Colombia - Competitiveness (Michelle Begue) - Colombia has been trying to alter its identity. For decades its reputation was tarnished by narco-trafficking and armed conflict. Now it's working to change its image to a Latin American nation with great potential for international investment. Recent global rankings like the World Bank's "Doing Business Report" and the Global Competitiveness Index, named Colombia one of the top-5 Latin American economies. But business owners and economists both say Colombia still has a lot of challenges ahead to remain competitive.
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.
El Salvador -Border Separation (Mike Kirsch) - The heartbreaking story of Alexa Ramos of El Salvador made headlines around the world. The infant was taken from her mother's arms by US Border Patrol agents after the two crossed illegally into the United States. Her mother was deported. Alexa was sent to live with a foster family in the US state of Michigan. The story symbolizes the pain and anguish hundreds of children like her are facing in the United States. They're separated from parents who in some cases they may never see again.
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.
Colombia - Fragile X Syndrome (Michelle Begue) - For decades a small rural town in Colombia developed a reputation for having offbeat citizens who exhibited strange behavior. They became the focus of a scientific study that revealed they were actually victims of a gene mutation. It's called Fragile X. And it's a leading cause of physical, social and intellectual abnormalities. Correspondent Michelle Begue travelled to the town of Ricaurte to bring us this report.
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.
Peru - Amazon Reforestation (Dan Collyns) - Peru's Amazon most bio-diverse ecosystem is in the Madre de Dios region. It's also one of the most under threat from deforestation. The primary culprits are illegal logging, gold mining and livestock farming. The past decade has been especially devastating for the region. Correspondent Dan Collyns visited the area to survey the damage. He also spoke to some scientists who are finding innovative ways to fight back. Mexico - Firework Town (Alasdair Baverstock) - Fireworks have been dazzling spectators at celebrations across the world for centuries.
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.
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.