EL PASO, Texas -- According to the experts, acts of cartel violence are on the rise. This past week, 14 Americans with dual citizenship were ambushed, leaving 9 dead and the vehicles they rode in riddled with bullet holes and torched.
The latest act of violence happened in Juarez when as many as ten buses carrying twin plant workers, were set on fire. Some of the passengers were injured.
ABC-7 Xtra takes a look at this violence, which according to experts, is on the rise. Guest Laren Villagran is an El Paso times reporter. She was also a freelance reporter in Mexico city in 2007, at the height of cartel criminal activity along the border.
"Mexico City became fairly safe. But the border cities was were the violence was concentrated during those years of drug wars. What we're seeing now is the violence has become much, much more dispersed. It' not just in the border cities. In fact, Juarez and Chihuahua are not the more violent cities or states right now," said Villagran.
Former U.S. Border Patrol Chief, and now UTEP professor, Victor Manjarrez tells ABC-7 that statistics show the uptick in violence is real.
Yet another expert, former U.S. Marshall Robert Almonte told ABC-7 that he would advise El Pasoans against dinning and having drinks in Juarez. He says cartel members looking to take out a rival may not care if you're sitting next to them, and potentially hurt you.
Following the attacks on the 14 Americans, President Donald Trump offered to help the Mexican government wage war on cartels. It was an offer Mexican president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador declined. Manjarrez believes the declining of the offer was due to territorial reasons.
“This is a Mexican problem, we’ll deal with it. I’m glad we made the offer, but you know, the onus is now on the Mexican government to take some form of action.” said Manjarrez.
You can watch ABC-7 Xtra on Sunday night at 10:35 p.m. after ABC-7 at 10.