November 19, 2018
Probe
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U.S.-Mexican Border
Mexican Exodus

“I thought they were police officers, so I went back to bed. But then I realized my room was filled with men.”

By Mariel Torres

Violence is forcing thousands of middle-class Mexicans living near the U.S.-Mexican border to flee into the United States, and to safer parts of Mexico.

In Mexodus, a nine-month investigation by nearly 100 student journalists at the University of Texas El Paso, California State University Northridge, and Mexico’s Tecnol√≥gico de Monterrey, reporters discovered that the number of Mexicans applying for asylum in the United States had jumped 300 percent over five years.

Here, Mariel Torres interviews a Mexican teen who was kidnapped at age 14 during the robbery of her home in Chihuahua, Mexico. After her family was forced to pay an $8,000 ransom to secure her release, she and her family fled to the United States.

Mariel Torres studies at the University of Texas El Paso. This story is excerpted from the investigative project Mexodus.

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