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Americas Now

Next Airing: Thu, Aug 13th, 2020 at 2:00 AM on UEN-TV

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AMERICAS NOW is a unique magazine show focusing on issues of interest to anyone who follows developments in South and Central America. Hosted by anchor Elaine Reyes in Washington, the series contains one in-depth investigative story in each episode by one of a group of experienced correspondents based in Latin America. They include veterans of the BBC, NPR, and CNN International. Hard hitting reporting is complemented by stories of people working for social change. The first person "Game Changer' segment provides uplifting profiles across the region. Among the programs in the series: Gerry Hadden investigates the plight of single mothers and domestic violence in Mexico. "Game Changer" in this episode comes from Colombia. Harris Whitbeck visits some of the world's oldest people living in Costa Rica. "Game Changer" goes to Mexico. Dan Collins explores the changing lives of an isolated tribe in the Amazon rain forests of Peru. "Game Changer" goes to rural Mexico. Gerry Hadden visits Panama, described by some as the happiest place in Latin America. But is the reputation deserved? "Game Changer" goes to Colombia. Harris Whitbeck investigates the gangs of Guatemala, a nation described by some as one of the most dangerous places on earth. He explores violence against children. "Game Changer" tells an uplifting story from Brazil.


  • Ecuador - Venezuela Exodus (Harris Whitbeck) - South America is experiencing its largest mass migration in recent history. Tens of thousands of Venezuelans are fleeing the economic hardship and political instability in their country...arriving at the borders of neighboring countries each day. Peru, Colombia, Argentina and Brazil are all coping with intense pressure from the influx. Correspondent Harris Whitbeck reports from Ecuador, another country feeling the strain of the crisis -- and one that's already seen its share of mass migrations. Colombia - Crossing the Darien (Michelle Begue) - It's not just Venezuela witnessing mass migration these days. Tens of thousands of others across Latin America continue to risk their lives traveling north to the United States. Correspondent Michelle Begue takes us to a city in Colombia called Turbo where migrants from all over the world gather before embarking on a very dangerous journey to cross the Darien Gap.

    Next Airing: Thu, Aug 13th, 2020 at 2:00 AM on UEN-TV
    Length: 00:27:54
    Usage rights: 7/15/2019 to 7/14/2021
  • Brazil - Children of Zika (Lucrecia Franco) - Between 2015 and 2017 some 3000 babies in Brazil were born with a rare condition. Their heads were much smaller than normal and their brains weren't fully developed. Doctors diagnosed those babies with "Microcephaly," a disorder caused by a variety of genetic and environmental factors. And these cases were linked to Zika. Correspondent Lucrecia Franco visited the city of Recife, one of the country's most affected areas in the world for what is now called "Congenital Zika Syndrome", and brought us the story of the Zika Children. Mexico - Biogas Fuels (Alasdair Baverstock) - By 2024 Mexico wants to produce 35-percent of its energy from renewable sources. This is part of its commitment to the Paris climate change accord so bio-fuel projects are now booming in the countryside. Correspondent Alasdair Baverstock went to western Mexico to give us a closer look. Musical - Donkey Festival - For the musical/end piece, we went to a Mexican village, where each year they pay "honors" to an animal that's played an important role in their community since colonial times. Residents have relied on donkeys for transportation and field work for centuries. So they created an event that brings awareness and respect to this unheralded member of the horse family.

    Next Airing: Fri, Aug 14th, 2020 at 10:30 PM on UEN-TV
    Length: 00:27:58
    Usage rights: 7/22/2019 to 7/21/2021
  • Lifeline for Haiti - In recent years -- money sent by Latinos abroad.. .to their families back home -- has grown. In fact...from 20-16 to 20-17...they sent a total of 75-billion dollars...a new record, according to the World Bank. The money...called, remittances reflects the rise of migration across the continent..."two-thirds" of migrants from Latin America -- live in the United States. One of the countries that receives the most -- is Haiti, where the money accounts for almost 35-percent of the GDP. Correspondent John Zarrella visited the island nation to examine the financial impact this flow of income - has on residents. Medical Tourism - The pressure to attain the perfect face or body has led to a booming plastic surgery industry. Latin America has "two" of the leading destinations for these operations. Brazil and Colombia are among the top 10 countries in the world for performing the medical procedures in 20-16. That's according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. But because the industry isn't regulated, the surgeries aren't always safe. Correspondent Michelle Begue has more from Bogota.

    Next Airing: Fri, Aug 21st, 2020 at 10:30 PM on UEN-TV
    Length: 00:27:50
    Usage rights: 7/29/2019 to 7/28/2021
  • Mexico - Tech-Mex (Harris Whitbeck) - Part of U.S. President Donald Trumps' "get-tough" policy is expected to include an increase in the expulsion of undocumented citizens to their home countries. Mexico is one of the nations that might face the largest number of returnees. For many of them it could feel like starting over as they know little about the language and culture of their country of origin. That makes things like finding a job difficult. But the digital startup sector in Mexico is viewing the return of migrants from the U.S. as an opportunity. Our correspondent Harris Whitbeck went to Mexico City to find out who is hiring returnees and why. Game Changer - Alika Kinan - Our Game Changer is an activist from Buenos Aires who speaks out about when she was forced into prostitution in the south of Argentina. She now works at a university and organizes events and gives speeches in defense of women rights. She won a landmark case against her captors and campaigns for more far-reaching policies to effectively tackle human trafficking. Her foundation helps women who have fallen prey to trafficking rings. She has been lauded in Washington DC as a hero working against human trafficking. Her name is Alika Kinan. Urban Voices - Porfi Baloa - During the decade of the 70's the United States witnessed the birth of a new Latin rhythm known as Salsa. It drew a lot of influence from Jazz but it was mostly the result of Latin and Caribbean sounds brought by Hispanic immigrants. New York became its center stage while it expanded throughout Latin America. This Salsa fever mixed the sounds from Cha cha cha, mambo, Bolero, and Cuban son. Names like "Fania All-Stars" or "Dimension Latina" are considered the pillars of the genre. In Venezuela a young boy lived this musical boom. He grew up to become a Salsa icon himself and took Salsa music to a whole new level. Porfi Baloa is our Urban Voice this week.

    Next Airing: Fri, Aug 28th, 2020 at 10:30 PM on UEN-TV
    Length: 00:27:52
    Usage rights: 8/5/2019 to 8/4/2021
  • El Salvador - Reforming Gangsters - In 20-18 the United States deported more than 250-thousand people...according to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Almost 6,000 of them -- where known or suspected gang members. Prisons in countries like El Salvador are packed with deportees. But as correspondent Mike Kirsch reports... some ARE trying to make an honest living...and kissing the American Dream...good-bye. Costa Rica - Lionfish Invasion - They are exotic, beautiful, and mesmerizing to watch as they swim the warm waters of the Caribbean. But lion fish are threatening the very existence of hundreds of species of native marine life from Florida down to Panama. Correspondent Harris Whitbeck brings us the story of this uninvited guest to the Caribbean -- and what some fishermen in Costa Rica are bring it under control.

    Next Airing: Fri, Sep 4th, 2020 at 10:30 PM on UEN-TV
    Length: 00:27:19
    Usage rights: 8/12/2019 to 8/11/2021
  • Guatemala - Girls at Risk (Harris Whitbeck) - It was an event that shocked the entire country and made headlines around the world. 42 girls, locked up in a state home for children in Guatemala --burned to death. The fire broke out following protests and accusations of poor conditions and abuse. The incident also revealed many of the vulnerabilities faced by young people. More than a year after the tragedy the victim's relatives are still looking for answers. Correspondent Harris Whitbeck tells us more about Guatemala's girls at risk. Game Changer - Julie Colombino (Nitza Perez) - A former aerial performer for Cirque USA traded her high-flying life in Orlando, Florida for Port au Prince, Haiti. In 2010 the Caribbean country was devastated by a catastrophic earthquake. With only 7-thousand dollars and no plan, she wanted to find a way to help. Eight years later, she is an entrepreneur providing job training to Haitian residents at her ethical footwear company. You could say she is fighting poverty, one step a time. Our Game Changer this week is Julie Colombino. Urban Voices - Mexico de Colores (Anne Laurent) - Mexican folk dancing represents the country's many traditions. But in Mexico City an all-male dance group is using the folk dance for a new purpose: to encourage social inclusion. Through his choreography, director Carlos Antunez aims to garner respect for the gay community. With drag queen makeup and eccentric costumes, his dancers offer an upbeat portrayal of gay life. Our Urban Voice is Mexico de Colores.

    Next Airing: Fri, Sep 11th, 2020 at 10:30 PM on UEN-TV
    Length: 00:29:00
    Usage rights: 8/19/2019 to 8/18/2021
  • Peru - Amazon Reforestation (Dan Collyns) - Peru's Amazon most bio-diverse ecosystem is in the Madre de Dios region. It's also one of the most under threat from deforestation. The primary culprits are illegal logging, gold mining and livestock farming. The past decade has been especially devastating for the region. Correspondent Dan Collyns visited the area to survey the damage. He also spoke to some scientists who are finding innovative ways to fight back. Mexico - Firework Town (Alasdair Baverstock) - Fireworks have been dazzling spectators at celebrations across the world for centuries. In Mexico, where pyrotechnics are extremely popular, there isn't a better way to mark a special occasion. But the industry that produces the explosives lives on a knife edge, as the lack of regulation and the quest for greater profits has left one community on the outskirts of Mexico City treading a fine line. Correspondent Alasdair Baverstock traveled to the town of Tultepec to tell us more.

    Length: 00:27:55
    Usage rights: 6/3/2019 to 6/2/2021
  • Argentina - Argentine Peso Crisis (Harris Whitbeck) - A year ago the future looked bright for Argentina. President Mauricio Macri had helped the country dodge a recession and the stock market was booming. But this year, as deep reforms were being implemented into the economy, fiscal disaster struck. And the nation has plunged into an economic crisis. At the center of this financial storm is the beleaguered Argentine peso, and its relationship to the US dollar. It's caused apprehension for consumers and business owners and, as Harris Whitbeck reports, it's forced the government to make some drastic decisions. Argentina - Bookstore City (Joel Richards) - Bookstores across the globe have been closing down in recent years as a result of on-line purchases and the rise of eBooks. But one city that has remained relatively untouched by this cultural shift is Buenos Aires. Hundreds of bookstores still line the streets there. In fact, many consider Argentina's capital to be one of the literary capitals of Latin America. But times may be changing for this book lover's paradise and not precisely because of the Internet. Our correspondent Joel Richards has the story.

    Length: 00:27:53
    Usage rights: 6/10/2019 to 6/9/2021
  • Mexico - The other Migration (Mike Kirsch) - In the last 30 years more than a million Mexican scientists, researchers and intellectuals have left Mexico to find work in other countries. That's according to the Mexican government. The exodus has been referred to as an epic "brain drain." Another 160 thousand college graduate students have also left the country with very few of them planning to return. The government is now trying to lure them back. Correspondent Mike Kirsch reports. Mexico - Ecotourism Gem (Alasdair Baverstock) - Cabo Pulmo is a small fishing village in Mexico that almost disappeared. Too much fishing led to its demise and local fishermen could no longer make a living. So the community placed a ban on fishing altogether. And that decision transformed it into a magnet for eco-tourism. Correspondent Alasdair Baverstock explains from Mexico.

    Length: 00:27:43
    Usage rights: 6/17/2019 to 6/16/2021
  • Brazil - Housing Crisis (Maria Valls) - Sao Paulo is Brazil's financial capital and one of the most densely populated metropolitan areas in Latin America. The city of 12 million suffers from vast economic inequality, which drives poor families to occupy and squat in empty abandoned buildings throughout the municipality. The issue drew international attention in 2018 when a 24-story building occupied by squatters collapsed. Correspondent Maria Valls reports from Sao Paulo. Witness - Forging Peace (Jose Velazquez) - During the 20th century, Ecuador and Peru fought over territory in the Amazon rain forest three different times. Both countries went to war in 1941 then confronted each other again in 1981 and 1995. But in 1998 then Ecuador´s President Jamil Mahuad and his Peruvian colleague Alberto Fujimori decided to change their history of dispute. In a record effort, they met 10 times in 10 weeks. And with the assistance of Argentina, Chile, Brazil and the US they finally signed a peace agreement. Both countries are now solid business partners. President Mahuad remembers how they succeeded when all other diplomatic efforts had failed.

    Length: 00:27:52
    Usage rights: 6/24/2019 to 6/23/2021
  • Chile - Church Scandals (Joel Richards) - When Pope Francis visited Chile in 2017 he received a lukewarm reception. Once one of the most Catholic countries in Latin America, Chileans' perception of the church has been challenged by revelations of widespread sexual abuse scandals dating back decades. There are hundreds, possibly thousands of victims. And prosecutors say the cover-up reaches the highest level of the Chilean church. The Pope is now taking action against members of the clergy in Chile. And he even invited three abuse survivors to Rome to speak with them and take their advice. Americas Now correspondent Joel Richards brings us their story. Mexico - Water Forest (Harris Whitbeck) - Just outside of Mexico's'll find Bosque de Agua, or the Water Forest. The dimensions of both the forest and the city it "neighbors" -- make it a crucial battleground in the decades-long debate between development and environmental sustainability. Much is at stake here -- including the very future of one of the largest cities in the world. Harris Whitbeck reports from Mexico City.

    Length: 00:27:57
    Usage rights: 7/1/2019 to 6/30/2021
  • Colombia - Microfinances (Michelle Begue) - According to Colombia's National Statistics Department, 12.4 million people were living below the poverty line in Colombia in 2017. That translates into living on less than 88 dollars a month. For many of those residents dreams of having their own business seem impossible. But some industrious women, with some innovative ideas, have found support in the form of a financial service. And it's helping produce a long-term change in their lives. Correspondent Michelle Begue has the story from Bogota. Game Changer - Brisa de Angulo (Dan Collyns) - At the age of 15 our Game Changer was raped by a member of her extended family. When she finally found the courage to tell the police, she was ostracized, intimidated and had a traumatic experience in court. She decided to set up a charity which provides medical, social and legal services to young survivors and even helped create a national day against sexual abuse in her native Bolivia. Americas Now caught up with her on that day in her home town, city of Cochabamba. Our Game Changer is the founder of A Breeze of Hope ...Brisa de Angulo. Urban Voices - Guatemala - Ceci Juno (Harris Whitbeck) - An Ecuadorian singer and songwriter is wowing audiences in more way than one. She's delighting them with her interpretations of old classics and new compositions. She is also using her musical talent to help people with developmental issues.  Our Urban Voice is Music Therapist Ceci Juno.

    Length: 00:27:58
    Usage rights: 7/8/2019 to 7/7/2021