How This Journalist Is Surviving Mexico’s Drug Wars

Act Like a War Correspondent, Think Like a Detective, and Dream Like a Poet

In early 2007 I lost a plane ticket that I had purchased to travel to Africa. My plan was to arrive in Nairobi and stay two months, since the World Social Forum was scheduled to be held there in February of that year. I hoped to obtain some interesting insights, as well as personal contacts that would let me take the first steps toward becoming a war correspondent on that continent.

But just as that year began, Mexico’s then-president Felipe Calderón, feeling pressured politically, declared a war on drug trafficking. So …

Will It Ever Be Safe To Be a Journalist in Mexico?

If the Answer Is Yes, We’ve Got to Find New Strategies

Violence against the press has long been a pernicious problem in Mexico, but the current wave of drug wars, which began in 2006, has been particularly deadly for journalists. Reporters …

Will Mexico Conquer or Conk Out?

Shannon K. O’Neil Sees America’s Southern Neighbor At a Crossroads

Council on Foreign Relations Latin America analyst Shannon K. O’Neil, author of Two Nations Indivisible: Mexico, the United States, and the Road Ahead, was amazed by the enthusiasm she felt …

Should You See This Gruesome Image?

Thoughts Of a War-Zone Photographer On Using the Lens For Good

Last March, responding to news of a killing, I found myself walking in the darkness at a crime scene in Quila, a small community outside Culiacán in Sinaloa, the state …

When Bullets Turned To Ballads

Juárez, the War-Ravaged Border Town, Welcomes Back Juan Gabriel, and Hope

CIUDAD JUAREZ – This city, along with its prodigal son, the mega-star known as Juan Gabriel, has seen better days—we all have. The world-renowned singer with the thinning, dyed hair, …

Chronicle of a War Foretold

Violence Begets Violence in Mexico, With No New Story in Sight

On June 8, 2005, Alejandro Dominguez, the head of the chamber of commerce in Nuevo Laredo–a busy Mexican city on the Texas border–took office as the city’s chief of police. He …