Mexico hopes $270 million in social spending will help end Juarez drug violence

Washington Post, 8/12/2010

“We have to repair the social fabric here,” said Abelardo Escobar, a cabinet member sent by Mexican President Felipe Calderón with a new rescue package for Juarez, a $270 million surge in social spending.

The money is paying for schools, hospital renovations, student breakfasts, a youth orchestra, anti-violence training and drug treatment centers. There are funds to promote physical fitness, build eco-friendly houses and support free concerts — 160 projects in all.

The government calls the campaign “Todos Somos Juárez” — “We are all Juarez.”

“We need to build trust and a sense of belonging,” Escobar said. “We need to give people hope again.”

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