Jan 29, 2014 — In the past 20 years, almost 50,000 enslaved Brazilian workers have been freed from some 2,000 work sites. But an estimated 200,000 remain trapped in slavery, owing to deep-seated impunity: Slaveholders can pay hefty fines and civil damages, but criminal convictions and jail time are rare.
Dec 25, 2013 — Scientists have found a gene that helps to explain why Mexicans are prone to Type 2 diabetes. The disease gene, like many others we humans carry, dates back to the time when humans and Neanderthals had sex thousands of years ago.
Aug 2, 2013 — The South American country could be the first nation to legalize the production, distribution and use of marijuana. It's a bold response to incessant drug-related violence in the region and signals a quest for alternatives to the U.S.-led war on drugs and a rethinking of official U.N. anti-drug policy.
Jul 22, 2013 — In Brazil, evangelical Christians have made inroads into the Catholic community with innovations like drive-through prayer centers and massive outreach fairs featuring popular pastors and pop stars. In a nation long dominated by Catholics, about 22 percent of Brazilians now identify as evangelical.
Jul 5, 2013 — Honduras is the murder capital of the world, according to U.N. figures. Its police and military remain weak despite U.S. assistance earmarked for improving law enforcement. Critics say the security forces are involved in widespread corruption and violence.
Jun 13, 2013 — Mexico City has largely been spared the drug violence in other parts of the country. But a brazen daylight abduction of 12 young people from a Mexico City bar is putting the spotlight on one of the capital's roughest neighborhoods, and putting the popular mayor on the defensive.
Jun 13, 2013 — The Colombian city was the world's murder capital in the 1990s, but it managed to turn its fortunes around. Homicides were cut by 80 percent and made big gains on a number of fronts. But the city still faces many challenges in a region plagued by violence.
Jun 12, 2013 — When visiting San Pedro Sula, the bloodiest town in Honduras, it's advisable to arrive early in the morning, when the drug gangs are still asleep.
Jun 11, 2013 — In Latin America, it's said the only part of a prison the guards control is the gate, leaving convicts to fend for themselves. The inmate boss of one prison takes NPR's Steve Inskeep on a tour.
Jun 10, 2013 — The high crime rate throughout Latin America has many causes. In many countries, residents claim that police and security force members are part of the problem. In Venezuela, one family says the police are linked to multiple killings that have devastated the family.