National Geographic's 'Trafficked' Reporter Mariana van Zeller Risks Her Life To Talk To Narcos On Camera

Nat Geo Trafficked Mariana van Zeller interview

Award-winning investigative reporter Mariana van Zeller takes viewers into the inner workings of the dangerous black market talking to everyone from the mule, the henchmen to the narcos in National Geographic's "Trafficked," now airing. How does someone like van Zeller get access to these off the grid criminals, and does she fear for her life? She explains it to CineMovie.

ABOUT "Trafficked"

Armed with National Geographic’s trademark inside access, TRAFFICKED with Mariana van Zeller takes viewers on a journey inside the most dangerous black markets on the planet. Each investigation in the eight-part series embeds with Peabody and duPont Award-winning journalist Mariana van Zeller as she explores the complex and often violent inner workings of a smuggling network. While she dives deeper and deeper into these underworlds, Mariana reveals — with characteristic boldness and empathy — that the people operating these trafficking rings are often a lot more like us than we realize. TRAFFICKED with Mariana van Zeller premieres December 2 at 9/8c with a two-episode premiere.


Mariana van Zeller is an award-winning correspondent and investigative journalist. Her 2016 Fusion investigation “Death by Fentanyl,” which tracked the pharmaceutical and clandestine sources of the deadly opioid was recently honored with a DuPont Award. For her report “Rape on the Reservation,” which examined the increased incidence of rape and sexual violence on American Indian reservations, she received the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists. And her documentary on prescription drug abuse and pill trafficking, “The OxyContin Express,” was honored with a Peabody Award, a Television Academy Honor and an Emmy nomination.

In 2011, Mariana began her coverage of the drug war in Mexico and for years, attempted to interview drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, only to be scooped by Sean Penn. As a consolation, Penn reported that he and Guzman discussed Mariana’s 2015 documentary, “Chasing El Chapo.” Mariana hosted Travel Channel’s Breaking Borders, where she journeyed to conflict zones around the world with acclaimed chef Michael Voltaggio. She currently contributes to National Geographic Explorer, Fusion, and ESPN. Mariana began her journalism career in her native Portugal. She’s fluent in Portuguese, English, Spanish, Italian and French.

Latest Interviews

Latest News

Latest Trailers