The Fight to Save Juárez: Life in the Heart of Mexico's Drug War

The Fight to Save Juárez: Life in the Heart of Mexico's Drug War

by Ricardo C. Ainslie


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The Fight to Save Juárez: Life in the Heart of Mexico's Drug War by Ricardo C. Ainslie

The city of Juárez is ground zero for the drug war that is raging across Mexico and has claimed close to 60,000 lives since 2007. Almost a quarter of the federal forces that former President Felipe Calderón deployed in the war were sent to Juárez, and nearly 20 percent of the country's drug-related executions have taken place in the city, a city that can be as unforgiving as the hardest places on earth. It is here that the Mexican government came to turn the tide. Whatever happens in Juárez will have lasting repercussions for both Mexico and the United States.

Ricardo Ainslie went to Juárez to try to understand what was taking place behind the headlines of cartel executions and other acts of horrific brutality. In The Fight to Save Juárez, he takes us into the heart of Mexico's bloodiest city through the lives of four people who experienced the drug war from very different perspectives—Mayor José Reyes Ferriz, a mid-level cartel player's mistress, a human rights activist, and a photojournalist. Ainslie also interviewed top Mexican government strategists, including members of Calderón's security cabinet, as well as individuals within U.S. law enforcement. The dual perspective of life on the ground in the drug war and the "big picture" views of officials who are responsible for the war's strategy, creates a powerful, intimate portrait of an embattled city, its people, and the efforts to rescue Juárez from the abyss.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780292738904
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 04/01/2013
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

A native of Mexico City, Ricardo C. Ainslie is an award-winning psychologist-psychoanalyst who uses books, documentary films, and photographic exhibits to capture and depict subjects of social and cultural interest. His books include Long Dark Road: Bill King and Murder In Jasper, Texas; The Psychology of Twinship; and No Dancin’ in Anson: An American Story of Race and Social Change. His films include The Mystery of Consciousness; Ya Basta! Kidnapped in Mexico; Looking North: Mexican Images of Immigration; and Crossover: A Story of Desegregation. Ainslie teaches at the University of Texas at Austin and also has a private practice with adult patients.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Prologue
  • 1. Christmas in Juárez
  • 2. The Saulo Reyes Affair
  • 3. A Meeting in Chihuahua
  • 4. The Strategist
  • 5. Public Relations
  • 6. Patiño
  • 7. La Cima
  • 8. The Mistress
  • 9. The General
  • 10. Twenty-Five Hundred Soldiers
  • 11. La Línea
  • 12. The Human Rights Activist
  • 13. Román
  • 14. The Pajama Chief
  • 15. The Journos
  • 16. Forty-Eight Hours
  • 17. Martial Law Undeclared
  • 18. Civics Lessons
  • 19. The Other War
  • 20. Addicts
  • 21. Los NiNi
  • 22. The Eagle’s Hill
  • 23. Villas de Salvárcar
  • 24. All the President’s Men
  • 25. The Visit
  • 26. Cibeles
  • 27. No Accidents
  • 28. The Federal Police
  • 29. The Election
  • Epilogue
  • List of Interviews
  • Index

What People are Saying About This

Malcolm Beith

"Ricardo Ainslie’s The Fight to Save Juárez couldn’t be more timely. It is also of vital relevance: headlines of beheadings and massacres in Ciudad Juárez have captured the world’s attention, but Ainslie deftly goes deeper into the story and helps us understand what makes Ciudad Juárez tick. Through interviews with Mexican officials, citizens, and even some drug traffickers, Ainslie offers an insightful view into what has occurred in Ciudad Juárez as the drug war has devolved in the border city. The interviews are strong and intimacy with the characters ever apparent."

John Burnett

"The Fight to Save Juárez is the book we’ve been waiting for that deconstructs a major Mexican city’s descent into agony. Ainslie documents how a perfect storm of marauding drug cartels, corrupt police forces, and unprepared city officials left citizens helpless and terrorized in what became the world’s most murderous city. Significantly, he hammers the prepotent truth that organized crime could not and would not have run amok in Mexico were it not for the collusion of the mobsters’ trusted acolytes—the police, at every level."

William Booth

"This is a deeply reported, razor smart, up-close account of the Great Drug War. This book is absolutely courageous in its fairness and search for answers. Ricardo Ainslie’s story has room for both angels and demons. He finds noble characters struggling under incredible strain—and threat of death—to do the right thing, to try to save Ciudad Juárez from itself. And he finds evil and the corruption and incompetence that lets the bad bury the good. If you want to begin to understand the violence and chaos that have laid siege to our neighbor’s house, this is the book."

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