Mexico's living hell, courtesy of the USA

Saturday, April 17, 2010

La Frontera: a Journey into the Borderlands of Mexico and the United States
Available as podcast

Originally broadcast in early April on ABC Radio National, Colm McNaughton's chilling radio documentary demonstrates very starkly the horrors of the border area between the US and Mexico.

Through the mechanisms of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the US has plunged a dagger into the heart of the Mexican nation. With agriculture ravaged, poor farmers are herded into miserable jobs in Free Trade Zone factories along the border.

Living in shantytowns, for many the only hope is perilous escape over the border or to join the "narcos", the drug gangs that have proliferated since NAFTA. The existence of the "narcos" gives the government the excuse to militarise the area and repress union militancy.

Among all this, violence against women has risen to an extent that shatters the imagination.

McNaughton uses quotations from Dante's Inferno to anchor his travelogue.