Ciudad Juarez lies just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas. A once-thriving border town, it now resembles a failed state. Infamously known as the place where women disappear, its murder rate exceeds that of Baghdad.
In Murder City, Charles Bowden-one of the few journalists who spent extended periods of time in Juarez-has written an extraordinary account of what happens when a city disintegrates. Interweaving stories of its inhabitants-a beauty queen who was raped, a repentant hitman, a journalist fleeing for his life-with a broader meditation on the town’s descent into anarchy, Bowden reveals how Juarez’s culture of violence will not only worsen, but inevitably spread north.