Cristian Benavides joined PIX11 News in July of 2018. He is a three-time Emmy Award winner and no stranger to New York City.

He comes to WPIX after spending nearly three years at the Telemundo affiliate in New York, WNJU, where he also contributed his reporting to WNBC.

He won a New York Emmy for his on-the-ground coverage during the 2016 Ecuador earthquake, which killed nearly 700 people and left thousands homeless. He also anchored a 30-minute nationally broadcast special, on the ground, three months after the earthquake struck.

More recently, he went back to broadcast from Ecuador during that country’s presidential elections.

His other notable coverage includes Hurricane Matthew from Florida and the Woman’s FIFA World Cup from Vancouver, as well reporting on the border crisis in 2015 from Brownsville, Texas, for Telemundo and NBC stations.

He began his journalism career as an anchor/reporter for the Univision affiliate in Tampa, Fla. Then he moved on to Telemundo where he worked as an anchor/reporter at their Washington D.C. and Phoenix affiliates. He joined WNJU in January of 2016.

He graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in broadcasting. During his senior year, he was a White House intern. He is currently a Stabile Fellow at the Columbia Journalism School.

Also, he loves tacos and a good story!

Follow him on social media: @cbenavidestv
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Recent Articles
  • Stories from Central America’s Northern Triangle

    NEW YORK – In recent years, tens of thousands of families from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala have migrated to the United States seeking asylum from the region’s violence and civil wars. PIX11 reporter Cristian Benavides and photographer Kenneth Pelczar have traveled to Central America’s Northern Triangle to report live from the root of America’s migrant crisis. Follow Cristian’s reporting as it unfolds on social media:

  • Rep. Ocasio-Cortez holds veterans healthcare town hall in the Bronx

    MORRIS PARK, the Bronx — A fired-up group of veterans, nurses and constituents welcomed congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at a town hall about veteran’s health care Wednesday as they voiced their concern over the possible privatization of the VA. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” said Ocasio-Cortez. Under the Trump administration, Veterans Affairs has proposed guidelines that could shift billions of dollars from government-run veterans hospitals to private ones. “The VA does know what it’s doing. It’s spent 70 years […]

  • Lodi Police investigate possible kidnapping, woman believed to be in danger

    LODI, N.J. — Police are investigating a possible kidnapping in the Lodi area of New Jersey and say a woman may be in danger. Police say a man called around 9:20 p.m. to report the possible kidnapping. The caller stated that he heard a woman yell, “No get off me” and noticed a man grab her and put her into a white SUV. The vehicle was being operated by another man, who then drove off. “Wow that’s crazy to hear […]

  • Viral video shows campus safety officers pin black Columbia University student down when he refuses to show his ID

    MANHATTAN — Viral video shows public safety officials at Barnard College restrain a Columbia University student who wouldn’t show them his ID card to prove his student status; students say policies around ID are inconsistently enforced. Although Barnard and Columbia are not the same university, they share facilities and students often move between the campuses across the street from one another. Alexander McNab was pinned down at Barnard’s Milstein Center for Teaching and Learning on Thursday evening “I saw that […]

  • Father of four killed in crane accident at SoHo construction site

    SOHO, Manhattan — A construction worker who was a father of four and war veteran died early Saturday during a crane incident at a Manhattan construction site. Gregory Echevarria, 34, was found unconscious and unresponsive with severe trauma to his body at a construction site in the vicinity of Varick and Broome streets around 3:15 a.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The construction crew, that also included Echevarria’s brother, was setting up a crane counterweight when it slipped, […]

  • Exclusive: Family of NJ teen who pulled hijab off student in fight: It wasn’t racially motivated

    The grandfather of a white teenager facing charges in what school officials say is a “bias” attack against a Muslim student, said the two girls had an ongoing dispute, and that the fight was not racially motivated. The junior from East Brunswick High School was charged with Simple Assault, Harassment, Cyber Harassment and Disorderly Conduct, but not with a hate crime. The fight took place Wednesday morning between two students at East Brunswick High School in New Jersey and was […]

  • Jersey City considers measure requiring illuminated signs for rideshare vehicles

    Jersey City may soon become the first city in New Jersey to mandate rideshare vehicles have illuminated, identifiable signs for passengers, according to a news release from the mayor’s office. Mayor Steven Fulop announced a proposed ordinance Friday, April 5, according to the release. The ordinance comes after the death of University of South Carolina student and New Jersey native Samantha Josephson, who was kidnapped and killed when she mistakenly got into a vehicle she thought was her Uber ride. […]

  • LI Marine ID’d as 2nd tri-state area man killed in Afghanistan explosion

    KABUL, Afghanistan — A second tri-state local has been identified as one of the three American service members who were killed in Afghanistan on Monday, according to the Department of Defense. Cpl. Robert A. Hendriks, 25, of Locust Valley in Long Island, was killed when the group’s convoy hit a roadside bomb on Monday near the main U.S. base in Afghanistan, the DOD said Tuesday. The news of Hendriks’ death comes after Christopher Slutman, a 15-year veteran of the FDNY, […]

  • Sen. Schumer calls for pressure on China to stop illegal fentanyl shipments

    During a Sunday press conference, Sen. Chuck Schumer called for at least $5 million to combat illegal fentanyl shipments into the US through JFK Airport’s mail processing facility. A fentanyl dose weighing just two to three milligrams can be deadly. Fentanyl is approximately 50 times stronger than heroin “I will try to get even more than this as the appropriations process plays out, because JFK’s facility needs continuous upgrades to keep pace with fast-changing methods by traffickers,” he said. “We need more […]

  • Activists, religious leaders fight hate, white nationalism at East Village conference

    EAST VILLAGE — The Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village kicked off its annual conference, Revolutionary Love, on Friday. Activists and religious leaders from all over gathered to try to figure out ways to combat hate, particularly white nationalism, in a time when the nation seems more divided than ever. The conference comes at a time that the religious left feels energized, as they work together to fight the rise of hate and discrimination. “The assault of just anger […]

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