Staff

Dusty Christensen (Editor, dustin.christensen@latindispatch.com)

Dusty Christensen is a freelance writer based in New York City. His work has appeared at The Nation magazine and Alternet. He is a native of Georgia and received a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from the University of Georgia. Dusty is currently a Quechua-language FLAS Fellow at New York University, and was previously a United States Peace Corps volunteer in western Ukraine.

Christopher Looft (Editor, chris.looft@latindispatch.com)

Christopher is a Portuguese-language FLAS fellow at New York University. Previously, he worked as a researcher with a private security firm and as a writer for InSight Crime, a news organization focused on crime in Latin America. He attended the University of Georgia.

Camila Osorio (Staff Writer, camila.osorio@latindispatch.com )

Camila is a Colombian reporter currently pursuing a masters degree in Journalism and Latin American studies at New York University. Camila worked three years for the political news website La Silla Vacía in Bogotá. She moved to New York two years ago and has published her work in WNYC, africasacountry.com, and Feet in 2 Worlds. Camila also worked as a translator for Democracy Now! En Español during the summer of 2014 and as a reporter for the South African website Ground Up during the summer of 2013. She has a bachelors degree in Political Science from the Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia, and an M.A. in Sociology from The New School for Social Research in New York.

Nicole Fleischner (Staff Writer, nicole.fleischner@latindispatch.com)

Nicole is a Henry MacCracken Fellow at New York University, where she is earning a masters degree in Global Journalism and Latin American Studies. She is from New York City but has lived and traveled throughout the Caribbean, where she studied, wrote and worked as an English and Spanish teacher. She is particularly interested in contemporary culture in Havana, Cuba. Nicole earned her bachelor’s degree in International Literary and Visual Studies at Tufts University.

Alexandra Hall (Social Media Editor & Photographer, alexandra.hall@latindispatch.com)

Alex is a Thomas R. Pickering Graduate Foreign Affairs Fellow at New York University. She received her bachelor’s degree in Foreign Policy in the Americas (a self-designed major) at Vanderbilt University. Alex served as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in the Dominican Republic, and has volunteered and traveled throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. She is a photographer and some of her images are displayed at www.alexhallphotography.com

Kristian Strømsland Jebsen (Staff Writer, kristian.s.jebsen@latindispatch.com)

Kristian is pursuing a graduate degree of journalism at New York University. He has previously worked in Ecuador, Brazil and most recently, Ghana, where he was working for Journalists for Human Rights. He is co-editor of the travel writing magazine, errantmagazine.ca.

Cleuci de Oliveira (Staff Writer, cleuci.deoliveira@latindispatch.com)

Cleuci de Oliveira is a New York-based journalist from Brasília, Brazil. She comes from an art & culture background, having graduated with a B.A. in Studio Art from New York University and an M.A. in History of Art from University College London.

Founders

Roque Planas (Director, rplanas@latindispatch.com)

Roque’s works as editor of the Huffington Post’s Latino Voices vertical, where he covers Latino politics and Latin American affairs. Before joining HuffPost, he worked as a staff writer for the Fox News Latino and the New York Daily News. His work as a freelance journalist has appeared in Foreign Policy Magazine, the World Politics Review, and the New Internationalist. He holds an M.A. in history from Texas State University at San Marcos and earned an M.A. in the global joint master’s program in journalism and Latin American studies at New York University, where he was a Henry MacCracken Fellow.

Andrew O’Reilly (Former Editor-in-Chief, aoreilly@latindispatch.com)

Andrew’s work has appeared in ESPN The Magazine, Ralph Lauren Magazine, Hemispheres, The New York Times and The New York Daily News among others. He holds a B.A. in journalism from the University of Pittsburgh and a joint M.A. in journalism and Latin American studies from New York University. His regional focus in reporting is Mexico and Central America. Andrew now works at Fox News Latino.

Mari Hayman (Former Editor-in-Chief, mhayman@latindispatch.com)

Mari is a native of Washington state and earned a B.A. in comparative literature at Stanford University. She holds a master’s degree in journalism and Latin American studies at New York University , where she focused on memory and human rights in Uruguay. Mari now works as as managing editor for Americas Quarterly.

Rachel Brooks-Ames Lachenmeier (Staff Writer)

Rachel was a Henry MacCracken Fellow at New York University , where she earned a master’s degree in Latin American Studies. She grew up in Austin, Texas, and earned her bachelor’s degree from Smith College in Latin American/Latino Studies. Her past work has focused on Mexico, U.S.-Mexico relations, and Mexican Americans and immigrants in Texas. Rachel is currently earning a doctorate at the Centro Latinoamericano-Suizo at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland.

Past Contributors

Alison Bowen

Alison is a Missouri native and New York City freelance writer who has wanted to cover Latin America since studying Spanish in Central America. After moving to Brooklyn, her work has appeared in The New York Times, the Daily News, the Manhattan Times and Women’s eNews. She earned a master’s degree in journalism and Latin American and Caribbean studies at New York University. Her thesis focused on immigration policies after September 11, including counterterrorism measures, and their effects on the daily lives of immigrants in New York City.

Raisa Camargo

Raisa Camargo studies at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, where she is pursuing a double major in comparative international relations and minoring in French. Raisa grew up in New York City, Queens, with Colombian parents. As an intern reporter at Hispanic Link News Service in Washington, she is focusing on issues that affect the Hispanic community, with particular emphasis on immigration and the Western Hemisphere.

Reinhard Cate

Reinhard Cate is a native of Alameda, California. He is a graduate of Santa Clara University with a B.S. in Political Science and New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism institute with an M.A. in Journalism. He is a photographer and filmmaker and his work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, the New York Observer Magazine, Alpinist Magazine, Fox News, Frontline World and BBC World News. He recently finished a documentary film on the clash between Palestinians and Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank. An avid rock climber and adventurer, Reinhard has traveled much of the world but has focused his work primarily on the Middle East. You can see some of his photo and video work at www.reinhardcate.com. You can follow him on twitter at @reinhardcate.

Juan Pedro Catepillán Tecay

Self-taught photographer JP Catepillán was born Puerto Natales, in the  Magallanes region of Chile. He graduated with a degree in History, Geography and Civic Education from the Universidad Austral de Chile de Valdivia. He also studied regional and municipal public affairs at the Universidad Alberto Hurtado and political science at the  Universidad de Chile. He is married and has two children. His photos can be viewed at www.jpcatepillan.cl and www.flickr.com/photos/chilefotojp.

Von Diaz

Von Diaz is a native of Puerto Rico and spent most of her life in Atlanta, GA. Von is a graduate of Agnes Scott College, where she earned a B.A. in Women’s Studies and focused her research on women in Latin America and the developing world. She has worked in community advocacy and communications for a variety of nonprofit organizations focused on women and children. She now holds a dual M.A. in journalism and Latin American and Caribbean studies at New York University.

Juan Víctor Fajardo

Juan is a journalist and photographer from Caracas, Venezuela. He holds a B.A. in philosophy and Latin American studies from Swarthmore College.  Juan Víctor holds an M.A. from New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. He has worked in Ecuador, France, Cuba, Mexico, Vietnam, the Unites States and his native Venezuela. To see some of his photographic work, go to www.juanvictorfajardo.com

Jason Farbman

Jason Farbman is a Foreign Language/Area Studies Fellow at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University, where he is comparing class consciousness amongst workers in factory occupations in Argentina and the United States during times of economic crisis. A former Green Party candidate for State Representative in Chicago, Jason has since been an organizer for LGBT rights and in the anti-war movement in Seattle, both in civilian movements and as a close supporter of Iraq Veterans Against the War. Themes of struggle and community are featured in the music he writes and performs under the name Applekicker.

Nikolas Kozloff

Nikolas Kozloff is a New York-based writer specializing in political and environmental topics. A former academic, he received his doctorate in Latin American history from Oxford University in 2002. Prior to writing his first book, he worked as a Senior Research Fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based Council on Hemispheric Affairs, where he conducted research papers on Venezuela. He has provided political analysis on Latin America for such media outlets as BBC, WNYC’s Brian Lehrer, C-SPAN Washington Journal, and even put in a guest appearance on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Though he writes frequently on Latin America for such online publications as the Huffington Post, in more recent years he has focused increasingly on environmental topics.

Matt Landau

Matt Landau is the founder of the Panama Report, an online travel and investment magazine. He has been featured in publications such as GQ, The New York Times and BusinessWeek for his take on life and investment in Central America.

Molly O’Toole

Molly O’Toole has worked for a dozen publications, from Los Angeles Magazine and USA Today to current contributions at Newsweek International and The Associated Press. She most recently returned from three months in Mexico City, working for the AP and on her thesis about U.S.-Mexico relations. Molly earned her M.A. from New York University in the global joint master’s program for journalism and International Relations. She graduated cum laude from Cornell University and is a native of San Diego, California.

Marisa Raditsch

Marisa Raditsch is a California native who has lived in Mexico for four years while studying International Relations with a focus on Latin American Studies at the University of Guadalajara.

Paola Reyes

Paola is a native of San Diego, California. She graduated summa cum laude from Wellesley College where she majored in history and psychology. As an undergraduate, Paola spent time in Latin America interning at El Financiero newspaper in Costa Rica and conducting thesis research in Argentina. Paola was a Henry MacCracken Fellow in New York University’s Latin American and Caribbean Studies program, where she earned her M.A.

Joel Richards

Joel moved to Spain after graduating from Glasgow University with an M.A. in Hispanic Studies. After four years as a sports journalist in Madrid, he moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he is now based and works as a freelance journalist and T.V. producer.

James Rodríguez

James is an independent photojournalist based in Guatemala who specializes in documenting that country’s post-war social movement. Raised in Mexico City, James holds a B.A. in Cultural Geography from the University of California at Los Angeles. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including the Indypendent of New York and Yes! Magazine, and can be viewed at Mi Mundo.

Mike Samras

Mike earned degrees in political science and journalism from the University of Pittsburgh. After graduating from college in 2006, Mike joined the Peace Corp and spent two and half years living and working in El Salvador. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in political management at George Washington University.

Cesar Toscano

Cesar is a freelance journalist and photographer who grew up on both sides of the Tijuana, Mexico – San Diego, U.S. border. He earned a B.S. in management science and economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Since graduating in 2008, Cesar became the Co-Founder and CEO of Slique, a technical consulting and web application startup. His photos have appeared in several reports filed by The Latin America News Dispatch.

Maria Trimble

Maria is from Ontario, Canada, and holds an Honors B.A. in International Development from the University of Guelph. After graduating, she spent six months working with the Coady International Institute in Huancayo, Peru, where she was responsible for the development, implementation and evaluation of an at home infant stimulation pilot program. Upon returning from Peru, Maria spent five months doing Andean health policy research for the Canadian Foundation of the Americas in Ottawa, Ontario. She holds an M.A. from New York University’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, where her research focused on the politicized nature of Peru’s Vaso de Leche milk subsidy programming.

Other News

  • Central America El Salvador Mexico News Briefs North America As The World Looks To Mexico, News From Another Massacre Goes Unnoticed

    As The World Looks To Mexico, News From Another Massacre Goes Unnoticed

    The world has been focusing for almost two months on the disappearance and reported killing of 43 Mexican students by a drug gang — an act in which government forces played a major role. In the midst of the public outrage surrounding the students’ disappearance, news of another famous massacre by state forces in Central America passed unnoticed. “I am sorry,” the former Salvadoran ambassador to the U.S., Ernesto Rivas Gallont, wrote in a blog post published Oct. 31. He […]

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  • Andes Colombia Today in Latin America FARC to Release First Captives, But Warns Over General’s Release

    FARC to Release First Captives, But Warns Over General’s Release

    Top Story — FARC rebels will release two hostages on Tuesday morning, according to a statement issued from Havana by delegates representing the guerrilla group. The release of Gen. Rubén Darío Alzate, the highest-ranking FARC captive in 50 years, is planned for Thursday. However, the statement from Havana warned that the general’s release may be cancelled, owing to the heavy military presence in the province where he is being held. Tuesday’s handover of Pvts. Paulo César Rivera and Jonathan Andrés […]

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  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Fugitive Police Official Captured Over Mexican Students’ Disappearance

    Fugitive Police Official Captured Over Mexican Students’ Disappearance

    Top Story — The former deputy police chief of Cocula, Guerrero, has been arrested in connection with the disappearance of 43 students from nearby Iguala, the Mexican Attorney General’s Office announced on Friday. César Nava González had been on the run since Sept. 26 — the night of the students’ disappearance — and was apprehended on Nov. 16. According to the attorney general’s office, Nava González went into hiding in Mexico City, and then in the city of Colima. He […]

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  • North America Today in Latin America United States Sidestepping Congress, Obama Unveils Plan To Protect 5 Million From Deportation

    Sidestepping Congress, Obama Unveils Plan To Protect 5 Million From Deportation

    Top Story — U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday unveiled a three-part executive order on immigration that would protect up to five million undocumented immigrants from deportation, sidestepping a year of gridlock over immigration reform in the Republican-led House of Representatives. The president’s plan, presented in a fifteen-minute speech, would also expand border enforcement and facilitate legal immigration for skilled immigrants. Obama stressed that while the nearly five million undocumented immigrants affected would be allowed to register and legally seek […]

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  • Central America Honduras Today in Latin America Missing Beauty Queen, Sister, Found Dead in Honduras

    Missing Beauty Queen, Sister, Found Dead in Honduras

    Top Story — The bodies of reigning Miss Honduras María José Alvarado, 19, and her sister Sofía, 23, were found in a riverbank grave in an area west of the capital city, Tegucigalpa, police announced Wednesday. Since the sisters went missing on Nov. 13, their disappearance has become national news in the country with the world’s highest peacetime murder rate. Sofía Alvarado’s boyfriend, Plutarco Ruiz, has been arrested and is considered the main suspect in the killings. Aris Maldonado, an […]

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  • Andes Colombia News Briefs North America Colombian Government and FARC Agree on Process to Free Kidnapped General

    Colombian Government and FARC Agree on Process to Free Kidnapped General

    An agreement has been reached between FARC rebels and the Colombia government on steps to release Gen. Rubén Darío Alzate, according to a statement released by the Cuban and Norwegian governments, which were involved in brokering the deal. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has suspended two-year-old peace talks with the FARC in the wake of Alzate’s capture, insisting that the talks would not resume until Alzate was returned. Alzate, who is the the highest-ranking officer to be taken by the […]

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  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Peña Nieto Says Protesters Seek To Destabilize Mexico

    Peña Nieto Says Protesters Seek To Destabilize Mexico

    Top Story — Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto on Tuesday accused “violent movements” of taking advantage of anger over the September disappearance of 43 students to sow unrest as discontent over the issue shows no sign of abating. His remarks come as pressure builds over the missing students from the rural Ayotzinapa teacher training school in Guerrero state, who officials recently said corrupt local police arrested and turned over to a drug gang, which killed them and incinerated their bodies. […]

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  • Andes Peru Today in Latin America Report Highlights Activist Murders in Peru Ahead of Lima Climate Talks

    Report Highlights Activist Murders in Peru Ahead of Lima Climate Talks

    Top Story — Just two weeks before the U.N. Climate Change Conference begins in Lima, Peru, nonprofit Global Witness has released a widely publicized report naming the country the fourth deadliest in the world to be an environmental or land activist. Since 2002, 57 activists have been killed in Peru, more than half of them in the last four years. Peru is facing international scrutiny due to the slow pace of an investigation into the Aug. 31 killing of four […]

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  • Brazil Southern Cone Today in Latin America Brazil Arrests 27 in Petrobras Corruption Scandal

    Brazil Arrests 27 in Petrobras Corruption Scandal

    Top Story — Brazilian authorities on Friday arrested 27 people in connection with an investigation into a multibillion-dollar corruption scheme at the state-run oil company Petrobras. Among the 27 was the firm’s engineering director, the second senior executive to be arrested in connection with the scandal. Following the arrests, President Dilma Rousseff said that the “symbolic case” would change Brazilian society forever. Rousseff served as energy minister under her predecessor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. The investigation began when a […]

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  • Colombia News Briefs Colombia Suspends Peace Talks Over General’s Apparent Kidnapping

    Colombia Suspends Peace Talks Over General’s Apparent Kidnapping

    Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has suspended the government’s peace talks with FARC guerrillas after the group’s apparent detention of an army general, jeopardizing the future of the negotiations at a key moment. General Rubén Darío Alzate and two others reportedly went missing in the rebel-dominated northern province of Chocó. The president has said that all signs point to FARC, and that he expects the group to release the three before continuing with negotiations. The FARC, however, have not confirmed […]

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