Alfredo Corchado

discusses

Midnight in Mexico:
A Reporter's Journey Through a Country's Descent into Darkness

in conversation with RICHARD CHACÓN

This event includes a book signing

Date

Oct
2
Wednesday
October 2, 2013
7:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store is pleased to welcome Mexican Bureau Chief of the Dallas Morning News, ALFREDO CORCHADO, and RICHARD CHACÓN from WBUR for a discussion of Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter's Journey Through a Country's Descent into Darkness.

In the last six years, more than eighty thousand people have been killed in the Mexican drug war, and drug trafficking there is a multibillion-dollar business. In a country where the powerful are rarely scrutinized, noted Mexican American journalist Alfredo Corchado refuses to shrink from reporting on government corruption, murders in Juarez, or the ruthless drug cartels of Mexico. A paramilitary group spun off from the Gulf cartel, the Zetas, controls key drug routes in the north of the country. In 2007, Corchado received a tip that he could be their next target—and he had twenty four hours to find out if the threat was true.

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 Calderón, 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
Alfredo Corchado

Alfredo Corchado

Alfredo Corchado, Mexico bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News, is a noted expert on immigration, drug violence, and foreign policy between the U.S. and Mexico. He has reported on everything from the disappearance of women in Juarez to the exodus of Mexico’s middle class to the United States. Over the years Mr. Corchado has exposed government corruption and the reach of Mexican drug traffickers into U.S. communities. He has described the perils that journalists face and the disturbing result: an increasingly silent Mexican press.

He currently resides in Mexico City, but calls the border home. A 2009 Nieman Fellow at Harvard and a 2010 Rockefeller Fellow and Woodrow Wilson Scholar, Corchado won the Maria Moors Cabot award from Columbia Journalism School in 2007 for extraordinary bravery and enterprise. In 2010 he was awarded Colby College’s Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award for courageous journalism.

Richard Chacón
Richard Chacón

Richard Chacón

For more than 20 years Richard Chacón worked at several news organizations in Boston, New York and Texas, including The Boston Globe, Newsday, WBUR and WCVB-TV. As a journalist, he covered a variety of topics but focused alot on politics and world affairs. In 2004 Richard was named a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and essentially said goodbye to the newsroom. From 2006 – 2011, he worked in politics and state government in Massachusetts, serving as director of communications for Deval Patrick’s first gubernatorial campaign and later as director of policy in the Governor’s Office and as Executive Director of the MA Office for Refugees and Immigrants. In August 2011, Richard accepted a new position at MIT to help design and execute the Institute’s next comprehensive fundraising campaign.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

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