Venezuela has been known for its oil wealth and also, for its obsession with beauty pageants. In the history of the Miss Universe pageant, Venezuela has won seven crowns, the second-highest number of crowns. However, as the growing economic and political crisis in Venezuela deepens, beauty has taken a backseat for many Venezuelan women. Some women are now crossing the border to Colombia to sell their hair to salons to make ends meet. In this episode, Latino USA travels to the Colombian border city of Cúcuta, and dives into the thriving underground market that now exists for Venezuelan hair.
Cherríe Moraga's New Memoir 'Native Country of the Heart'
Since the 1980s, Cherríe Moraga has been a queer feminist Chicana icon, alongside thinkers like Audre Lorde and Gloria Anzaldúa. Her newest work is a memoir: "Native Country Of The Heart." It centers on her close relationship with her mother who died in 2005 after suffering for many years from Alzheimer's disease. Maria Hinojosa and Cherríe Moraga discuss the struggles of watching a parent grapple with losing their memory, how ideas about gender get passed down, and the future of feminism.
Stranded in Tijuana
At the only shelter for unaccompanied minors in Tijuana, Mexico, teens watch Pokemon and blast Bad Bunny songs. Most of these teens are from Central America, thousands of miles from their families, and waiting for months to apply for asylum in the U.S. As they wait, shelter administrators work to regulate their stress and trauma. But now, they're also worried about their safety outside the shelter's walls. Last December, two of the teens staying there were kidnapped and murdered. Jesse Alejandro Cottrell takes us inside the daily lives of these teenagers—as they wait for an uncertain future.
24 Hours at the Border
Over the past two months, President Donald Trump has been demanding funds from Congress to build his proposed border wall—which led to the longest partial government shutdown in U.S. history. As Congress and the White House continue to clash over funding, Latino USA heads down to the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas to visit the communities affected by the decisions being made in Washington, D.C. We visit a chapel threatened by the possibility of the wall cutting across its property, a "dragtivist" protest, and volunteers helping asylum-seekers on both sides of the border.
There's a long and extensive pattern of sexual abuse and harassment in immigration detention facilities, even though the Prison Rape Elimination Act was introduced in DHS facilities in 2014. Over a ten-month period, Latino USA partnered with Rewire.News and dug into one specific case of alleged sexual abuse, that of Laura Monterrosa at the T. Don Hutto Detention Center. What we learned after reviewing documents obtained through a FOIA request raised questions about the efficacy of internal investigations at immigration facilities and the safety of thousands of detained immigrants.