Juarez Psychologists Seek Therapy in Texas

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JUAREZ, Mexico —Psychologists in Juarez, the most violent city in Mexico, are not only overwhelmed by the number of patients they have. They are also in need of therapy themselves, according to a report by Spanish news service EFE. Hundreds of psychologists are traveling to El Paso, Texas to receive counseling from mental health specialists.

Carlos Perlasca, a psychologist in El Paso, said at least 20 of his patients – all doctors in Mexico -- suffer from chronic anxiety. Therapists have been subjects of extortions and kidnappings, he said.

This year, more than 2,100 people have been murdered in Juarez in connection with a war between the Juarez and Sinaloa drug cartels. Businesses and residents are threatened into paying the criminal organizations “protection quotas.” At least 40 businesses were set on fire for not paying their quota and 300 others were shut down due to extortion and fear of retaliation, according to a transborder report on security.

EFE reports that the number of children who have been orphaned in the city has grown to 10,000 as a result of the wave of drug trafficking-related violence in recent years.

During a recent visit, Mexican Secretary of Health Jose Angel Cordova Villalobos spoke about the need to open more psychiatric hospitals in Juarez.