LA CIUDAD JUAREZ, MEXICO: currently the most
dangerous city on the planet. Since the
early 1990's there have been 600 documented "femicides" and 3000
missing women presumed dead. Escalating
turf wars between the city's two rival drug cartels have led to increasingly
brutal violence in the city since 2005.
In the year before August 2009, Juarez's
murder rate was the highest reported in the world, exceeding the holders of the
second and third highest rates by more than 25%. The rate of 130 murders per 100,000 inhabitants
has led business groups in Juarez to call for UN
intervention. Journalist Charles
Bowden, in an August 2008 GQ article, wrote that multiple factors, including drug
violence, government corruption and poverty have led to a dispirited and
disorderly atmosphere that now permeates the city. The violence has forced the residents of Ciudad Juarez to change
their daily routine; many now stay home in the evening, and the fear of
kidnapping or random violence has curtailed public life.
La Ciudad Juarez is just
across the Rio Grande River from El
Paso, Texas, USA.
JUAREZ, A Novel, by Scott Bonasso, is inspired by true
events and people. It tells the story of
ten-year-old, Marco Espinoza, a boy living a life of poverty in the dark heart
of Juarez, tied to the deadly drug industry through his father's employment for
the all-powerful Leon
cartel. When Marco's father is killed in
what appears to be a turf war between Juarez's rival cartels, Marco's mother,
Marcela, is forced to work as a drug smuggler for El Leon. Marcela soon finds herself on the wrong side
of the cartel's vicious general, El Mago, where death is just a misstep away.
John Teague lives in San Antonio,
Texas, with his wife, Anastasia, although the
marriage has disintegrated since the tragic death of their three-year-old son, Devon, two years earlier.
Hooked to cocaine and at the brink of suicide, John leaves his wife and
house and drives across Texas
on a self-destructive quest to experience "the world of the
flesh." When a stash-house he
visits in El Paso is raided by the police, John
flees across the border to Juarez.
John Teague and Marco Espinoza's paths will cross and
inextricably unite in Juarez and together they will forge a bond strong enough
to give them the courage to stand up to the corrupt cartel-government complex
that has brought a city of 1.3 million people to its knees. Their new quest: to evade Juarez's policia-narconet and find another, better life back
across the border in the USA.
JUAREZ is a crime drama; an international thriller; a human
story. Inspired by actuality, it shows a
very human side to the violence in the titular city while giving the reader an
authentic glimpse into this brutal, anarchic culture that exists disturbingly
close to home.