Nuevo Laredo, Mexico
August 5, 2005 12 p.m.
[ed. note: Watch Steve Harrigan's continuing coverage from Nuevo Laredo by clicking the video tab to the right.]
We had security concerns in Nuevo Laredo. We set up a live shot outside the closed U.S. consulate, where there was a heavy police presence, but staying in one place too long is never a good idea. People know where you are and they tell other people. Towards the end of the day we got some drive-by comments, and I did not feel comfortable when cars with tinted glass slowed down.
As we were leaving, a frantic convoy of SUVs with sirens and lights passed us. A block away there was machine gun fire. What we had been hearing about was now happening before our eyes. In a town where the last two police chiefs have been murdered, another city official, this time the councilman in charge of public security, was gunned down....at 9 am, one block from city hall.
Two others were also killed. Our cameraman Alfredo drove on the sidewalk to get close, and I walked under the tape until the police pushed me back. Alfredo eventually managed to put the small camera on a monopod and stick it inside the vehicle where the official was slain. There was blood and glass everywhere and a big crowd.
What really got me was what the crowd said to the police officers. When the policemen tried to hold them back so they could work, the crowd shouted back at them with scorn, "You do no work. You do nothing."
This is clearly a town where the people have lost confidence in their police force, and where anyone who tries to stand up to the drug cartels gets killed.
One man in the crowd said, "Of course we're scared. This is getting ugly."
• E-mail Harrigan
Just wanted you to know I think you are an excellent reporter. I'm not one who sends fan mail, etc., but every time I hear one of your reports, I am impressed. Keep up the good work and stay safe.
Poplar Bluff, MO
Just had to let you know how deeply your stories from the most dangerous places on earth have touched my wife and I. We were particulary left in a nearly numb state after seeing your courageous reporting from the Congo. We are looking forward to seeing your report from Nuevo Laredo. Thanks for the courage to bring the real story, to all of us sitting in the comfort of our living rooms.
Hal & Pat
Thanks for your reports on the goings on at the US/Mexican border. Why in the world are we in Iraq? We should be spending our money protecting our borders and our citizens who have been kidnapped in Mexico. You have put yourself right in the midst of dangerous territory. FOX News should drive this news to it's top BIG happenings. Great work!
West River, MD
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