In a series of multimedia stories, Fronteras: The Changing America Desk investigates our role in the illegal narcotics trade and explores how the nation's appetite for drugs and Mexico's war against drug cartels – backed by the U.S. – impacts our communities.
About 22 million Americans use illegal drugs, leading to billions of dollars in profit for Mexico's drug cartels. This is the first in a series of stories exploring "The Drug War At Home."
May 16, 2011
Roberto Hernandez moved drugs north to the U.S. and dollars south to Mexico. His illegal trade ended when investigators started listening to his phone calls.
May 17, 2011
Federal officials cannot stop all of the illicit drugs entering the country. So they teamed up with local cops to target vehicles smuggling drugs on highways across the southwest and beyond.
May 18, 2011
For every enforcement method the government implements, the drug cartels respond with a counter measure.
May 19, 2011
Drug cartels used the real estate crash to expand out of barrios and into suburbia. A new law is helping cops fight back.
May 20, 2011
At least one bank has been accused of facilitating the movement of billions in drug cartel cash across the U.S.-Mexico border. Authorities say more banks are under investigation.
May 23, 2011
Sheriffs, police chiefs and judges from the Rio Grande Valley have been charged with crimes. One expert said it is just a part of life in the impoverished area near the U.S.-Mexico border.
May 24, 2011
Mexican cartels have the drugs and the cash. Gangs have the organization and the street smarts. Authorities say that makes them partners in cross-border crimes, including kidnapping and murder.
May 25, 2011
As Mexican lawmakers try to curb "Narco" culture, the fantasy of living like a drug trafficker is growing in the U.S. It has spread to religion, fashion and television.
May 26, 2011
Mexico’s drug traffickers pray to a mustachioed saint that has become a symbol for the cartel culture.
May 26, 2011
When is a crime near the U.S.-Mexico border just a crime or a result of spillover violence? It’s all in the eyes of the beholder.
May 27, 2011
The Obama administration insists that the border is "more secure than ever," but budgets for border-related crime are getting cut.
May 27, 2011
We have been asking for stories about how the violence in Mexico related to the drug war has affected citizens north of the border. Here are two of their stories.
May 30, 2011
A University of San Diego report found that drug-related killings decreased along the border last year, even as violence grew across Mexico.
March 02, 2012
Some Latin American leaders, including Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, are lobbying for a serious discussion on new ways to fight what many see as a losing war against illicit drugs.
April 25, 2012
A poet who challenged the Mexican government’s anti-drug efforts after his son was murdered there spoke in Tucson on Monday.
May 01, 2012
For several years the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has been eradicating millions of marijuana plants in national parks and forests. And it’s still a major problem. Memorial Day weekend marks the launch of camping and hiking season. So backpackers should be on the lookout.
May 26, 2012
U.S. officials announced Tuesday the arrest of a woman thought to be a key link between a major Mexican drug trafficking organization and U.S. distributors.
July 03, 2012
Law enforcement seized three tons of marijuana in their efforts to dismantle an alleged drug trafficking ring operating in the state, which they believe has ties to the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico.
July 06, 2012
Eduardo Arellano-Felix will face federal prosecution for his alleged role in running Tijuana's most powerful drug cartel.
August 31, 2012
The vote to legalize marijuana in Colorado and Washington State is making waves beyond U.S. borders as Latin American leaders call for a re-evaluation of drug control strategy.
November 12, 2012
Mexican daily newspapers increase their coverage of organized crime, but only scratch the surface.
November 21, 2012
Following the legalization of Marijuana in Colorado and Washington state, Columbia University professor ponders a future where Mexican marijuana is a source of national pride.
November 21, 2012
The Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition has a mission to prevent and end Human Trafficking in San Diego and beyond.
November 24, 2012
In northern Chihuahua, citizens explain their hopes for a new government and their yearning to live without terror.
November 29, 2012
Can Mexico's new president use his promise for a more business friendly country to end the drug war?
December 01, 2012
The recent death of a Coast Guard member during an apparent smuggling incident suggests the California coast may be an increasingly dangerous front in the war on drugs.
December 05, 2012
Investigating and prosecuting certain drug transportation cases isn't always black and white for U.S. judges and attorneys.
December 21, 2012
A guided-missile frigate left San Diego on Tuesday morning for a six-month deployment to Central American waters. Its mission is to disrupt illegal drug trafficking in the eastern Pacific and Caribbean.
January 08, 2013
A new paper explores how Twitter has liberated a group of journalists to share and assimilate their reporting across dangerous war-zones of Mexico.
January 15, 2013
The number of homicides dropped to between 20,000 and 25,000 last year, and between 45 to 60 percent of those were organized-crime-style murders.
February 06, 2013
The Tijuana perfume salesman, who said he didn't know drugs were in the car, won an appeal after the government destroyed evidence in the case.
May 13, 2013
A report on the state of the U.S.-Mexico border calls for more strategic efforts to improve border security, and more emphasis on making trade and travel more efficient.
May 23, 2013
Vicente Fox says legalized and regulated marijuana could address national security and economic problems.
June 06, 2013