November 20, 2014
Texas plans to begin winding down its deployment of state National Guard troops to the border with Mexico around March or April of next year, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst told reporters on Wednesday. State leaders on Tuesday requested $86.1 million in spending from Dec. 1 through August for the border deployment that includes up to 1,000 National Guard troops. Dewhurst said at a news conference at the capitol in Austin that while the National Guard presence is being drawn down, there would be an enhanced presence of Department of Public Safety officers along the border, the Austin American-Statesman reported. “The surge is working,” Dewhurst, a Republican, said.
November 13, 2014
11/13/14 ABC News
The U.S. government now patrols nearly half the Mexican border by drones alone in a largely unheralded shift to control desolate stretches where there are no agents, camera towers, ground sensors or fences, and it plans to expand the strategy to the Canadian border. It represents a significant departure from a decades-old approach that emphasizes boots on the ground and fences. Since 2000, the number of Border Patrol agents on the 1,954-mile border more than doubled to surpass 18,000 and fencing multiplied nine times to 700 miles. Under the new approach, Predator Bs sweep remote mountains, canyons and rivers with a high-resolution video camera and return within three days for another video in the same spot, two officials with direct knowledge of the effort said on condition of anonymity because details have not been made public.
November 3, 2014
10/31/14 Wall Street Journal
A Mexican judge has ordered the immediate release of a jailed U.S. Marine veteran who spent eight months behind bars for crossing the border with loaded guns. Family spokesman Jonathan Franks told the Associated Press on Friday that the judge decided to release retired Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi. Mr. Franks said the judge released him without making a determination on the charge against him. “It is with an overwhelming and humbling feeling of relief that we confirm that Andrew was released today after spending 214 days in Mexican Jail,” the family said in a statement.
September 25, 2014
09/24/14 Reforma: Sergio Aguayo – Translated by Mexico Voices
One reason to be discouraged is our last two governments’ indifference towards life. Hope is reborn when people use the weapons at their disposal. Fist fighting is not the same as fighting with a “goat horn” [AK-47]. Violence is so lethal in Mexico because over 15 million illegal weapons are in circulation (PGR, Attorney General, figure in 2008). Two-thirds came from the United States, where you can even buy an assault rifle online. Arms trafficking is uncontrollable because in the United States there is a real power that is just as or more powerful than the trilogy formed by Emilio Azcárraga, Germán Larrea, and Carlos Slim [telecom business owners]. The National Rifle Association (NRA) halts public policies that attempt to control gun sales. By either coincidence or impotence the White House ends up giving in to the NRA. Budgets reflect the priorities of governments. In 2012 the United States had 18,546 agents dedicated to curbing migration on the border with Mexico. That same year there were only 421 agents in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) fighting against the smuggling of weapons to Mexico. To compensate for its impotence, the ATF had a bright idea: allow guns to be smuggled into Mexico to understand what was happening. Between 2006 and 2011-years under Felipe Calderón- there were three programs, the most famous of which is Fast and Furious. The undercover operation ended badly because they did not attach the chips that would allow them to be geo-located “for budgetary reasons.” They kept going, trusting that they would identify the weapons once they were used or accounted for.
September 18, 2014
09/17/14 The Texas Tribune
Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday invited Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to witness for himself the operations of the National Guard patrolling the Texas side of the Rio Grande. The invitation was a response to the Mexican president telling media outlets that Perry’s decision to deploy the guard was “reprehensible.”
September 17, 2014
09/15/14 El Paso Times
Immigrants from the Mexican state of Michoacán, who say they are fleeing drug-related murders, kidnappings, rapes and extortions, are among the latest group of people seeking asylum in the United States, according to immigrant shelter administrators in El Paso. Ruben Garcia, executive director of Annunciation House, a faith-based organization that administers temporary shelters for migrants in the El Paso region, confirmed that large numbers of Michoacános are turning up at the border.
September 15, 2014
9/13/14 PBS News Hour
The Department of Homeland Security is contemplating the most significant restructuring since it was created after the September 11th attacks, in order to better secure the border with Mexico. Devlin Barrett of The Wall Street Journal wrote about it on Thursday, and he join us now from Washington. [Video]