venezuela

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Venezuela may be mired in political and economic crisis. But governance in the country is also undermined by the involvement of senior government officials in the drug trade.

Among those sanctioned or facing criminal charges in the U.S. are the country's vice president, interior minister and top military officials loyal to President Nicolás Maduro.

By one estimate, as much as 40 percent of the world's cocaine passes through the country. On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the drug trade in Venezuela and how the involvement of government officials is shaping the country's politics.


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A presidential run-off in the South American nation of Ecuador is shaping up as a referendum on the decade-long rule of leftist President Rafael Correa.

Under Correa the government has used oil revenues to slash poverty, but his ruling PAIS Alliance has been criticized for corruption scandals and a drift towards authoritarianism.

With term limits forcing Correa from office, polls show his chosen successor Lenin Moreno in a tight race with opposition candidate Guillermo Lasso.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at a tight presidential race in Ecuador and what it means for remaining leftist governments in Latin America.


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Colombia’s government and negotiators from the FARC guerrilla group spent four years negotiating a peace agreement backed by the U.N., Cuba and the U.S.

President Juan Manuel Santos even won the Nobel Peace Prize for the effort.

Then Colombian voters narrowly rejected the pact, sowing doubt about the prospects for ending a 52-year civil war that’s killed a quarter of a million people.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at what how the government and the FARC might piece a deal back together again.


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When you think of humanitarian crises, they’re usually caused by war or some natural disaster like a drought or earthquake.

But in Venezuela today millions of people face shortages of food and medicines for a different reason: the spectacular mismanagement of its economy.

By one estimate, Venezuelans spend an average of 35 hours a month standing in lines to buy food. All of this has led to huge protests against President Nicolás Maduro’s government and an effort by the opposition to recall him from office. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the escalating crisis in Venezuela. 


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For 50 years Marxist rebels from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as the FARC, have battled that country’s government in Latin America’s longest-running insurgency.

During that time, more than 200,000 people have been killed, including 177,000 civilians, and about 5.7 million Colombians have been displaced from their homes by the fighting.

But in September the Colombian government and the FARC signed a draft peace agreement at a meeting in Cuba to end what many have viewed as an intractable conflict. 

Fernando Llano / AP

Venezuela is a country that should, by all accounts, be doing quite well. It’s one of the top oil-producing countries in the world.

But the South American nation also has one of the highest murder rates in the world, a government whose officials are accused of selling drugs, and millions living below the poverty line. Not only that, the country's economy is crumbling, and the government is notorious for clamping down on journalists who challenge it on these issues.

KBIA

  When journalism professor Karen Mitchell woke up Monday morning, she didn’t expect to be a target for Internet hackers with a political agenda.

Mitchell teaches convergence journalism at the University of Missouri and co-manages the @MUConvergence Twitter account with three other faculty members. Mostly journalism students, faculty and professional journalists follow the micro-blogging account.

At 11 p.m. Sunday, the hackers tweeted from the convergence account, and identified themselves as activists from the Venezuela Electronic Army.

An economic crisis in a country with one of the highest murder rates in the world has led to a month of sometimes violent demonstrations in Venezuela. Polarization between supporters and opponents of President Nicolás Maduro's leftist government has left little room for compromise.

Franklin Reyes / AP Images

World leaders from five continents gathered in Caracas on Friday to pay their last respects for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The Venezuelan leader held the country's presidency from 1999 until his death earlier this week.