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Media Roundtable: Pregnant women who reach US-Mexico border face horrific violence, according to Capital & Main investigation

Eli Cahan
Capital & Main
An encampment near the US-Mexico border. There have been more than 10,000 violent attacks on migrants living at the border since the Trump anti-immigration policies were enacted

On this edition of Your Call’s Media Roundtable, we're discussing a two-year Capital & Main investigation that exposes how pregnant mothers fall prey to horrific violence as the migrant population swells in Northern Mexico.

According to the report, in recent years, the proportion of female migrants in Mexico from Central America has jumped 70 percent from El Salvador, and 140 percent from Guatemala. Women flee their homes for different reasons, including “intractable, unresolved and recurring conflicts and violence,” according to the United Nations Migration Agency, in addition to longstanding poverty.

Advocates say pregnant women are targets for cartels that menace, exploit, and extort migrants at the border because they tend to be among the most desperate and physically vulnerable. Women have been kidnapped, beaten, and shot by gangs hungry for profits. On more than one occasion, the violence has triggered women to go into labor.


Eli Cahan, pediatrician at UCSF, investigative reporter, and Impact Fund fellow at USC Annenberg’s Center for Health Reporting

Web Resources:

Capital & Main: Pregnant on the Other Side of the Border

Malihe Razazan is the senior producer of KALW's daily call-in program, Your Call.
Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.