Border Roundup: Sheriff Dever dies, BP honors Brian Terry in Naco
A few border-area events generated wide coverage this week: Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever died in an single car accident Tuesday evening. The four-term sheriff was running unopposed for reelection.
Tuesday morning, Border Patrol's Naco station was renamed in a ceremony honoring Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Terry was killed during a shootout on December 14, 2010. Weapons from the scene were traced to a federal operation known as Fast and Furious which triggered an investigation into whether agents knowingly let guns fall into the hands of Latin American cartels.
The Washington Post was one of many reporting on a U.S. Justice Department report on Operation Fast and Furious later in the week which cited "failed strategies, errors in judgment and management failures." Within hours two officials disciplined in the report resigned from their jobs. Terry's family, who describe their goal to The New York Times as "justice for Brian," were quoted by The Washington Post as calling the report a "cover-up."
Across the border
After a string of incidents including an earthquake and a shooting, Tim Steller investigated the state of tourism in Rocky Point for the Arizona Daily Star. The disappearance of Fronteras, Sonora, Mayor Arturo Reyes Trujillo has been explained when it was revealed that the politician was arrested by Mexican federal police after a Phoenix judge issued a warrant for his arrest on drug charges. El Sol de Mexico wrote that migrants trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally can face danger from smugglers as well as being stopped or injured by Border Patrol. Suspected cocaine smuggler Daniel "El Loco" Barrera, whose markets included Europe and the United States, was arrested in Bogota, Colombia.
Laws and politics
A federal ruling allows police to immediately carry out the "papers please" provision of SB 1070 which requires them to "question the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally," according to the Associated Press. Fronteras Desk covered two cases before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which continues to hear arguments about the role of local law enforcement in enforcing immigration including "challenges to a 2005 law that made human smuggling a state crime" in Arizona. The court also overturned the conviction for a man whose trial for human smuggling may have been impacted by the deportation of a key witness.
Linda Valdez discussed her reporting process as she wrapped her three-part series for The Arizona Republic on migrants crossing the desert in southern Arizona, and the humanitarian volunteers and medical officials who encounter them.