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: 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.

Caravan for Peace tour explains impact of violence

On a cloudy day with cool-for-Phoenix temperatures in the low 90s, a small group clustered around the Arizona Department of Health Services entrance, reporters holding mics and cameras up to catch the words of local activists giving press conference follow-up comments amid the noise of street and air traffic. The faces and backgrounds were as diverse as the groups they represented which included churches, labor organizations and activists for peace. The real event that would bring them all together would take place that evening, when the Caravan for Peace tour arrived downtown, but they were here to explain why they brought the tour to Arizona. “We have members who have family members living in Mexico,” said Rev. Liona Rowe of Shadow Rock United Church of Christ. “I can’t say that there’s anyone particularly in the congregation who’s been directly impacted by that and yet all of us are impacted, the way our communities are so dysfunctional can certainly be traced back to what’s going on.”
And it’s communities like Shadow Rock that did the planning for the events and are also providing hospitality for the Caravan tour as it travels.