13 episodes

Forty years ago, Houston's Latino community was plagued by discrimination, police violence and a growing number of unsolved murders. With tensions between police and the community at their peak, five young officers were placed in an audacious experiment: A new all-Latino homicide squad, with little training and few resources, assigned to solve the city’s most vicious crimes. Chicano Squad tells the true story of these men, their divided loyalties, and a city on the brink.Hosted by Cristela Alonzo. Produced by Frequency Machine and the Vox Media Podcast Network. 

Chicano Squad Vox Media Podcast Network

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.6 • 1.1K Ratings

Forty years ago, Houston's Latino community was plagued by discrimination, police violence and a growing number of unsolved murders. With tensions between police and the community at their peak, five young officers were placed in an audacious experiment: A new all-Latino homicide squad, with little training and few resources, assigned to solve the city’s most vicious crimes. Chicano Squad tells the true story of these men, their divided loyalties, and a city on the brink.Hosted by Cristela Alonzo. Produced by Frequency Machine and the Vox Media Podcast Network. 

    The Death of José Campos Torres

    The Death of José Campos Torres

    In 1977, the body of 23-year-old veteran José Campos Torres was discovered in the waters of Buffalo Bayou. The city of Houston would never be the same.
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    • 49 min
    One Dollar for a Life

    One Dollar for a Life

    When the officers involved in the drowning of José Campos Torres get off with little more than a slap on the wrist and a dollar fine, racial tensions explode at a Cinco de Mayo celebration that will come to be known as the Moody Park Riot. With trust between the Latino community and Houston’s police destroyed and a rising number of unsolved homicides affecting Spanish-speaking Houstonians, the Houston Police Department needs to try something new.

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    • 47 min
    Between the Barrio and the Badge

    Between the Barrio and the Badge

    Growing up in the barrio, with brothers on the wrong side of the law, Cecil Mosqueda had every reason to distrust the police. He became a cop to try and show his family there was a different way. But in the wake of José Campos Torres’ death, his loyalties to his community and his brothers in blue will be tested like never before.

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    • 50 min
    One Squad Against the Unsolvable

    One Squad Against the Unsolvable

    On their first day, the six Latino police officers who will become the Chicano Squad are handed a stack of fifty-two whodunits. These are murder cases with no leads and no hope. Until now.

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    • 46 min
    Cocaine Kings

    Cocaine Kings

    Just when the Squad has begun to make real headway against the murders plaguing Houston’s Latino neighborhoods, a new, more sinister threat emerges. The Cartels have arrived in Houston - and they’re leaving a trail of bodies in their wake.

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    • 49 min
    Officer Down

    Officer Down

    Officer Jaime Escalante’s tenacious investigative style and work with confidential informants has earned him the fear and respect of the Colombian cartels. But when a police officer is murdered, finding the killers will mean more than just going up against drug dealers – he’ll have to stand up to other police officers, too.

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    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
1.1K Ratings

1.1K Ratings

shopgirl286 ,

A must listen to podcast!

Thank you for telling this story! HPD class 157!

BadMrNiceGuy ,

Chicano Contribution

Great work showcasing the contribution of Chicanos in law enforcement. Chicanos contribution to varies professions and industries almost always get no recognition partly because Chicanos don’t look for others to give them attaboy.

sambeaux1 ,

Don’t waste your time

I tried listening to this great story. Unfortunately the teller was more interested in inserting herself into it. It truly made it impossible to listen to, and that saddens me because I really wanted to hear it.

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