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Featured Articles

Peru: Cocaine king’s riches don’t reach growers

October 15, 2013
VRAE, Peru — A sea of coca leaves — the key ingredient in cocaine and crack — lies drying in the blazing sun as farmer Teodoro Alzamora complains bitterly about the grinding poverty trapping his village. “Coca’s what gives us clothes to wear and medicine when we are sick. It feeds our children,” he says, explaining that his only sourceRead more

Cerro Rico: The mountain that eats men

March 21, 2013
CERRO RICO DE POTOSI, Bolivia — “There isn’t a man on this mountain who wants his children to work here,” Pablo Choque says as he prepares for his shift as a driller. Above us towers 15,800-foot Cerro Rico — literally the “Rich Mountain” — the greatest silver deposit ever known. Locals have another name for it: The Mountain that EatsRead 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 apparentRead 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 softRead 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 asRead more

Can El Salvador’s gang truce hold?

May 22, 2012
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — Carlos shows no emotion as he talks about the victims he shot and stabbed as he worked his way up the ladder of one of the world’s most vicious street gangs. “It’s how you gain status,” he says matter-of-factly. When asked how many people he hurt, he thinks for a split second before responding: “Enough.”Read more

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