El Salvador

Menly Cortez / State Innovation Exchange

Two months ago, Democratic state Rep. Cindy Polo of Miami Lakes visited a prison in El Salvador. Polo met an inmate named Berta Margarita Arana, a Salvadoran woman serving eight years for attempting an abortion.

Desmond Boylan / AP

As the holiday shopping season gets into full swing, is something capitalist happening in the socialist countries of Latin America? We're talking about the sudden dollarization of Cuba and Venezuela.

The Trump administration is extending protections from deportation to more than 200,000 Salvadoran citizens living and working in the United States in an announcement made Monday.

Under the program called Temporary Protected Status — usually reserved to help foreign nationals from countries embroiled in wars or facing natural disasters — thousands of Salvadorans were allowed to stay in the U.S. following earthquakes in 2001.

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?”

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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.

U.S. Border Patrol agents and Mexican law enforcement are searching for a 2-year-old girl who went missing in the Rio Grande. They are searching a section of the river near the border city of Del Rio, Texas, which is about 150 miles west of San Antonio.

"Any time a child is lost it is a tragic event," said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz in a statement Tuesday evening. "I can not imagine the anguish the parents of this young girl must be feeling and I hope our search efforts pay off with a positive outcome."

MARCOS ALEMAN
EMILIO ESPEJEL / AP/ Via the Miami Herald

The young father and daughter who drowned in each other's arms last week in an attempt to swim across the Rio Grande to the United States have been returned to El Salvador for an expected burial at a private ceremony in the capital Monday.

Their bodies entered the Central American country by land Sunday from neighboring Guatemala.

Photographs of Valeria, lying face down in the water with her little arm wrapped around the neck of her father, Oscar Alberto Martínez, broke hearts around the world and underscored the dangers that migrants undertake in trying to reach the U.S.

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.”

Salvador Melendez / AP

COMMENTARY

As a U.S. correspondent who covers Latin America and the Caribbean from South Florida, I chafe watching my country acquire traits of the developing nations I write about. Obscene wealth disparities. Zero-sum tribal politics. Mass incarceration.

And now, extremist attacks on abortion rights.

In March 1980, Patricia Morales Tijerino and her sister had just left a wedding in a little chapel in El Salvador's capital and were on their way to the reception.

"And then I spotted him," Morales Tijerino recalls. "He was in his white cassock."

Óscar Arnulfo Romero, the Roman Catholic archbishop of San Salvador, was standing alone in a garden outside the church.

Cristina Reyes Clark winds her way through the bustling market in El Salvador's capital city, San Salvador, stopping to touch and smell fruits and vegetables along the way. Young, tattooed and dressed in shorts, she stands out in the traditional farmers market full of conservative abuelas (grandmothers) with their heaping baskets.

But there is at least one thing these women have in common: their love of ancestral food.

Luis Soto / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

Here’s the logic behind the Trump Administration’s wrongheaded policy of separating undocumented migrant parents from their children when they’re detained: It’s only doing what law enforcement does any time it arrests suspects – who, after all, don’t get to take their kids to jail with them.

But the logic snaps when the Trumpistas also insist separating families this way is a big deterrent to illegal immigration. Just like it deters all crime, right?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is stirring panic in immigrant communities by moving to limit who can get asylum in the United States. Perhaps no one is more alarmed than one Salvadoran woman living in the Carolinas.

She is known only by her initials in immigration court papers, so her lawyers call her Ms. A.B. She fled to the U.S. four years ago, after enduring more than a decade of domestic abuse in her home country, and requested asylum here.

Salvadoran Archbishop Óscar Arnulfo Romero, who was gunned down by a right-wing death squad in 1980 at the start of the country's civil war, will be canonized as a Roman Catholic saint, the Vatican said in a statement Wednesday.

Romero, who had denounced a crackdown on leftist opponents of the country's military government, was killed while celebrating Mass in March 1980. He will be made a saint along with Pope Paul VI, whose canonization was announced last week.

Updated at 12:45 p.m. ET

One day after President Trump referred to African nations as "shithole countries," adding that the U.S. should want immigrants from countries such as Norway rather than from Haiti or El Salvador, the countries that came in for the president's criticism are offering some responses of their own.

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