Inside the World’s Deadliest City — In These Times

Jeremy Gantz interviews Charles Bowden whose new book Murder City: Ciudad Juárez and the Global Economy’s New Killing Fields

whose most chilling subject is an experienced sicario, or hitman—all the more remarkable, and important. For while authorities on both sides of the border explain the violence engulfing Juárez with familiar “war on drugs” rhetoric, Bowden argues it is the predictable result of NAFTA’s failure, endemic poverty and America’s appetite for drugs.

Inside the World’s Deadliest City — In These Times.

You write that free-trade schemes “have failed and in Juárez are producing poor people and dead people faster than any other product.” What is NAFTA’s relationship to Juárez’s descent into violence?

In the late ’60s the Border Industrialization Program, the prototype of what became NAFTA, was established in Juárez. At the beginning, wages were higher than the people of Juárez had experienced, but after 40 years, they have steadily declined. Factories employ children. NAFTA produced enormous squatter barrios of people who are fully employed by American factories and couldn’t make a living wage. NAFTA destroyed light and middle industry in Mexico, and it destroyed peasant agriculture.

But NAFTA is a disaster that cannot be recognized as a disaster because what we call “free trade” is not an empirical policy tested by fact; it is a theology. NAFTA is a failure. It doesn’t solve poverty, it expands it. And the people burn out because it suddenly dawns on them that they’re like hamsters on a wheel, and they’re going backward instead of forward.

Juarez. How did the U.S. contribute or even create the problems for women and families there? Read the whole article from In These Times: Inside the World’s Deadliest City — In These Times


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