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Fronteras: The Cost of Drugs and Pollution Along the Rio Grande

KUNM Public Radio
The Rio Grande River flows along 1,200 miles of the international boundary between Mexico and the United States

This Week on Fronteras:

·       Mexican police score a big arrest in the bloody drug war along the border

·       A Texas county refuses to take federal drug cases coming from border patrol checkpoints.

·       In one New Mexico community water from the Rio Grande has long been important for sustaining crops and religious ceremonies. Now residents say it’s polluted.

·       Crossing the U.S.-Mexico border turned out tragically for one young man who has been in a coma for 15 years.

·       A San Antonio musician goes behind the scenes to interview artists and creating people for his podcast, “Radio Bomba.”

Drug Cartel Leader Apprehended

This week Mexican police captured one of the most important leaders of the violent Zetas drug cartel- Omar Trevino Morales.  Federal authorities blame the Zetas for carving a path of brutality and bloodshed along the U.S.-Mexico border. Both countries had offered multi-million dollar rewards for the arrest of Morales, known as “Z-42.”  Police captured him during a pre-dawn raid in a wealthy suburb near Monterrey.  

A Texas County Refuses Federal Border Patrol Cases

The border states of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas rely on federal dollars to prosecute drug cases sent to them by US agents. Now a Texas county is refusing to accept cases from U.S. Border Patrol checkpoints. That’s having a ripple effect in state courts across the Southwest as Marfa Public Radio’s Lorne Matalon reports.


Caretakers Search for an Injured Immigrant’s Identity

Staff members at a San Diego nursing home are trying to identify a patient who’s been on life support for more than a decade. Officials believe the man was crossing into the United States when the vehicle he was riding in crashed.  Joanne Faryon of I-news Source reports the man’s caretakers are releasing information in an effort to locate the man’s family.


Rio Grande Pollution Threatens a New Mexico Town’s Way of Life

The Pueblo of Isleta in Central New Mexico is a Native American community between Kirtland Air Force Base and the City of Albuquerque.  The Rio Grande River runs through the middle of the tribe’s ancestral land, which is the bedrock of their cultural heritage.   Ed Williams from public radio station KUNM reports Pueblo residents worry pollution is contaminating the river which they regard as sacred. 


Williams continues his report with a story on Albuquerque’s wastewater treatment plant and its difficulty in meeting environmental standards for discharging treated water into the Rio Grande.


Radio Bomba

The bandleader of the group Bombasta is going behind the scenes in San Antonio to interview artists and creative people for a podcast that’s getting a lot of attention. Texas Public Radio’s Jack Morgan Interviews Robert Livar, host of “Radio Bomba.”

Radio Bomba story airing on Fronteras

Texas Public Radio’s Joey Palacios is this week’s guest host for Fronteras.  TPR News Director Shelley Kofler and Alexis Yancey are the show’s producers.  Charanga Cakewalk composed the theme music.  

Shelley Kofler is Texas Public Radio’s news director. She joined the San Antonio station in December 2014 and leads a growing staff that produces two weekly programs; a daily talk show, news features, reports and online content. Prior to TPR, Shelley served as the managing editor and news director at KERA in Dallas-Fort Worth, and the Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter for North Texas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.