Like any city, El Paso, Texas, makes goofy, oversimplified tourist maps for visitors, but in 2010 it oversimplified the map so much that it deleted its violence-plagued neighbor to the south, Ciudad Juarez. This year, though, El Paso has deigned to recognize Juarez's existence, putting the embattled city back on the map.
The El Paso Times broke the story on Saturday, and Fox News Latino picked it up Wednesday, but neither outlet had a picture of the Juarez-free map, which is really worth a look. It's not online, but the El Paso Convention and Visitors' Bureau had a hard copy lying around, and they were nice enough to snap a photo and email it to us. Notice how instead of a city of 1.3 million, El Paso's border crossings all lead to empty desert, which disappears off a cliff at the bottom left, like those old-timey maps of a flat earth:
Obviously this did not sit well with those in Juarez, which has been included in the map since 1978 -- as long as El Paso Business Region Chamber of Commerce president Jose Alejandro Lozano has drawn it. But Lozano told Fox News Latino's Patricia Giovine that after intense drug violence started plaguing Juarez in 2008, they thought it wasn't such a good idea to send tourists that way.
Now, two years after they nixed the city from the map, the conditions have improved enough to put it back on. "The fact that Juárez can appear again in a map of attractions in Texas is like a vote of confidence on the security situation in the city," Demetrio Sotomayor, Chihuahua's director of tourism for the state's northern region, told The Times' Alejandro Martínez-Cabrera. So now the map looks like this (via the El Paso Times):
Getting back on the El Paso tourist map is a good step for Juarez, but it's got a ways to go. The U.S. State Department still advises putting off any "non-essential" travel to the city.