MFM blog update: summing up the first year of the search for Andy

When Eddie contacted me in August 2011 neither of us knew how long the search for his brother-in-law Andy might last. After working with law enforcement, humanitarian volunteers, activists and the medical examiner, Andy’s family is still waiting for answers. Some have consulted psychics known as brujas. Some have driven the highways of Arizona stopping at local hospitals, police stations and prisons. Others have retraced Cota’s route from Tijuana to Cananea, posting flyers with his name and photographs along the way.

A call from the dentist

In February, Eddie hadn’t heard much from Robbie and Johnny about their search along the Mexican side of U.S.-Mexico border for Andy, missing since July 2011. “We haven’t heard anything from them,” Eddie said.” “I know they went to Canenea and those places but I don’t know where they are right now, we don’t know where they are now.”

Yesterday he called back to update me on their trip. “They came back empty handed with no information, they asked people and they didn’t have anything,” Eddie said. “They reported that the Mexican police, they looked around and nobody had any information.”

But he had something more pressing to discuss. “That’s some breaking news that the medical examiner called from Arizona, they have some information that they called the dentist,” Eddie said.

The trip that never was

Eddie and his wife Monse had planned to drive down in February to look for her missing brother Andy along the U.S.-Mexico border in southern Arizona. But, energized by the words of the psychics they consulted, her family developed other plans. “All of the sudden Monse’s family is getting excited they want to go look for them,” Eddie said at the end of January. “Every time Monse and I we want to do something they get, the family gets excited and they start some activities.”

Eddie and Monse had planned to talk to radio stations and visit shelters. “Monse and I, we meet these people so Monse can tell her story here what’s going on with the brother,” Eddie said.

Border Patrol busts: an illustrated mini news roundup

Drug busts are a big part of Border Patrol coverage, and it’s a topic that agents are often happy to discuss. As part of my work for Tucson Sentinel, I’ve been logging the incidents Border Patrol reports to the press in the righthand column of my weekly border roundups. Last week’s edition featured an unusual amount of photos provided by Border Patrol of some cases that demonstrate both regular smuggling activity – and a few especially inventive attempts – that I discussed with Border Patrol Agents Jeremy Copeland and Jason Rheinfrank. Customs and Border Protection’s Yuma Air Branch spotted suspects hiding bundles of marijuana in brush along the Colorado River near the U.S.-Mexico border about 5:30 Thursday evening. They notified Border Patrol agents who arrived on scene to seize the narcotics.

MFM blog update: Weekly news roundups at Tucson Sentinel

If news links weren’t enough in 2012, get ready for news summaries: Missing from Mexico’s News article highlights & updates page will now be listing a series of weekly border news roundups that I’m writing for the Tucson Sentinel. They’ll also be available under the drop-down menu for news in the navigation bar above ^ . In addition Missing from Mexico’s News article highlights & updates page will still have extra articles (including topics like forensics or immigration in other countries). Plus all these links and more are regularly going into Missing from Mexico’s database of articles, radio pieces, video and official reports about border issues, forensics and reporting.

MFM blog update: Birthday post

One year ago today, this blog started with its very first post. Since then the goal has been to follow Eddie’s search for his missing brother-in-law, Andy, while also expanding coverage of related border issues including missing persons and forensics cases. A lot has happened already. There’s been ups: MfM has gone social with a Twitter account and a Facebook page. The growing database of articles, radio pieces, video and official reports about border issues, forensics and reporting is constantly growing with with room for many, many more submissions.

The brujas are back

I checked in with Eddie this weekend to see how the holidays had gone. In mid-December, he’d mentioned that he and his wife Monse were discussing coming south to look for Monse’s missing brother-in-law Andy again. They hadn’t come yet but he did have some news for me: the brujas are back. “I’m trying to go convince there’s no such thing, you know, don’t believe those people,” Eddie said. But about two weeks ago, Andy’s sister in Tijuana went to one and the information she shared with Eddie’s wife Monse has Eddie worried.

MFM blog update: Article database over 1,000

Need a place to start research or just want to learn more about border issues? Missing from Mexico’s database of articles, radio pieces, video and official reports about border issues, forensics and reporting is now over 1000 entries – and growing! Plus don’t forget – if you see something that should be in here, article submissions welcome here.