Frontline World

Stories By Region: Americas

August 2010

ROUGHCUT

Leeward Islands: A Voyage of Healing
Caribbean natives explore their past

Filmmaker Tim Wheeler joins a group of Caribbean natives, the Kalinago, on a canoe journey through the Caribbean's Leeward Islands to celebrate and rediscover their roots. read more

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June 2010

ROUGHCUT

Ecuador: Dreamtown
Is soccer the ticket to a better life?

With the soccer World Cup about to kick off in South Africa, "Dreamtown" follows the stories of three Afro-Ecuadorians, who hope their skills on the field will change their lives. read more

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May 2010

ROUGHCUT

Chile: The House Pedro Built
Surviving one of the biggest earthquakes in history

Chile's recent earthquake showed the remarkable solidarity of the Chilean people. Neighbors joined neighbors to form a chain of citizen aid throughout the country. This is Pedro's story. read more

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December 2009

Trading Trees
Boon or boondoggle for climate change

In Copenhagen, only a handful of countries made the case for turning trees into carbon emissions offsets, with the United States leading the pack. Why is the plan so controversial? read more

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November 2009

Brazil: The Money Tree
The human cost of carbon credits

In the new economy created by global warming, forests are becoming a valuable commodity. Promising not to cut them down is one of the most popular ways companies would like to offset emissions. Mark Schapiro follows the trail of one of those offset projects deep into Brazil's Atlantic Forest. read more

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October 2009

Peru: Kiva's Web-based Microfinance Growing Up

Three years after we first broadcast our popular story about Kiva, a pioneer of web-based microloans, we decided to check in with the nonprofit on its fourth birthday, and find out how it's working with locals in a high Andean outpost in Peru. read more

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October 2009

Jamaica: Girls on Track
Olympic dreams against the odds

It won six gold medals in track and field at the Beijing Olympics and has a population smaller than the city of Chicago. What makes Jamaica's athletes so good and so fast? read more

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September 2009

Honduras: Standoff at the Embassy

We talk with Al Jazeera reporter Monica Villamizar from the Honduran capital, where she reports that the return of the deposed president Manuel Zelaya is being watched throughout Latin America for how the U.S. responds to the political crisis. read more

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September 2009

ROUGHCUT

Brazil: Hired Guns
FIghting for a share of the land

Reporter Siri Schubert travels to Brazil to investigate how a clash between the giant Swiss agribusiness Syngenta and Brazil's landless movement left two men dead and exposed a long and violent battle for land reform in South America's richest country. read more

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September 2009

ROUGHCUT

California: The Immigration Dilemma
Hard times stir up the issue in Central Valley

Reporter Jason Margolis travels to the fields and farm communities of California's San Joaquin Valley to see how the economic downturn and a three-year drought are stirring the immigration debate. read more

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July 2009

ROUGHCUT

Guatemala: In the Shadow of the Raid
U.S. immigration raid leaves lasting mark

On the two-year anniversary of the immigration raid at a kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa--one of the largest workplace raids in history--an affecting look at the human cost of the crackdown on both sides of the border. read more

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February 2009

ROUGHCUT

Jamaica: The Alpha Boys
A legendary music school lives on

As a music writer, Jamaica has always been one of the places I felt I had to visit. I love reggae, rocksteady, and ska. And who doesn't love Bob Marley? But I didn't want my love of the music to be the sole reason to visit the island. I wanted to find a story that spoke to Jamaica's musical wealth -- past, present and future -- while still describing what it means to live on the island today. read more

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January 2009

Virtual Gitmo: Human Rights in Second Life

Video blogger Bernhard Drax talks about the "Gone Gitmo" project, a re-creation of Guantanamo Bay in the virtual world Second Life. read more

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January 2009

Brazil: The Obama Samba

In a small town on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, Claudio Henrique is campaigning to become his city's first black mayor. While Brazil has one of the largest black populations on Earth, the vast majority of its politicians are white. So Claudio decided to run for office under a name that would capture the historic nature of his quest...Barack Obama. Reporter Andres Cediel hits the campaign trail with Brazil's Obama. read more

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May 2008

Mexico: Crimes at the Border
The business of human smuggling

In a joint project with The New York Times, FRONTLINE/World correspondents Andrew Becker and Lowell Bergman investigate the rapidly expanding business of smuggling humans across the U.S.-Mexican border. They follow the dramatic story of an American border guard tempted by money and sexual favors to join a smuggling operation, and explore what the U.S. government is doing about the problem. read more

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May 2008

Guatemala: The Secret Files
How Silicon Valley helps uncover a dirty war

FRONTLINE/World and PRI's "The World" radio correspondent Clark Boyd travels to Guatemala to see how an unlikely partnership between human rights investigators and a Silicon Valley nonprofit called Benetech is saving a lost chapter of the country's history. read more

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April 2008

Tortillanomics: Food or Fuel?
The competition for Mexico's corn

Mexico is among many countries worldwide dealing with unrest caused by rising food prices. FRONTLINE/World reporter Malia Wollan discovers that increasing demand for corn-based biofuel in the United States is driving up the cost of Mexico's staple food, the tortilla. read more

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March 2008

ROUGHCUT

Mexico: The Business of Saving Trees
How one woman has created a biosphere

Jason Margolis, who first reported this story for PRI's radio program The World, travels with producer Loren Mendell to the heart of rural Mexico to discover how a former schoolteacher is using the commodity of carbon to revitalize and entire region. read more

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March 2008

Chile: The New Nazis
Hitler's unlikely followers

Chile once harbored Nazi fugitives and has a history of racial discrimination, but its predominantly mixed-race population makes in an unexpected home for a new-Nazi movement. Lygia Navarro examines why some brown-skinned working class kids have bought into Hitler's ideology. read more

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February 2008

Cuba: The Art Revolution
The new freedom of expression

Natasha Del Toro travels to Cuba to see how visual artists have managed to create an art revolution in a country where political free speech has been largely supressed. There, she meets Los Carpinteros, whose huge sculptures are world renowned and command high prices on the international art market. read more

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February 2008

ROUGHCUT

Ecuador: Flower Power
Fair trade roses for Valentine's Day

On the biggest day of the year for giving (and receiving) flowers, FRONTLINE/World reports from Ecuador, one of the largest suppliers of cut flowers to the U.S., to find out how the long-stem rose is going "green." read more

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December 2007

ROUGHCUT

Haiti: Belo's Song of Peace
Troubled island sells music and hope

In this week's Rough Cut, reporter Natasha Del Toro takes a musical adventure to Haiti to cover a chaotic first-time music festival during rainy season in a country where nothing works. read more

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June 2007

ROUGHCUT

Ecuador: Country Doctors
On rough roads and remote rivers

Frustrated by his country's lack of healthcare for the poor, especially those in rural areas, Dr. Edgar Rodas started an organization of volunteer Ecuadorian doctors who trek high into the Andes and deep into the Amazon, performing surgeries on a hospital truck and boat. Watch these dedicated doctors in action in our latest video about individuals trying to make a difference in the world. read more

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April 2007

Paraguay: Sounds of Hope
How music is transforming society

In "Sounds of Hope," FRONTLINE/World reporter Monica Lam journeys to Paraguay to meet Luis Szaran, a famous musician and social entrepreneur who has dedicated himself to helping redeem the lives of poor and neglected children through music. read more

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March 2007

ROUGHCUT

Panama: The Last Medicine Woman
The secret life of plants

In this week's Rough Cut, producer Joe Rubin and Colombian reporter Paula Botero enter the world of the shamens, or medicine women, who comb the rich canopy of Panama's rain forests gathering plants with powerful healing properties. Known simply as "Neles'' and members of Panama's Kuna Indians, the women have passed down their knowledge of hundreds of plants through generations. But as the modern world and modern science encroaches, their practices and traditions are fast disappearing. read more

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January 2007

Canada: The Cell Next Door
The hidden face of suburban jihad

In a story close to home, FRONTLINE/World and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation go inside a homegrown terrorist cell accused of planning mass destruction and murder on North American soil. The Cell Next Door retraces events leading up to last year's arrests in Toronto of 18, mostly young, Muslim men - who are now standing trial -- and talks to the radical Muslim informant within their ranks who helped foil the attacks. read more

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October 2006

ROUGHCUT

Chicago: Little Mexico
Legal son of an illegal mother

Elvira Arellano is an illegal Mexican immigrant living in Chicago with a deportation order -- and a 7-year-old American-born son. As a first-generation Polish immigrant who lived in Chicago for nearly 25 years, reporter Marian Marzynski brings a unique perspective to the story of migration to the United States, interweaving Arelleno's story with Chicago's history as an immigrant city. read more

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September 2006

ROUGHCUT

Cuba: The Art Revolution
Challenging Fidel's socialist system

Cuba has a long and rich heritage in the arts, but during the last two decades, the visual arts have become a cultural phenomenon. In this week's Rough Cut, filmmaker Natasha Del Toro travels to Cuba to meet two of its most acclaimed artists and find out why art is at the center of Cuban society. read more

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June 2006

ROUGHCUT

Chile: Karina's Story
Buidling a life as a transgender woman

If you didn't know what you were watching, the opening scenes of this week's Rough Cut might look like the rushes from a film by Pedro Almodovar. Our stories come in a variety of styles; this time around, we present a cinema verite piece, a "day in the life," narrated by its main character, a transgender hairdresser living in Santiago, Chile. read more

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May 2006

ROUGHCUT

Bolivia: On the Road With Evo
The making of an unlikely president

In this week's Rough Cut, we present an insightful, and very timely, portrait of Evo Morales as he campaigned for the presidency last December. Like any good campaign film, "On the Road With Evo" combines public performance with private moments and helps to explain Evo's popular appeal. read more

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February 2006

Colombia: The Coca-Cola Controversy
Soft drink company accused of complicity in murder of union leaders

Citing charges that the soft drink company was complicit in the violent repression of a union at several of its bottling plants in Colombia, the University of Michigan and New York University recently canceled their contracts with Coke. FRONTLINE/World Fellows Rob Harris and Tovin Lapan travel to Colombia to investigate. Watch their video report. read more

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January 2006

Brazil: Jewel of the Amazon
The conflict over Brazil's Diamonds

Who should control what may become the richest diamond mine in the world? Join FRONTLINE/World reporter Mariana van Zeller as she journeys deep into the Amazon rain forest where an indigenous tribe, the Cinta Larga, and wildcat miners are fighting over the Amazon's latest treasure: diamonds. read more

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January 2006

ROUGHCUT

Colombia: This Little Old Town
War or no war, refugees return home

Decades of violence -- much of it tied to the drug trade -- have ravaged Colombia. Fighting between leftwing guerillas, right-wing paramilitaries, and government soldiers has forced many civilians to flee their villages. But in this week's Rough Cut video, reporter Deborah Correa joins a group of refugees determined to reclaim their hometown, war or no war. read more

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December 2005

ROUGHCUT

Brazil: Cutting the Wire
Witnessing a land occupation

Nearly half of Brazil's farmland is owned by 1 percent of the population -- a glaring inequality in a nation known for its stark division between rich and poor. This week on Rough Cut, we travel to a dusty patch of rural Brazil where FRONTLINE/World Fellows Adam Raney and Chad Heeter witness a land occupation by a thousand poor people and activists who take over a strategic corner of a ranch about an eight-hour drive west of Sao Paulo. read more

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October 2005

The Curse of Inca Gold
The story behind the world's richest gold mine

The Yanacocha gold mine in Peru is run by Newmont Mining Corporation of Denver, Colorado, the largest gold mining company in the world. FRONTLINE/World and New York Times reporter Lowell Bergman investigates a bitter ownership battle over the mine, environmental problems, and growing local opposition to the mine's expansion. The story provides, says Bergman, a case study of "how a multinational company does business in a developing country rife with corruption." read more

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August 2005

ROUGHCUT

Samurai Surfers
Eco-warriors in Puerto Rico

Angel Rodriguez, aka "El Doctor," is a former accountant turned full-time surfer and coach of Puerto Rico's surf team. He's also a tenacious defender of his marine environment. Just ask the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that made the mistake of dumping harbor dredge on El Doctor's favorite surf spot. FRONTLINE/World reporter Sachi Cunningham, herself a surfer, ventures to the Caribbean island to tell the tale of El Doctor and his cadre of surfer activists. read more

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May 2005

Mexico: The Ballad of Juan Quezada
A potter brings a village back to life

FRONTLINE/World reporter Macarena Hernandez travels to the Mexican state of Chihuahua to meet the man who brought fame and prosperity to Mata Ortiz, his rural village. As a young boy, 40 years ago, Juan Quezada discovered ancient painted pots in a cave in the rugged hills near his home. Quezada toiled to recreate the pottery methods of the Paquime Indians, a culture that died out centuries ago. After becoming an international pottery star, Quezada trained others in his village. Now, Mata Ortiz is home to several hundred master artisans, and Quezada is a local hero. read more

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June 2004

Mexico: A Death in the Desert
The fatal journey of a migrant worker

Follow FRONTLINE/World reporter Claudine LoMonaco as she retraces the tragic journey of Matias Garcia, a chili pepper farmer from a small Zapotec Indian village in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, who crossed the border looking for work and died in the Arizona desert. LoMonaco finds Garcia's family and interviews his surviving brother and others. Their responses to LoMonaco reveal the dangers faced by desperate migrants. read more

January 2004

Belize: The Exile's Song
Reclaiming African roots

Over four hundred years, the Garifuna people of Central America's Caribbean coast have evolved a musical tradition that blends the African rhythms of their ancestors with indigenous instrumentation. FRONTLINE/World sent PRI's The World reporter Marco Werman to Belize, where Garifuna music is being kept alive by a new generation. read more

June 2003

Venezuela: A Nation on Edge
A polarizing president stirs political passions

What accounts for the remarkable staying power of Hugo Chavez, the maverick, populist president of Venezuela? One year after Chavez was briefly toppled in a coup d'état, FRONTLINE/World travels to Caracas to investigate the highly charged, sometimes violent, class struggle that swirls around him. read more

May 2003

Guatemala/Mexico: Coffee Country
Can fair trade save the farm?

As a worldwide glut of coffee beans forces Central American farmers and their families off their land, FRONTLINE/World's Sam Quinones follows a group of gourmet coffee importers who advocate "fair trade" as a partial solution to the crisis. He meets tasters, buyers and indigenous farmers in remote coffee-growing regions. read more

November 2002

Colombia: The Pipeline War
U.S. oil fuels a bloody conflict

Correspondent Saira Shah travels to the latest battleground in Colombia's prolonged civil war: a fight over a U.S.-owned oil pipeline. FRONTLINE/World reports how the oil has fueled warfare among leftist rebels, rightwing paramilitaries and the Colombian army -- with civilians caught in the middle. read more

June 2002

Bolivia: Leasing the Rain
An American company sparks a war over water

Privatization sparks a deadly protest in the town of Cochabamba when the Bolivian government sells off its water system to a private, multi-national consortium Aguas del Tunari. New Yorker writer William Finnegan travels to Cochabamba to learn why people took to the streets and what happens next. read more


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