Author

Cecilia Ballí

Feature |
January 20, 2013

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?

Feature |
January 20, 2013

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.

Politics & Policy |
January 20, 2013

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.

Letter From Juarez |
August 31, 2011

The Missing

For the women of Juárez, the terror of kidnapping—and worse—has never ended. Will it ever?

Feature |
May 31, 2007

Sounds Like Teen Spirit

Each year, some 55,000 talented high school musicians try out for 1,500 chairs at the Super Bowl of band geekery: the Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention in San Antonio. Once upon a time, I made the cut.

Music |
April 1, 2004

King of the Accordion

You may never have heard of Ramón 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 still going strong.

Feature |
March 1, 2003

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.

Feature |
January 1, 2003

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?

Politics & Policy |
September 30, 2002

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.

The Culture |
August 31, 2002

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?

Border & Immigration |
September 30, 2001

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

Texas History |
April 30, 2001

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.

The Culture |
January 1, 2001

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.