Surviving Juárez: Besieged residents and businesses devise strategies to stay safe in the violence-plagued city
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CIUDAD JUÁREZ – María, a mother of four children and business owner, says her family has had to adopt “survival” measures to protect itself from the crushing daily violence plaguing her city. “We had to install a system of cameras that we monitor from home through the Internet,” said María, 54, who requested that her last name, details of her family and name of her businesses not be disclosed. This was after her family had to pay a “quota” when several of its businesses were targets of extortion, one family member was victim of an “express kidnapping,” and they realized their businesses were under constant surveillance by criminals. Subsequently, the family has contracted a security guard and installed alarms. By early afternoon, they lock the doors of their businesses and, as soon it starts to get dark, open the door only for known customers. They also removed business ads from the telephone directory and switched business and private telephone numbers to unlisted numbers.