Reporters on the Job

Between Two Worlds: As staff writer Danna Harman crisscrossed the US-Mexico border during her reporting for today's story about reaction to the proposal to build 700 miles of new border barriers, she was struck by the differences in the crossings.

"When you go from the US side to the Mexican side, it's a non-event. You drive right through. No one stops you or says anything at all. But coming back, my US passport and scheduled appointments with the US Border Patrol didn't earn me any special treatment. I don't think I look like a drug dealer or terrorist. But I suppose that's beside the point. Each time I was stopped and had my car turned inside out."

The cities and towns along the US-Mexico border are often seen as not quite Mexican, and not quite American. That impression was reinforced sonically. "As I drove, the car radio would pick up different stations," says Danna. "On the Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz., ones that came and went, I'd catch DJs and listeners chatting about homecoming next weekend in between excellent selections of '80s pop music. On the Mexican stations, melancholy love ballads broke up the talk about the anniversary of the 1994 assassination of Luis Donaldo Colosio."

Colosio was a young presidential candidate who was fatally shot while campaigning in Tijuana. Many Mexicans see political conspiracies around his death, and compare it to John F. Kennedy's assassination.

David Clark Scott
World editor

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