My adventures in journalism

Being a newspaper reporter can be one of the coolest jobs on earth: you get paid to sit and talk to people and ask them about the most dramatic, tragic, strange and life-defining things that have ever happened to them.


Below are links to some of the stories I'm most proud of from my twenty years work as a journalist. There are stories about mental illness and jail inmates, about Native American tribes and little Texas towns with shameful secrets.  Stories from islands that time forgot, and from battlefields past and present.

Stories from my travels in California


When Jail Is a Mental Institution. My first long investigative piece took me into the darkest corners of the LA County Jail.

The Day Laborer's Revenge. The most phone calls I ever received for one story was for this one. 

The Barrio's Field of Dreams. Latino fútbol talents choose between college and the pros.


Stories from my travels abroad


The Quiet Dead of Nuevo Laredo's Drug Wars.

Gimme a Gun, Gringo. Arms Smuggling into Mexico.

Two Mexicos: Behind the Contentious 2006 President Election.

The Inauguration Wrestling Match. Part One. Part Two.


The Death Squad Survivors' High School Reunion.

The Secret Life of Buenos Aires Dog Walkers.

Brazil, Peru, Chile and elsewhere in South America

The Day We Lynched the Mayor. Ilave, Peru.

Saving Rapa Nui. Easter Island.

Revolt of the Mapuche. Southern Chile.

Story of a Kidnapping. Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Bolivia's Cauldron of Rebellion. El Alto, Bolivia.

War and Rememberance in the Falkland Islands

 Central America

The American Who Died With the Rebels in El Salvador

Daniel Ortega, From Rebel to Dealmaker.

El Salvador: Land of Milk and Honey.


The Psychology of Occupation: July 2003.

Baghdad: A City Without Traffic Lights.

Stories from my travels across the United States

Blood Quantum. American Indians debate who belongs in the tribe and who doesn't.

The Tulia Drug Raids. I was the first national correspondent to visit this Texas town that became infamous for what it did to its black population.

Spanish Language Radio Hits the Heartland. One of the stories that inspired "Translation Nation."

The Battle of Tallahassee. One day in the life of Bush v. Gore. This is one of my favorite short pieces.