Members of a drug cartel apparently intent on controlling a Mexican border town are threatening to kill residents or torch their homes, forcing some of the residents to flee into Texas to seek asylum, according to law enforcement authorities.
Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West said the residents have been told "to vacate or they're going to start killing them and burning their houses down."
Residents from El Porvenir have been arriving at the U.S. port of entry at Fort Hancock, along a desolate stretch of the border about 50 miles southeast of El Paso, over the past week and a half, authorities say. West said more than 30 have requested political asylum.
U.S. officials met with their Mexican counterparts Tuesday to discuss the rampaging drug wars that resulted in thousands of deaths and posed a domestic security crisis for the government of Mexican President Felipe Calderon.
Last week, Texas Gov. Rick Perry ramped up a multiagency law enforcement presence on the border to prevent spill-over violence into the United States.
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