Pages Navigation Menu

Nogales Connection: Daily shuttle service delivers

By | 0 comments

Inside the neon green and yellow shack on 6th Avenue, a few blocks outside of South Tucson, there are four rows of connected seats facing the entrance and a gray television set broadcasting an episode of Malcolm in the Middle dubbed in Spanish. A glossy Mexican national flag is painted across the wall behind the rows of seats, and candlelight reflects off of a porcelain figurine of La Virgen de Guadalupe placed on a small stool by the ticket counter. Luis Alberto Lopez Hernandez, a contracted shuttle driver for the family owned Sahuaro Shuttle service, pulls his 14-passenger van up to the side of the vibrantly colored building and plants a stool in front of its opened double doors. “Nogales! Quien va para Nogales? (Who’s going to Nogales?),” he announces in front of the shuttle. He jokes with the other drivers before attentively greeting the four...

Read More

Budget spends millions for unwanted Border Strike Force

By | 0 comments

The latest budget deal spends million of dollars on a new Border Strike Force created at Gov. Ducey’s request last year, but border county sheriffs say they want no part of it. The budget deal appropriates a total of $26.6 million to the Department of Public Safety specifically for the Border Strike Force under its command, which is about $5 million less than Ducey’s original $31.5 million bid. During his State of the State speech in January, Ducey called the Border Strike Force “a partnership between local, state and federal law enforcement that’s providing a force multiplier in the fight against drug cartels and border crimes.” That partnership was rocky from the start, spurring criticisms from border sheriffs in Cochise, Pima, Santa Cruz and Yuma counties. They remain skeptical about the Border Strike Force’s need, operational plan, effectiveness and...

Read More

Seeking Safe Haven: Central American children hope to find refuge across U.S.-Mexico Border

By | 0 comments

About an hour south of Tucson, on the other side of a fence that demarcates the United States from Mexico, a humanitarian crisis unfolds as tens of thousands of child migrants from Central America cross the border. Over the past five years, more than 140,000 children from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala have made the more than 2,000 mile, two-week minimum journey on foot without a guaranteed source of food, water or shelter all in hope of finding a safe haven in the U.S. Along the way, these children are vulnerable to human trafficking, exploitation and abuse in addition to innumerable hazards on the road. Every day, more children arrive from these countries, and surpassed the number of migrant children from Mexico for the first time in 2013. By 2014, the number of unaccompanied minors apprehended at the border,...

Read More

Foley’s War: Occupying the U.S.-Mexico Border

By | 1 comment

Wind whips through the dry grass at the base of the U.S.-Mexico border fence where Tim Foley stands smoking a cigarette and surveying vast wilderness of the Altar Valley. Here, just west of the Sasabe border crossing, the 20-foot tall steel fencing abruptly gives way to straggling barbed wire as the physical border, so easily drawn on a map, cuts across rugged terrain into the Baboquivari Mountains and the Tohono O’odham reservation. Foley brings people to this spot to demonstrate what he considers a lack of border security. Places like this are wide open. Anyone can pass through. Not that the fence is stopping anybody anyway, he says. The founding member of the Arizona Border Recon, Foley, with his loyal pitbull Rocco, leads a group of well-armed volunteers who patrol the desert for people and drugs crossing illegally from...

Read More

Border road trip reveals desire for change

By | Comments Off on Border road trip reveals desire for change

One day, three cities, five people. The trip from Douglas to Naco to Nogales is a classic look into the American Southwest. The sun is hot, there is a sea of yellow grass, and each downtown vaguely emanates the Wild West. Along the endless stretches of highway, however, modernity breaks up the timelessness. U.S. Border Patrol cars — fleets of white SUVs, its purpose stated boldly in green, police lights fixed to the roof — race around the charcoal concrete, searching for interlopers. Driving through Arizona’s border towns, the picture can be deceptively simple. On a Sunday, there are people pouring out of churches, milling about in city green spaces, and squeezing in some work. Yet this lazy Sunday belies the hotbed of activity that these towns are fused with. Life in these cities is undeniably affected by its...

Read More

Latin food flavors have multiple connections

By | Comments Off on Latin food flavors have multiple connections

  South American and Latin American flavors are finding their way into Mexican cuisine. An Agricultural Marketing Resource Center study shows Mexicans are now the largest minority group living in the U.S., and within the restaurant industry Mexican food consumption is increasing faster than any other segment. Chicken and cheese enchiladas. Fajitas. Bean and cheese burritos. Little taquitos with salsa. They are all ideal Mexican meals in the United States. But Peruvian, Venezuelan, Brazilian and other Latin American cuisines are leavening influence on Mexican flavors. Inca’s Peruvian Cuisine, 6878 E. Sunrise Drive in Tucson, contributes to the emerging Latin taste.. Restaurant Owner Luis Campos sees that trend. “Mexicans and Americans love food that they are familiar with and is similar to their own,” Campos said. “An example would be Ceviche (a seafood dish). Ceviche is from Mexico, yet as a Peruvian...

Read More

Miracle Valley: A land sullied by history

By | 1 comment

MIRACLE VALLEY — Once home to a Bible college, a cult, a bombing, a shooting and a police brawl, Miracle Valley can be a transformative place. The small place with a complicated history where the border and the San Pedro River meet is known mostly for its revivalists and broken promises. Its stories have been cataloged extensively in two books by William R. Daniel, that tell of the 300-member church that came from Chicago in 1978, led by Pastor Frances Thomas, and in four years took run of the place over police, making national news. Today, the flat strip of Highway 92 between Sierra Vista and Bisbee, stretched between two mountains, lies parallel to the border three miles south and perpendicular to the San Pedro. West of the river, the highway intersects a street called “Healing Way.” A Bible...

Read More

How state, national parks near border became safe for visitors again

By | Comments Off on How state, national parks near border became safe for visitors again

Caution: “Smuggling and illegal immigration may be encountered in this area.” Visitors to state and national parks, monuments and memorials in Southern Arizona have undoubtedly seen these signs posted along popular hiking trails. The sites near the Mexico border are great spots to find hiking, bird watching and camping, but also provide the perfect place for undocumented immigrants and drug smugglers to cross into the U.S. However, visitors are unlikely to see any illegal border activity. One reason: Border Patrol now has an operating base inside the Coronado National Memorial in Sierra Vista, which has led to more officers being assigned to the park to help reduce illegal border activity. “Visitors don’t often see it because (immigrants) try to avoid established trails and they usually travel by night,” said Christopher Bentley, park ranger at the Coronado National Memorial near Sierra Vista, which is only...

Read More

‘Gunslinger’ wants to launch a Tombstone podcast

By | 1 comment

Lincoln Leavere saunters through a saloon off Allen Street and takes a seat outside. The Tombstone “gunslinger” leans in to explain his plan: He wants to bring the Wild West into the age of podcasts. Leavere, an actor at Old Tombstone Western Town, along with a few other partners, hopes to launch Tombstone Radio later this spring as a podcast. The radio station will broadcast stories about the West and music to fit the setting in Tombstone, as well as provide updates on the area’s current events. “It’s a little bit of history, a little bit of rock n’ roll,” Leavere says. “It’s mostly about having fun in the West.” So, in the town that thrives on living in the late 19th century, the plan is for its podcast to be able to reach anyone around the world through smartphones, tablets or a connection to...

Read More

Border Strike Force statistics not adding up

By | 4 comments

Department of Public Safety reports released through the Arizona public records law fail to back up Gov. Doug Ducey’s claims that his Border Strike Force had the impact detailed in his State of the State address. Ducey said the strike force made “more than 300 arrests and seized 4,400 pound of marijuana, 194 pounds of meth and 21 pounds of heroin” from operations since September until his speech in January. He offered this data to support his legislative request for $31 million to expand DPS’s border operations. Arizona Sonora News Service filed requests with DPS seeking records of the strike force’s operations. The public records were released two months later and exposed inconsistencies in the governor’s numbers. The data — more than 800 pages — revealed 51 drug-related arrests and seizure of 1,685 pounds of marijuana from operations dating back to September...

Read More