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 produces the weekly Latin America Report, made possible by Espírito Santo Bank.

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Haiti
11:34 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Haitian Prison Break Highlights Larger Justice Dysfunction

Accused Haitian kidnapper Clifford Brandt
Credit Haitian National Police

  The prison breakout in Haiti last weekend was one of the impoverished country’s worst. More than 300 inmates escaped – and many are alleged violent offenders. But the getaway highlights larger problems.

The recently built penitentiary in Croix-des-Bouquets, outside Port-au-Prince, was funded by Canada and was hailed as a modern facility. But the breakout may well have had more to do with Haiti’s justice culture than with its jail security.

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Latin America Report
12:16 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Canal Quarrel: How PortMiami's Future Is Tied To Tiny Panama

Epic Endeavor: Building the Panama Canal's wider locks.
Credit Panama Canal Authority

The original version of this report was published on May 13 2014.

PortMiami has finally opened its new, billion-dollar tunnel. It’s the jewel of a $2 billion port makeover, which includes a major dredging project and skyscraper-size loading cranes for sending a lot more auto parts to Brazil and getting a lot more handbags from China.

But the long-term success of that effort may depend to a large extent on whether a quarrel gets solved a thousand miles to the south. In Panama.

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Cuba
9:28 pm
Sun August 10, 2014

Cuba's Fledgling Entrepreneurs Visit Miami For Capitalist Consultation

Credit Miami Herald

A fledgling private sector is taking root in communist Cuba. Last week a group of Cuban entrepreneurs made an unprecedented visit to Miami to learn how to run a business -- and to convince Americans they’re the real deal.

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Opinion
6:12 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

As Central Americans Flee Their Countries, Their Leaders Take Refuge In Hypocrisy

Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez (left) talks with U.S. Marine General John Kelly during his Southcom visit on Wednesday.
Credit U.S. Southern Command

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández dropped by the U.S. Southern Command in Miami this week to talk about security in Central America. Or the utter lack of security in Central America. Honduras has the highest murder rate on Earth, and things are almost as deadly in neighboring Guatemala and El Salvador.

That’s why the Southcom visit was a nifty photo op for Hernández – who'd like the world to believe that he’s having to wage a war with vicious narco-gangs solely because Americans have an insatiable appetite for drugs.

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South Florida Culture
5:13 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

How South Floridians From Different Countries Get A Taste Of Home Through Rice

Coconut rice is served as a side dish with fish, tostones and salad.
Constanza Gallardo WLRN

Click through the photos above to see the different dishes.

By itself, rice is a pretty simple grain. But in South Florida, rice takes on several roles.

For some cultures, it's a side dish, for others it's a main dish or even a delicacy. Below, South Floridians from different countries talk about what rice means to them.

COLOMBIA

Maria Teresa De Arango learned how to make coconut rice when she was 10 years old, from her aunt who lived in Cartagena, a small town off the coast of Colombia.

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Latin America Report
4:25 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Should The Panama Canal Join Classes As Well As Oceans?

Two Panamas: Panama City's gleaming new towers directly above its large shanty slums.
Credit Peter Nickalls / Flickr

This story originally ran on May 7, 2014  

Jorge Quijano has one of the coolest office views in the Americas: the Pacific port entrance to the Panama Canal. The panoramic vista seems to help Quijano, who heads the Panama Canal Authority, see the bigger picture.

On the one hand, Quijano understands why Panama has run the canal much more effectively than the United States did.

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Newscast
6:41 am
Wed July 30, 2014

July 30, 2014: Meet A Mom Who Fled Violence in Honduras For Miami

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

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Immigration
6:08 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Gang Violence Pushes Even The Prosperous To Flee Central America

Saira, 23, fled Honduras with her two children, ages 7 and 4, to Miami.
Credit Saira / Courtesy

The country is grappling with how to handle the influx of Central American children who have come to the United States over the past few months. And as Central America has become more and more violent, more families have been coming to South Florida too.

Over the last year more than 55,000 families were apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border. That’s almost six times more than the same time period a year ago.

Florida is one of the top five states receiving this influx of immigrants.

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Documentary
6:59 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Hear From Children Seeking Refuge In Miami From Violence Below The Border

Sindy, 18, who came to the United States as an unaccompanied minor from Honduras in March, tells the story of her dangerous journey.
Credit Emily Michot / Miami Herald staff

As tens of thousands children from Central America have been fleeing for the United States, U.S. society is trying to figure out how to deal with the crisis -- at many different levels.

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Latin America Report
10:50 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Zahra Burton Of "18 Degrees North" Aims To Make A "60 Minutes For The Caribbean"

Zahra Burton, host of "18 Degrees North"
Credit 18 Degrees North

Eighteen degrees north is the latitude where Jamaica and much of the Caribbean sit. It’s also the name of a new television newsmagazine show, perhaps the first to take an unflinching look at the problems and potential of the Caribbean.

“18 Degrees North” is in its second season. It debuted in South Florida this summer, airing Sundays at 2:30 p.m. on CBS affiliate WBFS-TV, My 33. It’s hosted by former Bloomberg TV reporter Zahra Burton.

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