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Copyright (c) 2997, 2008 by Peace without Borders, Peace Books, LLC; http://www.cosechademujeres.blogspot.com/Feb. 6, 2008
By Kelly McKenzie
JUAREZ, MEXICO -- A state judge on Feb. 6 tossed out the charge against Edgar Alvarez Cruz for the death of Mayra Juliana Reyes Solis, one of the eight women whose bodies were found in November 2001 in a cotton field across from the Association of Maquiladoras.
Although the judge said she found no evidence to support the charge, Chihuahua state officials said Alvarez will not be set free because he faces another murder charge in the 1998 case of Silvia Gabriela Laguna Cruz. Alvarez has denied the allegations.
Suspected drug capo detained
Mexican soldiers on Feb. 5 detained Gabino Salas Valenciano, a businessman in the Valle de Juarez region, an extension of northeast Juarez, on charges of drug-trafficking. Authorities said he operated in the area for the past 10 years, and is suspected of belonging to a cell of the Juarez drug cartel.
Residents in the Valle de Juarez have complained for years that drug dealers had infiltrated their neighborhoods. Their presence increased violence dramatically, however, fearful residents could do nothing but look on because of the alleged collusion between drug dealers and corrupt police and officials.
Norte reporter flees after threats
Carlos Huerta, a longtime reporter at Norte de Ciudad Juarez, had to leave Juarez after he and his family received threats from alleged members of the drug cartel. The newspaper also took the unsual step of publishing a notice that it will cut back on its reporting of organized crime due to safety concerns, Editor Alfredo Quijano, said. The incident was reported to the international journalism organizations Reporters without Borders and the Committee for the Protection of Journalists.
More police killed
The number of homicides reported in Juarez since Jan. 1 has reached about 46, most of them organized crime "executions." Some of the targets of these attacks have been city and state police.
Discovery Channel in Juarez
A Discovery Channel crew recently left the city after filming for a documentary. Among other things, the crew learned first-hand that daylight slayings and uncontrolled violence defy allegations by Mexican authorities and chambers of commerce that journalists and human rights activists have given Juarez a black eye by creating a "myth" and exaggerating the problems.