A Proceedings regular reprises his assessment last year of cooperation between Mexico and the United States against illegal trafficking across their shared border. Today, a major concern is accelerated violence fueled by Mexican drug cartels.
"You shouldn't stay overnight," said the waitress at El Paso's Camino Real Hotel in January 2009, referring to her hometown of Ciudad Juarez. "Don't you know what is happening there?" She was a petite woman with pale skin and black hair. Her brown eyes projected concern, fear, and surprise when I questioned her about the local hotels on el otro lado, the other side. Starting in November 2008, after two men were murdered at dusk about 50 feet from her front door, she would only commute to work from Juarez in a car and during daylight. Her supervisor had juggled her work schedule so she could stay safe.