Central America

Christian Chavez / AP

COMMENTARY

I'm profoundly sad to say I’m not surprised – horrified, but hardly surprised – by Tuesday’s brutal massacre of innocent women and children by drug cartel gunmen on a road in northern Mexico.

I’ve been watching Mexico’s savage narco-insurgency escalate for three decades. When I wrote a cover story for TIME about its horrors eight years ago, I naively assumed it couldn’t get worse. Hombre, I could not have been more wrong.  Even infants were among the nine people murdered in Tuesday's ambush. There is no bottom to the gangland homicide plague south of the border, which keeps reaching record numbers.

Presidencia de Honduras

COMMENTARY

Last Sunday a Honduran immigrant on my middle-aged soccer team asked me about an issue before our weekly game. And it didn’t involve Bengay for a pulled muscle.

“Honestly,” he said, “do you think the president of Honduras is involved with drug traffickers?”

Dieu Nalio Chery / AP

COMMENTARY

Right now the western hemisphere – believe it or not, America – is dealing with behavior by federal politicians that's more outrageous than President Trump’s alleged Ukrainian shenanigans. This week the dubious prize goes to Haitian Senator Ralph Fethiere – who repeatedly fired a gun outside the legislature in Port-au-Prince on Monday, wounding two people, including an AP photographer.

Updated 8:05 p.m. ET

Hours after a federal judge on the East Coast refused to block a Trump administration rule requiring most asylum-seekers to ask for protection in another country before they try to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, a judge on the West Coast put a stop to the new policy.

U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco issued a preliminary injunction against the controversial rule unveiled by the White House and applied on a "pilot" basis last week.

You Tube

When Silvia Sarmiento saw the photo of drowned Salvadoran migrants Oscar Martínez and his toddler daughter Valeria, she gasped and recalled how close she'd come to their fate.

Department of Homeland Security

COMMENTARY

Border Patrol clowns on Facebook to the right of me. Open-border jokers at Democratic debates to the left. Here I am, America, stuck in the middle with you on the Fourth of July.

Wilfredo Lee / AP

Miami is often called the capital of Latin America. So when 20 Democratic presidential candidates gathered for debates in Miami last week, WLRN’s Americas editor Tim Padgett thought he'd hear more about Latin America policy. But as Padgett told WLRN’s Luis Hernandez, he and a lot of other South Floridians were disappointed.

Several dozen Central American migrants crossed the U.S.-Mexico border again, this time escorted by federal agents to an El Paso, Texas, courtroom as part of an unprecedented effort by the Trump administration to control migration.

During a hearing last week, the judge asked the migrants one by one if they had a lawyer. Nearly all of them said, "No."

A former Guatemalan first lady is the front-runner following Sunday's presidential election in the Central American country, where the electorate is hoping to find a candidate who can tackle its high unemployment, violence and corruption.

Eduardo Verdugo; Patrick Semansky / AP

COMMENTARY

A conservative Facebook friend in my native Indiana recently endorsed a meme that features right-wing radio rage-monger Rush Limbaugh saying today’s immigrants want to “erase America.”

C.M. Guerrero / Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

Broward County Mayor Mark Bogen was right to get worked up last week. He blasted the Trump Administration when it seemed poised to release thousands of migrants detained at the U.S.’s southern border into Broward and Palm Beach Counties each year. (The administration, which never confirmed the reports, has since backed off.)

But in his outrage, Bogen made a rather bogus assertion: “We are not a border state.”

Updated at 5:13 p.m. ET

President Trump's call to cut aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras is raising concerns among lawmakers and national security and development experts, who say cutting aid will exacerbate the migrant crisis that is already crippling U.S. resources at the Southern border.

Jose A. Iglesias / Miami Herald

One of the more disturbing sounds to hit the media airwaves last summer was a recording obtained by ProPublica of Central American children crying at an immigration detention center in Texas. They’d been separated from their parents, who had come to seek U.S. asylum.

At that same place the summer before, in 2017, a Guatemalan girl named Ana was taken from her father. She was three. Ana was sent to a relative in Immokalee, Florida, who took her to immigration lawyer Jennifer Anzardo Valdes in Miami.

ALFREDO ZUNIGA / AP VIA MIAMI HERALD

President Donald Trump is signing into law a bill to cut off resources to the government of Nicaragua and provides sanctions against countries that assist the Central American nation.  

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a Miami Republican who co-sponsored the bill, said in a press release that the legislation “supports the Nicaraguan people in their demands for rule of law, human rights and free, fair elections by denying resources to their oppressors.”

As thousands of migrants make their way north toward the United States, President Trump has threatened to end federal aid going to their home countries.

Together, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador received from the United States about $480 million in the last fiscal year for which complete data is available. The largest portion of that money — about 16 percent — went toward agricultural development.

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