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Drugs, Murder Inundate Border Town, Treatment Centers Targeted

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Local news media in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, estimate that more and more of the nearly 700 people killed so far this year, were people with addictions seeking treatment at local centers, the Washington Post reported June 14.

Some local officials and addiction counselors said that they believed patients in the treatment centers may owe local drug dealers money, work for competing gangs, or have stolen drugs – or that the high rate of unsolved murders in the border town may have contributed.

“Many people sell drugs during the day and sleep at the centers during the night. That's the problem. Their troubles come home with them,” said Victor Silerio, who runs a treatment center that — unlike most in the vicinity — restricts patients' access to leave and re-enter the facility.

At least seven treatment centers have closed since receiving threats from local drug gangs, said Silerio.

Local officials said that when about 10,000 soldiers policed Ciudad Juarez for a few months earlier in the year, the number of murders per day decreased.

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