Chile - Surviving the Andes (Joe) - On October 13th, 1972 a plane carrying a rugby team from Uruguay crashed in the Andes Mountains on its way to Chile. Initially, 33 people survived (but many perished in the days that followed). For the next two months those who remained endured below freezing temperatures and high altitude waiting for help. It never came. The story became famous because the passengers resorted to cannibalism to survive. On the 45th anniversary of their rescue, Americas Now presents an interview with passenger turned life-saving doctor Roberto Canessa.
Costa Rica - Plastic Ban (Harris Whitbeck) - The Central American nation of Costa Rica has long been at the forefront of progressive environmental policies. But it's lagged behind in one crucial area, the safe disposal of solid waste. But that could all change with their goal to end "single use" plastics by the year 2020 along with a new motto, "Say no to plastic". Our correspondent Harris Whitbeck reports from San Jose, Costa Rica. Brazil - Samba Empire (Lucrecia Franco) - Some call it the greatest show south of the equator: the Samba parade in Rio.
Belize - Millennial Nation (John Zarrella) - When violence is a serious problem in a community, it often prevents young people from experiencing growth. It's a problem that is prevalent throughout the Caribbean, particularly in Belize. This nation that sits on the east coast of Central America only became independent thirty-six years ago. The vast majority of its citizens are under the age of thirty. In every sense Belize is a millennial nation struggling to find its footing.
Chile - Buried Alive (Harris Whitbeck) - They spent 69 grueling days in collapsed copper mine in Chile before being brought to safety. Thirty-three miners endured claustrophobia, heat and near-starvation. There are no reported cases of anyone being trapped beneath the earth for so long. But miraculously, every man in the group emerged alive. The rescue was one of the most challenging ever attempted especially at such a low depth. One of the men who played a key role in that rescue operation was a Naval Medic named Andres Llarena.
Witness - Chasing Pablo Escobar ( CP) - In the late 1980's, two DEA agents volunteered to work on a top-secret mission. It ended up taking down the world's wealthiest criminal empire at the time, the Medellin Drug Cartel in Colombia and its leader Pablo Escobar. The story of Javier Pena and Steve Murphy inspired the hit "Netflix" drama "Narcos." Americas Now had the opportunity to sit down with the intrepid investigators to hear their incredible tale.
Peru- Amazon Contamination (Dan Collyns) - Our first story is from Peru's Northern Amazon rain forest. There generations of indigenous peoples have used knowledge passed down from their ancestors to watch their territory and the well-being of their community. But that vigilance changes when a new neighbor is a multi-national oil company. Now they're using state-of-the-art technology to protect their families and their land from pollution. Correspondent Dan Collyns takes us there.
Honduras - Child Marriage Ban - According to The World Bank, 15 million girls marry before the age of 18 globally. It's a phenomenon that's common in many poor nations around the world. One of the countries with the highest rates of underage marriage has been Honduras. But in 2017 lawmakers passed a landmark ruling which raised the marital age from 16 to 18. The new law is a big adjustment for Honduras where marrying very young has always been part of the culture. Correspondent Harris Whitbeck takes a look at how difficult banning a practice can be when it's so steeped in tradition.
Mexico - Smuggled Arms (Mike Kirsch) - The gun laws in Mexico are among the toughest in the world. There's only one gun store in the entire country which is run by the military. But every year 250-thousand firearms are being sold on the black market. As Correspondent Mike Kirsch reports from Mexico City they're being smuggled into the hands of criminal organizations by an unknown third-party from the United States. Belize - Endangered Reef (John Zarrella) - One of the world's great treasures lies just off the coast of the Central America the nation of Belize.