Mar 242010
 
Authors: David Martinez

According to Armando Durazo, lighting up a joint in Fort Collins could be funding a bloody Mexican border war 500 miles away.

Durazo, an editor at Texas’s El Paso Times, has seen the effects of America’s drug trade in the form of gang wars and bodies in the streets, a reality he’ll share with CSU students today.

More than 500 people have been killed in Juarez this year alone, Durazo said, and more than 4,700 since 2008.

Many of those murders are a result of a fued between the Juarez Cartel and the Sinaloas, two rival gangs vying for control over the drug traffic in Juarez, just across the U.S.-Mexican border.

Some of those drugs, he said, make their way into the hands of Americans across the country.

“It’s a horrific situation that we need to be aware of,” said Kris Kodrich, event coordinator and chair of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, in an e-mail.

“The people who bring us the details are the journalists, and they often risk their lives to tell the story,” he said.

Durazo’s talk will center on human rights abuses and corruption he’s seen as a border journalist and the role America plays in fueling drug violence.

“It’s like being able to talk to Michael Jordan about basketball,” Rich Salas, assistant director of El Centro, said. “It’s about talking to the best.”

Associated Press News Editor Jim Anderson, who has reported in Mexico, CSU Spanish professor and former University of Texas-El Paso professor José Luis Suárez-García and Calthleen Carter Miller, a graduate student who studied border journalism in El Paso, will also participate in the discussion.

Durazo will speak today at 11 a.m. in the El Centro Student Services office located in the Lory Student Center and at 7 p.m in Natural Resources room 113.

The event, which is hosted by Latin American and Carribean Studies, the Department of Journalism and Technical Communication and the CSU Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, is free and open to all students.

Staff Writer David Martinez can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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