As you likely know, the Pope was in Cd. Juárez yesterday. Because of the grandstanding by El Paso officials, you might have thought that the Pope crossed into the United States. If you thought so, I don’t blame you because El Paso officials are notorious for grandstanding national affairs as if they were the ones that orchestrated the whole spectacle. All of the politicos were out and about talking up the visit by the Pope. The news media was tripping all over itself to be the one to bring you the latest in the Popemania that took over the city yesterday.
You see, El Paso officials are so desperate for validation that they will hijack anything to make it their own. They ordered schools closed, public buildings closed and public streets off limits, all because the Pope was coming.
The fact is that the Pope went to Cd. Juárez. He did not enter the United States. However, most, if not all of the politicos, were jockeying for camera attention arguing the sister city mantra that is only used when convenient.
You see, the sister city label as trumped out when it is convenient for El Paso officials only to be quickly discarded when the differences in politics and economies hits them straight across the face.
Consider this. Around the 2006-2008 period, most El Paso officials, including law enforcement officials, were trumpeting up how El Paso and Cd. Juárez are two different cities in two different countries. The drug violence in Juárez had spun out of control and every El Paso official was telling anyone that would listen how “safe” El Paso was. “It’s the” third, fourth, or whatever, “safest city” in the nation was the mantra emanating from their mouths. The “violence in Juárez has not crossed the border” was their collective proclamations.
Never mind that the facts have shown that the violence did spill over into El Paso. Today, the El Paso politicos feign ignorance to the cartel kidnappings in El Paso, one of which happened only doors away from the police chief’s house, as well as the Barrio Aztecas killing on behalf of the Juárez drug traffickers. It is a Juárez thing they argue.
They are hoping you have forgotten those pesky little facts that get in the way of their rhetoric.
Today, they are all basking in the glow of the Pope’s visit to another country.
Today, it is good to proclaim the sisterhood between both cities because international eyes are upon the region and thus, today, Juárez isn’t the ugly step-sister but the sister all of El Paso loves because, well because, it makes political sense today.
However, tomorrow is another day and once the international news media is gone, some of the politicos will start decrying to you how those from Juárez abuse your streets, your healthcare system and your schools. But never mind that today, because today the national news media is talking about El Paso – not!
They are talking about the Pope, Cd. Juárez and Mexico.
El Paso was just a stop on the way to seeing the Pope in Mexico.