Life Along the Border Amidst the Drug War

Demonstration Against Violence In Mexico
Pedro Gonzalez/LatinContent/Getty Images

The drug-related violence in Mexico continues to escalate. Recently, soldiers discovered 11 more bodies in mass graves in the northern state of Durango. Mexican officials have now found 168 bodies in mass graves this month alone, and they believe many are those of drug cartel victims. In the past four years, drug violence has been cited in the deaths of more than 34,600 people.

We’ve compiled some recent public media coverage of the U.S.-Mexico border ahead of tonight’s NewsHour report on the escalating violence.

  • A Mexican journalist talks about how threats on his life and his family prompted him to move to Vancouver after covering the drug wars in Ciudad Juarez for nearly two decades.
  • The violence in Mexico is placing high demand on the blood supply at hospitals. Martin Gomez started working for United Blood Services, a non-profit blood bank, after his mother died from not being able to receive a blood transfusion quickly enough. Now, Chihuahua, the city where Gomez works, has the highest percentage of volunteer donors in the country. Listen to the full report.
  • As violence spreads in Mexico, traditional tourist destinations are becoming more dangerous and less desirable for vacationers. The State Department recently released a travel warning for Rocky Point, a town that was once known as Arizona’s beach town. Listen to the full report.

– Many Mexicans were furious when it was recently revealed that the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) purposefully allows firearms across the border into Mexico in order to track their use. Laura Carlsen, Director of the Americas Program at the Center for International Policy explains the scandal surrounding the program dubbed “Operation Fast and Furious.”

  • Watch an interview with Rebecca Orozco, a border historian and director of Cochise College Center for Lifelong Learning. Orozco explains how in some ways, life along the border has not changed much over time.
    [Arizona Public Media]

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