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

Congress passed a law decades ago to apologize to people who were exposed to radiation when the U.S. tested nuclear weapons. New Mexico’s never been included even though the first detonation of a nuclear bomb in human history happened right here in 1945.

Courtesy Mayahuel Garza

A judge ruled Monday, Feb. 13, against temporarily halting the oil pipeline in North Dakota, though court battles are ongoing, and people there continue to protest. Mayahuel Garza from Los Lunas, N.M., has made many trips to North Dakota to stand with the water protectors, deliver supplies and offer traditional Aztec ceremony and dance. She spoke with KUNM late last week about her reaction to the news that the Army Corps of Engineers was clearing the way for construction of the pipeline to begin. 

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The first time an atomic bomb was ever detonated, it happened in New Mexico. The Trinity test spread radiation far and wide here in 1945. People fighting for the health effects of the blast to be acknowledged by the federal government released the first extensive report on Friday, Feb. 10.

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Public defenders are strapped for cash, and some are saying things are so tight, it’s creating a constitutional crisis for New Mexicans facing charges. The Public Defenders Office made its case for more funding at the Roundhouse on Monday.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

People around the nation packed major airports this past weekend denouncing President Trump’s executive order barring refugees and—temporarily—immigrants from seven largely Muslim countries. The same was true in New Mexico. A huge and diverse group of demonstrators descended on the Sunport on Sunday.   

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Extremist opinion writer Milo Yiannopoulos delivered a speech at New Mexico’s flagship university in Albuquerque on Friday just hours after President Trump issued an executive order on immigration and refugees. Yiannopoulos champions free speech, but several dissenters were escorted from his event by police.   

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

President Donald Trump signed an executive action on Tuesday approving the Dakota Access Pipeline, which water protectors have been working to stop for months. In Albuquerque on Wednesday, people gathered outside the tall Wells Fargo bank Downtown to try and stanch the flow of money to the project known as DAPL. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

As more than half a million people turned up to the Women’s March in D.C., here at home, demonstrators gathered around the state. In Albuquerque, hail and wind did not deter thousands from streaming into Civic Plaza Downtown, in what has to be one of the biggest women’s rights-centric events ever in New Mexico. The message was inclusive of civil rights, protections for immigrants, health care and more. The massive crowd was jubilant. 

Marisa Demarco/KUNM

In Downtown Albuquerque, street lights reflected off wet asphalt as a couple hundred nonviolent demonstrators called for political revolution. Their ranks swelled, and at first, there wasn’t a police officer in sight.

Anna Lande/KUNM

The sky was grey as scores of students at the University of New Mexico gathered today to protest the inauguration of President Donald Trump. Speakers took turns at a microphone, promising scrutiny and resistance to his administration. A handful of patriotic pro-Trump students turned up, too.

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The day after Donald Trump is inaugurated as the United States’ 45th president, hundreds of thousands of people are expected to flood in from around the country to march through the nation’s capital. The mission of the Women’s March includes advocating for human rights and pushing back against bigotry toward immigrants, Muslims and people of color. 

Laura Paskus / KUNM

When disaster strikes New Mexico, the federal government sends money to New Mexico’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Journalist Laura Paskus of NMpoliticalreport.com reported a few months ago that the state did not release tens of millions of dollars to local contractors.

Arianna Sena

Gov. Susana Martinez stood before the state’s lawmakers to give her sixth State of the State address on Tuesday. She called for transparency and good government. 

Heath Haussamen / New Mexico In Depth

Gov. Susana Martinez delivered this year’s State of the State address on Tuesday, which also marked the start of the legislative session. 

Mike Smith

A rash of broken windows at businesses along Central Avenue in Albuquerque that started last week continued Wednesday night. At least five Mexican and New Mexican restaurants and one tire shop were vandalized in recent days, including Los Compadres and Garcia’s Kitchen

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President-Elect Donald Trump is still talking building of a border wall and spurring speculation about deportations around the United States. Local civil rights groups are uniting to march for immigrant rights this weekend. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Thousands of untested sexual assault evidence kits have piled up around the state, most of them in Albuquerque. One measure that’s been filed ahead of next week’s legislative session would pitch in some state funds to get them tested.

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After last year’s fatiguing election cycle, candidates in Albuquerque are gearing up for another one: The 2017 race for mayor. 

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KUNM Year-End Show 12/22 8a: There were so many big stories in New Mexico this year that it was hard to pare down a list. Instead, our panel of journalists is going to be talking about four themes: child abuse and wellbeing, N.M. law enforcement, politics and SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

In a historic trial earlier this year, a jury weighed the fates of two former Albuquerque police officers who shot and killed James Boyd. Three jurors could not be swayed from a guilty verdict.

The deadlock resulted in a mistrial, and days after it was announced, KUNM’s Marisa Demarco met with one of those jurors—Robby Heckman—in the Foothills of the Sandia Mountains. There, a small white cross marks the spot James Boyd stood before he was killed.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

New Mexico has the highest rate of untested sexual assault evidence kits per capita in the nation. We’ve talked to advocates, a nurse and law enforcement about their surprise and struggles with decades of ignored evidence in the state. But even if a prosecutor has DNA to use in court, that doesn’t mean an accused rapist is going straight to jail. The biggest hurdle of all might be how hard it is to convince people that survivors are telling the truth. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

We call the thousands of sexual assault evidence kits in New Mexico a backlog. But as the state Auditor’s Office pointed out in an audit last week, it’s not like there’s just a long line of envelopes at the labs waiting to be tested. Actually, the kits have been sitting around law enforcement departments all over the state for decades. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

New Mexico has one of the worst sexual assault rates in the nation. And thousands of envelopes of DNA evidence that could help identify repeat sexual offenders are sitting untested. We're taking a look at what it takes for survivors to provide that evidence in the first place.

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A student group at the University of New Mexico has invited an incendiary figure to speak on campus. Milo Yiannopoulos is a columnist from the U.K., who writes for the website Breitbart News. He’s associated with the so-called “alt-right,” a term the Associated Press says white supremacists have embraced to describe their ideology. He was banned from Twitter after his followers attacked actor Leslie Jones with racist abuse.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Protests have been erupting in cities around the United States in the days since Donald Trump was elected president. Hundreds of students at the University of New Mexico staged a walkout Wednesday evening.  

During this year’s campaign cycle, voters learned of sexual assault allegations against Republican Donald Trump and heard a years-old recording of him bragging about assaulting women.  KUNM sat down with Jim Harvey, the new executive director at the Rape Crisis Center of Central New Mexico, to talk about how Trump’s election impacts their work. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

After the election, the University of New Mexico’s president issued a message acknowledging that students are feeling unsafe and urging people to respect each other. But hundreds of faculty members, students and even administrators are saying that’s not enough. 

Marisa Demarco/KUNM

U.S. Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham won a decisive victory last night, but she’s got a hard road ahead of her as a Democrat in the Republican-controlled Congress. 

Marisa Demarco/KUNM

At the Democratic headquarters last night in Albuquerque, the final election results rolled in and Hillary Clinton’s victory failed to materialize.

New Mexico In Focus (screenshot)

Local Democratic victories were overshadowed by bleak numbers dribbling in for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton last night at an event in Albuquerque. But Democrats regained control of New Mexico’s House of Representatives.

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