The first of Megan Cassidy and Gabrielle Lurie’s series investigating the San Francisco drug economy, this impressive undertaking focuses on Honduras’ Siria Valley, a collection of villages where poverty abuts expensive new homes dotted with 49ers and Warriors iconography. Such design choices aren’t rooted in sports fandom, but in the flow of people and money between the Siria Valley and the Bay Area; the latter promises financial stability, as long as you can make peace with selling fentanyl. A breathtaking piece of reporting, matched only by the series’ second piece.
One Thursday last November, the town center’s streets and benches were mostly empty at midday, its fountain dry; it was unclear whether the nearby restaurants and clothing stores were closed temporarily or for good. Yet construction was everywhere: a new church, new home additions, new roads. El Porvenir’s hardware store was the busiest spot in town.
“You shouldn’t go asking questions about El Pedernal,” a customer at the hardware store told The Chronicle’s journalists.