Category Archives: Print

Harvard Revista: Building a Template for Sustainable Forestry

Revista is published by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard. Fall 2014 is devoted to Peru and includes the photo essay, Building a Template for Sustainable Forestry: Hope in a Landscape of Corruption.

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Jairo Huarash and Armando Espinosa stand on their raft of cut logs or boya. They lived on the raft for three days transporting their wood to a mill. Rio Ucayali, Atalaya Province.

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Narco Killer Sought By U.S. Sends Letter To Mexican President

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MEXICO CITY — Rafael Caro Quintero, a once-powerful Mexican cartel leader who is now a fugitive from United States justice, has sent a letter to Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto claiming the United States wants revenge for a crime the convicted killer says he has already paid for.

Caro Quintero was convicted decades ago in Mexico for the drawn-out torture and murder of Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. The crime ruptured U.S.-Mexico relations in the 1980s and its aftermath echoes to this day.

On Aug.9, 2013, a Mexican judge ordered the release of Rafael Caro Quintero on a technicality.

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Peña Nieto, US Condemn Texas Execution Of Mexican Citizen

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Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto said the execution Wednesday of convicted killer and Mexican national Edgar Tamayo in Texas sets “a bad precedent” that flaunts international law.

Peña commented while speaking with Reuters at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

His government had lobbied for a stay of execution while the case was considered, hoping the United States Supreme Court would issue a stay of execution. The high court reconsidered then rejected a stay Wednesday.

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Bloomberg Editorial: Legal US Pot Won’t Translate Into Peace In Mexico

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MARFA, Texas — There’s been a great deal of speculation about the impact in Mexico of marijuana legalization in some American states.

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox, current Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molino, former Colombian Defense Minister and current President Juan Manuel Santos and Uruguay’s President, whose country has legalized the recreational use of marijuana, have all called for marijuana’s legalization or, at the very least, a reconsideration of existing law in their own countries and elsewhere.

For most of these politicians, the rationale is that legalization will weaken the drug cartels’ grip on their nations and lessen drug-related violence.

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Harvard Revista: The Challenge of Inequality

Revista is published by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard. Spring 2013 is devoted to Panama and includes the photo essay, The Challenge of Inequality.

Southern Darién Province, an emerald maze of rainforest and a crucible of indigenous life, personifies inequality in wealth in modern Panamá. “We’re alone here,” says Grimaldo Contrera, a 40-year-old cacique with jet-black hair and weathered hands that testify to life in rugged Darién.

“The state pledged to help us rebuild our schoolhouse. Nothing has come here but words,” he says showing a visitor his correspondence with authorities. The school has only one shabby room for fifteen children. In 2008, one student in the village was awarded a university scholarship. Contrera says Panamá has money to spend. He says he knows so from listening to the drumbeat of upbeat business stories on radio stations broadcasting from the capital.

Contrera family children swimming ; their family wants to educate them in a better schoolhouse. (Lorne Matalon)

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Forbes Releases List Of 10 Most Corrupt Mexicans In 2013

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Dolia Estevez, a contributor to Forbes Magazine, has published a list of the 10 most corrupt Mexicans in 2013.

The list follows the release of Transparency International’s annual corruption index for 2013.The index shows that Mexico ranked 106 out the 177 countries sampled and on a scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (clean), Mexico scored 34.
Among the Forbes’ list is union boss Elba Esther Gordillo, who was arrested earlier this year.

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Riding La Bestia, The Immigration Train

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Story originally published at EDITOR’S NOTE: Mexico has repeatedly accused the United States of mistreating Mexican immigrants — legal or otherwise. But immigration experts in Mexico say that accusation is hypocritical. They charge the treatment of Central American immigrants entering … Continue reading

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Cartel Shootout With Mexican Police Linked To US Grenade Walking Scandal

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CBS News is reporting a link between a drug cartel shootout with Mexican police last week and a controversial case in the United States.

A Justice Department report obtained by CBS News says the link is a grenade apparently traced to an American who has been under surveillance for some time.

Fronteras Desk Senior Field Correspondent Michel Marizco has followed the flow of weapons from the U.S. into Mexico as part of his extensive coverage of Operation Fast and Furious. The Justice Department believes the import of grenade parts into Mexico from the U.S. is related.

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Photo Gallery: Re-Opening The Border At Boquillas

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Story originally published at An unmanned border station in West Texas has opened almost 11 years after the border was sealed following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The border station is remotely operated, meaning citizens entering the U.S. will … Continue reading

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Harvard Revista: The Challenge of Inequality

Revista is published by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard. Spring 2013 is devoted to Panamá. The Challenge of Inequality is a photo essay that delves into the double edged sword of a soaring economy in Panamá.

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Click here to read full PDF of photo essay.

Click here to view full-screen slideshow.

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Children playing soccer in a downtown street, Colon, Panamá

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Mexico Election Debate Upstaged

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s electoral authority apologized to voters on Monday after a sober presidential debate was upstaged by a former Playboy model and her revealing outfit.

Clad in a tight-fitting white dress with a cut below the neckline to show much of her cleavage, Julia Orayen was working as an assistant on the televised debate, which focused on the economy and the drug-related violence ravaging Mexico.

Former Playboy model and presidential debate assistant Julia Orayen (white) hands out cards to the four candidates during a televised debate at the Federal Electoral Institute in this handout still image taken from video, in Mexico City, May 7, 2012. Credit: Reuters/Instituto Federal Electoral/Handout/ via Reuters TV

Former Playboy model and presidential debate assistant Julia Orayen (white) hands out cards to the four candidates during a televised debate at the Federal Electoral Institute in this handout still image taken from video, in Mexico City, May 7, 2012.
(Reuters)

At the start of Sunday night’s debate, Orayen walked in front of the camera to hand out cards to the four candidates, and created an immediate stir on online social media.

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Mexican Congress Backs Bill To Support Drug War Victims

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(Reuters) – Mexico’s lower house of congress has approved a bill that will require the federal government to provide financial support to victims of the country’s brutal gang violence.

The lower house said congress unanimously backed the bill, known as the General Victims Act, which will provide financial, legal and medical aid to Mexicans caught up in the turf wars between drug gangs and their clashes with security forces.

By Lorne Matalon

(Lorne Matalon)

More than 50,000 people have died in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon sent in the army to crush the cartels soon after taking office in December 2006.

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Peña Nieto Survives First Debate

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(Reuters) – Mexico’s presidential front-runner Enrique Pena Nieto was forced onto the defensive on Sunday by his rivals who accused him of corruption, lies and being a pawn of the media during televised election debate.

Pena Nieto, of the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), has led opinion polls for months and his two main opponents repeatedly turned on the 45-year-old, albeit without airing any new accusations against him or his party.

Handout of presidential candidates posing before attending their first televised debate in Mexico City's World Trade Centre

Handout of presidential candidates posing before attending their first televised debate in Mexico City’s World Trade Centre.

Pena Nieto’s debating skills had been questioned in the run-up to Sunday night, but he hit back against broadsides from Josefina Vazquez Mota of the ruling conservative National Action Party (PAN) and leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

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Interviewed by PBS NewsHour: Mexico Drug Cartels Moving In On Guatemala Routes

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Mexican drug cartels are carving out new territory in northern Guatemala, adding another layer of violence and crime to a country with one of the highest murder rates in the hemisphere.

Guatemalan soldiers check a car for at a checkpoint, Coban, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala.

In December the Guatemalan government declared a two-month state of siege in the rural province of Alta Verapaz, bordering Mexico, in order to crack down on the growing influence of the notorious Mexico-based Los Zetas cartel.

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Shark Fishers Try to Reel in Cash, Turn to Conservation

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Israel Ritchie, known as Tolon, is a 37-year-old shark fisher from López Mateos, Mexico. His family has hunted sharks off the Pacific side of the Baja California peninsula for generations, selling the meat these days for around U.S. 70 cents a kilogram (2.2 pounds) and the shark fins for 50 to 100 U.S. dollars a kilogram.

But relying on shark for an income puts Tolon in a precarious place.

“Our situation is drastic,” Tolon said. “The shark population has fallen sharply in the last ten years. Now I must travel farther offshore to find them.”

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Mexico’s Poor Seek Relief From Tortilla Shortage

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Part six of a special series that explores the local faces of the world’s worst food crisis in decades.

During a protest in México City in January 2008, 28-year-old secretary Anibel Ordonez was one of many chanting “Tortillas si, Pan no!” while waving some of the flat corn disks in the air.

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Patrolling The Border With Mexico

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Patrolling the border with Mexico

Last year the United States deported a record number of undocumented Mexicans, but authorities along the U.S. -Mexico border say Mexicans seeking jobs continue to cross into the United States every day. As well, people from other countries including Russia, Bangladesh and South Africa have also been caught trying to get into the U.S. From south Texas, The World’s Lorne Matalon reports.

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Wine Boom Threatens Native Argentine Water Source

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Agronomist Esteban Jobbagy takes a water sample from the Rio Mendoza, Argentina.

The underground water table in central Argentina’s Monte Desert is falling, leaving the fate of the centuries-old indigenous Huarpes culture hanging in the balance.

Demand for high-quality and still relatively inexpensive Argentine wine, combined with an abundance of land to grow grapes, has become a problem for the desert-dwelling Huarpes.

Vineyard owners are diverting increasing amounts of water from a network of channels and streams originally crafted for irrigation centuries ago by several of Argentina’s indigenous groups.

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Aw Shucks? State Recycles Oyster Shells to Boost Births

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North Carolina restaurants can now toss oyster shells into the recycling bin rather than the trash can.

Following a three-year pilot project, the state is funding a long-term effort to create new reefs from recycled oyster shells.

Lawmakers hope the initiative will regenerate North Carolina’s coastal oyster population and, in turn, stabilize the state’s fishery. The state has classified oyster reefs as “essential marine habitat.”

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Jungle Highway Plan Spurs Security, Eco Fears in Panama

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A boatman on Rio Tuira, Darien, Panama

It is a unique piece of biodiversity, a 60-mile-wide (100-kilometer- wide) emerald wilderness bordered by two oceans. It is the Darién Gap of Panama (see pictures), a landmass linking North and South America and straddling the Panama-Colombia border.

The Darién got its name because it is the only gap in the 16,000-mile (26,000-kilometer) Pan-American Highway, which stretches from Alaska to Patagonia.

But Colombia’s President, Alvaro Uribe, says he wants that gap closed and has requested that Panama pave a road through the Darién to complete the Pan-American Highway.

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