Great Latino Programs Come to PBS in July 2011

Biblioburro, Lost in the Amazon, The Great Inca Rebellion and Aztec Massacre among this month's highlights

By Raymond Diaz
Published on LatinoLA: July 5, 2011

Great Latino Programs Come to PBS in July 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011, 10:00-11:00 p.m.
INDEPENDENT LENS - "Biblioburro"
"Biblioburro" is the story of a librarian -- and a library -- like no other. A decade ago, Colombian teacher Luis Soriano was inspired to spend his weekends bringing a modest collection of precious books, via two hard-working donkeys, to the children of a poor and violence-ridden province. As Soriano braves armed bands, drug traffickers, snakes and heat, his library on hooves carries an inspirational message about education and a better future for Colombia. His efforts have attracted worldwide attention -- and imitators -- but his story has never been better told than in this heartwarming yet unsentimental film.
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011, 8:00-9:00 p.m.
SECRETS OF THE DEAD - "Lost in the Amazon"
A modern day quest to find the truth behind one of exploration's greatest mysteries: What happened to famed adventurer Col. Percy Fawcett who went looking for a city of gold -- the Lost City of "Z" -- in the Amazon in 1925 and disappeared in the jungles of Brazil forever? New archaeological digs, the science behind the discovery of "newly found" jungle cities and clues collected over the years reveal the fate of Fawcett. The program unravels the truth of what really happened to Fawcett, and shares surprising finds that are causing experts to re-think the image of a pristine uninhabited Amazon rainforest: a place that before Columbus, may have had large populations living in sophisticated towns and cities. Fawcett may have actually discovered these ruins fueling his fervor to find the city of gold. The myth becomes reality!

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011, 9:00-10:00 p.m.
NOVA - "The Great Inca Rebellion"
They have been hastily buried and disfigured by multiple, appalling wounds and fractures. Forensic experts help to determine that these remains are victims of a battle that pitted club-wielding Inca warriors against Spanish cavalry. The forensic evidence may be a decisive clue that helps explain a long-standing mystery about the Spanish conquest of Peru.

How, in 1532, did a tiny band of Spanish soldiers crush the mighty Inca Empire, then the most powerful civilization in the Americas? Were the conquistadors' obvious advantages - steel arms, gunpowder and horses - the key to their success, as is generally supposed? Or were disease and civil war more significant factors that were downplayed by the invaders? By uncovering new evidence from the Lima cemetery, NOVA and National Geographic reveal the untold final chapter of the conquest: not the Spanish walkover familiar from well-known accounts, but rather a protracted and complex war of astonishing brutality that almost led to the Spanish losing their precarious foothold in the Andes.
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET
"Aztec Massacre"
Throughout recent times, historians have believed that when the Spanish conquistadors arrived in Aztec territory in the 15th century, they were welcomed as returning light-skinned gods by the Aztecs, who put up little resistance to their conquest.

But now, a new find outside of Mexico City is turning history on its head. The discovery: more than 400 bodies, many of which show signs of having been mutilated and even eaten. More important, more than 40 of the bodies appear to be European, indicating that the Aztecs not only resisted the invaders, they sacrificed them to their gods, pulling their still-beating hearts from chests and stringing their heads (along with the heads of their horses) on wooden skull racks for public display. Exploring the archeology of the site, the forensics of the bones and beautiful but grotesque codices that document the events, this program paints a new picture of the violent relations between the Aztecs and the conquistadors and rewrites much of what we thought we knew about the Aztec civilization.

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