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El Paso teens talk about drug violence

Battles between rival drug cartels have made Juarez, Mexico, one of the deadliest cities in the world. And the impact of the violence has been felt across the border, in neighboring El Paso, Texas. Need to Know spoke with eight El Paso teens about how the drug wars have affected their lives, and found out why some of them chose to join gangs themselves.



  • citizen1787

    Parts of this video felt scripted. When the girl seated next to the adult spoke of the killings of the people she knew it was without any true emotion. She spoke as if she just invented them.

    There is real tragedy going on in Ciudad Juarez and El Paso. This brief interview did not help me understand it any better.

  • Marco Polo

    In response to citizen1787,
    The way that girl talked about a brutal murder just speaks to the desensitization of people in war. This was a roundtable with teenagers with substance abuse problems, not a roundtable of experts with in-depth analysis of the war in Mexico. What I got out of the interview: It made me think of when I was in high school and middle school and how my life would be if I was in their situation.

  • Doug

    Reply to Marco Polo:

    I have some experience in group counseling, death and drug, and teenagers. The way she spoke struck me as a story she made up for that interview.

    I realize that shock can cause weird responses; but, I still contend that her statement did not ring true.

    Go back and re-watch the part where she describes the murder. Her body language and tone says she is lying. Not that she is in shock or upset.

    She is in a treatment facility, surrounded by people who share a common experience and drug-free and yet she had no emotion when she spoke about the murder of someone she knew. Heck, she smirked at the end of her story. 0:56

  • citizen1787

    Reply to Marco Polo:

    “This was a roundtable with teenagers with substance abuse problems, not a roundtable of experts with in-depth analysis of the war in Mexico.”

    That isn’t what I expected. What I expected was a frank and honest discussion from a group of teenagers about drug violence in Ciudad Juarez and El Paso.

    Maybe the piece was just over-produced or the kids were on strong anti-depressants or both.

  • C Go

    Oh Come on! Cant they get some kids that aren’t a bunch of idiots, it’s not desensitization, its ignorance, ignorance is bliss. Get some actual PEOPLE (NOT ON DRUGS) to make a more thorough analysis.
    I Live in El Paso and I am (thankfully) unaffected by this whole Juarez thing.

  • Herb

    The title is incorrect. This is NOT drug violence. Drugs don’t fight each other. This is drug prohibition created violence. Drug prohibition supports organized crime.

  • I Liek Mudkips

    That was pretty stupid..haha
    Looked really fake & scripted!

  • Shoshana Guy

    Hi All,

    Thanks for watching this short segment. As the producer I want to clarify a few things. Firstly the conversation was in no way scripted. Without meeting the kids first, we arrived at the center and simply sat down to have a conversation with them. Given the fact that the U.S. buys 35 billion dollars worth of drugs a year from Mexico, we thought it would help us in our conversation about the crisis to talk to kids who were both living on the border and who had experience with drugs.

    This is a short segment that will be part of more pieces to come examining the crisis in Juarez and how the U.S. is linked into it. The full story with the kids will appear on line after it airs next Friday. We posted this piece because we didnt’ get to use everything from the kids in the TV segment and wanted our audience to see more of the conversation. So please watch the entire piece when it airs as it will give you more context and hopefully help you understand more about what is going on right in our own backyard.



  • citizen1787


    First, let me apologize if my words towards you and your staff were too harsh. In my defense, I can only judge what I see.

    Second, I am impressed by your openness to your viewers. I will tune in and give Need to Know a open mind.


  • Shoshana Guy


    Thanks for your note. In my mind this is a hugely important story and a reporter can only hope they are able to translate that to their audience. So I am happy to hear you will tune in! We hope that this is only the beginning of more conversations to come.


  • Gary Ogletree

    I was disappointed the clip was so short. Glad to hear it’s just an intro. The young people seemed very at ease and open with the stranger who asked the questions. Looking forward to the rest of the story.

  • nuff.said.

    I think this video was very real, for a matter of fact I know one of the guys in this video from high school and there’s not one doubt in my mind that this is as real as it gets. The ignorance come from the people that choose not to open their eyes and see what is really going on in the borderland. Narcotics shouldn’t be legalized in order to prevent violence. Narcotics aren”t a necessity, they’re a dirty habit and it’s one that I have no problem admitting to once having and even at one point helped to distribute. So thank you Shoshana, I’m lucky to have never witnessed or become victim to the violence that these teens have but I am aware that it is very VERY real and only gets worse with each passing day.