New Video Game Features Mexican Drug Cartel Violence

I’ve been watching a lot of Al Jazeera lately – now that the 24-hour live stream is available on the net – and happened to catch this report about a new video game based on Mexican cartel violence and the Drug War.

Ubisoft’s Call of Juarez: The Cartel, is a first-person shooter that follows a gritty Wild West storyline over the backdrop of current-day Juarez, the battle-torn border town where drug gangs command the streets and police and government are helpless to stop the carnage.

The game is already receiving criticism for its graphic depictions of murder and torture, and Mexican officials are worried it will add to Juarez’s violent reputation.

Though I am not not a huge fan of violent games or movie gore – indeed, some studies show that violent forms of media can increase hostility in children and adolescents (though others dispute those findings) – shouldn’t authorities be less concerned about the city having a violent reputation and more concerned with ending the violence itself?

Getting our shit twisted over something in a video game that might someday cause violence seems ridiculous when considering all the violence happening right this second in real-life Juarez, directly attributable to bad government policies and the ongoing War on Drugs.

El presidente Felipe Calderón’s drug war has already cost more than 36,616 lives, and the bodies keep piling up.

If authorities were actually worried about the well-being of children and families instead of their own reputations, they would listen to the experts, who say legalizing and regulating all drugs is the only way to end the ongoing bloodshed.

There are obvious differences, but this reminds me a little of the US government and conservative media criticizing Rolling Stone for printing photos of US soliders torturing and abusing Afghanis, claiming their publication will cause more violence.

It also reminds me the of criticism rap music has endured over the years for its explicit lyrics and ghetto-glorifying imagery.

Like the Rolling Stone photos, the bloody stories depicted in video games and rap songs wouldn’t exist if they didn’t happen in reality; they are cultural outgrowths of Real Life On The Ground. If you want to change the culture of violence, you have to stop the violence itself.

Shooting the messenger will not hurt your enemy – unless your enemy is The Truth.

Jeremiah Vandermeer is editor of Cannabis Culture. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Jeremiah Vandermeer
Jeremiah Vandermeer

Jeremiah Vandermeer is Cannabis Culture Chief of Operations and Editor of Cannabis Culture Magazine & Pot TV.



  1. Anonymous on

    I just read an awesome book about the Mexican drug Cartels and the sons of a Catholic priest that end up battling them for control of a town. SICK….

  2. Anonymous on

    Hah aljazeera and truth, ur an idiot islamofascist

    What next, u gonna talk about how aljazeera plays videos of Jews baking children into cakes??? It’s called the blood libels, and it’s a lie as much ad any piece of news from al jazeera

    That game is the 2nd in the call of Juarez (warez) warz. The first one wad do popular they made a 2nd. Where’s the big story about violence from the first game??? Oh yah ur news source is terrorism…….

  3. Son of Sam Walton on

    Good Point . . . great graphics -interesting storyline and a bunch of Devil’s Advocacy -it could change some people’s minds about the whole War on Drugs if they remember that its more current than some video game

  4. Anonymous on

    From what I read in the gaming press, the game actually is more about how the War on Drugs helps perpetuate a cycle of violence. It’s about how law enforcement, even in this country, is corrupted by all the drug money. How we wouldn’t be enriching corrupt politicans and narco-terrorists if drugs were decriminalized…

  5. Son of Sam Walton on

    I got a great idea for a video game: Cooking dope in Oklahoma . . . how not to get blown up. We have more burn victims than any state if not the top three in all 50 states. Part of the game would be to keep soda bottles and batteries away from children since the combination of soda bottles and batteries will blow up a house sooner than a high speed connection on the internet –toss that bottle as far as one can as soon as it starts to swell up from shaking it if you don’t do it right – or Kaboom. Try not to get caught buying more than three boxes of antihistamine each month –toss your lab outside when you’re done with it . . . do a cook and a gassing while on the road without blowing up the vehicle. Hay, at least the dope cooks here are doing their part to reduce the violence of Mexican Cartels since no meth comes from Mexico in these parts.