In Haiti, gangs take control as democracy withers (AP)

At a time when democracy has withered in Haiti and gang violence has spiraled out of control, it’s armed men like Jimmy Cherizier, known better by his nickname Barbecue, that are filling the power vacuum left by a crumbling government. In December, the U.N. estimated that gangs controlled 60% of Haiti’s capital, but nowadays most on the streets of Port-au-Prince say that number is closer to 100%. " (AP Photo: Odelyn Joseph)

Rebel ‘baby boom’ was a sign of hope. Now, it represents uncertainty. (National Geographic)

After Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas signed a peace pact with the Colombian government, there was a baby boom among former rebel fighters who saw their kids – "niños de la paz," or "children of peace" – as a step into a future without war. But 5 years later, that peace process is crumbling and their children have grown to represent a deepening uncertainty. (Photo: Juan Arredondo/NatGeo)

Two hours of terror, now years of devastation for Acapulco’s poor in Hurricane Otis aftermath (AP)

 The Category 5 hurricane damaged nearly all of Acapulco’s homes, left bodies bobbing along the coastline and much of the city foraging for food. While authorities were hard at work restoring order in Acapulco’s tourist center, the city’s poorest said they felt abandoned. One woman and hundreds of thousands others lived two hours of terror last week. Now face years of work to repair their already precarious lives. (AP Photo: Felix Marquez)

Colombian guerrillas are using coronavirus curfews to expand their control. Violators have been killed. (The Washington Post)

Guerrillas, paramilitaries and armed groups across Colombia have imposed strict coronavirus quarantines to consolidate power, sewing fear in populations who have already lived through decades of conflict. The consequences for violating these controls is death. (Photo: Oscar Coral/The Washington Post)

Native groups sit on a treasure trove of lithium. Now mines threaten their water, culture and wealth (AP)

As the world's most powerful look toward The Lithium Triangle – Chile, Argentina, Bolivia – as key to taking on the climate crisis, the region's native people worry mining the world's biggest reserves of lithium will mean sacrificing the life force they have depended on for centuries: Water. (Photo: Rodrigo Abd)

Meet the newscaster in drag making LGBTQ+ history in Mexican television (AP)

Through his drag personality “Amanda”, Mexican journalist Guillermo Barraza is making history as the first newscaster on Mexican TV to tell the news in drag. By stepping into the spotlight, Barraza is going against the grain in a country where both LGBTQ+ people and journalists are regularly targeted and killed. (AP Photo: Aurea Del Rosario)

2 Cuban sisters 4,200-mile journey to the U.S. (AP)

An odyssey of more than 4,200 miles would lead two Cuban medical students to question their past lives, race unknowingly against a ticking legal clock and leave them teetering on the edge of death as they tumbled down a cliff. It’s a voyage that hundreds of thousands of Cubans have made over the last two years in an historic wave of migration. (AP Photo: Ramon Espinosa)

Doctor, Refugee. Violinist, Refugee. Model, Refugee. (The New York Times)

When earthquake, war or social upheaval drives you across a border and into the unknown, you learn the hard lesson of the refugee: You didn’t just lose a home, a job, a country. You may also have lost your identity. With refugees around the world now put at around 25 million, this lesson is being driven home for a record number of people – among them, millions of Venezuelans. (Photo: Federico Rios)

War on gangs forges new El Salvador. But the price is steep. (AP)

El Salvador has undergone a radical transformation since President Nayib Bukele – the self-described “world’s coolest dictator” – ordered a state of emergency in response to an alarming surge in gang violence. Bukele has imprisoned over 65,000 of the nation’s 6.3 million people. Bloodshed has faded as the presence of the most fearsome gangs dwindles. Yet the transformation comes at a steep price. (AP Photo: Salvador Melendez)

As Colombia’s Peace Crumbles, Female Guerrillas Wonder What’s Left for Them (Foreign Policy)

Five years after the FARC signed a historic peace deal with the Colombian government, women ex-rebels have crash-landed into a harsh reality. The traditional gender roles they once took up arms to escape have snapped back, and former FARC fighters face a moment of reckoning as the narratives of gender equality they once pushed fall apart. As the accords crumble, women guerrillas wonder what is left for them.

Lima’s ‘Wall of Shame’ and the Art of Building Barriers (The Atlantic)

Lima, Peru’s “Wall of Shame” was constructed by the city’s hyper-rich in the 1980s to keep out poor migrants displaced by bloodshed in Peru’s countryside. Like many world walls – whether it be the U.S.-Mexico border’s to Israel-Palestine’s – the 6-mile-long barrier stands as a testament to the culture’s deeper societal divisions.

To save lives, midwives mix Mayan heritage with Western medicine (National Geographic)

In the remnants of the Mayan empire – Central America and southern Mexico – tens of thousands of indigenous midwives are the ones standing between life & death for women out of reach of their countries' health systems. Despite an age-old rift between "comadronas" and medical systems, such women have only grown more important in the pandemic. (Photo: Janet Jarman)

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