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Mariana Atencio

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Mariana Atencio


TV shows
Aqui y Ahora

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News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism in Spanish

News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism in a News Magazine

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Mariana Atencio is a Peabody-Award winning journalist and news personality working for MSNBC and NBC News, where she covers domestic and international issues doing breaking news and special reports. The Huffington Post called her "our Latina Christiane Amanpour" and one of the top 15 Latinas in American Newsrooms, making the rare "crossover from Spanish to English television".


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In the 2016 election, Atencio focused her reporting on the importance of Latino voters in the U.S. Prior to NBC, she worked as an anchor/correspondent for Univision and Fusion Networks from 2011 to 2016. She is known for her field tenacious reporting, reporting on global youth unrest and protests. In 2015, Atencio reported on the ground for ABC's "Pope Francis and the People," as part of 20/20's Virtual Audience with Pope Francis, becoming an intermediary between the Pope and Latino immigrants prior to his historic visit to the US. She also led Fusion's coverage of the fifth anniversary of the Haiti earthquake; the protests Ferguson, MO; the youth movement in Hong Kong; the disappearance of 43 students in Mexico; and President Obama's executive order on immigration. Atencio's coverage of the 2014 student protests in Venezuela aired on ABC's World News with David Muir

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Mariana is also a passionate public figure and speaker. In 2017, she gave a TEDx Talk about the search for our humanity, tolerance and inclusiveness in our world. In 2016, she spoke before the United Nations about the future of Latin America where she also moderated the Impacto Latino Summit in 2015.

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Early life and education

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Mariana Atencio is the eldest of 3 children. She grew up in Caracas, Venezuela and attended a local school. She is bilingual in Spanish/English. Her bicultural upbringing has allowed her to cover stories related to Latinos in the United States.

Mariana Atencio Fusion39s Mariana Atencio on Retuning to Venezuela to Cover

After high school, Mariana took a gap year to study at Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut but returned to Venezuela for college. Atencio has an undergraduate degree in Communications from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello in Caracas where she majored in advertising and wrote her thesis on RCTV. She was also part of the student movement that emerged after Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez shut down Radio Caracas Televisión (RCTV), the oldest television station in the country. Mariana left Venezuela when she was awarded the Castagno full-merit scholarship from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in 2008.

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In 2014, her younger sister Graciela Atencio, a lawyer, was hit by a car in New York suffering multiple injuries. Graciela recovered and together with Mariana supports the Teletón Foundation, an organization that helps kids with disabilities across North and South America.

Mariana is married to Venezuelan entrepreneur and app developer José Antonio Torbay, founder of "The Grint,"

Career and awards

Prior to NBC News, Atencio anchored 'The Morning Show' on Fusion (TV channel). In December 2014, it was reported that “Fusion Live,” the nightly 8 pm newscast anchored by Mariana Atencio, Pedro Andrade, and Yannis Pappas was cancelled. She later briefly hosted the Sunday public affairs show 'Al Punto, Florida' on Univision, where she also co-anchored the network's 2016 democratic presidential debate.

She was awarded a Peabody Award and an Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) Award as one of the investigative team's reporters on “Fast and Furious: Arming the Enemy”, a one-hour documentary on the gun-walking scandal known as "Operation Fast and Furious’’. The investigation was directed by Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Gerardo Reyes.

After Univision aired the investigation, a public debate erupted in Mexico on how much the Mexican government knew about the guns crossing the border. Congress pressed the U.S. Justice Department for more information, and one U.S. Congressman called “Rápido y Furioso” the “Holy Grail” that broke the case.

At Univision, she also hosted and co-directed together with three-time Emmy award-winning Spanish journalist Tomás Ocaña, the Univision documentary "PRESSURED: Freedom of the Press", a one-hour film on the fragile state of press freedom in Latin America, for which they received a Gracie Award for "Outstanding Documentary."

For Noticiero Univision, she reported on the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez in 2013 from Miami and conducted investigations on the Chávez family fortune for Noticiero Univision and "Aquí y Ahora" (Here and Now), Univision's Sunday evening investigative newsmagazine.

Prior to joining Univision, Atencio worked as news anchor/reporter for Vme-TV, the first national Spanish-language network presented by public television stations. At "Vme-TV" she co-presented the Royal Wedding broadcast in 2011; reported on the 2010 mid-term elections and hosted and produced the news segment "Census 2010, The Future is Now", on how the country's demographics were changing due to the growing Latino population.

From 2009 to 2010, she worked as a multimedia reporter at Impremedia's El Diario/La Prensa, in New York City, the fastest growing paid major daily newspaper in the country.


Mariana Atencio Wikipedia