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'Midnight In Mexico': The Alt.Latino Interview With Journalist Alfredo Corchado

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'Midnight In Mexico': The Alt.Latino Interview With Journalist Alfredo Corchado

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'Midnight In Mexico': The Alt.Latino Interview With Journalist Alfredo Corchado

'Midnight In Mexico': The Alt.Latino Interview With Journalist Alfredo Corchado

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/356435413/356641098" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Alfredo Corchado's Midnight In Mexico documents his experiences as a journalist during the peak of the Mexican drug war. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Courtesy of the artist

Alfredo Corchado's Midnight In Mexico documents his experiences as a journalist during the peak of the Mexican drug war.

Courtesy of the artist

When I worked on a news show, we often discussed how to discuss violence in a way that wouldn't make audiences tune out. When atrocities reach a certain point, it's difficult to gauge a concept like "60,000 deaths" — to make each number an individual with a family, friends, a life. Perhaps absorbing a number so daunting shouldn't come naturally to anyone; it's too horrific. Sixty thousand people are estimated to have died in the Mexican drug war, and while the numbers say everything, they also don't say enough: The number 60,000 doesn't reveal the depth of fear that has permeated Mexican society, the distrust it's bred, the permanent damage it's wreaked on an entire generation of children.

What I loved about Alfredo Corchado's book Midnight In Mexico is the way Corchado takes us beyond the numbers. Those numbers are there — he's a newsman at his core — but he beautifully weaves in what it meant for him, as a Mexican-American seeking his own roots, to confront a brutal reality.

Felix Contreras and I both loved Corchado's moving book, so we invited him to join us on Alt.Latino. On this episode, we discuss Midnight In Mexico, the music that inspired its author, and the state of the Mexican drug war today.

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Even if you haven't followed the situation in Mexico, there's a relatable emotional thread for so many of us immigrants and first-generation Americans. It's understandable to romanticize the motherland, or at least want to go back and study where you came from. I've had the pleasure of chatting with Corchado as friends, and we've agreed that one of the worst possible heartbreaks is the pain of watching the place you came from, the place you hold tenderly in your memories, descend into chaos.

In this week's show Corchado tells us how he used music and self reflection to come to grips with that sad reality.

Hear The Songs

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Ry Cooder

  • Song: Canción Mixteca
  • from Paris, Texas [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]
YouTube

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Paris, Texas [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]
Album
Paris, Texas [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]
Artist
Ry Cooder
Label
Rhino
Released
1989

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Juan Gabriel

  • Song: Así Fue
  • from Celebrando 25 Años de Juan Gabriel en Concierto en el Palacio de Bellas Artes
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Celebrando 25 Años de Juan Gabriel en Concierto en el Palacio de Bellas Artes
Album
Celebrando 25 Años de Juan Gabriel en Concierto en el Palacio de Bellas Artes
Artist
Juan Gabriel
Label
RCA Records
Released
1998

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Miguel Bosé

  • Song: Linda
  • from Linda
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Ketama

  • Song: Se Dejaba Llevar por Ti
  • from De Aki a Ketama
YouTube

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De Aki a Ketama
Album
De Aki a Ketama
Artist
Ketama
Label
Polygram
Released
1995

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Zoé

  • Song: Luna
  • from Reptilectric
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Reptilectric
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Reptilectric
Artist
Zoé
Label
EMI Music Distribution
Released
2008

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Soda Stereo

  • Song: En la Ciudad de la Furia
  • from 20 Grandes Éxitos
YouTube

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20 Grandes Éxitos
Album
20 Grandes Éxitos
Artist
Soda Stereo
Label
Columbia
Released
1994

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Hans Zimmer

  • Song: Time
  • from Inception
YouTube

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Inception
Album
Inception
Artist
Original Soundtrack
Label
Reprise
Released
2010

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The Eagles

  • Song: Hotel California
  • from And My Heart...
YouTube

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And My Heart...
Album
And My Heart...
Artist
Andy
Label
Avang
Released
2000

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Javier Solis

  • Song: Media Vuelta
  • from Historia de Javier Solis
YouTube

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Historia de Javier Solis
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Historia de Javier Solis
Artist
Javier Solis
Label
Sony Discos Inc.
Released
1992

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