Huffpost Latino Voices

Ciudad Juarez 'Angels' Stand Up To Drug Trafficking Violence (VIDEO)

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A Mexican young dressed as an
A Mexican young dressed as an "Angel" holds a placard with a religious message while arriving at a crime scene as part of a campaign against violence in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico, on December 10, 2011. Since 2008, nearly 10,000 people ha...

Christian youth are standing up to the drug trafficking violence in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico's most violent city -- where 5,000 people were murdered in the last two years, caught up in narco wars.

Since 2010, the youth have turned to dressing as angels and bringing messages of Christ's love directly to the drug traffickers and killers, in hopes of saving their city and fellow citizens.

And, it might be working.

A local Spanish-langauge newspaper, El Diario, recently reported that January's 2012 murder rate was half of what they were in 2011, adding further conviction to the 'angels' who go to crime scenes and into areas known for drug activity, pointedly asking murderers to repent.

The 'angels' say that they are driven by the importance of bringing a message of hope to the city, those victimized by the violence, depressed economy, and poor educational system.

The rewards of working for the drug cartels have lured thousands of young men and women into gangs, seeking to escape the city's intractable poverty -- but also helping double the number of minors in local juvenile detention. The life of money, fast cars, expensive jewelry and gadgets, and the immediate respect gun-carrying narcos receive on the streets, continues to entice the city's youth, despite the known risks.

As Maria de Rosario Flores, a local teacher and social worker says in a Univision-produced video report on the 'angels', "Organized crime has a bright future here, if things carry on like this."

But the 'angels' in Ciudad Juarez see it differently, believing that people -- delinquents too -- can change, and so they are committed to continue spreading their message across the city and to where it is needed most.

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'Angels' Brave Violent Mexican City to Share Gospel

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