Carrie Kahn

Around the world, people are struggling for access to drinking water. All Things Considered is examining the forces at play in separating the haves from the have-nots — from natural disasters to crumbling infrastructure and corruption.

It's the rainy season now in Mexico. Between May and September, on most late afternoons, thick clouds roll into Mexico City's mountain-ringed valley. The skies darken and then an amazing downpour ensues.

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As the months-long crackdown on opponents of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega drags on, the small independent press in the country is coming under harsh attack.

One reporter has been killed, and dozens more say they have been beaten and threatened. Many reporters have fled or quit the profession. But a determined group of journalists remains.

They include reporters like Julio César López Chavarría.

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A refugee crisis is growing in Central America as tens of thousands of Nicaraguans pour into neighboring Costa Rica seeking safety from the political crisis at home.

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Mexico's hard swing to the left in this month's national elections also swept in some other historic firsts. Women won key positions across the country, including, for the first time ever, the mayor of Mexico City.

Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo, 56, will assume arguably the second most important political post in Mexico, after capturing nearly 50 percent of the vote in the July 1 elections.

The Trump administration has one week left to meet a court-ordered deadline to reunite over 2,000 children separated at the border from their families suspected of entering the U.S. illegally.

Logistically, it's going to be tough for the government. The children were sent to dozens of different shelters and foster homes around the United States, in many cases, thousands of miles from their detained parents.

Then there are dozens more parents who've already been deported without their children, further complicating the reunification process.

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President Trump says he called Mexican President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador Monday and spoke for 30 minutes about trade, border security and the fate of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Although Trump has railed against Mexico since his campaign, the U.S. president said he came away upbeat after the talk with his incoming counterpart.

"I think the relationship will be a very good one," Trump said, during a meeting with the prime minister of the Netherlands.

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Today, Mexicans are choosing a new president, and this is all taking place at a time of extreme violence. Dozens of campaign workers and political candidates have been murdered in recent months along with thousands of others.

Along with picking a new president in this Sunday's election, Mexicans will also replace every member of Congress and will elect thousands of state representatives and hundreds of new mayors. In that array of candidates are more than 3,000 women, who are vying for elective office in unprecedented numbers. Some Mexicans are calling 2018 "el año de la mujer," the year of the woman.

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The Trump administration maintains that separating children from their parents is a deterrent, so now we're going to put that question to NPR's Carrie Kahn. She covers Mexico and Central America. Hey there, Carrie.

If the polls are right, Mexico's next president will be a veteran leftist for whom the third time may very well be the charm.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador is running for president once again. But this time around, it appears his populist message is striking a chord with Mexicans exasperated with disturbing levels of violence and corruption.

Polls now put López Obrador at least 15 points ahead of his nearest rival, Ricardo Anaya of the right-of-center National Action Party.

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