Trains, amputations and the roots of why kids are on the run

By Susan Ferriss

Reports have long warned of chaos in Central America many minors say they want to escape.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… Since I reported those stories, the grip that organized crime has on Central American countries has tightened further. Justice systems remain notoriously incap …"

"… . Here is some illuminating information about deteriorating conditions in Central America, long in the making, and the U.S. debate over how to deal with the influx …"

"… rs. Changes to the law could give Border Patrol agents a role in screening Central American children shortly after they're detained and then deporting them …"

"… perilous conditions in Mexico. For years, researchers who study Central America have warned that organized crime was gaining strength. A Congressional Re …"

Class-action suit: Wrong to put kids into immigration court with no lawyers to help

By Susan Ferriss

Kids whose dad was killed by gangsters are among the plaintiffs in a suit arguing that children should have lawyers in immigration court.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… nd some with mothers.  Some of the spending would be for projects in Central America and for border enforcement and anti-smuggling actions, and some would be u …"

"… contacts are really stretched,” Ekblad said. He blames years of war in Central America—and U.S. involvement in those wars—for leaving the region destabilized …"

"… of organized crime.    He said the kids he knows who have fled Central America—where Ekblad lived between 1981 and 1988—“don’t stand a chanc …"

Herbicide ban on hold in Sri Lanka, as source of deadly kidney disease remains elusive

By Sasha Chavkin

After Sri Lanka's announced ban on a Monsanto herbicide, opponents challenged the action and convinced the president to put the ban on hold.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… ned a rare form of kidney disease devastating agricultural workers in Central America, Sri Lanka and India. Scientists suspect the malady is caused by a combina …"

Sri Lanka bans Monsanto herbicide citing potential link to deadly kidney disease

By Sasha Chavkin

Sri Lanka orders ban on glyphosate, an active ingredient in Roundup, citing kidney disease outbreak; Monsanto said the evidence is unproven.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… idney disease that has killed tens of thousands of agricultural workers in Central America, Sri Lanka and India. The malady is suspected by scientists to be caused b …"

"… Dr. Catharina Wesseling of the Program on Work, Environment and Health in Central America (SALTRA). "However, although beneficial for worker's health, we should not …"

"… worker's health, we should not expect that this will solve the epidemic in Central America." Jayasumana’s article contends that glyphosate, which forms powerful c …"

CDC launches industry-financed studies of deadly kidney disease in Central America

By Sasha Chavkin

The CDC launches industry-funded research into a kidney disease killing thousands of Central American agricultural workers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… Launching its deepest review yet into a mysterious kidney disease striking Central America, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is organizing three s …"

"… rs. The research will be funded by $1.7 million in contributions from the Central American sugar industry — a setup raising concerns with some about how fully the …"

"… ic kidney disease, CKD, is afflicting agricultural workers along Central America’s Pacific Coast, as well as in Sri Lanka and India. A recent study& …"

"… tudy estimated that the ailment has killed more than 20,000 people in Central America alone. Most scientists suspect the disease is caused by a combination of …"

Money, research target mystery kidney disease in Americas

By Sasha Chavkin

Escalating a search for the cause of a mysterious kidney disease, health ministers from the Americas target money and research to CKD.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… chronic kidney disease is afflicting agricultural workers along Central America’s Pacific Coast, as well as in Sri Lanka and India. A recent study& …"

"… tudy estimated that the ailment has killed more than 20,000 people in Central America alone, but scientists have yet to definitively uncover the cause of the pa …"

"… occupational and environmental health programs. It designated several Central American groups, including governments and NGOs, to collaborate. The policy marks …"

"… ware of the ailment’s severity. El Salvador has since led a campaign by Central American nations demanding greater attention to the disease, and contended that ag …"

Countries target pesticides as suspected link to rare kidney disease

By Sasha Chavkin

Governments from El Salvador to Sri Lanka explore the role of pesticides in a malady killing laborers, as other scientists eye heat stress.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… chronic kidney disease, CKD, is afflicting agricultural workers along Central America’s Pacific Coast, and in Sri Lanka and India. A recent study estimated th …"

"… ent study estimated that the ailment has killed more than 20,000 people in Central America alone, but scientists have yet to definitively uncover the cause of the pa …"

"… e encountered in United States. Silica has not emerged as a suspect in the Central American or Sri Lankan epidemics, but a recent study linked occupational exposure …"

"… cientists who have been studying the disease longest say that, at least in Central America, stronger evidence points to heat stress and dehydration. One study found …"

World Bank approves loan to sugar plantation amid concerns about kidney disease

By Sasha Chavkin

World Bank approved $15M loan to Nicaraguan sugar plantation, even as industry is ravaged by disease.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… ueling labor in the fields. …"

"… ic kidney disease (CKD) is killing thousands of agricultural workers along Central America’s Pacific Coast, as well as in Sri Lanka and India. Scientists have yet …"

"… the controversy emerged, the World Bank has approved a new loan to another Central American sugar plantation within the affected region. In its environmental and soc …"

"… sures are most likely to be playing a role.” The declaration adopted by Central America’s Council of Health Ministers in April sounded a similar note. The agree …"

Center kidney disease series honored by Society of Environmental Journalists

A CPI examination of a rare kidney disease that has afflicted laborers and vexed researchers across continents is honored.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… ey disease afflicting primarily male farm workers in India, Sri Lanka, and Central America,” judges wrote. “This work is also notable for doing an excellent job …"

New urgency targets mysterious kidney disease in Central America

By Sasha Chavkin

In El Salvador, health ministries formally recognize a kidney disease killing laborers — and vow deeper scrutiny of its causes.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… mysterious kidney disease afflicting the region’s agricultural laborers, Central America’s health ministries signed a declaration Friday citing the ailment as a …"

"… ic kidney disease (CKD) is killing thousands of agricultural workers along Central America’s Pacific Coast, as well as in Sri Lanka and India. Scientists have yet …"

"… y vulnerable groups of agricultural communities along the Pacific Coast of Central America, predominates among young men, and has been associated with conditions inc …"

"… lth,” said the declaration adopted by the Council of Health Ministers of Central America. The ministers pledged potentially meaningful new steps, including more d …"

Federal initiative to help schools recognize youth sex trafficking

By Susan Ferriss

Students can be exploited more if they are suspended or expelled for misbehavior and left unsupervised alone.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… gangs, Hill said, is MS-13, the transnational crime group with networks in Central America and the United States. Hill said gangs have started putting tattoos on gi …"

In Sri Lanka, new steps target mysterious kidney disease

By Sasha Chavkin

In Sri Lanka, the president vows controls on chemicals potentially linked to chronic kidney disease, as hospitals take steps for patients.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… nic kidney disease is killing agricultural workers in Sri Lanka, India and Central America. Scientists in each region are struggling to identify the cause of these p …"

Separated by law: Families torn apart by 1996 immigration measure

By Susan Ferriss and Amy Isackson

Immigration measure has split husbands from wives, children from parents.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… 005, and all seemed well. But shortly thereafter a deadly hurricane struck Central America and southern Mexico, and Jorge lost all contact with his parents. He told …"

In India, verdant terrain conceals clues to a fatal kidney disease

By Sasha Chavkin

How a rare kidney disease is killing laborers and vexing researchers in three countries.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… ve much in common with those of the unexplained epidemics in Sri Lanka and Central America. They come from farming communities and are mostly poor. Few suffer from d …"

"… e disease, its geographic and humanitarian scope is more contained than in Central America or Sri Lanka.“Our hypothesis is that an exposure to something in the env …"

As kidney disease kills thousands across continents, scientists scramble for answers

By Sasha Chavkin

How a rare kidney disease is killing laborers and vexing researchers in three countries.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… sands of people in rural, agricultural communities in Sri Lanka, India and Central America. The struggle to identify its causes is baffling researchers across multip …"

"… l reaches tens of thousands.More than 16,000 men died of kidney failure in Central America from 2005 to 2009, with annual deaths increasing more than threefold since …"

"… ling, the regional director for the Program on Work and Health (SALTRA) in Central America, which pioneered the initial studies of the region’s unsolved outbreak. …"

"… its exist, with different causes in each region?From Sri Lanka to India to Central America, all the victims know is that something in their lush, hauntingly beautifu …"

About the 'Mystery in the Fields' project

By Ronnie Greene

About the Project: Mystery in the Fields

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… illing laborers and crippling communities in three different regions, from Central America to Sri Lanka to India. As death tolls mount, researchers remain puzzled, u …"

"… kin exposed how chronic kidney disease was so prevalent in some regions of Central America it left communities filled with widows and scientists searching for answer …"

Support our new investigation into a deadly disease killing agricultural workers

By Ellen Weiss

Support our investigation of a disease that is killing workers around the world.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… mostly affects older people with diabetes and high blood pressure. But in Central America, each year thousands of agricultural laborers — almost all men, lacking …"

"… are killing some of the world’s poorest and most marginalized workers in Central America to other parts of the world — across several continents.   Now, we …"

Costa Rica to study kidney disease afflicting sugarcane workers

By Sasha Chavkin

In Costa Rica, health officials and one company step up against a disease that's claimed thousands of lives in Central America

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… hat is killing thousands of sugarcane workers and other manual laborers in Central America. The Costa Rica study will seek to answer one of the thorniest and most po …"

"… e solution — said Jennifer Crowe, a researcher with SALTRA, a network of Central American scientists that has played a pioneering role in the study of the epidemic …"

"… 2011, the United States helped defeat a proposal by El Salvador and other Central American nations to include CKD in an initiative by the World Health Organization …"

"… he Centers for Disease Control has yet to take an active role or recognize Central America’s CKD epidemic. A CDC spokeswoman said she is “not aware of any new de …"

The weekly watchdog: Dec. 12 - Dec. 16

By Bill Buzenberg

In case you missed them, catch up on this week's top investigations from iWatch News

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… CKD — is a manageable illness that primarily affects the elderly. But in Central America the condition is instead devastating whole communities, according to a new …"

Methodology

A note of the data and analysis for 'Island of the Widows'

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… n the region. …"

"… .The data show that this formula clearly reflects the CKD epidemic. Across Central America in 2009, the most recent year available, 87 percent of male deaths from ki …"

"… Also, WHO data show that while kidney disease grew among women in the four Central American countries used for analysis, the rate of growth was smaller among women t …"

"… he U.S. Renal Data System. But even this increase pales compared to men in Central America. In El Salvador and Nicaragua, the countries where data is complete from 1 …"

Thousands of sugar cane workers die as wealthy nations stall on solutions

By Sasha Chavkin and Ronnie Greene

Mysterious kidney disease has killed thousands of men in an isolated region of Central America, but why?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… y disease that is devastating his community along with scores of others in Central America, where it has decimated the ranks of sugarcane workers. The same illness k …"

"… through one of the world’s poorest populations, along a stretch of Central America’s Pacific Coast that spans six countries and nearly 700 miles. Its victi …"

"… Each year from 2005 to 2009, kidney failure killed more than 2,800 men in Central America, according to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists‘ …"

"… ly controlled with treatment. Doctors understand its causes and cures. In Central America, the disease’s origins are more of an enigma, and more frequently lethal …"

About this project

A look at the reporting process behind 'Island of the Widows'

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… difficult working conditions and poor access to timely health care, while Central American governments and the sugar industry have done little in response.Over the …"

"… g mysteries around why CKD is so lethal among certain sugarcane workers in Central America.More victims and government officials were interviewed by Journalist Kate …"

Hotter, drier, meaner: Trends point to a planet increasingly hostile to agriculture

By Douglas Fischer

A host of data point to one conclusion: Our increasingly hotter, drier planet is going to be a tough place to farm

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… es both rose.Meanwhile, researchers probing the climate in pre–Colombian Central America figure that widespread deforestation had a hand in the droughts thought to …"

"… izations.More than 1,000 years ago, "significant deforestation" throughout Central America suppressed rainfall upwards of 20 percent and warmed the region 0.5ºC, sa …"

Cartels carve new drug routes in Central America

By Nick Miroff

In a Belizean town known for its trade in contraband, illicit drugs cast a new shadow

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… , Belize — I met Bobby on my last night in Belize, the night before this Central American nation celebrated its 30th anniversary of independence.I was standing out …"

"… try. Mexico’s powerful drug cartels have recently muscled their way into Central America, looking to open new smuggling routes for the multi-billion-dollar cocaine …"

"… vernment had pledged more than $200 million in new security assistance for Central America. But politicians in the region want more, saying sovereignty and stability …"

"… in fast boats, traffickers can dodge Mexico’s army and navy patrols. As Central America’s least-populated and least-defended country, the worry was that Belize …"

FACT CHECK: Paul ‘stood with Reagan,’ but not long

By FactCheck.Org

Attempting a jab at Perry's support of Al Gore, Paul highlights his relationship with Reagan, but not the fair-weather part

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… s to Honduras as "unconstitutional," calling the president "a bully boy in Central America" in a March 21, 1988, article by the Associated Press.Paul told  …"

Child advocates say more should be done to assist immigrant minors crossing the border

By Susan Ferriss

Child advocates say assistance needed to keep young border crossers away from criminals

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… ercent of minors overall and unaccompanied were Mexican, and the rest were Central American, Chinese or nationals of other countries. Mexican and U.S. law enforcemen …"

"… ven if, after being caught, they say they want to return home, journeys to Central America or more distant regions usually take longer than 72 hours, or three days, …"

As IRS crusades against Americans hiding money offshore, Latin American tax cheats flock to U.S. banks

By Michael Hudson

U.S. and its banks called "biggest tax haven" in world

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… ffshore tax shelters, says U.S. bankers “sell tax evasion to citizens of Central America, the Caribbean, all over Latin America.” The U.S. government hasn’t pu …"

Daily Watchdog: Deteriorating conditions in Central America pose security threat

By Laurel Adams

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… ceive it. (GAO) http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11293r.pdf …"

"… efforts in Colombia and Mexico forced drug trafficking organizations into Central American countries with weak governments and fewer resources to combat criminal ac …"

"… iminal activity. As a result, the higher rate of drug trade moving through Central American countries has contributed to higher levels of violence and corruption of …"

"… stration has sought partnerships with countries in the region, forming the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI), which offers law enforcement trainin …"

Ghost soldiers

By Mark Benjamin and Barbara Slavin

The Pentagon sent ill-equipped and poorly trained reservists into harm's way as it scrambled to fill Civil Affairs units to rebuild Iraq and

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… sively in Vietnam and in post-conflict situations and natural disasters in Central America, the Caribbean and the Balkans.The Civil Affairs and Psychological Operati …"

Justice program in Mexico plagued by problems, report says

By Jeremy Borden

A U.S. Agency for International Development program aimed at helping Mexico improve its justice system has been plagued by the mismanagement

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… lion program aimed at drug and crime fighting in Mexico and other parts of Central America. As part of the Merida Initiative, U.S. AID has looked to address systemic …"

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