Antanas Mockus, the former mayor of Bogota, Colombia.

Antanas Mockus is one of the most influential figures in Colombian politics. He has been mayor of Bogotá twice, and a presidential candidate three times. He is mostly remembered for promoting art as a way to change cultural values in Colombian society. Or, in his words, to reinforce a “citizenship culture” to reach peace. He…

Viacrucis participants march through Chahuites, Mexico. (Photo by author)

MEXICO CITY — Ciudad Tecún Umán is sweltering. All of the town’s households and its handful of ramshackle cantinas still use wood-burning stoves, their sweaty attendants braving the compounded afternoon heat. The smoke trails out into the few dusty streets, unpaved, potholed and barely stretching to the edge of the Rio Suchiate, which divides Tecún…

Photojournalist Stephen Ferry, who has covered Colombia's internal conflict for twelve years.

Stephen Ferry is an American photographer who has captured dangerous and tragic scenes of the Colombian armed conflict for twelve years. Ferry published a collection of his and his Colombian colleagues’ photos in a book titled “Violentology: A Manual of the Colombian Conflict.” Latin America News Dispatch interviewed Ferry at the International Center for Photography…

A sign in Rancho Grande, Nicaragua -- "No to mining in Rancho Grande." (Max Serjeant)

RANCHO GRANDE, Nicaragua — Father Pablo Espinosa looks down pensively, taking his time to think as he speaks. “In the history of Nicaragua there is not one town that has benefited from mining,” he says. “I have visited other communities and seen the contamination. All they have is disease and more poverty than before.” Behind…

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ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – As countries worldwide move toward reducing tobacco use among their citizens, Argentina remains one of seven U.N. member states — and the only one in South America — to have not yet ratified, after initially signing, a landmark treaty that aims to reduce tobacco consumption and advertising. Argentina’s delay…

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BOGOTÁ, Colombia — In a fifteen-minute long speech delivered on Tuesday evening, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced that the country’s armed forces will stop, for the next month, their bombing operations against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Since August 2012, the central government and FARC rebels have been negotiating a peace agreement in…

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COLONIA DEL SACRAMENTO, Uruguay — Colonia del Sacramento underwent turbulent change in its early history. A strategic port founded by conquistadors at the mouth of the world’s widest river, the Rio de la Plata, Colonia was for long the key to unlocking the vast riches of the South American interior. A prized, fortified settlement, it…

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On Dec. 2, El Salvador’s business community announced it had hired former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to advise the Salvadoran government on how to curb soaring crime driven by lawless gangs and rampant corruption. At 43.9 murders per 100,000 residents, according to the 2014 Global Status Report on Violence Prevention, the country’s homicide…

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The United States and Cuba may be normalizing relations, but don’t expect a major trade boom for now. While the changes announced by President Obama will widen the types of financial transactions allowed between the two countries and permit more forms of trade and travel, a broadly restrictive embargo on trade with Cuba remains in…