Latin America Today

Latin America Today

News and analysis of politics, security, development and U.S. policy in Latin America and the Caribbean, from the Washington Office on Latin America.

Episodes

April 28, 2021 42 min

Top Biden administration officials, including Vice-President Kamala Harris, are developing a new approach to Central America. The theme is familiar: addressing migration's "root causes." WOLA President Geoff Thale and Citizen Security Director Adriana Beltrán discuss.

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The Biden administration is asking Mexico to do more to limit or stop arrivals of asylum-seeking migrants from Central America and elsewhere. Several WOLA experts discuss Mexico's military deployments, expulsions of families, and the view from El Paso.

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Yael Shacher, senior U.S. advocate at Refugees International, is a historian of U.S. asylum policy. She offers an invaluable perspective on the current increase in asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border, and how the system should work.

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This series from the Washington Office on Latin America will share the stories of social leaders in Colombia who, every day, under threat to their lives, search for truth and work toward reconciliation, fight for justice for victims of the Colombian conflict, and ensure the government lives up to the guarantees it made to ethnic and rural communities in the historic 2016 peace accord. Social leaders often face off with a Colombian ...

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El Salvador's popular but authoritarian-leaning president, Nayib Bukele, may enjoy a congressional supermajority after February 28 elections. Mauricio Silva and José Luis Sanz discuss the many implications for Salvadoran democracy and U.S. policy.

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WOLA's Director for Mexico and Migrant Rights, Stephanie Brewer, walks us through the late 2020 arrest and release of Mexico's last defense secretary, and what Mexico's handling of the case tells us about the military's power and U.S.-Mexican relations.

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Populist and authoritarian leaders have made important gains in Latin America, and the U.S. government has been inconsistent in its dealings with them, and in its support for civil society. WOLA's Geoff Thale and Geoff Ramsey outline a better way forward.

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The New York Times recently ran a short film by Sean Mattison about how victims of Argentina's 1976-83 dictatorship creatively called out the ex-military killers and torturers who, benefiting from an amnesty, were living in their midst.

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Corruption is "endemic: a system, a network, a web of relations" that underlies many other problems in Latin America. Adriana Beltrán and Moses Ngong discuss how the US and other international actors can support the region's anti-corruption reformers.

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The U.S. government is transitioning between two different visions of migration, while human mobility increases throughout Latin America. Adam Isacson and Maureen Meyer discuss what a humane and effective policy would entail, at home and region-wide.

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The presidential transition means a shift between two very different visions of US relations with Latin America. A group of WOLA staff takes stock of the Trump years' impact on US credibility in the region, and challenges facing the Biden administration.

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November 12, 2020 42 min

Peru's Congress abruptly removed President Martín Viscarra from office this week. It looks like another example of an all-too-familiar recent pattern in Latin America: backlash against anti-corruption reforms. WOLA Senior Fellow Jo-Marie Burt explains.

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A discussion with Eduardo “Eddie” Canales, founder and director of the South Texas Human Rights Center in Falfurrias, Texas.   Website: https://southtexashumanrights.org/   Falfurrias is in Brooks County, an area of ranchland 80 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border. It is also one of the deadliest places for migrants. Dozens each year get lost while trying to walk around checkpoints that Border Patrol has placed on highways, and e...
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Even as it has been hit very hard by COVID-19, Peru has just gone through an “express impeachment” and other corruption turmoil, while elections approach. We discuss Peru with IDL Reporteros journalist Gustavo Gorriti and Senior Fellow Jo-Marie Burt.

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This month, Adam Isacson, WOLA's Director for Defense Oversight, interviews Francisco Cantú, author of The Line Becomes a River (2018) who spent four years in the Border Patrol. They discuss the often toxic culture of CBP and the current impact the agency has on the United States' approach to migration.

Cantú currently lives in Arizona, is a full-time writer and teacher of creative writing, and that a volunteer with the Ki...

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The effort to assert democratic civilian control over armed forces is not over, Kristina Mani of Oberlin College reminds us. Latin American civilians, she points out, often use militaries for non-defense purposes, even more so during the COVID-19 crisis.

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An exchange with Bogotá-based filmmaker Tom Laffay, whose documentary work with the Siona people of Putumayo, Colombia, supported by the Pulitzer Center, is featured by The New Yorker. Laffay portrays Adiela Mera Paz, who is leading demining efforts to allow displaced Siona to return.

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Carlos Quesada, director of the International Institute on Race, Equality, and Human Rights, explains how laws, treaties, and the Inter-American system offer tools for change—or survival—for the LGBT community and other marginalized groups in Latin America.

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This month, WOLA premiered an animated video for our Beyond the Wall campaign and recorded a panel discussion. Our panelists discuss the challenges and solutions on a rights-respecting approach to migration. The panel is moderated by Mario Moreno, WOLA’s Vice President for Communications, and includes Geoff Thale, the President of WOLA, Maureen Meyer, WOLA’s Director for Mexico and Migrant Rights, Adam Isacson WOLA’s Director for ...

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Guatemala is selecting a new slate of Supreme Court justices. The country must not get this wrong, because a nexus of corrupt and powerful people could end up choosing their own judges. We talk to 3 people leading Guatemala·s anti-corruption charge.

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