Americas

Brazilian investors buy Miami real estate. Haitian earthquake survivors attend South Florida schools. It's clear what happens in Latin America and the Caribbean has a profound effect on South Florida.

WLRN’s coverage of the region is headed by Americas editor Tim Padgett, a 23-year veteran of TIME and Newsweek magazines.

He joins a team of reporters and editors at the Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald and NPR to cover a region whose cultural wealth, environmental complexity, vast agricultural output and massive oil reserves offer no shortage of important and fascinating stories to tell.

Tim Padgett produces the weekly Latin America Report, made possible by Espírito Santo Bank.

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Americas
5:05 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Pope's Visit: A Bumpy Test Run For Rio's World Cup, Olympics

Hundreds of thousands of people crowd Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday as Pope Francis celebrates the final Mass of his visit to Brazil. Security lapses, traffic chaos and other logistical snafus marred the visit.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 7:47 pm

While the recent World Youth Day celebrations in Rio de Janeiro were a success for Pope Francis, they certainly weren't for the city government. Accusations of disorganization and transport failures have left residents wondering if Rio is really ready to host both the World Cup and the Olympics.

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Immigration
2:45 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Consumer Groups On The Lookout For Immigration Scams

A line waits outside the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Los Angeles.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 2:54 pm

Talk about immigration reform on Capitol Hill this summer has raised the hopes of many unauthorized immigrants around the country.

It's also raised the fears of consumer advocates worried about scam artists who promise immigrants they can help them secure legal status.

Eduardo Flores, an unauthorized immigrant from Honduras, wasn't promised immigration documents, but he did place his trust and $4,000 with a man who said he was an immigration attorney.

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Americas
3:07 pm
Sun July 28, 2013

Millions Gather On Rio Beach To Hear Pope Deliver Sunday Mass

Millions jammed Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro for Pope Francis' final Mass on his trip to Brazil on Sunday.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 28, 2013 1:34 pm

This post last updated at 11:30 a.m. EDT

Millions of faithful thronged Brazil's Copacabana Beach to hear Pope Francis deliver Sunday Mass, the culmination of the Latin American pontiff's first papal trip abroad.

Francis, speaking from a massive stage erected on the beach, urged those gathered for World Youth Day's concluding Mass to spread the Gospel "to the fringes of society, even to those who seem farthest away, most indifferent."

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Music
5:00 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Legendary Brazilian Singer To Play Free Show July 27 In Hollywood

Credit RhythmFoundation.com

From the favelas of Brazil to the main stages of North America, legendary Brazilian singer-songwriter Seu Jorge will perform a free show this Saturday at the Hollywood ArtsPark.

Opening sets are by the Brazilian Voices choir and Rose Max's samba set.

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Americas
8:25 am
Fri July 26, 2013

In Pictures: Pope Visits Brazilian Favela

Pope Francis speaks during a gathering with Argentine youths at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro, on Thrusday. Pope Francis urged young Brazilians not to despair in the battle against corruption Thursday as he addressed their country's political problems in the wake of massive protests.
Nelson Almeida AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 7:01 pm

During the fourth day of his first foreign visit, Pope Francis headed to the Varginha favela in Rio de Janeiro.

As NPR's Lourdes Garcia Navarro described it to our Newscast unit, the shantytown was not prettied up for the pope. Its river remained clogged with sewage and dirt, and the houses were still slapped together.

"It's an extremely poor community," Lourdes said. "I think the pope wanted to come here to highlight his very personal message of affinity with the poor."

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Americas
4:52 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

In First Public Mass In Brazil, Pope Francis Urges Humility, Charity

Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady Aparecida on Wednesday in Aparecida, Brazil.
Buda Mendes Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 4:50 pm

Pope Francis continued a whirlwind tour of Brazil today, delivering his first public mass in the town of Aparecida.

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Americas
2:41 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Jorge Ramos On Latinos And The Future Of U.S. Politics

Univision newscaster Jorge Ramos anchors Noticiero Univision, the top-ranked newscast on Spanish-language TV.
Alan Diaz AP

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 2:16 pm

Jorge Ramos anchors the top-ranked newscast on Spanish-language TV, Noticiero Univision, alongside Maria Elena Salinas. Sometimes called "the Spanish-language Walter Cronkite," Ramos has been a vocal — and influential — proponent of an immigration overhaul. (In recent summers, Ramos' network Univision has topped the prime-time TV ratings for all networks in the U.S.

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Americas
2:39 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

The Radical Brazilian Priest Who Was Excommunicated

Roberto Francisco Daniel, widely known as Padre Beto, was excommunicated by the Catholic Church for his views on gay marriage and other hot-button issues. The former priest says the church must adapt to a changing world.
Denise Guimaraes AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 7:36 pm

His name is Roberto Francisco Daniel, but he goes by Padre Beto. He sports an ear clip, and a rosary around his neck that dips into an open-necked patterned shirt. In short, Padre Beto looks cooler than your typical priest.

His decision to become a Catholic priest came late, he says. He was 28. He'd been to college, worked, and he wasn't a virgin. He says he thinks that's why he has a different way of looking at church doctrine.

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Americas
5:35 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

With An Assist From Smugglers, Cuban Players Make It To U.S.

Cuban baseball players have been defecting to the U.S. in growing numbers over the past two decades. Increasingly, smugglers play a role in getting the players off the island, U.S. baseball agents say.
Gerry Broome AP

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 8:55 pm

Cigars aren't the only thing smuggled out of Cuba these days.

Cuban baseball players are also a hot commodity, and sports agents in the U.S. say the process is increasingly dominated by smugglers who track down players willing to defect and find surreptitious ways to deliver them to the United States.

"The whole business got pretty much taken over by smugglers," says former baseball agent Joe Kehoskie.

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Television
8:03 am
Tue July 23, 2013

In The Summer, Univision Is Numero Uno

Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez recently performed on Univision's Premios Juventud.
Rodrigo Varela Univision

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 9:32 am

For three consecutive weeks this summer, Spanish-language TV network Univision won the prime-time ratings among young adult viewers. The network is bragging about its prime-time ratings domination with full-page ads in the LA Times, New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Its English-language video exclaims: "For the first time ever, Univision is now the number one network in any language."

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Marijuana
12:25 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

The Mysterious History Of 'Marijuana'

One of the many, many forms of cannabis.
"it was 3 a.m." via Flickr

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 1:21 pm

We've decided to take a weekly look at a word or phrase that's caught our attention, whether for its history, usage, etymology, or just because it has an interesting story. This week, we look into how we came to call cannabis "marijuana," and the role Mexico played in that shift.

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Americas
7:39 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Brazil's Evangelicals A Growing Force In Prayer, Politics

Evangelical Christians pray during the "March for Jesus" in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, June 29, 2013.
Nelson Antoine AP

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 2:32 pm

Pope Francis arrives Monday evening in Rio de Janeiro for a weeklong visit celebrating World Youth Day. Hundreds of thousands of Catholics have made the pilgrimage to see the Argentine-born pontiff, and he is expected to receive a rapturous welcome.

Still, Pope Francis's visit comes at a delicate time for the church in Brazil. Catholicism — the nation's main religion — is facing a huge challenge from evangelicals.

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Americas
7:20 am
Mon July 22, 2013

Pope's Visit To Brazil Seen As 'Triumphant Homecoming'

A Brazilian flag flies on Saturday near the podium which will receive Pope Francis on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 7:25 pm

When Pope Francis arrives in Brazil on Monday, he'll begin a trip of firsts.

He's the first Latin American pope, and it will be his first trip abroad as pontiff. And he'll be visiting a country with more Catholics than any other.

Francis, who is gaining a reputation for his simple ways, is expected, The Miami Herald writes, to:

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Americas
3:46 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Brazil's Highflying VIPs Face Backlash Over Air Travel

A helicopter carries VIPs to the Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo in 2010. Politicians taking expensive helicopters and government planes have generated controversy in Brazil.
Jefferson Bernardes AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 7:57 pm

Unlike New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who often takes the subway to work, some prominent politicians in Brazil have a far more impressive way of getting around: private helicopters and government planes.

Perhaps the most over-the-top example of the trend is that of Rio de Janeiro state Gov. Sergio Cabral. A recent magazine expose showed that his commute to work is only about 6 miles.

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