Julián Aguilar Reporter

Julián Aguilar reports on politics and border affairs from the Texas-Mexico border. His focuses include immigration reform and enforcement, voter ID, international trade, border security, and the drug trade. His political coverage has included local, legislative and congressional races in Texas, as well as local and national elections in Mexico. Before joining the Tribune, he was a freelance writer for the Fort Worth Weekly; a government and crime reporter for the Laredo Morning Times; and a political writer for the Rio Grande Guardian. A native of El Paso, he has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Texas and a master's degree in journalism from the Frank W. Mayborn Graduate Institute of Journalism at the University of North Texas.

Recent Contributions

Immigration Saga Leaves Teen Trapped in Mexico

Marcus Francisco Valencia Rodriguez, 19 years old, in the courtyard at the Casa del Migrante migrant shleter in Matamoros, Mexico, on Nov. 2, 2015.
Marcus Francisco Valencia Rodriguez, 19 years old, in the courtyard at the Casa del Migrante migrant shleter in Matamoros, Mexico, on Nov. 2, 2015.

Marcos Valencia was raised in Indiana, but in the eyes of the law, his home is the cartel-infested state of Tamaulipas, Mexico, where he was born. Now he's stuck in Mexico, unable to return to the country where he grew up.

Border Communities Have Lower Crime Rates

There are many busy retailers near the international bridge where pedestrians may cross in and out of the United States, in historic downtown Laredo, Tx.
There are many busy retailers near the international bridge where pedestrians may cross in and out of the United States, in historic downtown Laredo, Tx.

Texas counties along the Rio Grande are relatively safe, state and federal crime statistics show, and they seem to be getting even safer as more law enforcement resources pour into the area. 

Pope Francis' Border Mass Awes El Paso Catholics

Pope Francis hugs two girls during a meeting with youths at José María Morelos y Pavón stadium in Morelia, Mexico on Feb. 16. 2016.
Pope Francis hugs two girls during a meeting with youths at José María Morelos y Pavón stadium in Morelia, Mexico on Feb. 16. 2016.

During a whirlwind, one-day visit to Ciudad Juárez on Wednesday Pope Francis delivered poignant remarks on immigration and corruption, keeping intact his reputation as a polite but no-holds-barred pontiff. 

Border Catholics Ready to Welcome Pope Francis

Pope Francis hugs two girls during a meeting with youths at José María Morelos y Pavón stadium in Morelia, Mexico on Feb. 16. 2016.
Pope Francis hugs two girls during a meeting with youths at José María Morelos y Pavón stadium in Morelia, Mexico on Feb. 16. 2016.

After weeks of planning and speculation about what Pope Francis might say during his visit to the El Paso/Ciudad Juárez area on Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of Catholics are finally ready for the all-day affair. 

As Ciudad Juárez Prepares for Pope's Visit, So Do Activists

Maria Guadalupe Perez of Juarez holds the hand of her daughter through the border fence in Juarez, Monday, February 15, 2016. Perez has not seen her daughter, Linda Rodriguez, since she was 6 months old.
Maria Guadalupe Perez of Juarez holds the hand of her daughter through the border fence in Juarez, Monday, February 15, 2016. Perez has not seen her daughter, Linda Rodriguez, since she was 6 months old.

From city officials working to rebrand Ciudad Juárez as a safe and organized metropolis to the mother and daughter who met along opposite sides of a border fence, Pope Francis' visit here is fraught with symbolism.

Families Accuse Bank of Laundering Gang Money

A Juárez municipal police officer keeps patrol while at a murder scene in the outskirts of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico on May 28, 2010.
A Juárez municipal police officer keeps patrol while at a murder scene in the outskirts of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico on May 28, 2010.

The families of several U.S. citizens murdered in Mexico filed a lawsuit this week against HSBC Holdings and its subsidiaries alleging the company supported various drug cartel activities by laundering millions of dollars for gangs.