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Julián Cardona

Julian Cardona

On today's West Texas Talk, Fronteras Desk reporter Lorne Matalon is in Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico to speak with Mexican photojournalist, author and social researcher Julián Cardona.

Cardona is working with Lubbock, Texas-based artist Alice Leora Briggs on a book that focuses on language, specifically how words have come to take on two or more meanings as Ciudad Juárez, wrestles with the legacy of years of violence that reached a statistical zenith in 2010.

Innocuous words such as punto, meaning "point" today also means low-level drug dealer, "to be baptized" can sometimes mean "to be killed," and the Spanish word, montado, or "mounted, has also come to mean a victim of torture.

The discussion about words and their evolution comes against a backdrop of what is commonly referred to in mainstream media as the "War on Drugs."

And the conversation takes place just as the city prepares to welcome Pope Francis.

He has chosen Juárez to send what is expected to be a strong message about the debate over immigration reform, a topic that is expected to be a prominent theme in the upcoming United States presidential election in 2016. Cardona discusses the visit, along with hopes for a more secure Mexico in the new year.

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