Berkeley Talks: The violent underworlds of El Salvador and their ties to the U.S.


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portrait of roberto lovato next to his book "Unforgetting"

Roberto Lovato is a Salvadoran American journalist, activist and author of the 2020 book, Unforgetting. (Photo courtesy of Berkeley Journalism)

In this Berkeley Talks episode, Salvadoran American journalist and activist Roberto Lovato discusses his new book, Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution in the Americas, with Jess Alvarenga, an investigative reporter and documentary filmmaker and a graduate of UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.

In Unforgetting, Lovato exposes how the U.S.-backed military dictatorship was responsible for killing 85% of the 75,000 to 80,000 people killed during the Salvadoran Civil War, which was fought from 1979 to 1992.

“The book is … a journey through different underworlds — the underworlds of the guerillas, the underworlds of the gangs, the underworlds of our family histories and secrets, the underworld of the secrets of nations, the things that countries don’t like for us to know, I mean, which is theoretically how you get a president like Donald Trump, for example,” said Lovato.

Listen to the conversation between Lovato and Alvarenga in Berkeley Talks episode #98, “The violent underworlds of El Salvador and their ties to the U.S.” Watch a video of the conversation below.

Watch a video of the conversation between journalist Roberto Lovato and Jess Alvarenga about Lovato’s new book, Unforgetting. (Berkeley Journalism video)