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Murder City: Ciudad Juarez and the Global Economy's New Killing Fields Paperback – March 22, 2011
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In his dark, non-fiction novel, Murder City: Ciudad Juarez and the Global Economy's New Killing Fields, Charles Bowden takes you by the hand and gives a guided tour of one of the lower hells that's just across the border from El Paso, Texas.
On your journey through this third-world dystopia, you travel to an impoverished insane asylum out in the desert ran by El Pastor, who collects from the streets of Juarez those whose lives were shattered by torture, drugs, gang rape, and a host of other horrors. From there you'll visit the "death houses" where underneath floors and patios the anonymous dead wait to be found. You'll cruise the streets at dawn to find the bodies bound with silver and gray duct tape at hands, feet, and mouth, deposited the night before. You'll also meet a sicario, an assassin, who speaks of his childhood, his time in the Mexican state police and the FBI academy, and finally his plunge into "the life" where he has since racked up over 250 murders becoming a highly sought after "murder artist".
At each point on your journey, Bowden stops and makes you look, he makes you bear witness as he has done for almost 20 years, to the unacknowledged, unreported disintegration of not only a city, but of an entire country.
From the nearly ubiquitous corruption in all branches of the Mexican government, military, and police forces to the members of drug cartels living like kings surrounded by grinding poverty to American factories paying starvation wages, Bowden drags it all into the light for us to see.Read more ›
While the governments and elites of the US and Mexico pretend to be fighting a war on drugs the Mexican government and army are in fact fighting a war for drugs. Juarez is more dangerous than Baghdad or Mogadishu, and it takes great courage for any journalist to go there and witness and then tell the truth. Bowden has great compassion for the citizens of Juarez who are just trying to live their lives in peace and raise their families, living in a hellish city disintegrating into anarchy. Every politician and politician should read this book before presuming to understand the drug trade and illegal immigration. Can they handle the truth?
There are no simple answers for the situation there. A perfect storm of systemic corruption, trade politics, globalization, illegal drugs, poverty and gang violence have created a city where drug smuggling, murder and illegal human trafficking is less about a morality and more about opportunity. The only opportunity. Even the low-wage factories, the maquiladoras, where many in Juarez have traditionally made their un-livable living, are closing down as companies take their business overseas to even cheaper labor markets like China. As a result, there is no hope in Juarez, a city that is more dangerous than Iraq. In this city that is visible from El Paso, Texas, it is not uncommon for a dozen people to be killed in a day. For bodies to be found half-buried in the desert, arms and mouths bound with duct tape, doused in gasoline and burned. For bodies to be found wrapped in plastic, decapitated. For young women and girls to disappear and be found weeks later, raped, murdered. For the corrupt police to show up and block off a street for the corrupt army, who arrives, rounds up a group of people, systematically executes them and then leaves. For reporters who take the wrong photos or ask the wrong questions to be disappeared. For children to be caught in the crossfire as their parents are gunned down. To find bodies with hundreds of rounds in them. To find bodies of people who were tortured for days. To find "death houses," where under the floorboards lie dozens rotting bodies of anonymous Mexicans. And all the while, in the U.S.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an excellent - - and extremely well documented - - exposé of the effect of America's "War On Drugs" on our neighbors to the south. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Michael Brosius
Another book requested upon. The person i got this book for really loved it! They read it more than once! I am going to read it when he finishes it again I cant waitPublished 1 month ago by Jimmy
I've driven by Ciudad Juarez many times, both during the day and late at night - on I-10, through El Paso. The Mexican city of 1. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Loyd Eskildson
After reading the reviews was interested in reading the book. But to me the book followed no structure and the author tended to repeat himself a lot. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Laslo
Interesting style, but it's just ramblings by the author done in a journal style of writing. I bought the book sicario too, so hopefully it's not as mundane as this book.Published 2 months ago by Dano
Having completed the book and after watching a documentary where the author plays a role... I am more fascinated by the phenomena (if that is really an appropriate word) of what is... Read morePublished 3 months ago by R. Phelps