Nobody profits from the violence in Juarez, says El Paso Realtor
By Joe Olvera ©, 2010
El Paso realtor Juan Uribe warns that as long as school children continue buying drugs from Mexico, they are financing the cartels. “By paying anywhere from $40 to $100 for marijuana and other drugs, they are financing the cartels and helping to create the deadly violence Juarez, Mexico, and in other parts of the Republic.”
The war that’s being waged between battling cartels has impacted heavily on the once peaceful community. Estimates are that as many as 4,700 Juarenses have been killed in the last two years because of the war being waged by the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes gang against that of Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman. The two groups are fighting for control of the lucrative drug corridor between Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, a corridor that leads further inland to the United States, where drugs generate many more riches.
Uribe, owner and operator of Team Juan Uribe Real Estate, said his company is getting the bulk of new customers from Juarez, those who are running away from the violence and purchasing either homes or businesses in El Paso. A Real Estate Broker for 25 years, Uribe said that even though his company is attracting Juarez money, nobody benefits. “It hurts in the long run, and, really, nobody benefits by what’s happening in Juarez. The violence is too much. It’s a very dangerous city. I’m even afraid to go there.”
Uribe said he was born and raised in Mexico, and, in his early years as a realtor, he worked in that country selling commercial properties and residences. In 1991, he won the Golden Real Estate Award/Golden de Mexico. He attended U.T. El Paso in 1986, where he studied Business Administration, with a focus on finance and real estate.
Uribe laments because many of the people moving to El Paso from Juarez are from a higher economic background and business owners. This also will hurt Juarez in the long run. “There’s been a lot of migration from Juarez to El Paso, and that’s sad. The good families, the wealthy/ conservative families are moving. We’ve sold a lot of properties, both commercial and residential. Yet, what benefits are we garnering from these sales?
“I would rather see the problems fixed in Juarez, than make money off the people moving here,” Uribe said. “We sell, on the average, about four big residences per month. We’re getting the educated people, the people with money. We’re getting the engineers, the old money from Juarez.” Uribe said he still has many friends living in Juarez, but, most of his family has already moved to El Paso.
Many of those moving to El Paso owned restaurants in Juarez before moving to El Paso. Two of the restaurants which Team Uribe has helped relocate to the Sun City are Maria Chuchena and Villa del Mar. Other Juarez restaurants that have relocated to El Paso because of the violence include Aroma and Garrufo’s. On Mesa Street in El Paso’s Westside, a huge banner recently proclaimed: “Mexico is Coming.”
“Juarenses have always moved to El Paso to open new businesses, but, this time it’s different. This time, they are being forced to move. Everything is accelerated from what it used to be. Things are pretty bad. Really, nobody benefits from this forced relocation.” Uribe said he doesn’t think the Mexican Government can solve the violence which the cartels have introduced to the city. “Drugs are big business and things are way out of control for any politician to solve. The problem is the kids in the U.S. don’t know what they’re doing. They don’t think of themselves as financing the big cartels, because, after all, they are small dealers. But, they are.
“The cartels wouldn’t be able to operate without these children. Let’s face it. Kids in El Paso have too much money. They can afford to buy drugs. As long as we have these teens buying and selling drugs in El Paso, we will never resolve the issue. It’s a big cycle, a vicious cycle,” Uribe said. “Drugs are the most dangerous things in the world, and it’s sad to see people dying because of our drug needs.”