Winner 2006

Crossing Borders

This vivid and poignant audio mural, broadcast by KUNM-FM and more than 230 other public-radio stations, goes far in explaining why Mexicans by the thousands continue to attempt to enter the United States illegally and what their journeys can entail. Crossing Borders combines ambient recordings of festivals and masses in Mexico, snippets of border radio programs and readings by Luis Alberto Urrea from his harrowing book, The Devil’s Highway. It presents interviews with anxious, border-bound immigrants, weary agents of “La Migra” (Border Patrol), and southern Arizona residents for whom the flood of illegals are an everyday fact of life. The determination and courage of the migrants can be inspiring, the fates that can befall them horrifying. Rattlesnakes, bandits, sun-blasted madness and death may await, but, as the HearingVoices special also makes powerfully clear, so may opportunity. For a sonic portrait that makes both a desert and a political issue live and breathe, Crossing Borders receives a Peabody.


Executive producer/Producer: Barrett Golding. Director: Robin Wise. Host/Writer: Marcos Martinez. Reporters: Luis Alberto Urrea, Scott Carrier, Ann Heppermann, Kara Oehler, Guillermo Gomez-Peña, Siamack Sioshansi, Bronwyn Ximm.