February 21, 2011

Mexico Legislators Want To Ban Drug Cartel Video Game

State legislators in Chihuahua, Mexico said Sunday that they have asked Federal authorities to ban a shoot-em-up video game called "Call of Juarez: The Cartel."

The video game, which is based on drug cartel shootouts in Ciudad, Juarez, has angered local officials.

About 6,000 people died in drug-related violence in Ciudad, Juarez in 2009 and 2010, making the city one of the deadliest in the world.

The web site of game developer Ubisoft Entertainment SA said the title is due to release this summer.

The game's promotional slogan urges players, "Take justice into your own hands and experience the lawlessness of the modern Wild West."

Ricardo Boone Salmon, a congressman for Chihuahua state, said the state legislature unanimously approved a request this week asking the federal Interior Department to ban the game.

"It is true there is a serious crime situation, which we are not trying to hide," Boone Salmon said. "But we also should not expose children to this kind of scenarios so that they are going to grow up with this kind of image and lack of values."

State congress leader Enrique Serrano said the main concern was the potential effect on children in Ciudad Juarez, some of whom have already been taught to "duck and cover" if firefights start taking place outside their schools.

"Children wind up being easily involved in criminal acts over time, because among other things, during their childhood not enough care has been taken about what they see on television and playing video games," Serrano said. "They believe so much blood and death is normal."

This is not the first situation where city officials have been angered by references to Juarez's problems.

The New York-based MAC cosmetics company abandoned Mexican sales of a makeup collection in 2010 that raised hackles because it featured pallid, ghostly hues that were inspired by the deaths of women in the city.

Over 100 women were abused and murdered before their bodies were dumped in Ciudad Juarez's desert between 1993 and 2003.  Many of the victims were factory workers.


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