We're reporters at The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, California. Our reporting shows that cartel violence is driving a wave of Mexican asylum seekers to the U.S. because of death threats. Ask Us Anything
I'm Rebecca Plevin, and I am the immigration reporter for The Desert Sun newspaper in Palm Springs, Calif., part of the USA TODAY Network. I previously worked as a health reporter for KPCC, the NPR affiliate in Southern California. My stories also appeared on NPR and Marketplace. I have earned regional and statewide awards for print, audio and online work. I was born in Washington, D.C. and am a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
I'm Omar Ornelas, and I am a Mexican photojournalist based in Palm Springs, California. For the last 15 years, I have been reporting on and photographing farmworker labor, education, health and housing issues in the Coachella Valley, as well as border security and Mexican and Central American migratory flows at the U.S.-Mexico border, for The Desert Sun and the USA TODAY Network. I reported and created visuals for “Rigged: Forced in Debt. Worked Past Exhaustion. Left with Nothing,” a USA TODAY investigative series recognized as a 2018 Pulitzer Prize finalist for the National Reporting category. My work has appeared in USA TODAY, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Orange County Register in the U.S. and Milenio and La Jornada in Mexico.
We traveled to Guerrero, Mexico, twice to report this project, with the support of the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting. We also spent four days in Oregon with an asylum-seeking family from Guerrero and more than a week in Tijuana, interviewing migrants from Guerrero, throughout the fall.
Update: 12:28 p.m. That's all we have time for now! Thanks for joining the discussions and reading our project. There's a lot to unpack, but we hope you read the stories that might shed light on the current situation of many Mexicans in Guerrero.
How cartels use social media to extort residents: https://www.desertsun.com/in-depth/news/2019/02/27/mexican-drug-cartels-use-social-media-for-extortion-threats-violence-facebook-whatsapp-youtube/2280756002/ Mexican indigenous communities are being displaced: https://www.desertsun.com/in-depth/news/2019/02/28/mexican-cartel-violence-displaces-guerrero-indigenous-communities/2280762002/