Juarez police use aerial patrols amid spike in violent cartel activity | WWTI

A Chihuahua State Police helicopter will help ground units track suspected criminals

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Juarez police have deployed a helicopter to patrol the city, given an alarming spike in criminal activity in recent days attributed to drug cartels.

Chihuahua Governor Maru Campos said aerial surveillance was part of a new high-visibility strategy to discourage criminal gangs from operating with impunity and to help ground units spot or pursue suspects.

“There will be air and ground patrols. All three levels of government will strengthen their presence with more officers and more neighborhood patrols, especially in high crime areas,” Campos said on social media.

The red-colored plane bearing the State Police logo could be seen flying over southern neighborhoods of Juarez on Monday and Tuesday.

This is the first time in five years that the Juarez police have used aerial patrols. The trigger was last week’s string or intentional fires that destroyed five transit buses, four private vehicles, an abandoned police storefront and a convenience store.

Juarez firefighters examine the damage caused by an arson attack at a convenience store. (photo from border report)

But before and after Thursday’s fires, police were called to a growing number of suspected drug-related homicide scenes.

On Sunday, police found the dismembered bodies of two women scattered on the Juarez-Porvenir highway. On Tuesday, another woman was killed and another was left for dead in the streets of the Zaragoza district; the survivor has since died from gunshot wounds and wounds consistent with torture, police said.

Juarez has now recorded 65 murders in 18 days, with 11 women among the victims.

Police ground units stand by as a police helicopter flies over high crime areas. (photo from border report)

“We hope this state response will help us ensure the safety of our citizens,” Chihuahua state government secretary Cesar Jauregui told reporters.

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