ProPublica

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.

Contact Info

Get Updates

Our Hottest Stories

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

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

ISIS via WhatsApp: ‘Blow Yourself Up, O Lion’

A trove of communications from ISIS plots and activity in Europe reveals a mix of direct control and improvisation and shows the crucial importance of encrypted messaging tools. “Detonate your belt in the crowds,” one message declared.

Un Tiroteo en Guatemala

Enrique Degenhart intentó reformar la agencia de migración de Guatemala. Su historia es parte de la extraordinaria batalla de un país contra la corrupción.

A Gunfight in Guatemala

Enrique Degenhart tried to clean up Guatemala's immigration service. His story is part of a nation's extraordinary fight against corruption.

Belgium’s Deadly Circles of Terror

Coordinated bombings in Brussels may have been in the works for some time, aided by an underworld where crime and extremism blur together.

The View From Counterterror’s Front Lines

Veteran European law enforcement officials, one of them Muslim, reflect on the roots of the Paris attacks, the tense aftermath and the debate about the effectiveness of counterterror forces.

Trail of Paris Attackers Winds to Terrorism’s Longtime Outpost

As a pre-dawn raid today outside Paris targets suspected mastermind of last week’s attack, his roots point to the shadow Belgium casts over the terror threat in Europe.

Sicario’s Dirty War on Mexican Cartels is Not Yet Reality

Denis Villeneuve’s movie gets much right about the borderlands but crosses the line into exaggeration. A veteran border correspondent compares the film’s underworld to the one he knows.

Two Who Moved Through Europe’s Revolving-Door Prisons Get Terrorist Designation

Authorities say former members of a Paris neighborhood gang ended up aiding the Charlie Hebdo attack, recruiting militant fighters to Syria.

Q&A: Can a Divided Europe Handle the Refugee Crisis?

Deaths at sea and a chaotic refugee influx reflect the failure of European Union leaders to settle on a common immigration policy, one of Italy’s top elected officials tells ProPublica.

Europe’s Revolving-Door Prisons Compound Growing Terror Threat

Sentences are short compared to the U.S.; two Charlie Hebdo attackers and another suspected plotter, now in Yemen, cycled through French jails.

The Hidden Intelligence Breakdowns Behind the Mumbai Attacks

After Edward Snowden, the government said its controversial surveillance programs had stopped a terrorist – David Coleman Headley. In “American Terrorist,” ProPublica and PBS “Frontline” show why the claim is largely untrue.

Alberto Nisman and Argentina’s History of Assassinations and Suspicious Suicides

Whether the crusading prosecutor's death is found to be a suicide or homicide, many Argentines probably won't believe it. The past has taught them to always look for the sinister explanation.

In 2008 Mumbai Attacks, Piles of Spy Data, but an Uncompleted Puzzle

Indian and British intelligence agencies monitored the online activities of a key plotter but couldn’t connect the dots.

A Commander of the Dos Erres Massacre Squad Gets 10 Years in Prison

A federal judge sentences Jorge Vinicio Sosa Orantes to the maximum term for lying on immigration forms about his role in the deaths of 250 people during the Guatemalan civil war.

Ex-Guatemalan Commando Guilty of Concealing Role in Massacre

Jorge Vinicio Sosa Orantes, who obtained U.S. and Canadian citizenship, is the highest-ranking soldier convicted on charges related to the slaughter of 250 villagers during the country’s civil war.

‘Nos Ordenaron que Matáramos a Toda la Gente’

En un proceso histórico en Estados Unidos, excomandos del ejército guatemalteco dieron testimonio sobre la masacre de 250 residentes en la aldea selvática de Dos Erres durante la guerra civil.

‘They Ordered Us To Kill All The People’

At a historic U.S. trial, former Guatemalan army commandos testify about the massacre of 250 villagers in the jungle hamlet of Dos Erres during the country’s civil war.

In U.S. Trial of Massacre Suspect, a Rare Chance for Guatemalan Justice

A survivor of the 1982 Dos Erres massacre and former Guatemalan commandos who carried it out will testify against a former army lieutenant, a U.S. citizen who prosecutors say lied about his involvement.

Syria’s Jihadi Migration Emerges as Top Terror Threat in Europe, Beyond

Western support for the opposition in Syria’s bloody civil war raises fears of a blowback from the European extremists who’ve flocked to new land of jihad.

The Terror Threat and Iran’s Inroads in Latin America

As some in Congress question a State Department report downplaying Iranian influence, intelligence officials say covert Iranian cooperation with Venezuela has been a gateway for hostile activities in the region.
Sebastian Rotella
Read Sebastian Rotella's e-book, Finding Oscar: Massacre, Memory and Justice in Guatemala, on your Kindle or mobile device.

Contact Info

Get Updates

Our Hottest Stories

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •