Tagged: Texas

Everything you need to know about the Mexico-United States border

(HISTORY CHANNEL) — By Christopher Klein

The border between the United States and Mexico stretches for nearly 2,000 miles from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean and touches the states of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. The Rio Grande runs along 1,254 miles of the border, but west of El Paso, Texas, the boundary lacks a natural geographic barrier except for a small stretch along the Colorado River.

Approximately 700 miles of barbed wire, chain link, post-and-rail and wire mesh fencing has been erected along the U.S.-Mexico border. The U.S. Border Patrol also utilizes thousands of cameras and underground sensors as well as aircraft, drones and boats to monitor the boundary.

After winning its independence from Spain in 1821, Mexico stretched as far north as the Oregon Territory. The secession of Texas in 1836, however, marked the beginning of the loss of Mexican territory that would become the present-day U.S. Southwest.

The War with Mexico

U.S. President James K. Polk captured the White House in 1844 on a pledge to fulfill America’s “Manifest Destiny” to stretch from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Relations with Mexico deteriorated after the United States annexed Texas in 1845. When Mexico refused an American offer to purchase California and New Mexico for $30 million, Polk dispatched 4,000 troops into land north of the Rio Grande and south of the Nueces River claimed by both countries.

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Trump administration preparing Texas wildlife refuge for first border wall segment

(TEXAS OBSERVER) — by Melissa del Bosque

For at least six months, private contractors and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have been quietly preparing to build the first piece of President Trump’s border wall through the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge in South Texas.

The federally owned 2,088-acre refuge, often called the “crown jewel of the national wildlife refuge system,” could see construction begin as early as January 2018, according to a federal official who has been involved in the planning but asked to remain anonymous.

“This should be public information,” the official told the Observer. “There shouldn’t be government officials meeting in secret just so they don’t have to deal with the backlash. The public has the right to know about these plans.”

CBP plans to construct an 18-foot levee wall that would stretch for almost three miles through the wildlife refuge, according to the official. The structure would consist of a concrete base, which would serve as a levee, and be topped with a fence made of steel bollards, similar to a levee wall built almost a decade ago near Hidalgo, Texas. A second federal official confirmed these details to the Observer.

The official said that the Department of Homeland Security picked the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge as the first site for a border wall segment because it’s owned by the federal government, avoiding legal entanglements with private landowners. At least 95 percent of the Texas border is privately owned. As the Observer’s June cover story, “Over the Wall,” detailed, at least one-third of the 320 condemnation suits filed against landowners in 2007 are still pending.

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Mexican cartel using armored trucks in war at Texas border

(BREITBART) — REYNOSA, Tamaulipas — Mexican cartel members are using armored trucks in their ongoing war for control of lucrative drug trafficking and human smuggling routes near the Texas border.

Recently, Tamaulipas State Police officers seized a large truck outfitted with thick armor plating for firefights. The vehicles are commonly called “Mounstros” or monsters.

According to information provided to Breitbart Texas by the Tamaulipas government, police officers were patrolling the rural areas near Camargo, Tamaulipas, when they came across an abandoned warehouse. Camargo is immediately south of Rio Grande City, Texas.

When authorities inspected the warehouse they found a truck covered in armor plating as a makeshift combat vehicle. The truck had Texas license plates. It remains unclear if the vehicle was previously stolen.

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Mexican mayor arrested after hundreds massacred and cooked in network of ovens, following Breitbart exposé

(BREITBART) — by Ildefonso Ortiz

Mexican authorities have arrested the former mayor of a rural community in the border state of Coahuila in connection with the kidnapping, murder and incineration of hundreds of victims through a network of ovens at the hands of the Los Zetas cartel. The arrest comes after Breitbart Texas exposed not only the horrors of the mass extermination, but also the cover-up and complicity of the Mexican government.

On Thursday morning, Coahuila state authorities arrested Sergio Alonzo Rodriguez, the former mayor of Allende, Coahuila, on the charge of aggravated kidnapping, information provided to Breitbart Texas by the Coahuila government revealed. Rodriguez was the mayor of Allende, Coahuila in March, 2011, when a commando of Los Zetas kidnapped dozens of people who were then murdered and incinerated.

Earlier this year, Breitbart Texas published the results of a three-month investigation into how Los Zetas were able to kidnap, torture, execute and incinerate approximately 300 victims–including women and children–between 2011 and 2013. Approximately 150 of the victims were taken to the Piedras Negras state prison where cartel members used 55-gallon drums to incinerate the human remains.

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Cartel gunmen ambush Mexican border police with armored trucks

BREITBART) — REYNOSA, Tamaulipas — Cartel gunmen riding in armored SUVs ambushed a state police convoy killing one of the officers and sparking a series of chases and gun battles over a period of hours.

The ambush against the state police officers comes after citizen journalists in the border region known as the Ribereña or riverine have reported on gun battles involving large convoys of gunmen. According to residents, the gun battles among cartel factions started early morning in the area immediately south of Roma, Texas and quickly spread to other rural communities. The Ribereña is immediately south of Starr County, Texas and is considered a major drug trafficking route due to the lack of border security in the area.

Law enforcement sources consulted by Breitbart Texas revealed that the ambush took place about four hours after the initial gun battles in the Rancherias rural community near the city of Camargo, which is immediately south of Rio Grande City, Texas. A convoy of armored cartel trucks attacked police forces, setting off a fierce gun battle where one of the officers died. At the end of the clash, two cartel vehicles were left behind. One of the vehicles was a standard SUV, while the other truck was armored. Both vehicles had extensive damage from collisions and gunshots.

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About Drug Lord, the Life and Death of a Mexican Kingpin

Donald Trump wants to build a wall between the United States and Mexico, and he vowed to do so if he became president of the United States. The wall, he argued, will stop the flow of drugs into the country as well as impede the illegal entry of people across the border. Whether Trump is right or wrong about the need for a wall is a matter of fierce debate that will only grow in intensity now that he is president.

What cannot be disputed, however, is that there is a huge amount of drugs coming across the border, no different than in the past. There is also a greater influx of people coming now from all parts of the world than ever before. Who are these people? What is their motive for entering the United States?

Another matter than is beyond dispute is that smuggling activities related to drugs and people are controlled by organized crime groups, and to some extent organized crime is controlled by agencies of the government of Mexico. Read more »

Introduction by the author

This book came about because of the kidnapping of an American newspaper photographer by a Juarez drug trafficker, a brutal and unprecedented event that caused an international scandal and brought about the downfall of one of the major drug traffickers of the time.

Until the kidnapping, I didn’t have much interest in the subject of drugs. Drug trafficking was part of the background noise of the El Paso-Juarez region where I worked as a reporter. It was low keyed even in its violence; it did not draw too much attention to itself. My journalistic work, which had begun for the El Paso Herald-Post in 1984, focused primarily on reporting on a political movement in northern Mexico that was challenging the entrenched one-party system that had ruled Mexico since 1929. Juarez, the largest city in the state of Chihuahua, was the scene of what today would be called a “color” revolution — a democratic movement that used tactics of non-violent resistance to achieve its goals. Such a revolution was unfolding only ten blocks south of the newspaper, just on the other side of the Rio Grande. Read more »