This question is at the heart of our special report that we publish today in English and Spanish in Borderzine, entitled Special Report Cuidad Juarez: Fragile Peace, by U.S. investigative reporter Ana Arana, who is based in Mexico City, and a team of reporters from Ciudad Juarez.
We are proud that Fragile Peace is a necessary follow-up to Borderzine’s award-winning project, Mexodus, published three years ago. This bilingual multimedia project charted the exodus of Mexican middle class families, businesses and professionals to the U.S. in response to the widespread drug cartel violence and lawlessness raging in Ciudad Juarez and other areas of northern Mexico.
While most local and national news media reported the story in incomplete fashion or not at all, we worked with a team of journalism professors from the U.S. and Mexico to edit and publish the student-produced multimedia project. Fragile Peace expands and provides context to the compelling story of a battered but resilient border city.
Now, as politicians and news media on both sides of the borderline crow about the miraculous transformation of Juarez into a safer city returning to normal, we follow up with this project, which provides a timeline of key events in the bloody drug wars, profiles some key players in the criminal underworld, and provides a detailed narrative of how and why Juarez became the deadliest city in the world until one of the two feuding cartels won. Read on.
Special Report Ciudad Juarez was coordinated and edited by Ana Arana of Fundación MEPI in Mexico City. The reporters included Carlos Huerta, Herika Martínez and Beatriz Corral from Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, and Javier Huerta. The English-language editor was FIU journalism professor Neil Risnerand the Spanish-language editor was Maria Dolores Albiac. The photos are by Borderzine Executive Editor David Smith Soto and Getty Images.