Published May 21, 2011
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico – Lawmakers in Mexico's Chihuahua state on Saturday awarded this drug cartel-plagued border city the title of "Heroic" Ciudad Juarez to honor its role in the 1910 Mexican Revolution.
President Felipe Calderon attended a commemoration ceremony at a cultural center and used the occasion to highlight a decrease in crime in the city, which has been one of the world's most violent cities in recent years.
Homicides have fallen 60 percent, to about four daily in April from 11 daily in October.
"I know that Ciudad Juarez suffers still," Calderon said in a speech to state lawmakers. "I know there is sorrow, pain, anguish for many families. But I know there is a different and better future for Juarez if we keep working together."
Mexican cartels are fighting for control in Juarez, which lies across from El Paso, Texas. More than 6,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence in Juarez the past two years.
Some residents found the renaming uninspiring.
"This should have happened 100 years ago, but not now, because of the situation in which we are living in Juarez," said Victor Lopez, who attended a parade commemorating the new name.
The decree assigning the new "heroic" title indicates it can be used on official documents but is not mandatory.