Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Focusing on the wrong thing

A shoot-em-up video game set in the border town of Ciudad Juarez has angered local officials who are busy fighting all-too-real violence.

Chihuahua state legislators said Sunday they have asked federal authorities to ban "Call of Juarez: The Cartel," which is based on drug cartel shootouts in Ciudad Juarez.

About 6,000 people died in drug-related violence in Ciudad Juarez in 2009 and 2010, making the city, located across from El Paso, Texas, one of the deadliest in the world. During the past week, the town recorded 50 killings in three days.

The website of game developer Ubisoft Entertainment SA says the title is due for release this summer. Screen shots from the game show three characters armed with a pistol, an assault rifle and a shotgun ready to open fire on a city street.

The game's promotional slogan urges players, "Take justice into your own hands and experience the lawlessness of the modern Wild West." No one answered a message left at the company's San Francisco office.

Ricardo Boone Salmon, a congressman for Chihuahua state, where Ciudad Juarez is located, said the state legislature unanimously approved a request this week asking the federal Interior Department to ban the game.

About 6,000 people died in drug-related violence in Ciudad Juarez in 2009 and 2010.

Obviously, the Mexican government is not doing enough to fight drug-related violence on America's doorstep.

Instead, Mexican legislators are trying to ban a video game which publicizes the violence.

The Mexican authorities are focusing on the wrong thing.

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