Tribpedia: Texas-Mexico Border

The Texas-Mexico border makes up 1,254 miles of the 1,900-mile-long U.S.-Mexico border. 

The vast, mostly rural expanse stretches from El Paso in the West to Brownsville in the Southeast and is delineated by the Rio Grande River.

Border communities in Texas are some of the poorest regions of the state and the nation. If Texas border ...

Lawmaker Seeks to Label Cartels "Terrorists"

Congressman Michael McCaul at the Texas Capitol on Feb. 23, 2011.
Congressman Michael McCaul at the Texas Capitol on Feb. 23, 2011.

A Texas Congressman is seeking to designate seven of the top Mexican cartels as “foreign terrorist organizations”, a move he says would give law enforcement in the United States enhanced tools to combat the cartels. Critics of the proposal, by United States Representative Michael McCaul, R-Austin, fear such a designation could harm Mexico’s ability to wage its own fight against the cartels — and damage the United States’ relationship with its southern neighbor.

Federal USDA workers inspect Mexican cattle for fever ticks before admitting them into the country. If a single tick is found, the entire herd must be quarantined and sent back to the rancher.
Federal USDA workers inspect Mexican cattle for fever ticks before admitting them into the country. If a single tick is found, the entire herd must be quarantined and sent back to the rancher.

Slideshow: Fever Tick Inspection in Laredo

Federal USDA workers inspect Mexican cattle for fever ticks before admitting them into the country. If a single tick is found, the entire herd must be quarantined and sent back to the rancher.
Federal USDA workers inspect Mexican cattle for fever ticks before admitting them into the country. If a single tick is found, the entire herd must be quarantined and sent back to the rancher.

Cartel Violence Complicates Tick Eradication Plan

Mexican cattle are now examined in Laredo before being cleared for shipment to the rest of Texas and beyond — part of an effort to eradicate a fever tick infestation that has plagued ranchers along the border for more than a century. Until last year, the inspections took place in Mexico. But a ruthless battle between the drug cartels forced those inspection sites to close in March 2010.

Mayor of Juarez, Hector Murguia Lardizabal on the floor of the Texas Senate on April 11, 2011
Mayor of Juarez, Hector Murguia Lardizabal on the floor of the Texas Senate on April 11, 2011

Héctor "Teto" Murguía: The TT Interview

The Ciudad Juárez mayor on why his city isn’t the most violent in Mexico, why negotiating with cartels would be giving in to the criminals’ demands and why, despite a cartel presence, there aren’t shootouts in the streets of El Paso.

National pride was in abundance at the Mexican independence day festival at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center in Austin, Texas. The holiday celebrates Mexico's war of independence from Spain in 1810.
National pride was in abundance at the Mexican independence day festival at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center in Austin, Texas. The holiday celebrates Mexico's war of independence from Spain in 1810.

Former Ambassador: Resignation Was Right Choice

The former U.S. ambassador to Mexico, South Texas native Antonio Garza, said he thinks his successor’s resignation this weekend was the right move if he felt he was no longer up to task. 

Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples speaks to the press about recent border security issues at the Texas Capitol on March 10, 2011
Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples speaks to the press about recent border security issues at the Texas Capitol on March 10, 2011

Staples Has No Plan to Pull Controversial Website

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples has no plans to pull down a state-run website that allows border ranchers and farmers to document their daily struggles with drug cartels and undocumented immigrants. Instead he called a news conference today to promote the site and reiterate its necessity.

On State Website, Calls for Vigilante Justice

Texans advocating extreme solutions to secure the border — including land mines and booby traps on farmland along the Rio Grande — have a new forum to share their views: a website launched by Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples that allows ranchers and farmers to share stories, pictures and videos documenting their daily struggles with drug cartels and undocumented immigrants. But that's not all they're doing there.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn in the House chamber of the Texas Capitol
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn in the House chamber of the Texas Capitol

Sen. John Cornyn: U.S. Policy in Mexico Not Working

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn said it was time for the White House to re-think its policy concerning Mexico after the shooting death of a U.S. immigration agent Tuesday. “My hope is that the president would tell us what his plan is, because what’s happening now does not seem to be working,” he said.

Soldiers ride on a street in Miguel Aleman, a city in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, in 2010.
Soldiers ride on a street in Miguel Aleman, a city in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, in 2010.

Mexican Border Police Chief Gunned Down

The Mexican police chief in the border city across from Laredo, Texas, was gunned down late Wednesday, less than five weeks after he took office. He was one of 11 former Mexican military officials dispatched to the northern state of Tamaulipas to combat the increase in cartel-related crime there.

Thousands of motorists wait in line on the southernmost stretch of IH-35 in Laredo, Texas. Despite a global recession and escalating violence in Mexico thousands of "paisanos" still made the trek south for Christmas. As the hours passed, however, their concerns about traveling Mexico's highways at night grew. A recent prison break in Nuevo Laredo didn't help soothe their fears about bandits lurking on the roadways. "We might have to get a hotel here," said one traveler.
Thousands of motorists wait in line on the southernmost stretch of IH-35 in Laredo, Texas. Despite a global recession and escalating violence in Mexico thousands of "paisanos" still made the trek south for Christmas. As the hours passed, however, their concerns about traveling Mexico's highways at night grew. A recent prison break in Nuevo Laredo didn't help soothe their fears about bandits lurking on the roadways. "We might have to get a hotel here," said one traveler.

DPS Again Warns Texans Against Going to Mexico

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In case you were planning any trips to violence-ridden Mexico, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety says don't — again.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 1/17/11

The Trib staff on the sweeping cuts in the proposed House budget, Grissom on what's lost and not found at the Department of Public Safety, Galbraith on the wind power conundrum, Hamilton on higher ed's pessimistic budget outlook, Stiles and Swicegood debut an incredibly useful bill tracker app, Ramsey interviews Rick Perry on the cusp of his second decade as governor, Aguilar on a Mexican journalist's quest for asylum in the U.S., Ramshaw on life expectancy along the border, M. Smith on the obstacles school districts face in laying off teachers and yours truly talks gambling and the Rainy Day Fund with state Rep. Jim Pitts: The best of our best from January 17 to 21, 2011.

Ruling in the Asylum Case of A Mexican Reporter Delayed

The asylum hearing for Mexican journalist Emilio Gutiérrez ended Friday afternoon in El Paso without a ruling from a U.S. immigration judge. Gutiérrez has been seeking asylum since June 2008, when he fled the small Chihuahua town of Ascensión after receiving death threats for his reporting on alleged corruption in the Mexican military. The hearing is scheduled to resume Feb. 4.

Abbott Attacks Feds, Obama After Latest Shooting

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott accused the federal government of putting U.S. citizens' lives at risk following a reported cross-border shooting Thursday in Hudspeth County. During the incident, first reported by the El Paso Times, at least one Mexican gunman allegedly shot toward Hudspeth County workers in rural West Texas who were doing maintenance on a desolate road.

Molly Molloy, New Mexico State University librarian and professor
Molly Molloy, New Mexico State University librarian and professor

Molly Molloy: The TT Interview

The New Mexico State University librarian and professor on why she painstakingly keeps a daily tally of the killings in Juárez, which surpassed 3,100 in 2010.