Carrie Kahn

Despite President Trump's anti-Mexico rhetoric, Mexico's president has developed a relationship with him. NPR discusses how this relationship could change if Joe Biden wins the election.

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In yet another Trump-era break with longstanding tradition, it now seems all but certain that the Inter-American Development Bank will be led by a non-Latin American citizen. Mauricio Claver-Carone, a Cuban-American who is President Trump's top adviser on Latin America at the National Security Council and his nominee to head the bank, is the sole candidate for the job.

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Cuba's communist leaders appear to be ready to make good on long promised reforms to the island's state-controlled economy, which has been in a tailspin since the coronavirus lockdown began in March.

Even before the pandemic, the economy was in recession, suffering from reduced Venezuelan subsidies and escalating Trump administration sanctions. Then in March, Cuba banned all air and sea travel to the island, cutting off tourism — a major source of hard currency for the government.

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The communist leaders of Cuba have been promising for years to ease restrictions on their tightly controlled economy. Now the pandemic may be forcing them to actually do that. NPR's Carrie Kahn reports.

At first glance, a video circulating on Mexican social media this month appears to show a boisterous unit of security forces. For more than two minutes, the camera pans across a line of masked men in combat fatigues, stretching down a rural road. Some stand beside armored vehicles painted in camouflage colors, firing military-grade weapons into the air. Others peer out of makeshift turrets atop the vehicles.

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Near downtown Mexico City, Cristian Corte sells tacos and gorditas at a makeshift stand outside a metro stop. He pulls down his thin paper mask, anxious to vent his anger about the Mexican president's upcoming trip to Washington, D.C.

"I want him to tell Trump to stop stepping all over us and to treat everyone as equals," says Corte.

On Friday, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador appeared to be talking to Mexicans like Corte, skeptical of his visit on Wednesday and Thursday to the White House.

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A powerful earthquake struck a huge swath of southern and central Mexico yesterday. At least five people were killed. The quake hit midmorning, and despite its punch in the wide area affected, damage was surprisingly moderate. NPR's Carrie Kahn reports from Mexico City.

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Mexico's government has announced a nationwide lifting of coronavirus social distancing measures — with the exception of areas marked as red zones. Making the announcement virtually meaningless, a government map shows nearly the entire country marked in red.

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Migrant advocates say more testing must be done in the U.S. and Mexico before deportees are sent back to their home countries.

At least 100 Guatemalans infected with the coronavirus were deported from the U.S. from mid-March through mid-April.

The U.S. suspended deportation flights to Guatemala after 44 migrants tested positive on a flight on April 13.

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Until last month, Hijo del Soberano was making a good living as a wrestler on Mexico's freestyle wrestling or lucha libre circuit. He would suit up four nights a week in his green-and-gold Lycra leggings and matching character mask for bouts in front of cheering crowds in his city's lucha arena.

Then the coronavirus pandemic hit. The wrestling venue was shuttered.

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As the world fights to defeat the coronavirus, a professional wrestler in Mexico has found a way to use his special skills in the battle. And as NPR's Carrie Kahn reports, he's making a profit.

El Salvador's president authorized the country's police and military to use lethal force against gang members, who over the weekend were allegedly responsible for the murders of dozens of people. Along with the emergency orders, President Nayib Bukele put all incarcerated gang members on a 24-hour shutdown.

Bukele says the gangs are taking advantage of the police focus on enforcing the coronavirus lockdown instead of battling criminal elements. Lethal force can be used in self-defense or to protect the lives of Salvadorans, he says.

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To the dismay of some of its citizens and neighbors, Nicaragua is still holding soccer matches, food festivals and beauty pageants.

Officially, the government of socialist president Daniel Ortega says there are only three active cases and one death attributed to COVID-19. The Johns Hopkins University tracker cites nine cases and two deaths. Across the border in Costa Rica, authorities have confirmed more than 600 cases.

As U.S. joblessness climbs, immigrant workers are facing a tough decision: pay rent and buy food or send critical dollars to family back home.

Fifty-one-year-old Anabel is struggling to do both. The Beverly Hills clothing store she cleaned four nights a week closed in early March. Holding onto the small apartment she and her husband share in Los Angeles is a top priority.

"We have had to cut back on food just to pay the rent," says Anabel, who asked NPR to not use her full name because she is undocumented.

Every Good Friday, for the last 176 years, the Iztapalapa neighborhood of Mexico City fills with religious pilgrims, tourists and the curious. In modern times, up to 2 million people crowd the streets to watch one of Latin America's most elaborate reenactments of Christ's crucifixion.

This year though, the whole affair has been moved indoors, and will be streamed live on the Internet and broadcast on national TV, due to Mexico's nationwide COVID-19 shutdown.

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Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador told his countrymen this weekend, in video announcements, "Don't go out into the streets unless it's for something absolutely necessary." But the president, who's been slow to acknowledge the new coronavirus threat, drew sharp criticism for failing to model good social distancing.

As recently as eight days ago, López Obrador urged Mexicans to go out to eat in restaurants, out of concern over an economic fallout from the virus.

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At this point, we have all heard how important it is to wash our hands. But what about people who don't have clean water? Tens of millions of people in Mexico are in that very position. NPR's Carrie Kahn is there, and she brought us this.

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