July 5, 2018
Mexico has a new President: Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the former mayor of Mexico City, won Mexico’s presidential election by a large margin last Sunday. López Obrador’s party, Morena, is new and he defeated two candidates from parties that have ruled Mexico for a century. He ran on a message of tackling corruption and more government aid to the poor.
The United States’ current border issues with Mexico draw attention to the hardships of life there. CNN reports that nearly 35,000 individuals were arrested crossing the southern US border illegally in June. The separation of children from their families created public outcry and nationwide human rights protests. To educate ourselves further, here is a selection of books about Mexico and border crossing:
THE LINE BECOMES A RIVER: DISPATCHES FROM THE BORDER by Francisco Cantú
For Francisco Cantú, the border is in the blood: his mother, a park ranger and daughter of a Mexican immigrant, raised him in the scrublands of the Southwest. Haunted by the landscape of his youth, Cantú joins the Border Patrol. He and his partners are posted to remote regions crisscrossed by drug routes: They haul in the dead and deliver to detention those they find alive. Cantú tries not to think where the stories go from there. Plagued by nightmares, he abandons the Patrol for civilian life. But when an immigrant friend travels to Mexico to visit his dying mother and does not return, Cantú must know the whole story. Searing and unforgettable, The Line Becomes a River
goes behind the headlines, making urgent and personal the violence our border wreaks on both sides of the line.
WE BUILT THE WALL: HOW THE US KEEPS OUT ASYLUM SEEKERS FROM MEXICO, CENTRAL AMERICA AND BEYOND by Eileen Truax
A Mexican-American lawyer exposes corruption in the US asylum procedure and despotism in the Mexican government
We Built the Wall
is an immersive look at the new front in the immigration wars. It follows the gripping stories of people like Saúl Reyes, forced to flee his home after a drug cartel murdered several members of his family, and Delmy Calderón, a forty-two-year-old woman leading an eight-woman hunger strike in an El Paso detention center. Truax tracks the heart-wrenching trials of refugees like Yamil, the husband and father who chose a prison cell over deportation to Mexico, and Rocío Hernández, a nineteen-year-old who spent nearly her entire life in Texas and is now forced to live in a city where narcotraffickers operate with absolute impunity.
DETAINED AND DEPORTED: STORIES OF IMMIGRANT FAMILIES UNDER FIRE by Margaret Regan
Compelling and heart-wrenching, Detained and Deported offers a rare glimpse into the lives of people ensnared in America’s immigration dragnet.
MIDNIGHT IN MEXICO: A REPORTER’S JOURNEY THROUGH A COUNTRY’S DESCENT INTO DARKNESS by Alfredo Corchado
In a country where the powerful are rarely scrutinized, noted Mexican American journalist Alfredo Corchado refused to shrink from reporting on government corruption, murders in Juarez, or the ruthless drug cartels of Mexico. A paramilitary group spun off from the Gulf cartel, the Zetas, controls key drug routes in the north of the country. In 2007, Corchado received a tip that he could be their next target—and he had twenty four hours to find out if the threat was true. Rather than leave his country, Corchado went out into the Mexican countryside to investigate the threat.
Midnight in Mexico
is the story of one man’s quest to report the truth of his country—as he raced to save his own life.
THE DEATH OF JOSSELINE: IMMIGRATION STORIES FROM THE ARIZONA BORDERLANDS by Margaret Regan
Dispatches from Arizona—the front line of a massive human migration—including the voices of migrants, Border Patrol, ranchers, activists, and others.
COYOTES: A JOURNEY ACROSS BORDERS WITH AMERICA'S MEXICAN MIGRANTS by Ted Conover
To discover what becomes of Mexicans who come illegally to the United States, Conover disguised himself as an illegal alien, traveling and working across America for more than a year. This is the chronicle of his journey.
For more on these and related titles, visit the collection: U.S.-Mexico Border
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