Special Reports

Earth + Bone

A podcast and radio series, produced by Laurel Morales, that sheds light on American Indian beliefs to better understand our own. Each episode will explore a conflict between what tribes consider sacred and what western culture thinks is fair game. We will take listeners to a different reservation each time.

Arizona River Stories

In the dog days of summer in Arizona, many people escape the heat for a float down the river. Most return home with a good story. In Flagstaff, river guides often take great pride in the craft of weaving a good yarn. In our “Arizona River Stories” series, produced by Laurel Morales, we'll hear tales from five of these storytellers.

Courting Justice In Mexico

Mexico is on the brink of completing a major transformation of its judicial system. June 2016 will cap an eight-year effort to switch from a closed system of mostly written proceedings to one that opens up trials to the public. Its goal is undoubtedly ambitious — to combat Mexico’s long history of impunity. We explore its chances of success in a four-part series. Reporter Mónica Ortiz Uribe will be our guide.

Transborder Unit: Colombia

There has been a lot of news from Colombia in the last few months, including the public health threat from the Zika virus and ongoing corruption issues. To better understand what is happening in the Americas, KJZZ’s Transborder Unit traveled to Colombia recently to bring back the hidden stories that you probably won’t hear any place else.

Oil In New Mexico

Unable to keep pace with a booming industry while using an outdated rulebook, a retired oil inspector in New Mexico described his job as “a strenuous exercise in futility.” Mónica Ortiz Uribe writes about poor regulation of the rapidly growing oil industry in southeast New Mexico during the time when oil topped $100 a barrel.

Child Migrant Crisis At The Border

The United States border has seen a surge of unaccompanied minors migrating from Central America and entering the U.S. illegally, often surrendering to federal agents. Dubbed a humanitarian crisis by the Obama administration, the situation ignited a political firestorm.

Border To Border Drugs

In a collaborative series, Fronteras: The Changing America Desk and the Northwest News Network explore these distribution networks, the smuggling strategies and trends, and the devastating impact of America's insatiable appetite for illegal substances.

Making Tacos Our Own

The taco — the ultimate Mexican comfort food — has become a staple in American cuisine and reigns supreme as a popular meal in many different forms and flavors.

The Realities of Deportation

By the end of 2013, close to 2 million people will have been deported under the Obama administration. Our series begins with three stories about what happens to children who are detained and deported, and what happens to children after their parents are deported.

Broken Border

Our immigration system is broken. Our series peels apart the complex tangle of the debate to explore what matters.


Fronteras: The Changing America Desk will focus on six races across the Southwest region. Each race is reflective of the larger issues at play for the state and region.

Operation Fast and Furious

Fronteras Desk Senior Field Correspondent Michel Marizco has been covering Operation Fast and Furious -- the gunwalking scandal in Southern Arizona -- since the murder of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in 2010.

NAFTA - 20 Years Later

This fall marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the historic NAFTA free trade agreement, which opened up trade between the United States, Mexico and Canada. This ongoing series will look at the winners and losers in the agreement and how it has impacted the Southwest and the nation.

Heat Wave

July 2012 was the hottest month on record for the contiguous United States. Fronteras Desk will explore the real world impacts of climate change - ranging from rising food prices to the psychological effects. Plus we encourage you to explore this page for more information and interactive features.

The Search For Tolerance

Fronteras: The Changing America Desk has joined forces with Not in Our Town documentary producers to determine how hate affects communities throughout the Southwest and what people are doing about it.

Border Drones

The Department of Homeland Security's unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone, program has grown exponentially since its creation just a few years ago. While Congressional allies and DHS herald the success of border drones, critics have questioned the cost and the effectiveness of the program.

A Brief History Of Arizona's SB 1070

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed Senate Bill 1070, or SB 1070, into law on April 23, 2010. Supporters sought border security, while opponents feared racial profiling. The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments to uphold or overrule an injunction on certain aspects of the law. A ruling on the injunction was released June 25, 2012.

The 2012 Mexican Elections

The Mexican general election will be held on Sunday, July 1, 2012. Citizens will elect a new president to serve a six-year term, replacing President Felipe Calderón. Fronteras Desk journalists Michel Marizco, Jill Replogle and Peter O'Dowd reported along the border on the election and the impact it will have on the U.S.

The 2012 Vote

Changing demographics across the Southwest United States have redrawn political maps and are challenging assumptions about the electorate. In a series of stories, Fronteras: The Changing America Desk will explore how these changes may impact the 2012 vote. Correspondents will also travel into Mexico to report on how elections south of the border affect the Southwest. We also look at hot topics, like immigration and Arizona's SB 1070 law and how it has caused some Latinos to relocate, while others say they live in fear.

Baja After The Boom

Baja California has long been known for pristine beaches, abundant wildlife and minimal infrastructure. That image was marred as the drug war exploded on the streets of Tijuana and the surrounding area. As a result, tourism plummeted. As part of our coverage of the U.S.-Mexico border, Fronteras: The Changing America Desk took a 9-day reporting trip to Baja California.

The Latino Education Gap

Latinos are the largest ethnic minority group in the Southwest and the fastest growing in the United States. More than one-third of Latino students are English Language Learners and they consistently perform poorly on state tests and have lower graduation rates than Whites and Asians, according to Department of Education data. In this ongoing series, the Fronteras Desk explores the Latino achievement gap in education throughout the Southwest. We also look at how states and school districts are looking beyond federal guidelines and are creating innovative solutions to close the gap.

Selling Spanish Immersion

Reporter Jim Paluzzi — who also doubles as the general manager of the public radio station KJZZ Phoenix — spent time at a Spanish immersion school in San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala. He examined the different reasons Americans had for choosing Spanish immersion schools, why they were likely to choose Guatemala as an educational destination, and how teaching Spanish has become a cottage industry in third-world countries.

Border Business

While the maquiladora industry is based in Mexico, the factories that produce a myriad of goods are completely dependent on the U.S. economy. The outlook for the industry is continued slow to moderate growth. But it remains unknown how Mexico's ongoing drug war will impact the sector.

Beyond Sprawl - Rethinking The Southwest Economy

Single-family home construction has been a powerful engine of economic growth for much of the Southwest for decades. But this recession has decimated the housing and construction industry. Then there are the demographic changes that could permanently alter the face of the suburbs. Fronteras: The Changing America Desk looks at what growth in the Southwest could look like in the future.

Life After Deportation

Follow undocumented immigrants as they are deported from Arizona in the Southwestern United States to Guatemala and see the challenges they face when they return home. Also explore how retailers and artisans have partnered together to provide goods for U.S. consumers.

Retirement Redefined: Recession & The Golden Years

Millions of seniors have retired in the Southwestern Sunbelt. The massive wave of baby boomers just starting to retire are likely to find a reality far different from that of their elders due to the recent economic woes. Fronteras: The Changing America Desk investigates how retirement is being redefined through a series of multimedia stories and offers helpful links to help fractured nest eggs.

The Drug War At Home

Daily headlines chronicle the drug cartel violence in neighboring Mexico. Shootouts on busy city streets. Law enforcement agents hunted like animals. Mass graves found in out of the way places. All to supply users in the United States with the highs they crave. Fronteras: The Changing America Desk investigates the impact of the drug war on our way of life.

Sensing Change: The 2010 Census

Four of the fastest growing states are in the west and two – Nevada and Arizona – are in our region. Much of that growth is due to Hispanics/Latinos, which accounted for most of the population increase. Fronteras: The Changing America Desk investigates the impact of these demographic changes in our communities. Click on a city below to see stories from that area.