Latin America

Latin America
9:49 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Cruise Ship Didn't Aid Drifting Boat, Passengers Say

Bird-watcher Jeff Gilligan snapped this photograph of a small boat in distress. Gilligan and others say the cruise ship he was traveling on did not stop to help the stricken craft.
Jeff Gilligan

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 5:09 pm

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Latin America
5:06 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Panama Booms While Poor Watch From Afar

Tourists visit the San Felipe neighborhood in Panama City in December 2011. Panama is experiencing record economic growth, but many fear the benefits aren't trickling down to the poor.
Rodrigo Arangua AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 16, 2012 6:12 pm

The Central American nation of Panama is booming. Fueled by a multibillion-dollar expansion of the Panama Canal, a thriving banking industry and capital flight from Venezuela, the tiny nation has the highest economic growth rate in the hemisphere.

But even as the government builds a subway system and markets the country as a tropical paradise for multinational corporations, not everyone is sharing in the prosperity.

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Latin America
3:15 am
Thu April 12, 2012

After Taint Of Drugs, Colombia Reinvents Itself

A woman looks over vegetables in Carulla Supermarket in Bogota, Colombia. The country, which plays host this weekend to the Summit of the Americas, is a rising star in the region. Foreign investment has quadrupled over the past decade, and it has a new free-trade agreement with the U.S.
Javier Galeano AP

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 10:22 am

Colombia was once associated with cocaine trafficking and powerful drug lords, but today's reality is different: It's stable, a magnet for foreign investment and diplomatically engaged — and this weekend hosts the Summit of the Americas. Increasingly, Colombia is seen as South America's rising star.

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Latin America
3:03 am
Wed April 4, 2012

An Upgrade, And Bigger Ships, For The Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is undergoing its biggest overhaul since it was opened nearly a century ago. A third channel is being built, which will allow more and larger ships to pass through.
Arnulfo Franco AP

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 8:17 pm

Two giant ships move through the Panama Canal's two parallel channels at the Miraflores locks, heading toward the Pacific Ocean.

The orange and white Bow Summer is a tanker. The deck of the Ever Dynamic is stacked high with burgundy and blue shipping containers. More boats like these are backed up in both the Pacific and the Atlantic waiting to enter the narrow waterway.

Global trade has grown dramatically, but the Panama Canal — one of the most vital transit routes — hasn't changed its basic structure since it opened in 1914.

But that is about to change.

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Latin America
3:45 am
Mon April 2, 2012

30 Years On, Argentina Still Claims Falklands

People walk past a Falklands War memorial in Ushuaia, Argentina, on Sunday. Some Argentines want Britain to give up the Falkland Islands, which Argentina tried to take over in a bloody war in 1982.
Natacha Pisarenko AP

Thirty years ago, on April 2, 1982, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, leading to a short but bloody war with Britain. Argentina lost, and the islands in the frigid South Atlantic stayed under British control.

Argentina still claims the islands, however, and is pressuring Britain like never before.

On a recent day, the ornate Palais de Glace museum in Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires, was packed with visitors browsing through a collection of photographs from the Falkland Islands war.

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Latin America
3:40 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Pope Meets Fidel Castro, Wraps Up Visit To Cuba

Pope Benedict meets with Fidel Castro in Havana on Wednesday as he wraps up his three-day visit to Cuba. A large crowd turned out for the Mass, though the pope did not meet with dissidents.
Osservatore Romano AP

In the last public event of his three-day visit to the island, Pope Benedict XVI called on Cuba, and the world, to change and choose a path of "love, reconciliation and brotherhood."

After the Mass, the pontiff met with Fidel Castro for a half-hour before departing for Rome, wrapping up a weeklong trip to Mexico and Cuba.

The pope did not meet with Cuban dissidents during his trip, however, drawing criticism from Castro opponents in Cuba and abroad.

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Latin America
4:04 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Cruising Over Colombia In A Plane From Another Era

A DC 3 stands ready to take off on the runway in Villavicencio , Colombia.
Carlos Villalon for NPR

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 11:41 am

The plane flown by Capt. Ricardo Fajardo has been around for nearly 70 years, ever since it was built in California by the Douglas Aircraft Co. at the height of World War II.

But as a red and orange DC-3 hugs the treetops and skims past the Vaupes River in the remote southeastern corner of Colombia, Fajardo says he wouldn't feel more comfortable in any other plane.

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