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Murder city : Ciudad Juarez and the global economy's new killing fields
Charles Bowden
Adult Nonfiction HV5840.M42 C5826 2010

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Bowden (Some of the Dead Are Still Breathing) grapples with the almost incomprehensible levels of violence in Juùrez, Mexico. Over 1,600 people were murdered in Juùrez in 2008; almost as many were murdered in the first half of 2009 and countless more have been kidnapped. Bowden tries to explain the escalation in violence, but explanation-even investigation-is impossible: witnesses don't come forward out of fear of the police; the police in turn are terrified of the military and the cartels. The military are apathetic and often complicit in the killing, as is the federal government. Journalists report the scantiest facts; many are paid off, and the rest fear the consequences of telling the truth. In the absence of hard facts, Bowden can offer only an impressionistic account of his own frustration at the collusion of police, media, federal government, and global economic forces in making inexorable violence the defining feature of daily life in the border town. This is a nonfiction book without facts, without a thesis, and without an argument; Bowden's sentences are gorgeous things, euphonious and deeply sincere-but the book offers no understanding or call to action, only resigned acceptance. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

In 2008, more than 1600 people were murdered in Juarez, Mexico, killings most often attributed to the drug cartels and the drug war. According to Bowden (Some of the Dead Are Still Breathing), that approach is too simplistic. He argues that Juarez is a dying city-dying under the weight of a broken system in which almost half of the economy is fueled by the drug trade, the police either work for the cartels or rarely leave the relative safety of their station houses, the army preys on the guilty and the innocent, and no one seems to be in charge. Bowden even admits that he, and thus his narrative, is overburdened by the sheer enormity of the problems in Juarez. The result is a deeply troubling glimpse at human misery. VERDICT For readers looking for traditional coverage of the issues in Juarez, this is not your book. But Bowden's prose (and at times poetry) has a way of stabbing at the soul, making this the book for anyone who wants to get underneath the truth and into the heart of the matter.-Mike Miller, Austin P.L., TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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