Many Central American migrants looking to cross into the United States transit Mexico on a network of cargo trains collectively known as La Bestia, which means “the beats” in Spanish. The migrants choose this option over walking overland but La Bestia is a risky trip too. Marauding gangs extract extortion fees, woman are routinely abused and raped and many people have been tossed from the train for refusing to comply with demands, losing limbs or their life.
Shadows move across the tracks as La Bestia, a cargo train known as The Beast, approaches from the southern Mexican state of Chiapas into the state of Veracruz. (Lorne Matalon)
BBC World Service anchor Julian Worricker interviewed Lorne Matalon live from London about Matalon’s experience reporting on La Bestia. You can also find Matalon’s photographs from his coverage here.
This story was also featured by Inside Energy, a public radio collaboration at Rocky Mountain PBS in Denver.
The Big Bendof Texas, so named for the way the region hugs a massive bend in the Rio Grande, is renown for its desert landscapes, open spaces and tranquility. But parts of it lie within the oil-rich Permian Basin, the nation’s highest producing oil field thanks to fracking technology.
Mexico is drilling at least 29 exploratory wells across the border from the Big Bend and saying it wants to jumpstart fracking operations there.
Dawn in the Big Bend of Texas; it shares some tectonic and geographic characteristics with the Permian Basin, home of the country’s highest-producing oil field. (Jim White III)
Fracking requires massive amounts of water. And a NY State Court of Appeals ruling may be of comfort to citizens in Texas concerned about the possibility of fracking in the Big Bend.
The new director of one of the nation’s leading astronomy research centers is quarterbacking a project that will significantly expand our understanding of the evolution of the universe.
In a broadcast recorded live at the McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis, Texas, Fronteras Desk reporter Lorne Matalon and West Texas Public Radio/Marfa Public Radio Morning Edition anchor Travis Bubenik spoke with Dr. Taft Armandroff, the recently appointed director of the observatory.
Taft Armandroff, recently appointed as new director of the McDonald Observatory in Texas, has studied both astronomy and philosophy. He says both play a role in his research. (Lorne Matalon)
The three met at the observatory’s 82-inch Otto Struve Telescope, a historic instrument that nonetheless remains on the front line of modern day astronomical research.
A Mexican Federal Police officer stands guard in a neighborhood on the outskirts of Juárez. Residents said some of their neighbors had left when the Sinaloa and Juárez cartels fought during some of the worst years of the violence. March 15, 2009 (Lorne Matalon)
Grayson has chronicled other examples of U.S. authorities paying informants inside the Mexican underworld.
Story originally published at The United States Department of Agriculture has rescinded a 2012 ban on inspectors working at what was until two years ago the largest single point of entry for Mexican cattle into the United States. The lifting of the … Continue reading →