A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.
Dolia Estévez presented her book "El Embajador" on Saturday as part of the first full day of the city-run Tijuana Book Fair, which opened Friday night in its new venue, the federal Tijuana Cultural Center.
In a coup, she was able to interview nine former U.S. ambassadors to Mexico, all but one in person. She lets the interviews speak for themselves.
This is unlike the book that Jorge Castañeda wrote before he became Mexico's foreign minister in 2000; in that book, La Herencia (The Inheritance), he interviewed Mexico's former presidents, but also wrote an analysis of his interviews.
Asked on Saturday why she had not also done such an analysis, she said that Castañeda is an intellectual and that she is a journalist who reports. At the same time she expressed strong opinions, saying former President Felipe Calderón had opened the door far too wide for U.S. law-enforcement, intelligence and other agencies to work in Mexico, among other things.
The book, published by Editorial Planeta Mexicana, costs around 250 pesos, or around $20. There is a free version in English, "U.S. Ambassadors to Mexico: The Relationship Through Their Eyes," downloadable as a PDF file from the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., which supported her research.
In one of the interviews, Jeffrey Davidow, who later became head of the Institute of the Americas in San Diego, talked about the difficulty of gathering evidence implicating various Mexican figures and officials, including gambling magnate and former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon.
Update, June 24: Booksellers tell El Mexicano that sales went down, and that CECUT perhaps is not the best location for the book fair. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
But El Día said its sales were up.
Update, June 30: Full-page ad (PDF) in which book fair thanks sponsors and the 145,000 it said attended.