Booze Ban at Boxing Match an "Insult to El Paso"
Now that drug cartel leaders have promised not to attend, an alcohol ban at a big fight is being disputed.
Texas state senator Jose Rodriguez has described a ban on alcohol at a hotly-anticipated boxing match in El Paso as an insult. In a letter to the officials at the University of Texas—which is hosting the June 16 fight and imposed the booze ban—Rodriguez, an El Paso native, writes that the policy "perpetuates the idea that our community is unsafe or that El Pasoans and other attendees cannot be trusted if alcohol is available." The middleweight bout, between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Andy Lee, is expected to pull in over 40,000 fans, but has a troubled history—university officials nearly didn't allow it to take place at all, because of fears that leaders of the rival Sinaloa and Juarez Mexican drug cartels would show up. The cartels have now reportedly declared the event a "neutral zone." Sen. Rodriguez now wants the alcohol ban overturned, arguing that it implies local officials can't be trusted to handle security, prevents the university from making money, and promotes off-site drinking instead.