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.

José Ramón Fernández will probably never attend another Communist Party Congress. At 92, he's the oldest delegate to take part in the four-day meeting of Cuba's top communist leaders that convenes on Saturday.

Springtime is usually beautiful in Mexico City. As the weather warms, the purple jacaranda trees that line boulevards and dot neighborhoods are in full bloom. Everything is prettier, says Fernando Padilla, a driver taking a break in a park.

"It's my favorite time of the year," he says.

But this spring, his eyes are watering, his throat hurts and one day a week he's not allowed to use his car on the road, which means he's poorer too.

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It has been a turbulent week for Mexico's diplomats in the U.S. The reason for the shakeup can be summed up in two words: Donald Trump.

This week, the Republican presidential front-runner released details of one of his oft-repeated campaign promises — to make Mexico pay for construction of a border wall.

The plan, which involves blocking billions of dollars that Mexicans working in the U.S. send back home, seemed to shake up Mexico's top officials and cause a break in their months of relative silence about Trump's anti-Mexican comments.

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In the run-up to his visit to Mexico, Pope Francis promised a clear moral message. He wasn't coming to gloss over the current ills of corruption and drug violence facing the country.

And he didn't disappoint.

Here are five memorable scenes in the pontiff's five-city tour, and some excerpts from his remarks.

1. At The National Palace

A historic trial is taking place in Guatemala.

For the first time, according to rights activists, the country is prosecuting military officials for sexual violence committed during the Central American country's three-decade long civil war, which ended in the 1990s.

In the trial going on this week, 15 women have come forward to accuse two former military officials of systematic sexual abuse in the 1980s.

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In one of the largest waves of Cuban migration in decades, more than 70,000 have fled the island this year, rushing to the U.S. out of fear that its preferential policy toward those escaping the Castro regime might change.

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Some 2,000 Cubans hoping to reach the United States are stranded in Central America. They've been traveling by land from South America. When the migrants tried to enter Nicaragua on foot, they were met with rubber bullets. NPR's Carrie Kahn reports.

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If you could start selling something in Cuba that would be a sure-fire money maker, what would it be?

Probably something that hasn't been widely available for more than 50 years in the state-controlled economy. A product for which there's pent up demand and one that would surely spruce up the place after decades of neglect.

Mexican businessman Jaime Murow Troice is already selling it: paint.

The best place to see Cuba's Internet explosion is along the busy Havana thoroughfare known as La Rampa, or the Ramp.

Named for its sloping descent toward the sea, it is congested and loud. Still, crowds pack the sidewalks, office alcoves and driveways here to get online. They huddle within a few blocks of huge cell towers atop the Habana Libre luxury hotel. All eyes are glued to smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Raul Cuba, 41, types a lengthy Internet access code and password into his phone. He only learned how to log on a month ago.

On the tarmac of Jose Marti International Airport, just off his chartered Alitalia flight from Rome, Pope Francis praised his host, Cuban President Raul Castro, who was standing by his side. Francis called the recent reconciliation between Castro's Communist government and the United States a model for the world. Further extending a friendly hand, Francis gave a shout out to Castro's older brother Fidel.

Not to go too far though, the pope also expressed his regret that he could not welcome all Cubans, a reference believed to refer to the dissident community.

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It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

(SOUNDBITE OF MASS)

POPE FRANCIS: (Speaking Spanish).

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Cubans welcomed Pope Francis this evening as he arrived in Havana for a tour across the island nation. In a brief speech just after his arrival, Francis spoke encouragingly about the warming relations between the U.S. and Cuba. Here he is via interpreter on CNN.

Just a few blocks from Havana's iconic sea promenade, Gabriela Garcia Rodriguez invites a visitor to check out her second-story, two-bedroom, vacation-rental apartment.

Garcia, a recent university biochemistry graduate, charges about $40 a night for the modest accommodations.

September is usually the low point in Cuba's tourist season. After all, it's almost constantly raining, it's extremely hot and the threat of hurricanes is high.

Eight months ago, Mexico's first lady, Angélica Rivera, known for her fondness of designer clothes and European vacations, made a public promise to sell a multimillion-dollar mansion bought under controversial circumstances. She purchased the home, at below market rates, from a contractor with lucrative connections to her husband.

The scandal has been one of the biggest to rock President Enrique Peña Nieto's administration. Months later, many questions remain regarding the purchase — and Rivera has yet to sell the house.

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