Journalists and others seeking to quantify the drug carnage in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, are turning to an unlikely source: Molly Molloy, 54, a librarian at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, says the Wall Street Journal. She spends most mornings sifting reports in the Mexican press to create a tally of drug-cartel-related killings in Ciudad Juárez, across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, and 50 miles from Las Cruces. There is no official count of the people killed in Mexico’s escalating drug wars—whether the victims are drug traffickers, police or civilians. A government estimate puts the total at about 22,000 in all of Mexico since late 2006.
For Juárez, Mexico’s deadliest city, state officials keep their own tally, but the swift pace of the killings, as well as distrust of authorities, has prompted Molloy to keep her own counts. The death toll has risen above a thousand in Juárez so far this year, she said. More than 300 people subscribe to Molloy’s daily news and analysis emails, including congressional staff, U.S. and Mexican human-rights watchdogs and reporters. U.S. reporters covering crime elsewhere in Mexico bemoan the lack of tools like Ms. Molloy’s emails. “It’s really frustrating not knowing what is going on,” said Jared Taylor, a crime reporter at the Monitor newspaper in McAllen, Texas.