Midnight in Mexico
A Reporter's Journey Through a Country's Descent Into Darkness
By Alfredo Corchado
Penguin Press, Hardcover, 9781594204395, 284pp.
Publication Date: May 30, 2013
List Price: $27.95*
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Rather than leave his country, Corchado went out into the Mexican countryside to trace investigate the threat. As he frantically contacted his sources, Corchado suspected the threat was his punishment for returning to Mexico against his mother's wishes. His parents had fled north after the death of their young daughter, and raised their children in California where they labored as migrant workers. Corchado returned to Mexico as a journalist in 1994, convinced that Mexico would one day foster political accountability and leave behind the pervasive corruption that has plagued its people for decades.
But in this land of extremes, the gap of inequality and injustice remains wide. Even after the 2000 election that put Mexico's opposition party in power for the first time, the opportunities of democracy did not materialize. The powerful PRI had worked with the cartels, taking a piece of their profit in exchange for a more peaceful, and more controlled, drug trade. But the party's long-awaited defeat created a vacuum of power in Mexico City, and in the cartel-controlled states that border the United States. The cartels went to war with one another in the mid-2000s, during the war to regain control of the country instituted by President Felipe Calderon, and only the violence flourished. The work Corchado lives for could have killed him, but he wasn't ready to leave Mexico not then, maybe never. "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.
Alfredo Corchado has a complicated relationship with Mexico. He was born there, but became a U.S. citizen. He's returned to Mexico to report on the country's drug violence and corruption, earning multiple death threats. Now he's written about his experience in Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter's Journey Through a Country's Descent into Darkness. More at NPR.org
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