The Birth Of Borderland Beat

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DD
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The Birth Of Borderland Beat

DD
There seems to be some interest in when Blog del narco started and that has generated a lot of arguments on whether BDN or BB was the first of it's kind.  I don't think it really matters, but from the story in the Guardian and the Texas Observer BDN started in 2010.  Just look at the archives of BB and you will see the first story posted by Buggs on Borderland Beat was Jan. 17, 2009.  From the following history of BB which Buggs wrote, you will see that BB evolved from a personal blog in mid 2008 about the violence in Mexico.

What is important is that BB and BDN be judged for what they are today.  You, the readers have to be the judge of that.  

The stories about BDN included interviews with the purported owner of BDN and so many of you now know more about her than the man who started Borderland Beat.  

First, let me comment on the fact that out of the 310 posts during the 1st year, 2009, all were done Buggs.  That is a lot of dedication and hard work.  In 2010, he added the first reporters (all volunteer) and the number of stories mushroomed.  

Today Buggs keeps a low profile on BB, but back in July 2012 I asked Buggs to give us some history of BB.  This was his response;

Well, I mainly keep a low profile now-a-days! I used to be very active, giving lectures in Juarez, as well as here in the US, mainly to law enforcement, but now, I try not to do that too much.

My parents came to the US from Mexico in the 50's. So I have roots in Mexico and many relatives who live in Zacatecas and Aguacalientes. I am fluent in Spanish, read and write and have spent a lot of time in Mexico, in some cases extended time while travelling the countryside, villages and cities.

I started to see a change in 2006. The problem with narcos was always there, but in 2006 the little dark secret came out and it got ugly fast. I guess it was when Calderon took on the cartels is when I started to see the increase in violence in Mexico and it has not slowed since. In fact the level of the brutality gets worst by the days as cells try to impress and scare each other.

In a period between the years of 2007 and 2008 there were a few incidents that touch me personally. One was a little girl I got to know that had her father (a suspected Juarez cartel boss), mother and little brother killed in CD Juarez. I wrote about it in a blog post in January 2011.

In doing research on the web, I discovered a wave of violence that was engulfing a lot of parts of mexico and no one here in the US had any idea what was going on. Primarily because the US main stream media was not covering it. I started to read everything on the web coming out of Mexico, I was reading Mexican newspapers, magazines that covered the narco war. When I would tell people in the US about the violence, they did not believe it was happeining.

Then there was the execution of Edgar Millan, the top federal police chief in Mexico, it did not even make news here in the US and I thought if they can kill him, they can kill anyone. There is a personal connection, but at this point I am not at liberty to say.

Then of course I had my own problems while travelling in Mexico, too many to mentioned but some too close for comfort. So I thought the people in the US should have way to know what is going on and to set up a method of record keeping of what was happening in Mexico.

So I decided to start putting up stories in my own personal blog. That might have been around the middle of 2008. But in january of 2009, I decided to start a blog exclusively dedicated to Mexican drug cartels to inform English speaking audiences of the drug war in Mexico. So I started Borderland Beat. First I would post entries here and there, many times, I just did not have the time, but I felt a mission to make the effort to put out the news of what was happening in Mexico and hopefully someone could make sense of it all. But little did I know that there are no simple answers and no easy solutions, it is complicated. The narco business in Mexico starts with the cartels who have been part of every govermental institution; police (all levels), military, politicians and court system, it's even part of society, a way of life.

Not an easy task to eradicated such complex mess, perhaps we never will.

But the need to inform, was needed, and I felt like I was doing a small part in at least bringing things to life. So I kept it on, and I never did see Borderland Beat or BB (as is known) as my blog, but the blog of a special community, with many contributors, the ownership is that of a community with a common interest, the Mexican drug war.

So I allowed others to join in and contribute; and we had many, too may to mention. I had Gerardo, RiseMakaveli and Illiana join early on, and many others came later, like Smurf, Gary Moore and Ovemex, and eventually we had some come out of the forums to move to the front page like Buela, and all other contributors who are active now like Badanov, J, Arm Chair and Un Vato.

I started to keep count of the hits in December 2009 and to date we have over 24 million hits, with an average of 35,000 hits a day.

in 2009 (partial, not certain on the exact start date, but I will estmate around August) we had 14,696 hits.
in 2010 we had 6,038,135 hits
in 2011 we had 12,289,125 hits
this year so far we have 6,373,693 hits


So that is how it went and this is where we are, thanks to all of YOU, the BB community, the most knowledgeable group when it comes to the Mexican cartels, makes me proud!  
-------------------

That is a brief history of BB and the numbers only go up to July 8, 2012 when Buggs wrote that in response to my email asking about the history of BB.

So who is Buggs?  He is a man of few words and does not like to call attention to himself (I may get fired for posting this).  He maintains his low profile partly for security reasons, but also he  did not create Borderland Beat to have his own little fiefdom, or for commercial gain,  As he state above, Borderland Beat is "the blog of a special community, with many contributors, the ownership is that of a community with a common interest, the Mexican drug war."

I think you can get a good sense of who he is by reading a story he wrote and posted on Sept. 23, 2009 entitled The Sheepdog.
It was posted on the front page, but I just re-posted here on the Forum.  I encourage you to read it.

Words are powerful weapons, be careful how you use them.
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Re: The Birth Of Borderland Beat

curioso
Well let me the first to say thank you so much to Buggs for starting this blog.
When I moved to Mexico in 2008 from Chicago I had no idea what was really going on. When I started hearing stories about violence I hit the net to try and find out more. I ran across Borderland Beat.
Back then a post on the forum might sit for weeks before someone would respond. Now almost anyone I ask knows about BB.

Thank you to all the hard working people who sacrifice their time and energy to get us news about this situation in Mexico.

A loyal reader,
curioso
Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience
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Re: The Birth Of Borderland Beat

Chivis
Administrator
In reply to this post by DD
One weekend not too long ago I went back to the beginning of BB ad moved forward for as much as time would allow.  I was stunned to see that Buggs came in with a team of one.  I reader a number of his posts, and knowing how much work they entail I wonder how he did not one day say forget this, I need a life.  

 Buggs is an excellent writer and to read his original material left me wondering why he has not written a book.  He also is a gifted photographer.  a man of few words, no time for BS, and a man of many talents.

thanks for this DD...it makes my nerves calm down....a bit...

 
The way I see it.... the more people that don't like me, the less people I have to please
AJ
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Re: The Birth Of Borderland Beat

AJ
In reply to this post by DD
Great post DD!

Much props to Buggs and everyone else who is a part of the Borderland Beat Familia. It doesn't matter who came first but who keeps it real.

I believe in quality over quantity, and BB has always stayed on the right side of the track.
CHIVIS FOREVER
AJ
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Re: The Birth Of Borderland Beat

AJ

Much props to Chivis too. She has kept the integrity instilled in Borderland Beat's reporting.
CHIVIS FOREVER
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Re: The Birth Of Borderland Beat

Lala
In reply to this post by DD
Thank you! I only discovered this site recently so I had no idea about how it got started. Thank you Buggs and all for your work
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Re: The Birth Of Borderland Beat

Jorge Jorvanivich
In reply to this post by DD
I got to say thank you and we do appreciate your time and effort to help make us the most knowledgeable bunch on the cartels. I am about 1000 miles from the border but I do have family in Dallas, Tx and Weslaco, Tx. I went and stayed for a couple of weeks in Weslaco and went to Progresso, Mx many times during that time. This was a few years ago, before 9/11, I know because I didn't even have I.D., but had no trouble going back and forth. I had a great time, felt safe even at night. I wish I could share that experience with my young nieces and nephews today. I knew things were bad, but with only knowledge from mainstream media a person would not have a clue. I started the other day on page 212 and have read a great deal  up to current. I don't know what I can do to help, I don't know what anyone can do, but if nothing else I am now better informed. If nothing else I can make more people aware of the craziness that is happening, and have facts to back the soap opera/ horror movie sounding story up. It is a good reason to fight gun control here in the U.S. too, we just need to keep our guns on this side of the border, or better yet Mx. needs to let its citizens take up arms and protect themselves and their property.
  So Buggs thank you for getting the ball rolling, Chivis- I have read lots of information that you have put on here and can tell that you dedicate a lot of time and effort to getting knowledge out, and everyone else who post useful information on here... Thank You, it is appreciated.  
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Re: The Birth Of Borderland Beat

Pinchegringo
In reply to this post by AJ
AJ wrote
Much props to Chivis too. She has kept the integrity instilled in Borderland Beat's reporting.
Exactly correct.  Some of the MOD choices have been debatable in the past, but Chivis and DD have done a great job of keeping us informed.  Not even sure why BDN is even talked about on this site.  It's garbage and the people who claim it to be the second coming of Jesus are off their rocker b/c "Lucy" is laughing all the way to the bank with *your* words.
AJ
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Re: The Birth Of Borderland Beat

AJ

Yeah Pinche, the more we talk about her, the more we are actually helping her out.

Bad publicity is better than no publicity.
CHIVIS FOREVER
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Re: The Birth Of Borderland Beat

Chivis
Administrator
This post was updated on .
we get many more views a day now!  2M last month and that's what we have been running....

Buggs is a quiet guy with a book worthy life.  It appears to run in the family, his bro is a humanitarian that has given his life towards helping others.

As for BDN, I would like to say that even copy and pasting requires work and researching all those articles to snake :) takes great effort and push comes to shove, would I want a world without BDN/Mundo?  Hell to the no!  They take the narco war to many computers that would not have known about it.  and that is most important.

even though for them it is not about educating the public, even though it is about the money, even though every step they make is crafted towards PR, Even though the fictional Lucy is a part of that, etc etc my vote is they stay and go no where.

but learn some manners meanwhile


 
The way I see it.... the more people that don't like me, the less people I have to please