In the 1970s, a string of devastating fires would help make the South Bronx a symbol of urban decay. In her documentary "Decade of Fire," co-director Vivian Vázquez Irizarry, who grew up in the South Bronx, tries to dissect and counter that negative image through a personal lens. The documentary analyzes how the city, state, and federal governments abandoned the Bronx in the 1970s, and how despite the fact that black and Latino residents suffered the most, they were also the ones blamed for this catastrophe. Maria Hinojosa talks with Vázquez Irizarry about how that negative image came to be, the residents that rebuilt the neighborhood, and the new challenge of gentrification.
Happy 2020! If you're a long-time listener, you might know we have a tradition of doing a special music show around New Year's Day. Today—a selection of music pieces, including a few that we have not previously aired on our podcast. First up, Michael Brun, a Haitian DJ and producer aiming to show the world Haiti's rich sonic landscape. Then, we hear about a family's musical legacy with cousins and singers Miguel and Mireya Ramos from the all-women mariachi group Flor de Toloache. Finally, we end with dreamy boleros from the Puerto Rican satirical music group Los Rivera Destino.
The rock en español group, Maná, is one of the most successful Spanish-language rock bands of this generation. They've sold over 40 million records worldwide, and this year their "Rayando El Sol" tour broke records previously held by the Eagles and Kanye West, when they played seven sold-out shows at the Forum in Los Angeles. But the band didn't start out playing stadiums—it all began when one member started an English-speaking band three decades ago in Guadalajara, Mexico. Latino USA sits down with drummer Alex Gonzalez, who tells us how they got their start and became Maná.
Nearly 12 years ago, Gloria Martinez's son went out to look for a job and never came back. Gloria would spend months searching for him, and she wasn't alone—many others, mostly young men from rural and poor urban areas, also mysteriously disappeared. In 2008, the "false-positives" scandal broke—and revealed that the Colombian military had been systematically killing innocent civilians as part of a body-count policy they adopted in the conflict against the FARC, a leftist guerilla group. But over a decade after the scandal was exposed, relatives of the victims continue to seek justice.
In the late 90's, Rodrigo Sánchez and Gabriela Quintero embarked on a one-way trip to Dublin, Ireland. While they were originally heavy metal musicians back home in Mexico, they traded their electric guitars for acoustic ones and became street performers in Ireland to sustain themselves. In 2006, they put out their first album. Their latest album "Mettavolution" has earned them their first Grammy nomination. In this "How I Made It," Rodrigo and Gabriela take us back to the origins of their band and tell us what keeps them going after more than 20 years.
The stereotype goes that Latinos only listen to salsa or reggaeton. But one of the biggest genres of music across Latin America is actually heavy metal, with bands like Iron Maiden selling out stadiums across the region when they tour there. On today's Breakdown we ask.... why? How did metal take over Latin America? We look at the extreme fandom for metal across Latin America and discuss the story behind the groundbreaking Brazilian band, Sepultura, and how they changed the fate of metal music forever.