NMiF interviews Thomas Saenz on Martinez / Yazzie case against state

Case forcing state to improve education for certain groups of students

This week, New Mexico in Focus interviews Thomas Saenz, the national president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). Saenz has been a key figure in the Martínez/Yazzie v. State of New Mexico lawsuit, the case that is forcing the state to improve the education it provides for certain groups of students.

Recently, both groups of plaintiffs asked the court to set more strict deadlines for the state to prove it’s making progress. Correspondent Russell Contreras speaks with Saenz about what’s ahead in the case.

New Mexico in Focus takes a hard look at crime’s effect on young people with Albuquerque filmmaker John Acosta, whose documentary “Growing Up in the Real Breaking Bad” aims to raise awareness about youth violence. NMiF host Gene Grant interviews Acosta, who is joined by a group of young activists who say policymakers need to listen and try a different approach to addressing the problem.

In an encore showing of Our Land from August, correspondent Laura Paskus travels to the Gila National Forest for an in-depth report on the battle over the Gila River. In the intervening months there have been new updates on the project, and NMiF host Gene Grant sits down with Paskus to discuss these developments.

New Mexico PBS’ one-hour public affairs show New Mexico in Focus regularly airs Friday at 7 p.m. and repeats Sunday at 7 a.m. on Chanel 5.1, and Saturdays at 5 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. on Channel 9.1, except during pledge drives.


  • John Acosta, Filmmaker, “Growing Up in the Real Breaking Bad”
  • Adrian Baca, Youth Organizer
  • Janelle Astorga Ramos, Youth Organizer
  • Xiuhtecuhtli Soto, Youth Organizer
  • Thomas Saenz, MALDEF national president

Field Guests

Line Panelists

  • No Line this week


  • Russell Contreras
  • Laura Paskus


  • Gene Grant

New Mexico in Focus is the New Mexico PBS prime-time news magazine show covering the events, issues and people that are shaping life in New Mexico and the Southwest.

NMiF takes a multi-layered look at social, political, economic health, education and art issues, and explores them in-depth with a critical eye to give them context beyond the “news of the moment.”

The producer of New Mexico in Focus is Matt Grubs, with Kathy Wimmer, associate producer. The NM PBS Public Affairs executive producer is Kevin McDonald.

Funding for New Mexico in Focus is provided by the McCune Charitable Foundation and viewers like you.

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