December 23, 2009 |
The young marine received the highest military honors that the Mexican state could offer. Killed during a raid that ended the life of a notorious drug lord, the marine was buried a hero, ushered to his grave by an honor guard of commandos in camouflage, his mother awarded a folded flag. Hours later, the grieving mother, the marine's sister, his brother and an aunt were mowed down by gunmen in a revenge attack that sent a chilling message to the Mexican military combating drug traffickers.
February 9, 2010 |
When President Franklin Delano Roosevelt arrived here in 1934 to mark the end of America's occupation of Haiti, he insisted on toasting the hand-over with local Barbancourt rum. Two decades later, the visiting Vice President Nixon personally mixed a Barbancourt rum collins for Haiti's president (who was, ahem, a whiskey drinker). And every voodoo priest and priestess in Haiti knows that soaking the ground with the golden rum -- not the three-star version, mind you, but the five-star, aged twice as long -- can raise the spirits of the dead.
March 7, 2010 |
When Mexico and the United States were entering a landmark free trade agreement 16 years ago, one thing was clear: Mexican farmers would initially find it difficult to compete with heavily subsidized U.S. agricultural products. The solution: Mexico created a special fund to dole out cash to the poorest and smallest farmers. Somewhere along the way, something went wrong. Today, the fund -- far from helping the neediest -- is providing large financial subsidies to the families of notorious drug traffickers and several senior government officials, including the agriculture minister.
April 14, 2010 |
The death toll from the Mexican government's three-year war on drug cartels is far higher than previously reported -- more than 22,000, according to news reports published Tuesday that cited confidential government figures. The figure is significantly higher than tallies assembled by Mexican media. They estimate that more than 18,000 people have died since President Felipe Calderon launched a crackdown against drug-trafficking groups after taking office in December 2006. The unofficial media tallies have often been cited by foreign news outlets, including The Times.
February 28, 2010 |
One of the biggest earthquakes in recorded history rocked Chile on Saturday, killing more than 300 people, toppling buildings and freeways, and setting off sirens thousands of miles away as governments scrambled to protect coastal residents from the ensuing tsunami. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet declared parts of the country "catastrophe zones" in the wake of the magnitude 8.8 quake, which was centered offshore, about 70 miles north of the port city of Concepcion. With images of Haiti's devastation from an earthquake last month still fresh, the world woke up to a new disaster and fears of another catastrophic toll.
January 26, 2010 |
The first e-mail went out within hours of the Jan. 12 earthquake, calling together some of Haiti's most prominent architects, engineers and urban planners. The next day, 50 people showed up at a house in the hillside suburb of Petionville and went to work. They have met every day since, gathering around a table in a courtyard under the shade of a spreading almond tree. Their goal is simple. It is also audacious. They want to plan a new Haiti. And not just new buildings. A new economy, a new political culture, a new way of thinking.