Monica Ortiz Uribe

Senior Field Correspondent Mónica Ortiz Uribe (Las Cruces) is a native of El Paso, Texas, where she recently worked as a freelance reporter. Her work has aired on NPR, Public Radio International and Radio Bilingue. Most of her stories examined the effects of drug-related violence across the border in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Previously, she worked as a reporter for the Waco Tribune Herald in Waco, Texas. She graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso with a degree in history. 

Mexico and the United States are supposed to share water according to a 70-year-old treaty that aims to protect each nation's needs. But prolonged drought is testing that relationship. Mexico is behind by 38 percent on its deliveries.

On a Saturday night, the bridge that links downtown El Paso, Texas, to Ciudad Juarez in Mexico is hauntingly still. Once, this was a border crossing flush with life; now, after years of brutal drug violence, it's like a graveyard. It's certainly not the border that American author Benjamin Alire Saenz recalls from his high school days.

"We'd all pile in a couple of cars. There'd be like 10 of us and we'd come over to Juarez," Saenz remembers. "We'd go to all these places like The Cave, the Club Hawaii ... the Kentucky Club ... and we would just have a good time and laugh."

In Mexico these days, the majority of babies are born in hospitals. That hasn't helped reduce the number of maternal deaths, though. So health officials are re-making the centuries-old tradition of midwifery. They are betting a new kind of midwife, one trained in a clinical setting, can offer a solution.



The city of Nuevo Laredo, which hugs the border of south Texas, is the latest hotspot in Mexico's violent drug war. Over the past two weeks, over 70 people have been killed there in drug-related violence. Monica Ortiz Uribe from member station KJZZ visited the city and she found a community terrified and afraid to even speak.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Foreign language spoken)