Juarez, Mexico, is farther down the road of emphasizing law and order
over education and jobs, as Melissa del Bosque reports in the Texas Observer abo
Mexico’s Lost Generations:
When Juarez’s (soon to be outgoing) Mayor Jose Reyes-Ferriz visited Austin last April something he said stuck with me.
He told the audience that a failure to invest in schools and other public infrastructure had led to the lawlessness in his city. Instead of schools and daycare centers, city leadership only invested in maquila parks and roads. Children were left on the streets to fend for themselves as their parents worked in the maquila factories for meager wages.
Mexican president Calderon, previously consumed by the drug war, finally noticed and did something:
“More than 5,000 residents have received job-training grants or temporary work sprucing up parks and sidewalks and planting trees. Officials added thousands of families to a government insurance program and handed out 6,000 scholarships in a city where few students were receiving such help.”
“It’s not enough to analyze it only in terms of public safety. You have serious gaps in the social and economic [areas] that have to be closed,” said Antonio Vivanco, a Calderon advisor overseeing the development effort.