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The São Paulo See Metropolitan Cathedral in São Paulo, Brazil

If Pope Francis wants to see firsthand the challenges the Vatican faces in Latin America, he should visit Rio’s notoriously violent slums. Here the youth are restless and evangelical church halls run by homegrown Protestant pastors appear on every second block, a pattern repeated on the poor periphery of most Brazilian cities. Read more»

Peru Borracho

Missing fire extinguishers and flouting other health and safety codes, Latin American nightclubs have been the scene of deadly blazes before. Read more»

As America observes four decades of the right to safe and legal abortion, access to this fundamental right remains elusive for most Latin American women. Yet, recent achievements lead me to believe we will see more successes in the region during 2013. Read more»

A classroom in Colombia.

Google is building an Internet data center and mobile providers are rolling out 4G networks, but that’s not all that’s in store for Latin America. Read more»

A new U.S. intelligence report forecasts an end to U.S. predominance. Read more» 1

As the net flow of immigrants from Mexico nears zero, violent and impoverished Central American countries have emerged as the fastest-rising source of illegal immigrants to the U.S. Fleeing violence as well as poverty, they journey through a gantlet of predators, crossing Mexico's southern frontier in an area that has become a U.S. national security concern. Read more»

High-rise condos sprout up after a construction boom in Brazil's upper-middle-class neighborhood of Barra de Tijuca (shown in the distance beyond the Joatinga district) in Rio de Janeiro.

Latin America has long been a case study in the social ills brought by sharp economic inequality, its class-stratified societies marked by too few haves and too many have-nots. As the region’s middle class grows, poverty falls. But who deserves the praise? Read more»

A room is pictured in Brazil's new love hotel for dogs, Animalle Mundo Pet.

Brazil's newest "love hotel" stands apart from the rest, not for its amenities, but its clientele: dogs. Discerning dog owners pay $50 a day for a room to breed their canines in what's billed as a clean and safe environment, complete with dimmed lighting and even a heart-shaped mirror on the ceiling and red cushions on the floor. Read more»

It's been another week of chilling reminders of the high risks for journalists in parts of Latin America, with two killings turning the news lens on reporters. Now, a possible kidnapping in Colombia has put the danger further into focus. Read more»

When leaders want to revise their drug laws, they go to Ethan Nadelmann for advice. GlobalPost interviewed him about the state of the "legalize it" debate in the Americas. Read more»

President Obama with Peruvian President Ollanta Humala on Saturday during the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia.

Forget the horny Secret Service agents and their Colombian hookers. It was U.S. diplomacy that really got screwed at this weekend's Summit of the Americas in Cartagena. Read more»

With Latin American markets becoming more stable, consumers south of the border are raising a dram. Scotland's whisky industry has long placed its bets on Asian countries as drivers of growth, but as Latin Americans' taste for global luxury increases, distillers are hedging their bets. Read more»

A Homeland Security Investigations special agent pleaded guilty Wednesday to illegally accessing government documents that she handed to friends and family and later lying about it to another agent. Read more»

A stationary gold mining operation on the Madre de Dios, 2007.

Record gold prices are claiming an unlikely victim: the lush, spectacularly biodiverse rainforests of the Peruvian Amazon, as new speculators enter the mining business Read more»

Two Mexican nationals, who held children hostage at a Phoenix drop house, were sentenced Monday for human smuggling. Read more»

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