Hour of Darkness |Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma

In the early part of last year I read Alfredo Corchado’s new memoir “Midnight in Mexico” and it soon became a topic of conversation while I traveled through Tijuana, in Texas and in New York City.  The book’s storyline is built on Corchado’s investigation into a very possible hit on his life. In a review and q/a […]

Mexican Jihad the making of a “drug war” through images | Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma

Of all the stories I have ever worked on, Mexican Jihad has had the wildest ride. Originally commissioned for a publication that was suddenly eliminated, as tends to happen in our “media environment,” the piece sat on the shelf destined to be forgotten.  And then,  last Fall, Elaine Rivera, a very dear friend and mentor, passed […]

The “Sinaloa Cartel”| the myth, the U.S. government’s case and the documents

InSight Crime, the must read for anyone following organized crime in the Americas, recently published my analysis of government documents submitted in the conspiracy and drug trafficking case against Vicente Zambada which is pending in Chicago. Zambada is the son of Ismael “Mayo” Zambada, who is thought to share the reins of power with Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman […]

Mexico’s City of Dogs–Al Jazeera America

The dogs of Ciudad Juarez as a metaphor for the ambitions, corruption and failure of people. Published September 4 by Al Jazeera America. Excerpt: Imagine, then, the upheaval that upended this imperfect but functioning system when a manageable 20,000 street dogs morphed into a teeming population of 200,000 mutts, German Shepherds, Labs, and the favored […]

Myths of Mexico published in Columbia Journalism Review

Myths of Mexico/Columbia Journalism Review/Nov.-Dec. 2009 In 1891, my great-great-uncle, Catarino Garza, attempted to overthrow the Mexican dictator, Porfirio Díaz, by launching an armed revolution from my family’s south Texas ranch. One year into his campaign, Garza agreed to an interview with The New York Times to explain the reasons behind his insurrection. “The impression […]

The things I love don’t belong to me–life in Mexico City

There’s a bottle of Jimador brand tequila, half full, in the kitchen, the remains of a conversation about the Mexican student movement. But I didn’t buy it. The bottle of J&B holds just one swig and I never touched. It landed in my kitchen after a book party I didn’t attend, brought over by someone […]

The Pope in Mexico and the Paradigm of Greed

The Pope laid it all on the deadly sin of greed. Greed was behind the 50,000 deaths in Mexico, behind the terror, loss and pain. Young people sick with greed, he said, have caused tremendous ‘human suffering’ across the country. It was a simple phrase but the synopsis of the message Pope Benedict XVI intended […]