Crossing the Border and Our Fingers

As I worked the newsroom throughout the evening, there was one story glaringly absent from the national broadcast. In fact, I only saw it posted three or four times on the wire service.

On Wednesday, either part of a roof or large scaffolding – maybe both – collapsed at one of the most volatile border crossings between the Mexico and the U.S. Yet it was treated as a non-news story.

The cause of the structural failure is under investigation.

At least 11 people were injured, one seriously, as a 50- by 50-foot section of wooden platform collapsed onto northbound traffic entering the U.S through a construction zone at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department says debris, including support beams and pieces of concrete, fell onto 15 vehicles.

Eight of the victims were able to free themselves from their autos and the structural wreckage, but emergency crews had to extricate the remainder. Paramedics took the patients to four hospitals in San Diego and the South Bay, including a pregnant woman and four construction workers.

Two dozen other motorists and renovation workers were evaluated for possible minor injuries, including respiratory irritation from breathing in dust kicked up by the collapse. Federal engineers were called in to assess remaining hazards at the site and develop a cleanup plan.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials say the border-crossing facility was closed to northbound travelers after the scaffolding gave way just north of the primary inspection. Near 13 hours later agents began allowing vehicular traffic to cross into the states.

Meanwhile, jus’ across the border from Laredo, Texas, Mexican gangs hung another two bodies from an overpass in Nuevo Laredo as a threat to those using the Internet to report on the drug war. Messages found near the bodies were specifically directed at two websites: Blog del Narco, which publishes gruesome accounts and video of drug war casualties and Al Rojo Vivo, a forum set up by the Monterrey newspaper El Norte, Mexico.

In late July, Mexican federal police arrested Jose Antonio “El Diego” Acosta Hernandez, leader of the Juarez cartel enforcement group, “La Linea.” Officals sat the recent void appears to have allowed the drug organization Los Zetas to step up its fight for control of the drug trafficking across most southern border points.

Then Tuesday, Border Patrol agents found a rocket launcher, assault rifles and explosives in a bag near the Rio Grande River in Texas. Inside that bag were six assault rifles, a grenade launcher, a rocket launcher, 20 ammunition magazines for various-sized weapons and three packages of what appeared to be C-4 plastic explosives.

Is there something we’re not supposed to know about or that were not supposed to be paying attention too, here?

I think it’s a question worth asking.

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