Approaching the Front In August of 2021, I traveled with an American friend and a Mexican photojournalist to the frontlines of an active war zone in a country without a war. Technically speaking, that is. Ten years earlier, there had been plenty of headlines about cartel-related violence in Mexico, and journalists made frequent references to this so-called “criminal insurgency” south of the US border. But that was then. Today, cartel violence in Mexico rarely makes internatio
Mexico: 8 July 2018 I noticed a suspiciously well-postured man sitting atop a metal fold-up chair on the other side of the room. Sporting an Italian wool suit and a bright red tie, he stood out among this rabble of cowboy-hatted avocado growers and cattlemen in more ways than one. “He hasn’t touched his pozole,” I whispered to my colleague under the drone of a dispassionate speech. “Do you think he’s African?” “Mexicans can be black, too, you know,” my good colleague scoffed.