Latin American leaders don’t know how to stop their violent-crime epidemic, but they sure know how to spin it.
Former Miss Venezuela and telenovela star Mónica Spear and her ex-husband were murdered Monday night during a botched highway robbery near Puerto Cabello, Venezuela. Their 5-year-old daughter was shot, too, but survived. As the shocking news spread throughout Venezuela and then Miami, where Spear often lived and worked, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro hit a spin cycle I’ve seen countless other presidentes employ after high-profile homicides.
Christmas 2013 was the best and worst of times for Ralph Gonsalves.
Gonsalves, Prime Minister of the Caribbean island nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Dec. 19. For Gonsalves, an outspoken populist who was about to take over as chairman of the Caribbean Community, or Caricom, it was a moment of valuable political cachet: Francis has proven a champion of poor global underdogs like the small republics of the Caribbean.
As a boy, I always envied Hispanics at Christmas. That’s because they got a bonus Santa Claus.
Three, actually: Los Reyes Magos, a.k.a. the Three Kings, the Wise Men, the Magi – the fellows who each Jan. 6 lavished an extra round of toys on every kid I knew who had a Spanish surname.
As an adult, I’m still a big fan of los Reyes. And I think Jan. 6 – Epiphany, the day that Christians, especially in Spain and Latin America, celebrate the Magis’ visit to the newborn Jesus – offers another potential bonus:
2014 is a big election year for the Sunshine State. The governor’s race is expected to be a very expensive one. Jobs and the economy will be key issues. And in the statehouse, medical marijuana, the cost of hurricane insurance, and water quality all are on the legislative agenda.
In our first show of the year, we'll look at what issues and news will be important in 2014.
Bills that crack down on human sex trafficking, address problems from the 2012 election, allow foster care children to remain in the program until 21, and provide an incentive for companies to expand their fleet of natural gas vehicles become law Wednesday.
While the bulk of the nearly 200 new laws approved by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Scott from the 2013 session hit the books in July and October, a few more kick in with the New Year.
Accompanying the handful of new laws is a slight increase in the paycheck for Florida's minimum-wage earners.
On Christmas Eve, the islands of the eastern Caribbean were hammered by 15 inches of torrential rain. The flooding and landslides killed at least 13 people. South Florida’s Caribbean diaspora is gathering relief supplies - and officials are sounding the climate change alarm.
Ralph Gonsalves, the prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, calls last week’s downpour “a disaster of a proportion…we have not seen in living memory.” Gonsalves himself lost a cousin killed in a landslide.
Reporter John Otis was looking for a flight to Venezuela. That may sound like a simple task, but air travel to and from that Latin American country turns out to be extremely complicated these days. Here's his story.
A direct flight from my home in Bogotá, Colombia, to Caracas, Venezuela, takes about 90 minutes. But when I tried to buy a ticket recently, none were available. I was offered a flight with an overnight stop in Miami, but that would have cost $5,000.
They say Americans will do anything for Latin America except read about it. But even gringos couldn’t ignore the noise next door in 2013.
Seemingly overnight, Brazil experienced violent anti-government unrest – then just as quickly it became the spokesnation for a world outraged by the U.S. surveillance overreach exposed by Edward Snowden.
Christmas Day turned tragic when a boat carrying Haitian migrants capsized off the Turks and Caicos Islands. Seventeen of the more than 50 passengers were killed, while some fled and are still being sought.
This is just the latest in a growing spate of Haitian disasters on the Caribbean. Last month 30 Haitians drowned in a similar incident off the Bahamas.
Six years ago I visited an indigenous village in southern Mexico called Santa Cruz Mixtepec. It was, or used to be, one of those impoverished rural hamlets that sent most of its population over the U.S. border to find living-wage work.
Until somebody got the bright idea to start promoting small businesses there. Through micro-lending and other assistance, Santa Cruz Mixtepec began sprouting small but viable enterprises. A carpentry shop. An irrigated tomato greenhouse. A window-frame maker.
On The Florida Roundup: The state Supreme Court approves a controversial new drug mix used in executions of Death Row inmates. Plus we look at the latest reports cards on South Florida public schools.
Join Tom Hudson as he speaks with Tia Mitchell of the Tampa Bay Times, Margie Menzel of the News Service of Florida, Brendan Farrington of the Associated Press, Sammy Mack of WLRN-Miami Herald News and Patricia Mazzei and Melissa Sanchez of the Miami Herald.
Share your thoughts on the week’s news below in a live chat curated by our digital editor Maria Murriel.
Gov. Rick Scott faces a difficult decision in naming a permanent secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families, given the demands of the job, the lateness in his term and the scrutiny of lawmakers moving to respond to a rash of child deaths.
Scott has some breathing room after announcing last week that Interim Secretary Esther Jacobo will stay on the job through the end of the 2014 legislative session. He tapped the Miami-based attorney to lead the agency in mid-July, for 90 days, after David Wilkins resigned under fire.