Tuesday, October 25, 2011



Ex-New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani: Juárez can apply Big Apple's
Giuliani says political will can turn tide in Juárez
By Alejandro Martinez-Cabrera \ EL PASO TIMES
Posted: 10/25/2011 12:00:00 AM MDT

Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani addresses more than 2,000
people Monday at the Centro Cultural Paso del Norte in Juarez.
Giuliani was in Juarez to take part in Juarez Competitiva. (Special
to the Times)
›› Photo gallery: Giuliani at Juarez Competitiva
›› Previous: Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to discuss
violence at Juárez Competitiva
The first thing Juárez will need to do to make the city safe again is
have the political will to do it, said former mayor of New York
Rudolph Giuliani speaking Monday as part of the image-repairing event
Juárez Competitiva.
"Two thousand people are here," said Giuliani, addressing the mixed
audience of local politicians, students, activists and others
gathered at the Paso del Norte Cultural Center. "This is enough to
take a city back, if you want to do it. And I'm sure there are more
than 2,000 people who love Juárez who want it to exist not for the
drug dealers but for the good people of Juárez."
Giuliani was one of the keynote speakers invited to the two-week
event Juárez Competitiva, which is geared toward promoting the city's
industry and fixing its damaged international reputation.
During his speech, Giuliani highlighted his actions to curb crime in
New York City during his tenure and gave Juárez recommendations on
how to start on that path,
including reforming the justice and prison systems, purging law
enforcement authorities, and crippling criminals' bank accounts.
Giuliani painted a picture of New York City in the early 1990s that
sounded all too familiar to the residents of Juárez -- a city with
record crime and unemployment rates due to an ailing economy, and
citizens too afraid to leave their homes.
And just like Juárez, many believed New York had lost control of its
streets and was unsalvageable, Giuliani said.
However, Giuliani acknowledged that the issues in Juárez transcended
smaller categories of crime -- and even New York's organized crime
problems -- and were closer to criminal insurgency and terrorism.
"Your situation is a hybrid between what New York faced and what
Colombia faced," he said.
In the specific case of Juárez, Giuliani recommended a thorough
filtering of the police force to purge tainted personnel and reward
trustworthy officers with higher salaries and positions of more
Juárez municipal police Chief Julian Leyzaola has said eliminating
the bad apples within the force has been a priority during his
tenure, promising not to recruit any new officers until he is content
with the integrity

Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani addresses more than 2,000
people Monday at the Centro Cultural Paso del Norte in Juarez.
Giuliani was in Juarez to take part in Juarez Competitiva. (Special
to the Times)
of his department.
Giuliani also suggested fixing the justice system, to increase
sentences and put the right people in jail; and the prison system, to
make sure criminals cannot continue running their operations from
behind bars.
In 2008, Chihuahua state reformed its penal code to modernize its
procedures and speed up some of its processes. However, the judicial
system still faces many challenges in practice. Critics have pointed
out that sentences are often still delivered based almost exclusively
on the testimony of witnesses rather than on objective evidence, and
many believe that scapegoats continue to fill the state's prisons.
Finally, Giuliani underscored the importance of strengthening
Mexico's forfeiture laws to damage the finances of criminals.
"Go after the money, not only after criminals," he said. "Sometimes
it's more effective than putting them in prison."
Many of Giuliani's suggestions were reminiscent of his advice to
Mexico City authorities in 2003, when his consulting firm Giuliani
Partners wrote a 146-point plan to confront crime in the country's
However, the plan has been criticized for not taking into account
cultural differences and on-the-ground realities.
One of those critics is William Bratton, who was New York City police
commissioner during part of Giuliani's tenure as mayor and who spoke
on Sunday with the El Paso Times. He said the situation in the Big
Apple had clear differences from the situation in Mexico's most
violent cities, such as the extent of corruption and an ineffective
judicial system.
During his speech, Giuliani said some of the principles of his
"broken window" theory -- which essentially predicates the importance
of tackling with full force even the pettiest of crimes -- could be
applied to Juárez.
As examples, Giuliani spoke of his administration's zero tolerance
approach to graffiti, which cleaned up the city and helped restore
the self-esteem of its citizens.
"This is why 'broken windows' is so important. We had buses and
trains with vandalism all over. They were traveling by the city like
advertisements for lawlessness. Every bus said 'we have people that
don't respect the rights of others, we don't respect ourselves,' " he
said. "Now when buses ride by the streets, people see a clean bus,
legitimate ads, and we have a city where people respect the rights of
Giuliani said the same principle could be applied to prostitution,
drug dealing and other crimes.
But in Mexico, Bratton said, the "broken windows" approach ignored
basic economics in the country, where the livelihoods of many depend
on cleaning car windows or looking out for people's cars in parking
lots. Critics believe that filling jails with such petty offenders
had little effect on curbing crime in Mexico City.
Giuliani also spoke of the importance of effective information-
gathering to create customized strategies to tackle each aspect of
crime. He did so with CompStat, a computer program that helped him
capture and analyze crime trends and dedicate resources accordingly.
In the case of domestic violence, Giuliani said officers kept track
of repeated incidents, so even if a complainant called the police and
recanted when officers arrived, the suspect would be arrested if a
second incident was reported.
CompStat also helped keep priorities and hold authorities
accountable. Resources would be given in the areas that were needed
the most, but if crime trends would not reverse, commanders and staff
leaders would be changed, he said.
"We changed the thinking of the police department. Police used to
measure success by how many people they arrested. All we were
concerned about is how much they brought down crime. That's all my
citizens cared about," he said.
However, Bratton also questioned how effective an information-
gathering system like CompStat would be in Mexico, where only a
fraction of crimes are ever reported.
Building a portrait of crime in the city based on the few reports
collected could result in an inaccurate diagnosis, Bratton said.
Giuliani also spoke of the importance of consolidating police forces
to avoid competition between agencies and redundancies; social
programs to sustain gains against crime; and jobs creation.
Giuliani said his efforts helped dramatically bring down crime in
every category.
But just as important as reducing statistical crime, people had to
recover the sense of normalcy in their daily lives, he said.
"In order for people to accept the fact that you are reducing crime,
they have to see it in their own lives. They have to see that streets
that they felt were dangerous are now safe," he said. Ê
Alejandro Martinez-Cabrera may be reached at
a.martinez@elpasotimes.com; 546-6129.

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