US ambassador: United States will help Juarez rebuild

August 12, 2013

San Ysidro Border Crossing by Flickr user otzbergEl Paso Times, 8/9/2013

The United States wants to be involved in the reconstruction of Juárez, which has been devastated by violence for years, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico said Thursday while in Juárez.

“We want to be Juárez’s partner in its renaissance,” Ambassador Earl Anthony Wayne said. Wayne was the guest of honor at the inaugural event Thursday of the new museum named La Rodadora: Espacio Interactivo, or The Tumbleweed: an Interactive Space, at Parque Central West. Other guests were Chihuahua Gov. César Duarte; the head of the department of Culture in Mexico, Rafael Tovar y de Teresa; El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser; and Juárez Mayor Héctor “Teto” Murguía.The $23 million interactive children’s museum will officially open to the public today. It is the third largest museum in Mexico and the fifth largest interactive museum in Latin America.

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New Article: Two Reasons Why Laredo Has Less Homicides than Nuevo Laredo

August 7, 2013

InSightLogo_main_24bitBy Steven Dudley, 8/7/2013

So-called spillover violence has long been a concern of residents of U.S. communities along the Southwest border, yet spikes in violent crime along the Mexican side of the border rarely impact rates of violence in the United States. InSight Crime’s Steven Dudley exams the forces behind these statistics in Nuevo Laredo and Laredo.

Laredo and Nuevo Laredo, sister cities along the US-Mexico border, are almost the same size. They have very similar economic motors, cultural heritage, populations and socio-economic indicators. Yet, in 2012, Nuevo Laredo had at least 36 times the number of murders. Why?

It is a question that is pondered up and down this 1,951-mile border, especially after the explosions of violence in Tijuana and Juarez during the last decade, places that sit across from San Diego and El Paso respectively, two of the safest cities in the United States.

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Border Bridge Stalls U.S., Mexico Border Plan

June 4, 2013

120px-Tijuana-San_Diego_borderFox News Latino, 6/3/2013

A bridge over the Rio Grande, between the U.S. and Mexico, was supposed to be the site of a massive new customs and immigration facility by June — but nearly two years after its groundbreaking, not a shovel of dirt has been moved south of the border. The Mexican government has not allocated any money for its share of the work, so the bridge building is stalled — with no timetable for completion. The bridge would provide a fourth international border crossing to handle U.S.-bound commercial traffic from Ciudad Juarez, one of North America’s biggest manufacturing hubs.

Planners had hoped the $96 million undertaking would be an economic boon, attracting manufacturing plants and long lines of trucks that currently use two congested crossings between Ciudad Juarez and El Paso. Jesse Grado walks cautiously past a welder whose work throws off a spray of brilliant sparks as construction crews lay slabs of concrete for a bridge over the Rio Grande. The leader of the project points to an empty void — the point where the six-lane span abruptly ends 30 feet above the river. Beyond the pavement is nothing but miles of Mexican farms, dirt and desert.

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Building of New US-Mexico Border Crossing Stalls

June 3, 2013

El Paso, TexasAssociated Press, 6/3/2013

Jesse Grado walks cautiously past a welder whose work throws off a spray of brilliant sparks as construction crews lay slabs of concrete for a bridge over the Rio Grande. The leader of the project points to an empty void — the point where the six-lane span abruptly ends 30 feet above the river. Beyond the pavement is nothing but miles of Mexican farms, dirt and desert.

By June, this was supposed to be the site of a massive new customs-and-immigration facility that would provide a fourth international border crossing to handle U.S.-bound commercial traffic from Ciudad Juarez, one of North America’s biggest manufacturing hubs. Planners had hoped the $96 million undertaking would be an economic boon, attracting manufacturing plants and long lines of trucks that currently use two congested crossings between Ciudad Juarez and El Paso. But nearly two years after a ceremonial groundbreaking, not a shovel of dirt has been moved south of the border.

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Juárez artist sees exhibit as chance to show Mexico’s point of view

June 3, 2013

el pasoEl Paso Times, 6/2/2013

Olga Guerra, a multidisciplinary artist from Juárez, has participated in many art expositions in México and other countries, but she says the show that opens this weekend is unique. The 23-year-old is one of 46 artists living and working along the U.S.-Mexico border in the “III Bienal Ciudad Juárez-El Paso Biennial 2013″ at the El Paso Museum of Art and Museo de Arte de Ciudad Juárez. Each artist will exhibit two works — one in the Juárez museum, the other in El Paso’s museum — through Aug. 18. The exhibits, which are free, opened Friday in Juárez and will open today in El Paso.

“People will be able to enjoy (everything) from paintings and photography to video and sculptures about the border life and culture,” said Museo de Arte de Ciudad Juárez spokesman Salvador Sánchez. The idea behind the binational exhibit is to highlight the works of border artists exploring themes related to border violence, commerce and culture, Sánchez said. It also gives new artists and those who cannot travel to Mexico or the United States the opportunity to show their work, he said.

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‘The Bridge’ straddles U.S., Mexico border

May 24, 2013

Summer BridgeLos Angeles Times, 5/24/2013

FX’s new summer drama “The Bridge” has many common elements of contemporary thrillers: a sadistic serial killer, mismatched detectives and a desperate race against time. But “The Bridge” is distinguished by a hot-button issue that brings an edgy topicality to the usual formula — the politics and controversy behind the border between the United States and Mexico.

In this drama, the detectives aren’t the only ones at odds. It’s a tale of two cities that couldn’t be more different: the serene metropolis of El Paso and the more dangerous region of Ciudad Juárez in Chihuahua, Mexico, where large drug cartels wreak havoc and murderous mayhem. “It’s such a high-stakes situation that just seems ripe for human stories,” said executive producer Meredith Stiehm. “I feel like it’s been in the news for a long time, but we haven’t seen it dramatized successfully.”

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With reform talk growing, what is a ‘secure’ U.S.-Mexico border?

February 25, 2013

Border fenceAssociated Press, 2/23/2013

Once, the barren mesas and shrub-covered canyons that extend east of the Pacific Ocean held the most popular routes for illegal immigrants heading into the U.S. Dozens at a time sprinted to waiting cars or a trolley stop in San Diego, passing border agents who were too busy herding others to give pause.

Now, 20 years after that onslaught, crossing would mean scaling two fences (one topped with coiled razor wire), passing a phalanx of agents and eluding cameras positioned to capture every incursion. The difference is like “a rocket ship and a horse and buggy,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on a recent tour.

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