EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- The rise in murders and other violent crime in Ciudad Juárez is related to fighting among cartels and gangs. That's according to former DEA Agent and U.S. Marshall Robert Almonte. Almonte also said he expects the violence to continue.
According to Almonte, there are multiple reasons for the violence. First, he said several cartels are currently fighting to gain control of the Juárez smuggling corridor. The corridor is a major smuggling point for drugs as well as human trafficking. Those cartels include the Juárez, Sinaloa, and New Generation (or CJNG) cartels.
The second reason for the violence Almonte gave, is that there is currently fighting within the Juárez cartel over who will be its leader. Almonte said currently, no one can say who is leading that cartel.
Finally, the cartels are working with gangs in Juárez, but Almonte said the gangs are somewhat inconsistent about who they work for and with.
Almonte said the recent spike in murders that Juárez has seen is largely due to these factors. ABC-7 has reported that in January alone, there were 125 homicides in the city, and there have already been four in February. But Almonte said the average person is not the target.
"The problem is, these innocent people in Juárez -- or from El Paso that are in Juárez -- they get caught in the crossfire. They're not the intended target, but that happens very often, and that's just collateral damage," he said.
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