Cecilia Ballí

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Articles by Cecilia Ballí

Ciudad de la Muerte

Jan 20, 2013 By Cecilia Ballí

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?

Continental Rift

Jan 20, 2013 By Cecilia Ballí

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.

Sounds Like Teen Spirit

May 31, 2007 By Cecilia Ballí

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.

King of the Accordion

Apr 1, 2004 By Cecilia Ballí

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.

Bard of the Border

Mar 1, 2003 By Cecilia Ballí

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.

Bottom’s Up

Jan 1, 2003 By Cecilia Ballí

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?

Twins Peak

Sep 30, 2002 By Cecilia Ballí

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.

Pueblo Nuevo

Aug 31, 2002 By Cecilia Ballí

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?

A Tale of Two Cities

Sep 30, 2001 By Cecilia Ballí

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.

The Second Battle of Goliad

Apr 30, 2001 By Cecilia Ballí

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.

Return to Padre

Jan 1, 2001 By Cecilia Ballí

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.