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This Love Is Not For Cowards : Salvation and Soccer in Ciudad Juárez by Robert Andrew Powell



IN THE WORLD'S DEADLIEST CITY, EVERY DAY IS A FIGHT. AND SOCCER IS A MIRACLE. Robert Andrew Powell wasn't looking for dead bodies. He arrived in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, trying, above all, to understand how it was possible to live in a city best known for its astonishing murder rate. Mexico seemed to be descending into a feudal narco state - one where cartels, death squads, the army, and local police all fight over billions of dollars in profits from drug and human trafficking. The border city of Juárez had been hit hardest of all. And yet, even before he came across his first murder victims bleeding in the street, Powell learned that the million or so residents that remain in the city have good reasons to love their home, proudly repeating its mantra: "Amor pro Juárez." Nothing exemplifies the spirit and hope of Juarenses more than the Indios, the city's beloved hard-luck soccer team. Sport may seem a meagre distraction, but to many it's a lifeline. It drew charismatic American midfielder Marco Vidal back from Dallas to achieve the athletic dreams of his Mexican father. Both team owner Francisco Ibarra and Mayor José Reyes Ferriz believe soccer can save Juárez from violence. And it is an obsession and lifestyle to the dubiously named crew of Indios fans, El Kartel. In this honest, unflinching, and powerful book, Powell chronicles a season of soccer in this treacherous city just across the Rio Grande, including the moments of pain, longing, and redemption along the way. As he travels across Mexico with the team, Powell experiences first-hand the nation's fight for its future, and its vexed relationship with its watchful neighbours in America. This story is not just about sports, or even community, but about the essence of humanity in a place where chaos reigns. 


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