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.

Cleuci de Oliveira (Editor, 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.

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.

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

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    Obama Signs Bill Authorizing Sanctions Against Venezuelan Officials

    The Latin America News Dispatch will take a short break from publishing our daily newsletter Today in Latin America to celebrate the holidays. Felices Fiestas from the Latin America News Dispatch staff. Top Story — U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday signed a law placing sanctions on “persons responsible for violations of human rights in Venezuela,” the White House press secretary said in a statement. The sanctions bill will freeze the U.S. assets of, and strip visas from, officials responsible […]

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  • Cuba Dispatches North America United States Cuba ‘Not Open For Business’ Just Yet

    Cuba ‘Not Open For Business’ Just Yet

    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 place, and firmly under the control of the U.S. Congress. As U.S. diplomats prepare to set up an embassy in Havana for the first time […]

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  • Caribbean Cuba North America Today in Latin America Latin America Lauds U.S., Cuba Breakthrough

    Latin America Lauds U.S., Cuba Breakthrough

    Top Story — World leaders have almost universally praised the U.S. and Cuban governments for their announcement Wednesday that they would normalize diplomatic relations for the first time since 1961. Reaction among U.S. lawmakers, however, was more mixed. Latin American leaders across the ideological spectrum lauded the decision that will have sweeping impacts across the region. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos praised “the courage and the audacity of President Barack Obama and the Cuban government,” and Mexican President Enrique Peña […]

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  • Caribbean Cuba News Briefs North America United Nations United States Transcript: Obama’s Cuba Speech

    Transcript: Obama’s Cuba Speech

    Below is a full transcript of President Obama’s speech on Cuba. A video of the speech can be found following the transcript. OBAMA: Good afternoon. Today, the United States of America is changing its relationship with the people of Cuba. In the most significant changes in our policy in more than fifty years, we will end an outdated approach that, for decades has failed to advance our interests, and instead, we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries. […]

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  • Caribbean Cuba News Briefs North America United States U.S., Cuba to Restore Diplomatic Ties, But Embargo Remains

    U.S., Cuba to Restore Diplomatic Ties, But Embargo Remains

    The U.S. and Cuba will work to normalize diplomatic relations for the first time since 1961, President Obama said Wednesday, a major shift in policy that nonetheless falls short of the outright removal of the U.S. economic blockade on the island. The announcement comes after Cuba’s release of American aid contractor Alan Gross from prison, in exchange for the release of three Cubans jailed in the state of Florida for espionage — a sign of good faith between the two […]

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  • Brazil Southern Cone Today in Latin America Charges Filed Against Brazilian Lawmaker After Rape Remarks

    Charges Filed Against Brazilian Lawmaker After Rape Remarks

    Top Story — Brazil’s attorney general filed charges of incitement to rape against Brazilian congressman Jair Bolsonaro after he made violent comments to a fellow lawmaker in Congress last Tuesday, saying, “I wouldn’t rape you. You’re not worth it.” It is the second time Bolsonaro, a right-wing representative from Rio de Janeiro state known for misogynist remarks, has used the word inappropriately in Congress. Bolsonaro’s comments were directed at Maria do Rosário, a former secretary of human rights, as she […]

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  • Central America Dispatches Honduras Alternatives to Detention Leave Some Honduran Immigrants in “Shackles”

    Alternatives to Detention Leave Some Honduran Immigrants in “Shackles”

    NEW YORK — On an average weekday Eva, a 39-year-old woman from Honduras, never leaves a 15-block radius in the Bronx. From bringing her two children to school, to taking English classes, visiting her church and running errands, her life is mapped on a now-familiar route — one that is precisely tracked by the electronic monitoring device strapped to her ankle. Eva, who asked to have her name changed because she is currently going through deportation hearings, received the device […]

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  • Caribbean Haiti Today in Latin America Haitian Prime Minister Defends Record After Resignation

    Haitian Prime Minister Defends Record After Resignation

    Top Story — Haiti’s Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe spoke out on Monday, defending his legacy after an independent commission set up by President Michel Martelly pressured him to resign over the weekend. Several other ministers also stepped down amid a political standoff that has been years in the making. Lamothe’s resignation comes in the wake of continued anti-government protests demanding elections that have been delayed since 2011. On Friday, U.N. peacekeepers were seen firing at a crowd of protesters while […]

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  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Mexican Federal Police Implicated in Student Killings

    Mexican Federal Police Implicated in Student Killings

    Top Story — Federal authorities in Mexico appear to have participated in the September attack on a group of teacher trainees in the state of Guerrero, contrary to prior government claims, according to an investigation released Saturday by Proceso magazine. Proceso’s investigation reportedly uncovered state documents that show federal police officers knew the attack was ongoing and even shot at the students as they travelled on several buses toward a protest event in Iguala, Guerrero. After that attack, 43 of […]

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  • Caribbean Cuba News Briefs Cuban Laws May Have Changed, But the Jokes Haven’t

    Cuban Laws May Have Changed, But the Jokes Haven’t

    In 2010, I found myself among hundreds of heeled and hairsprayed Cubans in Havana’s Teatro Karl Marx waiting for the start of the Premios Lucas — a sort of MTV Video Music Awards of Cuba. Hosted by beloved comedian Luis Silva and with performances by pop, rock and reggaeton groups, “Los Lucas” was sure to be a revelatory peek into the popular culture consumption of my Cuban peers. Los Lucas did not disappoint. Every moment of the two-hour show was […]

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