FRONTERAS: South TX Border Wall Protests; San Antonio Confederate Monument; Gulf Water Pollution

Aug 18, 2017

This week on Fronteras. 

  •   South Texans say the president’s border wall is affecting them before it’s even built.
  • San Antonians demonstrate for and against removing a Confederate monument from a downtown park.
  • Listening helps foster racial understanding in Austin.
  • Truck driver indicted in human smuggling deaths.
  • Texas Gulf coast residents sue a large plastics plant saying it’s polluting their water.
  • A look at cultural rituals and myths attached to the celestial phenomenon of a solar eclipse.


Steve Hillebrand, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)
Credit Public Domain


South Texas Say Border Wall Affecting Them Before It’s Built

South Texans say there’s more to the Rio Grande Valley than President Trump’s border wall.  Rio Grande Valley residents recently staged two protests to call attention to the issues they’re really concerned about – the economy and health care. The protests were held in Mission and at the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge. The Texas Standard’s David Brown found out more from Meredith Hoffman, a freelance reporter who covers the region for the Associate Press, The New York Times and Rolling Stone.

The Story


A group of Confederate supporters gathred in Travis Park to voice opposition to removing the confederate monument in its center.
Credit Joey Palacios / TPR


San Antonians Demonstrate For And Against Confederate Monument

The nation continues to reel from the deadly clash of white nationalist protesters and counter protesters over Confederate monuments in Charlottesville, Virginia.  But here in San Antonio, opposing demonstrators regarding a Confederate statue in Travis Park made their points without violence. TPR’s Joey Palacios witnessed the heated demonstrations and found out how authorities kept them peaceful.

The Story


Members of the community gather at the Trinity Love Lutheran Church in north Austin following the violent protests in Charlottesville, VA. The gathering was hosted by Black Lives Matter Austin. Attendees discussed the prior day's events and broader issues
Credit Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT


Lending An Ear To Foster Racial Understanding

The Charlottesville incident prompted some Central Texans to express their concern and desire for understanding. At an Austin church on Sunday, a mostly white gathering explored how to be allies to people of color. KUT’s Syeda Hasan reports.

The Story


Dozens of people were found to have been smuggled into the U.S. in a tractor trailer that was parked at this Walmart in San Antonio, Texas.
Credit Suzanne Cordeiro / AFP/Getty Images


Truck Driver Indicted In Human Smuggling Deaths

The man accused of driving an 18-wheeler which left ten immigrants dead and numerous others injured -- some critically -- has been indicted by a federal grand jury in San Antonio.  TPR’s Steve Short has details.

The Story



Ronnie Hamrick searches for plastic pellets in Cox Creek, near Point Comfort, TX.
Credit Travis Bubenik


Coastal Residents Sue Plastics Company Over Water Pollution

Down the Gulf Coast from Houston lies an enormous plastics plant – one of the nation’s largest. It has been a driving force in the local economy and now, it’s expanding, with promises of new jobs and tax revenue. But a handful of coastal residents are suing the plant, claiming it’s polluted the waters in their region for years.  Houston Public Media’s Travis Bubenik has the story.  

The Story


Yuly Garcia, manager of Papa Jim's Botanica in San Antonio
Credit Norma Martinez


Unusual Myths And Rituals Associated With Solar Eclipse

Monday’s North American solar eclipse is enthralling sky watchers nationwide.   It’s the first eclipse to span the country coast-to-coast since 1918.  In Texas, we’ll get a partial view but people are traveling from all over the world to sites where it can be seen in totality.  But, centuries ago, a solar eclipse was seen as a bad omen in cultures around the globe.  How did myths surrounding eclipses lead to traditions that carry on into the 21st century?

The Story