Being an investigative journalist takes a lot of guts, determination and utmost bravery, which are all traits that award-winning correspondent and investigative journalist Mariana van Zeller possesses. Tienes que vivir sin miedo and it’s these powerful traits that helped Mariana get through her challenging work as the host and executive producer of National Geographic’s original documentary series Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller. As a docu-series that explores the inner-workings of underworld smuggling networks and black markets, Mariana admits that there were often moments of fear when her and her team wondered if what they were doing was a good idea or not. After all, getting information is hard, but getting information from people in underground black markets is even harder. Some of these fearful investigations throughout Season 2 of Trafficked include black market plastic surgery, outlaw motorcycle clubs, white supremacy and more. Even though Mariana and her team already had experience with such complex investigations throughout Season 1 of Trafficked and thought it was going to get easier for Season 2, she admits it actually got more challenging. However, with every challenge came a reward.
The more determined and persistent you are, the higher the chances are of you being rewarded with the truth. As advice to other journalists, Mariana emphasizes, “Always go that extra mile. Always knock on that extra door. Always make that extra call… Keep on going. Keep on looking for the truth. It will come.” Ultimately, the more you live sin miedo as an investigative journalist, the closer you get to discovering the truth.
To learn more about this suspenseful series, we had best-selling author, activist and producer Julissa Arce sit down and have a conversation with Mariana about her experiences with Season 2 of Trafficked, as well as her incredible journey as a journalist. Check out the video below to find out more about Mariana van Zeller and docu-series Trafficked, set to premiere on National Geographic on Wednesday, December 1 at 9/8 c and streaming on Hulu.