Nuevo Laredo, Mexico
August 3, 2005 11:35 am
ed. note: Watch the "FOX Report" tonight at 7 pm ET for more on the recent explosion of violence along the Texas-Mexico border where 43 Americans have been kidnapped in the past year.
The police chief has Sirius Satellite Radio in his car. He likes Coldplay. I've been thinking about Sirius but may go with XM for the baseball. I'd like to hear Yankee games on the radio. Here they've got the Marlins and Tampa on TV, but you really can't start watching another team. At least I can't.
The last two police chiefs in Nuevo Laredo have been murdered. Two drug cartels are fighting for control of the city, which is right on the border with Texas and is a key transport center for goods and drugs into the U.S.
The new chief, Omar, drove a Dodge Neon. He drove himself, which at first seemed odd to me, since he has six bodyguards carrying automatics. I sat next to him. He said he was an ex-highway patrolman and knew how to move fast. I got the feeling he didn't trust anyone else behind the wheel. I can understand why. Before he took over, half the local force was found to be working for one drug cartel or the other.
The last police chief lasted only six hours in office before they killed him.
I tapped on the window of the Neon.
"It's good you have Sirius," I said, "but it would be nice to have armor."
"No," he said, "No need."
• E-mail Harrigan
You are one very brave man. Go Yankees!
Thanks for what you are doing there on the border. Why the Mexican border hasn't interested news people more in the past 10 years we aren't sure but we can guess.
Rockbridge Baths, VA
WOW! You are actually here in Laredo/Nuevo Laredo. I am impressed that FOX News sent you. My husband is a native Laredeon, and we moved here in 1997. If you have talked to anyone on this side (American), I am certain that they informed you that hardly anyone goes across anymore. Even our teenage children, who used to "go across" every weekend to party, have wised up and now stay on this side.
Enjoy your visit. Our televisions are hardly ever on anything but FOX News.
So glad you're back, the withdrawal was painful. Be safe, write faster.
Janet in Birmingham
Where have you been? Your blog is my favorite and I've missed it. Growing up in Texas I spent some of my youth in Laredo. Hot. Dry. Good food. Stay away from the fish tacos across the border.
I have been a fan of yours several years, since I saw you reporting for Afghanistan when the war was first starting up there. I always enjoy your reporting. I guess one reason that I am particularly a fan is because, although I am an American, I live in Mindanao, Philippines. I know you have been here several times, and it always interests me to see your reports from here. Take care, and keep blogging!
Nice to see your blog is back...it has been missed! I had to go google "bastard sauce" after I read it! How are the mosquitoes in Laredo?
The Woodlands, TX
Welcome back, Steve. I have sorely missed your blogs. They are always fascinating.
Tony in Texas
Steve Harrigan currently serves as a Miami-based correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC). He joined the network in 2001 as a Moscow-based correspondent.