Juan Carlos is a storyteller specializing in documenting social issues and humanitarian crisis in conflict-affected societies as well as covering current international and national events while also pursuing personal documentary projects....
The Teenager Serving 30 years for Having a 'Miscarriage'
Saturday, February 17, 2018
My latest production for the BBC
YouTube BBCStories - The controversial case of Evelyn Hernandez, a Salvadoran teenager raped by a gang member and then jailed for 30 years for what her supporters say was a miscarriage. El Salvador has some of the harshest abortion laws in the world, with all forms of abortion being punished and cases of miscarriages and still births often being considered abortions. Women can be sentenced for up to 40 years for having one. In the case of Evelyn, her supporters say she has been wrongly imprisoned after having a miscarriage, with her opponents on the other side saying she killed her child. Ben speaks to the people who know the case best.
Some 50 years ago, an area was cleared, hoops were erected and the town of San Pedro La Laguna, nestled at the foot of a volcano in Guatemala's southwestern shore, had its first basketball court. No matter that the court was made of dirt then. Today, that same ground houses the town's municipal court. By day, children participate in dribbling drills to later show off their Kyrie Irving moves or Steph Curry skills. Beginning in the 1980s, NBA games were televised, and the sport's popularity grew. The rest is history.
Wishing you and your loved ones a very FRUITFUL & JOYFUL 2018!!!
¡Deseándte y a tus seres queridos FRUCTIFERO y ALEGRE 2018!!!
A Beacon, Thanks to the Internet
Thursday, September 7, 2017
Some of us were forced into journalism − we had little choice. In 1998, El Salvador was emerging from a long civil war and we were feeling our way forward, with no towering figure to guide us. But we were convinced that the post-war period needed a revitalised press, with a fresh perspective and independent voices. The country deserved a new journalism, and we provided it.
El Faro (link is external) [The Beacon] was started in May 1998, with absolutely no funding. That’s why we launched it on the internet, at a time when barely two per cent to five per cent of the Salvadorian population had access to it. Our existence depended on new technologies, because we could never have afforded the expense of running a printed newspaper. Opting for the internet turned out to be a very lucky decision for us, given that at the time, we were a million miles away from imagining the influence the web would have on the future of humanity.
The Secretive Tribunal that Corporations Use Against Governments
Thursday, September 7, 2017
International corporations have been able to avoid punishment for toxic pollution and worse by appealing to a secretive and little-known international tribunal. It’s called the Investor-State Dispute Settlement program, or ISDS. An 18-month investigation by BuzzFeed News raises serious questions about its judgement and its power.
These American kids are adapting to new lives in El Salvador after their dad was deported
Sunday, July 2, 2017
PRI's The World (Public Radio International)
When Waldo Martínez left Sensuntepeque in the early '90s, escaping El Salvador's civil war, he never thought he'd be back 25 years later with an American wife and four Las Vegas-born kids.
Sensuntepeque is a picturesque town about two hours from San Salvador. Cobbled streets weave around the mountain; old stone buildings dot the bustling town center. Yet, despite the quaint charm, Sensuntepeque is also fraught with gang rivalries and tensions.
When Martínez and his wife, Andrea Hernández, started a food business here last year, within a short period of time there were calls from gang members demanding payments. (Martínez was born Waldo Hernández, but elected to take his mother’s surname, Martínez, after he was deported. His wife and children still use the Hernández name.)
Martínez said "gangsters" have swooped up children at pick-up time from right out front of their school, so they arrive early every day and wait for their girls to finish school.
Trump’s New Ban Leaves Few Spots for Refugees, Even the Hunted
Friday, April 28, 2017
The New York Times
SAN SALVADOR — Veronica picked up some modeling clay, molded it into little human figures with her hands — and then dug holes into the sculpture’s face.
“Look,” said Veronica, 9, showing off the creation to her aunt. “That’s how Mamá ended up.”
For more than a year, Veronica and her sister have been in hiding here in El Salvador, hoping to receive refugee status in the United States. The two girls were doing homework at their dining room table when masked men burst in and gunned down their grandparents — the community’s only two health workers — on rumors that the couple had been tipping off the police about gangs in the neighborhood.
Like many thousands of others, Veronica and her sister applied for sanctuary in the United States under a special Obama administration effort to grapple with the violence that has gutted Central America and sent waves of its people on a desperate march toward the American border.
Deported immigrant trying to adjust to life alone in the foreign land of his birth.
Friday, April 28, 2017
The Houston Chronicle
LA UNION, El Salvador - Jose Escobar passes the time on a plastic chair at the house of an aunt he hadn't seen in 24 years by calling his wife and two children in Houston through Facebook.
"Walter, don't talk too much at school, OK," he tells his 7-year-old son on a recent morning. "You'll get in trouble for that, and then you won't get to go to karate. And tell Carmen I love her."
The heat is as scorching as the hours are long. He dips his shirt into a bucket of cool water, pulling it on for relief. The only pause from the monotony is a lone screeching chicken and a local soccer game he attends with his cousin. He doesn't feel safe walking around this neighborhood, once named for its flowers but now plagued by a murderous street gang whose members lurk in nearly every corner, noticing any stranger.
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RISC trainings are provided free of cost to experienced, published freelance conflict journalists. While staff reporters are often provided training by their employers, freelancers have to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket to participate in traditional hostile environment courses – and most simply cannot afford to. Please consider making a donation to help RISC train more independent journalists around the world.
The WZF Exhibition is dedicated to the work of local and international freelance journalists covering conflicts and humanitarian issues by showing their work, sharing their experiences, and provoking debate on the important and consequential role freelance journalists play in bringing news out of conflict areas to the international public.
San Salvador’s upstart mayor, Nayib Bukele, has promised a new way forward for a city besieged by decades of violence. His biggest obstacle, however, may not be the city’s gangs, but the city’s idea of itself.
QARAQOSH, Iraq—Two years ago, Mubarak Tuwaya fled when Islamic State militants made a triumphant charge through northern Iraq.
Now he is back in his hometown, wearing the uniform of an Iraqi militia that is helping drive out the extremists—and aiming to secure a place for Christians and other local minorities in Iraq’s future.
Capt. Tuwaya’s U.S.-trained force is made up of about 500 troops and 300 unpaid volunteers, most of them Assyrian Christians from Hamdaniya, a district east of Mosul that is home to Qaraqosh, Iraq’s largest Christian town.
A parallel legal universe, open only to corporations and largely invisible to everyone else, helps executives convicted of crimes escape punishment. Part one of a BuzzFeed News investigation — read the whole series here.
This Is What a World Without Reproductive Rights Would Be Like
Monday, September 19, 2016
Marie Claire Magazine
As the abortion wars rage here at home, El Salvador, the country with the strictest anti-abortion laws—where women are put in prison or risk death to avoid having a baby—shows how we might live in a world without reproductive rights.
My first multimedia piece and latest story for IRINnews part of my ongoing work on youth being affected by the ongoing violence in EL Salvadoand a continuation of the Young Days, Dangerous Times project.