A life-and-death struggle for asylum in America

By Susan Ferriss and Amy Isackson

Teens' tortured road to asylum in America.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… om violence so chilling her family thought it better to smuggle her to the United States in the spring of 2013. “Two years ago a friend of mine died in a very c …"

"… whatever they need to say to get to stay here because the President of the United States has told them, in no uncertain terms: If they get here, he won’t enforce …"

"… illed him. She also said she was threatened for testifying and fled to the United States. Her case had previously reached the Board of Immigration Appeals, the BI …"

"… , fearing his son would be killed, arranged to have him smuggled up to the United States. The asylum officer asked Francisco details about various parts of his st …"

Prison bankers cash in on captive customers

By Daniel Wagner

Private company profits by helping prisons squeeze inmates' families for cash.

Excerpts from this story referencing "George H. W. Bush":

"… at purpose. In Ohio, it tapped Thomas Needles, a former aide to President George H. W. Bush. Needles gives generously to Republican candidates and also lobbies for fo …"

Afghans don’t like soybeans, despite a big U.S. push

By Alexander Cohen and James Arkin

Washington ignored warnings that Afghans were unlikely to embrace protein-rich soy products.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Nicaragua":

"… y markets. A 2009 project with food processors in Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua noted, for example, that “this type of technical assistance … opens th …"

Federal complaint challenges Texas town's new ban on housing any border kids

By Susan Ferriss

Civil rights groups are challenging ordinances that prohibit cooperation with federal officials if they ask to shelter kids in towns.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Central America":

"… y’s ban on providing housing to “refugees” or foreigners such as the Central American children who’ve been turning themselves in at the border. The complain …"

"… -interest law group. Appleseed has researched dangers faced by Mexican and Central American migrant children. The complaint argues that the ordinance — one of a n …"

"… ” said Maddie Sloan, an Appleseed attorney. The number of children from Central America showing up along the U.S.-Mexico border has surged this year.  Since …"

"… — an allegation that has also not been proved or linked to the influx of Central Americans. “Be it resolved,” the ordinance says, that all agencies in League …"

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 "Congress":

"… ed. Meanwhile, a debate is raging over whether a 2008 anti-trafficking law Congress approved — a reauthorization of existing legislation — has spurred mor …"

"… lative proposals — with some bipartisan support — are emerging in Congress to alter the anti-trafficking act, a move that's dividing lawmakers. Chang …"

"… ;Central America have warned that organized crime was gaining strength. A Congressional Research Service report in February of this year surveyed the ga …"

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 "Lawyer":

"… in favor of young children benefitting from counsel in immigration court. Lawyers said the suit—one of the plaintiffs is originally from Mexico—was in …"

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 "Catharina Wesseling":

"… ncerns about the industry’s financial support for the CDC’s research. Catharina Wesseling, an epidemiologist who chairs the scientific group Consortium for the Epid …"

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 "disease":

"…      …"

"… across the Americas passed a resolution last week formally recognizing the disease as a serious threat to public health. For more than two years, the Intern …"

"… f Investigative Journalists has examined how a rare type of chronic kidney disease is afflicting agricultural workers along Central America’s Pac …"

"… (PAHO) called on member states to conduct research and surveillance of the disease, and to strengthen their occupational and environmental health programs.&n …"

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 "chemicals":

"… In El Salvador, the congress approved a ban earlier this month on 53 agrochemicals. If the law is signed by Salvadorean president Mauricio Funes, the country …"

"… -------- The most sweeping measure contemplated so far: The ban on 53 agrochemicals approved on September 5 by El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly, including …"

"… 2-4,D, produced by Dow chemicals. The proposed law would prohibit various chemicals that have long been banned in most of the world, but also includes widely …"

"… , 2-4,D, paraquat and endosulfan. Salvadorean health officials believe agrochemicals containing toxic heavy metals are the primary cause of the disease. The m …"

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 "Nicaragua":

"… ration, the World Bank approved a new loan to expand a sugar plantation in Nicaragua, renewing its support for an industry whose workers have been devastated b …"

"… tated by the disease. The $15 million loan to the Montelimar plantation in Nicaragua is estimated to create 1,300 new rural jobs, according to World Bank docum …"

"… sure. ICIJ’s initial report, Island of the Widows, focused on a leading Nicaraguan sugar plantation that received substantial loans in 2006 from the World B …"

"… upational health and safety.” The sugar industry is a major exporter in Nicaragua and elsewhere in Central America, and in some rural communities it is one …"

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 "Environment":

"… ontinents was honored this week with a reporting prize from the Society of Environmental Journalists. Mystery in the Fields, a 3-part series published in Septem …"

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 "Pesticide":

"… ome the leading cause of hospital deaths among adult men. The Debate over Pesticides Although the declaration reflected broad agreement to take action, the t …"

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 "chronic kidney disease":

"… id growing concern the chemicals are helping fuel a mysterious epidemic of chronic kidney disease devastating its north central region.In September, in Mystery in the Field …"

"… in the Fields, the Center for Public Integrity explored how a rare form of chronic kidney disease is killing agricultural workers in Sri Lanka, India and Central America. S …"

"… re “causative factors” for the ailment – which they have named CKDu, chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology. Despite prior warnings from the WHO to reduce farmers …"

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 "hypertension":

"… from farming communities and are mostly poor. Few suffer from diabetes or hypertension. The climate is sweltering, toxic pesticides are used liberally, and biops …"

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 "dialysis":

"… time negotiating the more than 100-mile bus trips he takes to receive the dialysis treatments that keep him alive.Ten thousand miles away, in the Nicaraguan …"

"… rea. Local doctors say that as few as one of every five patients that need dialysis are approved to receive it. Public hospitals offer kidney transplants if p …"

"… ermine if he is a match, he travels more than 60 miles twice a week to get dialysis, sleeping on the concrete floor of the hospital when his treatment goes to …"

"… m trees, Narayna spends his days resting and traveling back and forth from dialysis in Visakhapatnam. “Now, I do nothing,” he said. “I take medicines an …"

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 "Nicaragua":

"… decade. The disease has so decimated one community of sugarcane workers in Nicaragua called La Isla, or The Island, that it is now known to locals is La Isla d …"

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 "Nicaragua":

"… year — mostly manual laborers in harsh sugarcane fields of El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. As the death toll rises, those in a position to fight the …"

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 "Nicaragua":

"… e and I look normal now, but inside I feel like I’m burning.” …"

"… analysis of the latest World Health Organization data. In El Salvador and Nicaragua alone over the last two decades, the number of men dying from kidney disea …"

"… atients with other ailments. So many men have died in some parts of rural Nicaragua that Maudiel Martinez’s community, called The Island, now is known as th …"

"… Dr. Ramon Vanegas, a nephrologist who assesses applications by workers to Nicaragua’s Institute of Social Security for occupational illness pensions, said c …"

About this project

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "El Salvador":

"… ein (CPI) …"

"… 2005 to 2009, CKD claimed more than 2,800 men each year in the region; in El Salvador it is now the second-leading cause of death among adult men.This was the p …"

"… heehy for Public Radio International’s The World. Sheehy is based in the El Salvador offices of El Faro, an investigative website edited by Carlos Dada, a memb …"

"… )Univision (television)El Nuevo Herald, MiamiLa Nacion, Costa RicaEl Faro, El SalvadorSemana, NicaraguaHoy, ChicagoAl Dia, DallasLa Opinion, Los AngelesProject e …"

Methodology

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Nicaragua":

"… ies and our interviews and observations indicated the ailment was present: Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Guatemala. Studies have indicated the disease …"

"… this increase pales compared to men in Central America. In El Salvador and Nicaragua, the countries where data is complete from 1990 to 2009, male death rates …"

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 "Congress":

"… ute video — titled "Trust" — says Paul was one of only four members of Congress to support Reagan in 1976, when the Gipper ran against then-Pres …"

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 "attorney":

"… o encounter drug traffickers with border ties. …"

"… of her clients.The client was a minor, 17, when Podkul, a legal aid group attorney, happened to meet him during a routine visit to a Virginia juvenile jail. …"

"… rnmental group that tries to help refugees worldwide.Santa Monica, Calif., attorney Sandy Chung said her experience representing a Chinese girl detained along …"

"… a special juvenile visa after being detained and later meeting a pro bono attorney.Cardona, at 17, was caught just inside the border in 2010, held in a Borde …"

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