Time is running out for Mexico.

Hundreds of my beloved family members are surviving the daily chaos

on the streets of Mexico.

Although they have not stopped praying for a miracle, many are quietly

beginning to give up hope.

Many have left their homes, their jobs, schools, relatives and friends for distant towns.

Each leaving their hard earned dreams behind.

Moving to a life of uncertainty, is their only certainty. 

All are leaving behind threats, coerced bribes, loud gun fire,

and spontanious street battles, where bullets flying past and the mandatory

evening newscasts are filled with violent stories

of still more broad day light assasinations.

Living in Cd. Juárez is unbearable.

Panic and anxiety permeate the desert air.

The stench of the dying is suffocating.

The assassinations and brutal killings throughout Mexico will have

a much wider implication and consequence for decades to come.

Cd. Juárez continues to suffer grievously from the effects of the

on going turf wars between the Sinaloa and Juarez drug cartels.

Their lawlessness is on the verge of threatening to push our Mexico

into the "narco-state" status, much like the one Colombia lived through in the 90's.

Massacres, beheadings, YouTube videos featuring cartel torture sessions

and even car bombs have become common in Juárez and throughout the country. 

One thing is clear if the government doesn't end the war,

this war will ultimately end Mexico.

It takes a matter of hours after a family has moved away,

and then like vultures vandals will arrive and carry off window panes,

doors, copper pipes, even light fixtures,

until there is nothing but a graffiti-covered shell surrounded

by yards strewn with rotting food.

The once simple and enjoyable trip to work, taking the kids to school

or going to the grocery store is now more like running a gauntlet.

The trick is to speed just within the tolerable judicial limits from

one place to another, not staring at anyone yet with eyes wide open

and with every moment inbetween in paraniod dispair.

The only moments of comfort and solace are found when family

members have each reached their destinations and all have

checked in with one another.

It is that uncomfortable relief and joy that only comes when everyone

has made it safely to wherever they were headed. 

In Mexico homes are now the only oasis.

Many look like fortresses, where they once were quaint homes.

Grey reinforced 10 foot high concrete and cement walls have

replaced the once ornate black rod ironed fences.

What were once beautiful gardens are now filled with dirt and large boulders,

to provide an additonal defense barrier.

Windows have now been boarded up and wooden front doors

have now been replaced by industrial strength steel ones.

Each with arrays of deadbolts and security locks and no peep holes. 

Juárez has become unrecognizable.

Thousands of residents have fled.

Over 7400 businesses have closed.

The smiles and friendly gestures once shared by strangers

have been replaced by cold suspicious stares.

I can vivdly remember walking the boulevards and

downtown streets on a late Friday or Saturday night.

With friends in tow, I remember all my old hang outs including 

taking in a night cap at the traditional Kentucky Club.

My favorite was a late night steak and baked potato dinner

at Martino's which is also located on Avenida Juarez.

Life in Juárez will never be the same and it's about to get worse.

In an ominous strategy to defeat the powerful Sinaloa drug cartel,

two of the most violent drug organizations have formed

an alliance in the state of Chihuahua.

It's said that the Juárez drug cartel and the notorious Zetas

have formed a war pact.

The Zetas, formed by Mexican army deserters, are known for the use

of paramilitary tactics and brutality.

For more than three years, the Juárez drug cartel has been involved

in a bloody war with the Sinaloa drug cartel, reputedly led by

Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman, for control of the Chihuahua region

and its lucrative drug routes into the United States.

Bringing the Zetas and the Juárez cartel together will only bring more

violence to a war that has already seen more than 8,800 people

killed in Juarez alone since late 2008.

I read somewhere that it takes 20 years or more of peace to make a country,

and it takes only 20 days of war to destroy it.

Mexico is running out of time.

I will continue to pray that Mexico's Faith is rewarded,

with the peace and tranquility that it hasn't experienced in many,

many years. 

Make it a prayerful día!

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