The Fight to Save Juarez: Life in the Heart of Mexico’s Drug War

Ricardo C Ainslie, Author
Ricardo C. Ainslie. Univ. of Texas, $25 (332p) ISBN 978-0-292-73890-4
Reviewed on: 01/28/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
Open Ebook - 978-0-292-74871-2
Hardcover - 297 pages - 978-0-292-73891-1
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Psychologist and U.T.-Austin instructor Ainslie (Long Dark Road) presents an unrelenting look at the drug cartel battles of Ciudad Juarez, just over the Rio Grande from El Paso, Tex. Juarez’s mayor, José Reyes Ferriz, first learned of the coming war between the established Juarez cartel and the Sinaloa cartel shortly after he was elected in late 2007 and he spent his entire three-year term trying to curtail the killings, which in some months “surpassed those in war-torn cities like Baghdad.” Corruption was so endemic in the municipal police force that Reyes invited in the army, with 5,000 federal troops arriving in March 2009. The municipal police force was officially disbanded, then re-formed later that year as the “new police.” Two facts stand out among the continual descriptions of assassinations. The first, often repeated, is that the violence is driven by American drug consumption, and the second is that the vast majority of assault weapons used by the cartels are from the U.S. Despite a wide-ranging intervention ordered by the Mexican president, following a massacre of innocent youths in the Villas de Salvárcar neighborhood in January 2010, there is no Hollywood ending to this report—only a continuation of the violence. Although not easy to read, this is an important work for any reader concerned about Mexico. Agent: James D. Hornfischer, Hornfischer Literary Management. (Apr.)
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