Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

A marine wearing a mask to protect his identity holds on as frigid spray flies from the side of a Mexican naval vessel at dusk. The crew patrols the ocean from the U.S. border to Ensenada, looking for boats smuggling immigrants.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

ENSENADA, MEXICO - FEBRUARY 23, 2011: Mexican Naval "Interceptor" crew patrols the ocean between the US border and Ensenada Mexico on the lookout for smugglers on FEBRUARY 23, 2011. (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles)

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

A lone figure stands on the beach on the Mexican side of the border fence that extends into the surf.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

The crew of the Mexican naval vessel Interceptor patrols the waters off the village of Popotla, which is known for smuggling operations.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

A Mexican navy vessel backs away from the San Diego-based Indian after the crew inspected the sport-fishing boat.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

A Mexican marine keeps an eye out for ships smuggling illegal immigrants toward the U.S.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Workers at the Segunda Region Naval Base salvage part of a commercial fishing vessel that was seized with a load of drugs.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

A Mexican naval Interceptor cruises the shore between the U.S. border and Ensenada. There’s been a surge in sea-based smuggling of illegal immigrants since U.S. authorities boosted enforcement on land.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

A Mexican naval helicopter makes a pass over a boat crew looking for vessels smuggling immigrants in the waters between the U.S. and Ensenada.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

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Mexican navy on patrol for smugglers

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Mexican navy on patrol for smugglers

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Mexican navy on patrol for smugglers

Smugglers are launching more immigrant-filled boats than ever before toward California – about one every three days – and taking extraordinary, sometimes dangerous, measures to evade U.S. and Mexican patrols. Times photographer Bob Chamberlin rode along with the Mexican Navy on patrol off the coast of Ensenada. Here’s a look at that those images.

Read Richard Marosi’s story

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