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 …"

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 "El Salvador":

"… en’s Fund reports that 93 percent of children in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are vaccinated against measles, compared to 92 percent of American kids. …"

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 "lawyer":

"… ourt, the Department of Homeland Security will be represented by a trained lawyer who will argue for the child’s deportation.” “On the other side of …"

"… r the child’s deportation.” “On the other side of the courtroom, no lawyer will stand with the child,” says the suit, which was filed against U.S. …"

"… shed right to appointment of legal counsel in immigration proceedings. But lawyers on behalf of these children argue that they are nonetheless protected by …"

"… ldren in the lawsuit have already appeared in court multiple times without lawyers. “The plight of these (plaintiff) children is not unique,” argues th …"

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 "El Salvador":

"… fforts by some scientists and health officials, primarily in Sri Lanka and El Salvador, to remove the herbicide for its potential link to the mysterious kidney d …"

"… untry to target glyphosate for its alleged role in chronic kidney disease. El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly approved a ban on 53 agrichemicals including glyp …"

"… ling herbicide — will have repercussions beyond the island’s borders. El Salvador recently elected a new president, Salvador Sánchez-Cerén, and proponents …"

"… t, Salvador Sánchez-Cerén, and proponents of the pesticide ban passed by El Salvador’s legislature last year hope the former guerilla commander will sign a p …"

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 "Glyphosate":

"… the newest study is built upon untested theory rather than hard data. “Glyphosate acts as a carrier or a vector of these heavy metals to the kidney,” said …"

"… the health risks posed by Glyphosate when used in areas with heavy water. Glyphosate was originally patented as a chelating agent — a substance useful for it …"

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 "El Salvador":

"… growing, but scientific debate still churns. Government-backed studies in El Salvador and Sri Lanka have found pesticides and fertilizers to be the primary caus …"

"… ysterious ailment has become a political Rorschach test. The left-leaning El Salvadoran government, backed by Cuban doctors, blames pesticides imported by Weste …"

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 "El Salvador":

"… ks a significant turnaround for PAHO, which in 2011 rejected a proposal by El Salvador to recognize chronic kidney disease in agricultural workers as a distinct …"

"… .’s agenda and U.S. delegates were unaware of the ailment’s severity. El Salvador has since led a campaign by Central American nations demanding greater att …"

"… . Today, chronic kidney disease is the leading cause of hospital deaths in El Salvador, the PAHO resolution said. Dr. Carlos Orantes, director of El Salvador’ …"

"… in El Salvador, the PAHO resolution said. Dr. Carlos Orantes, director of El Salvador’s national research and treatment programs for the disease, compared the …"

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 "kidney failure":

"… a mineral used in pesticides that has been linked by previous studies to kidney failure. For more than two years, the International Consortium of Investigative J …"

"… g evidence also points toward a possible mechanism for dehydration causing kidney failure, related to the activity of an enzyme in the kidney. “I do not think th …"

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 "El Salvador":

"… Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia University. …"

"… ulation of agrochemicals. The declaration represented a major victory for El Salvador and its health minister, Dr. Maria Isabel Rodriguez. Ninety years old and …"

"… isease Control and Prevention, which in 2011 helped beat back an effort by El Salvador to declare the malady a top priority for the Americas. The CDC now says it …"

"… disease in Central America, and pledged to help fund a national survey by El Salvador to measure the prevalence of chronic ailments including CKD. “We have t …"

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 "kidney failure":

"… But the death toll 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 t …"

"… s along a nearly 700-mile stretch of the Pacific coast. Across the region, kidney failure has killed more than 2,800 men each year from 2005 to 2009, according to a …"

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 "Arizona":

"… ected, Latinos could dominate voting in the Southwest, particularly Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, a project …"

"… d.”Duarte, Texas director of Mi Familia Vota, which also has branches in Arizona, Colorado and Nevada, said legislators should instead encourage Latinos to …"

"… eight states with the largest Latino populations, four — Texas, Florida, Arizona and Colorado — have some form of voter ID law, according to the National …"

"… w a photo ID that includes their signature, a student ID card for example. Arizona voters may show a photo ID or two non-photo forms of identification. Color …"

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 "disease":

"… ta Rican government has launched a study into the causes of chronic kidney disease in its sugarcane producing northern region. At the same time one of the co …"

"… explored the mysterious and largely overlooked epidemic of chronic kidney disease — or CKD — that is killing thousands of sugarcane workers and other ma …"

"… l an epidemic: whether the illness should be classified as an occupational disease. Many workers believe the malady is caused by pesticide exposure and worki …"

"… ional health service and lead investigator for the study. The cause of the disease’s outbreak remains unknown, although a growing body of research has show …"

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 …"

About this project

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Chicago":

"… erald, MiamiLa Nacion, Costa RicaEl Faro, El SalvadorSemana, NicaraguaHoy, ChicagoAl Dia, DallasLa Opinion, Los AngelesProject editors: Ricardo Sandoval Palo …"


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 …"

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 "World Bank":

"… ports from Venezuela, and sponsored a conference to promote biofuels. The World Bank, meanwhile, has provided more than $100 million in loans to promote biofue …"

"… ber 2006, the board of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) — the World Bank’s lender for private-sector projects — approved a $55 million loan to …"

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 "El Salvador":

"… e Periodistas de Investigación (ICIJ, por sus siglas en inglés). Solo en El Salvador y Nicaragua, en las últimas dos décadas el número de hombres que murier …"

"… e debería morir de enfermedad renal”, dijo Ramón Trabanino, médico de El Salvador que ha estudiado la epidemia durante una década. La oleada de casos de e …"

"… o “nefropatía azucarera”. El director del programa nacional de ERC de El Salvador ha escrito acerca de una “nefropatía regional mesoamericana” que alg …"

"… tidad de trabajadores jóvenes y de edad mediana llegaban a su hospital en El Salvador, todos con casos avanzados de ERC. “Por algún motivo esto le parece nor …"

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 "El Salvador":

"… Nixon testified.But there was another class of nations, like Luxemburg or El Salvador, that were not vitally important to the national interest, he said. And th …"

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 "El Salvador":

"… lvatrucha — 18th Street rivalry that has spread from Los Angeles to El Salvador.One reason for the violence, Belize’s top police official told me: big t …"

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 "El Salvador":

"… 997 Ford Crown Victoria in Bangladesh, and a 2009 Mercury Grand Marquis in El Salvador, were incorrectly recorded as limos.If the data is correct, some federal e …"

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 "Argentina":

"… vice president — attending the inaugural celebration of Raúl Alfonsín, Argentina’s democratically elected president.Only a handful of top Reagan and Bush …"

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 "Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America":

"… by Kevin Boettcher, Alexander Cohen, Victoria Kreha and Emily McNeill. …"

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 "Plan Colombia":

"… pipelines for U.S. companies, and is part of the U.S. anti-drug operation, Plan Colombia.Most recently, three AirScan pilots were sought for questioning by the Col …"

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 "Congress":

"… counternarcotics aid package for Colombia making its way through the U.S. Congress, there is increased scrutiny over whether U.S. military assistance has bee …"

"… ian civilians in that country’s decades-long civil war.In November 1997, Congress enacted the “Leahy amendment,” prohibiting assistance to any foreign m …"

"… nvestigative Journalists. It has prompted inquiries on Capitol Hill, where Congress is debating an aid package that would train and equip Colombian army count …"

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 "El Salvador":

"… ed. Shortly after Hasenfus’ capture, the seasoned Times correspondent in El Salvador, James LeMoyne, called me with what sounded to me like a very wild story. …"

"… to me like a very wild story. It seems he had been told by his sources in El Salvador that a Salvadoran air force base just outside the capital was being used b …"

"… ould be that stupid. They wouldn’t do that. Well, LeMoyne’s story from El Salvador ran, including the allegations about the CIA. There were many red-faced de …"