Skip to main content
People walk down a road in Donna before nightfall. Dec. 7, 2020.
The Texas Tribune-ProPublica Investigative Unit

South Texas restrictions were meant to protect people from COVID-19. Then the handcuffs and ticket books came out.

Governments along the Texas-Mexico border took a hard line to limit the spread of the new coronavirus. Police were key to the public health response, resulting in hundreds jailed and nearly 2,000 people ticketed.

A sign urges resident to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic in Hidalgo County. Dec. 7, 2020.

More responsibility, and more police

Minor offenses, many arrests

Jose Arturo Villalon, also known as “JAA”, outside of his home in Mission. JAA was stopped for violating a curfew order in Hidalgo county in April, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dec. 6, 2020.
The Brownsville Police Station. Dec. 8, 2020.

Fines pile up, and cases are dismissed

First Assistant District Attorney Edward A. Sandoval outside of the Cameron County courthouse on Dec. 8, 2020.

Quality journalism doesn't come free

Yes, I'll donate today