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.

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Former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli wasn't always rich.

One of Central America's richest and most eccentric former politicians, Martinelli started off as a credit officer at Citibank in Panama. He bought one business, then another. Among his holdings is the country's largest supermarket chain, Super 99, known for bargain prices and catchy jingles.

But while his jingles may get Panamanian's hips moving, Martinelli's alleged pilfering and profiteering make their blood boil.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to fill the streets of the capital of El Salvador on Saturday to celebrate as one of Latin America's most revered and controversial religious figures is beatified — the last official step before sainthood.

They will gather to pay tribute to former Archbishop Oscar Romero, a beloved priest and staunch defender of the poor, who was murdered while celebrating Mass in 1980.

The video is heart-wrenching: 14-year-old Alondra Luna Nunez screams and resists as several Mexican police officers take her out of a courthouse and force her into a waiting patrol car.

The video was shot just minutes after a Mexican judge had ordered Alondra Luna to be taken to the U.S. to live with Dorotea Garcia in Houston.

Garcia had been searching for her daughter since 2007 when her ex-husband illegally took the girl to Mexico.

Panama, like its Central American neighbors, is struggling with a rise in gangs. A recent census by the country's security forces put the number of criminal organizations operating in Panama now at about 200.

One neighborhood, in the capital's historic district, is taking on its gang problem with a group of strange bedfellows.

First, meet K.C. Hardin.

"I moved to Panama 12 years ago just to surf and do nothing for a couple years, I thought," says Hardin.

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Presidents Obama and Raul Castro of Cuba shook hands last night before opening ceremonies of the Summit of the Americas in Panama. But the informal meeting between the two men today was the most anticipated moment of the conference.

The leaders of all 35 nations in the Western Hemisphere gather for the first time ever this week at the Summit of the Americas. It will be the first to include Cuba, and the first meeting of President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro, since the U.S. and Cuba decided to normalize relations.

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In the village of Tuffet, a rocky 45-minute drive from the closest city along Haiti's southern coast, several men get down to work in Monique Yusizanna Ouz's rural home. They're wiring up her two-room, dirt floor house with a breaker box, an outlet and a light fixture.

She's 66 years old, and for the first time in her life, she's going to have electricity.

Ouz, who has five grandchildren, wants a refrigerator. She wants cold drinks — for herself but also to sell. And she wants ice cream, too.

Some of Mexico's most infamous drug traffickers, including El Chapo Guzman and Edgar "La Barbie" Valdez Villarreal, have written a letter to the country's National Human Rights Commission complaining about conditions in the maximum security prison where they are being held.

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Mexico's National Human Rights Commission is dealing with a new case of alleged violations by federal officials. This complaint, however, comes from the country's most vicious and notorious criminals — more than 100 of them.

Nearly 140 prisoners at Mexico's maximum security prison say they're being housed in unsafe and inhumane conditions.

In Mexico, the problem of drug trafficking is well publicized, but you can't say the same when it comes to the problem of drug addiction.

While nowhere near the levels seen in the U.S., Mexico is battling a growing problem — in the past decade illicit drug use has grown by more than a third.

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And a controversy is swelling in Mexico over press freedoms. That's after one of the country's most famous investigative journalists was fired from her radio show. She's known for targeting some of Mexico's top public figures. NPR's Carrie Kahn has more.

Two of Mexico's most ruthless drug cartels have lost their leaders. In the span of just one week, the Mexican government captured the heads of the Knights Templar and the Zetas trafficking organization. That brings the number of capos taken out by the current administration to 11.

But many analysts believe the spectacular arrests will do little to tackle the country's growing insecurity.

Mexican cops have gotten a bad rap. They are known more for taking bribes than fighting crime. One police department in Mexico hopes that body cameras, a high-tech tool gaining popularity in the U.S., will redeem its reputation.

The police chief in the border city of Tijuana says they will show that it's not just bad cops that are the problem; the public plays a big role in corruption, too.

Within days of three Tijuana police officers clipping on the cameras, one recorded an eye-opening traffic stop.

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It's been called one of the great rivalries of the art world — a clash between egos, riches and ideologies. In the spring of 1932, capitalist (and prolific collector of Mexican art) Nelson Rockefeller hired Mexican painter and staunch socialist Diego Rivera to paint a mural for the lobby of the newly erected Rockefeller Center in New York City. Sketches were drawn and approved, but when reporters leaked that Rivera had added an image of Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, a battle began.

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Monday marks five years since a devastating earthquake struck Haiti, killing more than 200,000 people and destroying much of the Caribbean nation's capital.

It is also the deadline for a political showdown. Haitian leaders met late into Sunday night to hash out an agreement and avoid leaving only Haiti's president with legal standing to rule by decree. The prolonged political crisis threatens Haiti's fragile recovery.

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