Alfredo Corchado is the Mexico bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News and author of Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter’s Journey Through a Country’s Descent into Darkness. Born in Mexico and raised in California, he has covered Mexico and the border since the 1980s for various newspapers. Before telling his tales of reporting from Mexico and explaining his hopes for the country’s future, he talked Warren Beatty, Juan Gabriel, and the Cowboys in the Zócalo green room.
Do you have any recurring dreams or nightmares?
That I’m a hairdresser.
Is that a dream or a nightmare?
It’s both. There’s a part of me that still wants to be Warren Beatty in Shampoo.
What do you wish the rest of America understood about the border?
That you can’t get away from it. That it will always be there.
If you weren’t a reporter, what would you be?
I would be a songwriter. I would try to fill Juan Gabriel’s shoes—he’s the best songwriter in Mexico, from Ciudad Juárez.
Where in Mexico City do you feel most like an American?
Parque México. It’s so international; there’s a lot of diplomats. But also a lot of Mexicans speaking English nowadays. And for better or for worse, there are a lot of U.S. franchises.
What food are you most likely to binge on?
What’s your hidden talent?
I think my hidden talent is really just watching movies. I can do that for hours.
What’s the last great party you attended?
El Paso, on Saturday night. It was the book party [for Midnight in Mexico], and I think most of my friends were there, and all my family members.
What salad dressing best describes you?
Caesar. I have no idea what the hell it is.
What’s your favorite spectator sport?
Watching the Dallas Cowboys and doing Monday morning quarterbacking.