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 …