Ciudad Juarez — just across the border from El Paso, Texas — has long been coveted by Mexico’s narco traffickers, representing a gateway into the voracious US drug market.

Fighting for control of Juarez turned it into one of the most violent cities in the world between 2008 and 2012, but, much to the relief of people on both sides of the border, that violence has eased.

During the course of 2016, however, the violence picked up.

But the body count wasn’t the only reminder of the bloodshed thought to be behind Juarez.

The arrival of the ascendant Jalisco New Generation cartel, taking up space in the city alongside the resurgent Juarez cartel and the fracturing Sinaloa cartel, leads many to believe that another vicious cartel fight is looming — if it hasn’t already started.

‘The bodies were found later’

The years leading up to 2007 in Ciudad Juarez, home to just over a million people, saw about 200 to 300 homicides a year, a normal amount, Molly Molloy, a professor and librarian at New Mexico State University, told Business Insider in December.

The next year, however, saw a more than fivefold increase, to over 1,600 homicides. That was followed by a jump to more than 2,500 killings in 2009. The bloodshed surged against in 2010, reaching over 3,500 slayings.