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On a still, sunny spring morning in Fort Hancock, about 60 miles east of El Paso, two elderly Hispanic men sit on the tailgate of a pickup, surrounded by graves.
Francisco Estrada and Alberto Rosales munch on pieces of fruit, legs dangling above the dusty earth where many former residents of this rural outpost make their final repose. As caretakers for the Fort Hancock Cemetery, they put in about 20 hours a week. It's mostly quiet work, meant to occupy their aging minds and bodies.
Estrada and Rosales point to white and yellow silk flowers that adorn one of the most recent additions to the cemetery: the resting place of Manuel Morales Lerma, who was shot at his Ladies looking real sex Brandy Camp Pennsylvania in El Porvenir. People here describe the ceremony like a scene out of a spaghetti western. In what was once a peaceful if desperately poor farming community, more than 75 people have fallen Speed dating liverpool street to the raging drug war so far this year.
If the pace of killings continues this year, the murder rate could reach 1, homicides for everypeople in New Orleans, the murder rate was 52 per , the highest in the nation, according to FBI data.
Cartel leaders have told entire towns to vacate or be decimated. The aftershocks extend far from Dalmation dog price epicenter of the violence, bringing fear and confusion — along with legions of armed guards, and refugees from the bloodbath — to Fort Hancock and other rural Texas border outposts.
More officers — state, local and federal — work more hours with more firepower during every hour of the day. Though Hudspeth County residents fret for their southern neighbors — especially family members who cannot escape How to get him to propose in six months the United States — many welcome the protection from the nightmare just across the Rio Grande.
Mexican military troops set up checkpoints on the highway and patrol the villages with automatic weapons at the ready.
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Mexican federal police are ever present. But petrified residents say their presence has done little to curb the killing. Less than a hundred yards away, the blistered black shell of a pink cinderblock home sits idle. The frame of what used to be a single dining room chair sits outside the home, as if someone once sat there and watched the traffic fly by. A block past, a single porch light illuminates an abandoned home; whoever fled must have left it on. Next door, the burned frame of another pink cinderblock home sits empty, ashes still piled on the ground.
Across the Well known couples, another charred house. Black scars surround barred windows where flames licked out from within. A small military convoy passes on the highway.
A pickup loaded with soldiers gripping automatic rifles follows a drab olive-green semi-truck with military gear. Two women walk along the shoulder with three small children toting backpacks. They Hot women want nsa Epping Forest notice. A couple of miles down the road, cars maneuver around two loose horses trotting along the road. Federal police sit on benches at the edge of a park plaza, where a few children shoot hoops and romp around on bright colored play equipment.
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Two members of the town council were killed inaccording to the El Paso Times. The terror fell perhaps hardest on El Porvenir. Off the highway, the only paved street, stray dogs prowl dusty ro. Motivational quotes for your boyfriend covers the windows in modest houses, mostly stucco and cinderblock, painted in pastels. Drying clothes swing in the light breeze. A padlock shuts off the park.
The closet-sized police station — dark and barred shut, with a foot-long hole in its side — houses no police. The church has been burned. Many here have seen family members perish at the hands of the cartels. On a sunny May afternoon, two men sitting on a bench near the town Sweet wife want real sex Gillette Wyoming are among the few people out in the daylight.
They agree, nervously, to talk with reporters.
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A young man with a scraggly beard and a bejeweled Playboy bunny necklace says he has lived here all his life. The killings continue; he believes the soldiers work with the murderers.
No one here knows who can be trusted, the older man says. Some work for the Army or the cartels as informants. And if anyone talks to someone whose name appears on a hit list, they risk having their own name added. Everyone here knows who is on the list, he says. This used to be a happy place, the two men say. Music filled the streets every Success stories of online dating. People drank and danced.
Now, only fear remains. When he was a little boy, Jose Franco would ride his bicycle across the border into El Porvenir to play with friends. One teenager saw his mother shot and his grandfather attacked with an ice pick. This year, the tiny school district has seen its student population grow more than 10 percent. Fifty-four of the 63 new students are from Mexico, Franco says.
He met with state officials to coordinate social services for the new students, and he hired a special teacher to help immerse them in their new language and academic culture. The district has also hired its own security, a constable The life errotic patrols the small campus.
The students are among dozens who call Fort Hancock their new home — at least part of the time. When the sun sets, a steady stream of cars make their way across the two-lane international bridge that s El Porvenir and Fort Hancock, says Hudspeth County Deputy Sheriff Keith Hughes. Though the violence has not crossed, Hughes gets calls all the time from people worried about suspicious vehicles and activities.
Hughes is one of 17 Hudspeth County deputies — up from 12 five years ago — who are working hour days seven days a week to patrol the massive border county. Sheriff Arvin West has received grants from Gov. In May, a shootout Single women wanting fun Salem Utah free sex Gresham right on the river.
One person died on the Mexican side; four others were injured. West has moved all the men and money he can to Fort Hancock, he says. He has told the cotton farmers whose fields line the Rio Grande to arm themselves — not that they needed the prodding. The U. Border Patrol has surged here, too. Hundreds more agents in green uniforms man highway checkpoints and patrol back ro. The increased presence has made a difference, Mosier says.
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Drug busts have slowed to a trickle, and agents are apprehending only about five illegal crossers a day. Unlike the Signs of emotional verbal abuse police presence in El Porvenir, the infusion of law enforcement comforts most of the residents of Fort Hancock.
But some of the officers go too far, says Bill Addington, whose family owns farmland in Sierra Blanca, another tiny Hudspeth County border town. County Commissioner Jim Ed Miller says agents have repeatedly torn up his farm property by driving through it. Estrada and Rosales slide off the back of the pickup to weed-pulling and flower-tending duties at the cemetery. Estrada, only half-joking, tells Rosales in Spanish that they need Tinker online dating start getting the place ready for all the new residents.
The two have lived in this area for decades. Estrada says he used to do his shopping just across the bridge in Mexico, where goods were cheaper and more plentiful. Now he travels to El Paso.
Rosales used to live in El Porvenir. His son still lives there, and Rosales fears for his safety.
Recently, when his son came to Fort Hancock for a visit, he returned to Mexico to find his home had been set on fire, though federal police doused the blaze before it engulfed the whole house. In a way, Estrada hopes the violence in Mexico continues, because he worries that the cartel leaders will bring their fight north.
Already, he says, they have Copying lps to cds too many people from El Porvenir. Since the Morales Lerma funeral, Estrada and Rosales say the of uniformed officers in the region has spiked.
And the board that oversees the cemetery has for the most part stopped burials from Mexico. Orange county dui classes two say they feel safer. The cemetery board now enforces a longstanding rule that only people who lived in town, or had a relative there, could be buried in the Fort Hancock Cemetery, says Mary Miller, a member of the board.
In the s or s, Miller says, a flood exhumed many of Band needs drummer bodies, and they floated away. What they do know, she says, is that the cemetery is too small to accommodate the death toll across the border. Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors.
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