Eder Diaz and Manuel Acosta were Americans whose lives straddled the border, business students attending classes at the University of Texas at El Paso but living in Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez amid family and friends, says the Associated Press. They had been on their campus just a few hours before they were gunned down last week in Juarez, their car riddled with bullets as they headed home. Commuting from Mexico to the U.S. is a practice many border residents continue to embrace even as the death toll from the drug war in Mexico continues to rise.
Six Americans were killed in Juarez last week, and for the last several years Mexico’s border region has been more dangerous for Americans than the rest of the country. In all of Mexico, 47 Americans were killed during the first six months of 2010, on track to pass the 79 homicides of U.S. citizens in 2009 and close to the 56 killings in all of 2008. About 1,400 of the University of Texas at El Paso’s 22,000 students live in Juarez and cross the border to go to class, even though many are Americans who could live in safety on U.S. soil.