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

Hannah Colton / KUNM

A sea of red hats and red shirts surrounded the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho last night as Trump supporters gathered to chant and shout their patriotism. When he came three years ago, headlines highlighted the violent reaction to his visit to Albuquerque, though hundreds had protested peacefully for hours before that went down. This time, his campaign painted New Mexico as a winnable swing state, saying he had growing support among Hispanic voters. 

Wikimedia Commons via CC

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham sent 50 state police officers to Albuquerque this summer to fight escalating violent crime. Public records show there wasn’t much coordination between state police and Albuquerque police before they came.

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For years, people who’d been in New Mexico prisons brought lawsuits and allegations about dangerously bad medical care, as well as sexual abuse by a prison doctor. According to The Santa Fe New Mexican, a report just came to light detailing the Department of Corrections failures—even though the state’s been trying to hide it.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Public transit ridership has been declining all around the United States for the last five years or so—even in the biggest cities. Experts say one big problem is that the bus and train systems aren’t accessible. They don’t reach the people who need them, and they don’t take people where they want to go. In Albuquerque, a group called Together For Brothers is pushing for greater transit equity, saying it’s tied to income and economic development.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

  Let's Talk New Mexico 8/22 8a: Studies are showing there’s a relationship between whether there’s good street-lighting in an area and crime. Do unlit places in our cities create opportunities for crime? Do local governments spread lighting resources fairly? Are there unlit spots out where you live that become known sites of violence or theft? Have you ever called your local elected officials to ask about more streetlights or long-broken lights? How did it go? Wherever you live in the state, do you feel OK going for a walk in the evening? Sitting on the porch? What would help? Email LetsTalk@kunm.org or call in live during the show.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Federal money to treat and prevent opioid addiction in rural counties would have targeted predominantly white areas around the country—skipping New Mexico. The feds changed their plans after KUNM reported a year ago about who was being prioritized. Last week, the state’s congressional delegation announced that New Mexico will pull down two million dollars more of that funding. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

People who live in the International District say their corner of Southeast Albuquerque has long been neglected by the city government and lacks some basic infrastructure, like parks. Residents and volunteers from The Nature Conservancy, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps and Artful Life got together Saturday on a hot summer morning to install a temporary green refuge on a vacant, privately owned lot. The park opens this week and could be around for about a year.

CoreCivic via Flickr CC

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico filed a second lawsuit Monday, July 29, on behalf of a woman who says she was subject to repeated sexual abuse from a corrections officer while she was in the Springer prison. The lawsuit says her complaints weren’t taken seriously by prison administration, and the accused officer maintains his job and position today.

Courtesy of Victoria Cisneros

  Let's Talk New Mexico 8/1 8a: Did you know that there are three regulation-sized boxing rings—plus cardio equipment and heavy bags—at local community center that people can reserve for free? Or that you can take a three-hour class as Esperanza Bicycle Safety Education Center and walk out with a refurbished bike and helmet? Or that Albuquerque has been creating all kinds of no-cost events for teens? We’re bringing back the free stuff show all about what costs $0 around the whole state, and we want to hear your tips. Email LetsTalk@kunm.org, tweet with the hashtag #LetsTalkNM or call in live during the show.

Ed Williams / KUNM

Thousands of people have come forward with complaints about sexual abuse inside immigration detention facilities—including children. But few have ever been investigated.

Now, organizations representing survivors are demanding that detention centers enforce federal laws against abuse of prisoners and stop separating families, which they say makes kids vulnerable to assault.

KUNM spoke with longtime advocate and attorney Claire Harwell of the New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs. Harwell says asylum-seekers are often fleeing sexual violence in other countries before they’re locked up in U.S. facilities, where they may face the the same violence.

May Ortega / KUNM

Even before former Gov. Susana Martinez kicked the legs out from under behavioral health care system six years ago, services in the state were inadequate. Lawmakers met on Thursday, July 25, and wrestled with questions about what a good system should look like and what to do next.

Arianna Sena / KUNM

When the Legislature is not in session in New Mexico, lawmakers still meet and hold hearings about things like education funding, solitary confinement, green energy jobs and more. When these off-session meetings happen in Santa Fe, they’re live-streamed, and anyone around the state can tune in. But if they’re held anywhere else in New Mexico, the public’s out of luck. That might be changing.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

People say bad street-lighting contributes to fatalities and violence in some parts of Albuquerque—and national studies bear this out. There’s plenty of finger-pointing, but when it comes to info about broken streetlights, the public’s still mostly in the dark.

American Profile via CC

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday, June 27, rejected the Trump administration’s attempt to add a citizenship question to next year’s census. New Mexico advocates are relieved by the decision but say there will still be plenty of hurdles to getting an accurate picture of who’s in the state.

A refugee from Iraq who spent the last couple of years in sanctuary in an Albuquerque church to avoid deportation was leaving the rooms he’d been confined to on Wednesday, June 24. That’s because an immigration court will hear his appeal, and he’s on the path to securing his green card.

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