Historic division of ‘the two Laredos’ ends with border reopening


Source: Al Jazeera

For almost  20 months, Lilia Brava had not seen her elderly mother who lived a few miles away across the US-Mexico border, which had been closed by US authorities to non-essential travel in March 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brava, a non-resident worker who cleans homes in Laredo, Texas, would not be allowed to return if she crossed into Mexico to visit her family across the river. Even when her brother died of COVID-19 in Nuevo Laredo last year, she could not attend the funeral with her mum.


Officials worried for possible economic impact of violence in Nuevo Laredo

Border fence

11/18/19 – KGNS

This weekend’s violence in Nuevo Laredo hit an all-time high with members of drug cartels fighting with Mexican military. Photos of the aftermath immediately began circulating on social media with the Mexican consulate and the City of Laredo issuing travel advisories to its citizens.

This is not the kind of publicity a U.S. border city wants to see, especially those that rely on its neighbors to the south to help boost their economy.

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Plummeting Peso Hurting Border Economy

9/2/15 The Texas Tribune

border2Clothing store owner Les Norton remembers when throngs of Mexican shoppers would make their way up Laredo’s Convent Avenue and stay in Texas for hours before returning to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

But Norton, president of the Laredo Merchants’ Association, has seen business at his La Fama clothing store drop off in recent months due, in part, to the depreciation of the Mexican peso.

On Tuesday, about 17 Mexican pesos equalled one U.S. dollar, up from about 13 in September 2014. For people like Norton, who estimates that 70 to 80 percent of his clientele is from Mexico, that means the fall and winter shopping seasons will be unpredictable at best.

“Unfortunately downtown Laredo is experiencing a decline that nobody’s happy with,” Norton said.

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Laredo Border Patrol saw busy weekend

6/22/15 KGNS TV

CBP_Border_Patrol_agent_reads_the_Miranda_rights_U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Laredo Sector significantly disrupted criminal organization activities over the weekend as they rescued illegal immigrants, detained subject with a criminal sexual crime, and made a significant narcotic seizure.

On June 19, at approximately 11:00PM, Laredo North Station agents assigned to the Border Patrol checkpoint located on Interstate Highway 35, rescued 37 illegal immigrants concealed inside a tractor-trailer. The driver was referred to secondary inspection where the agents discovered the undocumented immigrants in the unventilated cargo area. All of the undocumented immigrants were from Mexico.

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The Impact of Trade – Laredo, Texas, a Case Study

Nuevo Laredo

America’s Trade Policy, 5/7/14

Perhaps no place in the U.S. is as impacted by international trade as Laredo, Texas. I recently had the pleasure of visiting Laredo, home to Texas A & M International, and was amazed at the city’s economic vibrancy. The unemployment rate in Laredo is only 5.8 percent, well below the national average, and some 30 percent of the 96,000 people engaged in non-farm employment work in the trade, transportation and utilities sector, the sector with the largest employment in Laredo.

In 2013 there were over 3.5 million truck and over 530,000 rail crossings across the border with Mexico, transporting parts for the auto and electronics industries, foodstuffs, as well as finished goods. As a result of all this traffic, there are more than 500 freight forwarders, 200 trucking companies and 100 customs brokers in the city. The heavy truck and rail traffic also creates enormous indirect employment in other sectors like hotels and restaurants. Laredo’s trade sector, of course, is fueled by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which went into effect in 1994.

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

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.

To view the rest of the article read the PDF

Mexico condemns citizen’s killing on U.S. border

Fox News Latino, 9/6/12

The Mexican government condemned the fatal shooting of one its citizens by a  U.S. Border Patrol agent last weekend.

“The information currently available indicates that a Mexican citizen lost  his life after receiving a bullet wound from a United States Border Patrol  agent,” Mexico’s foreign ministry said of last Sunday’s incident on the  border.

The shooting took place along a stretch of border between Laredo, Texas, and  the Mexican city of Nuevo Laredo.

Mexico has repeatedly said that the “disproportionate use of lethal force” by  U.S. immigration enforcement personnel is unacceptable, the foreign ministry  noted in a statement.

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Crossing the line

The Economist, 9/24/11

NONE of the twinned cities that straddle America’s southern border with Mexico are as historically close as Laredo, in Texas, and Nuevo Laredo, in Mexico. The settlement at Laredo predates Texas, and what is now Nuevo Laredo was originally part of it before being separately established on the Mexican side after Mexican-American war of 1847. So on September 13th, when two young Mexicans were found in Nuevo Laredo, hanging from a footbridge and disembowelled (see article), it struck rather close to home.

The conflict between and against the drug-trafficking organisations has killed more than 40,000 people in Mexico in the past five years. America’s response has, however, been warped by the fact that many on the north side of the river see border security as the effort to keep unauthorised economic migrants out of the United States, with the illicit flow of drugs from Mexico and guns from the United States being lesser concerns. The clamour has been rising—particularly in Texas, which has the longest stretch of the 2,000-mile (3,200km) border—but several things have drawn national attention.

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Border Violence Spills Onto Mexican Ranches

Associated Press, 7/7/2010

LAREDO, Texas — Mexican rancher Isidro Gutierrez watched with disgust as federal inspectors here chalked a long stripe on his steer’s hindquarter. The animal could not be imported because its breed can be vulnerable to disease.

If inspections were still being done across the Rio Grande in Mexico, routine rejections like that would be just an inconvenience. But drug violence in the border region has chased American cattle inspectors back to the U.S. side, so Gutierrez has to pay brokers in both countries and hire a truck to take back rejected animals.

“It’s cheaper to kill him here,” Gutierrez said.

The drug violence along the U.S.-Mexico border is now spilling into the region’s agriculture, threatening the safety of ranchers and farmers, slowing down what was expected to be the best harvest in years, and raising the risk that some crops will rot in the fields.

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Police: U.S. teens were hit men for Mexican cartel

CNN, 3/13/2009

“One thing you wonder all the time: What made them this way? They were just kids themselves, waiting around playing PlayStation or Xbox, waiting around for the order to be given.”

Rosalio Reta sits at a table inside a Laredo Police Department interrogation room. A detective, sitting across the table, asks him how it all started.

Reta, in Spanish street slang, describes his initiation as an assassin, at the age of 13, for the Mexican Gulf Cartel, one of the country’s two major drug gangs.

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