A column in the LA Times on how Southern California parks have been liberated from gang dominance, to the benefit of working-class families. And an interview on KPCC’s Take Two on the topic.

A NY Times column about South Gate and the southeast LA County cities, and Mexican ranchero assimilation.

A story for Pacific Standard Magazine on the decline of gangs in Los Angeles, choosimagesen by Daily Beast as one of the best longreads of the week, which was very nice of them. And an interview on the topic with Larry Mantle, host of Air Talk on KPCC, 89.3FM.

A commentary in the New York Times about the resurgence of thIMG_1205e border town of Tijuana after years of drug violence.

And a story on Tijuana’s new deportees for National Geographic online.


How the Hamburger Hamlet restaurant chain helped create a kitchen dynasty of Zapotec Indians in Los Angeles. The piece revolves around Marcelino Martinez, who came to work for the chain in 1970 and remains there still.

An LA Times story on the centuries-old system of local Indian governance in Oaxaca, Mexico — usos y costumbres — which once served to unify villages, but now pits townsfolk against migrants, who are forced to do unpaid jobs back home or risk losing rights, land and property.

The story of the Cambodian Donut King, Ted Ngoy, who opened America to thousands of refugees from the Killing Fields by opening doughnut shops across Southern California, then lost them all to his one weakness, and wound up homeless.

The emergence of innovation and experimentation among Mexican banda tuba players. LA — tuba capital of the world, who knew? Then a follow up story about a rash of tuba thefts at LA-area high schools, due largely to banda’s popularity. And, finally, an interview with Madeleine Brand on KPCC about tubas, tuba thefts and more – with a performance by Jesse “El Chikilin” Tucker.

A 2003 documentary for Frontline World about coffee growers in Mexico and Guatemala.And an interview about making the documentary.



An interview in the March, 2015 edition of The Writer magazine on long-form storytelling.

An interview on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer about Antonio’s Gun and Delfino’s Dream.

• Listen to an interview on Fresh Air with Terry Gross about True Tales from AnotherTrue Tales from Another Mexico cover Mexico.

• Watch an interview on Maria Hinojosa’s One on One on PBS.

• Listen to an interview on NPR’s Morning Edition with Renee Montagne about True Tales From Another Mexico.

• Watch a speech at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California, on tour to promote True Tales From Another Mexico.

An interview on KPCC’s Take Two, on the arrest of Mexican drug lord El Chapo Guzman. And on PBS’s NewHour on the same topic.

An interview on Reason TV about Mexican immigration and Antonio’s Gun and Delfino’s Dream.




The death of club owner Emilio Franco, whose El Farallon Club in Lynwood, near Los Angeles, was a center of the narcocorrido scene for many years.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This story for National Public Radio is about the emergence of a vibrant opera scene in Tijuana.


Here’s a story for KPCC, 89.3FM, on Sgt. Dwight Waldo, expert on tagger graffiti and a guerrilla musician.

An LA Times story about  workers who unionized a car wash in Santa Monica, believed the first to do so in Southern California, if not also the country.

Five LA Times stories on the NorCal pot world:

Indoor-grown marijuana allowed the “kids of hippies and rednecks to get rich.”

-A deputy sheriff patrols the world of weed.

– An anonymous pot-fiction writer tells the stories of the pot underground.

– The strange saga of the community known as “Buddhaville” in SoHum. …

– And a story about Fort Bragg, and the violence in the mountains of Mendocino County, after the killing of the town’s beloved city councilman.

The story of Jose Bonilla, obsessed with building a Mexican village – Asi Es Mi Tierra – in a valley near Santa Barbara, using only rocks, oil pipe.

The LA Times story of what happens when a poor immigrant with six kids already doses herself with fertility drugs and has quadruplets.

An LAT Magazine story about Los Tigres del Norte, the greatest binational pop band and the best chroniclers of Mexican immigrants’ experience in the USA. Plus, the band that showed me another part of Mexico and America. Many thanks, guys!f2e6e28763d3af191c7f0d1904d3bdeaca457731

 A story about guitarist Ry Cooder and the Buena Vista Social Club album for the San Francisco Examiner from 1997.

Dr. Fresh, an Indian immigrant, built a dental empire in Buena Park, then became his brand and the guru of flossing.

Why are the cities southeast of L.A. so weakly governed? An LA Times story finds the origins of the Bell salary scandal in a little-noticed policing contract in the neighboring city of Maywood.

Foreign Policy magazine story on Mexico’s drug war.

The Heroin Road: A three-day LA Times series about the small Mexican town of Xalisco, where men emigrate to sell heroin anIMG_9520d have pushed the drug across the US.          Day 1Day 2Day 3.

St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church in LA, moribund and empty, revived when a priest turned it over to saints from Salvadora, Nigeria, Oaxaca, and Guatemala.

How a neighborhood fell apart in the Harbor Gateway, leading to the killing of a black girl, Cheryl Green, by Latino gang members.

A gang shotcaller testifies against his former homies. The first story, which ran two years earlier, told of how his family and relatives from a small town in Mexico made Drew Streeet the scariest two blocks in L.A. And for the LA Weekly, this story on the shotcaller’s sentencing.