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In Mexico’s Guerrero State, a Battle Is Underway between Indigenous Communities and Drug Cartels – September 14, 2015

An inside look at the conflict between Native Peoples and narcotraffickers in Mexico's most dangerous state

Mexico’s southwestern Guerrero state is home to the nation’s highest murder rate, and it’s where 43 student teachers went missing last fall. As is the case in many parts of Mexico, the violence is tied directly to the drug trade. In Guerrero, the dry, cool climate of the Sierra Madre del Sur – the mountain range the runs through the heart of the state – provides ideal conditions for poppy cultivation. At least 60 percent of all opium and heroin produced in the country comes from the remote region. The fallout from so much black-market activity is predictably deadly: More than a half-dozen cartels are currently engaged in vicious turf wars… more

by: Jeremy Kryt

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Guns, Farms, and Oil: How Colombian Tribes are Being Driven to Extinction – January 14, 2015

At least 1,800 Indigenous people have been killed and 84,000 more displaced in Colombia in the past 10 years

The tin-roofed, off-the-grid clinic at Chuscal – deep within the U’wa tribe’s reserve in the mountains of northeast Colombia – is packed with patients on a stormy afternoon. There aren’t enough chairs to go around, and some of the sick are sprawled out on the cracked floor tiles. Most of them are without shoes. Many waiting to see the doctor are young U’wa children, here to be treated for malnutrition, their bellies swollen taut with hunger. Other common maladies include tuberculosis, dysentery and leishmaniasis, a parasite spread by sandflies which enters through the skin to attack internal organs. Several families will sleep in the Chuscal clinic tonight when it closes, because… more

by: Jeremy Kryt

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Is a World Bank Loan Funding Murders in Honduras? – April 5, 2013

Bank-funded palm oil company implicated in “death squad” killings of land-rights activists

The World Bank is facing intense pressure from human rights and environmental groups to cancel a $30 million loan to a palm oil company in Honduras that’s suspected of being involved in the murder of scores of small-scale Indigenous farmers in the country’s Aguan river valley.

farmersPhotos by hondurasdelegation/FlickrCampesinos watch as security forces demolish their homes in Bajo, Aguan. Grupo Dinant, is alleged
to have violently confiscated thousands of acres of land from local residents in the fertile valley.

The company, Grupo Dinant, is alleged to have violently confiscated thousands of acres of land from local residents in the fertile valley region on… more

by: Jeremy Kryt

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Fear and Voting in Honduras – December 17, 2009

A photographic essay

photo of a crowd

The worst crisis to hit Central America since the wars of the 1980’s began on June 28, 2009, when Honduran soldiers attacked the home of legal, democratically-elected president Mel Zelaya and exiled him from the country by plane, after a short stop at a strategic U.S. airbase. A military-backed dictatorship was then installed, under de facto president Roberto Micheletti – a far-right political president, who had failed to capture the presidency in three different elections, before seizing the office by force. Since then crisis has gripped the country. Dozens have died, hundreds wounded, and thousands more detained, as police and soldiers have repeatedly… more

by: Jeremy Kryt

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Irate in the Caribbean – November 29, 2009

How the Honduras Coup Threatens the Hemisphere’s Largest Coral Reef

Roatan, Honduras: There’s a troubling silence beneath the palm trees of this Caribbean island paradise, and the quaint sandy streets are empty of tourists. No Jimmy Buffett or Bob Marley tunes are to be heard in the ramshackle beach bars, and many shops and restaurants have been forced to close for lack of business.

“Bookings are down 50 percent since June, and 66 percent overall since this time last year,” said P.J. Rowntree, owner of the Coconut Tree Divers, a once-thriving scuba shop in the town of West End on Roatan. “And it’s the same situation for all the other [scuba shop] owners. We’re all in the same boat. The… more

by: Jeremy Kryt

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