January 2012 | Click here to download the report
The U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez is the only one in Mexico that can process and issue certain types of immigrant visas–including those for spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens. But violence in Ciudad Juarez, and other towns, has exploded in the last decade, and has accelerated since 2008 as Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared war on Mexican drug cartels. Ciudad Juarez experienced over 5,100 murders from 2008 to 2010, according to the Toronto Star. In just the month of April 2011, according to the Houston Chronicle, 1,400 murders were committed in Mexico—and many of those were in Ciudad Juarez, where the victims were dumped into mass graves. Few of those who commit homicide and other violent crimes are ever convicted. In a survey from the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juárez, half of all respondents reported having been robbed, and 93% said they felt insecure. Not only is the atmosphere severely violent, but there are many reports of police having ties to the cartels.