On the border: Guns, drugs -- and a betrayal of trust

Article author: 
Michael Martinez
Article publisher: 
CNN
Article date: 
June 10, 2012
Article category: 
National News
Medium
Article Body: 

Columbus, New Mexico (CNN) -- Mayor Nicole Lawson is only 37, but her hair is already turning white as she tries to keep this border town corrupted more than a year ago by Mexican cartels from falling deeper into financial ruin.

Lawson runs the village by day and works as a town emergency medical technician by night. She says she often sleeps just two hours, averaging $1.47 an hour as the new mayor.

The former mayor, police chief and a village trustee all pleaded guilty last year to federal charges of trafficking highly sought AK-47-style pistols to Mexican cartels. Some of the weapons were later seized at murder scenes across the border....