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Haiti Earthquake, Redistricting In Florida, Cocaine Cowboys

A bulldozer works at the site of the collapsed Hotel Le Manguier in Les Cayes, Haiti, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021, two days after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck the southwestern part of the country.

On this, Monday, Aug.16, episode of Sundial. 

Haiti Earthquake

A 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck in the western part of Haiti Saturday morning. Nearly 1,300 people have been reported dead and thousands more injured.

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The country is still recovering from the 2010 earthquake and government authorities are working to make sure the distribution of aid is more efficient this time around.

“There are several differences between this earthquake and the one that struck Haiti in 2010, while this one was more powerful, we're talking about an area that is not as crowded as the capital houses and more dispersed. But we are seeing a lot of collapsed homes, buildings, especially churches. The Catholic Church once again, has taken a huge hit in terms of the loss of structures and the loss of lives,” said Jacqueline Charles, the Miami Herald's Caribbean correspondent.

The earthquake struck about five miles from the town of Petit-Trou-de-Nippes, which is in the western part of the country and about 80 miles away from Port-au-Prince, according to the United States Geological Survey.

There are also concerns about Tropical Depression Grace, which is expected to make landfall in Haiti sometime Monday, and the impact it could have on the affected area.

All of this comes just five weeks after Haitian President Jovenel Moise was assassinated. The government is asking that all aid and donations into the country go through one door — the government itself.

“Unfortunately, the government of Haiti has proven to be not very good at managing situations of that scale. And when you talk about government, you’re barely talking about a group of people that have taken power post the tragic assassination of President Jovenel Moise and that are now trying to figure out and they have not even come up with a plan for the country, never mind responding to this, to a crisis of this magnitude,” said Pierre Imbert, CEO of the Ayiti Community Trust.

Haiti Earthquake

Redistricting In Florida

It happens every ten years — the process of redrawing congressional and legislative maps.

The redistricting process in Florida began Thursday after the U.S. Census released new population data.

Things are a little different this time around. Data outlining race, ethnic and voting age demographics was released months later than usual.

“The impact is going to be less on the drawing of the maps than on the post-map-drawing litigation stage, which almost always inevitably follows,” said Charles Zelden, a history and political science professor at Nova Southeastern University.

“That litigation stage is where we're going to see the time constraint. And what that means is we may end up holding an election under a map that later on is declared to be illegitimate. But you've got to have a map based on the new data in time for the 2022 election.”

Florida is expected to gain one congressional seat because of population growth.

“I foresee a new seat in a Republican part of the state ... because it's the Republicans who are in control in the state Legislature where they put it can vary,” said Zelden.

He added that the new seat will likely go to Central Florida, a very Republican voting part of the state, or Southwest Florida, also a Republican voting part of the state — but the new data showed more diversity in that area, making it more difficult to determine how people will vote.


Cocaine Cowboys

Miami in the 1980s was a global center for the drug trade — specifically, cocaine.

And one duo, Sal Magluta and Willy Falcon, led the city’s cocaine trade, bringing in an estimated $2 billion worth over the course of the decade.

The new Netflix series Cocaine Cowboys: The Kings of Miami explores the stories behind these drug kingpins and the law enforcement agencies responsible for tracking them down.

Cocaine Cowboys: The Kings Of Miami | Official Trailer | Netflix

“These are two Miami high school dropouts who started off selling a little bit of marijuana and then built themselves into the biggest drug trafficking empire on the East Coast,” said Jim DeFede, a reporter with CBS and the host of Facing South Florida.

“These were rags to riches stories. This was their version of the American dream. The get-rich-quick scheme. They went about it. They viewed it as a big corporation. They viewed it as a business. And they went ahead and built a very large criminal enterprise that they led. And so it's purely Miami.”

Cocaine Cowboys
Sixty packages of cocaine were seized from a shipping container at the Port of New York/Newark.

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Leslie Ovalle produces WLRN's daily magazine program, Sundial. She previously produced Morning Edition newscasts at WLRN and anchored the midday news. As a multimedia producer, she also works on visual and digital storytelling.