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LatAm news roundup, Fair Food Program, Wildlife Thursday: mosquitoes

Mosquito bite
Creative Commons
Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease that causes fever, severe headache and muscle and joint pain.

The first round of election results are in for Colombia, and we catch up on other Latin America headlines. Plus, an initiative to try to improve conditions for farmworkers on and off the field. And it’s Wildlife Thursday — we’re talking about those tiny pesky critters we love to hate — mosquitoes.

On this Thursday, June 2, edition of Sundial:

LatAm news roundup

Many thought Colombia was close to electing its first leftist president. But a 77-year-old populist conservative could disrupt things.

WLRN is here for you, even when life is unpredictable. Our journalists are continuing to work hard to keep you informed across South Florida. Please support this vital work. Become a WLRN member today. Thank you.

The South American nation has long been a stronghold of conservative Latin American politics.

Now, leftist senator Gustavo Petro has made it to the second round of a presidential election. Momentum was seemingly shifting in his favor in recent months. But it seems things are changing in an unexpected way. Popularity is now moving in the direction of his run-off rival, Rodolfo Hernández.

WLRN’s Americas editor Tim Padgett joined Sundial to discuss what the upcoming second round of elections could mean for the people in Colombia and the region.

He also joined to talk about other Latin American news. Starting with the Biden Administration gearing up to host the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles next week, which has been threatened to be boycotted by multiple countries. Also, the trials for two leading dissidents in Cuba involved with the Movimiento San Isidro that concluded this week.

LatAm news roundup
A man looks for his polling post during presidential elections in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, May 29, 2022.

Fair Food Program

Farmworkers and students have been protesting to get a Wendy's on Florida Atlantic University's campus to join a program that prevents labor abuse. It's an initiative in the tomato industry: the Fair Food Program.

After a sustained push from students to guarantee better labor practices — the Wendy's franchise on campus closed down for good.

WLRN Palm Beach County Reporter Wilkine Brutus has been covering what students and farmworkers are working towards. He spoke with WLRN's Danny Rivero about the story on Sundial.

You can find his full coverage and listen to his radio feature here.

Fair Food Program
Lupe Gonzalo, a former farmer and one of the leaders of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, protesting alongside farmworkers through the Town of Palm Beach on Saturday afternoon to urge Nelson Peltz, board chairman of Wendy's, to join the Fair Food Program. 4/2/2022

Wildlife Thursday: mosquitoes

It’s now officially hurricane season — and that means mosquito season is also at its peak.

These small but mighty beasts spread diseases like dengue, yellow fever and Zika. They’re probably the wildlife here in South Florida that we interact with the most.

Officials in Miami-Dade County are spreading the message and making resources available to inform residents about the things they can do to help control the mosquito population.

“Mosquitos exploit very small quantities of water. So if we have containers, we need to make sure that those containers are not out in the yard collecting water because eventually, those containers are going to be mosquito breeders. We have issues in this county with bromeliads. People, they need to make sure to treat the bromeliads because they’re gonna breed mosquitoes eventually,” said Chalmers Vasquez on Sundial. He is the Research Director for the Miami-Dade County Mosquito Control and Habitat Management Division.

Vazquez said local and state mosquito control operations have learned a lot since the Zika epidemic in 2016. Since then, mosquito control has received more staff, better equipment, and better monitoring practices.

Wildlife Thursday: mosquitoes
A female <em>Anopheles gambiae </em>mosquito feeds on human blood through a mosquito net.

Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the former lead producer behind Sundial. As a multimedia producer, she also worked on visual and digital storytelling.
Caitie Muñoz, formerly Switalski, leads the WLRN Newsroom as Director of Daily News & Original Live Programming. Previously she reported on news and stories concerning quality of life in Broward County and its municipalities for WLRN News.
Daniel Rivero is part of WLRN's new investigative reporting team. Before joining WLRN, he was an investigative reporter and producer on the television series "The Naked Truth," and a digital reporter for Fusion. He can be reached at drivero@wlrnnews.org