Remembering Life as it Once Was Along the US-Mexico Border

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mexican soldiers guard one of the entrances of the United States consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico on July 30, 2010. The United States has closed its consulate in the Mexican border. (Getty)

Jesus Ochoa, 75, was born in El Paso, Texas, where he has lived nearly all his life. As a young boy, he recalls stuffing his pockets with a $5 bill, picking up his friends and heading just a few miles south to Juarez, Mexico. Every Saturday, he visited the neighboring city to get a haircut, get his shoes shined and eat mariscos (seafood). When he graduated from high school, Juarez was where he and his classmates went to celebrate - something he calls a "rite of passage" for kids in his school.

But today, Juarez is a very different place than the one Ochoa reminisces about. This year alone, there were 1,700 deaths due to violence and gang activity. Drug cartels overrun the city, and the local police and Mexican military are engaged in a domestic war there. We talk with Ochoa about the evolution of Juarez over time. Jesus Ochoa's daughter, Meekah, grew up on the other side of the border in El-Paso. She describes the current perception of Juarez.


Jesus Ochoa and Meekah Ochoa

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja

Comments [4]

Edie Valenzuela from El Paso

Why on earth would anyone quote Jesus B Ochoa? He is a thief who was disbarred for ripping off his clients and he portrays himself as a "civil rights" advocate. He has the gall to call himself a "retired" lawyer in public. He should have focused more on advocating for his clients and maybe he wouldn't have gotten disbarred.

Nov. 18 2011 04:47 PM
daniel Friedman from South Fallsburg NY

A timely topic but the interviewer kept interrupting the people being interviewed and would not let them finish what they started to say. For example, Mr. Ochoa tried to explain how factories set up in Mexico to finish work started in the U.S. were related to the start of increased violence in Mexico...he was not allowed to finish that line of talk...similarly, when he noted that young people now make up a significant number of the murders in Juarez...he wasn't allowed to explain why that is the case. A very disappointing lost opportunity.

Aug. 11 2010 11:08 PM
Lily Limon from El Paso, TX

Heard your program for the first time today and like it very much. JB Ochoa is very knowledgeable of the Juarez/El Paso situation. We all dream of the way it was. Thanks for sharing with the world.

Aug. 11 2010 12:39 PM
Therese from parker, colorado

Have been listening to the TAKEAWAY since its inception. I like the expanded coverage and the accompanying intelligent well researched discussions. Keep up the good work.
This was long overdue for Denver.
Have the listeners ever been queried about a question/discussion they would like to have aired?

Aug. 11 2010 12:27 PM

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