The Silenced Voices at the U.S.-Mexico Border

March 18, 2019

The Crime Report -- A chaotic system created by U.S. authorities keeps destitute asylum-seekers waiting weeks in Mexican border cities like Tijuana for permission to file their claims—effectively reinforcing Washington’s hardline immigration policies. A TCR special report tells their stories.

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Longwood Says Goodbye to a Beloved Pastor

November 10, 2019

Hunts Point Express -- Rev. Danilo Lachapel was respected for his efforts to build solidarity among people from diverse backgrounds and for his support of the disenfranchised, from his local ministry. But as his casket was closing, his closest friends cried out that the church had betrayed him.

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Judge to Decide Asylum Case of Immigrants' Rights Leader

October 18, 2019

Mott Haven Herald -- Upcoming verdict in Mott Haven resident’s asylum case could pave the way for the cases of other immigrants’ rights advocates.

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Other recent work

Note: This is a sampling, but not an exhaustive list, of Roman's original reporting.

A Bronxite's Guide to the 2020 Census

January 5, 2020

Mott Haven Herald -- On the eve of the new decade, all levels of government are gearing up for the 2020 Census. Starting April 1, households will receive a mailer encouraging them to fill out the census online. The results of the nationwide count will have a profound and lasting effect on the everyday life of all Bronxites, whether multigenerational residents or newly arrived.

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Hometown Hopeful Makes Her Case for Seat in Congress

October 12, 2019

Hunts Point Express -- In the heart of the South Bronx, Chivona Newsome has grown from just another kid on the block to a Congressional hopeful.

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Why Tackling Urban Violence Should Be First on America’s Domestic Agenda

June 25, 2019

The Crime Report -- In his new book, Thomas Abt argues that efforts to address poverty and racial bias in America are effectively blocked by the violence plaguing many American neighborhoods. In a conversation with TCR, he explains why.

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The Body-Cam Dilemma: Should Cops Ever Push the ‘Off’ Button?

May 29, 2019

The Crime Report -- A review of body-worn camera policies in 10 metropolitan police departments finds most require cameras to keep running during nearly all civilian encounters. A Columbia University researcher says the policy is a critical safeguard against implicit racial bias.

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Federal Immigration Crackdown Spurs Sentencing Spike

May 9, 2019

The Crime Report -- The Trump administration’s immigration clampdown was the primary driver of rising sentencing figures in 2018, according to the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

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Ocasio-Cortez: Stop Treating Schools as ‘Mini-Jails’

April 21, 2019

The Crime Report -- In a free-wheeling appearance to an overflow crowd of students in New York, the rising star of the progressive wing of Democratic politics said radical changes in prison and juvenile justice policies were essential to rebuilding the country’s political agenda.

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A Kidnapping? No, Just ICE Agents ‘Doing Their Jobs’

January 30, 2019

The Crime Report -- A study by the Immigrant Defense Project finds that the federal agency strategically targets New York courthouses for undocumented immigrant arrests— a move it claims will have a chilling effect on immigrants’ willingness to collaborate with courts across the state.

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Meek Mill Launches $50 Million Crusade for Justice

January 24, 2019

The Crime Report -- The hip-hop superstar may be the most famous American caught in a byzantine system of probation and parole that can send former incarcerees back to prison for “technical offenses.” With support from wealthy friends in the sports, finance and entertainment worlds, he’s now spearheading a movement to develop alternatives.

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Distance Learning without Internet in Guatemala

By Ricardo Marroquín

April 10, 2020

El Faro English -- To slow the spread of Covid-19, the Guatemalan government suspended in-person classes in public schools for three weeks, as it contemplates transitioning toward a distance-learning model. Holding class from home, though, is a pipe dream for the four-fifths of households without internet access or adequate technology. The pandemic is exposing the chronic educational inequities and lack of wireless infrastructure facing the vast majority of Guatemalan schoolchildren.

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Toward a Christian Response to Coronavirus

By José María Tojeira

April 2, 2020

El Faro English -- "In light of the drastic preventative health measures taken, which are the responsibility of the state, each individual should think critically and contribute by paying particular attention to our chief responsibility: following individual health guidelines. Others’ failure to do so has overwhelmed even the health systems with the most resources in the world, putting at risk their entire populations," writes the Jesuit priest and former director of the Central American University's Human Rights Institute.

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If I Stay Home, I'll Starve

By Carlos Barrera

March 27, 2020

El Faro English -- Abandoning work and lying low under self-imposed lockdown as the coronavirus runs its course are luxuries largely beyond the reach of those working in El Salvador’s informal economy—a hefty 7 out of 10 Salvadorans, according to an October 2018 study by the Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development. These are people without social security, a pension, or—with the exception of a few domestic workers—fixed income.

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Preparing for Coronavirus, but with Hardly a Drop of Water

By Nelson Rauda Zablah

March 17, 2020

El Faro English -- With the global outbreak of COVID-19, El Salvador and the rest of the world have tailspun into emergency, with unequal consequences playing out in various populations. By the time Salvadoran President Bukele declared a nationwide quarantine, a nurse from the Saldaña National Hospital and her neighbors in Soyapango—an impoverished and notoriously dangerous neighborhood on the outskirts of San Salvador—had already gone two weeks without fresh water. The nurse and her neighbors were already struggling to complete daily tasks like brushing their teeth and cooking. Washing hands frequently—the most fundamental preventative measure against the pandemic—has proved challenging without water.

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Bukele’s International Credit Line: The Next Step toward Militarizing Public Safety

By Jimmy Alvarado

March 12, 2020

El Faro English -- An itemized look at the multimillion-dollar loan that launched Bukele’s standoff with the Legislative Assembly reveals that the centerpiece of the president’s Plan for Territorial Control is the army’s permanent involvement in public safety tasks reserved, in theory, for the National Civil Police. Almost half of the loan would go toward increased intelligence gathering and military transportation throughout the national territory, sparking concern about mass surveillance and militarization among human rights monitors and leading to shifting political fault lines as the Assembly skirmishes over whether to approve Bukele’s plan.

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United States v. Griselda Domingo-Godínez

By Ximena Villagrán and Elsa Cabria

March 6, 2020

Documented NY -- Why People Flee from One Town in the Highlands of Guatemala

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Remembering My Neighbor, Ernesto Cardenal

By Sergio Ramírez

March 5, 2020

El Faro English -- We remember Ernesto Cardenal, the priest, poet, and revolutionary who defied the Catholic Church in the 1980s by serving in Nicaragua’s revolutionary Sandinista government. Cardenal died on Sunday. During his funeral rites two days later, pro-Ortega interrupted the service to protest Cardenal and affirm their support for the current Nicaraguan president.

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Constitutional Court to Bukele: Stop Using the Armed Forces to Put Democracy at Risk

By Sergio Arauz

February 13, 2020

El Faro English -- The Constitutional Court issued a temporary injunction blocking Bukele’s threats against the Legislative Assembly, ordering an end to the usurpation of the army and the police, and cautioning that the events of Sunday, February 9 jeopardized democracy. The executive branch formally voiced its disagreement with the ruling, but added that it will comply as it waits for the final ruling.

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If an International Commission Meant to Fight Corruption in El Salvador Is Not Allowed to Investigate, What is its Purpose?

By Jaime Quintanilla and Gabriela Cáceres

February 7, 2020

El Faro English -- The agreements signed by the OAS, Salvadoran executive branch, attorney general, Supreme Court of Justice, and Ministry of Public Safety reveal that the International Commission Against Impunity (CICIES, in Spanish), as it currently stands, will act more as a technical advisor than as a commission dedicated to investigating corruption cases. The promise of an international commission against impunity remains unfulfilled.

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Giammattei Begins Term Alongside Allies of Jimmy Morales

By Gabriel Labrador

February 7, 2020

El Faro English -- Guatemala’s new president is picking up where Jimmy Morales left off, beginning his term with a Congress tailored to his liking and surrounded by military officials, businesspeople, and civil servants peddling the same anti-CICIG agenda as his predecessor. Though Giammattei has tried to distance himself from Morales, his actions and decisions leave room for doubt.

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The Quid Pro Quo in Guatemala: Trump Wielding Same Tactics He Used in Ukraine

By Sebastian Escalon

January 27, 2020

El Faro English -- Guatemala and Ukraine, though a hemisphere apart, have something in common: a trail of corruption leading to the top of both of their governments and private sectors. They share another commonality: for several years, the United States supported pro-transparency organizations’ fights against kleptocracy in both countries. That all changed, in both countries, when Trump took the White House.

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Mexico Tricks Another Central American Caravan

By Carlos Martínez

January 19, 2020

El Faro English -- The first caravan of 2020 came up short. It failed to cross Central America as one solid mass, let alone reach the United States border. Mexico’s new wall showed its efficiency as hundreds of Hondurans and a handful of Salvadorans who arrived at Tecún Umán and El Ceibo agreed to climb into the buses of Mexican immigration officials and head toward an uncertain processing. The López Obrador administration has already announced its intention to deport most of them.

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My Return to Journalism in Nicaragua

By Carlos Fernando Chamorro

January 16, 2020

El Faro English -- Over the first few days of 2019, persecution and threats against my physical safety and liberty from the Ortega-Murillo regime, including the illegal police occupation of the Confidencial newsroom and the jailing of Miguel Mora and Lucía Pineda Ubau—my journalist colleagues from 100% Noticias—forced my wife and me into exile.

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Former Soldiers from Atlacatl Batallion Testify against Superiors in El Mozote Case

By Nelson Rauda Zablah

January 7, 2020

El Faro English -- “The people there weren’t armed. They were just women, children, and the elderly!” said key witness Sol. “I didn’t report this earlier because if I did, they would kill me,” said key witness Juan. In an unprecedented turn of events, two former soldiers from the Atlacatl Battalion admitted that they took part in an operation 38 years ago to exterminate civilians. Both appeared as part of the trial of the El Mozote massacre in collaboration with the prosecutor’s case against military officials accused of planning and leading the operation.

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Honduras Pledged Billions to its Deportees. Where Did the Money Go?

By Ximena Villagrán and Elsa Cabria

January 5, 2020

Documented NY -- In a Honduran city home to hundreds of deportees, few have heard of an international plan to stop migration to the U.S.

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