Outside: The Latin American Immigrants Shaking Up New York City’s Bike Races

I wrote for Outside about Daniel Pérez and the Sanba Cycling Team. “On a July morning, the cyclists start arriving at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park before dawn, the pavement still wet from an overnight downpour. More than 300 people are registered for the second race in this year’s Lucarelli and Castaldi Cup, a fixture in New York City’s cycling circuit. Competitive cyclists in the city are finally releasing the pent-up energy of a year without bike racing, waiting out the pandemic. Daniel Pérez, founder of the…Continue Reading “Outside: The Latin American Immigrants Shaking Up New York City’s Bike Races”

The Nation: Saving Lives and Going Hungry: NYC Ambulance Workers Demand Higher Pay

“Mike Greco was worried. In early March 2020, New York City had confirmed its first case of Covid-19, and the vice president of Local 2507, the union representing employees of the city’s emergency medical services (EMS), knew how overworked and exhausted EMS workers already were. At a special City Council hearing on March 5, he testified that EMS was already handling 1.5 million calls a year. “If you were to have another half million calls in a pandemic, you would overwhelm the system,” he said….Continue Reading “The Nation: Saving Lives and Going Hungry: NYC Ambulance Workers Demand Higher Pay”

The Guardian: ‘It doesn’t feel worth it’: Covid-19 is pushing New York’s EMTs to the brink

I wrote for the Lost on the Frontline series of The Guardian about the sacrifices New York City’s EMTs and paramedics have made over the past year, and their demands for fair compensation. — In his 17 years as an emergency medical provider, Anthony Almojera thought he had seen it all. “Shootings, stabbings, people on fire, you name it,” he said. Then came Covid-19. Before the pandemic, Almojera said it was normal to respond to one or two cardiac arrest calls a week; now he’s…Continue Reading “The Guardian: ‘It doesn’t feel worth it’: Covid-19 is pushing New York’s EMTs to the brink”

NACLA: Mexico’s Fracking Impasse

I wrote for NACLA on the fracking industry in Mexico. “The promised fracking boom in Mexico, hyped in U.S. media and pushed by the U.S. government, has yet to materialize. Local communities and environmental organizations want it to stay that way. Anti-fracking activists see a window of opportunity to push President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to put a fracking ban into law. They worry that if fracking does eventually pick up, before or after AMLO leaves office, it could drain and contaminate dwindling water resources.”…Continue Reading “NACLA: Mexico’s Fracking Impasse”

“‘Do you know what torture it is to go hungry while I am carrying your food on my back?’ Delivery worker Paulo Roberto da Silva Lima posed this question in a video in March, calling out food delivery apps for leaving workers unprotected in the pandemic. Da Silva, better known as “Galo” because as a child he dreamed of having a Sete Galo Honda motorcycle, filmed it on his 31st birthday. He was behind on bills at his home on the outskirts of São Paulo….Continue Reading “Vice Motherboard: ‘They Aren’t Anything Without Us’: Gig Workers Are Striking Throughout Latin America”

I wrote for Business Insider about the public health risks of the factory farm model, which the U.S. has successfully exported abroad. “In March 2009, a five-year-old boy in El Perote, Veracruz, Mexico got sick with flu-like symptoms. Weeks later he was identified as patient zero of the H1N1 epidemic. The exact source of the sickness was never proven. But people in El Perote suspected the nearby Granjas Carroll de México factories — partially-owned by Virginia-based Smithfield Foods — was the source… …By now, most…Continue Reading “Business Insider: The US meat industry is making people sick.”

Desmog: New NAFTA Trade Deal Deepens Oil and Gas Dependency During Climate Crisis

“The coronavirus pandemic and record-low oil prices dealt a blow to the fossil fuel industry this year. But the new trade deal between the United States, Mexico, and Canada, known as the USMCA, will provide a boost as it replaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The deal goes into effect July 1. Reading between the lines of the 2,000-plus page deal, environmentalists say it is bad news for North America’s climate future. Far from addressing the crisis, the deal provides loopholes for oil, gas,…Continue Reading “Desmog: New NAFTA Trade Deal Deepens Oil and Gas Dependency During Climate Crisis”

NACLA: In Mexico, Cheap Gas Wins

Promises of consultation are not enough for Indigenous communities in the path of pipeline construction in Mexico, an important market for the Texas shale fields. I wrote for NACLA about the El Encino-Topolobampo natural gas pipeline, which TransCanada (TC Energy) built through the territory of Rarámuri communities in the Sierra Tarahumara of Chihuahua. While communities demanded a consultation process, it was too little too late, and the pipeline was inaugurated in late 2018. This pipeline is one of several that connects Texas fracking industry to…Continue Reading “NACLA: In Mexico, Cheap Gas Wins”

How is an infectious disease born? That is the question that set Joel Henrique Ellwanger on the path of studying emerging diseases in his home country of Brazil. As Ellwanger was studying the risk of disease spillover in Brazil, COVID-19 showed the world just how dangerous emerging viral diseases can be. As of May 19, nearly 17,000 people have died of COVID-19 in Brazil, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. In the Western Hemisphere, only the United States has more confirmed cases and…Continue Reading “Latin America News Dispatch: The Next Deadly Virus Could Start in the Amazon, Brazilian Scientists Warn”

Foreign mining and energy companies that invest in the region have a responsibility to help safeguard local activists. In 2008, Mexican activist Mariano Abarca was assaulted by employees of a Canadian mining company, Blackfire Exploration, at his home in Chicomuselo, a municipality in the state of Chiapas near Mexico’s border with Guatemala. The attack was presumably retribution for Abarca’s vocal opposition to the planned expansion of Blackfire’s nearby barite mine. In July 2009, after he had received multiple death threats, Abarca joined a delegation to…Continue Reading “Undark: For Latin American Environmentalists, Looming Threats of Violence”