Kristel Mucino is WOLA’s Director of Communications and part of WOLA’s Border Security and Migration project, whose website provides ongoing documentation on the impact of U.S. border security and migration policies.
The Mexican state of Tamaulipas sits across the border from Texas, and it can be a scary place. With one of the largest ports of entry to the United States, Tamaulipas is a coveted drug-trafficking corridor disputed by the Gulf Cartel, the Zetas, and an outside gang called Sinaloa. The spiral into violence began in 2006 when the Mexican government started an all-out-war against these criminal organizations. At the height of conflict, newsrooms got attacked, battles would often involve grenades, and gruesome mass killings rose, even as the military patrolled the streets. Drug-trafficking organizations are not only into smuggling these days; they engage in theft, piracy, extortion, and, more recently, kidnapping.