Culture

‘Chicano Squad’ podcast series documents the first all-Latino homicide squad in the United States

Hosted by Cristela Alonzo, the series offers the first in-depth account of a team of five young Latino officers solving homicides in Houston’s Latino neighborhoods in the late 1970s.

Vox Media Podcast Network and Frequency Machine launched the new narrative series––Chicano SquadHosted by writer and advocate Cristela Alonzo, the series offers the first in-depth account of the “Chicano Squad”––a team of five young Latino officers tasked with solving homicides in Houston’s Latino neighborhoods in the late 1970s, as those communities were plagued by discrimination, police violence and a growing number of murders that remained unsolved.

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The narrative series features a cross-section of voices, including Jaime Escalante, Raymond Gonzales, and Cecil Mosqueda from the squad, who chronicle the events that precipitated the formation of the squad, the challenging nature of their caseload—including complex cartel-related homicides—and the eventual disbanding and legacy of the team. The series also includes the perspectives of activists Carlos Calbillo, Travis Morales, and Mamie Garcia, historian Dwight Watson, politicians Ben Reyes and Adrian Garcia, and many more.

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The series is developed and produced by the Frequency Machine and Vox Media Podcast Network.

Subscribe to Chicano Squad on Spotify or your favorite podcast app to automatically receive new episodes, which will be released each Tuesday. You can listen to the first episode here.

Actress and comedian Cristela Alonzo is the host of the podcast Chicano Squad. | Courtesy photo

About Cristela Alonzo:

Cristela Alonzo is a comedian, writer, and advocate that recently served as a Latina surrogate on the Biden-Harris Presidential campaign. She has made TV/Film history twice as the first Latina to write, produce, and star in a network sitcom (Cristela) and the first Latina to star in a Disney Pixar film (Cars 3). Her stand-up special called “Lower Classy” is currently streaming on Netflix. Aside from entertainment, Cristela focuses on advocacy work, particularly fighting for issues affecting immigration, universal healthcare, and lower-income communities. She works with numerous organizations including Special Olympics Texas, People for the United Way, Planned Parenthood, LUPE (La Union del Pueblo Entero), and serves as an advisory board member for Define American.

About Frequency Machine:

Frequency Machine was founded by Los Angeles-based veterans of the film and television industry, and the content team behind the award-winning travel app, Detour. FM has set out to bring the magic of film and television storytelling to the audio medium with immersive, bold, narrative podcasts. The current series include Passport, a premium narrative travel series, described by AFAR as “about travel, yes, but also about being a human in this strange and beautiful world”, and also In The Gap, the curious case of the first FBI agent to be charged with espionage.

About the Vox Media Podcast Network:

Named by Adweek as 2020’s “Podcast Network of the Year,” Vox Media Podcast Network has over 200 active shows featuring industry-leading editorial voices and storytellers from Vox Media’s networks and beyond. From daily news and tech, to culture and sports, and from talk and interview shows to news and rich narrative storytelling, the Vox Media Podcast Network is one of the largest, fastest-growing, and most topically diverse collections of premium podcasts. Learn more about the Vox Media Podcast Network here.

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