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.

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.

Questions still: a year of living with the unknown

A year ago, through his brother-in-law Eddie, I learned how a Los Angeles area hair salon owner named Andy had gone missing along the U.S.-Mexico border, trying to return home after burying his mother in Sinaloa. A few weeks after his disappearance, Andy’s large family of brothers and sisters, spouses and cousins, nieces and nephews-in-law were scared and anxious. They turned to each other and individually they turned to outside sources including friends, hospitals, law enforcement and psychics on both sides of the border, even questioning the potentially dangerous coyote smugglers paid to safely guide Andy home – but they weren’t finding answers. One year later, they know barely anything more than they did when Andy first went missing. Here’s what they know (also used to generate Andy’s timeline):

Born in Sinaloa in November 1965, Andy came to the United States in the 1980s.

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.

MFM blog update: timeline of a disappearance

A year ago, Andy’s family was coming to the realization that something had gone wrong. Instead of making an illegal and dangerous border crossing from Mexico to the U.S. somewhere in southern Arizona, Andy had disappeared. Now, just over a year later, they still do not know what happened to him. But they have worked with me on developing a timeline of Andy’s travel between Mexico and the U.S. which is posted today.