Twilight on the Line: Underworlds and Politics at the U.S.-Mexican Border

Sebastian Rotella, Author
Sebastian Rotella, Author W. W. Norton & Company $25 (320p) ISBN 978-0-393-04113-2
Reviewed on: 12/29/1997
Release date: 01/01/1998
While politicians talk in the abstract about the American/Mexican border and the problem of illegal migrants, millions of people eke out a living on the border working in assembly plants owned by U.S. corporations. Their lives are made all the more complicated by the endless streams of people illegally trying to enter the U.S., a group that includes workers, drug runners and smugglers. This complex world is examined here by Rotella with a thoroughness and understanding gained from reporting on the Mexican/American border for five years for the Los Angeles Times. His story is punctuated by several major events that took place in the border city of Tijuana that rocked Mexican society in the 1990s. Among those events were the separate murders of three prominent men: Mexican Cardinal Posadas; Luis Donaldo Colosio, a leading presidential candidate; and Federico Benitez, the director of public safety in Tijuana. Although arrests were made, the assassinations were never solved to the satisfaction of the Mexican public. These crimes, combined with the corruption that links drug smugglers with leading Mexican politicians and law enforcement officials documented by Rotella, present a disturbing picture of what is happening in the U.S.'s southern neighbor. (Jan.)
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