Americas

Brazilian investors buy Miami real estate. Haitian earthquake survivors attend South Florida schools. It's clear what happens in Latin America and the Caribbean has a profound effect on South Florida.

WLRN’s coverage of the region is headed by Americas editor Tim Padgett, a 23-year veteran of TIME and Newsweek magazines.

He joins a team of reporters and editors at the Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald and NPR to cover a region whose cultural wealth, environmental complexity, vast agricultural output and massive oil reserves offer no shortage of important and fascinating stories to tell.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

On Labor Day there was a good Puerto Rican party on Hollywood Beach – classic Willie Colón salsa music playing on the boom box – hosted by a South Florida group called Boricuas Realengos. Boricua means Puerto Rican, and so the group’s name translates to “Far-Flung Puerto Ricans.”

Haiti Again Faces 'Pure Devastation.' But Will Recovery Be Different This Time?

Oct 10, 2016
Patrick Farrell / Miami Herald

Some of Hurricane Matthew's most gut-wrenching stories are coming out of the coastal city of Jérémie on Haiti's southwest peninsula – the region hardest hit.

Dieu Nalio Chery / Associated Press

Hurricane Matthew is making its way through the Caribbean packing Category-4 winds of more than 150 miles per hour and dropping up to 40 inches of rain. Haiti is in its path - and.that’s the country that can least absorb the damage.

Courtsey National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians

Back in July, State Department spokesman John Kirby confirmed the U.S. had “suspended its assistance toward completion of the presidential electoral process” in Haiti. Which means: Uncle Sam is not helping to pay for the presidential election being held in Haiti this coming Sunday. Nor will it help with the likely run-off election scheduled for January. Other international donors, like Canada, have also cut off election aid. Simply put, they’re fed up with Haiti’s political leaders. “All...

The Colombian government and the FARC rebel group have spent four years negotiating a peace deal to bring an end to more than 50 years of war. Terms were agreed on, a deal was finalized, the accord was signed — and then, in a stunning turn of events, the people of Colombia voted against the agreement in a national referendum Sunday. So. What now? One thing presumably won't be happening: the FARC rebels won't be handing over their weapons to the United Nations, as they had agreed to...

Associated Press

War or peace? Those stark options faced Colombians on Sunday — and, by a margin of less than 1 percentage point, Colombians voted to remain at war. In a referendum that aimed to end Latin America's longest guerrilla conflict, voters rejected a peace agreement that would have disarmed the Marxist rebel group known as the FARC. The conflict, which began in the 1960s, has killed more than 200,000 people. The question on the ballot was: "Do you support the final accord to end the conflict and to...

Ricardo Mazalan / AP

I won’t deny it – the leftist guerrillas who signed peace with the Colombian government this week are more Mafia than Marx. In 1998 I spent almost a week in Colombia’s southern Caquetá province with those rebels, the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces, or FARC. Back then the FARC was Caquetá’s de facto government, controlling territory the size of Switzerland. Photographer Keith Dannemiller and I boated up and down the sweltering Caguán River talking with guerrillas and hearing why they’d...

The Americas Are Now Officially 'Measles-Free'

Sep 28, 2016

The Americas are now free of measles, the first region in the world to achieve that goal, the Pan American Health Organization announced this week. The success is credited to the effectiveness of mass vaccination programs over the past 22 years. Yet measles remain a significant problem in other parts of the world, public health officials warn. There were 244,704 cases reported in 2015. And outbreaks could still pop up in the Americas if unvaccinated travelers spread the disease. To find out...

C.M. Guerrero / El Nuevo Herald

Fresh off his first debate with Hillary Clinton last night, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump came straight to Miami today to meet with Latino voters – and found he still struggles to engage a voter bloc he’ll need more of if he wants to win the battleground state of Florida.

Secretaria de Seguridad Publica de Tamaulipas

In June, Mexican freelance reporter Zamira Esther Bautista was gunned down by a group of hit men at her home in Ciudad Victoria, Mexico. Her killing has yet to be solved; no one has been arrested. It was the most recent murder of a journalist in Mexico – the eighth there this year. Across Latin America, 23 journalists have been murdered. That’s a big reason media rights groups this month are urging the U.N. to create a special representative for journalists’ protection. “Journalists are under...

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