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

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.

New Mexico sent state police officers to patrol Albuquerque in May after a UNM athlete was shot and killed. Residents in some communities here raised concerns about over-policing and said their neighborhoods were being targeted. Officials said the state officers would be staying until around the Fourth of July. But as that exit date approaches next week, state police don’t have any idea about when they’ll be leaving.

Wikimedia Commons via CC

President Donald Trump just launched his re-election campaign, and he also Tweeted that starting next week, there would be mass arrests based on immigration violations. This comes as detention centers around the country are over-capacity and accused of violating basic human rights. Families in New Mexico are feeling the impact of that familiar and uncertain threat.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered dozens of state police officers to come to Albuquerque as part of a surge aimed at slowing violent crime after a baseball player for the University of New Mexico was killed in Nob Hill. Residents talked about the impact of their presence in a predominantly minority Southeastern neighborhood that they say has a history of being overpoliced.

Pixabay via CC

People in Albuquerque may think getting busted with a little marijuana results in only a ticket and a fine. But state police officers were sent to Albuquerque in May to crack down on crime, and they’re enforcing state law. That means there’s still a way for even small amounts of weed or paraphernalia to put people here in cuffs.

Max Pixel via CC0

People who apply for food and medical assistance programs in New Mexico got used to long waits, mysterious denials, and catch-22s of bureaucracy. But after years of litigation, wait times are way down and a notorious backlog of cases is pretty much cleared. The new Human Services Department secretary has his eye on updating tech to make the whole system easier and more foolproof.

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