Photoset

Border Patrol in Focus: Is the US-Mexico border secure enough? Immigration reform could hinge on the answer to that question.

Graphics by Rich Clabaugh, Research by Ryan Lenora Brown/The Christian Science Monitor

Video

Tiny Tamaula is the new face of rural Mexico: Villagers are home again as the illegal immigration boom drops to net zero. FULL STORYHome again in Mexico: Illegal immigration hits net zero

Link
Quote
"The deal that is being offered, in the end, is not a good one."

James Anaya, United Nations expert on land acquisition for wind development in the developing world.

READ: Wind power: Clean energy, dirty business?

Quote
"Even now, six months later, the bullet-pocked commercial street six blocks from the Gomez home is a testament to the collateral damage of the drug war – the imprint of fear on ordinary lives and what it can do to the civic fabric, from choices as simple as changing shopping habits to changing the nation’s presidential politics."

— Sara Miller Lana describes the aftermath of a drug war-related attack in her piece, Mexico drug war casualty: Citizenry suffers post-traumatic stress

Photo
PHOTO: Suspect Jesus ‘El Mamito’ Rejon is presented by the police to the media in Mexico City on Monday. Rejon is thought to be a founding member and currently third in command of the Zetas, which was started by former Mexican special forces soldiers and is considered the country’s most brutal cartel. (REUTERS/Bernardo Montoya)
Mexican cartel leader claims gang buys all its guns in US

During an interview recorded by Mexico’s Ministry of Public Safety, Jesus Enrique Rejon, alias ‘El Mamito,’ told officials that the feared drug gang purchases all of its guns in the US. In the interview (the video of which is available here), Mr. Rejon claims the group used to sneak the arms through border checkpoints, but stricter security measures have forced them to smuggle them across the Rio Grande. He also alleged that the Zetas’ rival Gulf Cartels have an easier time bringing weapons across the border. “It got harder, but we can still get them,” Rejon said. “Those in the Gulf Cartel get them a lot easier; we don’t know why. It’s impossible to buy them and smuggle them in a vehicle trunk, but they do it. There must be a deal somewhere. I don’t know.”

Read the full story here.

PHOTO: Suspect Jesus ‘El Mamito’ Rejon is presented by the police to the media in Mexico City on Monday. Rejon is thought to be a founding member and currently third in command of the Zetas, which was started by former Mexican special forces soldiers and is considered the country’s most brutal cartel. (REUTERS/Bernardo Montoya)

Mexican cartel leader claims gang buys all its guns in US

During an interview recorded by Mexico’s Ministry of Public Safety, Jesus Enrique Rejon, alias ‘El Mamito,’ told officials that the feared drug gang purchases all of its guns in the US. In the interview (the video of which is available here), Mr. Rejon claims the group used to sneak the arms through border checkpoints, but stricter security measures have forced them to smuggle them across the Rio Grande. He also alleged that the Zetas’ rival Gulf Cartels have an easier time bringing weapons across the border. “It got harder, but we can still get them,” Rejon said. “Those in the Gulf Cartel get them a lot easier; we don’t know why. It’s impossible to buy them and smuggle them in a vehicle trunk, but they do it. There must be a deal somewhere. I don’t know.”

Read the full story here.

Link

(PHOTO: Melanie Stetson-Freeman, Monitor Staff)

US Customs and Border Protection recently released data showing the number of those arrested trying to cross the US-Mexico is down sharply. There were 447,731 undocumented immigrants arrested in fiscal year 2010, reported CNN. That is a 58 percent decrease from fiscal year 2006.

Officials say that the number of agents along the border, which doubled during the same time frame, has played a preventive role.

But it seems that migrants are also weighing the pros of earning American dollars against the real threat that criminals in Mexico will take their lives before they even get the chance.

Text

Mexico drug war death toll up 60% in 2010. Why?

Four years after taking on Mexico’s drug traffickers by deploying some 50,000 military and federal forces, President Felipe Calderón is touting successes, including taking down top drug traffickers and dismantling their networks. He is also faced with a grim number: 15,273.

That’s the drug war’s death toll in 2010, the government announced Wednesday, up from an estimated 9,600 in 2009 and 5,400 in 2008. Over four years the toll has reached a total of 34,612, federal security spokesman Alejandro Poire told reporters, which included 30,913 execution-style killings, 3,153 deaths in gang shootouts, and 546 deaths involving attacks on authorities.

Looking more in depth at the drug cartels here


Graphic: Map of Mexican drug cartels
(Rich Clabaugh/ TCSM Staff)