NOT an Onion Headline: Help Shoot Up Juarez

NOT an Onion Headline: Help Shoot Up Juarez July 26, 2011

Hey kids, have you heard of Ciudad Juárez?  It’s the city just over the border from El Paso, Texas, under siege of horrific violence at the hands of drug lords.  How violent?  Well, glad you asked!  Check out these numbers:

  • 2008 – 1,600 homicides
  • 2009 – 2,600 homicides
  • 2010 – 3,075 homicides

That’s 229 murders per 100,000 residents of Juárez!  This year, Juárez is averaging eight homicides per day!  The Juárez police force is literally under assault!

Well, now you can be part of the action, too, in the new video game, Call Of Juarez: The Cartel.  That’s right!  All the horror of Juárez in the comfort of your living room:

Call of Juarez: The Cartel is the third installment of the Western action shooter video game franchise, Call of Juarez. Call of Juarez: The Cartel includes the same attributes of a great Western shooter, upgraded to reflect modern times. For instance, instead of outlaws and brothels, you’ll find cartel kingpins and strip clubs. But make no mistake, the spirit of the Wild West is still very much alive. You’ll experience the lawlessness of the old country as you fight to take down a powerful drug cartel in a world where every man is out for himself.

***

OK, in all seriousness, this is beyond the pale.  I’ve been to Juárez a few times, back when I worked for YouthWorks.  It is a desperately poor place, full of good people who live in cardboard shanties, all within view of gleaming American skyscrapers.

But YouthWorks and many other mission agencies have had to pull out of Juárez because of the violence.

If you play this video game, you’re part of the problem.

(For that matter, if you smoke a little pot, and it comes from Mexico, you’re part of the problem.)

Join me in asking Amazon to drop this video game from their store (or at least write a bad review).  If you see it advertised on the flat screen TVs at LA Fitness, as I did, complain to the manager.  If you see it at Target or Walmart, ask them to remove it.

And, finally, let these be your lasting images of Juárez.  They were taken by Courtney Perry in February, 2011, during the funeral for six teenagers who were among a group of 16 teenagers gunned down by a drug cartel while they were at a party.  It seems to have been a case of mistaken identity.

copyright Dallas Morning News/Courtney Perry, used by permission, all rights reserved
copyright Dallas Morning News/Courtney Perry, used by permission, all rights reserved
copyright Dallas Morning News/Courtney Perry, used by permission, all rights reserved
copyright Dallas Morning News/Courtney Perry, used by permission, all rights reserved
copyright Dallas Morning News/Courtney Perry, used by permission, all rights reserved
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