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Border & Immigration

Best Of The Border (12/1-12/6)

Ejido Maclovio Rojas, Tijuana
Erin Siegal
Ejido Maclovio Rojas, Tijuana

The week's top stories from Fronteras Desk.

Hope Buried In A Tijuana Grave

Our most popular story of the week was In Remains Of 'Pozolero' Victims Dissolved In Acid, Tijuana Families Find Hope


Inside a mass grave in Tijuana are the dissolved remains of more than 100 bodies. It’s a physical reminder of the hidden casualties of the drug war that will continue to surface for years to come. But watching close by is another reminder: the families of the disappeared. They look on as officials dig through the remains to find fragments that will match with the DNA of family members. To the families, the grave is a symbol of hope; hope for a day when they will know the fate of their loved ones.

Rabbi Yosef Garcia's congregation, Avde Torah Jayah, celebrates Hanukkah in 2011.
Yosef Garcia
Rabbi Yosef Garcia's congregation, Avde Torah Jayah, celebrates Hanukkah in 2011.

Hidden Past Of Crypto-Jews

Hanukkah begins Saturday night. Among those celebrating the Jewish holiday in Phoenix are a small number of Hispanics who didn’t grow up with the tradition, but are returning to what they say is their Jewish heritage.

“Every Friday night my grandmother would light candles,” Garcia said. “And she would be saying these words, and I didn’t know what she was saying. She didn’t speak English, it wasn’t Latin – I knew Latin – and it wasn’t Spanish.”<br><br>It turns out she was reciting the Hebrew blessings for Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath, but Garcia didn’t realize that until he was in his 30s.
Xolos fans celebrate their team's first league championship in Tijuana.
Brooke Binkowski
Xolos fans celebrate their team's first league championship in Tijuana.
The Aztec (Under) Dogs Are Champions Of Liga MX And Heroes Of Tijuana

The Xolos’ past season reads like a Hollywood script. Barely two years ago, the border city’s Xoloitzcuintles, Aztec Dogs, were an underperforming soccer team in the second division. Today, they are champions of Mexico’s premiere league, Liga MX. The championship has instilled a sense of pride in a city emerging from the shadows of violence.

After the game ended, Estadio Caliente was packed full of deliriously happy fans. Still more fans poured into downtown Tijuana's streets, wearing the Xolos' signature red and black and cheering at the tops of their lungs. Rowdy, happy crowds filled block after block of downtown Tijuana. People hung out of car windows or rode on top of vehicles, chanting “si se pudo!” (yes, we could!) and waving Xolos flags and scarves.

Border Patrol In Arizona Reports Two Shootings In A Week

The FBI is investigating a U.S. Border Patrol-agent-involved killing that happened Sunday afternoon along the Arizona-Mexico border.

According to the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector, the shooting happened about noon Sunday. A Border Patrol agent scuffled with an illegal immigrant he was trying to arrest and then shot the migrant during the struggle.

A Few Days Later

According to Customs and Border Protection officials, the unidentified Yuma Sector agent and others were responding to possible bandit activity near the Border Patrol checkpoint on Highway 85, the Arizona highway that stretches from Lukeville to Phoenix.

The agency does not say what prompted the shooting, stating only, "Agents encountered two armed individuals and at least one agent discharged his weapon. One individual was wounded."