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 (Editor, 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

  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Crisis in Guerrero Continues as Peña Nieto Meets with Families of Missing Students

    Crisis in Guerrero Continues as Peña Nieto Meets with Families of Missing Students

    Top Story – Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto  met for the first time with family members of the 43 missing students from Guerrero state on Wednesday in Mexico City. Before the meeting, family members said they were prepared to voice their “indignation” over the country’s fruitless search for their missing loved ones and to demand the president do more. Since the 43 students went missing after being attacked by police on Sept. 26, the search for them has been marked […]

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  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Despite New Leads, No Answers in Search For Missing Students

    Despite New Leads, No Answers in Search For Missing Students

    Top Story — The search continues for Mexico’s 43 missing students in Guerrero state as authorities have not been able to confirm that new mass graves contain the students’ remains. Sunday marked one month since the students from the rural Ayotzinapa Normal School went missing after being arrested in the town of Iguala after commandeering several busses to use them in a protest. According to Mexican Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam, local police turned the students over to members of […]

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  • Andes Colombia Dispatches United States Activists and Journalists Struggle to Make Colombia’s War Visible in the U.S.

    Activists and Journalists Struggle to Make Colombia’s War Visible in the U.S.

    NEW YORK CITY — Diana Gómez and Shaira Rivera, two young women from Colombia, visited several U.S. universities this month to raise awareness about Colombia’s current peace negotiations to end decades of armed conflict. Both their fathers were killed in the war. Their fathers, congressional aide Jaime Gómez and union worker Guillermo Rivera, were killed in Colombia in 2006 and 2008, respectively. Although their cases have not been resolved in court, the young Gómez and Rivera accuse Colombian state forces […]

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  • Caribbean Cuba Today in Latin America Cuba to Allow Construction of First New Catholic Church in 55 Years

    Cuba to Allow Construction of First New Catholic Church in 55 Years

    Top Story — Cuba’s government has sanctioned the construction of the first Catholic church to be built in the country in 55 years, the latest development in a continued trend of growing acceptance of religion on the island. The church, to be funded by members of the U.S.-based exile community in Tampa, Florida, will be constructed in Sandino, a town located in the province of Piñar del Rio on the island’s western coast. The church’s construction indicates a growing connection […]

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  • Brazil North America Southern Cone Today in Latin America Brazil Re-elects Dilma Rousseff as President

    Brazil Re-elects Dilma Rousseff as President

    Top Story — Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff won her re-election bid in the closest race in the country’s history, taking just over 51 percent of the vote to beat her opponent Aécio Neves. The tight victory marks the end of a campaign cycle that stunned observers for the atypically vicious attacks from both sides. Rousseff, of the left-populist Workers’ Party, opened her victory speech by saluting fellow party member and former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, whose two-term tenure […]

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  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Governor of Mexican State Steps Down Over Student Disappearances

    Governor of Mexican State Steps Down Over Student Disappearances

    Top Story — The governor of the Mexican state of Guerrero stepped down from his position on Thursday as the disappearance of 43 students there late last month continues to reverberate across the country. Ángel Aguirre, 58, is barred by law from resigning his post, but said that he is taking a leave of absence. Aguirre has faced widespread anger over his handling of the students’ disappearance, and many have called for his resignation during protests in Guerrero’s capital city […]

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  • Southern Cone Today in Latin America Uruguay Uruguayan Presidential Candidate Would Roll Back Historic Marijuana Law

    Uruguayan Presidential Candidate Would Roll Back Historic Marijuana Law

    Top Story — Days ahead of Uruguay’s presidential election Sunday, the country’s top opposition candidate on Wednesday vowed to repeal the country’s historic marijuana law, which legalizes the commercial production and sale of the drug. Centrist National Party candidate Luis Lacalle Pou had not previously specified what actions he would take against the law. Lacalle Pou told Reuters that he would keep the articles permitting personal marijuana use and cultivation, but would repeal the rest, including the provisions for commercialization […]

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  • Mexico North America Today in Latin America Mexican Troops Executed Victims in June Slayings, Rights Body Finds

    Mexican Troops Executed Victims in June Slayings, Rights Body Finds

    Top Story — Mexican troops executed up to 15 of the 22 suspected gang members killed in June in the small town of San Pedro Limón, according to an investigation by the government’s human rights agency. The account by Raúl Plascencia, president of the commission, contradicted several prior versions of a murky story offered at various stages by the military, the Attorney General’s office and an eyewitness. Plascencia called for prosecutors to investigate a potential cover-up by military officials. At […]

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  • Caribbean News Briefs North America As World Series Begins, So Does ‘Latin American Pipeline’ to MLB

    As World Series Begins, So Does ‘Latin American Pipeline’ to MLB

    When the opening pitch is thrown Tuesday night in game one of the World Series, a number of Latin American players will be front and center under the bright stadium floodlights. What won’t be on display, however, are some of the darker stories behind how many Latin Americans make it to play in Major League Baseball in the first place. This season, Latin American players made up close to a quarter of all MLB players — a staggering 86 percent of […]

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  • Chile Southern Cone Today in Latin America Pinochet Bodyguard and Ex-Mayor Arrested in Santiago

    Pinochet Bodyguard and Ex-Mayor Arrested in Santiago

    Top Story — Chilean authorities have arrested a former aide to Gen. Augusto Pinochet, accusing him of committing various atrocities under the 1973-1990 military dictatorship. A judge on Monday ordered the arrest of retired military colonel Cristian Labbe on charges of “unlawful association” with a group that ultimately became the DINA secret police force. Labbe was allegedly involved in the murder of 13 people under Pinochet’s dictatorship. Those 13 people, investigators found, were tortured and executed at the notorious Tejas […]

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