Peter Svarzbein recently organized a “discussion round table” around the movie Sicario in the mistaken belief that a city is defined by a Hollywood movie. Most of us understand that Svarzbein’s movie pontification was nothing more than political grandstanding. It was an attempt to massage a message that Svarzbein is desperately trying to manufacture as he attempts to create a mystic around his term of office.

Some of you are aware that last Friday, Dateline ran a documentary about the miscarriage of justice with the Daniel Villegas case. What you may not have noticed is that Svarzbein was so quiet about the nationally televised show that not one word has been attributed to him about the show. As a matter of fact, all of El Paso’s politicians were uncharacteristically silent about a nationally televised show that exposed El Paso’ dirty secret.


Unlike the Sicario movie, the Dateline episode centered on the city of El Paso. There is no mistake that the whole documentary made El Paso look like what it is – a backward little town in Texas where the law is applied by one man for political expediency. The Villegas case exposes the corruption in El Paso’s prosecutors that has allowed not only rogue police officers to doctor confessions and documents but also allows the prosecutor to selectively prosecute certain individuals while protecting others.

Jaime Esparza, the prosecutor that selectively prosecutes for political expediency, has been a topic I have written about extensively. The most recent example of his application of the law for politics is Ann Morgan Lilly who has been accused twice, along with documentation, of assault and her case mysteriously disappears behind a black hole never to be judicially adjudicated.

For those of you living in El Paso, the tragedy of Daniel Villegas is not a surprise.

The politics behind the many cases of public corruption that happened under Jaime Esparza can only happen when the local prosecutor looks the other way when corruption is ongoing under the same building where he decides who to prosecute and who can continue on with their criminal enterprises.

Therefore it should come as no surprise to any of you that when a nationally recognized television show exposes real corruption in the city, Peter Svarzbein and cohorts silently watch. When Hollywood creates a fictional movie that only mentions El Paso, Svarzbein and cohorts hold a “round table discussion” to discuss how it made El Paso look bad.

I am sure you all can see why. Dateline exposed what everyone knows, El Paso is corrupt because the prosecutor selectively applies the law. Sicario, on the underhand, mentions a topic that strikes fear in everyone in El Paso. It is the fear that the drug cartels are firmly in control of El Paso and therefore, like all mafias, any discussion of them is silenced.

Thus the fear that drives the city’s politicians into a frenzy to quash the one thing no one wants the world to know is what keeps them silent when the truth is revealed.

It is that El Paso is the narco capital of the United States that allows the consumers access to the thing that creates the money that funds the drug traffickers’ ability to usurp governments and unleash the violence that kills many.

I realize that many of you do not want to read this. The truth is that the very fear that makes politicians cringe when someone challenges the “safest city” lie is the reason no one wants to see the nexus between a prosecutor that allows corruption in his midst while he prosecutes another whose guilt is so questionable that the system cannot ignore it.

For those of you who still do not believe that the narcos have usurped your city look around you.

Look at the numerous strip malls that are built with money no one can really account for. Look at the politicians that are in office that have some connection to money laundering or drug infiltration of the security forces of the city.

Willie Gandara Jr. is in jail not for running marihuana but because he did not pay the right politician for the right to transit the plaza. Look at where the former police chief is today and where his former assistants are. Think of it in terms of controlling the three most important political departments that allow drugs free transit through the city. Look at the scandals at the County, the police department and how the Sheriff’s Department’s leadership is being revamped, not to mention the jail system.

Those that have tried to point out the corruption are either silenced or marginalized. In other words, if the politicians toe the line by continuing to forge the lie that El Paso is the “safest city” and “it’s all good” in El Paso, they are allowed to remain in power.

Those that challenge that notion are quickly marginalized and when they aren’t brought to heel, the prosecutor is unleashed to remind them of their place at the public trough.

This is why, for politicians like Peter Svarzbein, it is important for them to focus on a fictional movie while remaining silent about a nationally televised documentary that exposes certain facts that are inconvenient for those that really control the city behind the scenes.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

8 replies on “Where Was Peter Svarzbein”

  1. The “safest city” lie would have continued but for release of the facts that El Paso hasnt been the safest for two years. Why so long? Because everyone is desperate to be proud of something in El Paso. The public would cheer and brag if El Paso was selected to be the “City with Most Sand”. That’s sad ! Must have terminated the NYC PR firm that was on a retainer.

    The city destroyed and continues to destroy itself everyday. It is rare for us not to hear or read about some corruption, shady deals, special justice, school system fiefords, wasted taxes, mismanagement, stupid officials elected and re-elected, controlled media, it’s never ending. For some reason El Paso is in denial that other cities and states read or hear the news. How can anyone keep the lid on about the large number of government officials doing time. Judges, commissioners, FBI bosses, Border Patrol, school superintendents, nonprofit organizers, etc,

    So the solution, let’s build an oversized flat screen(doesn’t work when dirty), let’s renovate the plaza( joke), let’s demolish city hall(maintenance crew never worked?), let’s build a baseball stadium(still waiting for the tourists to come and subsidies to stop), let’s use gaudy decorations on I-10( discount store type), let’s tell everyone that El Paso is doing great(never mind house foreclosures and call center jobs). Oh yeah let’s build a trolley(no problem 1 million apiece to restore, install tracks and electrical systems),.

    Peter Pan and the rest are a major embarrassment to the region. We will now be known as the city with people that believe the novelas, Disney movies, Science. fiction, action movies. I am surprised that Peter hasn’t shined the Bat signal for help with all of the problems. Does he have superman pajamas?

  2. The cartels and gangs are smart enough to do their wet work in Juarez and not in the back yard of the largest military facility on the planet.

  3. @ Jerry K
    You might want to recheck your “Largest Military Installation” comment, I believe Fort Hood is the largest. Keep in mind what people consider Fort Bliss includes 2 other military intallations White Sands/McGregor & Holloman Airforce Base. The cartels don’t do their diety work here in the Sun City aka the so-called Safest City because they learned something after 9/11, that being High security ports of entry is bad for business. That means their product can get north and their money and weapons can’t get to them. The movie Sicario did hit one thing on the money which is ” “Medellin” not exactly the term used but true.

  4. The biggest assets the County of El Paso has is the Mission Trail and yet because it lies within 3 municipalities no one wants to market it as it could to bring revenue into the area. Exploit this to our advantage bulldoze the factories/warehouses and that joke of a college Western Tech and build a theme park that rivals 6 Flags.

  5. If you haven’t already heard, a new candidate for District Attorney has emerged. Yvonne Rosales. I have been following her on Facebook {edited by Martin – please no advertising links} and her website {edited by Martin – please no advertising links} . I really like what she has to say, she has earned my vote.

  6. Hmm, there is something about her that doesn’t add up. I have a feeling she is there to take votes away from one of the other two opponents. Women, has sex appeal feels like Perez/Abeytia play book.

    1. There’s only 1 other opponent, who hasn’t done anything other than have a fundraiser. To have a chance at beating Esparza, you must take strides early. Only Rosales has takes strides. She is the only female in the race. I have paid close attention to her campaign and I haven’t seen any ulterior motives. It seems like maybe the other guy may have ulterior motives since, as of now, he has only put his name in and has done nothing else.

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