Ciudad Juárez

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Ciudad Juárez (Spanish pronunciation: [sjuˈðað ˈxwaɾes]), abbreviated Cd. Juárez, also known as Juárez and formerly known as El Paso del Norte, is a city and seat of the municipality of Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Juárez has an estimated population of 1.5 million people.[1] The city lies on the Rio Grande (Río Bravo del Norte), across from El Paso, Texas. El Paso and Ciudad Juárez comprise one of the largest bi-national metropolitan areas in the world with a combined population of 2.4 million people.

Ciudad Juárez is one of the fastest growing cities in the world in spite of the fact that it has been called "the most violent zone in the world outside of declared war zones."[2] In 2001 the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas published a report stating that in Ciudad Juárez “the average annual growth over the 10-year period 1990-2000 was 5.3 percent. Juárez experienced much higher population growth than the state of Chihuahua and than Mexico as a whole.”[3]

There are four international ports of entry connecting Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, Texas, including the Bridge of the Americas, Ysleta International Bridge, Paso Del Norte Bridge, and Stanton Street Bridge, which combined were responsible for 22,958,472 crossings in 2008,[4] making Ciudad Juarez a major point of entry and transportation for all of central northern Mexico. The city has a growing industrial center which is made up in large part by more than 300 maquiladoras (assembly plants) located in and around the city. According to a 2007 New York Times article, Ciudad Juárez "is now absorbing more new industrial real estate space than any other North American city."[1] In 2008, FDi Magazine designated Ciudad Juárez "The City of the Future".[5] However, the city is also the site of widespread poverty and violence, including an infamous series of unsolved murders of female factory workers.[6] The violence generated by the drug war translated into more than 2,600 killings in 2008. More than 1,600 of them occurred in Juárez, three times more than the most murderous city in the United States.[7] And that number of killings increased to 2,600 in 2009.[8] In response, business groups in Juárez have called for UN intervention.[9][10]

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