Call of Juarez: The Cartel continues to draw fire from police and civic leaders in the U.S. and Mexico, who say the game glorifies drug cartel violence and sets a bad example for kids.
Police in Texas expressed serious concerns about Ubisoft’s upcoming Call of Juarez: The Cartel earlier this week, saying the new game in the Call of Juarez series, which moves it from the Wild West to the present-day drug wars in Mexico, could give kids a warped impression of drug cartels and even attract them to the lifestyle. Unsurprisingly, officials on the Mexican side of the border feel much the same way and say their situation is even worse because teenagers in the country are already drawn to crime.
“Lots of kids say they want to be a hitman, because they are the ones that get away with everything,” Laurencio Barraza, a youth worker who lives in the city of Ciudad Juarez, told Reuters. “[Call of Juarez: The Cartel] glorifies violence, as if victims were just another number or another bonus.”
Ciudad Juarez is one of the most violent cities in the world, with a murder rate of roughly eight people every day. The violence has spilled over into the U.S. as well; since the beginning of 2010, at least 40 people from the Texas city of El Paso, which sits directly north of Ciudad Juarez, have been killed while visiting.
“In games you get hurt, you die and you get another life. In real life, you only die once,” said El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Commander Gomecindo Lopez. The Sheriff’s Office lost a jailer to a shooting in Ciudad Juarez last March that also took the life of his wife and their unborn child. “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.”
Call of Juarez: The Cartel is scheduled to come out this summer for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.