A front-page column in the New York Times Sunday Review about the opiate epidemic and the Xalisco Boys.

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

 A radio story, plus blogposts and photos, on Tijuana’s art scene and a small corridor of defunct souvenir shops that helped reactivate it. Ran on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and on To The Point, on KCRW (89.9FM in L.A.), which produced the report.

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.



NPR’s Morning Edition, with host Renee Montagne, ran this interview about Dreamland.

NPR book reviewer Nancy Pearl talks about Dreamland.’s blog, Omivoracious, ran this interview about Dreamland, after choosing it one of the Best Books of the Month for April.

Reviews for Dreamland from  Salon.comChristian Science Monitor and a story in Kirkus Reviews.

Here’s what Gustavo Arellano had to say about True Tales from Another Mexico and Antonio’s Gun and Delfino’s Dream on NPR’s All Things Considered.

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.


Comments (1)


  1. richard davis says:

    I read the “serving all your heroin needs” and have to say that the only difference between 1971 when I began shooting heroin is the ways in which to acquire it. which to me is still a disgrace. I am clean since 10/8/1977 yes, nearly 38 years. got clean at age 23 facing life in prison under Rockefeller laws, homeless, hep C and spiritually dying. when are we going to realize that these ways in which to acquire, to smoke, shoot, snort, to ingest in essence is not the problem here! the insides of these young men and women is what’s suffering, their minds and souls are calling for self medication. the void is within not without. in hindsight I see my desperation for escape was what preceded sticking needles in my arms, only to find out when it all stopped working that that inner diseased 17 year old was now at 23 sicker then he was at 17. I am the fortunate one, I have been clean and sober since being a young man. my life is devoted to recovery and helping these youngsters, I am part of both 12 step fellowships dealing with addiction. I have been fighting with politicians on change and redirection but they don’t produce anything but more denial and i9ncompetence when heroin and addiction is the topic. do you want a solution or do you want methadone clinics on every corner? we need to educate our kids in first grade, second grade and through elementary school. I did public speaking in the school system from junior high to college on addiction, sorry but its to late for that at such an age! most of our emotionally crippled kids shooting heroin were already seeking comfort emotionally AND SPIRITUALLY from bad homes, abusive parents, poverty and domestic violence long before sixth grade, I was first incarcerated in 4th grade! lets talk about this Sam because my story needs to be heard. I’ve written books, did short film on the topic and never stop trying to save a life. I sponsor some very successful young men for many years who want to be heard. we need numbers and those numbers have to come from peopled recovered and not just seeking recovery. im rich Davis, and im an addict in recovery for over 37 years, let me help!!