Tim Padgett

Americas
3:56 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Why Florida Is Out Of Step With The Rest Of The Hemisphere On Marijuana

Credit reason.com

Florida Governor Rick Scott on Thursday signed a “bong ban” bill that outlaws the sale of pipes and other marijuana-smoking paraphernalia.

We’re used to Scott being out of step with his state: in this case, a recent poll shows 70 percent of Florida voters support medical marijuana legalization. And with his country: most Americans now back marijuana legalization. And maybe with his hemisphere: Latin American and Caribbean government representatives gathered this week primarily to urge the Obama Administration to consider making pot legal.

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Americas
7:50 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Amid Construction Boom, Migrants Flow Into Brazil

Construction is underway on the Itaquerao stadium in Sao Paulo, shown here June 12. The stadium will be the venue for the opening ceremony and game of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, and many migrants are among the laborers working on the project.
Sebastiao Moreira EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 5:34 am

Brazil is in the midst of a building boom as it constructs stadiums across the country in preparation for the World Cup it will host next year. In Sao Paulo, hundreds of workers are building a massive arena that will take many more months to complete.

But not all of the workers are Brazilian.

Marie Eveline Melous, 26, arrived from Haiti just a few months ago because life was so difficult, especially after the huge earthquake in 2010. "It's hard to find work. I came to Brazil to help my situation," she says.

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Americas
11:27 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Immigration Debate Marks Rising Clout Of Young Latinos

Jose Machado reacting last year to President Obama's decree halting the deportation of young undocumented immigrants (aka "DREAMers") like himself who were brought to the U.S. as children.
Credit Roberto Koltun/The Miami Herald

Jose Antonio Machado was brought to Miami as an undocumented immigrant from Matagalpa, Nicaragua, when he was six years old. He grew up here with his mother, Melba, also an indocumentada, until she was deported two years ago after being pulled over for a traffic violation.

“I expected her home at 11:15 p.m. that night,” says Machado, now an 18-year-old who graduated this month from Miami Senior High School. “Eventually I fell asleep. The next morning I realized she wasn’t there.”

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Americas
1:16 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Brazil's Indians Reclaim Land Citing Promises, Using Force

Indigenous leaders from Brazil's Terena tribe attend a meeting with government officials in the capital, Brasilia, on June 6. Brazil's Indians have been demanding greater land rights and are increasingly coming into conflict with large ranchers and farmers.
Eraldo Peres AP

Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 9:59 pm

It was once the cattle farm of a former congressman, but now his stately house in the western Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul is a burned-out shell. Thatch huts are being built in the shade of flowering palm trees. Once the purview of one farmer's family, it now is occupied by dozens of indigenous ones.

Indian activists say this is just the beginning.

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Americas
7:20 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Ecuador Says NSA Leaker Has Asked For Asylum

A TV screen shows a news report of Edward Snowden at a shopping mall in Hong Kong on Sunday.
Vincent Yu Associated Press

Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 5:20 pm

(This story was last updated at 5:17 p.m. ET)

Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor accused of leaking classified surveillance information, has asked Ecuador for asylum, the country's foreign minister says.

Snowden left Hong Kong earlier Sunday bound for a "third country," the government in the Asian hub said. He later landed in Moscow.

Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino Aroca, who is on an official visit to Vietnam, said:

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Americas
7:17 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Brazil's President Offers Carrot And Stick To Protesters

Students from the eastern city of Sao Paulo protest on Friday.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 2:16 pm

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff has pledged a nationwide overhaul of public transportation, improved funding for schools and a crackdown on corruption in response to sometimes violent anti-government protests that have roiled the country for the past week.

In a 10-minute address broadcast on Friday, Rousseff broke her silence on the protests, saying she would spend more money on public transportation and divert some of the country's oil revenues to pay for education, The Associated Press reported. She also addressed widespread anger over government corruption.

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Americas
12:33 pm
Fri June 21, 2013

As Protests Grow, Brazilian President Calls Emergency Meeting

A demonstrator is shot by a rubber bullet as anti-riot police officers charge during a protest Thursday against corruption and price hikes in Rio de Janeiro.
Christophe Simon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 9:34 pm

By some estimates, about a million people marched in cities across Brazil on Thursday, airing a wide array of grievances. As O Globo frames it, it was a day marked by violent demonstrations, vandalism and intense clashes with military police.

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Americas
6:00 am
Wed June 19, 2013

How 1993 Hunger Strikes Prepare Florida For A Possible Haitian Exodus Today

Many Haitian refugees took to rickety boats to escape their military regime's violence.
Credit Holly Ackerman/blog.gitmomemory.org

  The rise in the number of Haitians being detained at sea, at airports and at border crossings this year has the international community scratching as well as turning its head. More than 70 picked up by the U.S. Coast Guard in the waters off Puerto Rico; 33 by authorities off Jamaica; almost 3,500 in or off the Dominican Republic; 65 as far away as Peru.

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Americas
6:30 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Why Swimming The Florida Strait Has Become A Metaphor For U.S. Relations With Cuba

Chloe McCardel
Credit facebook.com/ChloeMcCardel

The strait doesn’t wanna be swum.

Last week, for the fifth time in two years, a swimmer’s attempt to become the first human to cross the Florida Strait between Havana and Key West without a shark cage was thwarted.

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Americas
11:41 am
Tue June 11, 2013

How Venezuelans in South Florida Are Shopping For Toilet Paper In Caracas

A woman in Venezuela stocks up on toilet paper and other necessities.
Credit El Mundo/Flickr

Last week a Venezuelan-American friend in New York sent me an e-mail raving about a new, free mobile phone app called Abastéceme. Its most important use: locating toilet paper. Well, that and about two dozen other basic everyday items, from rice to deodorant, which are in chronically short supply these days in Venezuela.

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Americas
6:00 am
Wed June 5, 2013

How The Most Violent Places On Earth Benefit Miami

South Florida has benefited from the combination of Latin America's financial wealth and its criminal scourge as immigrants transfer new wealth to the United States.
Credit seguridadjusticiaypaz.org.mx

Latin America and the Caribbean is a region of stark paradoxes, and that has never been truer than in the past decade: Even as the continent enjoys one of its most dynamic economic booms, it’s suffering one of the worst violent crime crises in its history.

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Americas
8:24 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Hollywood Readies Story Of Trapped Chilean Miners

Chilean President Sebastián Piñera (third from right) watches as the rescue capsule descends during a test run on Tuesday, October 12, 2010.
Credit Government of Chile

You could call it Latin America’s Apollo 13 moment. In October 2010, 33 miners trapped 2,300 feet below Chile’s Atacama Desert for 70 days were rescued one by one in a small steel capsule. I’ll never forget being there to witness that operation, which was watched on television by more than a billion people around the world.

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Americas
8:20 am
Mon May 27, 2013

Why China Is Behind Fresh U.S. Moves In Latin America

School children in Sao Paolo, Brazil take a Mandarin-language proficiency class at the Confucius Institute, which offers language courses and Chinese cultural programs.
Credit Juan Forero/NPR

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will visit Colombia, Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago next week. President Obama already swung through Mexico and Costa Rica this month and next month Obama will host the presidents of Chile and Peru at the White House.

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Americas
11:50 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Why TV's 'Modern Family' Is A Setback For Latinas

Actress Sofia Vergara (right) in a scene from the upcoming season finale of the hit ABC show, Modern Family.
Credit abc.go.com

I am not a Latina. I am a middle-aged white guy whose salsa dancing embarrasses my Venezuelan-born wife. But because she is a Latina, and because my teen-aged daughter is half Latina, I take more than passing interest in how popular culture portrays Latinas. And these days I’m annoyed, because the most popular Latina image out there is, well, almost as embarrassing as my salsa dancing.

It’s an image, in fact, that represents a setback for Latinas.

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Americas
6:00 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Miami Feels Pain Of Guatemala Genocide, Narco-Terror

Guatemala in recent years has been the site of massacres perpetrated by narco-gangs that are all too reminiscent of the 1980s butchery.
Credit wbur.org

The last time I spoke with former Guatemalan strongman Efraín Ríos Montt, in 2003, he was running (unsuccessfully, thank God) for President—and he was delusional as ever.

Every bit as unhinged from reality as he’d been two decades before, during the darkest days of Guatemala’s 36-year-long civil war, when as military dictator from 1982-83, he led a “scorched earth” campaign that killed thousands of mostly indigenous Maya peasants.

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