Latin America and the Caribbean

Bad Math Props Up Border Wall 18 October 2016

Estimating the cost (in dollars) of Donald Trump’s proposed border wall
It would be many times more expensive than he claims.
[MIT Technology Review]

A son’s portrait of his murderous drug lord father, Pablo Escobar 30 September 2016

This unsettlingly shallow memoir of a drug kingpin falls flat.
A review of “Pablo Escobar, My Father” by Juan Pablo Escobar.
[Washington Post]

Book Review: ‘The Interior Circuit’ by Francisco Goldman 9 August 2014

Ka Wong Seng looks as if it fell into a Chinatown wormhole and emerged complete with roasted duck.
Review of Goldman’s memoir of Mexico City, which I think does not succeed in its aims.
[Wall Street Journal]

Extraditions to the US 2 July 2012
Chronicle of a War Foretold 5 January 2012

Violence Begets Violence in Mexico
How nobody understands what spurred 45,000 drug-related murders in Mexico, though Ioan Grillo’s new book El Narco does a good job of trying to.
[Zocalo Public Square]

The Philosopher-Fisticuffers 14 September 2011

A review of Enrique Krauze’s new book Redeemers
Which consists of 12 profiles of Latin American figures, and is a good read.
[Zocalo Public Square]

If Mexico Were a Movie 1 June 2011

Uncle Sam Would be the Villain
How the US has undermined Mexico’s development
[Zocalo Public Square]

The Last Days of Bank Secrecy? 1 September 2009

An article I wrote for Poder, a magazine about business in Latin America, that describes the crumbling of bank secrecy and what it means for the region.

Shelter from the Storm 15 May 2009

An article for Poder, a Latin American business magazine, about the impact of the economic crisis on the Caribbean.

Rebuilding Haiti 12 February 2009

Weighed down by disasters
A modest success for the United Nations is threatened by nature and lassitude

Haiti 12 February 2009

The island and the outside world
Being in Haiti without being in Haiti

The mayor of Mexico City 18 December 2008

Backroom boss
The left’s moderate radical

Remittances to Mexico 11 December 2008

The end of the American dream
The recession up north bites in rural Mexico

The last days of the scribe 20 November 2008

The scribes’ lament
A dying profession in the heart of the city

Nicaragua–midterm elections 13 November 2008

How to steal an election
Daniel Ortega sets an ugly precedent

Mexico’s war with the cartels 30 October 2008

Spot the drug trafficker
The arrest of senior officials shows the government’s resolve in fighting drug traffickers-and that the rot in law enforcement reaches the top

Honduras and Venezuela 30 October 2008

Zelaya plays the Chávez card
Why Honduras wanted 4m light bulbs

Locked in the grid: how we fail each other 1 October 2008

An essay about how the breakdown of civil society in Mexico leads to inefficiency.

Mexico’s lame duck president 4 September 2008

Oh rose, thou art sick
The president faces a long goodbye

The Caribbean and the Olympics 28 August 2008

Champs and chumps
Why Jamaica outpointed Cuba