Latin America

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CDC: To Dodge Zika, Get Altitude

Areas above 6.5K feet are likely safe for pregnant women

(Newser) - Pregnant women need not avoid Zika-infested countries—if they stay a mile above sea level. Updated travel notices from the CDC note areas with elevations above 6,500 feet, including Mexico City, are considered safe for pregnant women because mosquitoes are "predicted to be largely absent," report the... More »

US Judge Holds Argentina in Contempt of Court

Country's lawyers call finding 'completely absurd'

(Newser) - A New York judge has found Argentina in contempt of court for its open defiance of his orders regarding US hedge funds that hold Argentina bonds. Judge Thomas Griesa made the finding today at a Manhattan hearing. He reserved decision on sanctions pending further proceedings. Lawyers for the US hedge... More »

'Kissing Bug' Disease Prompts Growing Concern in US

300K likely have Chagas disease, little-known in the US

(Newser) - Some 8 million people have Chagas disease, a life-threatening illness passed to humans by "kissing bugs," or triatomines, living in Latin America. In the US, few people know about the disease—but the CDC figures that some 300,000 people may be infected here. In countries like Bolivia,... More »

Uruguay Prez: It's Time to Stop Wearing Suits

He rants against formal attire at regional conference

(Newser) - War! Imperialism! Racism! Formal attire! One after another, the leaders of Latin America denounced the ills of the world at a regional summit in Cuba yesterday. It fell to famously casual Jose Mujica, the Uruguayan president, to tackle a subtler evil plaguing humankind: the business suit. "We have to... More »

Fungus Threatens Most Common Banana

If it spreads to Latin America, the Cavendish might be doomed

(Newser) - Banana fans, meet your enemy: Fusarium oxysporum f. sp.cubense, but you can call it Foc for short. It's a banana-killing fungus present in Asia and Australia and more recently in Mozambique and Jordan. If it spreads to Latin America—which accounts for about 80% of banana exports—supermarket... More »

New Trend in Latin America: Exhuming the Dead

Often, investigators want to see if political leaders were murdered

(Newser) - Lately, Latin America is really into ... exhuming political and intellectual leaders. As the New York Times explains it, the region has always been more inclined toward exhumation than the rest of the world, a custom that could date back to the early days of Christianity, when saints' body parts were... More »

Pope Scolds Bishops: Go Outside Your Churches

You've got to get out and meet the needy, he says in Brazil

(Newser) - Pope Francis delivered a simple simple message to Latin American bishops in Brazil today—if you're going to help the needy and keep people from straying from the church, you've got to get outside and actually meet them:
  • "We cannot keep ourselves shut up in parishes, in
... More »

China Plots Own Panama Canal— in Nicaragua

Chinese-aided project could double Nicaragua's GDP

(Newser) - The Panama Canal could soon have a rival to the northwest. Nicaragua is itching to get started on a new route between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, one that would measure 130 miles and take as long as 11 years and $40 billion to dig. And just as the US... More »

Why the World's Murder Capital Is So Messed Up

Drug trafficking, geography make Honduras the most dangerous country on Earth

(Newser) - Honduras has officially taken the crown as the world's most violence-riddled country, with an average of 20 people killed a day in a country the size of Tennessee, reports NPR , which took a trip there to get a look at what's causing all this killing. As in many... More »

El Salvador Woman Denied Abortion Has C-Section

Baby dies as docs move to save mom

(Newser) - After being denied an abortion despite serious health concerns, a Salvadoran woman known only as Beatriz has undergone a cesarean section to save her life, the AP reports. The baby girl was born without a brain 27 weeks into the pregnancy and died five hours later, the Guardian reports. El... More »

El Salvador Denies Woman a Life-Saving Abortion

Doubles down on laws as others in region relax them

(Newser) - El Salvador's highest court has denied a young mother's request for an abortion that could save her life, in a ruling her lawyers are blasting as "misogynistic" that underscores the country's fierce commitment to its anti-abortion laws. The 22-year-old woman, Beatriz, has complications from lupus that... More »

Ex-Dictator, 86, Gets 80 Years for Genocide

Efrain Rios Montt of Guatemala convicted in mass deaths of villagers

(Newser) - A former Guatemalan dictator earned an awful place in history yesterday when he became the first former head of state convicted of genocide in his own country, reports the BBC . A court sentenced 86-year-old Efrain Rios Montt to 50 years for genocide and another 30 years for crimes against humanity,... More »

Obama in Mexico: Time to Kill 'Old Stereotypes'

President addresses young audience in Mexico City

(Newser) - Calling for an end to "old stereotypes," President Obama today portrayed Mexico as an emerging nation that is remaking itself and said the US-Mexico relationship should be defined by shared prosperity, not by threats that both countries face. "It's time to recognize new realities," he... More »

Peru Proves Missing Couple Are Safe, Gives Them Booze

'I may delete my Facebook,' writes Jamie Neal about the fuss over her 'disappearance'

(Newser) - Garrett Hand's mother can rest easy: After vanishing for more than a month while on a biking trip in Peru, her son has turned up alive. The simple explanation, which Hand and girlfriend Jamie Neal posted to Facebook on Wednesday: They were traveling through Amazon villages that had no... More »

Peru: Missing Calif. Couple Alive, Having a Blast

Pair in 'remote, paradise-like' Amazon region

(Newser) - A young American couple reported missing in Peru are alive and having the time of their lives, according to Peruvian authorities. The country's tourism minister says Jamie Neal and Garrett Hand are currently on a small boat heading up a jungle river in a "remote, paradise-like region,"... More »

Guatemala Ex-Dictator Heads for Genocide Trial

Montt accused of overseeing atrocities against Mayan civilians

(Newser) - A former US-backed dictator who presided over one of the bloodiest periods of Guatemala's civil war will stand trial on charges he ordered the murder, torture, and displacement of thousands of Mayan Indians, a judge has ruled. Human rights advocates have said that the prosecution of Jose Efrain Rios... More »

Honduras City Now World's Most Violent

San Pedro Sula becomes murder capital

(Newser) - A surge in drug-related violence has made San Pedro Sula in Honduras the murder capital of the world. Some 1,143 of its 719,447 residents were murdered in 2011, giving it a murder rate of 159 people per 100,000 citizens—even higher than Mexico's Ciudad Juarez, which... More »

Chavez Wins in Venezuela

He fends off younger challenger in presidential race

(Newser) - Hugo Chavez's reign in Venezuela will extend to 20 years, assuming he's telling the truth about having beaten his cancer. The 58-year-old defeated 40-year-old challenger Henrique Capriles in today's presidential election by 54% to 45%, reports Reuters . Capriles had figured to make oil-rich Venezuela more business-friendly and... More »

Ecuador Saved Assange to Settle an Old Score

President Correa is also grabbing the limelight: Anita Isaacs

(Newser) - You think Ecuador welcomed Julian Assange because his work on WikiLeaks is so vital to democracy? Not at all: Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa, granted asylum to Assange in order to settle an old score with Washington, writes Anita Isaacs in the New York Times . Tensions arose between the two... More »

New Roadblock for Immigrants: Tattoos

US scans them for possible gang affiliations

(Newser) - Immigrants applying for a green card might want to think before they ink. In recent years, US immigration officials have been scrutinizing the tattoos of foreigners seeking documentation in what some say is a misguided effort to prevent organized crime in Latin America from crossing the border, reports the Wall ... More »

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