Mexican border city officials seek ban on video game

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ciudad Juarez (Mexico), Feb 24 (IANS/EFE) The mayor of Ciudad Juarez city in Mexico has said he would ask that a video game set in this gritty border metropolis be banned.

Action should be taken to prevent “Call of Juarez: The Cartel” from reaching the public and further damaging the image of this city, located just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, Mayor Hector Murguia said.

“All of us Juarez residents join this effort. I believe that none of us enjoys having a video game going around here that shows the violence in Juarez, especially one that ends up in the hands of children, the young people,” the mayor said.

“No one in their right mind can be against banning the release of this video (game).”

The city government may sue the game’s developer, French company Ubisoft, for harming the city’s reputation, municipal secretary Hector Arcelus said.

The Chihuahua state legislature agreed last week to ask the federal government to ban the release and sale of “Call of Juarez: The Cartel”.

The video game, according to Ubisoft Entertainment SA’s website, will go on sale in the middle of this year.

Gamers are being offered the opportunity, according to the website, to “Experience the lawlessness of the modern wild west as you hunt down the Mendoza cartel in a world where the ends justify the means”.

This is not the first time that a business has tried to use the violence in Juarez as a theme for a product. Last year, Toronto-based MAC Cosmetics scrapped a line of products with names inspired by the murders of women in Ciudad Juarez.

Mexico’s Rodarte fashion house and partner MAC said they were creating a cosmetics line featuring products called “Juarez”, “Pueblo fantasma” (ghost town) and “Quinceaera” (sweet 15), among others, clearly referring to the killings of young women in Juarez.

Ciudad Juarez, where over 7,000 people have been murdered since 2008, is considered Mexico’s most dangerous city.

Over 3,100 people were murdered in the border city last year, making 2010 the worst year since a war between rival drug gangs sent the homicide rate skyrocketing in 2008.

Juarez first gained notoriety in the early 1990s when young women began to disappear in the area.

Over 500 women have been killed in Juarez since 1993, with the majority of the cases going unsolved.


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