Is Ecuador’s president using U.S. law to censor critics?
January 19, 2015
LIMA, Peru — You might think that using United States laws to shut up social media opponents would be the last thing Rafael Correa would do. A vocal adversary of Washington, Ecuador's leftist president has also made a name for sheltering WikiLeaks' Julian Assange in his country's London Embassy, and briefly offering asylum to U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden. So,…Read more
Ayahuasca, an Amazonian trip
December 31, 2011
MADRE DE DIOS, Peru — Without a word, the shaman hands me a plastic cup of ayahuasca, one of the Amazon rainforest’s most powerful hallucinogens. I down the pungent black liquid in one gulp, barely managing to repress the gagging reflex that its bitter, foul taste instantly triggers. And the wait begins. Around us, in a moonless blanket of darkness, the…Read more
Gay in Belize? You’re breaking the law. Still.
July 24, 2013
BELIZE CITY, Belize — As a growing number of US gay couples exercise their new right to legally wed, here homosexuals wait for the day when they're no longer criminalized for being gay. This tiny Central American nation is one of numerous member states of the Commonwealth — former British colonies from Tonga to East Africa — where colonial-era laws…Read more
The ghosts of Mexico’s past
June 4, 2012
For seven decades, the Institutional Revolutionary Party ruled Mexico by hook or by crook, stuffing ballot boxes, massacring democracy protesters and bribing journalists into providing sycophantic coverage. When it finally lost a presidential election for the first time, in 2000, the atmosphere was reminiscent of the fall of the Berlin wall. But now the party, universally known in Mexico as…Read more
The world’s biggest drug dealer: Uruguay’s move towards legalising marijuana hailed as ground-breaking – but will other South American nations follow suit?
August 1, 2013
Uruguay has taken a momentous step towards becoming the first country in the world to create a legal, national market for cannabis after the lower chamber of its Congress voted in favour of the groundbreaking plan. The Bill would allow consumers to either grow up to six plants at home or buy up to 40g per month of the soft…Read more
The changing face of Andean glaciers
September 2, 2011
To the untrained eye, the view from the Yanapaqcha glacier, some 17,000ft above sea level in the heart of the Peruvian Andes, represents nature at her most sublime. Sheer, snowcapped peaks stretch to the horizon while, through the clouds below, fertile ravines drain into perfect turquoise lakes. But as our crampons crunch into the hard ice, it quickly becomes apparent…Read more