Felipe Calder

How Thirteen Buses, One Mystical Poet, and Thousands of Protesters Ended Mexico’s Silence on the Drug War
July 01, 2011

Mexico City—Roberto Galván lifts his hand from his hip with gravitas, his eyes softening as he removes his square, bifocal glasses. His skin is blotched underneath the lenses, grey patches decorating the space between the wrinkles. His face is tired, his voice full of sorrow. “Should I tell you about my case?” he asks me. He leans forward and takes a deep breath. In January, Galván’s son disappeared. The 34-year-old, who lived in Monterrey, had taken a brief holiday in General Terán, a tiny town just nearby.

The Struggle for Mexico
March 17, 2011

From a diplomatic point of view, the U.S. military’s Joint Forces Command did the incoming Obama administration no favors with the stark warning it issued in November 2008.

Silencio
October 05, 2010

A friend of mine is an investigative reporter with a national Mexican newspaper. He has been covering crime and corruption for decades. But the last time I saw him, he was not at ease. We met recently for coffee at a busy Mexico City restaurant, and while we talked his eyes darted to the next table, where a man with a military crew cut sat alone in a puffy black jacket, conspicuously not eating. Was the guy scoping out my friend, who had covered the December 2009 marine operation that killed Arturo Beltrán Leyva, one of Mexico’s most powerful drug kingpins?

Patients Without Borders
September 11, 2009

Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, is a bleak, dusty factory town across the border from El Paso, Texas. Long a nexus for drug runners vying for control of smuggling routes, it has earned a reputation for gunfights, abductions, and murdered women. In recent weeks, the violence fueled by drug cartels has spiked, and not for the first time. There have been beheadings, public shootouts, and murders of dealers, police, and bystanders. The U.S. Consulate has issued a travel advisory for the area.