300 episodes

Download the latest documentaries investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

The Documentary Podcast BBC World Service

    • News
    • 4.5 • 21 Ratings

Download the latest documentaries investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

    After the ‘Narco-President’: Rebuilding Hope in Honduras

    After the ‘Narco-President’: Rebuilding Hope in Honduras

    When the president stands accused of drug trafficking, what hope is there? From 2014, for eight years Juan Orlando Hernandez ruled Honduras like his personal fiefdom. A Central American strongman comparable with some of the worst from decades past, under his presidency Honduras began a rapid descent into a so-called “narco-state”. The allegations against his government soon started to mount up: human rights violations, corruption and impunity; accusations of torture and extrajudicial killings by the police and military. And at its heart, the claim by US prosecutors of a multi-million dollar drug smuggling ring, overseen from the presidential palace itself. Just weeks after he left power in January 2022, Juan Orlando Hernandez was arrested and extradited to the US to face drug trafficking charges. American prosecutors allege he used his security forces to protect some drugs shipments and eliminate competitors.

    Will Grant, the BBC’s Central America Correspondent, finds out what life was like under the disgraced president and meets some people trying to instil a little hope in a nation which hasn’t had any for a long time. He meets Norma, the mother of Keyla Martinez, who was killed in a police cell. Initially, the police said she had killed herself but hospital reports later proved this wasn’t the case. Now, can Norma Martinez’s campaign for justice bring a sense of hope to those who don’t trust the authorities and have endured years of rampant corruption and police impunity?


    Producer: Phoebe Keane
    Fixer in Honduras: Renato Lacayo

    • 28 min
    Inheritors of partition

    Inheritors of partition

    In homes across the UK, partition is not history but a live issue for its young descendants. Over the course of a year, Kavita Puri follows three people as they piece together parts of their complex family history and try to understand the legacy of partition and what it means to them today. She connects with a young man who goes to the Pakistani village where his Hindu grandfather was saved by Muslims; a woman who has always thought of herself as British Pakistani but a DNA test reveals she also has roots in India; a woman with Pakistani heritage and a man with Indian heritage plan their wedding and realise that their families actually originate from within an hour of each other in the Punjab.

    • 28 min
    Women's football

    Women's football

    Women’s football is on an incredible high around the world after a month of five international tournaments with record breaking crowds. Those tournaments have delivered new champions, new interest and new hope. The new champions are Papua New Guinea, South Africa and England. Perhaps more predictably there have also been trophies for the USA and Brazil. The success has created a discussion about how this is a significant moment in the development of the game. Stacey Copeland who was in England Under-18s, former England defender Fern Whelan and BBC World Service Digital and Sport Editor, Anna Doble discuss how Euro 2022 can change the course of women’s sports.

    • 24 min
    Ukraine: Collaboration and Resistance

    Ukraine: Collaboration and Resistance

    Ukrainian forces have launched a counteroffensive to retake Kherson, the largest city captured by Russia in this year's invasion. But the occupiers are redoubling their efforts to integrate the city and surrounding region into Russia - and they need the help of local collaborators. A few Ukrainians are eagerly serving the invaders. But many key workers - teachers, doctors and other state employees - are forced into a cruel choice. They must agree to work according to Russian rules, betraying their country - or else lose their jobs. Tim Whewell reports on life behind Russian lines in Kherson - and talks to some of those who've thrown in their lot with the occupiers, including the eccentric former journalist and fish inspector who's now deputy head of the region's Russian backed administration.

    • 28 min
    My granny the slave

    My granny the slave

    Writer Claire Hynes goes on a personal journey to uncover the story of an Antiguan foremother, who is thought to be one of the first women to flee a slave plantation in the Caribbean island of Antigua. Claire grew up learning a 200 year-old story passed down through generations about her enslaved ancestor known as Missy Williams. As a young woman Missy risked her life to escape the physical and sexual brutality of plantation life, hiding out in a cave. Inspired by her courage and intelligence, Claire travels to the island of Antigua to find out about Missy’s life, the extreme challenges she faced and how she managed to survive.

    • 28 min
    Fighting wildfires

    Fighting wildfires

    Parts of the world, such as Europe, have experienced record temperatures and, amid the heat, wildfires are burning. In the United States, there are several fires across large parts of the country. We bring together three specialist wildland firefighters to share what it’s like to do one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Whitney Lindsay, in Texas, became a firefighter four years ago as part of a special program involving military veterans. Jonathon Golden in Utah retired in 2019 after firefighting for 12 years. Chris Ashby in Oregon is both a firefighter and a crew boss. They discuss with host James Reynolds the impact of climate change, the rewards and the strains of the profession.

    • 23 min

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