(Justin Anthony Monarez/Borderzine.com)

Soccer at the centerline en español

EL PASO — Juarenses revered and dubbed him “Superman” during his tenure as a soccer star. “I had the opportunity of being one of the most popular players in that team, said César Sosa. “In Juárez everybody knows me. They say ‘Supermán Sosa’ and they know who he is.”

Although it’s been two decades since the delantero suited up for the beloved Cobras de Ciudad Juárez, Sosa said his relationship with Juárez during his early 1990’s career has continued and garnered support for his new team now in El Paso. “They relate him to that special team and maybe to that time where Juárez was really nice, peaceful and everything,” said Teresa Sosa, César’s wife.

Alejandro Hernández Pacheco es el segundo periodista en recibir asilo político en los Estados Unidos. (Luis Hernandez/Borderzine.com)

Conseguir asilo político en EU es difícil para periodistas mexicanos amenazados

EL PASO – El incremento de amenazas y de violencia en contra de periodistas mexicanos, así como la falta de apoyo por parte del gobierno mexicano y de las propias empresas que los emplean, han llevado a varios reporteros a buscar apoyo internacional. Alejandro Hernández Pacheco es el segundo periodista mexicano en recibir asilo político por parte de los Estados Unidos. El primer periodista en recibir asilo por amenazas fue Jorge Luis Aguirre, editor del sitio electrónico noticioso “La Polaka”, en el 2010. El caso de Hernández Pacheco fue atendido por el abogado paseño, Carlos Spector, que se especializa en casos migratorios. Él afirma que las decisiones que definen el estado migratorio de los solicitantes de asilo político generalmente suelen ser rápidas, en el caso de Hernández Pacheco esto no fue así.

Mexican journalists are an endangered species

SAN DIEGO — Mexico’s National Commission on Human Rights received 608 complaints of injuries against journalists, 66 murders of reporters, and 12 disappearances of journalists, between 2000 and 2011. “Drug dealers aren’t concerned about killing one reporter or 20 or 30 because nothing is going to happen to them,” said Jorge Luis Aguirre, editor of LaPolaka.com, a news web site that covers drug trafficking and related topics. Aguirre says the attacks and threats against journalists pose a threat to a free press in México and to the democratic institutions in that country. Aguirre was recently granted political asylum in the U.S. based on claims he received death threats from the state government of Chihuahua. The journalist continues working as the editor of LaPolaka.com from his residence in El Paso, Texas.

Listen up Ms. Napolitano: more enforcement doesn’t equal border safety

EL PASO—Two Hispanic students stood up in protest as the rest of the audience in the auditorium clapped during Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s recent speech at the University of Texas at El Paso. The female students held up signs that read “Education not Militarization” and “Security to Whom?” but only for a few seconds before they were escorted out of the auditorium. As this occurred, I wondered if their removal from a public forum is a violation of their freedom of speech.  So I asked the question during my next Communication Law class and found out that what had happened is like screaming fire in a crowded theater: “You can say anything you like as long as you don’t put anyone in danger; Napolitano could claim she was in danger,” said Dr. Barthy Byrd, associate professor in the Department of Communication and an expert on media law. Napolitano barely looked up from the paper she read during her speech to acknowledge what had just happened in the audience.  Afterward, she answered a few pre-selected questions that only demonstrated she really does think we owe her our gratitude for protecting the U.S. Southern border. “Some of the safest communities in America are right here on the border,” said Napolitano, claiming that she was not here doing a victory lap.

‘Call of Juarez’ continues to show the cultural divide

Can videogames ever be taken seriously? Ubisoft, the third largest multi-platform publisher announced Feb. 7 that  they will release the third game in the “Call of Juarez” series, developed by Techland. The latest entry, “Call of Juarez: The Cartel,” allows the gamer, as the press release says, to “embark on a bloody road trip from Los Angeles to Juárez, Mexico, immersing yourself in a gritty plot with interesting characters and a wide variety of game play options.” Very little, aside from a vague press release and few screenshots (which really look more like concept art) has even been released on the game.

Napolitano promises an ‘overwhelming response’ to any spillover of drug-war violence

“We have strengthened the Southwest Border in ways that many did not think possible.”
– Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano
EL PASO, Texas – The Obama administration has strengthened the U.S.-Mexico partnership along the southwest border, increasing security and safeguarding the U.S. against a spillover of drug-war violence, according to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. On the second stop of a national tour designed to explain President Obama’s border security strategy, Napolitano told an audience at the University of Texas at El Paso Monday that their approach to border security is working. “We are almost two years into that strategy and the verdict is in,” said Napolitano. “We have strengthened the southwest border in ways that many did not think possible.”

Napolitano did mention that challenges still exist, such as dealing with the drug-cartel violence taking place in Mexico and remaining on guard against a possible spillover effect into the United States. Any incursion of drug-war violence into the U.S. will face an “overwhelming response,” she said.