Cecilia Ballí


Return to Padre

For years my relatives have claimed that they were robbed of oil and gas royalties on Padre Island. Last May a Brownsville jury agreed, vindicating—for now—the family’s proud heritage and proving that, sometimes, the little guy does win.

The Second Battle of Goliad

In March 1836, 342 men fighting for Texas
independence surrendered to Mexican general
José de Urrea. A week later they were shot on orders of Santa Anna. Was it a massacre, as generations of schoolchildren have been taught, or an execution? The question has divided a historic Texas town.

Goliad Revisited

Cecilia Ballí tells how a difference of interpretation has divided a historic town.

A Tale of Two Cities

To residents of Presidio and Ojinaga, the international border that separates them had always seemed irrelevant. They crossed it easily, spoke the same language, and considered themselves part of the same community. When Mexican authorities wrongly imprisoned a Texas grocer in April, that relationship changed dramatically—and it hasn’t been the same since.

Pueblo Nuevo

When I moved to Houston two years ago, I was expecting little in the way of Hispanic culture. Who knew it was such a good city for Latinos—better, even, than San Antonio?

Twins Peak

Julián and Joaquin Castro’s résumés look as similar as they do: degrees from Stanford and Harvard, billable hours logged at a tony law firm, and now, promising careers in San Antonio politics. Nothing could please their mother more.

Bottom's Up

The U.S. Census Bureau says that Cameron Park, a Brownsville colonia, is the poorest community in America—and yet optimism thrives there. How do you explain to statisticians and demographers that poverty is a relative thing?

All About My Mother

Widowed at 38, a Mexican citizen with no money and a sixth-grade education, she raised three proud American daughters—and embraced life on her own terms.

Who's Next?

San Antonio’s Marshevet Hooker is not just any old high school sprinter; she’s an Olympic gold medalist in the making. Meet her and nine other women we’re betting will lead the new Texas—and the world.

Bard of the Border

The most promising young fiction writer in Texas is Oscar Casares, whose tales of life in Brownsville have put him and his hometown on the literary map.

Ciudad de la Muerte

Ten years. More than three hundred women murdered. What is going on in Juárez? And why aren’t the Mexican authorities doing something about it?

King of the Accordion

You may never have heard of Ramòn Ayala, but to his four generations of fans in South Texas and Mexico, he’s music royalty. He revolutionized norteno, a genre that reigns along the border, and—after more than one hundred albums—is till going strong.

The Framing of Mario Medina?

Did Mexican authorities find the man who killed a
crusading Nuevo Laredo editor? Or have they taken the
easy way out (again)?

The Unknown Soldier

Hector Perez loved his country enough to die for it. A year later, his family is still paying the price of patriotism.

Continental Rift

As U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Tony Garza was
supposed to be the right man in the right job at the right
time—someone who would promote a new era of
cooperation between the two countries. If only external
events hadn’t intervened.