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Violent Disorder in Ciudad Juarez: A Spatial Analysis of Homicide

This HASOW Discussion Paper considers how demographic and socioeconomic factors correlate with homicidal violence in the context of Mexico´s “war on drugs”. We draw on Ciudad Juarez as a case study and social disorganization theory as an organizing framework. Social disorganization is expected to produce higher levels of homicidal violence. And while evidence detects several social disorganization factors associated with homicidal violence in Ciudad Juarez not all relationships appear as predicted by the theory. Drawing on public census and crime data, our statistical assessment detects 6 significant variables (or risks) positively associated with homicidal violence in Ciudad Juarez between 2009 and 2010. Likewise, the assessment finds 6 specific variables (or protective factors) that are negatively associated with above average homicide in the city between 2009 and 2010. The data and level of analysis do not conclusively present causation, nor was this the intent. Rather, we propose a baseline model for testing spatial-temporal dynamics of organized violence.