Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 8:28 am
A Mexican court has thrown out the conviction of infamous drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero, 28 years after he was convicted and imprisoned for the 1985 kidnapping and murder of U.S. DEA agent Enrique Camarena.
Quintero had been serving a 40-year sentence for torturing and killing Camarena, but the court voided the sentence on a technicality — saying he should have been tried in a state court instead of the federal court where he was convicted.
A police officer patrols the rooftop of a school at the Rocinha slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Sept. 20, 2012, where a "pacification" anti-crime effort was underway. Rio police are now going to attempt a similar pacification in another huge slum, Mare.
Credit Silvia Izquierdo / AP
The Mare shantytown in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is one of the city's densest neighborhoods.
Victor Reyes has been photographing tourists atop Tijuana's "zonkeys" since he was 12, and says at one time he could earn $150 a day. Now, he's lucky to earn $15, he says. Here, Reyes poses with his donkey, Ruben.
Credit Guillermo Arias / AP
A donkey gets black zebra stripes painted on his ears in a downtown alley in Tijuana, Mexico, in 2008.
Credit Courtesy Roberto Lango
When tourists got upset that white donkeys didn't show up in photographs, it occurred to someone to paint stripes on the animals with women's hair dye. That's how Tijuana's "zonkeys" were born.
A man smokes marijuana outside Uruguay's parliament in Montevideo on Wednesday, where lawmakers in the lower house debated and passed a bill that would legalize marijuana and regulate its production and distribution.
The South American country's response to incessant drug-related violence in the region signals a quest for alternatives to the U.S.-led war on drugs, and a rethinking of official U.N. anti-drug policy, which has been in effect for more than half a century.
Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 1:32 pm
Uruguay is poised to create a state-licensed marijuana industry, after the country's lower house of Congress passed a controversial bill late Wednesday detailing how the government would regulate marijuana — from its production and import to marketing and distribution. The move would be a first.
NPR's South America correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro tells our Newscast unit that the landmark bill now goes to the Senate, where it is expected to sail through.
Hundreds of thousands of people crowd Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday as Pope Francis celebrates the final Mass of his visit to Brazil. Security lapses, traffic chaos and other logistical snafus marred the visit.
Credit Mario Tama / Getty Images
People sleep while others wait in line by Copacabana Beach before sunrise Sunday, ahead of Pope Francis' final Mass on his trip to Brazil.
While the recent World Youth Day celebrations in Rio de Janeiro were a success for Pope Francis, they certainly weren't for the city government. Accusations of disorganization and transport failures have left residents wondering if Rio is really ready to host both the World Cup and the Olympics.
Millions of faithful thronged Brazil's Copacabana Beach to hear Pope Francis deliver Sunday Mass, the culmination of the Latin American pontiff's first papal trip abroad.
Francis, speaking from a massive stage erected on the beach, urged those gathered for World Youth Day's concluding Mass to spread the Gospel "to the fringes of society, even to those who seem farthest away, most indifferent."
Pope Francis speaks during a gathering with Argentine youths at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro, on Thrusday. Pope Francis urged young Brazilians not to despair in the battle against corruption Thursday as he addressed their country's political problems in the wake of massive protests.
Credit Mario Tama / Getty Images
Francis waves to the crowd while riding in the Popemobile as he tours the Varghina favela in Rio de Janeiro.
Credit Antonio Lacerda / EPA /LANDOV
The pope blesses a child in the favela.
Credit Christophe Simon / AFP/Getty Images
Thousands of young people gather at Rio de Janeiro's iconic Copacabana beachfront to welcome Pope Francis to World Youth Day ceremonies. On the fourth day of his visit to Brazil, Francis waded into the country's ramshackle slums and onto the national battle over poverty and corruption.
Credit Nelson Almeida / AFP/Getty Images
Pope Francis speaks to youths at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro on Thursday. He urged them not to despair as he addressed Brazil's political problems in the wake of massive protests. The pope is in Brazil for his first foreign trip since he became leader of the Catholic Church.
Credit Mario Tama / Getty Images
Pilgrims from Argentina watch as Francis speaks in the Varghina favela. More than 1.5 million pilgrims are expected to join the pope during his visit for World Youth Day celebrations.
Credit Tasso Marcelo / AFP/Getty Images
Francis walks through the Varginha favela. The community of 1,000 people was under the sway of narcotraffickers until it came under police control less than a year ago.
During the fourth day of his first foreign visit, Pope Francis headed to the Varginha favela in Rio de Janeiro.
As NPR's Lourdes Garcia Navarro described it to our Newscast unit, the shantytown was not prettied up for the pope. Its river remained clogged with sewage and dirt, and the houses were still slapped together.
"It's an extremely poor community," Lourdes said. "I think the pope wanted to come here to highlight his very personal message of affinity with the poor."
Jorge Ramos anchors the top-ranked newscast on Spanish-language TV, Noticiero Univision, alongside Maria Elena Salinas. Sometimes called "the Spanish-language Walter Cronkite," Ramos has been a vocal — and influential — proponent of an immigration overhaul. (In recent summers, Ramos' network Univision has topped the prime-time TV ratings for all networks in the U.S.
Roberto Francisco Daniel, widely known as Padre Beto, was excommunicated by the Catholic Church for his views on gay marriage and other hot-button issues. The former priest says the church must adapt to a changing world.
His name is Roberto Francisco Daniel, but he goes by Padre Beto. He sports an ear clip, and a rosary around his neck that dips into an open-necked patterned shirt. In short, Padre Beto looks cooler than your typical priest.
His decision to become a Catholic priest came late, he says. He was 28. He'd been to college, worked, and he wasn't a virgin. He says he thinks that's why he has a different way of looking at church doctrine.
Cuban baseball players have been defecting to the U.S. in growing numbers over the past two decades. Increasingly, smugglers play a role in getting the players off the island, U.S. baseball agents say.
Credit Koji Watanabe / Getty Images
Cuba's team at the World Baseball Classic in Tokyo on March 8. More than 200 Cuban players have defected to the U.S. over the past two decades, and smugglers are increasingly involved in getting the players off the island, according to U.S. baseball agents.
Cigars aren't the only thing smuggled out of Cuba these days.
Cuban baseball players are also a hot commodity, and sports agents in the U.S. say the process is increasingly dominated by smugglers who track down players willing to defect and find surreptitious ways to deliver them to the United States.
"The whole business got pretty much taken over by smugglers," says former baseball agent Joe Kehoskie.