KUNM

Marisa Demarco

Reporter

Marisa Demarco is a reporter based in Albuquerque, N.M. She's spent more than a decade in journalism, founding the New Mexico Compass, and editing and writing for the Weekly Alibi, the Albuquerque Tribune and UNM's Daily Lobo. She covered poverty and public health until September 2016 when she became a general assignment reporter at KUNM. 

Ways to Connect

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

People have been demonstrating and hold vigils around the country—and here at home—ever since violence erupted at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville on Saturday where a woman was killed. A peaceful solidarity event at the University of New Mexico Tuesday night in Albuquerque drew a large and sometimes solemn crowd.  

Wikimedia Commons via CC

Nuclear weapons contractors around the U.S. made mistakes when shipping explosives and toxic chemicals at least 25 times in the last five years, according to government records. And an investigation found that regulators imposed only a few, minor penalties for those potentially dangerous errors. 

Who Calls Police?

Aug 10, 2017
Tony Webster via Wikimedia Commons CC

KUNM Call In Show 8/17 8a: Call now - 505-277-5866 (local in Albuquerque). Not everyone reaches out to law enforcement when they're in danger or when they're victims of a crime. With the federal government trying to crack down on undocumented immigrants in New Mexico, advocates say even more people here are unwilling to call police for help. But this is an ongoing issue here and all over the country.

Wikimedia Commons via CC

Several branches of law enforcement in the Albuquerque area participated in a sting last month that targeted people who were trafficking minors for sex. But the operation netted adult sex workers, and the agencies took different approaches to dealing with them.

Via compfight CC

President Trump Tweeted Wednesday morning that transgender people will again be barred from the U.S. military.

It’s unclear what this means for the thousands of transgender service members in the military today. The president’s press secretary said the White House and Department of Defense will have to work together to figure that out. The Pentagon had already delayed accepting transgender applicants into the military through at least January 2018.

Tony Webster via Flickr / CREATIVE COMMONS

A federal sting last year resulted in the arrest of an unusually high number of African-Americans in Albuquerque, and mostly vulnerable, low-level offenders—not the bosses of big drug and gun rings.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

There are about 1,400 Iraqi nationals in the United States who could be sent back to Iraq any day now under new Trump Administration policies no matter how long they’ve lived here. 

One refugee in Albuquerque has been fearing his time is up in the country, even though he spent years helping the U.S. military during the Iraq War. Immigration authorities have ordered him to report to their offices for removal on Thursday, July 13. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

About 1,400 Iraqis could be deported from the U.S. under President Trump’s new policies. A federal judge temporarily halted their deportation through Monday, July 24, but a man who lives in Albuquerque has been ordered to report this week for removal from the U.S.—it could be dangerous for him. 

Pixabay via Creative Commons

Lawmakers and educators in New Mexico have been talking about the achievement gap in public schools for years—and trying to figure out how to close it. Testimony in a landmark education trial underway in Santa Fe touched on early childhood education programs this week. The lawsuit says they’re crucial to making sure students of color, children from families with low incomes and English language-learners succeed. But those programs aren’t widely available. 

Local government has to provide millions of meals every year to schools and to people who are incarcerated. It’s big money for whoever’s providing that food. The state auditor found it’s mostly national companies that get those multi-million-dollar food contracts.

Sarah Trujillo / KUNM

More than three years after the health care expansion, 43 percent of New Mexico’s total population is signed up for Medicaid. But budgets are tight, and the Human Services Department is trying to figure out how to make it all work. Some of the  proposals presented at a public meeting in Albuquerque were contentious.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement under President Donald Trump is changing how it effectively prioritizes immigrants for deportation. Immigrant rights advocates in New Mexico say these days, anyone can become a target. That unpredictability is forcing people to make some hard choices. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Acoma Pueblo is considered the oldest continually inhabited community in North America. And only about a hundred people or so still speak the Acoma Keres language. Many of those fluent speakers gathered earlier this month in Acoma to record their voices, saving words, concepts and culture. They’re hoping that someday soon, young people will speak the language, too.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

All around the country, questions about law enforcement and free speech are coming to the fore as police clash with demonstrators. Scores of officers were sent to the Milo Yiannopoulos event at UNM in January where hundreds protested the extremist speaker. We made multiple public records requests, and now, months later, we know the total cost to taxpayers. 

Creative Commons via Wikimedia

New Mexico is one of the poorest states in the union, and advocates fighting for people in poverty are alarmed at President Trump’s proposed budget.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

After officers shot and killed a man camping in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains in 2014, outcry over how Albuquerque police deal with people who have mental illness reached a fever pitch. More than three years later, Bernalillo County announced on Tuesday, May 23, that it’s rolling out long-promised teams of mental health experts to respond to crisis calls. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

It’s been almost two years since an Environmental Protection Agency contractor released millions of gallons of acid mine drainage into the Animas and San Juan Rivers. A plume of contaminants and heavy metals stained the rivers yellow and flowed from Colorado into New Mexico and the Navajo Nation.

Elaine Baumgartel / KUNM

The state Supreme Court decided that there’s still a way for Gov. Susana Martinez and lawmakers to work out their differences during a special session, so it doesn’t have to weigh in right now. The high court canceled a hearing Monday in a case the Legislature brought against the executive about some of her many vetoes. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

A lawyer with the Department of Justice said in Federal Court on Wednesday, May 10, that the Albuquerque Police Department has made “remarkable progress” in its reform process. But Judge Robert Brack said a recent report is troubling.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

  

When extremist speakers come to town, free speech advocates argue it’s their right under the First Amendment to say whatever they want. But what does it cost to have an event like that on a university campus? Ever since Milo Yiannopoulos' event in January sparked protests, KUNM's been trying to find out. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

People around the globe demonstrated and marched for workers rights on Monday in celebration of International Workers Day. In Albuquerque, hundreds gathered in Tiguex Park. The rally highlighted how education, labor and immigrant rights are entwined in New Mexico.  

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

May 1 is International Workers Day, a celebration of the working class and labor around the world. Here in New Mexico, civil rights organizations, religious leaders, unions and families will participate in a national strike and marches, and a rally in Albuquerque that’s expected to draw thousands.

Wolfram Burner via Flickr / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 4/27 8a. For years, the University of New Mexico’s been heavily criticized about how it handles sexual assault, and it’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This Thursday morning at 8, we’ll be talking about how UNM can do a better job of helping students who’ve been assaulted—and stopping this kind of violence on campus.

Students, we want to hear from you. What needs to change? How can trust be rebuilt between students and the university?

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Universities around the country are grappling with security risks and costs when student groups bring extremist speakers to town. Ever since Milo Yiannopoulos came to the University of New Mexico earlier this year, KUNM has been trying to find out how much security for the event cost. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

It’s been about a year since the Department of Justice released the results of its investigation into how New Mexico’s flagship university handles sexual assault cases. The federal report was heavily critical and said assault and harassment have caused students to leave the University of New Mexico. Last night, students stood in solidarity with survivors.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

All around the state, evidence from sexual assault cases sits untested. Per capita, New Mexico’s backlog of sexual assault evidence kits is the worst in the nation, according to our state auditor. Most of those kits are in Albuquerque. Even though legislators have passed measures about the backlog, and Mayor Richard Berry proposed putting $1 million toward shrinking it, advocates say it’s getting worse every month. 

Mark Woodward

Did Gov. Susana Martinez violate the state’s sunshine law by failing to provide public records to a Santa Fe newspaper? That’s one of two questions at the heart of a lawsuit brought by the Santa Fe Reporter against the governor. We talked about the paper’s discrimination claim in our first story. Here we dig into the lawsuit’s allegations of government secrecy. 

Mark Woodward

When she was running for office, Susana Martinez campaigned on open government and promises of transparency. But journalists here say her administration routinely blocks access to state experts and employees, and won’t respond to questions from news organizations that have published critical stories. According to a lawsuit filed by the Santa Fe Reporter against the governor, that kind of blacklisting is discrimination and censorship.

From the 2013 ACLU-NM report "Inside The Box"

Advocates around the country have been working to limit the use of solitary confinement in jails and prisons. The New Mexico Legislature passed a bill this year that would prohibit putting people who are under 18 or pregnant or who have a serious mental illness into solitary. But last week, Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed it.

Mark Woodward

Testimony ended today in the three-day trial of SFR v. Gov. Susana Martinez with Mark Zusman, who co-owns the newspaper and two other weeklies, saying all three prioritize the watchdog function of journalism. 

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