Former gang members star in Guatemalan reality show Desafio 10

Locking 10 wanted or jailed “former members of some of the most infamous gangs in the Americas” together in a house for two weeks while wearing masks to protect their identities sounds like it could be the concept for the next Bachelor. But it’s actually an upcoming show in Guatemala, where the men “study basic accounting, marketing and customer service, … become friends, [and] some go into business together,” The Washington Post’s Marcela Sanchez reports.

Desafio 10‘s creator, Harold Sibaja, says the people who are cast are those who “everybody wants dead or in jail.” Its contestants “were divided into two groups, each given the task of starting a small business.” The show will air in March, and is funded by “The U.S. Agency for International Development” and “Guatemala’s private sector,” Sanchez writes.

She talked to one participant, Estuardo “El Seco” Valle, who said that the experience was surprising: “It was something I couldn’t believe. Society used to discriminate against us but now that so many have seen that we are willing to make an effort … many people are supporting us.”

Fighting Gangs with Reality TV [Washington Post]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.