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Archive for November, 2012


Host Maria Hinojosa speaks with Newsday film critic Rafer Guzman about The Central Park Five, a new documentary by Ken Burns and his daughter Sarah Burns about a 1989 case where five young men were convicted of the brutal rape of a jogger. This case became a lightning rod about youth of color and violence in New York and in the nation.

Click here to download this week’s show.

Rafer Guzman is the film critic for Newsday. He is also a contributing critic to WNYC’s “The Takeaway” and co-host of the podcast “Movie Date.”



Yusef Salaam, one of the exonerated teens convicted of rape in the Central Park jogger case, talks about life after prison and about watching himself on screen in the film The Central Park Five.

Click here to download this week’s show. Photo courtesy of Maysles Institute.

Yusef Salaam was born and raised in New York City. He attended Public School 83, Manhattan East, The Arts Student League of New York and studied art at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and jewelry making at the Fashion Institute of Technology. On April 19, 1989, at just 15 years of age, he learned that he, along with other young boys were being falsely arrested for rape. Yusef Salaam served approximately 7 years of his life in prison along with 3 years on parole. Now a proud father, Yusef advocates for education, the need for videotaping of all police interrogations, for policy change in the child welfare system & the prison industrial complex, the effects of the disenfranchisement of poor people and its overwhelming effects on their families and the entire community at large. He sits on the Board of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, the advisory Board for The Learn My History Foundation: dedicated to Youth Empowerment, Education and Change, and is the inspiration behind People United for Children.


Many families of immigrants who die in the US shoulder the burden and cost of shipping the remains of their loved ones back to the countries where they were born. Lauren Silverman reports that the costs of repatriation can run as high as $10,000.

Click here to download this week’s show.

Lauren Silverman is a bilingual reporter and radio producer at National Public Radio in Washington D.C. She received the Gracie Allen Award from American Women in Radio and Television in 2005. She worked as a reporter at Michigan Radio while studying political science and Latin American studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She has written and recorded pieces for American Public Media’s Marketplace, as well as National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Among the pieces she has reported and produced are stories on the artifacts left behind by undocumented migrants crossing the Sonoran desert; the changing face of America’s Chinatowns; and the transformation of a historic neighborhood in Compton, CA.


The improbable story of Power Fuerza, the album that laid the ground for the birth of hip hop. The Ghetto Brothers were a gang that brokered peace among other Bronx gangs, took up guitars and combined Beatles melodies, James Brown funk and Santana psychedelic fuzz in a record that sounds like nothing less than a party.

Click here to download this week’s show.

Carolina Gonzalez is an award-winning journalist and scholar with over two decades of experience in print and radio. She served as an editorial writer at the New York Daily News, and has covered education, immigration, politics, music and Latino culture in various alternative and mainstream media outlets, such as WNYC radio, AARP Segunda Juventud, SF Weekly and the Progressive Media Project. The guidebook she co-authored with Seth Kugel, Nueva York: the Complete Guide to Latino Life in the Five Boroughs, was published in 2006 by St. Martin’s Press. She was raised in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and Queens, New York and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Latinos who live in the United States are twice as likely to go hungry than the rest of Americans, according to a yearly survey by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Alfredo Estrada, editor of Latino Magazine, tells us about “No Mas Hambre,” an initiative to raise awareness and encourage people to act.

Click here to download this week’s show.
Register for the “No Mas Hambre” Summit to take place Washington, DC on December 7, 2012

Alfredo J. Estrada is the editor of Latino Magazine, a publication that focuses on politics and culture. Estrada is a nationally recognized expert on Hispanic media who has served on the boards of KRLU-TV, the Harvard Hispanic Policy Journal, and other organizations. He also founded HISPANIC, an award-winning magazine for U.S. Hispanics.


Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens but are often made to feel like outsiders. And those residing on the island see their identity differently from those living in the U.S. mainland. The future of the island’s political relation to the U.S. is still in question, but many feel their cultural identity as Puerto Rican first. Part of our regular series of conversations on Latino identity, Somos/We Are.

Click here to download this week’s show.

Explaining Somos

“Somos” is the name of a series that we are starting where we explore issues of Latino identity. We invite you to tell us how you identify yourself by making a video on youtube, posting a comment here, or leaving a message old-school style on our phone (yes, we have a phone attached to a wall!) at 646-571-1228. Don’t forget to tell us your name and where you’re calling us from. And after you post your video, tell us about it here or tweet us! We love hearing from you.

Alejandro Arbona is a freelance writer, editor, and brand research consultant based in New York City. He was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where people were constantly under the impression he was an American tourist. As an editor for five years at Marvel Entertainment, Alejandro oversaw, among other things, a series of “Fantastic Four” comic books set in Puerto Rico, prominently featuring Old San Juan, the rainforest of El Yunque, the bioluminescent bay of Vieques, and el chupacabras.


Frances Negrón-Muntaner is a filmmaker, writer, and scholar, as well as the director of Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race. Among her books are Boricua Pop: Puerto Ricans and the Latinization of American Culture (CHOICE Award, 2004) and Sovereign Acts (South End Press, 2010). Her films include AIDS in the Barrio (Gold Award at the John Muir Film Festival, 1989), Brincando el charco: Portrait of a Puerto Rican (Whitney Biennial, 1995), and the upcoming television show, War in Guam. Negrón-Muntaner is also a founding board member and past chair of NALIP, National Association of Latino Independent Producers. In 2005, she was named one of the most influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business Magazine, and in 2008, the United Nations’ Rapid Response Media Mechanism recognized her as a global expert in the areas of mass media and Latin/o American studies. Most recently, El Diario/La Prensa selected her as one of the 2010 recipients of their annual “Distinguished Women Award.”

Ray Suarez joined The NewsHour in October 1999 as a Washington-based Senior Correspondent. Suarez has more than thirty years of varied experience in the news business. He came to The NewsHour from National Public Radio where he had been host of the nationwide, call-in news program “Talk of the Nation” since 1993. Prior to that, he spent seven years covering local, national, and international stories for the NBC-owned station, WMAQ-TV in Chicago. He is the author most recently of a book examining the tightening relationship between religion and politics in America, The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America.  Suarez currently hosts the monthly radio program “America Abroad” for Public Radio International, and the weekly politics program “Destination Casa Blanca” for Hispanic Information Telecommunications Network, HITN TV. Suarez was a co-recipient of NPR’s 1993-94 and 1994-95 duPont-Columbia Silver Baton Awards for on-site coverage of the first all-race elections in South Africa and the first 100 days of the 104th Congress, respectively. He was honored with the 1996 Ruben Salazar Award from the National Council of La Raza, and the 2005 Distinguished Policy Leadership Award from UCLA’s School of Public Policy. The Holy Vote won a 2007 Latino Book Award for Best Religion Book.


What can farmworker communities do when they are living next to an unregulated waste dump that’s on Native American land? Reporter Ruxandra Guidi brings us a story about the dilemma of garbage on lands with little regulation.

Click here to download this week’s show. Image by Ruxandra Guidi.

Ruxandra Guidi is KPCC’s Immigration and Emerging Communities Reporter.
Guidi has a decade of experience working in public radio, print, and multimedia and has reported throughout California, the Caribbean, South and Central America, as well as Mexico and the U.S.-Mexico border region.

Ruxandra is a recipient of Johns Hopkins University’s International Reporting Project (IRP) Fellowship, which took her to Haiti for a series of stories about development aid and human rights in 2008. That year, she was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for International Reporting, given to U.S. journalists under 35 years of age.

After earning a Master’s degree in journalism from U.C. Berkeley in 2002, she got her break in public radio by assisting independent radio producers The Kitchen Sisters. A couple of years later, she did field reporting and production work for the BBC public radio news program, The World. Her stories focused on Latin America, human rights, rural communities, immigration, popular culture and music.
Most recently, Guidi was a border reporter for the Fronteras Desk, a collaboration between public radio stations throughout the Southwest and U.S.-Mexico border.

Throughout her journalism career, Guidi has also produced magazine features and radio documentaries for the BBC World Service in Spanish, National Public Radio, The Walrus Magazine, Guernica Magazine, Virginia Quarterly Review, World Vision Report, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Dispatches and Marketplace radio programs.

She’s a native of Caracas, Venezuela.


Simon Mejia, bassist from the Colombian electro-cumbia band Bomba Estereo, talks about going independent, aligning traditional Colombian rhythms with hip hop, kuduro and other sounds, and about helping an Afro-Colombian community record its rich musical history.

Click here to download this week’s show. Image courtesy of Generation Bass

Bomba Estereo‘s album Elegancia Tropical is available to purchase here.

Simón Mejía is the bassist of the Colombian band Bomba Estéreo, a psychedelic cumbia group self-described as “electro vacilón” that began in 2001. Their music merges folk sounds from the Colombian Caribbean coast like cumbia, bullerengue and champeta with electronica, reggae and hip-hop. The band’s latest album, Elegancia Tropical, is available now through Polen Records.

Bio image courtesy of Llanero Digital. 


We feature excerpts from one of two videos that Caesar Sanchez from Austin, Texas, sent us about his family members’ sense of their identity. The videos were sent in response to our call for how our listeners see their identities as part of our series SOMOS/We Are.

Click here to download this week’s show.

Somos por Roxanne Coffman from Ceasar Sanchez on Vimeo.

Somos por Ricardo Siller from Ceasar Sanchez on Vimeo.


We’ve seen a lot of coverage about immigrant workers being hit the hardest by the recession, but what about recovery? A recent report by the Urban Institute found that immigrant workers are recovering faster than native-born workers despite suffering greater unemployment. For more on the report, we speak to María Enchautegui, Senior Associate at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC.

Click here to download this week’s show.

María E. Enchautegui is an economist with expertise in the area of immigration. She also studies the working conditions of low-wage work. Prior to joining the Urban Institute she served as Senior Economic Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Policy at the Department of Labor. She also served as professor of Economics at the University of Puerto Rico, where she did her undergraduate work. She holds a PHD in Economics from Florida State University.

Enchautegui is particularly interested in the economics of immigration from the standpoint of the relationship between different population groups in the labor market, the functioning of the low-wage labor market and the factors that promote employment. She has published on the economic impacts of immigration, job quality, nonstandard work schedules, and informal work.


The 2012 elections have created a new openness within the GOP to the possibility of comprehensive immigration reform, and increased the likelihood of a bipartisan deal. Latino USA host Maria Hinojosa talks to NPR senior political correspondent Mara Liasson and Republican political advisor, Lionel Sosa.

Click here to download this week’s show.

Mara Liasson is the national political correspondent for NPR. Her reports can be heard regularly on NPR’s award-winning newsmagazines All Things Considered and Morning Edition. Liasson provides extensive coverage of politics and policy from Washington, DC — focusing on the White House and Congress — and also reports on political trends beyond the Beltway.

Each election year, Liasson provides key coverage of the candidates and issues in both presidential and congressional races. During her tenure she has covered five presidential elections — in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008. Prior to her current assignment, Liasson was NPR’s White House correspondent for all eight years of the Clinton administration. She has won the White House Correspondents Association’s Merriman Smith Award for daily news coverage in 1994, 1995, and again in 1997. From 1989-1992 Liasson was NPR’s congressional correspondent.
Liasson joined NPR in 1985 as a general assignment reporter and newscaster. From September 1988 to June 1989 she took a leave of absence from NPR to attend Columbia University in New York as a recipient of a Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism.

Prior to joining NPR, Liasson was a freelance radio and television reporter in San Francisco. She was also managing editor and anchor of California Edition, a California Public Radio nightly news program, and a print journalist for The Vineyard Gazette in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

Liasson is a graduate of Brown University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in American history.

Lionel Sosa has been media consultant for Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush. He has served on the teams of eight national presidential campaigns.

Sosa was named “One of the 25 most influential Hispanics in America” by Time Magazine in 2005 and is a member of the Texas Business Hall of Fame. He is the author of Think and Grow Rich, a Latino Choice published in 2006 by Random House, and The Americano Dream: How Latinos Can Achieve Success in Business and in Life, published in 1998 by Dutton and co-author of “El Vaquero Real- the Original American Cowboy” published by Bright Sky Press in 2008. Sosa is a contributing author of “Latinos and the Nations Future”, edited by Henry Cisneros and published by Arte Publico Press, University of Houston in 2009.

In the spring of 2001, Lionel was a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University. He was awarded an honorary PHD in Humanities from the University of the Incarnate Word.


The music and pop culture magazine Rolling Stone recently put out their first bilingual section, claiming to have a list of the top 10 Latino rock albums of all time. But their Mexico bureau emphatically disagreed—and wrote a letter disassociating themselves from the list. We speak to Benjamín Salcedo Villareal from Rolling Stone Mexico about this decision.

Click here to download this week’s show.

Benjamin Salcedo Villareal is the Director of Rolling Stone, Mexico.





While we agreed with some of the choices presented in the magazine’s “10 Greatest Latin Rock Albums of all Time,” we believe trying to cover a music genre with a history in Latin America almost as long as what it has in the U.S. and Britain is a thankless task. In the spirit of inclusiveness, we wanted to highlight 10 albums (albums! Remember those?) we feel are key to understanding how rock has developed in Latin America. Sorry, U.S.-based bands, you’ll have to wait for your own list.

In chronological order:

1) La Revolución de Emiliano Zapata, La Revolución de Emiliano Zapata (1971) Rock developed in Mexico in tandem with its development in the U.S. This Guadalajara-based band often sang in English and was in many ways indistinguishable from its counterparts in El Norte.

2) Pescado Rabioso, Artaud (1973) Argentine icon Luis Alberto Spinetta’s dedication to French poet and actor Antonin Artaud. It opens with one of his most famous songs “Todas las hojas son del viento,” and it includes numerous acoustic guitars and jazz variations, an abrupt turn from their previous album, Invisible.

3) Sui Generis, Confesiones de Invierno (1973) One of the most influential rock bands to come out of Argentina during the early 70s. This album was their second and a dramatic improvement in sound and compositions while staying loyal to their Folk Rock style.

4) Os Paralamas do Suceso, O Passo do Lui (1984) This Brazilian band’s pop rock with tinges of reggae also became popular in Spanish-speaking Latin America, thanks to easy sing-along love songs like “Meu Error.”

5) Caifanes, Caifanes (1988) Musically, this debut record by Mexican rock giants may have leaned heavily on the Cure, but Saul Hernandez’s mystical lyrics brought a decidedly Mexican flavor. Their cover of “La negra Tomasa” alone showed that you COULD make rock that was purely Latin American.

6) Mano Negra, Puta’s Fever (1989) This was the record that created the Mano Negra effect, spawning a thousand Latin American bands that promiscuously mixed different genres and languages.

7) Los Prisioneros, Corazones (1990) The heavy use of synth may sound dated now, but this Chilean band pioneered lyrics highlighting their South American identity (“Tren al Sur”).

8) Sepultura, Chaos A.D (1993) Metal knows no borders, as shown by this band from Belo Horizonte, Brazil. This album moved away a bit from a strictly thrash sound to experiment more with punk and with deeper grooves.

9) Los Tres, La Espada y la Pared (1995) This Chilean band cross-bred 1950s roots rock with Southern Cone folk (one of the band members belongs to the famed Parra family) and produced a sound that was fresh even as bands all over the continent were experimenting with folk and rock.

10) Shakira, Pies Descalzos (1996) She’s all blonde and all pop now, but once this Lebanese-Colombian singer-songwriter was feisty and fully rockera.

11) Gustavo Cerati, Bocanada (1999) Soda Stereo may have been the pinnacle of Latin American rock, but even after the band’s demise in 1997, Cerati proved there was plenty more to do and say.


Daisy Rosario takes us inside the world of balloon docents where she riles up the crowds and shares facts about the inflatable giants of the New York City Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Click here to download this week’s show. Image courtesy of Flickr.

Daisy Rosario is a producer, reporter and comedian, but to keep it simple she’d tell you she’s good with words. She’s a proud Brooklyn native who works with The Moth and Upright Citizens Brigade. She recently interned with WNYC’s Radiolab. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Daisy has held a number of odd jobs in the name of curiosity. She longs to be the quasi-love child of Manny Pacquiao, Theodore Roosevelt, and Carl Sagan, but what do you do with that?


Maria Hinojosa interviews prolific author Sandra Cisneros about her new book, Have You Seen Marie?, and about her struggles with depression.

Click here to download this week’s show. Bio image courtesy of Ray Santisteben.

Sandra Cisneros is the founder of the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation, the Elvira Cisneros Award and the Macondo Foundation, all of which work on behalf of creative writers. She is the recipient of numerous awards including a MacArthur. Her writings include novels: THE HOUSE ON MANGO STREET and CARAMELO; short stories: WOMAN HOLLERING CREEK; and poetry collections: MY WICKED WICKED WAYS and LOOSE WOMAN and a children’s book, HAIRS. She is currently at work on several writing projects including TANGO FOR TONGELE, a book of essays, WRITING IN MY PAJAMAS, writing tips; HOW TO BE A CHINGONA, life tips; INFINITO, stories; CANTOS Y LLANTOS, poems. Her most recent books are a children’s book, BRAVO, BRUNO with artist Leslie Greene, to be published in Italy, and the forthcoming HAVE YOU SEEN MARIE?, an illustrated book for adults with artist Ester Hernández, to be published in the US in October,


If results from the presidential election are true, Latino voters were key in tipping the balance that gave Obama four more years to usher in all the change he promised. For more in depth results on how the Latino vote influenced this past election, we speak to Matt Barretto, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington and co-founder of political research firm Latino Decisions.

Click here to download this week’s show.

Matt A. Barreto is an Associate Professor in political science at the University of Washington, Seattle and the director of the Washington Institute for the Study of Ethnicity and Race (WISER). He is also the director of the annual Washington Poll. He received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Irvine in 2005. His research examines the political participation of racial and ethnic minorities in the United States and his work has been published in the American Political Science Review, Political Research Quarterly, Social Science Quarterly, Public Opinion Quarterly, and other peer reviewed journals.


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