Addicts Latest Victims of Drug War
Ciudad Juarez, Mexico -- When you visit the drug rehab centers in Ciudad Juarez, what you notice are the arms. The addicts have arms that are purple with scars. The new guys have arms still raw from the needles. The counselors, former addicts themselves, have scars that are fading away, faint but still there.
They have been killing addicts in Ciudad Juarez. It is the latest outrage, in the most violent city in Mexico. A few weeks ago, gunmen burst commando-style into a gray cinderblock building where 60 patients were bunking down for the night. The assassins killed five. Motive unknown.
We visited the center and a young man reluctantly let us in. There was a cracked imitation leather sofa and image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. The young man pointed to a spot on the floor, where we could still see the blood. That’s where his uncle died.
We later meet Guadalupe Martinez, a heroin addict all his life. He was in another rehab center three months ago that closed after drug gangs threatened an attack, and now he says there are more junkies on the streets than ever.
In the video above, Martinez fights for his fix by begging for money below the international bridge that connects Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, where each day thousands of people stand in line for hours waiting to walk into the United States. As they wait, Martinez stands down in the riverbed and shouts for dollars and pesos, and the crowds, bored, throw the money down. They laugh as Martinez and other homeless alcoholics and addicts run after the fluttering bills.
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