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March 27th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 03/27/09

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Tonight on AC360°, Anderson is continuing our special coverage on the "War Next Door". He's still along the U.S.-Mexico border reporting on the drug violence. We think this is an important story that need to be told. Thousands of people have been killed. Tonight, Anderson gives us a look at the gruesome reality of this battle. He reports on a mass grave that's been found in Juarez. Plus, we track how the cartels get their drugs here into the U.S. Do you think American drug users share the blame for the drug war? Some have made that accusation. We'd love to hear your thoughts.

Want to know what else we're covering tonight? Read EVENING BUZZ

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Filed under: Live Blog
soundoff (192 Responses)
  1. David, Indiana

    I meant to use the word "confessed" not "confused" post above.

    Isabel, I agree, but feel the problem is due also to a lack of attention to young people. In the US at this time, I feel people are beset with concerns about Iraq and Afghanistan and the economy. What people want to do with their future is not as much the focus as probably i shld be. Has to do with job security too.

    I agree Anderson, I hope they find Felix Battista soon and he's ok

    March 27, 2009 at 10:50 pm |
  2. gayle mccauley Malden,Mass

    I wonder if Felix Batista was kidnapped because of his very position!Was he taken away so he couldn't educate anyone anymore on the subject?Over 100 days missing,I'm afraid he's never going home again.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:49 pm |
  3. Gloria, Brooklyn, NY

    Have a good weekend, everyone. Bye!

    March 27, 2009 at 10:49 pm |
  4. BettyAnn, Nacogdoches,TX

    Legalize marijuana and I believe the violence will stop. There will be a lot of happy people too! What a boost to our economy!

    March 27, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  5. Maria Lopez

    The country that supplies the drug addicts, the money that finances the war, the guns that kill the people come from one country –the United States. Without these elements there would not be such great violence. Go to court proceedings as a field trip in the United States and you will confirm that most cases are of persons who have abused control substances. The blame also belongs to the South American countries who use Mexico as a transient state to get to such a vast market.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  6. Isabel (Brazil)

    The progress in the war on drugs is particularly difficult to feel in a big city, where the traffickers are arrested and quickly replaced by their subordinates.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  7. Mary in Houston

    I lived in El Paso practicallly all my life and have only been living in Houston for a few years. To see whats going on is just absolutely heartbreaking. Anderson, I think it was very courageous of you and your crew to actually ride out with the Mexican military. But if I recall yesterday you said something like you have a high threshold. Wow. Regardless, please be careful on the streets of Juarez. Nowadays you can never know what is right around the corner.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  8. Maria

    I hope he will return safe to his family

    March 27, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  9. Saera El Paso, TX

    This proves that no matter how careful or knowledgeable you are, you can still get hurt

    March 27, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  10. Barbara in Boston

    Casey, thanks for the update on Rikki. Haven't seen her posts on FB or here and I've been worried.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  11. Lori from IL

    I really feel for Felix Batista's wife, daughters, and family. How terrible to have a loved one kidnapped, not hear anything, and not know if they are dead or alive. His wife and daughter a living a nightmare every day.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  12. DARRELL

    Maren, I believe you are right. Been there and done that as well and am ready to do it again.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  13. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    Casey Jones – Palm Springs, Ca, I agree. No matter what they say to try to calm the fears of the tourists, who would want to go there under the conditions that Fred Burton talked about on Wednesday? It would be like vacationing in a prison compound.

    They don't have any idea when or where these guys will decide to strike. I wouldn't take the chance.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  14. Vig

    That guy with his mask on, hiding his face, trying to convince everyone he's ok but would probably slit your throat if given an order to do so – is emblematic of the Mexican thug mentality. It's all about power, dominance and arrogance. Why doesn't he unmask himself? I wouldn't give me the time of day, let alone an extended interview.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  15. Cherry B - Ms

    I have to wonder how much impact our border patol is having. Not that I don't appreciate their incredibly difficult job. But I live in a small town in Mississippi and we have a very large population of illegal immigrants. I've heard some of their stories and they didn't just have a whole lot of trouble getting into this country. Don't at all blame them for wanting to get away from what's happening in their country now and in the past

    March 27, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  16. Kari in Yuma

    Good Evening AC360 Bloggers,

    Unfortunately the involvement with the drug cartel has killed many in the Mexican music industry. It's a sad thing, but yet at the same time some groups(Los Tucanes de Tijuana) seem to glorify it by singing about it. It doesn't make sense to me.
    I live 7 miles from the border in Los Algodones, B.C. and I actually feel comfortable going there.
    I hope that Mexico and the United States can work something out to deal with these mass killings. After all, the drugs are all coming to the U.S.
    My heart goes out to the victims and their families.

    Gotta' love that Anderson Cooper. He's awesome!!

    March 27, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  17. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    "Anyone living in a house that big must hate their relatives."

    Excellent point! LOL!

    March 27, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  18. Jane

    I am an American, living in Cancun, Mexico. I keep hearing that people have been warned by the US government not to come here. Is the Hotel Zone in trouble because of the cartels? How safe are the US citizens who live here?

    March 27, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  19. starr formerly known as vincent

    I heard a report on CNN today, that the officer who prevented (& basically threatened and harrassed) the NFL player who tried to attend his mother-in-law's death, felt that he had done "everything by the book."

    Where was this officer's heart or common sense.

    At least his Captain made a profound apology!

    March 27, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  20. Jessica, KY

    Those mass, unmarked graves reminded me of the mass graves in Afghanistan Michael Ware once did an excellent piece on.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  21. DARRELL

    I believe Texas will take the lead in the Boarder battle.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  22. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    Think about the fire power and weaponry the cartels posess. How far are any of them from acquiring atomic weapons, etc? Do we really think the National Guard, as one of the interviewees suggested, has the firepower, training, or muscle to beat back the cartels? I know this may sound silly, but it really makes you wonder, doesn't it?

    Is my thinking too "over-the-top?"

    March 27, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  23. Jana, Indiana

    Anderson, you have done a great job the last three nights from the border. I hope we get more field reports from you this year.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  24. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    Anyone living in a house that big must hate their relatives.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  25. Isabel (Brazil)

    The AIG executives will be potential buyers?

    March 27, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  26. Maren in Oregon

    It looks like all those yeas in Iraq and Afganistan will pay off at our own Border. Desert terrain; insurgent fighters: Been there, done that.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  27. Mary in Houston

    "1600 murdered in 2008…that’s more than 4 per day. That is truly frightening and astounding. How big is Juarez?"

    Casey, if I am not mistaken it is about 1.7 million or so. El Paso is over 700,000. This is a very heavily populated corridor.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  28. ana from texas

    I don't belive the mexican goverment can handle the situation. I belive the people need to take a stand. That enough is a enough. The killings are shocking.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  29. gayle mccauley Malden,Mass

    @ Casey Jones.My niece isn't concerned at all! She is returning to her favorite spot and she is traveling with friends who are police officers, corrections officers,and their wives.She's 30 yrs. old and very very mature ,but she won't think of canceling her trip.Her mother is wringing her hands over it.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  30. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    I think all this violence is a show of power. Who controls the most territory and who is feared the most. I think it is less about the money and more about power.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  31. Sandra Robertson

    Anderson, for three nights now I have watched your coverage of this horrific Mexican drug war. These cartel members have no regard for human life. They use people like pawns in a chess game to run their drugs. The leaders of cartels need to be rooted out and imprisoned. Thank you and the crew for your coverage. Be safe. The folks in Fargo are in my prayers.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  32. ANGELA

    Legalization will stop this activity cold, cant we just for once get ahead of the enemy.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  33. Nattada, Houston TX

    @David, Indiana..you're right, it would be hard to get in and help out now. I keep preying for them to be o.k.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  34. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    @Jo Ann and Dodie...I really do think this informant could be part of the broader "marketing plan" of a particular cartel. Who knows, maybe the different cartels actually work together when beneficial (like scaring the general public to death).

    One way or another, it's not good for Mexico's economy. This is a great way to put a nail or two in the coffin of the tourism economy, not to mention other services provided to Americans on day trips.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  35. Joyce

    Excellent coverage. Although this is not my favorite topic, I enjoy watching the AC crew outside the studio.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  36. Lori from IL

    I had a chance several years ago for a behind the scenes tour of what was then the Chicago District Office of the U.S. Immigration & Nationalization Service Office (lots of restructing after 9/11 and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security). We had an opportunity to talk to a member of the Gang Task Force and see samples of the weapons that had been confiscated. It was a very eye-opening experience to say the least. I'm sure the gangs are involved with the cartels -

    A boy age 9, riding his bike was caught in gang crossfire last night in Chicago - luckily just injured - but we need to be aware that this border war puts us all in danger - if just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  37. Lauren--NY

    I might be very naive, but I'm stunned that this essentially boils down to only two cartels.

    ...It's like the Jets and the Sharks. Wow.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  38. Isabel (Brazil)

    La Familia is one of the most powerful cartels in Mexico.

    According to my friend (he is sheriff in Brazil) with each clearing of the day, La Familia makes a poster with the reasons for his murder (by denunciate, for not respecting La Familia, for not respecting the agreements, among others).

    Oh, also it is found in the poster, the names of the next on the blacklist (police, politicians, journalists, murders of rival cartels).

    How this is scary!

    Be careful, Anderson

    March 27, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  39. Dodie from Irvine, CA

    Good information Tom about the division of the US

    March 27, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  40. starr formerly known as vincent

    @ Cherry B.-Ms.

    I am somewhat concerned that if we put our troop on the border, the cartels could easily arrange a situation where either Mex. of Amer. troops could be killed. They could manipulate the stituation as one set of soldiers firing on the other. We could then end up in an "accidental war" with Mexico.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  41. Stephen Webb

    How about legalizing Marijuana and then taxing it at high rates like cigarettes/alcohol!

    March 27, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  42. David, Indiana

    Hi Randi Kaye, I think it will sell...

    Whenever I see a report on Afghanistan, the conditions there, the hospitals, housing, roads are extremely poor, it's amazing that there is such a reservoir of goodwill for the US as Peter Bergen says. I think that's a sign of hope.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  43. Brandi - bottom of the boot

    why does it not surprise me to see a big red dot right next to where i live?!

    March 27, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  44. May-Tennessee

    @Casy Jones That's an interesting point...I wouldn't have thought of that 'til you mentioned it...kinda makes you wonder doesn't it?

    March 27, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  45. Cassandra

    @ Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    That's a good question. I've been wandering about that too.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  46. Rob Rivera - El Paso, TX

    Anderson, I'd like to let you know that I'm very impressed with what you're doing here in El Paso. I'm a high school teacher and soccer coach...my team goalie, who is also an editor for the school newspaper, told me that he was able to interview you last night. The fact that you take time out to speak to a student speaks volumes of the type of person you are. He will remember that moment for the rest of his life.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  47. ana from texas

    The mexican people also have to take stand. Its not all our fault.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  48. Dodie from Irvine, CA

    @ Casey Jones

    Yes you said that right! my feelings exactly

    March 27, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  49. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    I wonder how Anderson got that interview. Did the cartel member come to CNN or did their sources bring him to them?

    March 27, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  50. Isabel (Brazil)

    @ David

    Drug trafficking is a problem for society because governments do not invest in education, and because governments do not have to pulse with the traffickers.

    March 27, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
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