Central America

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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 »

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 »

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