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Stories by Matthew Suárez

Deported veterans help deported moms

"The Bunker" moves from downtown Tijuana to Otay

“We are having a meeting this Wednesday [October 1] with all the deported moms,” I am told by Yolanda Varona, the director of DREAMers Moms USA/Tijuana. “You are welcome to come. Hector says to bring ...

Hot girls love to cut

Fried chicken and needles — a morning border commute through Zona Norte

It's been a month since I got a part-time retail job at Sport Zone on Coronado Avenue in Chula Vista. The job is five miles away from my apartment, but sometimes it takes me up ...

What does Tijuana want?

Resident seeks answer for affection-deprived city

The pedestrian border-wait line at the San Ysidro crossing is like the longest line in an amusement park…only you reach the end and find out that there is no roller-coaster. There is usually no one ...

Less beefy, more scrawny

No endorsement for young Tijuana baseball players

At the edge of Zona Norte, the downtown Tijuana neighborhood that abuts the border, there is a small sports park, Unidad Deportiva Benito Juárez. Families play basketball, kids enjoy an above-ground pool, boxers train inside ...

Deported U.S. military veterans activate in Tijuana

"I'll serve a year in Iraq if I have to. I would do whatever it takes to go home.”

The Bunker of the Deported Veterans of America is located on 3rd street, near Parque Teniente Guerrero, on top of Baja Gym. Dark steps behind an iron door next to the gym's entrance lead you ...

Carnival of danger

Our border reporter braves a new Tijuana punk fest

“Someone will die,” posted Carlos Arreguin on his Facebook page minutes before the Carnavalito Peligroso I music festival began at Plaza Fiesta. The singer of the power-violence band Calafia Puta was one of the organizers ...

Mapping Tijuana

Dancing Intervention from NYC parks to Tijuana parks

A saxophone and an accordion play in unison, one female dancer and two male dancers freeze in a different position while the rest of Parque Teniente continues with its regular busy life. A couple of ...

Tijuana street art disrespected

Pepe Nacho mural and other artworks have been defaced

Tijuana's façade has never been a pretty one; there are not many green spaces, billboards are placed everywhere and with no clear building regulations. City folk have built whatever they want, wherever they want. In ...

Sunday in the park

Jardin de Arte celebrates Tijuana's 125th anniversary

Renovations are taking place at Parque Teniente Guererro, Tijuana's downtown park. The plaza with the gazebo in the middle and several grassy sections has been closed to public. A larger area on the corner of ...

Tijuana puppy rescue


Strays down south still have it rough

There are countless stray cats and dogs in Tijuana, and animal control is done mostly by accidental roadkill or by people who kill animals for pleasure. Pet-ownership culture is completely different in a country that ...

Ehhhhh…PUTO!

Tijuanense fútbol fans celebrate — one falls from Cuauhtémoc statue


“It's like something out of a TV commercial. Watching you guys celebrate the goals, hugging each other, jumping in front of the TV, and drinking Tecates. I don't really get you sports people, but I ...

Broken record, broken nose

Living the World Cup in North Park as US captain makes history

I was people-watching on the corner of 30th and University, wondering which would be the best bar to watch the upcoming World Cup game, United States versus Ghana. An older couple walked by, the white ...

World Cup, North Park-style

Live the World Cup as the rest of the world does

Of the 32 countries participating in the World Cup, only the United States carries on like nothing is happening. Despite hosting the Cup in 1994 and having respectable finishes in 2006 and 2010, most of ...

Calle Segunda, I hardly know ya

Tijuana road replacement necessary…but no bike lanes?

At 5 p.m., a homeless man in a wheelchair tries to cross Second Street but has trouble with the rubble; a transsexual hooker walks by wearing a short dress, stumbling around on her high heels. ...

They go all night at this park

“Oh, man! You moved to a place next to Parque Teniente? That’s where the male and transsexual prostitutes hang out, robberies happen, and deported homeless people sleep,” a TJ friend informs me. For a whole ...

Happy Vegan meal, kitten included

Animal-rights activists start food-delivery service in Tijuana

In my search to adopt a kitten in Tijuana, a friend of mine directed me to Claudia Lomelí, an animal-rights activist who spends some of her time rescuing street animals and finding them homes. The ...

Thirty samplers later, I was ready to pass out

Baja Beer Fest

I woke up in a mansion in Ensenada on Sunday morning not sure how I got there. My new next door neighbor, Freddy, had invited me to the Baja Beer Fest and told me not ...

Tijuana culture through screen printing

Mexican Fashion: Puro Tijuas

Mexican-American but Tijuana born and raised, Arturo Vázquez (29 years old) has been in the business of screen-printing since 2007. His store is one of the first to open in Pasaje Rodriguez (off Second Street, ...

Brownie Girl's bicycle recovered after being stolen

An act of kindness in Tijuana

Marifer Treviño, also known as La Brownie Girl, goes to music and food events in Tijuana selling her homemade brownies (including vegan, oreo, peanut butter, original, etc). When there's no festival or events, she goes ...

Memorial built where El Pozolero dissolved bodies

Tijuana art project constructed in vacant lot, site of remains

The story of Santiago Meza López is one of the most gruesome and well-known narco stories to come out from Baja. Meza earned his nickname of “El Pozolero” because he dissolved more than 300 bodies ...

Large mural unveiled at strip mall in Tijuana

Movimiento Artístico Red Mental has done this work before

It was a cold and windy Saturday evening when I made my way to the Otay area of Tijuana for the unveiling of a 70.5´ x 23´ mural in the back of a strip mall ...

Finding La Maguana, a homeless icon of Tijuana

Maria Luisa Castro was a dancer — is a dancer

Facebook post: “I'm in love with Tijuana.” Comment reply by David Duran: “Until you make love to La Maguana I'm not going to believe that you truly love this city.” If you have walked around ...

Distruzione Totale by Anti You

Hundreds of crust-punk enthusiasts showed up to Tijuana’s El Tigre bar for a night of total destruction. The bands DLT, New Breed, and Pornoestereos, from Tijuana and Mexicali, started the show before punk quartet Anti ...

Warning: Do not take weed into Mexico

A survey of who does and what happens if you do

“It seems like Border Patrol read your Tijuana junkie and dealer article,” my brother jokingly told me on Facebook. He had recently noticed a new sign posted near the border that reads “Medical marijuana prohibited ...

Acción Poética invades Tijuana

Some call it poetry, some call it garbage

In Tijuana over the summer, many walls were painted white and then short verses were painted on them. The lines that seemingly were intended to promote art, culture, and poetry are now filled with tags, ...

Dumpster dining host planned a street Christmas

Environmental activist Rob Greenfield takes up the homeless challenge

After spending a whole week eating nothing but food found in dumpsters of grocery stores, Rob Greenfield hosted a dinner party at his home in Ocean Beach on Friday, December 20. With the goal to ...

Tijuana junkie and dealer interviews

Heroin and pot from U.S. sells like “hot bread” down south

“Lo que venga del gringo es lo mejor, es la mas pura,” a junkie in the Tijuana River channel area told me when I recently asked him about his drugs of choice. He was a ...

Steve Jobs, Julian Assange appear in Playas de Tijuana

Young artists paint murals of their 21st century heroes

The Steve Jobs portrait by Albert M. Watson has been recreated on a wall in Playas de Tijuana right next to the bullfighting ring. The mural is located a block away from the beach and ...

Bus busking in TJ

From playing on buses around Tijuana to winning Rockampeonato in 2012, Cañamo has evolved. They have opened for international acts such as Café Tacvba, Don McCarlos, Los Cafres, and Cultura Profetica. Together for more than ...

Video footage before “Viva Villa” border incident

Filmmakers came upon assembling masses, started recording

The three filmmakers producing under the name UK Balaam Productions seem to have nothing to do with instigating the November 24 border incident in which over 100 migrants confronted Border Patrol officers. In a long ...

No running water for 82 Tijuana neighborhoods

Aqueduct project in progress

Tijuana water agency CESPT (Comisión Estatal de Servicios Públicos de Tijuana) will suspend running water to 82 neighborhoods starting early today, Tuesday, December 3 and will renew its services partially on Thursday, December 5. The ...

“Viva Villa movement” under investigation

Note surfaces, documentary filmmakers deny involvement

Authorities are searching for who’s responsible for the attempt at a mass illegal border crossing on Sunday, November 24. At least 100 migrants tried to cross the border à la Cheech Marin in the film ...

Border Patrol confronted the Viva Villa movement

Incident involved 100 migrants — or a revolutionary brigade?

On Sunday, November 24, a group of over 100 migrants attempted to cross the border, walking toward it via the Tijuana River flood-control channel, coming face-to-face with Border Patrol officers. They group called it part ...

Ten-year-old Tijuana coffeehouse demolished

La Casa de la Nueve hosted bands and high schoolers

La Casa de la Nueve, situated on 9th street in downtown Tijuana, is no more. On November 6, the coffeehouse and live-music venue was demolished, much to the surprise of its previous tenants. Married couple ...

All My Friends here to stay

Tijuana's eclectic music fest sees a successful fourth year

The early start of the fourth edition of the All My Friends festival at 2:00 p.m. saw barely any patrons when the first band started playing on a stage that was set up poorly on ...

Previewing All My Friends Music Fest

Doing our due dilligence on bands we never heard of...

Tijuana's fourth annual All My Friends music festival is Saturday, November 16, at La Casa de la Cultura. The festival features the best of underground music in an eclectic mix. Bands start at 2 p.m. ...

(The real) Tijuana!

A T.J. beyond Revolución... and Americans are going there.

The gringos are back! And in large quantities! …but please stop going to every single tourist trap in downtown Tijuana. The American paranoia seems to be coming to an end. San Diegans are starting to ...

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