Author Archive

Should cops be patrolling schools?

About forty percent of the nation’s local law enforcement agencies have full-time officers policing public schools. That’s according to a Congressional Research Service report from 2013. Police are responsible for school security in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Miami, Houston and many other school districts across country. Having cops in schools has coincided with a decline in crime. But some critics say it can make troublesome behavior worse and actually steer kids into the criminal justice system. Gwynne Hogan reports from New York.



Ihbragin Garcia was convicted at 17 for gun possession. He is currently being held in Hudson County Correctional Facility in New Jersey.


PHOTO_Hogan_Gwynne_8Armanie Garcia and Eunice Garcia, Ihbragin’s son and wife, take the bus to visit him.

GarciaCapstonePics (6 of 10)


Campesinos say no to the Nicaragua Canal

A new canal to be built in Nicaragua, far bigger than the Panama Canal, promises to provide a passage between the Atlantic and the Pacific for oil supertankers and other very large ships. The project, which will be financed by a Chinese development company, promises to bring hundreds of thousands of new jobs to Nicaraguans. But environmentalists and local people along the canal route are determined to stop this mega-project at all costs. Independent producer Reese Erlich reports.

Inti Ocon/AFP/Getty Images

Losing licenses in New Mexico

New Mexico was one of the first states in the country to allow undocumented immigrants to get a driver’s license. Now, Republican Governor Susana Martinez wants to repeal the law, as do about 70 percent of New Mexicans. Reporter Tom Trowbridge rode along with one woman who wants to keep hers.


Photo courtesy of Tom Trowbridge

What your cabbie can teach you

Joe Bevilacqua found a silver lining to his cancer diagnosis: the unlikely friendship he struck up with the cab driver who took him to and from his radiation therapy treatments every day for seven weeks. Patrick Nilo is an immigrant from Chile who came to the U.S. 40 years ago.

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Sabiduría: Life in the tour van

Jessica Hernandez—of the Detroit-based band Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas—loves to tour these days, but she didn’t always. The first few times she piled into the van with her bandmates and hit the road it was rough. They would drive long hours to far away cities, only to play in front of an empty room.


Slowly, over time, those rooms began to fill up as fans caught on to the band’s retro soul-meets-pop sound. Seeing all their hard work pay off made all those tough early tours worth it. Jessica joined us at our studios to tell us some war stories from life on the road in a sweaty van full of dudes.

Photo courtesy of Big Hassle Publicity. 

This Week’s Music: Getting There

-Tren Al Sur by Los Prisioneros

-Tren feat. Sexores by Marley Muerto

-Playa by MULA

-Tu y yo y los Lugares by tlx

-Barca by Mia Maestro

-Caribbean by Astro

-Los Caminos by Diana Fuentes

-Bubucelas by Kanaku Y El Tigre

Kanaku y El Tigre "Bubucelas" from Strut Records on Vimeo.

-Bamboo by Deers

-Gypsy Cab (Dame Lo Remix) by Mobius Collective

-Treme Terra by Curumin

This Week’s Captions: Getting There

We take a bus to New York’s prisons and look at how young people can wind up there. We hear how a cabbie made a big difference in one cancer patient’s life. And: it’s the biggest transportation story you probably hadn’t heard of: a canal from the Pacific to the Atlantic in Nicaragua.

Latino USA, the foremost Latino voice in public media and the longest running Latino-focused program on radio, is the first radio program to commence equal-access distribution via Captioning for Radio.” Research has shown that Latino children have a higher incidence of hearing loss and deafness than other populations,” according to Latino USA’s Anchor & Executive Producer Maria Hinojosa. “When the opportunity to break this sound barrier came to our attention, we were pleased to embrace this new technology developed by NPR Labs and Towson University for the thousands of Latinos with serious hearing loss.”
The International Center for Accessible Radio Technology (ICART), a strategic alliance between NPR and Towson University, is co-directed by Mike Starling of NPR and Ellyn Sheffield of Towson University.
For each week’s captioning, check back on


Exclusive: Listen to ‘Mula’ before it drops

Remember the adorably talented Las Acevedo? Well, they started their own label, and we have their first release here exclusively for you!

Check out the delightful Mula for your ears only! Disfruten!

#1510 – Censored

Freedom of speech is crucial to a healthy democracy—so what does that mean for democracies in Latin America? And why do Latino leadership organizations remain silent on the deaths of Latinos at the hands of police? We explore censorship and self-censorship in this episode.

How free is free speech in the Americas?

Long gone are the days of repressive, military dictatorships in the Americas. Still, journalists are facing new forms of censorship, as well as threats from non state actors that make some countries in the hemisphere some of the deadliest places in the world to be a journalist.

Despite some improvements in the past few years, more journalists have died covering the drug war in Mexico than covering the war in Afghanistan, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. In fact, if you also take into acccount the number of journalists whose murder has not been confirmed as related to their work, the number of deaths is close to the rate in Syria.  Colombia remains one of the deadliest places to be a journalist, and much like Honduras and Guatemala, a majority of the killings are left in impunity.

But it’s not just violence that’s censoring journalists. In South America, democratically elected governments with strong popular support have passed laws and other measures to curb press freedom, like Ecuador’s Organic Law of Communication. These laws receive popular support because of a history of entrenched media monopolies that are seen as serving private interests.

And even though the United States has some of the strictest protections for freedom of speech in the world, it’s 49th on the 2015 Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders, falling three places since last year. In a 2013 report, the Committee to Protect Journalists criticized the Obama Administration’s persecution of leakers, the pressure on reporters to reveal their sources and the harassment of journalists covering national security issues, like documentary film-maker Laura Poitras.

Maria Hinojosa spoke with former NPR colleague John Dinges, professor of journalism at Columbia Journalism School and Carlos Lauría, senior Americas coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent non profit organization that advocates for press freedom and journalists’ rights around the world.

In the extended version, we go in deeper into threats against netizens and citizen journalists and the meaning of press freedom in Latin America vs. the United States.


Carlos Lauría is the Senior Americas Program Coordinator at the Committee to Protect Journalists since November 2002.  At CPJ, he is responsible for monitoring, documenting, and developing responses to press freedom violations in Latin America. He serves on the board of judges of the Maria Moors Cabot Prizes for outstanding reporting on Latin America.



JDinges_112811John Dinges is in charge of the Columbia Journalism School’s radio curriculum, which he revamped to emphasize public radio journalism. He received a BA from Loras College and an MA in Latin American Studies from Stanford University. He joined National Public Radio as it was building up its foreign coverage, serving as deputy foreign editor and managing editor for news. His awards include the Maria Moors Cabot Prize for excellence in Latin American reporting, the Latin American Studies Media Award, and two Alfred I. du Pont-Columbia University Awards (as NPR Managing Editor). He serves on the advisory boards of Human Rights Watch and the National Security Archive.


Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images


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