March 26th, 2009
10:28 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Anderson is on the Border

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/26/art.ac.mexico.jpg]

Penny Manis
AC360° Senior Producer

We’ve got a great show for you tonight! Anderson is reporting from the border between Mexico and the U.S. He is getting an up-close look at the drug-trade, kidnappings, and how the ensuing violence threatens America.

Our producer Charlie emailed us this morning that he/Anderson are heading to Juarez to visit a mass grave site and tell the story of all the unidentified victims of this drug war. It should be pretty compelling.

Anderson also has a story about who the 'targets' of the Drug War are- they include the police trying to stop traffickers, illegal immigrants caught in the cross fire, and journalists trying to uncover these stories! We talk to folks trying to live and work in Mexico, while trying to stay alive!

Gary Tuchman has spent time in Arizona, where more illegal drugs from the Mexican cartels are seized than any other border city in the U.S. He is w/the U.S. Border Patrol as they pull over a semi truck loaded with tomatoes. But after a canine search, something else is found: $800,000 dollars worth of marijuana along with those tomatoes!

We’re also going to bring you the latest news of the day, such as details of President Obama’s virtual town hall meeting today. He goes online to answer YOUR questions. So far, more than 80,000 people have submitted questions via the White House website. Were you one of them? He will answer questions rated most popular by whitehouse.gov visitors.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/YOUR_IMAGE.jpg]See u at 10pet!

Filed under: Penny Manis • The Buzz
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Michael

    Great job but I am disturbed by the interview with the Masked Cartel member. I think that the Wall needs to be finished between Mexico and the US. I heard a story of a New Member where there is still parts of the fence still opened which makes it easy to get into the US.

    Also we need to get the Cartel like we took care of Sadam in Iraq.

    We need to work together with the Mexican Government to get rid of the cartel. They are worse than the Mafia. It really is disturbing.

    We also neeed more FBI in Texas to help the Mexican Government and work harding to get rid of the Cartel.!!!!!


    March 27, 2009 at 2:54 am |
  2. kiela

    There aren't any acceptable reasons for any member of law enforcement to be on the take. that is, being corrupt. it jeopardizes innocent lives.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:28 am |
  3. Andrea Floyd

    I live in El Paso and appreciate Anderson's insightful coverage of our problems along on our border. Our county hospital has been treating the wounded who are either injured by stray bullets or Mexican officers who are wounded in the line of duty.

    Juarez has a medical school as well as their own hospital BUT if you are a wounded officer and you seek treatment at the local hospital you're dead meat. The cartels will find you and your next stop will be the morgue.

    This violence has also caused many businesses to close on both sides of the border. Where there once were open markets like the Mercado in downtown Juarez , these areas have become ghost towns. People are unemployed and have a tougher time feeding their families. These are people who still live in homes made of mud, cardboard and galvanized roofing.

    Just wanted to give you another perspective.

    March 26, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  4. Neo

    Good reporting! This is not a question about demand. The ones demanding it are addicted and not in their right state of mind, to consider them a community to deal with rationally is absurd. Rational people need to step in for them and eliminate the supply and I'm glad that's America's focus. As for the Americans who buy/bought real estate there I guess it would be fair to report sides, just so that the viewer understand Mexico in full scope.

    March 26, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  5. Ana, Mexico City

    To say that Mexico is on the brink of civil war is exaggerate, please don't generalize what is going on at the border and apply it to the country as a whole.

    March 26, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  6. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Take some advice from a Vietnam Veteran--you are about as close to Mexico as you want to get---let your cameras lens cross with their telephoto lens--stay safe my friend-–when bad things happen--they happen "quickly,"--and in most instances to good people.

    March 26, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  7. Wil

    Anderson, Awesome show last night. I live in Chula Vista Ca. Just miles north of T.J. it's bad and has been bad. It's good that the rest of the U.S. is able to see our out of control southern border, here and in Mexico. It's also sad that we are probably going to have to put U.S. troops on the border. But this scenario has been going on for years, it is a long time in coming. Thank you for bringing more of this to light.

    March 26, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  8. Joseph McClain

    I have loved Anderson Cooper's work, but I am really disappointed in his coverage of Mexico now. Wasn't there something about digging deeper?
    Don't you guys realize that without the insatiable demand for drugs in the US, much of this problem would be gone? Isn't it amazing that Mexico is a peaceful land except at the border to a certain country to its north? Where do you think the guns come from? Not from Mexico. Check the gun laws here. What country sells these tools of destruction? Look to Mexico's norther neighbor.
    Drug trafficking is a long standing problem...where do you think the drugs have come from for USA needs for so long. What is different now is that the Mexican President is fighting it. He needs support by the country that arrogantly points a finger and at the same time sucks up the drugs.
    The USA is really the problem. Please look at the real issues and cool the hype. As long as it is only hype nothing will change, except for ratings.
    I live in Mexico and feel entirely safe. I am so disappointed by the sensationalism of this reporting that smears an entire country.

    March 26, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  9. Heather,ca

    For the longest time these four words "the war on drugs"was just a phrase, now it actually means something. This is a war on drugs that is ugly and violent and demands our full attention and resources. I just hope Mexico realizes that for all the resources we give them, there is a drug lord who has our money who waiting to buy off the next corrupt official.

    March 26, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  10. theTruth, El Paso TX

    the ones you guys should be worried about at the "ZETAS" (spanish for the letter Z), they are ex-mexican military elite forces, trained by the U.S in Fort Benning Georgia. They work for the Gulf Cartel. they're the ones recruiting U.S citizens...The main reason there's so much violence in Juarez, is because the Sinaloa Cartel tried to move in on the Juarez Cartel. The Juarez Cartel is "cleaning house" because some of its members wanted to join the Sinaloa Cartel.

    March 26, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  11. Mary

    Finally! These brazen killings have made national news! I live in El Paso and it has already spilled over here. All them Narcs are in the night clubs recruiting young "thugs."

    Anderson, be careful in Juarez!

    March 26, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  12. earle,florida

    Just stay safe Anderson!

    March 26, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  13. Tom

    This cartel problem has only one solution that will work. Legalize the drugs. If we cut off there market it will stop the blood an violence because there will be no cash flow. People are gonna do drugs one way or the other. We have proved that over the last hundred years. If we regulate, tax, and manufactue at least drug users will no what they are getting and the money will not be flowing into these cartels hands.
    If nothing else we should legalize marijuana and that will at least free up some of our resources to focus on more serious matters. We need to get at the root of the problem instead of trying to treat the untreatable symtoms.

    March 26, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  14. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    Wonderful Show last night Anderson is in his element reporting on the front lines of conflict in the drug cartel world . I hope he stays safe while traveling to Juarez .They are on the brink of cival war and sending all our jobs there John Deere . I look forward to seeing the compassionate stroy of the victims who have died and suffered so much at the hands of these corrtupt cartels. Please tell Anderson my prayers are with him as he continues this journey to bring us the news .

    Michelle D.

    March 26, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  15. Paige

    Wonderful reporting from El Paso yesterday. However, I think you left out some of the most fundamental people affected by this situation: children. On both sides of the border, parents are giving up their children out of concern for safety or because their parents were murdered. I encourage you to speak with DIF and CPS to find out what they are doing to protect the children in Juarez and El Paso from the drug trade.

    March 26, 2009 at 10:02 am |
  16. Erika

    Thankyou for coming down here and addressing the problems and hopefully raising more awareness. El Paso, Texas

    March 26, 2009 at 10:00 am |
  17. Gustavo from Baja

    Dear Anderson,

    thank you for your report

    As long as the US continues the drug demand, all countries in the world will keep supplying it.
    The difference here is that Mexico declared a WAR ON THE DRUG CARTELS…
    I whish I could say the same for the US and other countries.

    I have never seen where the US police forces capture a drug boss in US soil.
    WHY are we leaving the war only to Mexico?

    And yes, we have a drug war going on in Mexico, trying to stop narcotics from crossing the border.
    Drugs mostly come from Colombia, Venezuela, Panama and other places, stop in Mexico, and then find their way into the US market.

    And the news people love to exagerate the situation and show Mexico and places like Baja, very inestable, and like some even say in these blogs…”on the brink of civil war”.
    This is amazingly ridiculous.

    Mexico is a stable country, and in most Mexican cities, you wont event know there is a drug war going on.

    In Baja, for example, we have over 20 million American tourists visiting every year, and no big incident involving an American has occured in the last 18 months.
    Out of 20 million VISITORS!

    How many incidents involving Americans have occured in cities in the US in the same period?
    Please be real!

    I ask US media: please be fair, and show the other side of Mexico!

    In some Baja cities, over 10% of the population is American, living happily, and now upset at US media, as they are scaring their friends and family from visiting them!

    For example, an agent for the US State Departement in California, saw some news reports, and based on that, he issued the travel alert for spring breakers NOT to travel to Baja or other parts of Mexico.
    Yes, out of exagerated news reports... no facts, no knowledge!
    Millions of spring breakers had been coming to Baja for over many years, and NO incident what so ever has happend to any of these visitors...

    I know bad and scary news sells more, but look at the damage to our country when newspeople don’t cover the true facts.
    Mexico's number one export is oil, but our number two income source is tourism.

    March 26, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  18. Minou, New York City

    yesterday's show was one of the best ones this year! I'm looking forward to the follow up tonight. .. great job, everyone!

    March 26, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  19. pupsamillion

    I thought your show last night was excellent!

    March 26, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  20. Russ

    Can anyone remember the name of the Drug War documentary mentioned by AC & its director on the show last night? THX!

    March 26, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  21. Pat

    Hi Anderson, great job on the war in Mexico. I agree with what you and some of your guests are saying, but I'm a little confused on your response. I think you have everyone's attention and this is a great time to attack the demand part of the trade which are the users in the USA/Canada. Based on your report, it appears the cartels are making huge profits by selling very poor quality of drugs. Why don't you show how the buyers are not getting their money's worth and then maybe a segment of the buyers will get upset and not buy anymore. What happens, the cartels have inventory stocked which affect their pocket books and thus reduce their power. As a result, prices will go up and only a very small portion of the population would be able to afford cocaine.

    I am a teacher and we get told through our workshops that cocaine use among high school is up(thats completely scary that young teenagers are experimenting with this drug)–this was unheard of when I was in high school. The term that was used in the past to describe cocaine was a 'rich man's drug' but according to your report the price right now is fairly cheap. In other words, prove to the buyers that they are getting completely ripped off and if you can convince a small portion that may be enough to diminish the cartel's profit, it would create internal tension and thus become more vulunerable to being defeated–that would be a great day for everyone.

    March 26, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  22. Sergio Olivares

    Excellent documentary on the drug war violence occurring in Mexico. A lot of the local area news channels in Texas stay away from reporting the violence of the drug cartels; I personally, stick with the Spanish-Speaking news broadcasts. These tv stations give daily updates on the drug violence in Mexico.

    I teach a criminal justice course at TEXAS A&M University-Corpus Christi in Security Operations Management and I provided my students with a document I wrote on Personal Safety & Security Awareness that they could take with them during spring break. If anyone would like a copy of it, e-mail me at pomg2007@yahoo.com.

    March 26, 2009 at 9:22 am |
  23. David Herskowich

    I was watching your reports last night on the "War on Drugs". One of the segments explained how drugs originate in Colombia and travel north to Mexico. You may not know this but there are no roads connecting Colombia to Panama. The way the report explained the situation would make you think that containers on trucks are carried into Central America from Colombia by road. The border between Colombia and Panama is a big swamp where roads are extremely difficult to build!!!

    March 26, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  24. Denis Savoie

    It is distressing that the main stream media in both Canada and the USA are painting such a bleak picture of the ENTIRE country of Mexico. Yes there are serious issues, yes people are dieing, yes there must be a shared responsiblity. Economic's 101, Supply and Demand. If the demand is reduced / eliminated then the supply line dries up. Naive, perhaps but at least it is worth a try. What motivates people to grow / manufacture illicit drugs? Most of these drugs originate in Columbia according to the CNN news reports however we have heard nothing about this source (supply chain). Who consumes these drugs? Hmm, let me see, US and Canadian citizens (demand side). How do the cartels get their money to purchase the drugs / guns / influence they have? If there were serious curbs on the flow of money and guns from North to South, these cartels could not survive. Time to get serious about this folks. This is not a new issue just one that has been ignored while people die.

    March 26, 2009 at 9:15 am |
  25. Dolores, Austin Texas

    Morning, a friend who is a State Reprensenative in the Laredo area warned many of us to please stay away from Mexico because the violence has gotten really bad. There are stories of American's who have had their vehicles taken away from them by crooked cops, they will walk up and ask for them for the keys and there is no way that one can refuse or they will be shot right on the spot. I think that anyone that takes on these drug dealers are at risk of losing their lives. Our new president has his work cut out for him. Please be safe Anderson.

    March 26, 2009 at 9:13 am |
  26. Isabel (Brazil)

    Good morning, Penny!

    Good morning, in Mexico!

    Thanks for these reports in Mexico.

    The reports were very rich and with an interesting approach.

    I found a great initiative, which come a matter that many times goes unnoticed in day-to-day of programming on TV.

    Your work has been primordial and vital to have people have more aware of the seriousness of the problem of the drugs and that there is much more to be done beyond the action of the government and police.

    Be care today and good return!

    See you tonight

    March 26, 2009 at 9:12 am |
  27. Cindy

    I just have to give Coop and 360 props big time!! Last night's show was AWESOME!! That is how a special is supposed to be done...nothing but reports on that subject! CONGRATS to you all! PLEASE give us more of the same tonight! Looking forward to seeing what you have in store for us next!


    March 26, 2009 at 9:07 am |
  28. peter demetros

    Get Frank Portnoy on your show. Listen to his Fresh Air interview on PBS from 3/25. He can actually explain what a credit default swap is and why we're in the mess we're in. Author, professor, lawyer, and former morgan stanley derivatives trader. Passionate, intelligent, and articulate with incredible insider insight. Trust me. You can thank me later. Please send me an email when he's going to be on your show. Do it soon.

    Peter J. Demetros
    Granite Bay, CA

    March 26, 2009 at 9:02 am |
  29. Stacy

    until you talk Legalization of all drugs, this Al-Capone-Chicago violence and total availability of all drugs in the black market, and needless incarceration of drug offenders will continue. Our "war" has resulted in total availability of all drugs everywhere, and has fueled the cartels and our police-prison-industrial complex.

    March 26, 2009 at 9:01 am |
  30. Robert Carl Parisien Natick MA

    I saw the story last night. it was good reporting. I dont see how this problem can ever really be solved though.

    March 26, 2009 at 9:01 am |
  31. JB


    Thanks for your reality check on the drug war. I live in north TX and we've seen the explosion of violence, deaths related to drug use and weapons traffficing. Last Nov. a TX State Trooper pulled over a van on HWY 35 W. It was loaded with weapons going south.

    Not far south of where you are (in Mexico) there is a manufacturing center where the cartel has vehicles modified to carry drugs. They have imported drug sensing dogs to test there loads.

    Check it out, ask questions! This cycle will lead to a dead end, people need to become sick of this cycle before it ends!

    Peace, JB

    March 26, 2009 at 8:58 am |
  32. jimmy toriola


    March 26, 2009 at 8:55 am |
  33. D. A. Sutherland

    Fighting illegal drugs in this country should be the numbe one budget issue, which I don't remember being mention in President Obama's address to the nation. I think a majority of our leaders are afraid of drug dealers/cartels. The same way drug dealers can take over a city corner/block and clocal leaders fail to immedaitely get rid of the problem or let it persist for decades. Here in the USA entire cities and state borders are just another corner/block. The question posed to the American people, "Do you think our City, State, and Federal Government Leaders are afraid of drug dealers and cartels." Consider that the leaders in Mexico have put their familes and themselves in danger. They have not fell back on the political excuse. They deserve a Medal of Honor for their fight against drugs, while our leadership effort deserves a citation.

    March 26, 2009 at 8:44 am |