publicidad
Nelufar Hedayat

'The Traffickers' exposes how black markets move

'The Traffickers' exposes how black markets move

In an immersive, vivid style, a new FUSION eight-part series takes viewers across the world and behind the scenes of the trading of rhinos, human organs, gold, sex and more. Watch the final two episodes of The Traffickers this Sunday at 10PM on FUSION .

Nelufar Hedayat
Nelufar Hedayat

During an episode of a new FUSION series, The Traffickers, British journalist Nelufar Hedayat is in disbelief as she walks the aisles of a military warehouse in Guatemala City. The shelves around her are stacked with AK47s, M16s, Mausers, rifles and every other variety of military grade weapon. In total, the warehouse holds 22,000 guns -- all of them illegal and seized by Guatemalan authorities.

Hedayat then learns that the warehouse is just one of three in the city.

“I remember looking around and thinking that this isn’t even the tip of the iceberg,” Hedayat, 28, told Univision. “It was a real moment in my career, in my life, when I realized I’m standing in a room of death and this shouldn’t exist.”

There are about a million illegal weapons in Guatemala, and about 500,000 in El Salvador, according to FUSION's interviews. They are weapons that arm gangs and drug traffickers, fueling violence in one of the murder capitals of the world. Many of those weapons -- some estimate 50 percent -- originated from the United States.

Guns are just one of the black market trades explored in the eight-episode series The Traffickers. In an immersive, vivid style, Hedayat takes viewers behind the scenes of the trading of rhinos, human organs, gold, sex and more, talking to the camera with exasperation as she traverses dark underworlds. To make the series, she traveled through 22 countries over a year-and-a-half, working with local journalists in places from Bulgaria to South Africa to Bangladesh.

publicidad

The result is a harrowing look at the “world between worlds,” as Hedayat says, bringing the audience deep inside “a place they never would have never been.”

But Hedayat often doesn’t have to go far to connect the dots and find the shadow side of trades. Often, some of the most horrific trafficking is happening right in front of our eyes, she says, at places like ports, customs houses and airports.

“It’s easy to look at the cities and towns where we live and think that bad things happen in lands that are far away and that we’re not involved, but that’s not the case,” she says. “It was just eye opening to see the amount of times I ended up in completely legit places talking to criminals or about them. In many cases there’s an underworld living on top of us. Consumers of sex, gold, cobalt and timber are here, now, fueled by greed and demand.”

Hedayat fled war-torn Afghanistan with her mother when she was six years old. As a journalist, she has worked for the BBC, Channel 4 in the U.K., often covering upheaval in hostile places.

Despite her penchant for covering conflict, Hedayat says she was often emotionally affected by what she witnessed while filming The Traffickers. And throughout the show, she shares that openly with viewers.

“I am not the cargo pant-wearing, white male journalist that will go in and give you the truth with a Capital T. You have to give yourself that,” she says.

In The Congo, Hedayat discovers that thousands of dollars paid by American families to adoption agencies may have been embezzled. In Vietnam, she meets an importer who has a supply of rhino horn from South Africa; a whole horn costs around $300,000. In rural Bangladesh, she tracks down villagers who have sold their organs and explores the impact that has had on their lives.

As the series shows, trafficking is far more than individual stories. The numbers surrounding the world’s underground markets tell a horrific story.

publicidad

In the last 40 years, 95 percent of the rhino population has been lost, FUSION reports. Counterfeit pharmaceuticals capture an estimated $200 billion in the black market per year, and human trafficking is a $32 billion global industry.

“We all share this one planet, for better or worse,” Hedayat says. “From guns to gold to sex workers, we need to see how we’re inherently involved in it all. We need to open up our eyes. We need to interact with it.”

Watch the final two episodes of The Traffickers this Sunday at 10PM on FUSION or get a season pass now at itunes.com/TheTraffickers.

publicidad
publicidad
When Rodrigo Duterte was sworn in as Philippines’ president in June 2016, he declared a war on drug traffickers and users. Since then, Human Rights groups estimate more than 12,000 people have been killed in this offensive they call "a war on the poor." Univision News traveled to Manila and witnessed this conflict first hand.
They grew up in Chicago and their husbands, the Flores twins (aka ‘Los Mellizos’), worked for the Sinaloa cartel. The twins later became DEA informants in Mexico who helped bring down El Chapo Guzman. They have written a book, Cartel Wives, telling their story as a lesson to others not to fall for the narco life, and they regret what they put their families through. "Our fathers put on their suit of armor and their badge, and they are going out there on the streets of Chicago,” Mia confesses. “It’s the very same streets that our husbands were flooding with drugs.”
Nelson Denis, author of 'War Against All Puerto Ricans,' details how the commonwealth's 119-year-long association with the U.S. has produced total economic and governing dependence. With over $70 billion in crushing debt, Puerto Rico's governor turned to the courts on Wednesday to put certain debts before a federal bankruptcy court.
We traveled to Ciudad Juárez to see if hundreds of thousands of jobs in the Mexican maquiladora industry would return to the United States if Trump were to modify or abandon the NAFTA free trade agreement, as his government is considering. A border tax would have serious consequences in Mexican cities.
A wave of demonstrations in Venezuela has left several dead and hundreds more detained in the last two weeks. Univision reporter Tamoa Calzadilla explains how a democratic crisis, inflation and shortages of food and medicine have sent Venezuelans into the streets.
Havana biologist, Marta Llanes, has spent the last year raising two baby chimps in her 5th floor Havana apartment.
Gina Potes and Patricia Espitia were attacked with acid in Colombia, a country with one of the highest number of attacks of this kind. They have created a sisterhood, which they have used to help other victims and raise awareness about these brutal attacks.
Figures show the US has admitted just over 18,000 Syrian refugees since the war broke out in the Middle Eastern country. It's estimated that 4 million Syrian children have only known war time.
As the legend goes, a UFO landed in Capilla del Monte in 1986, leaving a mark on the side of the Pajarillo mountains. Since then, this Argentinian village has lived off UFO tourism. It's currently hosting its annual Alien Festival.
The announcement to scrap the benefits came as a bucket of cold water for the Cuban migrants who just arrived in the United States. As this group waits for their papers, the uncertainty grows on whether they will ever be reunited with the relatives they left on the island.
A group of Argentines diagnosed with mental illness set up a radio station from where they broadcast their experiences
How Fidel Castro's plan to save Cuban baseball unraveled. The once mighty amateur baseball champions have lost much of their talent in recent years to U.S. Major League Baseball. Now the Cuban government is in discussions with MLB to stop the desertions. But will a Trump presidency make that more difficult?
A half-century of armed conflict has left behind 8 million victims in Colombia. It has also affected the country's unique natural resources. We explore the war’s impact on Colombia’s environment.
Forty three students in Mexico were abducted two years ago, and to this day, none have ever been found. When his son Jorge disappeared, New York City plumber Antonio Tizapa began to run marathons, not to win, but to send a message at the end of each race: he won’t stop until he finds his son or the truth about what really happened on that shameful day. On Sunday, Antonio and 20 friends will be running the New York City Marathon.
The evidence against El Chapo: undercover recordings, intercepted communications, protected witnesses’ declarations, drug seizures, and a confession. As U.S. prosecutors prepare their case against the world's most feared drug trafficker, this is what the government's case is built around.
Six months after the U.S. president visited the island, Cubans are divided over his impact. A government reform program is on hold as anxious residents pray for a tourist invasion.
¿En Canadá están recibiendo solicitudes de asilo de quienes van a perder el TPS?
Crecen los rumores en torno a que el país norteamericano amparará a las personas que pierdan el Estatus de Protección Temporal (TPS), cuya última extensión para Nicaragua se cumple el 5 de enero del 2019.
Hijo de Vicente Fernández, a la candidatura independiente por el Gobierno de Jalisco en México
"No soy un político, soy un ciudadano que quiere hacer un bien por la gente", manifestó Vicente Fernández Jr., quien se sumará a una lista de personajes públicos, periodistas y activistas sin afiliación a partidos conocidos.
Las muertes relacionadas con el huracán María que no son contabilizadas por el gobierno de Puerto Rico
El Centro de Periodismo Investigativo (CPI) identificó 47 fallecimientos vinculados con el paso del ciclón que no han sido tomados en cuenta por la administración de Ricardo Rosselló. Debido a las incongruencias reportadas por el Departamento de Seguridad Pública, el Senado realizará una auditoría sobre el caso.
publicidad
El opositor venezolano Antonio Ledezma llega a España tras escapar de su arresto domiciliario
Ledezma fue recibido en el aeropuerto por su familia y el expresidente de Colombia Andrés Pastrana. El opositor tiene previsto viajar por el mundo para dar a conocer la realidad venezolana. Este mismo sábado pordría entrevistarse con el presidente del gobierno español, Mariano Rajoy.
Desaparece sin dejar rastro submarino de la armada argentina con 44 tripulantes
La embarcación se dirigía a su puerto en la Base Naval de Mar del Plata proveniente de Ushuaia, en el sur del país, cuando se perdió comunicación. Siete países han ofrecido su ayuda al gobierno argentino para colaborar en las tareas de búsqueda con barcos y aviones.
El opositor venezolano Antonio Ledezma se escapa de su arresto domiciliario y huye a Colombia
El alcalde metropolitano de Caracas estaba detenido por supuestamente haber participado en un complot para derrocar a Nicolás Maduro con ayuda del exterior. En declaraciones a una radio colombiana Ledezma indicó que su intención es viajar a España.
Nubosidad parcial, el pronóstico para Miami
Este sábado 18 de noviembre la temperatura máxima alcanzará 82 grados Fahrenheit y la mínima, 71. El domingo será un día soleado y el lunes regresarán los chubascos.
Así se preparan Nino Fraguela y su equipo para la hazaña The Crossing 2017
El deportista lleva a cabo un triatlón en el que pretende recorrer 287 millas en diferentes etapas, un reto que comenzó hace cuatro años. Las últimas 106 millas son de Isla Morada, en los Cayos de la Florida, a Bimini, en las Bahamas. El patrocinador del evento Manuel Rodríguez-Leston prepara una jaula flotante para prevenir ataques de especies marinas y el médico Erick Salado está listo para prestar asistencia si se presenta agotamiento.
Fútbol
Toda la información y noticias sobre lo último del fútbol mundial
Pablo Ramírez 'compra' la llegada de Corona a Chivas: “Portero grande para un equipo grande"
En nuestra sección ¿Lo compras o no?, el experto sentenció que el arquero de Cruz Azul sería un muy buen refuerzo para el ‘Rebaño’ de cara al próximo torneo. “Es un portero consolidado”, explicó.
Atlas a sufrir, no pudo ganar al Pachuca y definirán otros su pase a la Liguilla
Los Rojinegros tenían la Fiesta Grande en la bolsa y permitieron el empate de último minuto. Ahora deberán esperar por otros resultados.