CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (AP) - The Mexican army says killings by criminal gangs in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez have fallen 42 percent in the first six months of 2012 as compared to the same period of 2011.
Local army commander Gen. Emilio Zarate says there were 952 such killings in the first half of the year, compared to 1,642 in the first half of 2011.
Zarate says the drop is due to the weakening of the local Juarez drug cartel and its rivals in the Gente Nueva gang, which is allied with the Sinaloa drug cartel.
The two cartels have fought turf battles since 2008 that made Ciudad Juarez Mexico's most violent city.
Zarate said Wednesday the Juarez cartel has become so weak it is having trouble paying its members.