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Featured Articles

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
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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
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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

Ayahuasca, an Amazonian trip

December 31, 2011
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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

Can El Salvador’s gang truce hold?

May 22, 2012
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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

In Ecuador, a quiet war on whistleblowers

August 20, 2012
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QUITO, Ecuador — As Julian Assange spoke from a balcony in Ecuador’s London embassy Sunday, journalists here wondered whether to laugh or cry. The WikiLeaks founder claimed that “freedom of expression and the health of all our societies” was under threat and warned of a “dangerous and oppressive world in which journalists fall silent under the fear of prosecution.” Yet,…Read more

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

October 15, 2013
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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 source…Read more

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