Border Roundup: Autopsy released in BP Agent Ivie's shooting death
Border Patrol Agent Nicholas Ivie and the two other agents involved in the shooting incident which took his life were in radio contact shortly before his death, according to a report released by the Cochise County Sheriff's Office. The 39-page report was released after a public records request but was redacted to withhold some information including the names of the other two agents and most of the ballistics information.
Also released by the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner was Ivie's autopsy report which stated that he died from a "penetrating gunshot wound of the head involving the brain." One of the other two agents was injured, treated and released in the same incident.
On the Arizona and Sonoran sides of the border in Nogales, family, friends and activists marked Mexico's Day of the Dead, with parades honoring three youths shot by Border Patrol. In each case, Border Patrol said they fired after rocks were thrown from across the border. The youths' families say they want information - and justice. Ramses Barron Torres, 17, was shot and killed early on Jan. 5, 2011. U.S. citizen Carlos Lamadrid, 19, was shot and killed March 21, 2011. José Antonio Elena Rodríguez, 16, was shot and killed October 10, 2012.
Violent crime in Southwest border cities continues to drop and most report decreases in property crime too, according to data in the FBI Uniform Crime Report. The study included cities in Texas, Arizona and California.
Politics and policy
Three well known Arizona Sheriffs remain in office after this week's elections: Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babaeu and Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada. Cmdr. Mark Dannels, previously retired, will replace Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever who was killed in a single car accident late September. Dannels ran against Acting Sheriff Rod Rothrock who ran as a write-in candidate; before his death Dever was running unopposed.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security say due to data collection challenges they do not know when or if they will complete a civil rights review, announced 17 months ago, of an immigration enforcement program that sends fingerprints from people booked into local jails to the FBI for criminal background checks and also to Homeland Security to check for immigration violations. The program, which is close to its goal of 100% participation with local law enforcement has rapidly expanded since it was created by President George W. Bush and supported by President Barack Obama and has raised legal concerns about racial profiling.
Across the border
Voter surveys in Mexico showed that a majority of those questioned think President Obama has not done enough when it comes to improve trade relations with Mexico, combat drug cartels or to address the situation of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. However Mexicans still overwhelmingly supported Obama over GOP nominee Mitt Romney, who is viewed as unpopular for distancing himself from his Mexican roots.
With voter approval to legalize recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington, the incoming Mexican administration says they will reexamine their policy approach to marijuana. The head of President Elect Pena Nieto's transition team said that the "unforeseen event" may affect how Mexico and the U.S. work together on drug trafficking and security measures if marijuana has different legal statuses in different areas. According to previous studies, Mexico's drug cartels make about $2 billion annually from marijuana business in the U.S. (compared to $2.4 billion from cocaine) - funds that could be reduced or cut off by legalized American trade and domestic production which often produces a higher quality product.
A new algorithm named MOGO (Making Order Using Google as an Oracle) uses Google to track the growth of Mexican drug cartels. Developed by two Harvard graduate students, MOGO uses online sources including news reports to produce qualitative data to help "identify their market strategies, their preferred areas of operation, and the way in which these have evolved over the last two decades."