Mexico Drug War | Texas Public Radio

Mexico Drug War

Editor's note: This story includes graphic descriptions of the search for human remains.

Manky Lugo has developed a gruesome expertise. Like a human bloodhound, she sniffs out traces of death.

Her gray hair wrapped in a bright-green bandanna, the 64-year-old applies her skill during an annual search for remains of fellow citizens who have vanished without a trace — victims of Mexico's drug wars and armed groups. A loved one of her own is among the missing.

It was almost dark when Shalom LeBaron reached the spot where her daughter, Rhonita Miller LeBaron, and four grandchildren were killed. LeBaron found the remains of her 10-year-old granddaughter in the back seat of a car that had been riddled with bullets and set on fire earlier that morning.

"Facedown, crunched up in fetal position because she was so afraid," LeBaron said through tears in an interview with NPR. "That's how her bones were found."

There’s a volatile mix building in the Mexican border town of Juarez. An overflow of migrants hoping to get into the United States are in the crosshairs as a drug gang rivalry builds. Reporter Emily Green (@emilytgreen) has the story.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

@SeleeAndrew https://twitter.com/seleeandrew/status/1000475095394070528

President Trump repeatedly referred to the North American Free Trade Agreement as “the worst trade deal ever made.” But how did the agreement serve border relations since its signing in 1993?

Andrew Selee, president of the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington D.C. think tank that supports liberal immigration policies, joins us to talk about his new book about the forces that have bound the U.S. and Mexico since NAFTA was enacted.


Federal and state authorities in Mexico have disarmed the entire police force in the city of Acapulco as investigators look into suspicions that it has been infiltrated by drug gangs.

According to The Associated Press, officers "were stripped of their guns, radios and bullet-proof vests and taken for background checks. Law enforcement duties in the seaside city of 800,000 will be taken over by soldiers, marines and state police."

The U.S. State Department is warning Americans not to travel to five Mexican states, issuing a "do not travel" advisory.

"Violent crime, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery, is widespread," the State Department said in the notice Thursday.

From Texas Standard.

When it comes to combating Mexican drug cartels, law enforcement agencies have aimed at the head, aiming to weakening them by eliminate the groups’ leadership. According to the Congressional Research Service, Capitol Hill’s nonpartisan think tank, 107 of Mexico’s 122 most violent criminals have been removed from cartels. The results? Violence has surged, with media outlets reporting that death tolls have hit 20 year highs. So how did this explosion of violence happen and what’s coming next?

From Texas Standard:

The drug war between the Mexican government and drug cartels has been raging ever since then-President Felipe Calderon declared a crackdown on narcos in December 2006. Hundreds of thousands have died, and that’s not even counting the mass kidnappings, with innocent people disappearing without a trace.

Ariel Dulitzky has been looking into some of these disappearances. The University of Texas law professor was appointed in 2010 by the United Nations Human Rights Council to a working group investigating the increase in kidnappings. His new report looks into some of these disappearances.

One of Mexico's most respected journalists has been shot to death in his home state of Sinaloa, in northwestern Mexico, and a large group of gunmen has attacked seven other journalists traveling in the southwest.

A wave of attacks, several of them fatal, targeted reporters in Mexico over the past few months, NPR's Carrie Kahn reports from Mexico.

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