Mexico, via its contentious border zone with the United States, operates within a global discourse of violence, trouble, and the trafficking of drugs, sex, and other fantasies. In El rumor de la frontera Alfonso Armada (text) and Corina Arranz (photography) travel the Mexican–US border, site par excellence of the confluence of global capital, economic and cultural difference, and mobility. The representation of violence is just one process among many which come into play in the global image of place, into which travel writing can offer a window. Using travel narratives, the visitor can solidify existing relations of inequality, the material terms of the narrated encounter can disrupt expectations and resist the interpretive schema of the writer, or both effects can mingle together. El rumor de la frontera is discussed as an example of these multiple modes in contemporary travel writing, with a focus on the effects of historical and intertextual reference.