Journalism in the Public Interest


Sebastian Rotella

Sebastian Rotella
Read Sebastian Rotella's e-book, Finding Oscar: Massacre, Memory and Justice in Guatemala, on your Kindle or mobile device.

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Sebastian Rotella is a senior reporter at ProPublica. An award-winning foreign correspondent and investigative reporter, Sebastian worked for almost 23 years for the Los Angeles Times, covering everything from terrorism to arts to the Mexican border. He served most recently as a national security correspondent in Washington, D.C., and his previous posts include international investigative correspondent and bureau chief in Paris and Buenos Aires, with assignments in the Middle East and North Africa.

Rotella has been honored with numerous journalism awards throughout his career. In 2013, his multi-faceted "Finding Oscar" investigation won a Peabody Award, Dart Center Award for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma, and was a finalist for the Scripps Howard Ernie Pyle Award. He was recognized with an Urbino Press Award in 2012 for excellence in journalism. His "A Perfect Terrorist" investigation of the Mumbai attacks (in conjunction with Frontline) was nominated for an Emmy and the online version of the story resulted in his third Overseas Press Club Award in 2011.

In 2006, he was named a Pulitzer finalist for international reporting for his coverage of terrorism and Muslim communities in Europe. He won the German Marshall Fund's senior award for excellence in European reporting the same year. He was part of a team whose coverage of al-Qaida received an award from the Overseas Press Club and finalist honors for Harvard University's Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting in 2002. In 2001, he won Columbia University's Maria Moors Cabot Prize for his career coverage of Latin America. His work in Latin America also won honors from the Overseas Press Club, the Inter-American Press Association and the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

He is the author of two books: Twilight on the Line: Underworlds and Politics at the U.S.-Mexico Border, which was named a New York Times Notable Book in 1998; and the novel, Triple Crossing, published by Little, Brown/Mulholland Books in August, 2011. He speaks Spanish, French and Italian. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and was born in Chicago.

Articles (page 2 of 4)

Como un Presunto Criminal de Guerra Logró Hacerse Ciudadano en Estados Unidos y Canadá

Jorge Vinicio Sosa Orantes niega cualquier participación en la masacre de 250 campesinos en Dos Erres en 1982, pero los investigadores dicen que escondió su pasado como comando militar y manipuló el sistema.

The Dos Erres Fugitives

Guatemalan Massacre Survivor Wins Political Asylum in U.S.

As a boy, Oscar Ramírez Castañeda was abducted by an officer in the squad that conducted one of the worst massacres in Guatemala’s civil war.

Immigration Charges For Accused Commando In Dos Erres Massacre

Jorge Vinicio Sosa Orantes had become a U.S. citizen while allegedly concealing his military service and involvement in the infamous 1982 attack that left more than 250 people dead in a remote Guatemalan village.

U.S. Government Pressures Pakistan on Mumbai Terror Group

Treasury Department issued an order against eight leaders of Lashkar-e-Taiba that prohibits Americans from doing business with them and freezes assets.

Militant Reaffirms Role of Pakistan in Mumbai Attacks

U.S. and Indian officials say weeks of interrogating Zabiuddin Ansari yielded new evidence that Pakistani intelligence officers helped plan and direct the 2008 terror onslaught that cost six Americans and 160 others their lives.

Before Deadly Bulgaria Bombing, Tracks of a Resurgent Iran-Hezbollah Threat

Bent on avenging attacks on its nuclear program, Iran and Hezbollah have allegedly spun at least 10 terror plots in the past year. With this month's deadly bombing in the beach resort of Burgas, Western counterterror officials say, the Shiite alliance has crossed a dangerous line.

Separated By Massacre, a Father And Son Reunite Three Decades Later

Tranquilino Castañeda believed his son Oscar was dead, killed by Guatemalan Army commandos at Dos Erres. Oscar believed the lieutenant who abducted him was real father.

Slideshow: A Day of Anticipation, Anxiety, Family

The Faces of Dos Erres

Timeline: The Dos Erres Massacre and the Hunt for Oscar

Slideshow: Oscar’s Story

Finding Oscar: Massacre, Memory and Justice in Guatemala

$10 Million Bounty for Alleged Mumbai Plotter Ups Pressure on Pakistan

Hafeez Saeed, cofounder of the militant group Lashkar-i-Taiba, remains at liberty in Pakistan, where prosecution has stalled of other alleged planners in the attacks that killed 166 people, including six U.S. citizens.

U.S. Sues To Recover $446 Million From Hezbollah-Connected Firms

Federal prosecutors fired another broadside Thursday in a massive case accusing the Hezbollah militant group of financing itself through the global drug trade.

Government Says Hezbollah Profits From U.S. Cocaine Market Via Link to Mexican Cartel

U.S. authorities say a Lebanese drug kingpin is at the center of a conspiracy that laundered more than $250 million in drug-related proceeds and sent at least 85 tons of Colombian cocaine through Central America and Mexico in partnership with the Zetas cartel.

Analysis: Alleged Assassination Plot Doesn’t Fit Past Iranian Behavior

Plot to kill Saudi ambassador with Mexican drug cartel's help would represent a brazen, new direction for both, which have avoided direct confrontation with the U.S. The case increases concerns about growing activity by Iran and Hezbollah in Latin America.

In An Unusual Criminal Case, the U.S. Points the Finger at Pakistan’s Top Spy Agency Again

In an indictment unsealed Tuesday, the FBI accused two men of funneling millions of dollars from the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, or ISI, into political campaign donations and other activities meant to influence American policy on Kashmir.

Mumbai Attacks Renew Questions About Pakistan’s Crackdown on Militants

Despite international pressure on Pakistan, most of the suspected masterminds behind the last major attack on Mumbai remain at large.

Prosecutor Defends Deal With Mumbai-Attacks Plotter

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald defended a plea agreement with confessed terrorist David Headley. Defense lawyers say the government got played and used a whale to catch a minnow.
Sebastian Rotella
Read Sebastian Rotella's e-book, Finding Oscar: Massacre, Memory and Justice in Guatemala, on your Kindle or mobile device.

Contact Info

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Stay on top of what we’re working on by subscribing to our email digest.