March 25th, 2009
08:45 PM ET

Behind the border fence

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more on the violence on the Mexican border as we report live tonight and Thursday on AC360 at 10 p.m. ET.

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Gary Tuchman
AC360° Correspondent

This fun looking picture of my friend and producer MaryAnne Fox and me has an interesting story behind it that actually isn't too fun.

MaryAnne and I are on the Mexican border doing a story about the intense non-stop efforts to stop the drug flow into the United States. Our story, which will air Thursday night on AC360° chronicles a wild 24-hour period in which we witnessed a huge marijuana bust involving a tomato delivery truck, a drug search in the brush with a canine team, and a visit to a Border Patrol warehouse where tons of drugs that are confiscated are deposited.

The picture you see involves one more aspect to our story. We posed behind a section of wall that's a little problematic, because the wall comes to an end, so anybody could just walk around it to get into the United States. We found discarded clothes, cigarette boxes, and water bottles from Mexicans who were doing just that.

But, we quickly learned they are certainly not all successful when finding what looks like an easy entrance to America. Because as it turns out, the Border Patrol saw us on a long range distant camera and came after us thinking we were illegal immigrants.

Four agents, one pointing a rifle at us, demanded we freeze and show our hands. After checking our vehicle, verifying our identities, and acknowledging we weren't carrying contraband, they let us go with the plea we give them a heads up next time we explore the border fence. A large and unknown amount of drugs gets past these agents; but what happened just after this picture was taken shows the threat is taken seriously and handled diligently.

Filed under: Gary Tuchman • Mexico
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Daniel

    I feel that all of this is unnecessary. Hillary Clinton is wrong about the American peoples' need for Mexican drugs. I feel that if the government legalized marijuana and started using the tax that would be inevitable, to pay for beefed up security on the border to keep the guns from leaving our country. It would also keep illegal aliens out of our country, for the most part, and help stabilize our economy. The banks then would not be able to grant loans and accounts to illegal aliens with fake social security numbers and fake identification cards. And besides, if weed was legal, who would need any Mexican drug cartels' drugs? Their money would dwindle and I'm sure they would disappear.

    March 26, 2009 at 9:15 am |
  2. Tammy

    I along with a friend are traveling to Cancun Mexico on May 16, 2009. We are staying at a timeshare for 1 week. Can you please tell me that with all the border problems are we occuring are we safe to travel.

    If not I would like to cancel my airline tickets.

    Thank you,
    Macomb, Michigan

    March 26, 2009 at 7:54 am |
  3. Lori - IL

    Gary - Wow, what a day! You and MaryAnn deserve a raise! Looking forward to your report tomorrow night - hope all the 360 team stays safe.

    If it's one thing I learned from working with international students and immigration for years - border patrol agents and immigration officers take their jobs very seriously.

    Glad everything turned out okay for you - a new entry for the travel journal?

    March 25, 2009 at 9:15 pm |
  4. Annie Kate

    You have seen the process in action haven't you? Glad it turned out so well. I'm looking forward to hearing your report.

    March 25, 2009 at 9:02 pm |
  5. xtina, chicago IL

    I love how the wall "comes to an end" . That's the federal government for ya :/

    March 25, 2009 at 8:58 pm |
  6. Stuart

    so how about all the outrage fueled by you guys (media) about AIG bonuses turns out more to story hey here is an idea how about your anchores say Anderson,Campbell and espercially the totally inderrpendant Lou Dobbs release your tax returns maybe that will put things in prospective.
    i dont really expect an answer at least not on air but hey the world turns.

    March 25, 2009 at 8:57 pm |
  7. mary

    All of this stuff is true. Most Americans dont understand what goes on on the border. Life here is stuck on survive. We are not spoiled by the luxuries of modern day living. We live in fear and we live where folks are shot on a daily basis. We seem to believe that we have to go overseas to help all the third world countries out there. Mexico is one of the most countries out there but we dont allow that to come out in the open. Keep up the reporting. Maybe someday the border issue will be dealt with not by sending more troops but by expecting Mexico to take care of its own and demanding a stop to the corruption.

    March 25, 2009 at 8:54 pm |
  8. Carolyn form Austin TX

    I must be obtuse.. can someone please explain to me why legalizing drugs would cause drug cartels to become unraveled? Whether legal or illegal, won't they still be manufacturing and selling drugs?

    March 25, 2009 at 8:49 pm |