May 22, 2012

Drug-related violence quickly pushes Juárez cemetery to near-capacity

El Paso Times: At an average rate of eight burials a day, the only municipal cemetery in Juárez with remaining space for new burials will reach its maximum capacity in less than four years.

San Rafael municipal cemetery, located on the outskirts of the city, has 10,560 burial spaces remaining. It is nearing capacity sooner than city officials expected due to the high number of deaths during the last four years of drug-related violence, city officials said.

At the height of the violence, San Rafael reached an average of 10 to 12 burials a day, said Edgar Natividad, the city's director of public roadways maintenance, which is also in charge of administering the city cemeteries.
At its current burial rate, the cemetery should reach capacity in three years and seven months.

"When the wave of violence started we didn't expect the demand to raise so much. We were expecting to have space for a certain amount of years," he said.
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