02/25/12 – On Friday, February 17, President Felipe Calderón kicked off the annual Employment Fair (Feria del Empleo) in Ciudad Juárez. This day also happened to mark the second anniversary of the “Todos Somos Juarez” (“We Are All Juárez”) initiative that was created because of the increased violence in the city that bears the same name. (Click here for more information on the program’s purpose and implementation.) Calderón took advantage of the overlapping dates to discuss the current status of violence in the world’s second most dangerous city.
According to La Crónica, President Calderón said that because of Todos Somos Juárez, there has been a 57% reduction in homicides in the city since its implementation in 2010, adding that the 5 billion pesos spent so far under the program are, for the most part, reflected in social works. He also mentioned that he would continue to battle violence and improve Mexico until the last day of his presidency, which is in December 2012. Calderón challenged Juárez residents to continue doing the same.
Although Calderón attributed the 57% decrease in violence to the “Todos Somos Juarez” program, skeptics question the validity and accuracy of his calculations. According to El Diario, the Citizens’ Security Council (Mesa Ciudadana de Seguridad) countered with data showing the program only accounted for a decrease in killings of 1.7%. The data President Calderón based his numbers on show the difference in homicides between January 2011, in which 269 people were killed in Ciudad Juárez, and January 2012, in which 117 homicides were registered, resulting in a 57% decrease. The Citizens’ Security Council points out, however, that the calculation should be based on when Todos Somos Juárez actually began in February 2010, which saw 119 homicides that month, in comparison with the 117 registered two years later in January 2012.