FRONTLINE/World [home]

Search FRONTLINE/World

FRONTLINE/World Dispatches

Dispatches

reactions

categories

Dispatches

Editors' Notes

Pakistan Blog

iWitness

 

recent posts

Interview With Sharmeen Obaid-Chinnoy

Pakistan's Taliban Generation

Bangladesh: The Mystery of a Mutiny

Afghanistan: A Hard Fight

Cambodia: Confronting Its Past

Pakistan: An Unsettling Peace

Zimbabwe: A Harsh Reality

Virtual Gitmo: Human Rights in Second Life

At Siemens, Bribery Was Just a Line Item

Mumbai: Eyewitness to the Attack

 

archives

April 2009

March 2009

February 2009

January 2009

December 2008

November 2008

October 2008

September 2008

August 2008

July 2008

June 2008

May 2008

April 2008

March 2008

February 2008

January 2008

December 2007

November 2007

October 2007

September 2007

August 2007

July 2007

June 2007

May 2007

April 2007

March 2007

February 2007

January 2007

December 2006

November 2006

October 2006

September 2006

August 2006

July 2006

June 2006

May 2006

April 2006

March 2006

February 2006

January 2006

December 2005

November 2005

October 2005

September 2005

August 2005

July 2005

June 2005

May 2005

 

RSS Feeds

New Arrests in Human Smuggling Operations at Mexican Border

Crimes at the Border logo

The broadcast of "Mexico: Crimes at the Border" airs Tuesday, May 27 on PBS at 9 pm ET.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer was arrested May 16 in San Diego on suspicion of allowing smugglers to drive illegal aliens and drugs through a U.S.-Mexico border checkpoint.

It's the latest arrest in a string of recent cases of corrupt U.S. border officials involved in smuggling humans.

Luis Francisco Alarid worked at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry, about seven miles east of the San Ysidro Port of Entry, the world's largest land border crossing point. According to court records obtained by FRONTLINE/WORLD and The New York Times, federal investigators watched Alarid on several occasions fail to properly check vehicles as they passed through his inspection lane.

As part of the investigation, police found dozens of illegal immigrants and hundreds of pounds of marijuana that federal agents suspect Alarid allowed smugglers to sneak into the country.

Watch a FRONTLINE/WORLD and New York Times joint investigation on Tuesday, May 27 at 9 p.m. ET for a full report on the business of human smuggling and corruption along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Visit the preview site for "Mexico: Crimes at the Border," where you can watch a promo of the broadcast, and interview clips with a human smuggler and an immigration expert who has been studying illegal immigration across the U.S.-Mexico border for more than 20 years.

The New York Times: Border Agents Lured by the Other Side
In this New York Times story, Randal C. Archibald and FRONTLINE/World correspondent Andrew Becker report on the case of two former Border Patrol officers, Raul Villareal and his brother Fidel, who are "suspected of helping to smuggle an untold number of illegal immigrants from Mexico and Brazil across the border." Both men quit the Border Patrol two years ago and are believed to be somewhere in Mexico.

The problem of corrupted officers has begun to plague the Border Patrol as it continues to ramps up recruitment to meet stricter security measures at the border. The agency is so concerned about rising corruption among its officers, it will soon introduce lie detector tests to check whether potential new hires are already working with smuggling groups.

According to the Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General, the number of corruption cases against United States border guards in the four states bordering Mexico more than doubled between 2003 and 2007.