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Longform’s Picks of the Week

Every weekend, Longform highlights its favorite international articles of the week. For daily picks of new and classic nonfiction, check out Longform or follow @longform on Twitter. Have an iPad? Download Longform’s brand-new app and read all of the latest in-depth stories from dozens of magazines, including Foreign Policy. The Deported, by Seth Freed Wessler. ...

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Every weekend, Longform highlights its favorite international articles of the week. For daily picks of new and classic nonfiction, check out Longform or follow @longform on Twitter. Have an iPad? Download Longform’s brand-new app and read all of the latest in-depth stories from dozens of magazines, including Foreign Policy.

The Deported, by Seth Freed Wessler. GOOD.

Life in Mexico immediately after being forced to leave the United States:

If you find your way through the door of the Juan Bosco Shelter in Nogales, just across the border in Sonora, Mexico, it’s because you’ve got nowhere else to go. You’ll find a bed here, your own slot in one of the 30 trilevel wooden frames that line the walls. Chances are, you need the rest. And Juan Bosco provides. You can sleep now and figure things out in the morning.

John Moore/Getty Images

Q&A: Norman Finkelstein, by David Samuels. Tablet.

An interview with the controversial author.

My views on the Israel-Palestine conflict are not particularly what you would call left-wing or radical. I say we should enforce the law and end the conflict on the basis of international law; that means a two-state settlement and a June ’67 border and a just resolution of the refugee question.

But on certain matters of principle, I’m not going to budge regardless of whether people like it or not. The Lebanese have the right to defend their sovereignty, and they have the right to use armed force to evict foreign occupiers. You’re not going to change my opinion about that because you happen not to like the Hezbollah.

Mousa Housseini/AFP/Getty Images

Limbo Land, by Peter Chilson. Foreign Policy.

A journey into Azawad, the world’s newest failed state.

“We are on our own out here,” said Djinde, a 50-year old merchant. He and the government prefect of Koro district, an ethnic Tuareg, reported the April 6 raid in frantic cell phone calls to the Malian Army in Mopti city. Two days later, in answer to the calls, a Malian patrol showed up, including soldiers in a couple of Toyota pickups mounted with heavy machine guns. They poked around, asked a few questions, stayed the night, and left. Djinde threw his hands out in a palms-up gesture. “It’s not even worth the effort to call the Army. Koro is in the hands of God.”

Later that same day, according to Djinde, turbaned rebels — likely the same men who entered Koro and found the Bible — drove into a village that was holding its weekly market day 12 miles northeast of Koro. They stole a truck and shot to death a merchant, though it’s unclear what motivated the shooting. The Malian Army took 24 hours to respond to that incident. This is life in Mali’s new borderland.

ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/GettyImages

And a pair from the Times, which doubled down on Mexican drug cartel coverage this week:

Cocaine, Inc., by Patrick Radden Keefe. The New York Times Magazine.

A profile of an innovative cartel CEO.

But Chapo’s greatest contribution to the evolving tradecraft of drug trafficking was one of those innovations that seem so logical in hindsight it’s a wonder nobody thought of it before: a tunnel. In the late 1980s, Chapo hired an architect to design an underground passageway from Mexico to the United States. What appeared to be a water faucet outside the home of a cartel attorney in the border town of Agua Prieta was in fact a secret lever that, when twisted, activated a hydraulic system that opened a hidden trapdoor underneath a pool table inside the house. The passage ran more than 200 feet, directly beneath the fortifications along the border, and emerged inside a warehouse the cartel owned in Douglas, Ariz. Chapo pronounced it “cool.”

ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/GettyImages

A Drug Family in the Winner’s Circle, by Ginger Thompson. The New York Times.

On a cartel accused of laundering money with racehorses.

The race was one of many victories for the Treviño brothers, who managed to establish a prominent horse breeding operation in the United States, Tremor Enterprises, that allowed them to launder millions of dollars in drug money, according to current and former federal law enforcement officials. The operation amounted to a foothold in the United States for one of Mexico’s most dangerous criminal networks, the officials said.

Using Miguel Ángel Treviño’s cash, José Treviño’s legal residency and Mr. Villarreal’s eye for a good horse, Tremor bought a sprawling ranch in Oklahoma and an estimated 300 stallions and mares. The Treviño brothers might have kept their operation quiet, given the criminal connection, but their passion for horses and winning apparently proved too tempting. In the short span of three years, Tremor won three of the industry’s biggest races, with prizes totaling some $2.5 million.

Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Have a favorite piece that we missed? Leave the link in the comments or tweet it to @longform. For more great writing, check out Longform’s complete archive.

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