Ruben Salazar, the former Los Angeles Times reporter and columnist who became an engaged supporter of the radical Chicano movement in Los Angeles, died under mysterious circumstances in 1970. Now a new documentary set to air on PBS in April will reassess his life and the facts surrounding his death.
"Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle," directed and produced by Phillip Rodriguez, will use information from newly released files, as well as interviews with Salazar's friends, family members and former co-workers at The Times to provide a compelling new biography.
Salazar worked as a reporter for The Times beginning in 1959. After a time as a foreign correspondent in the Dominican Republic and Vietnam and then as a bureau chief in Mexico City, Salazar was brought back to L.A. to cover the rising Chicano power movement.
It was during this period, from 1968 until his death just two years later, that Salazar's profile grew. His articles describing the movement and its run-ins with police were published just as his identification with the movement itself grew.