Central America

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Our Path to Chocolate Started Earlier Than Thought

Humans were using cacao 5,400 years ago in Ecuador, study suggests

(Newser) - New research strengthens the case that people used the chocolate ingredient cacao in South America 5,400 years ago, underscoring the seed's radical transformation into today's Twix bars and M&M candies, per the AP . Tests indicate traces of cacao on artifacts from an archaeological site in Ecuador,... More »

Trump May Have a Plan for Blocking Migrants

He's said to be weighing executive orders

(Newser) - President Trump hasn't built his wall across America's southern border—but as a "caravan" of thousands migrants from Central America moves north through Mexico, he may try to block them with executive orders instead. Insiders tell the Washington Post that the president is considering an executive order... More »

Pentagon Plans to Send Hundreds of Troops to Border

Defense chief Mattis expected to sign order as migrants approach

(Newser) - President Trump on Thursday again declared the situation at the US-Mexico border a "national emergency" and promised to get the military involved. Now it appears the Pentagon is preparing to do just that. Defense chief James Mattis is expected to sign an order authorizing at least 800 troops to... More »

There Might Soon Be 3 US-Bound Caravans

Group plans to leave El Salvador next week, as Honduran stragglers move north

(Newser) - If the Honduran migrant caravan making its way toward to the US southern border is "the gift that keeps on giving for Donald Trump's midterm elections," as the Telegraph suggests, then a second caravan forming in El Salvador may be the bow on top. An internal report... More »

Migrant Caravan Re-Forms in Mexico, Marches Northward

Migrants stream across Guatemala-Mexico border, vote to keep going

(Newser) - Days after trying to break down the fence at the Guatemala-Mexico border , a mass caravan of migrants appears largely unbent in their desire to reach the United States, reports the AP . Their numbers swelled to about 5,000 overnight and at first light they set out walking toward the Mexican... More »

Trump Warns Mexico, Says He'll Send Military to Border

President wants caravan of migrants from Honduras to be turned away

(Newser) - President Trump said Thursday that he's ready to send the US military to the border to keep a caravan of mostly Honduran migrants out. In a series of tweets , Trump also reiterated threats to withhold financial aid to Central American nations, with particular attention to Mexico. "I must,... More »

Looming Border Showdown Is Inching Its Way North

President warns Honduras over 'caravan' of immigrants headed toward US

(Newser) - Back in April, a "caravan" of immigrants marching across Central America toward the US border drew the attention of President Trump. Now comes round two. On Tuesday, Trump issued a warning to Honduras, where most of the immigrants in the latest group are from: "The United States has... More »

Ancient Turquoise Rewrites Aztec History

Looks like Mesoamericans found their own and didn't trade with American Southwest

(Newser) - For a long time, scholars have thought that the Aztecs had frequent contact with groups in what's now the American Southwest. But a new chemical analysis of ancient turquoise artifacts just put a giant hole in that theory. It now appears that the Aztecs and another Mesoamerican civilization known... More »

Border Impasse Over Migrant Caravan Ends

At least 8 were allowed to enter US

(Newser) - US border inspectors have allowed some of the Central American asylum-seekers from a "caravan of migrants" criticized by President Trump to enter the country for processing, ending a brief impasse over lack of space. Now, the migrants who crossed Mexico in a caravan may face a long legal path.... More »

Caravan at Border Must Prove 'Credible Fear'

About 200 migrants will make plea for asylum, a process that can take months or longer

(Newser) - The caravan of migrants that has drawn the attention of President Trump is much smaller than it used to be, but an estimated 150 to 200 Central Americans are now at the US-Mexico border hoping to gain entry into America. US border officials have slowed things down at least temporarily... More »

Central American 'Caravan' With Women, Kids Reaches Border

About 130 migrants are hoping to find asylum in US

(Newser) - About 130 Central Americans, mostly women and kids, have arrived at the US-Mexico border in a "caravan" of asylum-seeking immigrants that has drawn the fury of President Trump. Two busloads arrived late Tuesday in the Mexican border city of Tijuana at two migrant shelters just steps from one of... More »

'Terror on the High Seas': the Coast Guard's Floating Prisons

Fishermen carrying drugs from South America detained on US vessels for days or weeks

(Newser) - Seth Freed Wessler wrote a story last week for the New York Times that he describes to PRI as one of "real terror … on the high seas": what amounts to "floating Guantanamos" in the Pacific, Coast Guard cutters sent far from US shores to bust smugglers trying... More »

Rape Accusation at School Leads to Immigration Outcry

One of 2 teens accused in sexual assault came from Guatemala

(Newser) - A Maryland high school has been thrust into the national immigration debate after a 14-year-old student said she was raped in a bathroom there by two classmates, including one who authorities said came to the US illegally. The latest flashpoint in the immigration debate started out as a sexual assault... More »

Airline Announces Longest Nonstop Flight in the World

Route from Dubai to Panama City on Emirates will take 17.5 hours

(Newser) - Seventeen hours and 35 minutes is how long you can expect to be in the air if you book tickets now for the world's longest nonstop flight, set for takeoff from Dubai and landing in Panama City, the National reports. Beginning Feb. 1, Emirates will snatch away those longest-flight... More »

Here's What Migrant Children Are Fleeing

John Washington tells their harrowing stories

(Newser) - Central American child migrants at our borders travel through a "hellish gauntlet of kidnapping, extortion, murder, and rape" in Mexico, and then arrive in the US only to face " anti-children protests ," arrests, and brutal immigration policies, John Washington writes at Salon . What could prompt them to face... More »

Planeload of Women, Kids Sent Back to Honduras

Texas lawmakers move to make deportations easier

(Newser) - Aid workers, camera crews, politicians, and even the nation's first lady were on hand as a planeload of mothers and children being sent back from the US arrived in Honduras yesterday. The planeload of around 40 people from a New Mexico detention center is just the "initial wave"... More »

Inside Texas' 'Death Valley' for Migrants

Brooks County has recovered 37 bodies this year

(Newser) - Border officials in Texas' Brooks County pray for rain to keep the heat down—and, as the chief deputy says, "to keep the body count down." "I really do pray for rain every day," he tells NBC News . Known by ranchers as "Death Valley,"... More »

Obama Seeks Nearly $4B to Deal With Child Immigrants

That's nearly double the initial estimate

(Newser) - The White House had been kicking around the idea of requesting $2 billion to deal with the unprecedented wave of underage immigrants arriving from Central America. Today, in a sign of just how fast the crisis is escalating, it made a formal request to Congress for nearly twice that amount,... More »

UN: Central Americans Fleeing to US Are Refugees

Agency pushes for regional agreement

(Newser) - United Nations officials are pushing for many of the Central Americans fleeing to the US to be treated as refugees displaced by armed conflict, a designation meant to increase pressure on the United States to accept tens of thousands of people currently ineligible for asylum. Officials with the UN High... More »

White House Seeks Tougher Rules on Child Migrants

Central Americans could quickly be sent home

(Newser) - Amid an influx of child migrants , many from Central America, President Obama is calling on Congress to change the rules on how their cases are handled—and it looks like his proposals will make it harder for the kids to stay. As it currently stands, children from countries that don'... More »

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