What Happened at Dos Erres
Brian Reed and Habiba Nosheen


This American Life, USA, 2012
TCF Winners
Family, Identity, War
21 27


In 1982, the Guatemalan military massacred the villagers of Dos Erres, killing more than 200 people.

Thirty years later, a Guatemalan living in the US got a phone call from a woman who told him that two boys had been abducted during the massacre - and he was one of them.

What Happened at Dos Erres won the Best Documentary: Silver Award in the 2012 Third COast / Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition. The story was produced by Brian Reed and Habiba Nosheen, co-reported by Sebastian Rotella (ProPublica), Ana Arana (Fundacion MEPI), and edited by Julie Snyder, Nancy Updike and Ira Glass for This American Life from WBEZ Chicago.

Here's an excerpt from the hour-long program. You can listen to the whole story at This American Life's website. Listen to all nine winners from the 2012 TC/RHDF Competition, here.


Brian Reed is a producer at This American Life, where he first started as an intern in 2010. Before joining the TAL staff, Brian was a producer at StoryCorps and also worked as a reporter for NPR, WNYC, and KPLU in Seattle. He got his start in radio as an NPR Kroc Fellow, and reported for NPR’s foreign desk as their first Above the Fray Fellow.

Habiba Nosheen is an award-winning Pakistani Canadian journalist and a filmmaker currently based in New York. She is an adjunct professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, where she teaches radio and video reporting. Her stories have been published by The New York Times, Time, The Washington Post, ProPublica, This American Life and NPR, among other outlets. Nosheen has received numerous awards for her reporting, including a 2012 Gracie award for her PBS investigation on adoption fraud.


Winner photo by Vanessa Churchill Photography.

Photo of Oscar Ramirez Castaneda by Matthew Healy/ProPublica.
Photo of Tranquilino Castaneda by Alex Cruz/El Periodico de Guatemala

Hear/download the entire, hour-long version of What Happened at Dos Erres, and find more information about the documentary, including links to a Spanish transcript, ProPublica's print version "Finding Oscar," and additional photographs.

Hear all nine of the 2012 Third Coast/RHDF Competition winners.