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Border Travel Blog: 530 Miles On The Final Day

A reporter's notebook and the view of Highway 15 outside of Magdalena, Sonora, Mexico.
Peter O'Dowd
A reporter's notebook and the view of Highway 15 outside of Magdalena, Sonora, Mexico.

Mexico will elect a new president next month, and for now, our reporting on the topic takes a back seat. We have to put together eight days of interviews and observations into a handful of stories for the radio and TV.

We wanted to know if these elections mattered to the United States. The simple answer: Yes. They do. From Brownsville, Texas, to Altar, Sonora, people on both sides of the border told us why they'll be paying close attention to what happens July 1.

People who live along the border care about security and the economy. Big surprise, right? They care about getting Mexico "back to normal." They implore policy makers on both sides of the line to solve the immigration crisis. They say we all have a stake in this election because of our acute hunger in the U.S. for Mexican drugs.


On our final day reporting this series, Michel Marizco and I traveled more than 500 miles. We started at 7 a.m. from Douglas, Ariz., and drove west to Nogales.

We dipped down into Mexico and stopped in a town named Altar. We met a priest; a politician, a Guatemalan immigrant; a narco with a 'Z' -- for Zeta -- etched into his hairline. We watch three men hang a banner for a local politician -- a final reminder that it's election season in Mexico and the U.S.

Join Fronteras Desk journalists as they travel into Mexico to report on the Mexican elections & the impact on the U.S.

As the sun set on our shared Sonoran desert, we drove north again, and I remembered what I'd been told a few days before at the other end of the border.

"We are connected," a Brownsville businessman told me, looking across the Rio Grande into Mexico. "It's like an umbilical cord."

Stay tuned for our Fronteras Desk series on the Mexican Elections.