In Just One Year, A Mexican City Turns Violent : NPR   Leave a comment

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In Just One Year, A Mexican City Turns Violent : NPR.

via In Just One Year, A Mexican City Turns Violent : NPR.

As Mexican President Felipe Calderon pushes forward with his war against the drug cartels, various parts of the country have been affected in different ways. Recently, the state of Tamaulipas, which borders the southern tip of Texas, has seen a significant surge in violence.

Just a year ago, Reynosa — a dusty, sprawling city of half a million people across the border from McAllen, Texas — was a relatively peaceful part of the country. Now it’s one of the most dangerous places in Mexico.

This is a maquila town. There are roughly 140 factories — maquiladoras — that float in a free-trade limbo between the U.S. and Mexico. During the day in downtown Reynosa, shops bustle with activity. Young men sell pirated DVDs on the sidewalk. Music blares from a CD store. Shoeshine men polish shoes.

But this is a city that, this year, has become seized with fear.

As night falls, so do the metal shutters on the businesses — and the streets become eerily empty.

“It’s not officially declared a war, but we are in a war zone,” says Eliacib Leija, 40, who grew up in Reynosa. Now he’s the coordinator for President Calderon’s PAN party in the state of Tamaulipas. “Most of the people stay home after 6, 8 at night. Just don’t go out; you take your precautions. Because once in a while you hear a bunch of shootings and things like that.”

 

Posted October 17, 2010 by dmacc502 in violence

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