U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Univision journalist threatened by white nationalists

Incident Details


A screengrab from “Aquí y Ahora” shows white nationalist Christopher Barker and Univision journalist Ilia Calderón.

— Univision
July 24, 2017

Ilia Calderón, an Afro-Hispanic journalist and nightly news anchor for Univision, was threatened while interviewing white supremacists Christopher and Amanda Barker for “Aquí y Ahora,” an American news program, in July 2017.

Univision reports that Barker is a leader of the “Loyal White Knights,” which has 130 active chapters in 22 states according, and refers to himself as an “imperial wizard” of the KKK. Barker and his wife deny that their group is racist.

During the hour-long special, titled “En La Boca Del Lobo”, Barker told Calderón that she was the first black person to set foot on his property. During the interview, he repeatedly used racial slurs against her, called her a “mongrel” and told her to go back to her country.

Univision reporter Ilia Calderón interviews white nationalist Christopher Barker on "Aquí y Ahora"


“Are you going to chase me out of here?” Calderón asked at one point.

“No, we’re gonna burn you out,” Barker replied.

“We killed six million Jews the last time,” he added. “Eleven million is nothing.”

“You’re telling me you’re going to burn me?” Calderón asked.

“Yeah, you’re sitting on my property now,” Barker said.

“I don’t care what he’s saying,” Calderón said later during the special. “It doesn’t matter. You can insult me. I don’t care. In that moment, I was really scared. But you have to be brave and keep going with your goal and think about your objectives.”

Immediately following the special’s full airing on August 20th, Calderón appeared with Jorge Ramos on Noticias Univision Edición Nocturna.

“During many moments, I felt very bad, and my team felt bad for me, because they didn’t think an interview should go that way, that there needed to be so much hate and so many insults and so much denigration of a person,” she told Ramos. “But that’s why we stayed, because that’s what millions of people experience every day and we need to show it to the world.”

Calderón later tweeted about the interview.

“Sometimes our job involves a risk,” she said.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].