Sign up for a free Courant newsletter for a chance to win $100 P.C. Richard gift card

Organized Crime

On the shadowlands of the frontier, a U.S. border agent plans his future in Mexico

On the shadowlands of the frontier, a U.S. border agent plans his future in Mexico

U.S. Border Patrol agent Ramiro Cordero has spent nearly two decades working on the border in Texas, part of the El Paso sector team responsible for intercepting migrants and drug smugglers flowing in from Mexico.

On most Fridays, Cordero sheds his green uniform and gun belt, packs the bed of his tan F-150 pickup truck and sets off with his wife across the international bridge.

Weekends find him on his ranch in Moctezuma, deep in the state of Chihuahua, tending the pecan orchard, wrestling calves for branding or building a pit fire for freshly butchered pork barbacoa.

Cordero, 46, grew up in Mexico and hopes to retire there soon. He is one of a substantial group...

28°