Do teens smuggle drugs across the border? It appears so–the Department of Homeland Security is now holding lectures in schools like the one featured in this story from San Ysidro, California. Teens are being warned that drug cartels are looking for couriers, and that being a courier can have fatal consequences.
Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard, photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Connie Gawrelli
Erin Siegal McIntyre is a photographer, writer, and a TV and web producer, and radio reporter. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Time magazine, Rolling Stone, O Magazine, Newsweek, and many other magazines and newspapers. She’s currently a Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, and a 2012 Soros Media Justice Fellow.
Drug smuggling tends to conjure up images of marijuana, cocaine or other illegal substances. But near the Texas-Mexico border, smuggling has taken a new turn. Ordinary citizens are bringing in legal prescription drugs that are far cheaper to buy in Mexico than the U.S., mostly for Americans who are simply too afraid to travel there. From the Fronteras desk, Lorne Matalon reports.
Photo courtesy of Flickr user 121 Dilaudid
Lorne Matalon is the Fronteras Desk reporter based in Marfa, Texas at MarfaPublic Radio. He began reporting from Latin America in 2007 where he was based in Mexico City for The World, a co-production of the BBC World Service, Public Radio International and NPR member station WGBH, Boston.Lorne is a contributor to National Geographic’s online news service, where he has filed from Panama, Mongolia and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. His articles and photographs have appeared in the Boston Globe, the San Diego Union-Tribune, La Recherche (Paris) and The World Today (London) a publication of the international affairs organization Chatham House. He has produced several television documentaries, among them Brazil: Amazon War, Sudan: Freedom for Sale and Guantanamo.
We may very well be living in the age of legal marijuana. Twenty states allow the use of medical marijuana and two states fully legalized it for recreational use. Other states like New York and Oregon seem to be headed in the same direction. But marijuana is still illegal under federal law and is likely to remain so, despite Attorney General Eric Holder’s recent announcement that he would support Congressional efforts to reform marijuana laws. To help make sense of the conflicting messages, host Maria Hinojosa spoke with drug war historian and author Kathleen Frydl about why marijuana is so vilified. Frydl says legalization efforts are halted by the US’s chronic addiction to the drug war.
Kathleen Frydl is an Assistant Professor of History at UC Berkeley. She received her PhD in history from the University of Chicago. She is the author of “The Drug Wars in America, 1940-1973,” which explains how the federal approach to drug policy changed from largely being about regulating doctors and pharmacists and raising revenue to the punitive approach we see today. Her first book, “The GI Bill,” won the 2009 Louis Brownlow book award from the National Academy of Public Administration.
The state of New Mexico has the highest rate of drug-related deaths in the nation. Hispanics and Native Americans have borne the brunt of this devastation. In Albuquerque’s historically Latino South Valley neighborhood, black tar heroin has plagued families for generations. And prescription opiates have become an even bigger problem. But these days, the community is tapping into centuries-old cultural practices to help addicts find a new path to recovery. The core value here is respect.
Click here to download this week’s show. Image courtesy of the producer (Megan Kamerick)
For more information on La Plazita, visit their website. You can also check out Casa De Salud Family Medical Office.
Megan Kamerick has been a journalist for 20 years, working in Milwaukee, San Antonio, New Orleans and Albuquerque. She is currently the host and producer of Public Square at New Mexico PBS. She is also an independent public radio producer and does a woman’s newscast regularly for Women’s Focus on KUNM in Albuquerque. Megan received awards for investigative pieces, arts coverage, environmental stories, profiles, breaking news, radio interviews and her portrayal of women. She was named outstanding small business journalist in New Mexico by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s New Mexico office. Megan holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree in journalism from Marquette University. She is the immediate past president of the Journalism & Women Symposium. Her talk on women and media, delivered at TEDx Albuquerque, is now featured on the organization’s national site, www.ted.com.
Professor Angela Garcia has personal experience with addiction. She talks to Latino USA host Maria Hinojosa about her thoughts on La Cultura Cura, her book The Pastoral Clinic: Addiction and Dispossession Along the Rio Grande, and her thoughts on the relationship between poverty and drug addiction.
Click here to download this week’s show. Image courtesy of Amazon.
Angela Garcia is a Professor at Stanford University. A central theme of her work is the disproportionate burden of addiction, depression and incarceration among poor families and communities. Garcia’s book, The Pastoral Clinic: Addiction and Dispossession Along The Rio Grande (Universityof California Press, 2010) received the 2012 Victor Turner Prize and a 2010 Pen Center USA Award. The Pastoral Clinic explores the relationship between intergenerational heroin use, poverty and colonial history in northern New Mexico.
New Mexico poet Carlos Contreras works teaching inmates and writes about addiction and poverty in his community. He reads an excerpt from his poem “Falling Star.”
Click here to download this week’s show. Image courtesy of Just Write. See Carlos Contreras performing another poem here.
Carlos Contreras is a twenty-six-year-old poet who competed on the team that brought the National Poetry Slam Championship home to his native Albuquerque. His many other awards include the New Mexico Hispanic Entertainers Award for Poet of the Year in 2007. As a high school student, Carlos was accepted into the Voces program at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, a month-long workshop in poetry composition and performance. The next year he returned as an intern and mentor. Today, with a degree in English and Sociology from the University of New Mexico, he is the lead coordinator of the program. He has published poems in several anthologies, and a book, A Man in Pieces: Poems for My Father. Contreras performs solo and in groups around the state and the nation. Bio and headshot care of El Palacio.