Attention Teachers: Some of the images in this report are disturbing.
Photojournalist Julian Cardona has lived in Ciudad Juarez, a Mexican border town across the river from El Paso, Texas, since the 1960s. His parents moved there from southern Mexico to take advantage of the booming factory industry; a typical story for the era. Much has changed since this time of prosperity in northern Mexico, and Juarez is now known as the most violent city in the world with a crime rate of one murder every ten hours.
Cardona has documented Juarez's evolution since the early 1990s when he joined the local newspaper to document his city's growing economy. However, within a few years, the murder rate began to spike and Cardona went from following growing settlements to documenting public killings.
Juarez's decline is largely blamed on rival drug cartels (gangs) who see the city as valuable territory because of its proximity to the United States and its vast illegal drug market. The underground economy of drugs and violence promises those with little a quick way to get rich, but has led some parts of Mexico, like Juarez, into a dangerous state of emergency.
"During the '90s, I came here to cover the new settlements, during recent years, to cover murders." - Julian Cardona, photographer.
1. Where is the city of Juarez located?
2. Why has Juarez been in the news recently?
3. What is a drug cartel?
1. What is a border town? Do border towns like Juarez get more attention because of their proximity to the US?
2. In the story, Juarez was called the most violent city in the world. Why has this city earned this reputation?
3. What do you think it is like being a teen growing up in Juarez? Discuss.