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Doctora Laura Bozzo is the Peruvian host of the tremendously popular Telemundo television talk show, Laura in which she interviews guests, shows video clips from their lives and hands out advice and assistance. She’s supported on the show with legal and psychological advisors – and burly security guards.
She has an adoring and vocal studio audience, musicians and a simple, yet colorful set. At the beginning of the show, Laura appears and announces the theme, always involving relationships, domestic and sexual abuse, infidelity, teenage pregnancies, prostituion, homosexuality, physical handicaps, addictions, illness and other human problems. Laura is definite in her opinions. She is a feminist and activist: pro-woman, pro-motherhood and fiercely protective of children. Her guests come to her for help with difficult issues. Millions of people watch her show and write her with encouragement and for advice. She is called señorita, Laura, Laurita and viewers know how she regards her guests by her greeting. For some she rises from her chair and shares a kiss on the cheek and a hug, the abrazo. Others she greets coolly and waves them to a seat.
After the initial chat, Laura brings on the others involved in the story. It can get complicated with multiple relationships and hidden associations. She is not shy about revealing sins and peccadillos. With investigators and a film crew with hidden cameras, she’s got the backstory and often incriminating evidence on one or more of her guests. She is always supportive of mothers and children and comes down hard on parents who abandon their responsibilities. Quite often, a guest, male or female, will be led away to be charged at the local police station with one or more offenses. Always, there are tears, screaming, shouts, insults and physical attacks by guests on guests. The audience gets in the fray, hurling insults and recriminations at the offending participant.
This is very much a usual format with certain talk shows.
What makes this show different?
Laura Bozzo studied law in Lima, and received degrees in Law and Political Science. She taught constitutional law, states rights, penal law and other courses in various universities before being named the Director of the Instituto Nacional de Cultura where She organized a number of projects dealing with Peruvian cultural heritage. In 1993, she was elected regidora, or alderman, for metropolitan Lima. She was responsible for social legislation where she became intimately aware of the problems of poor Peruvian women.
Following an appearance on television, she was invited to host a series of political interviews and so started her career in television. She went on to host other shows, earning high ratings which led to Laura en America, the foremother of her current show.
Influenced by Eva Perón, Laura formed the Instituto Nacional de Cultura in 1998 as a charitable foundation to not only assist the guests on her show, but thousands of others with legal, medical and psychological help in Peru and other Latin American nations. The Peruvian press calls her la Eva Perón peruana.
On one of her shows, dealing with a young girl who wanted to know her father, she exposed politician and economist Alejandro Toledo as the father of this illegitimate child. At the time, she was on friendly terms with then President Alberto Fujimori and Vladimiro Montesino .
In November 2000, amid growing allegations of fraud and corruption within his administration, Fujimori fled to Japan, where he claimed Japanese citizenship and officially resigned the presidency. After Fujimori left Peru, Laura was accused of helping Montesinos steal public money. She left Peru, giving up her home there, and moved to Miami, Florida where Telemundo broadcast her old shows and her fame grew.