Borderzine’s  top stories of 2014

Two young girls dressed up to celebrate the Fourth of July take in the scenic view of El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico, from Tom Lea Park on Rim Road. Photo credit: Kate Gannon

Two young girls dressed up to celebrate the Fourth of July take in the scenic view of El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico, from Tom Lea Park on Rim Road. Photo credit: Kate Gannon readers showed a wide range of interests in the most viewed stories of 2014. Not surprisingly, among our top-ranked stories and columns were issues of immigration and border policies ranging from a migrant humanitarian crisis and immigration reform to a call for deporting an ill-mannered Canadian pop-star. Also popular were stories about the economy, small businesses and sustainability efforts. Other top stories looked at drugs, corruption, abuse and human rights struggles. Still, many readers also found inspiration in family tradition and an exhibit of street art.

Here’s a look back at the most-viewed stories of 2014 on

A petition for Justin Bieber’s deportation is ignored by the White House

May 14 –  After three months and 273,968 signatures supporting a petition to deport Canadian pop musician, Justin Bieber, the official White House government website called “We the People” has ruled on the matter — Bieber will not be deported.

La fe en el dolor – Fidencio, las cajitas y los milagros en Ciudad Juárez

Feb. 6 –  Desde hace más de 30 años Sanjuana Delgado dedica su vida a ser “cajita” o “materia” del Niño Fidencio. Así se les llama a las curanderas de uno de los varios santos patrones que son idolatrados en el norte de México. Las cajitas o materias son aquellas personas que después de llevar una preparación mística logran “poseer el espíritu” del Niño Fidencio.

 Illegal immigration – A global problem

June 26 – While the details may vary, the problem of illegal immigration is not limited solely to the U.S., but is in fact a global problem that requires a far more comprehensive approach than we or any other nation is taking.

El Paso reacts with skepticism to Chapo Guzman’s capture

April 17 – Sinaloa Cartel Joaquin “El Chapo”  Guzman’s most recent capture has left borderland residents with mixed emotions ranging from elation to apathy. Residents of the borderland are hopeful that the end of thr drug war will come soon, and Guzman’s capture could be the catalyst to bring about that change.

Take warning signs of dating abuse seriously, mother warns

Dec. 18 – When 16-year-old Monica Sanchez started dating high school senior Jorge Gurrola her mother warned her of his history of abusing other girlfriends.

Deadly flu season hits home hard and it’s not over yet

Feb. 27 – This flu season (2013-2014), according to the El Paso Health Department, 3,620 cases have been reported in the El Paso area as of February 27 with 17 deaths blamed on the disease. Five deaths were reported during the 2012-2013 flu season. This area has not seen these many flu deaths since the swine flu pandemic of 2009 when 17 persons died of the disease.

Last stop, El Paso and Ciudad Juarez

Jan. 24 – The border city is home to four international bridges and one international railroad crossing. Lupita and I stayed in the historic Camino Real Hotel in downtown El Paso where we set up our base to explore this exciting region.


A sign marks an area restricted by the U.S. Border Patrol near the line between Juarez and El Paso. (Mariana Dell/

A sign marks an area restricted by the U.S. Border Patrol near the line between Juarez and El Paso. (Mariana Dell/

As migrant crisis hits U.S. border, El Paso keeps it classy

July 31 – Immigration in El Paso, which is 81 percent Hispanic, is as natural as the sunrise. Each morning as the first orange-pink rays of the desert sun dart across the El Paso-Juárez metroplex, thousands of motorists and pedestrians cross one of the city’s three international bridges between the United States and Mexico to go to work, to school or to visit family. The idea of building an impregnable wall at the Rio Grande – the immigration “reform’’ constantly pushed on national TV and radio talking-head shows – is laughable to most El Pasoans, whether they are Latinos or Anglos.

El bar más antiguo de Ciudad Juárez inventó la margarita y la sigue sirviendo

March 21 – En el puente Paso del Norte, cruce internacional entre El Paso y Ciudad Juárez, una marea de personas, vendedores ambulantes y autos se alinean para cruzar al país vecino, mientras los famosos lavadores de carros que no dejan ni un carro limpio siguen frenéticos en su tarea.

Football players give praise and express concern after gay all-American ‘comes out’

May 8 – To his dad, he is one who will have “many hurdles to cross”. To his University of Missouri teammates and coaches, he is first-team all-American and Associated Press defensive player of the year in the SEC. To athletes and sports affiliates he is a “courageous young man” and a football player. To some though, he is the gay football player.

New economic opportunities on the U.S.-Mexico border amid the Drug War

Jan. 9 – Mexico’s drug war notwithstanding, current economic and trade developments represent a major opportunity for U.S. and Mexican corporations, especially those related to the energy sector. New investments in natural gas, shale gas and oil on both sides of the border, as well as recent infrastructure and commercial developments once energy reform is passed, will greatly benefit transnational companies, especially those located on the U.S. side.

Waiters feel the pinch as the IRS changes the rules on restaurant tips

March 6 – Some servers may have already become accustomed to what may come as a surprise to others — in 2014 the Internal Revenue Service will no longer allow restaurants to add a gratuity to the check, which is has been customary when serving larger groups.

A movement for cannabis legalization takes root in El Paso

March 20 – On a recent Saturday afternoon, some 50 pro-cannabis legalization and decriminalization supporters and enthusiasts of all ages packed a stuffy bar here to rally for marijuana legalization in Texas.

New craft coffee culture brewing in El Paso

June 5 – The trend of drinking a $3-$8 cup of java made from premium, exotic beans from around the world and lovingly roasted on the spot by certified artisans has been piping hot in cities such as Seattle, Portland and Dallas. In the last year, the trend has percolated into El Paso where it is slowly catching on.

The specter of Pancho Villa drove UTEP professor to investigate sex trafficking along the border

Jan. 3 – To most people Pancho Villa is a legendary character from Mexican history, but to Ruth McDonald, a professor at the University of Texas at El Paso, Villa is a real man who hurt her family when he kidnapped her great aunt in the early 1900s from the family ranch in Chihuahua, Mexico.

From farm to table: The growth of organic food in El Paso

June 5 – Natural. Healthy. Green. Whatever term you choose, organic food is a growing industry in the El Paso area. Nearly a dozen local restaurants offer organic fare but, even more importantly, they are working with local farmers to source their foods.

Caring for thousands of children crossing illegally into the U.S. to cost $868 million in 2014

June 4 -Although the number of all apprehensions at the border, including both juveniles and adults, has significantly declined since 2006, the number of unaccompanied children crossing the border has been increasing in recent years. In 2008, a total of 8,041 children traveling alone were detained by CBP, a fairly manageable number compared to the total of 19,668 minors detained in 2009.

Drug dealer’s daughter recalls a luxurious life on both sides of the border, before it all crashed

May 2 – One particular memory remains vivid. In 2001 Luz and her mother were inside a car waiting in line to cross from the lower valley of Juarez to the lower valley of El Paso, when they saw her father on foot running towards Mexico, several U.S. Custom and Border Patrol agents chasing after him.

 Mothers and daughters celebrate a decade-long Quesada family tradition

April 24 – The Mother-Daughter gathering, held every year in March, began with the first generation of Quesada women in 2003.

Street Photography exhibit, rare Beatles print Oct. 23 to help journalism students

Sept. 30 – The 24 prints from David Smith-Soto’s 60-years of street photography were taken during his travels as a journalist in Latin American, European and U.S. cities.  They include images from Oaxaca, Ciudad Juarez, Guatemala, Tangier, Paris and Madrid




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