US-Mexico border residents take issue with Call of Juarez: The Cartel

Call of Juarez: The Cartel is a modern-day excursion through the seedy drug cartel business, the setting of which includes the Mexcian city of Ciudad Juárez, a town situated steps away from El Paso, Texas. It's unsurprising that the area's residents aren't entirely enthralled about what they consider a glorification of the drug-related violence they've experienced.

Juárez is regarded as one of the most violent cities in North America. More than 3,000 people were murdered within its borders last year as the result of drug trading - that's more than eight murders every day, on average. On the other side of the border is El Paso, one of the biggest 20 metropolitan areas in the US and, in contrast, a city that's rated as one of the safest in the country.

The border between the two cities is one of the most intense and storied areas throughout the entire continent. That makes for good fiction, which is why the game exists. Nevertheless, El Paso County Sheriff's Office Commander Gomecindo Lopez believes it's inappropriate.

"In games you get hurt, you die and you get another life. In real life, you only die once. This goes along the lines of narco-songs that portray cartel leaders as heroes, but both are a gross misrepresentation of who they are. They are criminals," said Lopez in a Reuters interview.

Laurencio Barraza, who works with children in Juárez, commented, "Lots of kids say they want to be a hitman, because they are the ones that get away with everything." Ubisoft's new game, he says, will only make things worse. "This glorifies violence, as if victims were just another number or another bonus."

In response to the criticisms, an Ubisoft spokesperson said, "Call of Juarez: The Cartel is purely fictional and developed by the team at Techland for entertainment purposes only."

"While Call of Juarez: The Cartel touches on subjects relevant to current events in Juárez, it does so in a fictional manner that makes the gaming experience feel more like being immersed in an action-movie than in a real-life situation."

Ubisoft has no plans to tweak the game, which is slated for launch this summer. Little has been released about the game, but you can check out its official site for a few bites of info.

[Source: Reuters]

Feb 18, 2011


  • w3ap0nx - February 21, 2011 8:11 a.m.

    I'm mexican myself and honesty they should be focusing on how to end this problem instead of watching what games are being made by "evil" american companies.
  • theintellectual - February 20, 2011 5:18 p.m.

    as much as I am usually for the freedom of expression, i do think this is rather tasteless to the residents of el paso. They are forced to endure this stuff on a daily basis, and having their situation made into entertainment is pretty unfair, whether it be through film or game.
  • FreedomPhantom - February 20, 2011 6:47 a.m.

    @rafa_slash and Romination Here in Minnesota we have trouble with Canadians stealing our internet. They should try making a videogame about that. Damn Canadians.
  • Bri77777 - February 20, 2011 5:19 a.m.

    The only problem with this game is that i know, for sure, that the media is going to twist the game into some sort of cartel training thing.Or something else that is equally stupid.
  • Yaro - February 19, 2011 4:12 p.m.

    In games you get hurt, you die and you get another life. In real life, you only die once. I rolled my eyes. People are so old.
  • beaver10666 - February 19, 2011 11:55 a.m.

    i grew up in the lower valley of el paso which has always been fucked up part of town besides the northeast,the border checkpoint is literally 10 minutes away from my house,i cant stand the bullshit i hear that goes on there everyday but regardless it still happens. if they really do put out this game,it'll only make all the wannabe tough guys over here try to act out what they see on their game.fuck that,seriously something needs to b done about the cartels in real life and making a game like this is like spitting on the faces of all those who die everyday
  • rafa_slash - February 19, 2011 5:57 a.m.

    @Valcrist: thats absolutely true, in fact there was a report about it yesterday on TV. Look dumb fucks, the drug dealers are NOT making a training simulator Ubisoft is NOT training your kids to be drug-dealers. Every war ever has been in a videogame at this point, and its not like any other form of entertainment hasnt jumped at the chance to profit out this shit @CoolCatsdelaCuloCreed: unfortunately it looks like a really stupid mw2 wannabe.
  • CoolCatsdelaCuloCreed - February 19, 2011 4:33 a.m.

    As a person who lives in El Paso and has family in Juárez, it is a little weird and uncomfortable that a game is being made on the situation over there. Although,if they can make movies about it along with books,shows etc.,then there should be no reason why this game can't come out. And as soon as it comes out (if it didn't get cancelled by then) I'll probably play it,hopefully knowing that the people at Ubisoft have taken this serious and made it into a memorable,deep,experience and didn't fuck it up.
  • Valcrist - February 19, 2011 3:57 a.m.

    Knowing how the media works for here, it wouldn't surprise me if nex thing we know is that "the drug cartels are using games to train killers" And about the ppl complainng about the child influence, im sorry but this is a lot due to you parents. No one, and I do say NO ONE in mexico pays ANY atention to the ESRB ratins, mostly because the vast majoriy of the population dont know anything more than "How are you" and "what is your name". Hell a 10 year old kid asked me yesterday if there were any dead space novels. A FREAKING 10 year old who finished the first dead space and was carrying his recently bought copy of dead space 2 and Grand theft auto SA. Of course daddy and mommy are just too busy to care about the content of the games. Also the media in mexico works very differently from the US since there are the 2 major free channels, both of em behaving in a very similar way to fox news, and since lots of ppl dont pay for more channels and these 2 networks are their only source of info... well... im pretty sure ppl will make this the topic of conversation while the goverment raises the gas price again or something like that. Also about the ppl complaining that its not fair to make a game about violence in your country... have you played any shooters like... ever? World war 2 was the most bloody conflict and there are lots of games/movies/books based on that. (And before some ppl call me a racist or anything, I do live in mexico, thats why my arguments are not just something thought out in a whim, its something that I actually made a research paper of)
  • WoodyWoodrowAndThePanfluteOfDestiny - February 19, 2011 2:10 a.m.

    @troncib There is a difference between a Tom Clancy game, and (as SideOfBeef said) a Saints Row rip-off.
  • troncib - February 19, 2011 1:35 a.m.

    Im From Mexico, and the congress of Mexico Better start workin on the problems not a Videogame like they always do, there whas a game Rainbow Six i think that whas in Mexico City and they Did not whant the game to get to Mexico because it make the mexican Army look Bad, Dont Worry im goin to buy or rent the game to see the industry of videogame point in aour problem whit Drug Cartels, sorry for english
  • Zeb364 - February 19, 2011 12:57 a.m.

    Props for Ubisoft for sticking by their work. @SideOfBeef: I know that rafa_slash already somewhat stated this but it was the first thing to occur to me upon reading your comment as well. What makes you think that independant movies are treating it respectfully? Just because their "independant"? Indie films are constantly using their "controversial" subject matter as a means of gaining notoriety and profits. That's a tried and true means of success for all mediums from literature, to film, to painting, and yes, even games. I'm not saying that's what this game is doing but there are those that have. The point is, that's part of the world we live in, shut up and deal. There are way more important things to concern yourself with.
  • rafa_slash - February 18, 2011 11:44 p.m.

    Romination, we should hang out
  • Romination - February 18, 2011 11:42 p.m.

    Thank you for sticking with it, Ubisoft. Along with rafa-slash, I'm from El Paso and denying this in a game is like denying that it's happening. And I'm sure that if they educate themselves about the game, they'd find that it actually ISN'T glorifying the cartels.
  • rafa_slash - February 18, 2011 11:40 p.m.

    @SideOfBeef thats true, it is really tasteless. But the only people its gonna "influence" its dumbass people who already think this is cool. btw not every movie that covers this does it in a meaningful way ( drug trading is used to make action/ comedy songs and movies). A shitty videogame its the least of their problems.
  • ThatGuyFromTV - February 18, 2011 11:34 p.m.

    good for two reasons. First, hooray for Ubisoft not backing down and i hope they keep that position, unlike EA with Medal of Honor (still a fun game though). Second, this could help people notice that freaking cartel problem we have on the Mexican border. Here's hoping FOX News writes a sensationalist bullshit story about this and gets America more aware of the real life cartel problem.
  • SideOfBeef - February 18, 2011 11:31 p.m.

    @rafa_slash There's a difference between talking about it and pretending it's cool. I'd love for someone to cover this sort of thing in a meaningful and respectful way, but this just looks like a Saints Row-alike using its setting as a cash grab.
  • rafa_slash - February 18, 2011 11:25 p.m.

    As a resident of the Juarez/ El Paso area I can understand why they feel that way, but seriously stfu. There are like 10 independent movies talking about the same topic, but if a game tries to do it ( A game that I'm sure its not going to have a happy ending for the main characters) its innapropiate. Shut up and deal with it.
  • Hullonotna - February 18, 2011 11:21 p.m.

    Great Ubisoft showed some balls on that one and am glad they did. I am very excited for this game and don't want to see anything ruin it.
  • SideOfBeef - February 18, 2011 11:16 p.m.

    I know I'll probably get flamed for this, but I'd be pretty angry too if my city's crime problem was turned into a video game. If you want fiction, then make fiction. Don't set it in a real place and trivialize the shit that actually happened there.

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