Bordertown: Laredo

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Bordertown: Laredo TV Poster Image
Drug war docuseries has violent images, some language.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series shows how big and dangerous the drug trafficking problem is at the Mexican-U.S./Laredo border, and how it impacts the entire country.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Laredo police unit is doing a very dangerous job, but does it willingly and with a sense of justice.

Violence

Lots of pistols, rifles, and automatic weapons. Graphic images of murder victims; bloody gunshot wounds (and other injuries). Newspaper headlines announce the murders of people in and around Laredo. Officers are shown storming alleged drug homes and engaged in other dangerous operations.

Sex

The opening credits feature a quick shot of women in skimpy clothing presumed to be border prostitutes. The series makes a subtle connection between drug trafficking and the sex trade.

Language

Words like "screwed" and  "bitch" are audible while curses like "s--t" and "f--k" are bleeped. Spanish-language profanity is also bleeped.

Consumerism

Cars like Dodge Neons, Buicks, and Chevrolet trucks are visible within the context of suspected drug smuggling operations.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The series revolves around Mexican drug cartel activity. Massive quantities (and millions of dollars worth) of confiscated illegal narcotics are visible.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this docuseries looks at a police unit's efforts to fight the drug war along the U.S.-Mexico border. It contains lots of images of illegal narcotics, as well as lots of guns, and occasional graphic pictures of bloody murder victims. The language is salty ("f--k", "s--t," and Spanish curses are bleeped).

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What's the story?

BORDERTOWN: LAREDO follows some of the daily activities of the Laredo police department's narcotics unit as it wages a continuous battle against the large-scale trafficking operations of the Mexican drug cartels. Sergeant Robert Sifuentes works with a team of Laredo, Texas police officers to keep drugs that have made it into the bordertown from being distributed throughout the United States. From storming stash houses to chasing vehicles carrying hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of illegal narcotics, they risk their lives every day to try to keep their city, and the country, a little safer.

Is it any good?

The series shows how big and far-reaching Mexican drug cartel operations have become along and across the U.S.-Mexico border. It also reveals some of the sophisticated ways cartels are smuggling drugs across the border, as well as the process by which the narcotics reach their final destinations.

The police take some pleasure in finding stashes, as well as catching and arresting alleged traffickers. This satisfaction comes from their desire to stop the people who are not only damaging Laredo, but damaging the country, too. But despite their successes, the message they are sending is less hopeful: They are only making a small dent in what is now a major national problem.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how drugs are portrayed on television. How does the entertainment media's presentation of drugs and drug dealing compare with what is being shown here? What are some of the consequences people face when getting involved with drugs?

  • Mexican drug cartel activity is a major issue, but illegal drugs do not only come from South of the border. Do you think the media's focus on this region of the world contributes to existing stereotypes about Mexico? What about American Latinos?

TV details

For kids who love reality television

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