Americas

Americas
7:20 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Ecuador Says NSA Leaker Has Asked For Asylum

A TV screen shows a news report of Edward Snowden at a shopping mall in Hong Kong on Sunday.
Vincent Yu Associated Press

Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 5:20 pm

(This story was last updated at 5:17 p.m. ET)

Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor accused of leaking classified surveillance information, has asked Ecuador for asylum, the country's foreign minister says.

Snowden left Hong Kong earlier Sunday bound for a "third country," the government in the Asian hub said. He later landed in Moscow.

Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino Aroca, who is on an official visit to Vietnam, said:

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Americas
7:17 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Brazil's President Offers Carrot And Stick To Protesters

Students from the eastern city of Sao Paulo protest on Friday.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 2:16 pm

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff has pledged a nationwide overhaul of public transportation, improved funding for schools and a crackdown on corruption in response to sometimes violent anti-government protests that have roiled the country for the past week.

In a 10-minute address broadcast on Friday, Rousseff broke her silence on the protests, saying she would spend more money on public transportation and divert some of the country's oil revenues to pay for education, The Associated Press reported. She also addressed widespread anger over government corruption.

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Americas
12:33 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

As Protests Grow, Brazilian President Calls Emergency Meeting

A demonstrator is shot by a rubber bullet as anti-riot police officers charge during a protest Thursday against corruption and price hikes in Rio de Janeiro.
Christophe Simon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 9:34 pm

By some estimates, about a million people marched in cities across Brazil on Thursday, airing a wide array of grievances. As O Globo frames it, it was a day marked by violent demonstrations, vandalism and intense clashes with military police.

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Americas
12:24 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Author Risks Life To Report On His Native Mexico

Reporter and author Alfredo Corchado covers a political rally in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, in 1986.
Billy Calzada

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 2:42 pm

Alfredo Corchado, the Mexico bureau chief of the Dallas Morning News, has dedicated his life to investigating government corruption, murders and ruthless drug cartels in his native Mexico.

He received death threats multiple times, and doesn't feel safe, but he says he has "learned to embrace the fear." Corchado, an American citizen, has written a memoir about the complicated relationship he has with the country of his birth, entitled, Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter's Journey Through a Country's Descent into Darkness.

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Americas
10:01 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Can This Dominican Factory Pay Good Wages And Make A Profit?

Aracelis Upia Montero works at the Alta Gracia garment factory in the Dominican Republic. She says she was desperately poor before she began working at the factory, which pays much higher than usual wages. "I'm now eligible for loans and credits from the bank because I earn a good salary," she says.
Jackie Northam NPR

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 10:37 am

Aracelis Upia Montero bounds through the front door of her wood and cinderblock house, calling out for her children. The bubbly 41-year-old Montero — whom everyone calls Kuki — proudly shows guests around her cramped single-story home in Villa Altagracia in the Dominican Republic.

Montero points out her new living room furniture. In the past couple years, she has added two bedrooms and now has indoor plumbing. She has also built a little apartment at the end of her dirt driveway that she rents out.

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Americas
9:58 am
Thu June 20, 2013

In Brazil, Protests Continue As Some Cities Cut Bus Fares

Students block an avenue in São Paulo, Brazil, on Tuesday night, during a protest against a recent rise in public bus and subway fare.
Daniel Guimaraen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 11:33 am

For a second night in a row, tens of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets to protest everything from the cost of living to government corruption.

The AP reports that during Tuesday's demonstrations:

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Americas
6:00 am
Wed June 19, 2013

How 1993 Hunger Strikes Prepare Florida For A Possible Haitian Exodus Today

Many Haitian refugees took to rickety boats to escape their military regime's violence.
Credit Holly Ackerman/blog.gitmomemory.org

  The rise in the number of Haitians being detained at sea, at airports and at border crossings this year has the international community scratching as well as turning its head. More than 70 picked up by the U.S. Coast Guard in the waters off Puerto Rico; 33 by authorities off Jamaica; almost 3,500 in or off the Dominican Republic; 65 as far away as Peru.

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Technology
5:09 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

How Mexico's Tech Startups Are Overcoming Barriers To Growth

Enrique Lima is a co-founder of Publish 88, a Mexican startup that develops software for publishing companies.
Mónica Ortiz Uribe for NPR

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 6:18 pm

In the past decade, Mexico's tech industry has flourished, growing three times faster than the global average. Most of that growth has been fueled by demand from the United States. But as Mexico's startups strive to make it in foreign markets, they say they need more engineers and ways to finance their growth.

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Americas
5:03 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

With Inspiration From Turkey, Brazil Discovers Mass Protests

A mass protest in Sao Paulo on Monday night was one of several across the country where demonstrators raised a host of grievances. Some demonstrators said they drew their inspiration from the protests in Turkey.
Nelson Antoine AP

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 1:40 pm

They are young, they are angry and they have drawn inspiration from protest movements a world away in places like Turkey and the Middle East.

Tens of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets across the country Monday night, and more demonstrations are slated for the coming week. Brazil doesn't have a history of this kind of mass dissent, but it seems to be catching on very quickly.

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Americas
11:05 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Mass Anti-Government Protests Swell In Brazil

Students shout slogans during a protest Monday in Brasilia.
Evaristo Sa AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 10:39 am

What started as small protests about higher bus fares has swelled into nationwide, massive anti-government demonstrations in Brazil.

Last night, reports O Globo, more than 100,000 protesters filled the streets of Rio de Janeiro, while an additional 65,000 hit the streets of São Paulo. Nothing tells the story quite like this video of the streets of Rio posted by Lucio Amorim on Twitter:

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Americas
9:09 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Venezuelan Joggers Find Safety In Numbers

Some participants run for a mile, while some run for up to six miles.
Meridith Kohut for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 4:05 pm

It's dusk on a recent day in Venezuela's capital, Caracas, and for many, that's a signal to get inside. Crime and violence have become so widespread here, many people simply shut themselves in.

"Your house becomes your own prison," says Arturo Hidalgo. After about 8 or 9 at night, he says, "you better be home because otherwise you can get in trouble."

Hidalgo would know: He's been robbed before. The result, he says, is a deep-seated fear. For an avid runner, that's a problem.

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Americas
6:30 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Why Swimming The Florida Strait Has Become A Metaphor For U.S. Relations With Cuba

Chloe McCardel
Credit facebook.com/ChloeMcCardel

The strait doesn’t wanna be swum.

Last week, for the fifth time in two years, a swimmer’s attempt to become the first human to cross the Florida Strait between Havana and Key West without a shark cage was thwarted.

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The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

A New Era For U.S.-Latin American Relations?

In a special edition of The Florida Roundup, we focus on our broader region, Latin America and the Caribbean. 

China's President Xi Jinping recently concluded a visit to Mexico, Costa Rica and Trinidad, shortly after President Obama and Vice President Biden paid visits there.

We discuss if Obama's second term will include stronger Latin American relations and China's ambitions in the Western hemisphere. 

Plus: why Venezuelans are buying suitcases of toilet paper and other basic goods in South Florida.

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Americas
9:20 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Once Home To A Dreaded Drug Lord, Medellin Remakes Itself

Colombian army soldiers patrol Medellin's Loma de Cristobal neighborhood after warring gangs forced dozens of families to flee. Medellin used to be the most dangerous city in the world, but officials embarked on innovative projects designed to make life better in tough neighborhoods.
Paul Smith for NPR

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 5:03 pm

Of all the violent cities of Latin America, one stands out as a great success story: Medellin, a metropolis nestled in the mountains of northwest Colombia.

Once the home of the cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar, it recorded more than 6,300 homicides in 1991, making it the world's murder capital. Then, one city government after another built schools and libraries, parks and infrastructure. The police also received an overhaul and became more adept at going after violent trafficking groups.

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Americas
7:32 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Mass Kidnapping Puts Mexican Legal System On Trial

Images from posters made by relatives show 10 of the 12 young people kidnapped in broad daylight from a bar in Mexico City on May 26. No one has claimed responsibility for the brazen abduction.
Marco Ugarte AP

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 5:00 pm

Josephina Garcia Rodriguez and Leticia Ponce Ramos sip coffee and console each other at a restaurant in front of Mexico City's prosecutor's office. They're about to head into a meeting with the lead investigator in the case of their kidnapped sons.

"We're going on three weeks since they were kidnapped," Garcia says. "It's been some difficult days, really hard for us mothers. We just want our sons back home with us."

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