Carrie Kahn | Connecticut Public Radio
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Carrie Kahn

Carrie Kahn is NPR's International Correspondent based in Mexico City, Mexico. She covers Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. Kahn's reports can be heard on NPR's award-winning news programs including All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Weekend Edition, and on NPR.org.

Since arriving in Mexico in the summer of 2012, on the eve of the election of President Enrique Peña Nieto and the PRI party's return to power, Kahn has reported on everything from the rise in violence throughout the country to its powerful drug cartels, and the arrest, escape and re-arrest of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman. She has reported on the Trump Administration's immigration policies and their effects on Mexico and Central America, the increasing international migration through the hemisphere, gang violence in Central America and the historic détente between the Obama Administration and Cuba.

Kahn has brought moving, personal stories to the forefront of NPR's coverage of the region. Some of her most notable coverage includes the stories of a Mexican man who was kidnapped and forced to dig a cross-border tunnel from Tijuana into San Diego, a Guatemalan family torn apart by President Trump's family separation policies and a Haitian family's situation immediately following the 2010 earthquake and on the ten-year anniversary of the disaster.

Prior to her post in Mexico, Kahn was a National Correspondent based in Los Angeles. She was the first NPR reporter into Haiti after the devastating earthquake in early 2010, and returned to the country on numerous occasions to continue NPR's coverage of the Caribbean nation. In 2005, Kahn was part of NPR's extensive coverage of Hurricane Katrina, where she investigated claims of euthanasia in New Orleans hospitals, recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast and resettlement of city residents in Houston, Texas.

She has covered hurricanes, the controversial life and death of pop icon Michael Jackson and firestorms and mudslides in Southern California,. In 2008, as China hosted the world's athletes, Kahn recorded a remembrance of her Jewish grandfather and his decision to compete in Hitler's 1936 Olympics.

Before coming to NPR in 2003, Kahn worked for NPR Member stations KQED and KPBS in California, with reporting focused on immigration and the U.S.-Mexico border.

Kahn is a recipient of the 2020 Cabot Prize from Columbia Journalism School, which honors distinguished reporting on Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2010 she was awarded the Headliner Award for Best in Show and Best Investigative Story for her work covering U.S. informants involved in the Mexican Drug War. Kahn's work has been cited for fairness and balance by the Poynter Institute of Media Studies. She was awarded and completed a Pew Fellowship in International Journalism at Johns Hopkins University.

Kahn received a bachelor's degree in biology from UC Santa Cruz. For several years, she was a human genetics researcher in California and in Costa Rica. She has traveled extensively throughout Mexico, Central America, Europe and the Middle East, where she worked on an English/Hebrew/Arabic magazine.

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.

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.

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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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.

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.

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.

Mexico's health officials say it's time to keep your distance. Beginning Monday, people will be urged to maintain safe distances from one another and, if possible, work from home. Public schools, which were open through Friday, will remain closed until at least April 20.

As of Saturday night, Mexico's Secretary of Health reported 251 confirmed cases and two deaths from the coronavirus disease COVID-19. Some state and cities have already imposed stricter measures. On Sunday, Mexico City's mayor announced that bars, theaters and museums would be closed, also beginning Monday.

Editor's note: This story includes graphic descriptions of the search for human remains.

Manky Lugo has developed a gruesome expertise. Like a human bloodhound, she sniffs out traces of death.

Her gray hair wrapped in a bright-green bandanna, the 64-year-old applies her skill during an annual search for remains of fellow citizens who have vanished without a trace — victims of Mexico's drug wars and armed groups. A loved one of her own is among the missing.

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Mexico's president is gearing up for a national raffle. The prize? The presidential plane. It's like Mexico's Air Force One, but the president refuses to step foot in it.

The plane, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, has long been a symbol of government excess in the eyes of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. He loves to rail on what he calls Mexico's corrupt political class, especially by pointing to the plane and those who bought and used it.

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The last two weeks have been busy for Mexico's immigration authorities. Since Jan. 18, the Mexican government says it has "assisted returns" of 2,303 Central American migrants back to their home countries.

"Assisted returns" means deported — but much of the official language referring to migration in Mexico remains euphemistic, critics say, even as the government's migration policies have grown harsher.

Updated at 9:45 p.m. ET

A powerful 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Jamaica, Cuba and the Cayman Islands on Tuesday, startling people as far away as Miami and prompting official tsunami alerts for a large area of the Caribbean that were later withdrawn.

The quake, initially reported as 7.3 magnitude before being upgraded, was centered 86 miles northwest of Montego Bay, Jamaica, and 87 miles west-southwest of Niquero, Cuba, at a depth of just 6 miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It struck at 2:10 p.m. ET.

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On the wind-whipped hills north of Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, Berthenid Dasny holds the keys to the gated memorial erected for Haiti's earthquake victims. Thousands of bodies are buried here in a mass grave dug after a magnitude 7 earthquake shook the country on Jan. 12, 2010.

"They've forgotten about this place; it should look better than this," Dasny says as she walks past the overgrown grass, rusted metal statues and brittle brush. For the past year, she has been the memorial's groundskeeper, though she has never been paid.

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Updated at 10 a.m. ET

Heavily armed gunmen went on a shooting rampage through the city of Culiacán, the capital of Sinaloa state on Mexico's Pacific coast, battling security forces after authorities attempted to arrest a son of imprisoned drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán.

The gunfire from what appeared to be sniper rifles and truck-mounted machine guns sent residents of the western city scrambling for cover. Burning vehicles littered the streets as the gunmen faced off against the National Guard, army and police.

As leaders from around the world spent Monday at the United Nations Climate Action Summit pledging to ban coal and cut carbon emissions, Mexico's president was at his weekday news conference showing off a new app that tells consumers where the cheapest gas in the country can be found.

And it's not just Monday's events in New York. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is skipping the annual United Nations General Assembly altogether.

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