I'm an independent multimedia journalist, producer and filmmaker based in Mexico City. My main focus is immigration and refugees.
I travel across Mexico and Latin America to write, make radio, produce podcasts, create documentaries, and take photos.
MEXICO CITY - Hit men from the Jalisco New Generation Cartel rolled into a swanky Mexico City neighborhood on the morning of June 26, 2020, planning to assassinate the capital's police chief. They carried three Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifles, a Smith & Wesson 9mm pistol and 5.56mm caliber carbine, a Ruger 5.56mm caliber rifle and a Colt 5.56mm caliber carbine.
Since 2016, the U.S. has been turning away asylum seekers at borders, limiting how many are allowed in each day. Thousands of refugees wait at the border for weeks or months before the U.S. allows them in to request asylum. At this waitlist location in Tijuana, refugees enroll on a waitlist run by refugees and wait to be processed by American immigration agents. This story is told by five refugees from Cameroon, Haiti, and Honduras. They asked not to appear on camera since they are...
The United States faces another "migrant crisis." Our genteel Democratic president expresses sympathy for thousands of unaccompanied children while sternly reminding the world that the United States is not open to new immigrants. Hysterical Republicans call him an open-border radical. The president discreetly gets Mexico to crack down harder on migrants.
Expo '67 was the centrepiece of Canada's centennial celebrations. But amid the pageantry, one pavilion that stood out. This is the story of The Indians of Canada Pavilion, one of the first times Canadians had to publicly confront the colonial legacy of their country.
MEXICO CITY - When Gildo Garza finally fled his home state of Tamaulipas in 2017 and arrived in Mexico City, he knew where to go first: the federal attorney general's office. Even if the chances were slim, he had a sliver of hope investigators would find and prosecute the narcos and corrupt politicians who wanted him dead for his reporting.
It all started with a jumbled threat delivered, as usual, from Donald Trump's Twitter feed. It was clear to anyone watching that this particular tariff threat was another piece of the Trump administration's "throw spaghetti at the wall" anti-migrant agenda.
AWARD-WINNING SEPARATED FAMILY SERIES - NPR
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: Now let's hear from John. He's a single father in his 30s who fled Honduras with his daughter last May. They were separated at the border and he was deported without her. We're using only his middle name because he fears for his and his daughter's safety.
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST: About a month ago, we heard from John. That's not his real name. He's a single father in his 30s. He'd fled Honduras with his daughter Marisol (ph). After they were separated at the border, John was deported to Honduras alone. We're only using their middle names because they fear for their safety.
NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro speaks with journalist James Fredrick and "John," who fled from Honduras to the United States with his daughter. John was deported, but his daughter remains in the U.S. LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST: Hundreds of immigrant children are still separated from their families, but one less now.
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST: We've been following the story of one father separated at the border from his daughter. In the past, we've referred to the father as John because he feared reprisals. But he's comfortable now with using his real first name, which is Elmer.
Elmer, a Honduran man, and his teenage daughter, Marisol, have been reunited in Wisconsin after being separated 10 months ago when they sought asylum after crossing into the U.S. LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST: And now an update on another story we're following - last July, we met Elmer, a Honduran man who was separated from his teenage daughter Marisol after crossing into Texas and asking for asylum.
A white sheet glimmers under a fluorescent street lamp. David Alvarado tiptoes around police tape to get another angle. Click. Click. A crumpled figure is hidden under the sheet. A corner soaks up blood. Just a wrinkled, petite, brown hand hints at the identity of the deceased.
Under pressure from President Trump's tariffs threat, Mexico reached a deal with the United States on June 7 to step up immigration enforcement and to take in more migrants waiting for their U.S. asylum hearings.
Rosa Hidalia Palacios fled El Salvador in April. She crossed into Mexico from Guatemala without a hitch, riding on a little raft that ferries people and goods back and forth. A few hundred yards down the Suchiate River from the rafting route, Mexican immigration enforcement agents watched idly from the official border crossing.
Five-hundred years ago, two men met and changed much of the world forever. About 500 Spanish conquistadors - ragged from skirmishes, a massacre of an Indigenous village and a hike between massive volcanoes - couldn't believe what they saw: an elegant island city in a land that Europeans didn't know existed until a few years before.
On Fox News and other media outlets, guests have said the migrant caravan walking to the United States could bring dangerous diseases like leprosy, tuberculosis and smallpox. Health authorities in Mexico City, where thousands of migrants are now camped, have found no evidence of leprosy or TB.
Drums rumble between the stone walls lining the court. An ancient ritual is underway. The smell of incense wafts across the concrete, as wiry men and a woman wearing leather waist wraps and headbands volley a ball back and forth. They use only their hip bone to hit it.
MEXICO CITY - Juan Carlos Trujillo last saw his brothers, Jesús Salvador, 24, and Raúl, 19, a decade ago. The two men and five of their co-workers from the Trujillo family's scrap metal business were abducted in August 2008, after they stopped to stay the night in a little town in the Mexican state of Guerrero.
The message for the migrant caravan was clear from marchers on Sunday in Tijuana, Mexico: We don't want you here. "We want the caravan to go; they are invading us," said Patricia Reyes, a 62-year-old protester, hiding from the sun under an umbrella. "They should have come into Mexico correctly, legally, but they came in like animals."
MEXICO CITY - I heard a familiar story on a recent trip to the southern border. "There's been harassment against my fellow Guatemalans, asking them if they're citizens, demanding their papers, it's an all-out persecution," Hector Sipac, a Guatemalan consul, told me. But we weren't in the United States.
Thin smoke hangs over Graciela Garcia as she makes tortillas on a wood-fired stove. The adobe walls are covered in soot from the years of wives making tortillas here. "I didn't make tortillas before," she says. "At first they came out weird." At 19, four years into married life, Graciela has become a tortilla pro.
The Mexican capital may be experiencing a tourism boom but cartel violence casts a dark shadow.
The mountains looming ahead are legendary in Mexico. "Whether it was Morelos or Zapata, any figure in Mexican history who needed to escape authorities came here to the mountains of Guerrero," says Lt. Col. Juan Jose Orzua Padilla, the Mexican army spokesman in this region.
The migrant caravan that grew at one point to 1,500 Central American migrants in Mexico has disbanded, but most aren't just turning around. "It's just isn't possible for us to go back to Honduras," says Cecilia, 38. "When the gang says they'll kill you, they mean it."
MEXICO CITY -- Mark Jindrak slowly steps backward up the ramp, sizing up the runway to the ring. Kids reach their hands out trying to touch his boots. Screaming women fan themselves at their front-row view of his butt, which is tightly packaged in red-and-black briefs emblazoned "Marco."
Holding a scythe in one hand and a globe in the other, the Santa Muerte could be easily mistaken for the Grim Reaper.
Adolfo Tovar knows there are children under the five-storey apartment block that has been reduced to a heap of rubble. His challenge is to get them out. In a neon vest emblazoned with Mexico City’s official CDMX logo, Mr Tovar is directing an army of volunteers who have converged on Calzada de Tlalpan after the 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck on Wednesday, claiming more than 200 lives.
In the pale morning light, a line of cars begins to form at the police station. With no troopers in sight, nervous drivers discuss options. "They'd told me there'd be a convoy but now they're saying there won't," Ariff Galindo tells new arrivals.
Last week, following a meeting with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei, Vice President Kamala Harris spoke at a news conference where she sent a message to those who wish to cross the border from Mexico to the United States: "Do not come."
Every morning, Rosa Gallegos has to make a decision: stay at home with her family to be safe from the coronavirus or hit the streets of Mexico City to make money so they can eat. The 61-year-old grandmother always comes to the same conclusion: "If coronavirus doesn't kill me, hunger will."
When hundreds of migrants from Central America waded across a river from Guatemala into Mexico on Monday, chaos broke out. For Saury Vallecilla Ortega, a single mother of four,a nightmare ensued. For more than a day, she was separated from her 5-year-old daughter Andrea and feared for the worst.
ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: There are now nearly 4,500 migrants from the Central American caravan in the Mexican border city of Tijuana. Most are packed into a sports complex that the city government turned into a shelter. They've spent more than a month travelling nearly 3,000 miles.
Retirement for Guadalupe Padilla Mendoza meant pursuing her passion: Rescue dogs. The former public servant had begun taking street dogs into her home in Mexico City, squeezing as many as she could into a humble apartment. But a 7.1 magnitude earthquake that ripped through her city and killed hundreds on Sept.
Café Tacvba is huge in Latin America. The Mexican rock band has won Latin Grammys and played major U.S. festivals, like South by Southwest and Coachella. Its music has always had a political edge - but its members have never seen a moment quite like this one.
On the Suchiate River dividing Mexico and Guatemala, it sure looks easy to cross north without papers. A young, mustachioed man is pulling a makeshift raft across the quiet river via two ropes connecting the countries. The crossing costs 4 quetzales, 10 pesos or 50 U.S. cents.
In Mexican lucha libre - professional wrestling known for its masked fighters and cartoonish style - the bad guys rule. They're known simply as rudos. "Mexican lucha libre is for rudos. We welcome any rudo who wants to come in here and be badder than the others," says Marco Espinosa, a fan, from beneath his souvenir lucha libre mask.
If you were born in Mexico but spent most of your life the United States, who are you? Well of course, you could say you're Mexican-American. But does that mean you can pass effortlessly from one culture to the other? Yovany Diaz, 25, lives with these...
A dozen young women sit in a stuffy, gnat-filled room in a community center in Coatecas Altas, part of Mexico's Oaxaca state. At first they're shy. But it doesn't take long for them to start talking about the pressures they face to marry at a young age.
A large number of those killed are in central Morelos state. Unlike the capital city where thousands of volunteers are helping to rescue survivors, there is far less help in Morelos and far more dead. MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST: Rescuers are digging through the rubble in central Mexico.
We explore the characters and cuisines that come out after dark.
Steve Inskeep talks to reporter James Fredrick in Mexico City about a number of alleged narco traffickers who were killed in a shootout with Mexican soldiers. STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: In Mexico City yesterday, there was a full-on shootout between the military and a drug cartel. Multiple people were killed.
Jorge Santiago Aguirre is a lawyer at the Centro de Derechos Humanos Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez, a major human rights group in Mexico City, so he was curious when he got this text message in April 2016: "Mr. Jorge this is Juan Magarino," it read in Spanish.
You wouldn't expect a 73-year-old to be on the crime beat, but Maximino Rodriguez Palacios couldn't help himself, says Cuauhtemoc Morgan, editor of the Baja California news blog Colectivo Pericu. "It was totally by chance," he tells NPR. "In November 2014, Max called me about a shooting near his home in La Paz.
Around 3,000 Hondurans are currently traveling through Guatemala on their way to the U.S. President Trump has threatened to close the U.S.-Mexico border if the caravan isn't stopped. But migrants say they fear not just deportation, but threats from violent gangs and police during the journey north.
This is "In Mexico Child Marriage Endures in the Shadows" by Fuller Project on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.
It's not part of Cancun that tourists travel to see: heavily armed police working to stop a soaring homicide rate. The fallout of Mexico's campaign targeting drug cartel leaders is spilling onto the periphery of the famous beach destination, where fractured gangs fight for control. Yet the area's violence has rarely put vacationers in danger.
Mexico's "Prettiest Flower in the Land" contest promotes its mixed indigenous and Spanish heritage.
Mexico's government said Sunday that 318 people died from last week's major earthquake, including 180 people in Mexico City, where dozens of buildings collapsed. Outside the city, residents of rural towns and villages are assessing massive damage to their homes and businesses. NewsHour Correspondent William Brangham spoke with residents of several communities about what comes next.
Thousands of Central Americans cross into Mexico every day, dreaming of more peaceful and prosperous lives. For many, this is the first moment of a long, dangerous journey north. While more and more migrants are choosing to stay in Mexico, others still hope to make it to the United States.
Keep abreast of significant corporate, financial and political developments around the world. Stay informed and spot emerging risks and opportunities with independent global reporting, expert commentary and analysis you can trust.
MEXICO CITY - Javier scoots onto a plastic stool in a courtyard. He reaches beneath his shirt and pulls out a shiny Smith & Wesson semi-automatic pistol. He deftly spins it through his hands, ejects the magazine, and holds it out for inspection. "This one's new, straight from its packaging," he says.
"We welcome anyone in this clinic, we don't turn anyone away," says Wendy Espinoza, the health centre's nurse, who knows everyone in town. Keeping doors open to all may sound like a simple achievement. But it is a feat in some of the high risk neighbourhoods in San Pedro Sula, Honduras' second city.
Carlos Victorino clutches a stiff brown briefcase and clinks together two metal rods as he wanders the dusky streets of Mexico City's historic centro. He eyeballs the families and revelers out on a busy Saturday night, beckoning them to approach with the clink-clink-clink of his hand.
"He came home all crazy one night and he grabbed my mom by her hair and went Pow! Pow! Pow!" he says, miming the blows raining down on Brenda. "By the time he was done with my mom, we all had blood on us."
Donald Trump wants a wall on America's southern border to keep illegal immigrants out. But for people such as Rosa, whose husband, mother, sister, brother-in-law and two nephews were murdered in her native Honduras by gangs who then tried to recruit
He found the village, scraped together enough money for a plot of land and began subsistence farming. Nearly 30 years later, he makes a comfortable living, growing cabbages, cucumbers, tomatoes and more to sell in the Belizean capital, Belmopan. One of his sons has gone to university and a daughter is on her way there.
David rocks back and forth in the swaying train car. His hair, shaved short on the sides and hanging long on top, sways with him. His voice is soft and friendly in conversation but drops an octave, hitting the hard, familiar tone of a sales pitch in the depths of the metro.