Guerrero: The Monster in the Mountains


We watch from afar as Mexico’s tragedies unfold. Last September, 43 schoolchildren disappeared in the poor southern state of Guerrero. They are still mostly unaccounted for, but in the meantime 400 other bodies have been discovered. It is horrifying and sad, but easy to shrug it off. They are not our children; it is not our tragedy.

Pulitzer Center grantee Matt Black, in a powerful multimedia project for The New Yorker, explores the social landscape that gave rise to the events of last September, chronicling the state’s legacy of extreme poverty and marginalization, its history of political corruption, and its culture of violence.

But as Matt notes, this is not just Mexico’s story. Mexico’s trade agreements with the United States and other factors—including America’s voracious appetite for drugs—also contribute to the culture of violence. “This is a story of us, not just of them somewhere over there,” he says.

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