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City of Omens

Dan Werb

Warwick's presents
Dan Werb

City of Omens

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 7:30pm

7812 Girard Ave
La Jolla, CA 92037

On Tuesday, June 25th at 7:30pm Warwick's will host Dan Werb as he discusses and signs his new book, City of Omens: A Search for the Missing Women of the Borderlands. Dan Werb, PhD, is an assistant professor in epidemiology at the University of California San Diego and the University of Toronto. He has received major grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, and other organizations, and has authored dozens of scientific studies investigating HIV, drugs, and deportation in Tijuana. His writing has appeared in publications such as the Believer and the Walrus, where his feature, “The Fix” on new tactics for treating injection drug use won a Canadian National Magazine Award. He is based in San Diego and Toronto.This event is free and open to the public. Reserved Seating is available when the book is pre-ordered from Warwick's for the event. Only books purchased from Warwick's will be signed. Please call the Warwick's Book Dept. (858) 454-0347 for details.

Despite its reputation as a carnival of vice, Tijuana was, until recently, no more or less violent than neighboring San Diego, its sister city across the border wall. But then something changed. Over the past ten years, Mexico's third-largest city became one of the world's most dangerous. Tijuana's murder rate skyrocketed and produced a staggering number of female victims. In City of Omens, Werb employs his training as an epidemiologist to find the reasons behind the femicide. In a city plagued with poverty and drugs, where the investigation leads may be surprising.

When Werb began to study these deaths in 2013 as part of a wider research project at the border, he learned that the murders were a piece of a much larger puzzle. Environmental toxins, drug overdoses, HIV transmission: all were killing women at overwhelming rates. As a scientist, trained to track epidemics by mining data, Werb sensed the presence of a deeper contagion targeting Tijuana's women. Not a virus, but some awful wrong buried in the city's social order, cutting down its most vulnerable inhabitants from multiple directions. What he finds ultimately leads him back to the US—the Navy pulling sailors out of Tijuana and starving the vice economy; the Bush administration funding a drug war that ends up catching women in the (literal and metaphorical) crossfire; post-9/11 paranoia leading to tighter border controls that impede a centuries-old international relationship. The problem in Tijuana was one Americans helped create.

Werb's search for the ultimate causes of Tijuana's femicide casts new light on immigration, human trafficking, addiction, and the true cost of American empire-building. It leads Werb all the way from factory slums to drug dens to the corridors of police corruption, as he follows a thread that ultimately takes a surprising turn back over the border.

City of Omens: A Search for the Missing Women of the Borderlands Cover Image
ISBN: 9781635572995
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - June 4th, 2019