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 "House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform":

"… aims are controversial. San Diego-area GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, downplayed the role of gang violence in creating the recent surge among c …"

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 "United States":

"… Islamist terror groups continue to exploit the situation to infiltrate the United States” — an allegation that has also not been proved or linked to the influx …"

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 "El Salvador":

"… ice report in February of this year surveyed the gang problem in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and the struggle to address it. The U.S. Departmen …"

"… ited States,” the report says, “sided with conservative governments in El Salvador and Guatemala, labeling its actions anticommunist, and invested billions o …"

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 "Eric Holder":

"… the child,” says the suit, which was filed against U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and other federal officials. …"

"… fficking—goes to the core of who we are as a nation,” Attorney General Eric Holder said when the project was announced.  The child-focused effort, Hold …"

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 "Sri Lanka":

"… . …"

"… a setback to efforts by some scientists and health officials, primarily in Sri Lanka and El Salvador, to remove the herbicide for its potential link to the mys …"

"… sands of agricultural workers. Monsanto, other agrochemical producers and Sri Lankan officials, including Registrar of Pesticides Anura Wijesekara, have pushe …"

"… orm of kidney disease devastating agricultural workers in Central America, Sri Lanka and India. Scientists suspect the malady is caused by a combination of fac …"

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 "El Salvador":

"… t dramatic measure taken to date to combat the illness. The legislature in El Salvador approved a ban on dozens of agrochemicals including glyphosate last Septem …"

"… at 65 percent of patients’ urine samples also had traces of glyphosate. El Salvador has also identified traces of heavy metals in a small number of affected c …"

"… phosate is used widely in the country. Dr. Carlos Orantes, the director of El Salvador’s national research program into the epidemic, said his team is working …"

"… id his team is working on developing a map of areas with hard water within El Salvador’s borders. “Our primary principal is to protect human lives,” said …"

United Nations report: 'Children on the Run' from violent homelands

By Susan Ferriss

Numbers of Central American and Mexico minors who say they're fleeing violence are surging.

Excerpts from this story referencing "El Salvador":

"… ol apprehensions of minors traveling on their own from three countries — El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras — leaped from about 4,060 in 2011 to nearly 21,5 …"

"… worst crime and murder rates in the world. Fifteen-year-old Maritza, from El Salvador, told researchers that a gang member warned her uncle that another man had …"

"… a gang member warned her uncle that another man had his eye on her. “In El Salvador, they take young girls, rape them and throw them in plastic bags,” Marit …"

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 "Health":

"… Last week’s declaration from the Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) called on member states to conduct research and survei …"

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 "Catharina Wesseling":

"… think that by banning pesticides you will solve the epidemic,” said Dr. Catharina Wesseling of the Program on Work, Environment and Health in Central America (SALTRA) …"

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 "Environmental Protection Agency":

"… ther companies also produce pesticides containing 2,4-D. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, excessive quantities of glyphosate and 2,4-D in drinking water can cause …"

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 "El Salvador":

"… nized in the Americas even though kidney disease has killed more people in El Salvador and Nicaragua than diabetes, HIV/AIDS and leukemia combined in the last fi …"

"… year from 2005 to 2009, according to an analysis of data from the WHO. In El Salvador, the kidney disease has become the second leading cause of death among adu …"

"… ydration that may come from this difficult work,” he said.Researchers in El Salvador have also uncovered intriguing clues. A study published in April found tha …"

"… osts mount, governments have begun to fund studies and treatment programs. El Salvador has launched an initiative called NefroLempa that targets chronic kidney d …"

New voting rules make getting Latinos to the polls harder than ever

By Lindsey Ruta and Annelise Russell

Latinos could be a potent voting force in the Southwest, but traditionally low voter turnout could get even lower with new ID laws.

Excerpts from this story referencing "El Salvador":

"… ident Juan Rosa said the ID law is a valuable safeguard. Rosa, who is from El Salvador, became a citizen in 2002 and has voted since then, he said. Latinos will …"

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 "El Salvador":

"… outbreak. In February 2011, the United States helped defeat a proposal by El Salvador and other Central American nations to include CKD in an initiative by the …"

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 "El Salvador":

"… ple died each 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 …"

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 "El Salvador":

"… e Journalists‘ analysis of the latest World Health Organization data. In El Salvador and Nicaragua alone over the last two decades, the number of men dying fro …"

"… dy should die of kidney disease,” said Ramon Trabanino, a physician from El Salvador who has studied the epidemic for a decade. The surge of kidney disease is …"

"… dgets, and leaving a trail of widows and children in rural communities. In El Salvador, CKD is the second leading cause of death for men. In the province of …"

"… ltural nephropathy” or “sugarcane nephropathy.” The director of El Salvador’s national CKD program has written of a “Mesoamerican Regional Nephrop …"

Miles de trabajadores de caña de azúcar mueren ante escasez de acción oficial

By Sasha Chavkin and Ronnie Greene

Miles de trabajadores de caña de azúcar mueren ante escasez de acción oficial

Excerpts from this story referencing "San Antonio":

"… acional. La resistencia ha empezado a ceder, particularmente en el Ingenio San Antonio de la Nicaragua Sugar, donde trabaja el equipo de la Universidad de Boston …"

"… olaborar con un estudio sobre la seguridad de los trabajadores. El Ingenio San Antonio y el Ingenio Monte Rosa ignoraron la petición. Y en 2007, dijo Aragón, …"

"… 2007, dijo Aragón, otra petición de acceso fue rechazada por el Ingenio San Antonio. “Y ese fue el fin del asunto— dijo—. Ni una sola compañía azucare …"

"… stado de Estados Unidos acerca del primer cargamento de etanol del Ingenio San Antonio y escribió que la compañía había alcanzado “el potencial para desarr …"

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 "El Salvador":

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

"… ystem. But even this increase pales compared to men in Central America. In El Salvador and Nicaragua, the countries where data is complete from 1990 to 2009, mal …"

"… a cause of death being recorded. Dr. Mario Melendez Montano, who works in El Salvador, said that a significant proportion of CKD deaths are never recorded at al …"

Nixon to grand jury: $100,000 cash contributions and rewarding donors with ambassadorships

By John Aloysius Farrell

Nixon's description of campaign largesse in the Watergate era echoes today's environment

Excerpts from this story referencing "Rose Mary Woods":

"… ’t know how it happened,” Nixon said. He suspected that his secretary, Rose Mary Woods, accidentally erased the tape.Nixon denied that he played any role in list …"

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 "Los Angeles":

"… ike the Mara Salvatrucha — 18th Street rivalry that has spread from Los Angeles to El Salvador.One reason for the violence, Belize’s top police official …"

Salmonella outbreak traced to cantaloupes in Guatemala

By Brandon Quester and Tarryn Mento

Cantaloupe, a frequent carrier of pathogens that cause foodborne illness, is imported by the U.S. more than any other nation

Excerpts from this story referencing "El Salvador":

"… in Guatemala, nestled amid winding dirt roads in a fertile valley near the El Salvador border where the problem allegedly began.Anatomy of the OutbreakWhen peopl …"

Limousine liberals? Number of government-owned limos has soared under Obama

By Joe Eaton

The number of limousines owned by the federal government has jumped 73 percent in the first two years of the Obama administration

Excerpts from this story referencing "General Services Administration":

"… rges agencies to increase the fuel efficiency of their fleets.According to General Services Administration data, the number of limousines in the federal fleet increased from 238 in …"

Daily Watchdog: Deteriorating conditions in Central America pose security threat

By Laurel Adams

Excerpts from this story referencing "El Salvador":

"… icide rates in the world. In 2010, the homicide rate per 100,000 people in El Salvador was at 66, Guatemala was at 50 and Honduras at 77. The often publicized ho …"

George H.W. Bush — Revisited

By John Solomon

He’s 86 now, his eyebrows silver and his legs weakened by Parkinson’s-like symptoms. But as George Herbert Walker Bush approaches his twilig

Excerpts from this story referencing "San Salvador":

"… the fight against Cuban-backed communist guerillas.Air Force II landed at San Salvador’s airport and Bush was then escorted onto a green Army Black Hawk choppe …"

"… faded pink concrete walls that was part of a compound purportedly used by San Salvador’s president as a residence.When Bush's advance team scouted the location …"

"… imately brought closure to the Salvadoran conflict, traveling in person to San Salvador in 1992 shortly after the government and rebels signed a peace accord that …"

"… my pilot who flew Bush's chopper was shot dead as he sat in his cockpit in San Salvador, the victim of a communist rebel gunman, Benedi recalled.Bush prefers to k …"

Latin American investigative conference keen on collaborations

By Ricardo Sandoval Palos

In only its second run, the Latin American Conference on Investigative Journalism – held last weekend in Buenos Aires – has become one of th

Excerpts from this story referencing "El Salvador":

"… to report on crime amid car bombs and threats from drug traffickers; from El Salvador, El Faro.net’s Carlos Dada recounted what it took to chase down a Cold W …"

Exporting prices

By M. Asif Ismail

Drug makers' trade group makes the industry's priorities U.S. trade policy

Excerpts from this story referencing "El Salvador":

"… ral American Free Trade Agreement involving the United States, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, have incorpora …"

A Spy Inc. no stranger to controversy

LONDON / WASHINGTON, June 12, 2002 — Even within the secretive world of private military companies, AirScan is noted for being unforthcoming

Excerpts from this story referencing "El Salvador":

"… who commanded U.S. military advisors engaged in the unacknowledged war in El Salvador.According to company statements, “AirScan has conducted numerous day/nig …"

Pentagon trained troops led by officer accused in Colombian massacre

WASHINGTON, D.C. March 30, 2000 — Pentagon officials, under pressure to investigate alleged links between elite U.S. military trainers and C

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. government":

"… m a Colombian army base and airfield at San José del Guaviare, from which U.S. government and contract personnel conduct counternarcotics operations. According to E …"

Open your mind

By Stephen Engelberg

NEW YORK, March 1, 1999 — Day-to-day, investigative reporting is about sweat and perseverance. Forget about the widely held view that govern

Excerpts from this story referencing "reporter":

"… y held view that government officials "leak" embarrassing stories to eager reporters who sit waiting for the phone to ring. You know — and I know — that h …"

"… out. So the next day, I talked to my colleague Les Gelb, a New York Times reporter who had once been a high-level official at the State Department.I said, …"

"… Security Council. “Try me in about 1996,” he said. A more experienced reporter might have understood what this man was trying to say, might have grasped …"

"… incidents. They don’t just blow up on their own, I confidently told our reporters. Our commitment to the bomb theory deepened when we learned that the FBI …"

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