Additional Projects
The Fight to Save Juárez - Life in the Heart of Mexico’s Drug War

The city of Juárez is ground zero for the drug war that is raging across Mexico and has claimed close to 60,000 lives since 2007. Almost a quarter of the federal forces that former President Felipe Calderón deployed in the war were sent to Juárez, and nearly 20 percent of the country’s drug-related executions have taken place in the city, a city that can be as unforgiving as the hardest places on earth. It is here that the Mexican government came to turn the tide. Whatever happens in Juárez will have lasting repercussions for both Mexico and the United States. Ricardo Ainslie went to Juárez to try to understand what was taking place behind the headlines of cartel executions and other acts of horrific brutality. In The Fight to Save Juárez, he takes us into the heart of Mexico’s bloodiest city through the lives of four people who experienced the drug war from very different perspectives—Mayor José Reyes Ferriz, a mid-level cartel player’s mistress, a human rights activist, and a photojournalist. Ainslie also interviewed top Mexican government strategists, including members of Calderón’s security cabinet, as well as individuals within U.S. law enforcement. The dual perspective of life on the ground in the drug war and the “big picture” views of officials who are responsible for the war’s strategy, creates a powerful, intimate portrait of an embattled city, its people, and the efforts to rescue Juárez from the abyss.

04/28/13 | 14:18 pm | Comments
War Stories (in production)

War Stories is a film about the experience of war and how war transforms the lives of those who have lived it. Regardless of time and place, regardless of whether or not a war is seen as justified, for the soldier there is something deeply universal about the experience, as if he or she were enacting something timeless, something known but not fully thought or articulated that only those who have lived it can comprehend. This film attempts to bring the viewer closer to that inarticulable experience through the stories of those who have seen war up close.

02/13/12 | 21:06 pm | Comments
"The Fight to Save Juárez: Life in the Heart of Mexico's Drug War" (publication date Spring 2013)

Mexico, America’s third most important trading partner and a country with whom the US shares a 2,000-mile border, is hanging by a thread. "The Fight to Save Juaréz,"  explores Mexico’s war against the drug cartels and the implications of this campaign for Mexico and the United States. The focus of the book is Ciudad Juarez, epicenter of Mexico’s war against organized crime, where thousands have died and where at one point 25% of the Mexican government’s forces fighting this war are deployed. The book reveals an intimate portrait of a city caught in the crossfire, where no one can escape the extraordinary violence that is taking place.

06/07/12 | 9:17 am | Comments
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Internal Happenings
Drugs and Border Panel

Ricardo Ainslie moderated a CSPAN panel at the Texas Book Festival with authors Hipólito Acosta ("Shadow Catcher: A U.S> Agent Infiltrates Mexico's Deadly Crime Cartels") and C.A. Heifner ("Mule: My Dangerous LIfe as a Drug Smuggler Turned DEA Informant").

12/12/12 | 7:27 am | Comments
Future Forum, LBJ Presidential Library

The LBJ Library was established to tell the story of Lyndon Baines Johnson's time and to serve as a center of discussion for building a better future. The Future Forum hopes to expand this vision among a new generation so that today's ideas will become tomorrow's solutions.

10/30/12 | 15:37 pm | Comments
Mexico rises from the drug ravages

For the first time in more than five years, Mexico is showing signs that its spasmodic violence is beginning to recede.

10/30/12 | 15:40 pm | Comments
Contrary to popular belief, Mexico winning the drug war

The Mexican government, finally, is gaining the upper hand in a drug war that has turned much of the border region and parts of interior Mexico into war zones.

10/30/12 | 15:39 pm | Comments
Texas Book Festival

Ricardo Ainslie moderates author panel of books related to Mexico's drug war. The panel was broadcast on C-SPAN during the Texas Book Festival on October 23, 2011.

10/04/12 | 9:48 am | Comments
2010-2011 Guggenheim Memorial Fellow

In April, 2010 Ricardo Ainslie was named a Guggenheim Memorial Fellow for 2010-2011 for his work about Juarez as the epicenter of Mexico's war against the drug cartels.

02/10/11 | 18:21 pm | Comments
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