The stories behind the stories, plus observations from living and reporting in the Southwest. This blog is written by the reporters and editors of the Fronteras Desk.
The city of Juárez is a major barometer of violence in Mexico. The government claims violence is decreasing there. But residents of the Juárez Valley — which lies along the border for 55 miles beside the city — paint a totally different picture.
The price of a barrel of U.S. crude oil has plummeted by more than 50 percent since June 2014. U.S. producers claim that they're at a competitive disadvantage because they're restricted to selling their oil domestically at a time when they desperately need new markets abroad.
The US has fortified the border with Mexico since 9-11 largely in the name of thwarting terrorism. But some security experts believe there’s a greater potential threat of terrorists entering the US from the northern border with Canada than from across the border with Mexico.
The U.S. and Mexico are spending money in two river towns to rescue their damaged, once connected economies. Along other parts of the Rio Grande, some people claim they're forced to break border laws to survive.
This man-made wetland is now under construction on the Rio Grande. The wetland will be the first on the Rio Grande to use treated wastewater to restore habitat. This comes as Congress is considering a bipartisan bill to extend funding for the construction of mad-made wetlands.
Thousands of mostly poor Hispanic people live in border communities called colonias with no access to running water or electricity. Now the Obama administration wants the four border states that receive federal funds for colonias to increase spending there by 50 percent.
A border crossing that's seen as part of a template to rescue damaged, rural economies along the Rio Grande has marked its second anniversary. The symbolic importance of the crossing was heralded by visits from cabinet secretaries from the U.S. and Mexico.
Mexico has awarded a contract to a group of Texas companies to build a natural gas pipeline from the energy-rich Permian Basin of west Texas to the border. The line would run through ranch land where many owners vehemently oppose the project. But in Texas, pipeline builders can legally seize private land under the power of eminent domain.
Old cars that have little resale value in the U.S. are being towed in caravans that begin in California, Arizona and Texas and end up in Guatemala. The vehicles are fixed up there and sold across Central America. The process represents a small but sustainable economy in one particularly impoverished section of Guatemala on that country’s northern border with Mexico. But the risks travelers face on the week long trip are severe.
Mexico has ordered its consulates to issue birth certificates to its citizens living illegally in the United States. The move is aimed at helping millions apply for temporary work permits and driver's licenses. But some analysts contend there’s another motive for the policy change.