On this Monday afternoon, the streets of Fort Hancock are all but deserted. Most of the vehicles on the road are Sheriff’s deputies and Border Patrol agents.
But according to a new Associated Press article, this small town of just 1,700 resident is growing as many from Mexico seek asylum from the bloodshed in Juarez.
One resident told ABC-7 in Spanish she’s noticed her new neighbors.
And while Fort Hancock School Superintendent Jose Franco has stepped up security and patrols around his schools, he says he wouldn’t go as far as to say his town is living in fear.
“I think the majority of people are still sleeping good at night,” he told ABC-7.
Franco still plays tennis with students on a regular basis at Fort Hancock High School, the border within view of the courts.
Still, some of the stories coming out of Fort Hancock are alarming.
The Associated Press says after one student witnessed a murder, his mother and grandfather were tortured in Mexico with ice picks last week.
Other tales speak of mysterious men causing panic at local basketball games and dark-colored SUVs trailing school busses, as if to send a message.
Franco says the latter turned out to be a teenager following the bus to pick up his girlfriend.
Meanwhile, 20 miles up the road in Tornillo, School Superintendent Paul Vranish says many of his 300 students have lost family members in Mexico. One student was gunned down last year. Another girl’s mother, shot on her way to work.
“How do you tell a girl her mother’s dead?” asked Vranish. “How do you do that.”
Customs and Border Protection tells ABC-7 there has been a spike in the number of Mexican citizens fleeing to the Fort Hancock and Fabens ports of entry. They couldn’t, however, give specific numbers.