Monthly Archives: January 2015

Mexico Consulates Issue Birth Certificates To Undocumented Migrants In The US

Story originally published at

fronteras_logo

 

Mexico has ordered its consulates to issue birth certificates to its citizens living illegally in the United States.

The move follows President Barack Obama’s executive action granting temporary reprieve from deportation to several million undocumented Mexicans.

Herlinda Lujan with her Mexican birth certificate at the Mexico Consulate at Presidio, Texas. In a major policy shift, Mexican consulates are issuing birth certificates to its citizens living in the United States regardless of their U.S. immigration status.

Herlinda Lujan with her Mexican birth certificate at the Mexico Consulate at Presidio, Texas. In a major policy shift, Mexican consulates are issuing birth certificates to its citizens living in the United States regardless of their U.S. immigration status. (Lorne Matalon)

Mexican officials say they wants to help undocumented migrants apply for a variety of programs, including immigration applications, triggered by Obama’s decision. And those programs require identification, starting with a birth certificate.

Continue reading

Posted in Radio, Resources | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Border Drones: CBP Rejects Negative Audit As Congress Debates Funding Bill

Story originally published at

fronteras_logo

 

The Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general, an independent auditor, has issued a highly critical report on unmanned aircraft, or drones, that patrol the country’s borders, principally with Mexico.

Border missions fly out of Sierra Vista, Ariz., southeast of Tucson — the headquarters of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center at Fort Huachuca — or Corpus Christi, Texas.

A Customs and Border Protection Predator drone. When drones were deployed eight years ago, CBP said they would patrol the entire Southwest border. The Inspector General at CBP's parent agency, DHS, claims the drones patrol 170 miles of the border in Arizona and Texas. (Photo by Gerald L. Nino via Wikimedia Commons)

A Customs and Border Protection Predator drone. When drones were deployed eight years ago, CBP said they would patrol the entire Southwest border. The Inspector General at CBP’s parent agency, DHS, claims the drones patrol 170 miles of the border in Arizona and Texas. (Gerald L. Nino via Wikimedia Commons)

The report says there is “little or no evidence” the nine Predator B drones are worth their expensive price tag. Predator B drones each cost $18 million while the eight-year-old drone program represents $62 million a year in taxpayer money.

Continue reading

Posted in Radio | Leave a comment

Iguala Murders Present A Slight Opening For Mexican Border Media

Story originally published at

fronteras_logo

 

Outrage over the alleged alliance between police, politicians and organized crime in the murders of 43 college teaching students continues in Mexico.

In parts of Mexico, the killings appear to be translating into a slightly more robust media in a country where journalists often use self-censorship.

Francisco Muñoz prepares to deliver a midday newscast. He says the violence against student teachers in Iguala has affected the media just as it has society at-large. (Photo by Lorne Matalon)

Francisco Muñoz prepares to deliver a midday newscast. He says the violence against student teachers in Iguala has affected the media just as it has society at-large. (Lorne Matalon)

But any progress toward a more vibrant media must be seen through the prism of a reality where the Committee To Protect Journalists says that there are many zones of media silence in Mexico.

Continue reading

Posted in Radio | Leave a comment

Mexico: Challenge To Police Reform

Story originally published at

fronteras_logo

 

Mexico’s president wants to change his country’s constitution to replace local police with state police. He also wants legal authority to take over municipal governments infiltrated by organized crime.

But ongoing protests and recent polls suggest Mexicans aren’t convinced the change will make a difference.

Two officers from the Juárez Police guard a crime scene. Mexico's president has proposed putting local police under the supervision of state police. Criminologists on either side of the border say the proposal ignores the reality that some local police forces, among them Ciudad Juárez and Tijuana, are today more professional than their state counterparts. (Lorne Matalon)

Two officers from the Juárez Police guard a crime scene. Mexico’s president has proposed putting local police under the supervision of state police. Criminologists on either side of the border say the proposal ignores the reality that some local police forces, among them Ciudad Juárez and Tijuana, are today more professional than their state counterparts. (Lorne Matalon)

The move follows disgust in Mexico over a long delay by the federal government to investigate the murders of 43 college students.

Continue reading

Posted in Radio | Leave a comment

Mexico Marks Día De La Revolución: Patriotism, Protest And Revulsion

Story originally published at

fronteras_logo

Update: This story was also featured on The Takeaway with John Hockenberry, a co-production of WNYC, the BBC World Service, and the New York Times.

Mexico has marked the 104th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution. This year, the day was transformed into a platform for nationwide protests. Anguish is mounting over the government’s response to the murders of 43 college students in September.

A mayor in central Mexico, José Luis Abarca Velázquez, his wife Maria de los Angeles Pineda, and police are accused in the crime. Several analysts maintain that Mexico is in turmoil now, that a society seen to be historically passive in the face of crime driven by the narco-political nexus in the country is incensed in a way that hasn’t been seen in generations.

The banner reads 'fue el estado,' translated as 'It was the state.' There's no indication the murders of 43 students in Iguala, Guerrero went beyond the local level, but protesters say the alleged involvement of a mayor and police, both agents of the state imply that the Mexican state as an institution also bears some responsibility. (mioaxaca.com)

The banner reads ‘fue el estado,’ translated as ‘It was the state.’ There’s no indication the murders of 43 students in Iguala, Guerrero went beyond the local level, but protesters say the alleged involvement of a mayor and police, both agents of the state imply that the Mexican state as an institution also bears some responsibility. (mioaxaca.com)

It’s not just the crime itself that’s roiling Mexico. It’s the perception that the government’s reaction was slow. It took a month before the arrest of the mayor, the politician who allegedly orchestrated the deaths of 43 students.

Continue reading

Posted in Radio | Leave a comment

Court Ruling In Texas Case May Set Precedent Against Border Patrol

Story originally published by

fronteras_logo

A case now before the courts in Texas may set a precedent in alleged racial profiling cases brought against the United States Border Patrol.

If it succeeds, it would open a pathway for people judged by the courts to have been unlawfully seized in roving patrols to sue an individual agent, not simply the Border Patrol as an institution.

Roving patrols are separate from immigration checkpoints placed within 100 miles of the border with Mexico.

Continue reading

Posted in Resources | Leave a comment

Tracking Mountain Lions In Texas: Study Suggests Population Is Stable

Story originally published by

fronteras_logo

 

The mountain lion of Texas is known by many names in the Southwest. Cougars, panthers and pumas to name three.

In California it’s protected. In Arizona and New Mexico, you can hunt this predator, but with strict limitations. In Texas, mountain lions can be hunted at will. Still, preliminary results from a four-year-old study suggest that the Texas mountain lion population is stable and may be growing.

Wildlife biologist Dana Milani and landowner Bert Geary examine an adult female mountain lion. Geary is one of more than 50 landowners who've granted access to their land to study an animal that has been the historical object of scorn by many Texas ranchers. (Price Rumbelow)

Wildlife biologist Dana Milani and landowner Bert Geary examine an adult female mountain lion. Geary is one of more than 50 landowners who’ve granted access to their land to study an animal that has been the historical object of scorn by many Texas ranchers. (Price Rumbelow)

Data from a Texas project tracking mountain lions by satellite imply a population of between 25-40 animals in one of the sky islands in Texas. Sky island refers to a mountain range surrounded by flatlands or in the case of this study, the high desert that’s a 90-minute drive north of the U.S.-Mexico border.The project, privately funded by individuals and nonprofit foundations, is an initiative of the Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas.

Continue reading

Posted in Radio | Leave a comment

A River In Peril: Documenting Damage On The Rio Grande

Story originally published at

fronteras_logo

 

The notion that the Rio Grande is losing water is not new.

But one man wants to advance the conversation about watershed loss beyond platitudes.

Colin McDonald on the Rio Grande, called Rio Bravo del Norte in Mexico. He's on a journey from the river's headwaters in Colorado to the Gulf of Mexico. (Lorne Matalon)

Colin McDonald on the Rio Grande, called Rio Bravo del Norte in Mexico. He’s on a journey from the river’s headwaters in Colorado to the Gulf of Mexico. (Lorne Matalon)

He thinks prospective attempts to rescue this vital watershed are stymied by a lack of information, that the general public doesn’t consider the Rio Grande’s fate with the same intensity as it does other major rivers such as the Colorado River.

Continue reading

Posted in Radio | Leave a comment

Reclaiming Lost Land: US, Mexico Ranchers Tracking Texas Experiment

Story originally published at

fronteras_logo

 

Ranchers from three southwestern states — Arizona, New Mexico and Texas — and Mexico are gathering in the high desert of West Texas to review results of an experiment to raise hardy seeds that can flourish in a demanding landscape.

Specifically, the ranchers are meeting with scientists to review results from a two-year experiment to cultivate large quantities of reintroduced Southwest native to reinvigorate lands damaged by drought and overgrazing.

matalon_seeds_2

Rancher Nick Garza from Sonora, Texas examines seedlings in an experimental plot near Alpine, Texas. (Lorne Matalon)

“My world is a million little paper bags of seed,” said Colin Shackelford, a research associate at Texas Native Seeds, a restoration project founded at Texas A&M University.

Continue reading

Posted in Radio | Leave a comment

Mexico Energy Reform: Border Pipeline Challenge In Chihuahua

Story originally published at

fronteras_logo

 

 

Mexico’s oil and gas industry is about to open up to the rest of the world — and American oil and gas companies are eager to get a foothold in a market closed to outsiders since 1938.

That’s the year Mexico nationalized its oil industry and ordered American and other foreign companies out.

But before major exploration can take place, Mexico has to create an infrastructure to support it — roads and especially pipelines. And that’s where the challenges begin.

Continue reading

Posted in Radio | Leave a comment

The Political Calculus: National Guard On The Texas Border

Story originally published at

fronteras_logo

 

The United States Congress is wrestling with competing visions on border security, including the possibility of a federal deployment of the National Guard to the border.

But in Texas, where political angst over border security is a water cooler issue, the National Guard is deploying on the Texas-Mexico border for the third time since 2006.

Border

The U.S.-Mexico border, where Presidio, TX meets Ojinaga, Chihuahua, Mexico. (Lorne Matalon)

President George W. Bush sent the National Guard to four border states that year. Four years later, President Barack Obama extended that deployment.

Continue reading

Posted in Radio | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment