Latino USA

Archive for the ‘Authors’ Category

Mirta Ojito: Death In The Neighborhood

In November 2008, Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorian immigrant was attacked and killed by seven teenagers in the town of Patchogue on Long Island. Later, one of his attackers confessed that hunting immigrants was a frequent pastime for his group of friends. Lucero’s death highlighted the disturbing trend that hate crimes against Latinos were on the rise and were being fueled by anti-immigrant rhetoric from local politicians. In her new book, Hunting Season: Immigration and Murder in an All American Town, Mirta Ojito revisits Lucero’s murder and explores the trends and circumstances that lead to his tragic death.

 

Photo by Joel Saget, AFP

 

 

MIRTA_OJITO-photo_by_clare_holtMirta Ojito, a reporter since 1987, has worked for The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald, and, from 1996 to 2002, for The New York Times, where she covered immigration, among other beats, for the Metro Desk. She has received numerous awards, including the American Society of Newspaper Editor’s writing award for best foreign reporting in 1999 for a series of articles about life in Cuba, and a shared Pulitzer for national reporting in 2001 for a New York Times series of articles about race in America.

 

From The Belly Of The Beast

In 2009, journalist Oscar Martinez embarked on one of the most dangerous pilgrimages on Earth. He joined migrants from El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala on their desperate journey through Mexico to the U.S.

It’s a journey that more than 25,000 migrants make every year. The statistics are harrowing – Amnesty International estimates that 70,000 undocumented went missing in Mexico in the last six years.

At every step of the trip, Martinez wrote dispatches for ELFaro.Net. Now those dispatches are collected in the book, The Beast: Riding and Dodging Narcos On The Migrant Rail.

The migrants Martinez profiles are escaping violence and poverty. They flee their homes on the presumption that “there is something better in life, than the life that those people have in Central America,” says Martinez, “I think this is one of the greatest motors in the history of humanity.”

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A team of Spanish photographers joined Martinez as he documented the violence.

To make their way north, the Central American migrants cling to the roof of a colossal cargo train called The Beast, hiding in spaces between and underneath the cars.

The migrants who fall off are crushed. The survivors are perpetually victimized: they are robbed, beaten, raped and kidnapped by narcos.

“It’s a chess game, the road is a chess game,” says Martinez, “If you make a bad move, you can end up in the hands of the Zetas.”

For the people on this journey, there is no justice. Corrupt public officials work with the narcos. Gangs control the coyotes who lead the migrants north. The walls and increased security on the U.S. side of the border only make things worse.

Interview Highlights

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On the abuses faced by migrants on the trail 

Martinez: This road leaves you a big trauma, a big scar in your brain. In 2009 64% percent of Central American women who crossed Uihtxla suffered some abuse including sexual harasment. What happens with that population? Who is asking them? Who is giving support to that people? They just come to the United States or are deported to Central American and continue with their lives, but what kind of life can you have after having that experience?

On the inclusion of los Zetas on the migrant trail

Martinez: In 2007 the incursion of los Zetas changed the sign of that immigration because those wolves are very cruel wolves and are wolves that make massive kidnapping, that sell a lot of women in the north and in the south brothels. Of course, the incursion of the Zetas with the participation of some authorities, mainly the local authorities, the municipal police or the state police. That inclusion changed the name of the wolf, and the name of the wolf is los Zetas.

On the lack of repercussions for criminals

Martinez:  The work of the journalist, puts light in the dark corner of societies, makes it more difficult for the corrupt, for the hagaranes, for the estados perezosos y gobiernos perecosos, as the Salvadorian, Guatemalan and Honduran governments who never raise their voice to ask Mexico what happened with all their women who have been raped in Mexico, what happened with all their men, child and ancients who are kidnapped by los Zetas for days? Journalism is like the sea when it erodes a stone, it takes years and it is not the rhythm we’d prefer, but it is the rhythm we have.

 

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On what he wants his readers to feel

Martinez: I hope to provoke anger. I think that anger is our most powerful motor, it is very difficult to go and sleep with anger. I don’t know what an engineer can do about the topic, I don’t know what an architect can do reading the book, but I pretend to generate the feeling that prevents that person from staying still.

 

 

 

 

 

Author Eduardo Galeano: Mortal But Not Alone

Prolific author Eduardo Galeano talks with Maria Hinojosa about his latest book, Children of the Days: A Calendar of Human History, and about what it’s like to be friends with the Uruguayan president.

eduardo

Eduardo Galeano is an Uruguayan journalist and writer. Galeano’s best-known works include Memoria del fuego and Las venas abiertas de América Latina. His works have been translated into 20 languages.

Bio photo courtesy of Mariela De Marchi Moyano.

This Week’s Captions: LIVE IN SACRAMENTO

THIS WEEK’S SHOW:

Latino USA is on the road and brings you this week’s show live from Sacramento. Host Maria Hinojosa interviews Californians about art and activism, writing and radio, and how the growth of California’s Latino population may indicate how the rest of the country adapts as Latinos become the largest minority.

ABOUT CAPTIONING:

Latino USA, the foremost Latino voice in public media and the longest running Latino-focused program on radio, is the first radio program to commence equal-access distribution via Captioning for Radio. “Research has shown that Latino children have a higher incidence of hearing loss and deafness than other populations,” according to Latino USA’s Anchor & Executive Producer Maria Hinojosa. “When the opportunity to break this sound barrier came to our attention, we were pleased to embrace this new technology developed by NPR Labs and Towson University for the thousands of Latinos with serious hearing loss.”

The International Center for Accessible Radio Technology (ICART), a strategic alliance between NPR and Towson University, is co-directed by Mike Starling of NPR and Ellyn Sheffield of Towson University.

For each week’s captioning, check back on http://latinousa.org/captions.

Forbidden Words and Forgotten Arts: Daniel Alarcón

Peruvian-born author Daniel Alarcón brings us a story about cultural adaptation and breaking interracial taboos, called “The Forbidden Word”. The story was originally produced by Radio Ambulante, the Spanish-language storytelling radio program he runs. He talks with Maria Hinojosa about the project, and discusses his new novel, titled “At Night We Walk in Circles”, about a young Latin American actor traveling with an avant-garde theater group. Special thanks to Radio Ambulante’s Martina Castro.

And here’s Radio Ambulante’s original “Palabra Prohibida/Forbidden Word” story, en español:

 

Daniel Alarcon (c) Adrian KinlochDANIEL ALARCÓN is author of “War by Candlelight”, a finalist for the 2005 PEN-Hemingway Award, and “Lost City Radio”, named a Best Novel of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle and The Washington Post, among others. His writing has appeared in McSweeney’s, n+1, and Harper’s, and he has been named one of The New Yorker’s 20 under 40. He lives in San Francisco, California.

About Radio Ambulante: Radio Ambulante is a Spanish-language radio program that tells Latin American stories from anywhere Spanish is spoken, including the United States.

This Week’s Captions: ¡SALUD!

THIS WEEK’S SHOW:

¡Salud! This week Latino USA discusses questions of health. First, how stress and poverty can make you sick, and the latest on teen pregnancy. Then, Al Madrigal and Lalo Alcaraz talk Obamacare, and we check in with California, with stories of youth and rural health. Host Maria Hinojosa shares her newfound healthy enthusiasm for soccer, we hear about the wisdom of boxing, and we raise a glass to Latinos working in wine. All this, and social media reactions to the PBS “Latino Americans” series.

ABOUT CAPTIONING:

Latino USA, the foremost Latino voice in public media and the longest running Latino-focused program on radio, is the first radio program to commence equal-access distribution via Captioning for Radio. “Research has shown that Latino children have a higher incidence of hearing loss and deafness than other populations,” according to Latino USA’s Anchor & Executive Producer Maria Hinojosa. “When the opportunity to break this sound barrier came to our attention, we were pleased to embrace this new technology developed by NPR Labs and Towson University for the thousands of Latinos with serious hearing loss.”

The International Center for Accessible Radio Technology (ICART), a strategic alliance between NPR and Towson University, is co-directed by Mike Starling of NPR and Ellyn Sheffield of Towson University.

For each week’s captioning, check back on http://latinousa.org/captions.

Sabiduría: The Boxing Edition

Writer, filmmaker and speaker Raquel Cepeda talks about her passion for boxing and how she incorporates it into her everyday life. She gives words of wisdom about how boxing improves mental, physical, and spiritual health.

Raquel.photoRaquel Cepeda is an award-winning journalist, cultural activist and documentary filmmaker. A former magazine editor, her byline has appeared in The Village Voice, CNN.com, and the Associated Press. She directed and produced “Bling: A Planet Rock,” about American hip-hop culture’s obsession with diamonds. Her latest literary work is a memoir, “Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina.”

This Week’s Captions: ARCHIVES: PRESIDENTIAL EDITION

THIS WEEK’S SHOW:

In this special look back at twenty years of Latino USA, we hear interviews with four of the show’s most prominent guests. President Clinton calls for a dialogue on race in 1993. Barack Obama, still a senator in 2006, talks immigration reform. In a 1997 interview, author Junot Diaz talks about representing the Dominican Republic and New Jersey. And comedian George Lopez talks about his sitcom, which debuted in 2003, featuring a Latino family.

ABOUT CAPTIONING:

Latino USA, the foremost Latino voice in public media and the longest running Latino-focused program on radio, is the first radio program to commence equal-access distribution via Captioning for Radio. “Research has shown that Latino children have a higher incidence of hearing loss and deafness than other populations,” according to Latino USA’s Anchor & Executive Producer Maria Hinojosa. “When the opportunity to break this sound barrier came to our attention, we were pleased to embrace this new technology developed by NPR Labs and Towson University for the thousands of Latinos with serious hearing loss.”

The International Center for Accessible Radio Technology (ICART), a strategic alliance between NPR and Towson University, is co-directed by Mike Starling of NPR and Ellyn Sheffield of Towson University.

For each week’s captioning, check back on http://latinousa.org/captions.

Junot Diaz (1997)

In 1997, Junot Diaz wasn’t yet a Pulitzer Prize winner. He had recently released his short story collection Drown, and host Maria Hinojosa talked about how his writing represented New Jersey as much as it represented Dominicans.

Image courtesy of Fleeting Books

THIS WEEK’S CAPTIONS: STRAIGHT OUT OF COMMITTEE

THIS WEEK’S SHOW:

This week, we bring you an update on the Senate immigration plan as it heads to the Senate floor. And we report from two of the dozens of schools shuttered in Chicago. We sit down with Dominican-American author Raquel Cepeda to talk about her memoir “Bird of Paradise: How I Became a Latina.” Finally, the premiere of “Rebel,” a story about the Cuban women who disguised herself as a man to fight in the Civil War.

ABOUT CAPTIONING:

Latino USA, the foremost Latino voice in public media and the longest running Latino-focused program on radio, is the first radio program to commence equal-access distribution via Captioning for Radio. “Research has shown that Latino children have a higher incidence of hearing loss and deafness than other populations,” according to Latino USA’s Anchor & Executive Producer Maria Hinojosa. “When the opportunity to break this sound barrier came to our attention, we were pleased to embrace this new technology developed by NPR Labs and Towson University for the thousands of Latinos with serious hearing loss.”

The International Center for Accessible Radio Technology (ICART), a strategic alliance between NPR and Towson University, is co-directed by Mike Starling of NPR and Ellyn Sheffield of Towson University.

For each week’s captioning, check back on http://latinousa.org/captions.

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