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21 May, 2010 21:01

US-Mexico border divides violence from peace and quiet

Jesus Diaz lives in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico—one of the most dangerous cities in the world—but every day he crosses the border to go to work in El Paso, Texas, the second safest city in the United States.

 "Juarez is terrible, you never know what can happen there. It’s too violent. But here in El Paso you can work and be safe. I am afraid living in Mexico but I don't have any alternative than come and go," said Diaz.

From marijuana to cocaine, Ciudad Juarez provides a major thoroughfare for Mexican drug cartels. These criminal groups have invaded entire cities in northern Mexico and the drug traffic is a daily reality for the Homeland Security officers at the El Paso port of entry.

"Everyday we find drugs in cars, furniture, you name it. They are really creative and we need to keep up with their methods of contraband," said Ruben Jauregui, a homeland security officer.

This port of entry between Mexico and the US is the most popular because travelers are not required to pay a toll to cross. More than 35,000 vehicles and 16,000 pedestrians cross the border here every day. And as violence spirals out of control and drug cartels increase their power in Mexico, more and more attempt to cross the border to save their lives and their families.

According to Noam Chomsky, the problem along the border will not be easy to solve, in part because the US government is ignoring the real cause of the problem.

"There has to be some kind fo immigration reform, but it will have to walk a delicate line. This is a business-driven society, and business wants the cheap exploitable labor,"
said Chomsky. 

For the moment, people like Jesus will have to continue their travel while their families pray for their safety.