Branding the World of Sports

Soccer provides an outlet from Cartel violence in Mexico

Posted by ZA on April 8, 2009

Nice piece from the New York Times on how soccer has provided a positive diversion to residents in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.  Juarez is a city known as one of the most violent places on Earth; with an estimated 4000 murders in Juarez over the past couple of years.  Juarez residents have been terrorized by the violence drug cartels brought to their city.  So what do the good people of Cuidad Juarez have to keep them smiling?  Soccer, specifically their hometown Indios football club.

Los Indios de Juarez is the local professional team that has played in Mexico’s top two divisions.  The team is as popular in Juarez as the Yankees are in New York or the Cowboys are in Dallas.  But while American professional athletes live a privileged life, the Indios players live in fear that their families might be harmed by the Mexican cartels.  A few incidents that have occurred have prompted some Indios players to send their families to live in safer cities within Mexico.  The article says that fans attend Indios games that are played under intense security.  And while it says they generally tune out their fears while the Indios are playing, they quickly return to the dangerous reality of daily life in Juarez once the game ends.

Very sad the situation these good people in Mexico are forced to live within.  Hopefully the combination of the federal troops that were sent to Juarez in early 2009, and the intense media spotlight on the Cartel violence will help their situation.  In the meanwhile I know that I’ll be rooting for Los Indios de Cuidad Juarez because I’ll know each victory gives their fans something to be happy about.  Each Indios victory gives the residents of Juarez some much deserved joy that their dangerous lives might otherwise not permit.

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