The Takeaway

Is Mexico gaining ground in the fight against drug cartels?

Friday, April 03, 2009

Yesterday, Mexican federal police arrested Vicente Leyva, one of the country's most wanted men. That's the third arrest of a suspected drug cartel power player in as many weeks. Leyva is allegedly the number two man in a family-run cartel based in the violent city of Ciudad Juarez. Does the bust mean Mexico is finally getting ahead of drug traffickers? The Takeaway talks to Laura Carlsen, Director of the Americas Program at the Center for International Policy.


The Takeaway

U.S. announces new efforts to help Mexico fight drug cartels

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits Mexico today. She’s taking with her a new multi-agency security program for the U.S.-Mexico border. It’s an attempt to support the Mexican government in its fight against drug cartels. The new plan recognizes the role the United States plays in escalating drug violence. President Obama called it a “two-way situation” where drugs come north from Mexico to the U.S., and laundered drug money and guns go south from the U.S. to Mexico. BBC reporter Steven Gibbs spent Tuesday embedded with Mexican troops and he is joins us with a report.

We've been following this story closely. For more of The Takeaway's coverage of life and death on the border, click here.

Here's a glimpse of the drug war being waged on the streets of Ciudad Juarez:

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The Takeaway

War at the border

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Takeaway has been following the spillover of Mexico's drug war where the national army is battling powerful cartels from tense border towns in west Texas and Arizona to the violent sisters cities of Ciudad Juarez and El Paso. Our partners the New York Times are beginning a series examining the influence and impact of cartels on both sides of the border. The Takeaway talks to New York Times national correspondent Randy Archibold, who is based in Los Angeles. His story in today's paper kicks off that series.

Read Randy Archibold's article, Mexican Drug Cartel Violence Spills Over, Alarming U.S., in today's New York Times.

For more of The Takeaway's coverage of Mexico and the drug war at the border, click here.


The Takeaway

New routes for cocaine trafficking spur global conflict

Monday, March 16, 2009

The war against drugs coming over the U.S. border is well documented, but what is rarely talked about is the impact of the U.S. war on drug routes. Turns out that cocaine is now being routed from Colombia across the Atlantic through Africa rather than face turmoil in Central America. This is turning the African nation of Guinea-Bissau into a new narco-state. The Takeaway is joined by Ed Vulliamy, a journalist for The Observer, who has written a three-part series on the new drug trade.


The Takeaway

As Mexico's drug violence grows, a Texas border city looks nervously south

Thursday, March 05, 2009

All week, we’ve been taking a look at the U.S.-Mexico border, where violence has soared as Mexico’s army battles powerful drug cartels. Today, we turn to a place you may not have heard of: Brownsville, Texas. It’s a small city where most people have family right across the border in Matamoros, Mexico. And they have learned that what happens in Texas can’t be separated from what happens in Mexico. The Takeaway talks to Brownsville judge Carlos Cascos and Brownsville Herald crime reporter Ildefonso Ortiz for their take on life on the border.

For more stories from the border, click here.


The Takeaway

U.S. guns go south, Mexico's drug war comes north

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

This this week, we’ve been taking a look at Mexico’s drug war and the ripple effect being felt throughout the Southwest United States. Perhaps nowhere has this been felt more keenly than in Arizona where drug-related kidnappings have soared over the past year. Adding to the turmoil is the flow of guns from the U.S. to Mexican gangs. As jury selection continues in the trial of a Phoenix gun-dealer who allegedly sold hundreds of weapons to Mexican cartel members, the debate rages about how to keep American guns out of Mexico. We are joined by someone who is in the front-line of trying to make that happen, Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard.

Here is Terry Goddard on CNN discussing gun smuggling:


The Takeaway

Asylum cases skyrocket amid Mexico drug war violence

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

A rising tide of violence stemming from Mexico’s drug war has sent thousands of Mexican nationals fleeing across the border to the United States. Some of them go home, but thousands more say they cannot without fear of reprisal. Understandably, the number of Mexicans seeking asylum in the United States has skyrocketed in the past year. We’re joined by Carlos Spector an immigration attorney in El Paso, Texas, who has been helping people flee the violence.

Here is raw footage of Mexican troops being deployed to the border city of Ciudad Juarez, the country's most dangerous drug city.

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The Takeaway

Mexico's drug war bleeds across the border

Monday, March 02, 2009

In recent weeks, much of northern Mexico has been gripped by anarchic violence as President Felipe Calderon takes on powerful drug cartels. The cartels' tactics are simple: use brute force to get what you want. The problem is—it's working. And increasingly, that violence is spilling across Mexico’s border into U.S. cities like El Paso and Phoenix. The Takeaway is joined by Sam Quinones, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, and Tracy Wilkinson, Mexico Bureau Chief for the same paper. Both have been providing coverage for the paper’s series: “Mexico Under Siege.”

For more, follow the series, Mexico Under Siege, in the Los Angeles Times.

"There are many groups fighting for a piece of not just territory, not just smuggling routes, but also for control of local markets. So there are many factors to why this has become so much more violent."
— Tracy Wilkinson of the Los Angeles Times, on the violence of Mexican drug cartels


The Takeaway

There will be blood: U.S. border towns fear Mexican drug war violence

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mexico’s drug war is flaring up and in some U.S. border towns, residents say they fear a wave of bloodshed is headed their way. The Takeaway talks to journalist Diana Washington Valdez, author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated El Paso Times series “Death Stalks the Border" and the forthcoming book, “Mexican Roulette: Last Cartel Standing.”

For more from Diana Washington Valdez, check out her blog.

Discovery en Espanol made a haunting documentary on the murders in Juarez featuring the work of Diana Washington Valdez. Below is part one via Youtube: