Oil shale drillers in Texas have had to contend with environmental opposition and soaring costs. A few miles south of the border in Mexico, Angel Torrez and co- workers duck gunfire sprayed from drug traffickers.
Just before sunset on April 10, 2006, a DC-9 jet landed at the international airport in the port city of Ciudad del Carmen, 500 miles east of Mexico City. As soldiers on the ground approached the plane, the crew tried to shoo them away, saying there was a dangerous oil leak. So the troops grew suspicious and searched the jet.
Mexican police apprehended a suspected Texas-born drug trafficker, known as “La Barbie” for his blond hair and fair complexion, who U.S. authorities say has smuggled thousands of kilograms of cocaine into the U.S.