March 26th, 2009
03:35 PM ET

Out on patrol with Mexican troops in Juarez

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear Anderson Cooper's full report on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

On patrol with the 55th battalion out of Mexico City, part of 5,000 new soldiers now patrolling Juarez, Mexico.

Out on patrol.

Anderson speaks with the troops.

Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Mexico
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Art J

    I live in El Paso and I can say that there has always been some danger in traveling into Juarez, not just with the recent increase in drug cartel violence but the violence against women. Mass graves have been found all over Juarez where woman have been brutalized, raped and murdered. Now we have the cartels adding to the brutality. I pray for the good people in Juarez.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  2. mark

    Yes, your reporting is brave. I do have a issue with the way it is reported though. You stated that the Mexican military is outgunned. I can't believe that when in the footage your own cameras show that they have German G3 assult rifes, one of the most powerful automatic military rifles in the world, and I sure that they have many more at their armory. The rifles (that you say they get out of America) are semi-automatic. THEY ARE NOT READILY CONVERTED TO FULL-AUTO. THE BATF has seen to that. Why don't you, instead of blaming Law abiding citizens of the US, look at were they really get the guns from. I bet anything they get the weapons from the biggest arms dealer in the world and that is China
    You agenda for getting the assult weapons ban reinstated is disgusting and I and tired of hearing that I am to blame for all that is wrong in Mexico.

    March 27, 2009 at 5:28 am |
  3. Martin S. (Arizona)

    let's apply the "keeping them honost" philosophy to the claim of the weapons coming from the US – give us the serial numbers of the captured weapons, let's track where they came from.

    March 27, 2009 at 5:15 am |
  4. Bob

    If you stopped fawning over Obama (and Hillary bashing), and returned to objective journalism, maybe your ratings will improve.

    March 27, 2009 at 4:00 am |
  5. Fred Myer

    Mr. Cooper, it's obvious what the agenda is and where this is heading is more gun controls for Americans, and I can tell you this from one of many gun totin American's that this will be faught to the last breath. The fact that Mexico shares a boarder with a right to bare arms state does not give them the right to request that we change our laws and constitution for the fact they have let there country become so corupt and out of control that now they are having real trouble getting a handle on it.

    March 27, 2009 at 2:58 am |
  6. unknown

    I lIve here in El Paso and Visit Juarez often. There is also sayings that the military in mexico is chapos militar

    March 27, 2009 at 2:12 am |
  7. Femi Ariya

    When one considers the argument for or against the legalization of the sale of marijuana in the United States, there are considerably ponderous arguments for or against. To be brief, yes marijuana is arguably the most harmless illicit drug available, easily trumping both alcohol and cigarettes from the health perspective. However, even with this and many other positive aspects of the legalization of marijuana being considered, there is still no point in doing so for the sake of diminishing the propensity of the tension at the Mexican border or the economy as a whole. Why? Because primarily, those who are doing this smuggling are not going to be benefactors in the legalization, thus will force them to seek alternative revenue streams to maintain their current profits. This being considered, the tension on the Mexican border could potentially exacerbate to a level beyond our current comprehension. Even if these cartels were the benefactors of pot legalization this would prove detrimental to the economy as potentially more buyers (because of the legalization) would send American dollars outside of the US. Either way you slice it. If pot legalization is being considered for Mexican-American relation/tension or economical reasons then there‘s no reason to do it. However, pot legalization does have potentially good implications in severely diminishing the toll sustained by our jails and police departments pertaining to the war on drugs. My opinion, is that marijuana remain illegal, yet penalties for possession be severely reduced. While penalties for possession with intent to sell be increased to the level of cocaine.

    March 27, 2009 at 1:53 am |
  8. Yvette EL PASO TX

    Living in EL PASO for 26yrs of my life its good to hear that people are taking notice of whats been going on in Cd Juarez for years.
    From thousands of women being killed to cartels killing each other and innocent people.
    What u showed today is not even half of whats been going on.
    Cartels going into homes and killing family members, even children.
    Cartels going into public places and killing their target in front of everyone.
    Cartels killing doctors, nurses and paramedics just because they help heal people that were shot.
    Sad to say but even the mexican soldiers are corrupt, this will never stop because the mexican government is behind it all.
    Soldiers go into homes, taking advantage of their authority and steal people posessions.
    I hope and pray that the violence does not jump to EL PASO which is where my entire family lives.
    Cd. Juarez will never never go back to what it was.

    becareful though, those heartless individuals dont care for anything or any one.

    March 27, 2009 at 1:36 am |
  9. Francisco Villa

    Hey Anderson Be All You Can Be.....why don't you investigate President Calderon who is making a fool of the United States? He and Chapo Guzman are Brothers-In-Law.....one of Chapo's women is Felipe Calderon's sister. Chapo is the real Mexican President. Chapo is killing all other Cartels so he and Felipe can, and will, surpass Bill Gates in Forbes by the end of Calderon's term. Further, Vicente Fox is Chapo's compadre. The Merida Initiative is just a bonus for Chapo, Felipe and Vicente. What the Merida Initiative will do is make this thugs richer than rich at the expense of American Tax Payers. Calderon, Vicente and Chapo should be arrested, as Manuel Noriega was, and brought to justice in the U.S.

    Anderson, If you don't take this assignment I will have to back from the dead and report it myself.

    Viva Doroteo Arango.....Viva Pancho Villa....Viva Mexico......Viva Chihuahua!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 27, 2009 at 1:04 am |
  10. orcafound

    i have friends living in mexico, who have been telling me about the war going on every night in their town. it seems that mexican gangs and outside troops ( foreigners) are fighting for controll of mexico, since the first of the year, with intense fighting every night. My friend states that they do not go out after dark as the gun fighters kill everyone out at night without regards to men, women or child. These foreign troops are Halabertens troops. It seems that the mexican government and the us government have agree to hire out side mercernary's to do the dirty work for both sides. With your reporting now you are setting the stage for the United States to start a war with Mexico. Soon illegals will not have to worry about immigration as the United States is setting the stage to invade Mexico. I love you Anderson but you are being use to help set the stage for this invasion. We started with the overhaul of the immigration laws in 1996, and the various outragous amendments to the immigration laws since then. the war on drugs, which created the war on American Citizen, and the war on every racial group in this nation. We follow it by attacking our
    constitution in order to controll the rest of the people in the United States through fear and intimadation. Now we say the war on drugs is out of controll. We have the most outragous laws to controll drugs on the books now, and it does not work. So now you want to go to war with mexico. without the war in iraq to focuse on we are looking for a way to continute to employ and pay with tax payers dollars another war. We have HALABERTENS army already in Mexico, all they need is our ok to come public. in order for them to get paid for the war that is going on now. this invisible army is working for us now, you are helping to make them legal by spreading all of the story's that you have been given to report on. You are a honest reporter who the american public will beleive when you say the "sky is falling" as colin powell did when he said that iraq had weapons of mass distruction."
    the excause needed to go to war.

    March 27, 2009 at 12:07 am |
  11. Michael white

    Hi I wish you guys hear my voice bcuz you guys and every one is talking about this subject and how funny how everyone think they know how to fix the problem and how the gov is doing all this stuff and spending all this money to help all this to stop now my question to u guys is what is the goverment is doin to stop all this people from using this drugs absolutly nothing so y? dont u guy report the real problem i welcome u n ur team to come 2 my neigborhood so u can report the real problem and c what is drugs doing to this country. 4example where im located their is more peple da smoke pot than more people than dont it has come to the point where police realy have to catch u wit a good amout of marijuana to go to jail so how u xpect this problem to b solve if u guys r not doing notin about what the real problem is. if anything how stupid some people r talking bout legalizing drugs how funny "only in america" so y u guys r reporting from the wrong front y dont u come and report from the real front wich is here in our own country those people on the border r just doing their job bcus thats the way they see it as a bussiness where they have to make money and our own people is driving this bussiness to grow more and more everyday.

    March 26, 2009 at 11:42 pm |
  12. Henry

    Oooooo, Please. According to our Rep. here in El Paso, Tx. all this is "Urban Legend". According to him all you are seeing is not true. This would be Representative Silvester Reyes. The killings are bad, terror reigns in the streets of J-town and El Paso, Tx. Stay away, don't come here, beware. lololololololo All you people are so dumb

    March 26, 2009 at 11:20 pm |
  13. Isabel (Brazil)


    Is there no danger? You're talking to the troops, the light of day in the open.

    I already saw the traffickers passing by the troops and strafe all who saw the front, without pity or mercy.

    March 26, 2009 at 8:22 pm |
  14. elizabeth krall

    I live in Mexico City and in 1998 I met an analyst from the CIA who said they were predicting a revolution in Mexico around the year 2000 but he never said it was going to be this kind of revolution-drug cartels taking over the country.

    March 26, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  15. Amanda Walton Fort Erie, Ontario

    Hope you and your crew have flap jackets on

    Stay extra safe

    March 26, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  16. Lori from IL

    Wow, Anderson traveling into Jaurez. I think it's time this country looked into legalizing these drugs and taxing them. People that want drugs will get them on the black market – the root of the drug cartels in Mexico.

    It's sad to see the soldiers and boarder patrol agents having to fight this very dangerous war.

    Thanks Anderson and 360 for shedding light on this very important situation.

    March 26, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  17. Adrian

    I am traveling to Mexico once a month, for business, and I can tell you that what you see on TV is happening just at the border, in cities like Tijuana and Cd. Juarez but you do not have the same situation at all in other beautiful cities in the middle of the country or at the beach in great places like Cancun or Puerto Vallarta. You can travel in Mexico without problems, or let me put it this way, you are going to be in risk if you are in a bad place in the middle of the night, the same as in LA or NY.

    March 26, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  18. dh

    Iam very interested in the latest news on Mexico as I plan to retire there. But am curious why you would show video clips? from previous videos that I have seen from cnn on youtube. Should last nights reporting not be up todate and fresh?

    March 26, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  19. Isabel


    Another question:

    The troops in Mexico use this cars so open and unprotected or are there others to face the drug traffic?

    Again by analogy with the Special Operations Battalion of Police (Brazil). Here they use an armored vehicle to transport personnel – to support a car and combat.

    March 26, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  20. Ana, Mexico City


    Please let me state that Mexico is safe and please, please don't think that every single city and town is going through the same violence than the north. Of course, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't be careful as there's always some chance of running into trouble. If you travel to Mexico just use common sense the same way you would while traveling to any other country in the world.

    Sadly travel warnings end up putting each city in the same bag.

    March 26, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  21. mike

    i recommend that anderson in his next in- depth story covers what i consider is the real source of the border problem- cocaine/ heroin addicted americans of every economic level. let me be clear,mexican drug cartels must be wiped out from the face of the earth.they thrive from practicing an ironic form of capitalistic supply side economics. the more americans demand drugs , the more cartels supply drugs. and the more death and violence trickle down on innocent victims. i support secretary of state clinton’s position that both mexico and the u.s.a. must shoulder the burden of responsibility. for the last 7 years we’ve been so preoccupied in helping iraqi’s that we’ve forgotten americans not only in matters of jobs and health care but in drug addiction as well. perhaps now that showboating journalists swarm to the border they’ll cover this event in broader analysis than they used to cover the iraq war.,.

    March 26, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  22. MariCarmen

    Anderson – it is time that someone shed some light on what is going on in Mexico. Too much blood has been shed and too many innocent lives have been taken. Thank you for being the one to make sure everyone, not only those living in the border towns, know the tragedies that have happened and keep happening every day.

    March 26, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  23. Constance

    I live for the news. I really do. But I am also concerned about your saftey. Please be careful.

    March 26, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  24. Olivia

    I think that the comment that Robert made is really important. How can the government say that the city is now safe when their own mayor and his family are hiding in the comfort of El Paso's safety. The only thing he is doing is putting his neighbor's in danger by being in El Paso.

    March 26, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  25. Teresa

    Be careful, man

    March 26, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  26. Diane

    Thank you for bringing all this to the notice of the general public–I've been telling people about this for a long time, to be met with uh-huh or blank faces. My husband is from Mexico and reads the news from there daily. Friends and family in Mexico tell of always feeling nervous about abductions and so on. I also get CNN Mexico alerts, so we are well-informed.
    I'm a former inner-city middle and high-school teacher, and since 911 I've worried about terrorists tapping young kids as recruits; too many lost souls at loose ends out there.
    Definitely not "old news" anytime soon...thanks for your bravery, in the war zone...

    March 26, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  27. Deborah Pickering

    Anderson, as a Mexican born woman I thank you for taking the time and having enough interest to go to the front line. I am very proud to see that President Felipe Calderon has not backed off from fighting to make Mexico a safe country again.

    March 26, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  28. Diane N.

    Anderson you're scaring the living daylights out of me. Yes I know this has to be reported...expose the SOB's to the fullest extent possible. I ask you please please by the grace of god be careful. Please.

    March 26, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  29. Robert Giron, Colorado

    Anderson, while you are down in Juarez can you ask the Mayor Jose Reyes-Fersse, exactly how the corrupition got out of control, where the the had to become an armed camp. Also ask him if he believes it to just fine that his family and him stay in El Paso, Texas when the City he is Mayor of is out of control, does he believe he should resign!! And how much corrpution and volience do the people of Juarez and El PAso, Texas have to put up with beofre he quiets as Juarez Mayor and is Deported form the United States of America. Signed concerned for normal family memebers.

    March 26, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  30. richard / california.

    what is Michael talking about., old news, no news, you are reporter and that is how we get our news that is happening wherever. you are doing a great job anderson keep it up...and good luck....

    March 26, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  31. Dan Cahill

    Yours is a scary story: Street smart teenagers trained to kill better than they’re trained to function in a normal life – however fitting – this killer way appears to become their ‘way of life’. And this is all North of the border – Take the time to travel the ‘not so marketed areas of town’ and you can see the changes taking over – watch the local news and read the papers – the decline is rising – the large city school systems have a failure rate that would make your heart pound – and ironically appear to be mostly Hispanic. Where do these kids go? What do these kids do? How can they honestly keep up with a consumer driven market.
    Major U.S. cities (including Dallas) are on a decline – when your report indicates a saturation level in over 200 cities with the cartel you ask yourself one question: can the US govt. handle another war where they really can’t see the enemy? Sounds like the Middle East and Southeast Asia – it’s time to lock the border with a very controlled crossing – and my time of going to Mexico and spending the dollar are over – this mindset is what will unfortunately sink Mexico – the honest dollar will dry up and the cartel will have easier access or visible access to the politics and rule of the country.
    good luck – Anderson

    March 26, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  32. mary

    Is it safe to got to Cancun Mexico right now? Alot of people from NY have already paid for thier trips and are a little confused on what to do right now. please help

    March 26, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  33. Isabel Siaba


    In Brazil there is the BOPE (Special Operations Battalion of Police), which is a unit specialized in patrols, progressions and conflict with drug traffickers.

    In Mexico there are troops specialized?
    How is the training of these troops?
    These troops have an armed forces compatible with what they face?

    March 26, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  34. Isabel Siaba


    Scary to see you talking to the troops. This picture shows the most frightens us and what we fear most: the common person, which could be any one of us (by chance you, that brings us the news every day) in the midst of this urban guerrilla.

    I await the reports at night, anxious!

    One more time, take care of yourself!

    March 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  35. Michelle Johnson, Lomita, CA

    As so many viewers have said, To Anderson, you are too brave, good work to help stop the tragedies, but Please Be Careful!! This is only one assignment and one mission, and a lot of people care about you!

    March 26, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  36. Paul Ernest Show

    First, Anderson, why would you take such risk? I am in the security guards business and the Mexican gang members, here in the U S, do not care who is in the way. I have been shot at, my guards constantly shot at and stabbed. We are dealing with a dangerous group. This is a threat to national security and civil order, but we should not overlook the humanitarian side of it too, because the kids are Americans.

    March 26, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  37. Martina Ilstad Germany

    Hey Anderson
    Thank you for show us what happen at the Mexico American border.Pictues showes more than word couldI. must be a terrible life for the people they life in this area.But dont risk too much.the wold needs journalist like you finding out the truth.be carful.

    March 26, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  38. Cindy

    Looking forward to the report tonight. It has to be a really intense and scary situation for these men every day in Juarez seeing how bad it is there.

    Pics are great by the way!


    March 26, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  39. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Your courage is to be admired--but your risk for something that has been in existence for a long time--life is very fragile---and sometimes when we think we have all the time in the world-–bad things happen--I would not push the envelope to much Anderson. It will be old news by tonight.

    March 26, 2009 at 3:41 pm |