Earlier this week Ubisoft announced plans to publish Call of Juarez: The Cartel this summer. Unlike the previous releases in the series, The Cartel is set in the present day and focuses on a "bloody road trip from Los Angeles to Juarez, Mexico."
While the description of this mature rated game may not shock gamers, the modern-day setting combined with the title has rubbed law enforcement officials in south Texas the wrong way. Pointing to gang and drug cartel-related violence that is very real to towns in southern Texas bordering Mexico, Brownsville Police Chief Carlos Garcia says that any game involving organized crime "sets a bad example." More from Garcia:
"Unfortunately there are companies that are looking to capitalize on the violent situation in Mexico which has had a very negative impact on the country," said Garcia. "There have been spillover cases in certain areas of our country with cases of kidnappings and murders. This is a serious topic and this is just another violent video game."
"It doesn’t matter if it deals with the cartel in Juarez, the Gulf Cartel or the Sinaloa Cartel. It is simply not something that is appropriate for our youth," Garcia added. "This leaves lasting images and ideas in teenagers who get caught up in the game and may try to make it a reality and live the violent lifestyle they see in these games."
While Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio admitted that he was not familiar with the game, he says that he agrees with Garcia "that any type of media" that glamorizes the criminal lifestyle should be "discouraged."
"The title itself leads one to believe that the game deals with narcotic trafficking organizations," Lucio said. "Games like these create a false idea in the minds of teenagers who are still developing and may grow up and want to imitate these characters. Sadly enough these kind of games are protected by freedom of speech, but the violence that comes from cartels is not a game and it affects us all."
Commentary: While we can all sympathize with the tough job that law enforcement has on both sides of the border dealing with the drug cartels, it is difficult to listen to anyone that has a knee-jerk reaction to a game that not even the media knows anything about yet. Let us at least wait until we know more about the game before we start condemning it.
Source: Brownsville Herald