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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 novels: The Convert’s Song (December, 2014) and Triple Crossing (2011). He is also the author of Twilight on the Line: Underworlds and Politics at the U.S.-Mexico Border (1998). 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)
Dec. 5, 2012, 11:01 p.m.As the net flow of immigrants from Mexico nears zero, violent and impoverished Central American countries have emerged as the fastest-rising source of illegal immigrants to the U.S. Mexico's southern border with Guatemala highlights the challenges of managing immigration in the years ahead.
Oct. 18, 2012, 8 a.m.Jorge Vinicio Sosa Orantes denies any role in the slaughter of 250 villagers at Dos Erres in 1982, but investigators say he concealed his background as an army commando and manipulated the immigration system.
Oct. 18, 2012, 8 a.m.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.
Oct. 18, 2012, 8 a.m.
Sep. 24, 2012, 12:30 p.m.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.
Sep. 21, 2012, 4:53 p.m.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.
Aug. 31, 2012, 11:02 a.m.Treasury Department issued an order against eight leaders of Lashkar-e-Taiba that prohibits Americans from doing business with them and freezes assets.
Aug. 9, 2012, 5 a.m.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.
July 30, 2012, 1 p.m.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.
May 29, 2012, 1:21 p.m.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.
May 29, 2012, 1:21 p.m.
May 25, 2012, 5 a.m.
May 25, 2012, 5 a.m.
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May 25, 2012, 4:59 a.m.
April 3, 2012, 12:22 p.m.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.
Dec. 15, 2011, 4:25 p.m.Federal prosecutors fired another broadside Thursday in a massive case accusing the Hezbollah militant group of financing itself through the global drug trade.
Dec. 13, 2011, 3:23 p.m.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.
Oct. 12, 2011, 1:47 p.m.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.
July 19, 2011, 10:24 p.m.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.
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