While not strictly abandoned, the city of Juarez or Ciudad Juarez in Mexico has been torn apart by a brutal drug war that has raged between rival cartels. Located near the USA border and the town of El Paso in Texas, the city has been growing at an incredible rate over the past two decades however large areas of the city have been abandoned as they were too dangerous for people to live in. The Mexican government has been cracking down hard on the cartels using the military but the problem still remains.
The following advice comes from travel site WikiTravel –
The situation in the state of Chihuahua, specifically Ciudad Juarez, is of special concern. Ciudad Juarez has the highest murder rate in Mexico. Mexican authorities report that more than 3,100 people were killed in Ciudad Juarez in 2010. You should defer non-essential travel to Ciudad Juarez and to the Guadalupe Bravo area southeast of Ciudad Juarez. U.S. citizens should also defer non-essential travel to the northwest quarter of the state of Chihuahua.
At times, there will be suspicious activity in high-end clubs and bars. If you see this going on turn the other way. Also keep in mind, in traditional Mexican bars or cantinas, unaccompanied women may be seen as “fair game” or may even be rather unwelcome: bars known as “ladies bars” are more accepting and tolerant of female patrons.
Currently, Juárez is being patrolled by the Mexican army, in an attempt to crack down on crime. Mexican military personnel are generally professional (in comparison to the police), if intimidating with their automatic weapons.
If for some unfortunate reason you are eyewitness to public violence and/or shootouts (many in Juarez have been), immediately follow what everyone around you is doing. The people of Juarez have the routine down to a tee and it will behoove you to follow everyone else. If alone, look for cover under cars, in alleyways, garbage cans, wherever. Do not knock on a random house or business; many of these lock their doors during fire exchanges and open for no one. DO NOT RECORD OR PHOTOGRAPH any violence or any suspicious behaviour. Sicarios, or hitmen, have absolutely no scruples and won’t hesitate to assassinate any person they suspect of playing for the other side.
Location: Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
Category: Ghost Town