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Murder City: Ciudad Juarez and the Global Economy's New Killing Fields

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  • Posted April 24, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The Killing Fields of Juarez

    Imagine a city where the police force announces they will no longer venture outside the station house. Imagine a city where this police force lives in fear because the army has been known to detain, torture and rape them. Imagine a city where hospitals refuse to treat gunshot victims because the perpetrators have a disconcerting habit of entering emergency rooms and finishing the job. Then imagine that you don't have to imagine, that you can see this city without leaving the United States and its name is Ciudad Juarez.

    In "Murder City," journalist Charles Bowden chronicles one murderous year in the life of Juarez, located just over the border from El Paso, Texas. There were over 1.600 documented homicides in Juarez in 2008 and the killing has actually increased, with over 2,600 deaths in 2009. While the murdered women of Juarez have received sporadic media attention, Bowden makes the point that they are one piece of a much larger and violent puzzle.

    The Mexican and American governments are keen to portray the violence as a war amongst the drug cartels. Charles Bowden, who lives in Tucson and has written about the illegal drug trade and corruption along the U.S./Mexican border for decades, comes to a different conclusion. He states what is happening in Juarez is a war for drugs, for control of drug trafficking and the obscene profits it generates. He writes of the U.S. border agent who allowed truckloads of marijuana to enter the country for 4 years and amassed a fortune and the Mexican national who attempted to cross from El Paso to Juarez with nearly 2 million dollars hidden in the doors of his SUV.

    But mainly Bowden chronicles the relentless torrent of death enveloping the city. Bowden writes in a non-linear style, refusing to make facile judgements or offering any solutions. Poverty, globalization, guns, drugs and corruption have coalesced to create what Bowden sees as the city of the future and no border fence can contain it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2014

    Medicine Den

    ~$triking

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2010

    High Recommend, one of the best books around!!!

    Bowden is a great writer but I am warning it reads a little odd and skips around. It is a very informative piece if more people read this book then more people can be informed about what is going on right next to us and how we can hopefully change this corruption and mass murders.

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