El Paso: Juárez Mayor Héctor Murguía Lardizábal traveled to Austin this week to lobby for more investment from Texas into Mexico. One of his messages to the leaders of Texas was that Juarez was getting back to normal and was a good place to invest financial resources. In an interview with the El Paso Times he said:
“I cannot speak for everyone. I feel that as a whole many people feel secure. Of course, with certain precautions.”
In the same article Carolina Martinez, 21, a young medical student who lives in Juarez observed:
“The truth is, eventually one gets used to living in fear. We are human beings and human beings get used to their environment.”
After over two years of living in the midst of the “drug war” sadly she and many others have grown accustom to “living in fear”–they have grown callous to the dark realities of their plight.
In fairness to Mayor Héctor Murguía Lardizábal I believe he is on track in his attempts to stem the violence. The people of Juarez need hope and help to stop this cycle of violence. Honest jobs and financial security would greatly reduce the ranks of young men and women willing to risk their lives in the drug trade.
In the midst of all the violence these hard working men and women show up for work–work hard–and drive the global economy. I believe Texas government and business leaders need to help Juarez find creative solutions to the violence. Clearly more boots on the ground and guns on the streets have not stopped the violence. Justice and opportunity will go a long way toward making a new world.
It appears that a “both/and” approach is the right approach in stemming the violence all along the border. We need to stand firm in the face of violent men–but we also need to offer a helping hand to those who are struggling to make a new life for themselves.
Being “salt” and “light” in the world means helping our neighbors who “live in fear” to find the hope found only in Jesus who inspires us to get involved in the solution.