Must-read blogs about border security and the drug war

My latest for AZIVN, the new project from CAIVN, focusing on Arizona.

While the mainstream media can do an excellent job of reporting about what’s happening on the Mexico side of the border, and about the ever-escalating drug wars, there are a number of blogs that provide critical information and viewpoints you might not find elsewhere.

Narco News reports “on the drug war and democracy from all America.” They are the Granddaddy of the drug war sites, tend towards left-wing populism in their viewpoints, and over the years have broken major stories with their investigative reporting. They strive for original content and translate articles into multiple languages. Since many of their reporters are in Latin America, they often cover news not easily available elsewhere.

Narcosphere is a project of Narco News. It is citizen journalism with over 484 participants reporting on the drug wars, the related war of terror, police corruption, and more. Participants are screened first, comments are allowed, and it has a high signal-to-noise ratio.

Border Narcotics Intelligence focuses on “securing credible intelligence on Mexican drug cartels and human smuggling” with an aim towards helping and aiding law enforcement. Members can post on their own blogs, and the viewpoint is right-wing and about getting involved.

Borderland Beat covers the Mexican cartel drug war from a street level perspective. Reporting includes the latest raids by military and police, shootouts by cartels against each other, arrests of police for corruption, and the depressing number of dead, mutilated bodies on the streets of Mexico in the mornings. They reprint news and filter it from elsewhere so people will understand just how insane the violence and lawlessness is there now. They do not publish ultra-graphic photos and videos, but sometimes link to them (with warnings.)

Mexico’s Drug War is an “ongoing analysis of southwest border violence issues by an experienced intelligence professional.” Sylvia Longmire covers the drug wars from a high level strategic and tactical viewpoint. She believes that legalization needs to be discussed as it is a primary way the cartels could be crippled. She also thinks the violence will be spilling across the border into this country, something she discusses in her new book, to be released Sept. 27, Cartel: The Coming Invasion of Mexico’s Drug Wars.

Border Reporter is Michel Marizco, a solo journalist in southern Arizona who has been covering the crime syndicates and associated corruption since 2005 and specializes in the Sinaloa Cartel. He reports for multiple Arizona newspapers and TV stations

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