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VOICE OF AMÉRICA

The Spanish-language DJs behind the new wave of Latino activism.
By Alexandra Starr, slate.com

Ask activists to explain why millions of immigrants have taken to the streets, and they will invariably credit Spanish-language radio DJs. Organizers of a Chicago rally that drew several hundred thousand protesters on March 10 said it wouldn’t have come off without the help of Rafael Pulido, aka El Pistolero (the Gunman). Jesse Diaz, a promoter of Los Angeles’ May 1 Day Without an Immigrant event—which attracted nearly half a million people—is quick to credit the boosterism of Eddie Sotelo, or El Piolín (Tweety Bird). "He pumped the crowds of our two big events to magnitudes Los Angeles hadn’t seen before," he says. Despite the humorous nicknames, the Latino radio announcers—or locutores—are obviously doing more than cracking off-color jokes (although that is a staple of their shows). They’re helping to shape the biggest outbreak of public activism since the 1960s.

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