For two years, Juárez has suffered the indignity of being “wiped off the regional tourist geography,” according to Fox News Latino’s Patricia Giovine. A 2010 map, illustrated by El Paso Business Region Chamber of Commerce President Jose Alejandro Lozano, depicted the Mexican border city as a desert.
“The map, found at visitors centers throughout the city, featured caricatures of local landmarks, chubby red letters and, most notably, international bridges leading south to a barren desert – but no city of 1.3 million,” wrote Alejandro Martinez-Cabrera of the El Paso Times .
Who made the decision to scrub Juárez from the map? Well, the city’s Convention and Visitors Bureau and Chamber of Commerce, because they “considered it unadvisable to send tourists into such a dangerous city,” Giovine reported, citing Lozano. But now, things are calming down a bit.
Democratic congressional candidate and former El Paso city council member Beto O’Rourke slammed the decision to ever exclude Juárez: “Ciudad Juarez should never have been excluded from the tourist map of El Paso since it’s our main trade partner and we are all one region that cooperates one with the other,” O’Rourke told EFE, a Spanish-language news agency.
Being left off the map sent the Mexican government a message, Lozano told Martinez-Cabrera: “ ‘If you don’t take care of your city, we’re not going to go there, we’re not even going to know you’re there,’” he said.
The sponsors of the 2013 map include the Mexican state of Chihuahua and will feature, perhaps not coincidentally, tourist sights throughout Juárez including “museums, shopping centers, the Paquime archaeological zone and the village of Juan Mata Ortiz, known for its pottery,” Giovine wrote. According to Martinez-Cabrera, the state of Chihuahua is shouldering half the cost of printing the 60,000 maps, or $5,000.