Mexico seeks town video game ban

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Call of Juarez: The Cartel has angered officials in the town where the game is set as they are busy fighting real violence

A shoot-em-up video game set in the Mexican border town of Ciudad Juarez has angered local officials who are busy fighting all-too-real violence.

Chihuahua state legislators said they have asked federal authorities to ban Call of Juarez: The Cartel, which is based on drug cartel shootouts in Ciudad Juarez.

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

The website of game developer Ubisoft Entertainment SA says the title is due for release this summer. Screen shots from the game show three characters armed with a pistol, an assault rifle and a shotgun ready to open fire on a city street.

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, where Ciudad Juarez is located, said the state legislature unanimously approved a request this week asking the federal Interior Department to ban the game.

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 erupt outside their schools.

In 2010, the New York-based MAC cosmetics company abandoned Mexican sales of a make-up collection that raised hackles because it featured pallid, ghostly hues said to be inspired by deaths of women in the city. The collection of lipstick, blushes and other cosmetics used names such as Juarez, Bordertown, Ghost Town and Factory.

More than 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.

In 2004, the city’s then-mayor called for a boycott of the song The Women of Juarez, by Los Tigres del Norte, one of Mexico’s top-selling bands. It blasted Mexican authorities for failing to solve the killings of women.

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