Journalists tell you what you’re missing from the mainstream news. Co-hosted by award-winning journalists Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela, IN THE THICK has the conversations about race, identity and politics few people are discussing or want to discuss.
True Crime Telenovela
Maria and Julio are joined by Peniley Ramírez, executive producer of Futuro Unidad Hinojosa and Futuro’s Special Projects and Investigative Units to discuss the new upcoming podcast “USA v. García Luna.” Maria and Peniley talk about their experience reporting and hosting the five-episode series that examines the rise and fall of Genaro García Luna, a former high-ranking Mexican official facing trial in New York City next month for allegedly working with drug cartels to bring drugs into the United States.
USA v. García Luna launches December 9th, wherever you get your podcasts.
ITT Staff Picks:
“Given García Luna’s extensive U.S. government connections, his trial has the potential to peel back the secrecy surrounding drug war cooperation at the highest levels of the U.S. and Mexican governments and upend commonly held misperceptions of the Mexican drug war as a simple two-sided struggle between drug traffickers and law enforcement alone,” writes Ryan Devereaux in this 2021 piece for The Intercept.
Former DEA agent José Irizarry, who was sentenced to 12 years in prison for conspiring with Colombian cartels, talked to the Associated Press about the other alleged colleagues who were involved in corruption.
The government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador has requested answers from the White House over the whereabouts of Édgar Valdez Villarreal, a notorious drug lord whose arrest in August 2010 was orchestrated by García Luna, El País reports.
Photo credit: AP Foto/Elizabeth Williams, archivo
Introducing USA v. García Luna
Futuro Investigates and Latino USA —in partnership with Lemonada Media— present “USA v. García Luna,” a new investigative series about the most powerful Mexican official to ever face trial in the U.S. for allegedly accepting million-dollar bribes from the Sinaloan drug cartel.
Before his arrest, Genaro García Luna worked closely with U.S. diplomats and intelligence agencies, and was considered the architect of the Mexican "war on drugs," funded with more than $3 billion of U.S. taxpayer money. Look for it on December 9th wherever you get your podcasts and at futuroinvestigates.org.
You can subscribe to “USA v. García Luna” here.
ITT Sound Off: Democracy Is Labor
Maria and Julio unpack the latest with Congress, including the Senate vote against paid sick leave for railway workers. They also discuss the Respect for Marriage Act, which would require that all same-sex and interracial marriages be protected at the federal level. Finally, they get into immigration policy and New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ new plan to allow involuntary hospitalization of people with presumed mental health issues.
ITT Staff Picks:
Zach Schonfeld discusses the 12 Senate Republicans who voted in favor of the same-sex marriage bill in this article for The Hill.
Maria Hinojosa, Roxanne Scott and Julieta Martinelli unpack the “deadly funnel” that the U.S. government has created at the Border Patrol in this year-long investigation from Futuro Investigates on Latino USA.
“A day after Mayor Eric Adams announced an aggressive plan to involuntarily hospitalize people deemed too ill to care for themselves, experts in mental illness, homelessness and policing expressed skepticism that the plan could effectively solve a crisis that has confounded city leaders for decades,” write Emma G. Fitzsimmons and Andy Newman in this article for The New York Times.
Photo credit: AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File
Laundering White Nationalism
Maria is joined by Renée Graham, opinion columnist and associate editor at The Boston Globe, and Wajahat Ali, Daily Beast columnist and co-host of the podcast Democracy-ISH, to unpack the mass shooting at an LGBTQ club in Colorado as well as the growing white supremacy within the Republican Party. They also discuss the latest with the midterm elections, including the upcoming Georgia runoff, and what to expect in 2024.
ITT Staff Picks:
Wajahat Ali talks about stochastic terrorism, a term that he says explains how the GOP inevitably caused the Colorado Springs massacre, in this article for The Daily Beast.
Renée Graham talks about how the Colorado Springs massacre ruined the safe haven that LGBTQ clubs provide, in this article for The Boston Globe.
“In his first matchup against Republican Herschel Walker—in which neither candidate cracked 50 percent, leading to the Dec. 6 runoff—Warnock attracted significant support from young people, the voting bloc most likely to be concerned about climate change,” writes Scott Waldman in this article for Scientific American.
Photo credit: Nicole Hester/Ann Arbor News via AP, File
Feeling Like the Other
Maria and Julio are joined by Daniela Pierre-Bravo, reporter for MSNBC’s Morning Joe, to discuss her new book, “The Other: How to Own Your Power at Work as a Woman of Color.” They talk about overcoming imposter syndrome and biases within our own communities. They also unpack the inequities and systemic issues in workplaces that contribute to feelings of otherness for Black and brown women.
ITT Staff Picks:
“Consider our desire to be acknowledged for what we already are—Americans, plain and simple. We want to contribute, continue developing our professional aspirations, and give back to the country we grew up in and love,” writes Daniela Pierre-Bravo in this piece for Cosmopolitan.
“Regardless of occupation, Latinas generally make less money than their peers, earning 54 cents for every dollar earned by non-Hispanic men,” writes Gwen Aviles in this piece for NBC News.
Chabeli Carrazana reports on the COVID-19 workforce, which was mostly composed of women of color, for The 19th.
Photo credit: Courtesy of Daniela Pierre-Bravo
The Hyperlocal Midterms
Maria and Julio are joined by Anthony Orozco, a journalist who just wrapped up his time as the Latino communities reporter for WITF, and Rachel Leingang, writer of Arizona Agenda on Substack, for a hyperlocal conversation about the 2022 midterms in Pennsylvania and Arizona. They unpack key races in both states and discuss how progressivism will impact state politics going forward.
ITT Staff Picks:
In the latest Arizona Agenda piece, Rachel Leingang and Hank Stephenson break down what lessons Democrats and Republicans can learn from the midterms.
Julia Terruso and Kasturi Pananjady break down John Fetterman’s win and how the Pennsylvania Democrat made gains across Pittsburgh’s suburbs, for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
“The heroes of the 2022 midterm elections were Democratic voters and activists, not the party’s leadership,” writes Perry Bacon Jr., in this piece for the Washington Post.
Photo credit: AP Photo/Matt Slocum
Listen to it all
I love the way Maria and Julio keep reminding the listeners about how diverse the “Latinos” in the US are. I feel that because we tend to surround ourselves with people who think like us, we also apply that to the group in general. Anddddd we’re not a homogeneous group, ie floridians and rural Texans we are not all on the same side ideologically (beyond parties but it also applies)
i am grateful
for this podcast . i depend on it to hear the hard truths from these excellent reporters. thank you
Great podcast and essential topics