The In-between

...Because "Tomorrow I Cross Over; Tonight I Drink", is too long a title for a blog.

The Juarez Connection (cont'd) [or] Pushing and Pulling Focus in Juárez

    I first entered Juarez in earnest in September of 2016— Juárez stuck out to me among the border towns peppered on the US/Mexico border between California and Texas.  Unlike the equally known Nogales and perhaps the more famous Tijuana, I felt Juárez is unique; there's an equally bustling city on the U.S. side. Juárez and El Paso are only divided by the Rio Grande and two checkpoint; the cities are so close together that one can stand in the government building in El Paso and view downtown Juárez.  
    Yet, these two cities couldn’t be further apart— El Paso being one of the safest cities in America, boasting a low crime rate and an easy almost sedate way of living. Juárez, a city of roughly 1,5 million has been a battleground for cartels trying to maintain and gain control, not to say anything about the ancillary crimes; carjacking, kidnapping, extortion, armed robbery, and governmental corruption have also soared, all since roughly 2009— leaving local authorities beleaguered as they try to respond.  "One lives with fear over here; pure insecurity." I’ve been told by locals.  
    It’s amazing to feel the tension in the air rise as evening sets in Juárez, this is a very familiar sense of insecurity and uncertainty which fills the air; I’ve felt this before in war-zones.  Only, this isn’t a war-zone, is it? I see no bombed out buildings, craters, people huddling from shelter to shelter as they move through main streets.  Yet, people are afraid, and this fear seems to rise as night falls on the city. 
    El Paso, however, is another world altogether, roughly five miles away… One of the safest cities in the U.S.[…]