Latino USA

Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

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.”

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Banned Books Club

When the Arizona Department of Education banned 90 books from its public schools for being “subversive,” ban opponents struck back. They set up underground libraries across the Southwest. And in Albuquerque, they organized a banned book reading club.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Jennifer-Lamusa

Carrie Jung headshot

Carrie Jung began reporting from New Mexico in 2011, following environmental news, education and Native American issues. She’s worked with NPR’s Morning Edition, PRI’s The World, National Native News, and The Takeaway.

Carrie graduated with a masters degree from Clemson University in 2009. She currently serves as Morning Edition Host and reporter for KUNM and The Fronteras Desk.

This Week’s Captions: BUEN PROVECHO!

THIS WEEK’S SHOW:

Latino USA delves into issues of food this week. We’ll take a look at the consequences of cuts to food stamps. We’ll express our love for plantains, tortillas, and breakfast tacos. We’ll hear from an undocumented Bay Area family that makes hundreds of tamales per week, get some reflection on food and health from performance artist Robert Karimi, and celebrate the Mexican heritage of huitlacoche. And Pauline Campos of Latina magazine joins Latino USA producer Brenda Salinas to dispense some advice.

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.

Heritage You Can Taste

UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization included traditional Mexican cuisine on its list of world cultural treasures worth preserving two years ago. A group of Mexican Academics have put together the first cookbook to be included on Unesco’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Latino USA’s Brenda Salinas talks to the book’s publisher, Margarita de Orellana from Artes de Mexico, and visits Chef Joe Quintana at his New York restaurant, Rosa Mexicano, to get a taste for what all the buzz is about. On the menu, the caviar of corn: huitlacoche crêpes.

Photo by Latino USA

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Margarita de Orellana is the director of the Mexican publishing house Artes de México. She studied Communications at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and Cinematography in L’Université de Vincennes in Paris, where she lived for almost a decade.  She also has a Phd. In Contemporary Compartive History from the École des Hautes Études en Science Sociales.

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Chef Joe Quintana is the Executive Chef at Rosa Mexicano in Union Square, New York City. The New York native studied at Queensborough Community College.

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This Week’s Captions: Questions of Authority

THIS WEEK’S SHOW:

This week’s Latino USA examines’ questions of authority: who abuses it? How do you get it? And how do you maintain it? We’ll hear the stories of veterans and law enforcement. We’ll hear from a New York councilman from community asserting its power, discuss authority in media with students, a professor, and Univision anchor Jorge Ramos. And we’ll hear from two authorities in acting, Eugenio Derbez and Rita Moreno.

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.

A Rita in Spanish Harlem

Actress Rita Moreno and her fans send Latino USA an audio postcard from her book signing at La Casa Azul Bookstore in New York City’s “El Barrio” neighborhood.

 

*Correction: In this piece, Rita Moreno says that Raul Julia won an Oscar. Julia did not win an Oscar. Benicio del Toro did for “Traffic”, making him the third Puerto Rican actor to win the award. Julia was nominated for several awards and won the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards, as well as the Emmy.

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.

THE SCIENCE OF “LATINA”

Dominican-American author Raquel Cepeda went on a search to find out about her heritage and identity. How? Through ancestral DNA testing. María Hinojosa speaks with Cepeda about her memoir, “Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina.”

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.

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