Silvio Horta, creator of the successful "Ugly Betty," dies at 45
Forensic reports point to a possible death by suicide. According to his family, Horta was struggling with depression and addiction.
The professionals on the small screen are shocked by the death of Cuban-American producer Silvio Horta, whose body was found Tuesday morning in a Miami hotel with an "apparently self-inflicted" gunshot wound, the Miami-Dade Police Department reported.
"Preliminary evidence suggests it is a possible suicide," Detective Christopher Thomas of the department told reporters.
Although forensic examinations will still have to shed more light on the facts, Horta's family said in a statement that "Silvio had a continuous struggle with addiction and depression, but beyond that, he always found a way to turn his struggle into laughter. He was a kind and beautiful man.
He was 45 years old and had a successful career in television behind him. Especially for his adaptation of the Colombian sitcom "Yo Soy Betty La Fea" ("Ugly Betty"), starring America Ferrera and winner of a Golden Globe.
A first-generation Cuban-American born in Miami, Silvio Horta grew up watching Spanish-language soap operas.
"We had a TV at home and my mom watched soap operas every night," the late Silvio Horta remembered in a 2006 interview with NYT.
"We had no choice. All my friends, first-generation immigrants, would make fun of us and then get completely addicted."
Three years after graduating from New York University with a degree in film and television, "Urban Legend," for which Horta had written the script, starring actor Jared Leto, premiered. Later, he would also write the script for the science fiction series "The Chronicle" and create "Jake 2.0," starring Christopher Gorham.
But the big success came with "Ugly Betty," produced by Salma Hayek, which was broadcast from 2006 to 2010 and went around the world.
" His talent and creativity brought me and many others so much joy and light...", published the actress America Ferrera in her Instagram account shortly after his death.
"I think of his family and loved ones, who must be suffering a lot right now, and the whole family of 'Ugly Betty,' who feel this loss so deeply."
According to a study conducted by the Department of Health in reference to the population of California, although the suicide rate has grown nationwide by 30% in recent years, it is much lower among the Hispanic community.
"In California, the percentage of suicides in whites was 19% in 2016 compared to 5.5% of the Hispanic population," reported NBC.
Experts attribute the relatively low suicide rate among Latinos to the family and community ties of their own culture, despite the fact that this group faces many social obstacles.
Their income is often lower than that of non-Hispanic white Americans and many of them lack health insurance - 16.1% of Hispanics versus 6.3% of non-Hispanics have no health coverage - making it difficult for them to access mental health treatment.
Some of them also face the difficult immigration situation and past of poverty and violence in their home countries.
For Luis Garcia, vice president of Pacific Clinics, the practice of "collectivism" and building a strong network of community relationships provides a safety net, although these low rates are increasing among adolescents, who appear to be the most vulnerable population -8% of Hispanic high school students attempted suicide in 2017.
From activists and medical professionals, the lack of mental health services that take into account the particularities of Latino culture and the widespread stigma may be one of the causes. More prevention, they say, is needed.