Michel Marizco

Reporter

Staff member of Fronteras Changing America Desk; an unprecedented, multimedia collaboration among seven public radio stations. Fronteras stories deal with the complex and controversial southwestern border with Mexico, including security, immigration, drugs and weapons smuggling.

Fronteras Desk Michel Marizco

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The National Park Service is beginning to map out hundreds of old smuggler roads along the Arizona border. The agency plans to return scarred land to natural desert.  Michel Marizco reports for the Fronteras Changing America Desk.

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Federal auditors discovered that US customs inspectors are not fully trained and lack some fundamentals to do their job at ports of entry. From the Fronteras Changing America Desk, Michel Marizco reports.

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A federal judge has unsealed a case against a money launderer accused of working with the Zetas drug cartel in Mexico and with Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group labeled a terror organization by the United States. Fronteras Changing America Desk correspondent Michel Marizco reports.

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Apprehensions of undocumented immigrants along the Arizona border are at their lowest in 17 years, a statistic that Customs and Border Protection officials touted Monday morning in Tucson. As Michel Marizco reports for the Fronteras Changing America Desk, there’s been a massive reduction in these arrests across the entire southwest border.

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U.S Attorney General Eric Holder told the House Judiciary Committee that the federal gunwalking program Fast and Furious was an unacceptable law enforcement tactic. But as Michel Marizco from the Fronteras Changing America Desk reports, Holder also suggested Congress needs to move forward.

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The ACLU has filed a lawsuit against the federal government and a private prison company after a transgendered immigrant was allegedly assaulted while in custody in Arizona. Michel Marizco reports from the Fronteras Changing America Desk.

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New emails released by the Department of Justice show that top officials were worried about the public perception of its gun walking programs in Arizona. As Michel Marizco reports for the Fronteras Changing America Desk, this was even before two of those guns turned up at the scene of a Border Patrol agent’s murder. 

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The Government Accountability Office has released a report showing that only a fraction of human-caused fires in Arizona were investigated in the past five years. Of those, illegal border crossers may have started almost half.

But as Michel Marizco reports for the Fronteras Changing America Desk,  the author of the report says the data she used for the study is far from complete.

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The Sinaloa drug cartel sought military weapons to attack the US embassy in Mexico City and then blame it on a rival cartel. As Michel Marizco reports from the Fronteras Changing America Desk, the planned attacks were intended to send a message to the United States not to interfere in Mexico.

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The former U.S. attorney who was investigating the possibility of a lawsuit against the United States for the murder of a border patrol agent has recused himself from the case. It was revealed that the U.S. had allowed guns into Mexico while he was U.S. Attorney.

 

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The Justice Department has been under fire for months for the so-called “Fast and Furious” gun-walking program. That’s the A-T-F operation that tried to build criminal cases against Mexican drug cartels and their weapons suppliers.

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Republican lawmakers have released new documents showing that high level officials in the Obama Administration Justice Department in Washington D.C. were aware that federal agents in Arizona were allowing guns to be walked into Mexico.

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The Supreme Court has ruled against a Southern Arizona rancher who once held a group of illegal immigrants at gunpoint. As Michel Marizco reports for the Fronteras Changing America Desk, the Court says the rancher must pay 87-thousand dollars. 

 

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The investigative arm of Congress has released a report saying that the United States military's efforts on the Mexican border have not been managed efficiently. Fronteras Changing America Desk correspondent Michel Marizco reports that's despite the millions of dollars spent.

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As medical technology has improved, people are living longer, often well past expectations. If you're a man, the average life expectancy is now 75. It's 80 for women with more living well into their 80s or 90s. But that's leading to other problems. Long life is stripping away savings. From the Fronteras Changing America Desk, Marizco reports.


 

Albuquerque, New Mexico –

Two major gun rights groups filed lawsuits against the United States this week to stop a new federal firearms reporting requirement. Michel Marizco reports for the Fronteras Desk that the rules will affect the 8,500 retailers in the four border states.

Fronteras Changing America Desk

Michel Marizco –

A tiny New Mexico border town has dissolved its entire police department. As Michel Marizco reports from the Fronteras Changing America Desk, they're asking the county sheriff to take over law enforcement duties.
 

Albuquerque, NM – The U.S. Forest Service is studying the impact of using air-dropped fire retardant to fight wildfires. On the one hand, the retardants help put out fires like the massive Wallow Fire in southern Arizona. Critics say delivery is risky for pilots and damages the environment.

Michel Marizco reports from the Fronteras Changing America Desk.
 

Tuscon, AZ – The repercussions of a busted Mexico gun-running sting run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are being felt from the southern border to Washington, D.C. The operation collapsed earlier this year after a federal agent was killed on the Arizona border.

As Michel Marizco from the Fronteras Changing America Desk reports, the blame for the operation may scatter to several federal agencies.
 

Culiacan, MX – The cartels make billions of dollars on the drug trade. But they have to work out complicated schemes to get those dollars back into Mexico and convert them into usable pesos. It's a lot of money and money can overcome lots of challenges.

A recent investigation by U.S. authorities found that between 2004 and 2007, one large U.S. bank allowed nearly a half trillion dollars of drug money to be wired through its systems, no questions asked.

Tuscon, AZ – The Mexican government has hired a U.S. law firm to investigate the possibility of suing American gun dealers and manufacturers. As Michel Marizco reports from Tuscon for the Fronteras Changing America Desk, the idea is to stop the flow of weapons headed across the border.

 

Tuscon, AZ – For the fifth straight year, the U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning for Americans going to Mexico.

But as Michel Marizco reports from Tuscon for the Fronteras Changing America Desk, this warning is more strongly worded and suggests that in some parts of Mexico, Americans are being targeted.