Al Otro Lado

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Links & Books


The Corrido

Smithsonian Institution: Corridos sin Fronteras
This media-rich flash website, a companion to the Smithsonian Institution's traveling exhibit about corridos music, provides lessons on the history of corridos, audio and video clips of the music, and an interactive timeline of corridos. The "Write" section of the site lets users write and perform their own corrido song.

American Passages: A Literary Survey: Corridos
This educational webpage gives an overview of the history of corridos and provides background on the political and cultural roles that corridos music played in Mexican communities.

Frontera: Archive of Mexican-American Music
This digital archive of commercially produced Mexican and Mexican-American recordings, with more than 30,000p recordings, is the largest repository of Mexican and Mexican-American vernacular recordings in existence. The project, run out of the UCLA Chicano Studies Center and partially sponsored by the Los Tigres del Norte Fund at UCLA, allows users to search by song name, browse by subject matter and listen to short samples of each song.

BBC News: Mexico's Forbidden Songs
Some authorities in Mexico have attempted to ban narcocorridos because the songs glamorize drugs and crime. This BBC article takes a look the popularity of corridos on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border, and examines the tactics of the anti-corridos authorities. (October 3, 2005)

Elijah Wald: Narcocorrido
Elijah Wald, author of Narcocorrido: A Journey into the Music of Drugs, Guns, and Guerillas provides a chapter-by-chapter summary of his book on his website. The site also links to articles and other resources (in English and Español) about corridos music.

Chalino Sánchez, El Pelavacas
This fan's website about famed corridos singer Chalino Sánchez lets users listen to some of Chalino's greatest songs. (Click on the dark red song titles, Windows Media player required)

Border Crossing

Border Film Project
The creators of this project gave hundreds of disposable cameras to two groups on different sides of the border: undocumented Mexican immigrants trying to cross over into the United States, and the Minutemen trying to stop them. The resulting photographs provide a fascinating glimpse of the two groups.

Washington Post: Along Part of the Border, a Zero-Tolerance Zone
In a part of Texas, a new, zero-tolerance policy has been implemented for illegal immigrants trying to cross the border. If apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol, the immigrants face prosecution and jail time. Will it discourage illegal immigrants from trying to cross the border? Find out more from this article and explore life along "La Linea" -- the U.S./Mexico border -- in a sidebar feature. (June 18, 2006)

San Francisco Chronicle: Dangerous Border
Facing harsh landscapes, U.S. Border Patrol, and vigilante groups as they try to cross into the United States, an increasing number of illegal immigrants have died on the border. This series of articles examines the dangers faced by the immigrants who try to make the journey to the U.S. (May 2004)

Speakout: U.S./Mexican Border: Can a Good Fence Make Bad Neighbors?
Should a fence be erected along the U.S./Mexico border? Or should the border be de-militarized? Read thoughts from both sides of the argument here to come to your own conclusions. (June 15, 2000)

BBC News: Web Users to "Patrol" U.S. Border
This article summarizes Texas's plan to enlist web surfers in its fight against illegal immigrants by offering live surveillance footage of the Mexican border on the Internet. Users will be able to watch the border and phone authorities if they spot immigrants trying to cross. (June 2, 2006)

Also on PBS and NPR Websites

POV's Borders: Migration: Border Talk
Dennis Michelini, an agent pilot with the U.S. Border Patrol, talks about what it's like to enforce the U.S./Mexico border.

Frontline World: Mexico: A Death in the Desert
More than 3,000 migrants have died trying to cross the U.S./Mexico border in the past decade. But after meeting the family of Matias Juan Garcia Zavaleta, who died in the Arizona desert during what U.S. border officials call the "season of death," Frontline World reporter Claudine LoMonaco saw the intimate face of one migrant's tragedy. In addition to the video report from LoMonaco, Frontline World's extensive site also offers backgrounders from the New York Times and Facts and Stats about Mexico, the U.S. and illegal immigration. (June 2004)

Beyond the Border - Más Allá de la Frontera
This film traces the painful transition made by four sons in the Ayala family who leave their close-knit family in Mexico to seek "una vida mejor" (a better life) in Kentucky. Watch videos of the brothers and read more about immigration issues at the website for the film.

American Family: At the Crossroads: Latinos in the New Millennium
Author Rubén Martínez wrote this thoughtful essay about what it means to be Latino-American for the website of "American Family," the first drama series ever to air on broadcast television featuring an all-Latino cast.

Online NewsHour: Opening the Border
Mexico's president-elect Vicente Fox has proposed opening the border between his country and the U.S. Three experts debate the president-elect's proposal in this NewsHour report. (August 25, 2000)

NPR Stories

The Immigration Debate
This extensive listing aggregates all the latest NPR stories on the immigration debate.

Q&A: Building a Barrier Along the Border with Mexico
One of the most controversial proposals in the debate about immigration would create a high-tech fence along one-third of the U.S. border with Mexico. Approved by the House in December, the barrier is modeled on an existing 14-mile fence between San Diego, California, and Tijuana, Mexico. NPR's Ted Robbins helps explain the proposal and existing strategies. (April 6, 2006)

Morning Edition: The Trail of Latino Migration: A Desert Crossing
Each year hundreds of thousands of Latinos set off on a risky journey north to the United States in search of work. Many come from the mountains and coastal plains of eastern El Salvador, where economic hard times have forced people to look for work elsewhere. NPR's Gerry Hadden begins at the trailhead, where poverty drives people abroad, and where some communities are thriving off the money sent home by relatives in the United States. (September, 2003)

Talk of the Nation: Dangers of Illegal Border Crossings
More than 140 people died trying to sneak into Arizona from Mexico this year. In a live broadcast from Phoenix, Arizona, NPR's Neal Conan leads a discussion on the dangers faced by illegal immigrants trying to cross into the United States. (September 10, 2003)