NEWS ABOUT: Central America

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What's Killing Central America's Young Men?

Researchers try to explain widespread kidney disease

(Newser) - Kidney disease is ravaging Central America, and researchers aren't sure what's causing it. Thousands of sugarcane field workers have died of chronic kidney disease, or CKD, in recent years, the Verge reports. While CKD affects more than 20 million in the US, here it's most prevalent in... More »

Thousands Flee El Salvador Volcano

Chaparrastique eruption snarls Central American travel

(Newser) - A volcano in eastern El Salvador has blown its top for the first time in nearly 40 years, forcing thousands of people to flee their homes. Dozens of flights from the capital have been canceled and authorities say they can't rule out fresh eruptions from the Chaparrastique volcano, CNN... More »

Central America Hit By Mass Die-Off of Sea Turtles

Scientists aren't sure what's going on

(Newser) - Between late September and mid-October, 114 sea turtles washed up dead on El Salvador's beaches. All across Central America, the same thing is happening: In Guatemala, 115 have died this year; in Costa Rica, 280; late last year, 200 died in Panama. In Nicaragua, in addition to the turtle... More »

How Dust From the Sahara Ends up in S. America

A giant dust cloud currently headed across the Atlantic

(Newser) - Once or twice a week in late spring and summer, gusts of wind send dust from the Sahara Desert flying across the Atlantic Ocean, in what's known as the Saharan Air Layer. But a particularly concentrated dust cloud is currently midair, en route to land in Central and South... 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 »

Second Strong Quake Rattles Guatemala

6.1 quake causes panic

(Newser) - Guatemala has been hit by 6.1 magnitude earthquake, less than a week after a 7.2 quake killed at least 52 people and made thousands of people homeless. There have been no immediate reports of deaths or major damage, but the latest temblor caused widespread panic and was felt... 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 »

Thousands Flee Guatemala's 'Volcano of Fire'

'It sounded like a pressure cooker that wouldn't stop,' evacuee says

(Newser) - More than 10,000 people fled their homes yesterday after Guatemala's Volcan del Fuego—"Volcano of Fire"—blew its top, spewing ash over a wide area and hurling burning rocks thousands of feet in the air, reports the BBC . The tourist center of Antigua, just six miles... More »

Costa Rica Escapes Major Damage in Big Quake

AP says one death is confirmed

(Newser) - The earthquake that struck Costa Rica today may have been massive at 7.6-magnitude, but the Central American nation looks to have escaped major damage, reports AP . The quake collapsed at least one bridge, knocked down some houses, and caused plenty of panic, but the physical damage is relatively minor... More »

Killing in Honduras: Is DEA Overstepping Its Bounds?

DEA says strategy is working, human rights groups not so sure

(Newser) - The Drug Enforcement Agency has confirmed that its agents shot a suspected drug pilot dead in Honduras last week, the AP reports. An agency spokeswoman says that a twin-engine plane carrying cocaine from Colombia crashed in eastern Honduras while being pursued by government aircraft. One pilot was injured in the... More »

Firefight May Blow Cover on DEA Role in Honduras

Mayor says agents mistook villagers for drug smugglers, killing 4

(Newser) - DEA agents in "commando-style" units have been quietly helping Honduran police go after drug smugglers, but a firefight this month may make it a lot harder to keep the operation low-key, reports the New York Times . A local mayor says a helicopter with DEA agents and Honduran cops fired... More »

Farmworkers Seize Land in Massive Honduras Protest

Plantations are on public land, activists say

(Newser) - Honduras saw its own kind of Occupy protest erupt yesterday. Thousands of impoverished farmworkers in the Central American nation took over land belonging to major landowners in a coordinated series of protests around the country, reports the BBC . The farmworkers insisted that the land was public land that small farmers... More »

Violence-Torn Guatemala's Solution: Legalize Drugs?

President Otto Perez Molina to discuss idea with Central American leaders

(Newser) - New Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina came to power promising a "firm hand" against his country's worsening drug trafficking problems. But yesterday, Perez showed his hand, to some surprise: He called for drug legalization, not just in Guatemala but around Central America, reports the LA Times . "We'... More »

Peace Corps Pulls Out of Bloody Honduras

And it won't send new recruits to El Salvador, Guatemala

(Newser) - Life in Honduras is no walk in the park: The country sees some 20 homicides daily, giving it the unfortunate title of Central America's most dangerous country. And so the Peace Corps has decided to pull out. Though it says the 158 volunteers it has in the country are... More »

Heavy Rain Hammering Coffee Crops

Price climbs amid continued bad weather in Central America

(Newser) - As Central America is battered by downpours, the weather is taking a heavy toll on the region’s coffee growers. With the harvest about to begin, wind is knocking leaves off coffee trees, leaving unripe berries unprotected. Ripe berries are ruined by landing on soaking ground. Soon, your morning cup... More »

1 in 50 Central American Men Murdered by Age 31: UN

Situation is nearing a 'crisis point'

(Newser) - This is basically insane: A new UN report says that one in 50 Central American 20-year-old men will be murdered before they turn 31. Unsurprisingly, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime says the situation is nearing a "crisis point." The report places much of the blame on... More »

Guatemala Sentences Ex-Soldiers to 6K Years

Four convicted of massacring villagers in 1982

(Newser) - A Guatemalan court has sentenced four former soldiers to more than 6,000 years each for the 1982 massacre of 201 men, women, and children. The conviction is the first for a massacre during the country's 36-year civil war, in which nearly a quarter of a million people were... More »

McDonald's Urged US to Delay El Salvador Pact

Execs sought to use free trade deal as leverage to win legal battle

(Newser) - McDonald's urged the US to delay a free trade agreement with El Salvador in order to help resolve a long-running legal battle with a former franchisee in its favor, according to a diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks. The cable notes that execs from the fast-food chain told the US ambassador... More »

145 Killed in Central America Storm

Guatemala sinkhole swallows 3-story building

(Newser) - The first tropical storm of the season has claimed 145 lives and officials fear many more people have been buried by landslides in remote parts of Central America. In Guatemala, the hardest-hit country, at least 120 people were killed by tropical storm Agatha and its aftermath, including a man who... More »

6.0 Quake Shakes Guatemala, but No Damage

Quake also hit El Salvador

(Newser) - A strong earthquake has rocked Guatemala and parts of El Salvador, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage in either country. The US Geological Survey says the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.0, and hit this morning about 60 miles southwest of Guatemala City, where... More »

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