Alfredo Corchado - Midnight in Mexico: Descent Into Darkness


Presented by: Alfredo Corchado

Alfredo Corchado, Mexico bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News, was the March 16, 2011 featured speaker for the University of Pittsburgh American Experience Distinguished Lecture Series of the Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy and the University Honors College. Watch the video

The lecture was titled “Midnight in Mexico: Descent Into Darkness” and gave Corchado’s personal account of Mexico’s accelerating violence and a search for hope from both sides of the border amid the bloodiest period since the 1910 Mexican revolution.

Corchado was born in Durango, Mexico, and grew up in California and Texas. A 1987 graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso and a 2009 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, Corchado has worked for the Dallas Morning News since 1994. As Mexico bureau chief, he covers U.S. policy in Latin America, specializing in Mexico, and is a leading reporter on the drug-related violence that continues to dominate the border region and threaten Mexico’s national security.

Corchado also has worked for the Dallas Morning News in Cuba and Washington, D.C. Before joining the newspaper, Corchado worked at KXCR, an NPR affiliate in El Paso; the Ogden Standard-Examiner in Utah; El Paso Herald-Post; and The Wall Street Journal.

His reporting in Mexico and along the U.S.-Mexico border has earned him several awards, including The Maria Moors Cabot Award presented by Columbia University and the Elijah Parish Lovejoy Prize presented by Colby College in Waterville, Maine. He also was a finalist for the Center for Public Integrity in Washington for his reporting on Mexico’s vast impunity, which included the deaths of women of Juarez and the rise of a Mexican paramilitary group known as the Zetas.

Corchado served as a 2010 scholar at The Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington and is a current fellow at the David Rockefeller Center at Harvard. Based in Mexico City, Corchado calls the border home. He is at work on his first book, Midnight in Mexico.


Discussion moderators included Pitt alumnus and trustee Dick Thornburgh (LAW ’57), former governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, attorney general of the United States, U.N. undersecretary general, and now counsel to the international law firm K&L Gates in its Washington, D.C., office; Phil Williams, director of the Matthew B. Ridgway Center for International Security Studies; Cindy Skrzycki, senior lecturer in Pitt’s Department of English and business correspondent for; and David Shribman, executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

For a complete list of past American Experience Distinguished Lecture speakers click here.