Nuevo Laredo, Mexico
August 4, 2005 9:01 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.
I've decided to part ways with cameraman Alfredo over food choices, despite his mastery of the language. This comes after he ordered me something called "barbacoa," which he said was a local delicacy. It is translated as "cheek meat," from the head of the cow, fatty and odiferous. I'll stick to enchiladas and bottled water.
I'm standing outside the U.S. consulate here, which has been shut down because of violence. Two drug cartels are trying to take control of the town for its lucrative trade bridges into the U.S. It is a battle for Highway 35. We did the live shot last night outside a house that had bazooka holes in it. I was able to stick my hand through a hole. A Chihuahua started barking as soon as I started the live shot. I wonder how he did during the bazooka fight. His owner was still traumatized four days later. An old woman, she showed us where she lay on the floor during the broad daylight battle, which she said lasted an hour. No one came to break it up, no arrests were made, within walking distance from Texas.
We are working with a veteran Mexican producer, Domingo Rex, a name out of Raymond Chandler. He's dapper. As Alfredo says, a little gray hair goes a long way in this place. He helped us arrange a drive around with the police and he calms everybody down. He saw 19 people murdered in El Salvador. He was between the police and the demonstrators and was the only guy to get the pictures. He told it calmly, as an afterthought, in a soft voice, over coffee. You could tell he's been around a long time and has seen a lot. During the edit he sat on the bed. I figured he wanted to stretch out so I moved stuff on the bed and told him to lay down but not snore. Soon his newspaper was down and he was snoring softly.
• 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