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Lawmakers in Chihuahua have asked federal authorities to ban the game due to its themes that reflect the current crime situation in Juarez

An upcoming Ubisoft video game, which closely resembles the real crime and murder taking place in the Mexico border city of Juarez, has critics upset to the point where some want the game banned. 

The video game is "Call of Juarez: The Cartel," and it contains themes of murder, torture and kidnapping in regards to the war between drug cartels within the city. The game is an update to an Old West series previously made by Ubisoft, and is now set in present-day Juarez. 

While several other first-person shooting games tend to be violent, the problem with this game specifically is that it reflects real situations occurring within the city, which is "not something to be made light of," according to former Juarez Mayor Jose Reyes-Ferriz.  

Juarez has consistent problems with drug cartel violence and is one of Mexico's most dangerous cities. Currently, the Juarez cartel and the Sinaloa cartel are going head-to-head in a turf war in this particular region, fighting for drug-dealing territory and prime smuggling routes within Juarez. During the first 40 days of this year, the average number of people killed in Juarez was about eight per day.  

To make matters worse, Juarez just experienced one of its bloodiest weekends yet. Over a three-day period this past weekend, 53 people were killed in Ciudad, Juarez.  

Reyes-Ferriz noted that Ubisoft's new video game based on crime and murder within the city will not only raise a sensitive subject for its citizens, but will also reinforce certain negative ideas about the city to those outside of Juarez. 

"Of course, it is something that those of us who love our city don't like at all," said Reyes-Ferriz. "It's something that demeans our city."

Reyes-Ferriz isn't the only one who feels this way. On Sunday, lawmakers in Chihuahua requested that federal authorities ban the game in Mexico. Chihuahua congressman Ricardo Boone Salmon stated, "It is true there is a serious crime situation, which we are not trying to hide. But we also should not expose children to these kind of scenarios so that they are going to grow up with this kind of image and lack of values." 

The Facebook page for "Call of Juarez: The Cartel" has also received criticism from gamers.  

"Doesn't it seem a little socially irresponsible to capitalize and/or glorify what is ACTUALLY happening (violence, murder) because of the illegal dug trade in North America?" said a user on the game's discussion wall. "If this game doesn't have a strong 'illegal drugs should be legalized so that there is no crime related to drug trafficking' theme, then I'm boycotting Ubisoft forever."

Reyes-Ferriz had hoped that all the criticism would make Ubisoft rethink the game's release, but believes that it's probably unlikely that they won't sell it at this point. The game is already available for pre-order and is set to go on sale for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles this summer.

"I know the process is not month-to-month or week-to-week," said Reyes-Ferriz. "I know it takes a couple of years to do a project like that. I think with all the headway they have, there's not going to be much that can be done."

In response to all of the negative views regarding the new game, Ubisoft released a written statement saying that the game was in no way meant to directly imitate or mock the events occurring in Juarez.

"'Call of Juarez: The Cartel' is purely fictional and developed by the team at Techland for entertainment purposes only," said Ubisoft in its written statement. "While 'Call of Juarez: The Cartel' touches on subjects relevant to current events in Juarez, it does so in a fictional manner that makes the gaming experience feel more like being immersed in an action movie than in a real-life situation. 

"Ubisoft is an entertainment company and our intention is to create a unique experience for video game fans."

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By JasonMick on 2/22/2011 3:06:16 PM , Rating: 5
I know you are part of the blame America first crowd for sure but are you that dumb; seriously? I don't use or buy illicit drugs however I do consume water so am I responsible for all the people that drown every year? I mean if the demand for water wasn’t so high then we would have no need for all those drinking water reservoirs that people use for recreation and some subsequently die of drowning. Or is this you strawman to advocate from the legalization of pot?

I'm really surprised you of all people would argue against me on these points....

You offer a completely extraneous argument full of logical fallacies.

This is the case of big (brother) government coming back to bite the American people and their neighbors.

If the government decided to build a dam and the dam burst drowning people in the town below, it WOULD be held liable.

I'm not at all for "blame America first", but here the GOVERNMENT (not the people IMO) are clearly involved in the creation of this mess. Are you honestly advocating not blaming the government when it deserves blame?

I thought you were a conservative, ammohunt?

You're REALLY all for the government deciding which soft drugs its citizens can and can't take? And for taxing its citizens and investing in maintaining a big, expensive police force to enforce this moralistic mandate? Why not outlaw alcohol and tobacco then, so we can live in a happy utopia where we don't have to take responsibility for our actions.

That's the great thing about the USA, though -- here if we think the government is acting out of line and behaving irresponsibly, we have the freedom to say something about that. I am exercising that freedom, and I am sorry if you don't appreciate it.

By Suntan on 2/22/2011 4:23:30 PM , Rating: 1

If Mexican youths had real job opportunities, coupled with a real government and useful law enforcement, they wouldn’t be sucked into warring gang violence that spans entire states wide.

A lot of drug use occurs in the USA? No kidding. But when was the last time you saw a gang with undisputed power to blatantly drive down any street killing everyone they see in an entire state? You don’t because the society wouldn’t put up with it. It has moved down to Mexico because their society/government structure (at least along to top 1/3 of the country) is so poor that it is easy for them.

If it was only “demand” causing the problem, why isn’t Iowa providing all the narcotics for the State of Minnesota? Sure would cut down on the transportation costs…

Oh, and one last thing. To the people of Juarez, it isn’t the sensationalized depictions of your city in games and movies that make the rest of the world see you as a cesspool. It is the factual news reports that come out every evening. Truth hurts.


By JasonMick on 2/22/2011 5:22:14 PM , Rating: 5
Conservative yes Libertarian no!

True conservatives believe in a SMALLER government.

If you advocate a big government that mandates such moralistic issues as abortion, soft drugs (alcohol, tobacco, etc.) on citizens, you are better classed as a "neo-conservative" for lack of a better term.

I have heard this faillogic before it’s the same one people use in reference to the 9/11 Attacks that if we weren’t meddling in other countries affairs then they( the terrorists) would not have had any reason to attack us somehow it ends up being our fault; it’s a completely bankrupt argument.

Err... way to bring up 9/11 when it bears ZERO relevance to our debate. Talk about fail logic....

Drugs are illegal so any one purchasing drugs (feeding the demand) are effectively criminals.

Aha, but who decides what drugs are illegal? You? Joe down the street? Your town council? Nope, the federal government.

Now I have no big problem with this, as long as it's based on sound science.

But what we have here is a substance that modern medicine says is one of the least harmful commonly used drugs (cannabis) banned, while other more dangerous drugs (alcohol and tobacco) are perfectly legal.

If you wish to challenge this assertion, by all means do, I will provide you with peer reviewed scientific studies in prestigious medical journals.

Not to sound all /conspiracy theorist/ but it's pretty easy to see why marijuana is illegal.

Alcohol requires a lot of effort to make and few are willing to put that effort. Tobacco, likewise, only can be grown well in select climates, so it's hardly accessible to the average user.

Marijuana, by contrast, can grow in virtually any climate in the lower continental U.S. That means that it would be virtually impossible for a corporation to rake in big profits off of it, other than to sell seeds.

Thus Cannabis represents a tremendous financial threat to alcohol and tobacco. It's little wonder that these industries invest millions to lobby Congress and the White House to keep it illegal.

Don't kid yourself, this isn't about morality, legality, or health. And the end of the day you have a corrupt institution (the federal gov't and the FDA) that is purposefully defying science and civil liberties in order to bow to corporate interests.

Sure the cost is in life due to drug violence, but when has loss of life gotten in the way of the almighty dollar?

That being said even if we did de criminalize all drugs in the US it still would be illegal in Mexico and most of the rest of the world.

Err cannabis and certain other less harmful drugs (e.g. "magic mushrooms") are perfectly legal in MANY countries. The U.S. is among a select group who prosecute their use. If the U.S. decriminalized, Mexico would almost certainly follow. It's U.S. pressure that keeps marijuana illegal in Mexico in the first place.

Mexico needs to clean up their own backyard before pointing fingers northward they are heading towards a failed state not unlike Somalia. As for Americas interests we need to act towards containment a Korean DMZ style Border fence would stop 90% of the BS we are seeing going on the border now couple that with a non-bureaucratic worker visa program for the honest hard working Mexicans and possible a refugee program if things get really bad.

Sure they need to "clean up" their backyard. But we're sure not helping by tossing junk from our "drug war" into their backyard.

At the end of the day, like it or not Mexico is our problem.

Your idea of a DMZ fence is novel, but it would be quite expensive to guard and maintain and would basically kill the majority of international trade seriously impacting our nation's economy.

The situation we're in is akin to a rich family who lives in a ghetto neighborhood. They keep complaining about all the shootouts next door and that their neighbors keep trying to break in.

They speculate on how to build new alarms and better bars. And above all else, how to prevent their neighbors from getting in.

Meanwhile the situation improves zero.

And for the record I'm talking about the need for a response in a broad sense, not only from the U.S. gov't. U.S. businesses need to step up to the plate and start trying to play a bigger role in improving the Mexican economy.

Building a huge fence is a pretty cr@ppy solution.

Of course, even if the Mexican economy improves, there'd still be a large amount of drug violence (though likely reduced) both there and here in the U.S. that's utterly avoidable if cannabis was legalized.

,Forgive me for my bluntness/rudeness but you surprised me with comments like that.

It's okay your bound to get hot headed in a debate. This is just an issue I have strong opinions on, and I believe I'm being a good American by expressing them.

I'm a strong advocate of personal responsibility, and I think Americans are afraid to admit that their government is helping to cause the mess in Mexico and do something about it.

Curious considering they're more than happy to point out the government's shortcomings otherwise, of late....

By kfonda on 2/22/2011 9:20:06 PM , Rating: 4
Drugs are illegal so any one purchasing drugs (feeding the demand) are effectively criminals.

Aha, but who decides what drugs are illegal? You? Joe down the street? Your town council? Nope, the federal government.

I personally don't care if marijuana is made legal on not but this whole concept of the government making it illegal is ridiculous.

You are the government.

If all the 'legalize pot' people would sober up for a while and put as much effort in to changing the law as they do into complaining about it maybe it would happen.

If a clear majority of the voters wanted it legal, it would happen.

They tried in California, but apparently the majority does not think it should be legal.

By Ammohunt on 2/23/2011 1:45:13 PM , Rating: 1
Looks like alot of pot heads visit daily Tech.

By Suntan on 2/23/2011 3:48:02 PM , Rating: 2
And for the record I'm talking about the need for a response in a broad sense, not only from the U.S. gov't. U.S. businesses need to step up to the plate and start trying to play a bigger role in improving the Mexican economy.


We have a manufacturing plant in Juarez that for all intents and purposes does better work than a number of the plants we have here in the States. As project managers a number of us would love to have our products moved down to that factory and there were plans to invest the capitol needed to bring higher skilled activities into the compound that pay and provide much better overall economic conditions than just basic foundry and assembly work does. But we have been told that will not happen until the area becomes safer.

As it is, no one is allowed to travel to the factory to support new production startup because Americans are at such high risk of being kidnapped. Originally the risk was only high when you travelled throughout the city, but it was still considered safe within the factory. Now it is not allowed because it is not considered safe for Americans even inside the fenced-in compound that makes up the factory grounds, where only *coworkers* are allowed.

The last time the head of manufacturing visited the factory, she had 5 armed guards accompany her and she was in no one place for more than a half hour, spending less than 4 hours total south of the border.

You can’t conduct business with these kinds of conditions.

Yeah, I suppose we should do more. It’s our fault. We don’t pay them enough. Etc. etc. But at the end of the day, I’m not going to endanger my life just because you feel some misplaced sense of responsibility.

You first. Head on down there and “make a difference.” I’ll stay here thank you.


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