Longform Journalism

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Here are some of my favorite articles from 2014-present, not necessarily in chronological order.

WTF is “Creepy” weed? (2024)

Feature with VICE: The so-called “creepy”—referenced in music by everyone from Bad Bunny to Pablo Chill-E—has been found from Chile to Costa Rica. But what is inside the potentially toxic weed that seems to be everywhere in Latin America?

The lovable Mexican whistle that means ‘fuck you’ (2023)

Feature with VICE: A deep dive into the “chinga tu madre” whistle and the lexicon of Spanish’s most versatile cuss word: Chingar.

I went alien hunting on Chile’s mountainous ‘UFO route’ (2023)

Feature with VICE: Chile’s “Ruta Ufológica,” a hotspot for sightings and emerging tourist destination, is a microcosm of the global UFO craze. So I went in search of aliens.

Little People in the ‘Lucha Libre’ are the main event (2018)

Feature with ESPN: In Mexican masked wrestling the ‘microestrellas’ are finally fighting the country’s stigma.

How the U.S. exported a Bloods and Crips gang war to Belize (2021)

Feature with VICE: A perfect storm of deportations and pop culture created a violent U.S.-inspired gang culture, and Belize is reeling from a spate of recent killings. 

Inside the Mexican city that believes it’s protected by aliens (2022)

Feature with VICE: Legend has it that the cities of Madero and Tampico are protected from hurricanes by an alien base called Amupac.

I found the world’s worst weed: ‘Paraguayo/a’ (2022)

Feature with VICE: I traveled to the rural marijuana fields of Paraguay to smoke the world’s worst weed and learn about how farmers and activists are fighting to improve the it’s quality and reputation. 

Keeping Up With The Cartel: Narco rap is hip hop’s most dangerous game (2017)

Feature on BuzzFeed News: I went inside Narco Rap, a sub-genre of hip-hop where rappers make songs for drug cartels is booming in the most embattled border towns of Tamaulipas.

There’s a child meth epidemic in Mexico (2022)

Feature with VICE: I went inside a couple of the very few rehab centers in Mexico focused on helping minors with drug adduction, from Juárez to Jalisco.

The strange relationship between the Mexican government and oil giant BP (2018)

BuzzFeed News Investigation: A confidential $25 Million Settlement cleared BP of polluting Mexico’s water after the largest oil spill of the 21st century.

Why do people keep throwing this bald and mustachioed doll at celebrities? (2023)

Feature with VICE: The bizarre story of the Dr. Simi mascot trend from a discount Mexican pharmacy includes everyone from Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber, to Coldplay and Dua Lipa.

Inside the Christian shelter where no girl is to young to have a baby (2022)

Feature with VICE: The Rosa Maria House in Asunción, Paraguay—where abortion is illegal—takes in girls as young as 10 with unplanned pregnancies and teaches them how to be mothers.

Boxing provides glimmer of hope in Mexico City’s grim but grave barrios (2017)

Feature on ESPN: The boxing legends of the historic Tepito barrio are trying to keep the neighborhood kids off the streets, and in the gym.

Mexican drug cartels have turned once-thriving Guadalajara into a war zone (2021)

Feature with VICE: The discovery of dozens of grisly “extermination houses” and mass graves has set the city on edge.

Inside Mexico’s mountain magic mushroom paradise (2022)

San Jose del Pacifico in Mexico has become a unique tourist destination for people amid the sierra who want to get high on shrooms. But not all the locals are happy.

Mexico’s cannabis growers are going rogue (2022)

Feature with VICE: Farmers are cultivating and selling cannabis as Mexico’s government continues to bungle weed legalization.

Fentanyl is wreaking havoc in Tijuana. Is the rest of Mexico next? (2021)

Feature with VICE: The use of fentanyl in Mexico is growing—and leading to a spike in overdoses and homicides.

Cartels are hiring kids to be killers (2021)

Feature with VICE: I traveled across Mexico to learn about childhood “sicarization” — kids who are being recruited by cartels to become “sicarios” [assassins].

Bubble on a Budget: Basketball persists in Mexico amid the pandemic (2020)

Feature with The New York Times: Mexico’s top league launched their 2020 season with a limited budget and extreme isolation.

Inside a massive, illicit peyote ceremony during Mexico’s COVID lockdown (2020)

Feature with VICE: The indigenous shaman believed that coronavirus is no match for the power of peyote.

Nicaragua’s first Black presidential candidate keeps getting targeted by the cops (2021)

Feature with VICE: George Henríquez is making history as he fights for the rights of marginalized Black and Indigenous populations of the Atlantic Coast.

Code Name Jaguar: How a top police official carried out a reign of terror in Mexico (2018)

Feature with The Intercept: Under former Veracruz governor Javier Duarte, police forces often acted like cartels, or worked with them; justice was decided outside the rule of law.

These traffickers are smuggling legal weed from the U.S. into Mexico (2021)

Feature on VICE: As Mexico’s cannabis legalization law continues to stall, these smugglers have found a local market for primo California weed south of the border.

Meet the woman breaking basketball’s glass ceiling in Mexico (2021)

Feature with VICE: Although the NBA now has numerous female assistant coaches, Alejandra Arellano recently made history when she became the first in Mexico’s highest league.

Raised in Hell: The children haunted by Juárez’s vicious drug war (2016)

Feature from VICE Magazine: From 2008-2010 Juárez ranked as the world’s most violent city. Now children raised during this period are suffering from PTSD.

Trump’s border wall is threatening endangered species (2021)

Feature with VICE: The region has long been a critical migration route for species like ocelots and black bears, as well as a focus of binational efforts to restore endangered jaguars, Mexican wolves, and bison.

Uruguay’s weed scene on the rise (2017)

Duel bylines in High Times Magazine: An interview with former President Jose “Pepe” Mujica about his successful legalization of marijuana and the failures of the war on drugs, and a feature where I wander around Uruguay enjoying the law.

A trip through magic mushroom culture in Oaxaca (2017)

Feature from High Times Magazine: Magic mushrooms were consumed for centuries in the Oaxacan sierra before westerners learned of their existence.

What it’s like to lead a team of Zetas cartel hitmen in one of Mexico’s bloodiest states (2016)

Feature on VICE: We sat down with an active boss of a Zetas hit squad to learn about politics, cartels, and violence in Veracruz.

Barefoot and Beyond: Basketball academy builds hope in Mexico (2017)

Feature on ESPN: In the Oaxacan sierra the Triqui tribe deals with poverty and mass migration, but basketball may be able to change things for the better.

Inside the secretive, abusive world of Mexico’s drug rehab centers (2016)

Feature on VICE: “It’s been three months since I’ve seen my family or even gone downstairs…If they knew I was telling you these things, they’d beat me.”

Ten years into Mexico’s drug war, the violence in Acapulco rages on (2016)

Feature in VICE magazine: On the 10 year anniversary of Mexico’s drug war, I used Acapulco as a lens to examine the government’s flawed strategy.

Marriotts VS. Melvins: The bizarre, violent story of Nova Scotia’s real-life Trailer Park Boys (2015)

Feature on VICE: “…a bloody turf war over drug territory that left bodies scattered around the city in EXCO long tees and saggy jeans.”

The inside story of how the deadly Melvin vs. Marriott feud began (2017)

Feature on VICE: Ahead of Jimmy Melvin Jr.’s 2017 trial for the murder of Terry Marriott Jr., a source close to the families explained the backstory to Nova Scotia’s most notorious and bloody beef.

Fledgling pro football league trying to gain foothold with Mexican NFL fans (2017)

Feature on ESPN: Mexico has the second largest NFL fan base in the world, can the LFA tap into it?

Mexico’s pedestrian activists are waging a battle for safer streets (2019)

Feature with CityLab/Bloom,berg: After the death of a prominent cycling activist and friend of mine, I dove deep into the creative advocacy encouraging lawmakers to vote on a groundbreaking national traffic safety law.

Culiacan, Sinaloa — The city of crosses (2016)

Photo feature in VICE magazine: “[Narcos] leave crosses in the streets because they believe the spirit stays in the place where they’ve died, not in the graves their bodies are buried in.”

Get to know Sotol, the dangerously delicious cousin of Tequila and Mezcal (2017)

Feature with Esquire: This nearly forgotten Mexican booze will soon be everywhere

Military police in Guatemala crack down on its Mayan-inspired psytrance scene (2015)

Feature on VICE: “You start seeing military motherfuckers with the police, its not cops, its military motherfuckers with AK-47s. What’s going on? Where’s the war?”

Mexico’s indigenous Raramuri runners chase their Olympic dream (2017)

Feature with ESPN: For the Raramuri, marathons are simply too short.

This is what it’s like to live in the middle of a Zetas cartel civil war (2016)

Feature on VICE: “[The Zetas] arrived at his house, armed, pulled him out, took him away, and later killed him… Why? Who knows.”

Mexican workers at Canadian-owned goldmines in Guerrero’s Gold Belt are under constant threat of kidnappings and murder (2015)

Feature on VICE: As one mine worker said, “The risk of kidnappings is the price of having good jobs here.”

Street art in the world’s most dangerous streets (2015)

Feature on Hyperallergic. I tag along with street artists in San Pedro Sula, Honduras; ranked the city with the highest homicide rate in the world for the fourth straight year.

Large packages of lost cocaine – known to locals as the ‘Sea-lotto’ – are causing a Blood and Crip turf war in paradise (2014)

Feature on VICE: An unintended byproduct of narco-trafficking along the coast of Central-America.

Mexico’s opium poppy farmers are fed up with the jobs dangers (2016)

Feature on VICE: “They destroyed everything,” he said, referring to the law enforcement operation that fumigated his crop. “The chemicals got in the water, in the house…We all got sick.”


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