of 50 when it comes to violent deaths for 2016.

Caracas, Venezuela remains firmly planted atop the list, a space it has occupied for the second year in a row.

According to the group, Juárez recorded 607 homicides last year. With a population estimated at 1,391,180 people, the number translates to a homicide rate of 43.64 per 100,000 residents.

Juarez was left off the CCSP's list covering 2015 and ranked number 27 for 2014.

The homicide numbers over the last few years fall far short of those recorded during the turf war between the Sinaloa and Juárez drug cartels which saw peak bloodshed between 2007 and 2010.

In 2009, the council said Juárez had a rate of 130 homicides per 100,000 residents, earning the city the distinction of being 'deadlier than Baghdad' at a time when Iraq endured widespread violence between warring Sunnis and Shiites.

Still, the uptick in violence in Juárez has not gone unnoticed on the U.S. side of the border.

In February, 23-year-old UTEP student Adrian Moreno Quiñonez was shot and killed as he sat at bar alongside two other young men in what Mexican officials believe was a targeted attack.

The shooting happened La No. 4, a popular cantina tucked within the Campestre (country club) area of Juárez, a noted 'safe zone.' Quiñonez, a Taekwondo instructor, was remembered at a tearful vigil in El Paso.

And just last week, Juàrez newspaper Norte made headlines of its own on both sides of the border when it announced it was shutting down operations following the violent death of journalist Miroslava Breach last month.

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