NPR: Carrie Kahn

Carrie Kahn is NPR's international correspondent based in Mexico City, Mexico. She covers Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America. Kahn's reports can be heard on NPR's award-winning news programs including All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Weekend Edition.

Prior to her post in Mexico Kahn had been a National Correspondent based in Los Angeles since joining NPR in 2003. During that time Kahn often reported on and from Mexico, most recently covering the country's presidential election in 2012. She was the first NPR reporter into Haiti after the devastating earthquake in early 2010, and has returned to the country six times in the two years since to detail recovery and relief efforts, and the political climate.

Her work included assignments throughout California and the West. In 2010 Kahn was awarded the Headliner Award for Best in Show and Best Investigative Story for her work covering U.S. informants involved in the Mexican Drug War. In 2005, Kahn was part of NPR's extensive coverage of Hurricane Katrina, where she investigated claims of euthanasia in New Orleans hospitals, recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast and resettlement of city residents in Houston, TX. She has covered her share of hurricanes since, fire storms and mudslides in Southern California and the controversial life and death of pop-icon Michael Jackson. In 2008, as China hosted the world's athletes, Kahn recorded a remembrance of her Jewish grandfather and his decision to compete in Hitler's 1936 Olympics.

Before coming to NPR in 2003, Kahn worked for 2 1/2 years at NPR station KQED in San Francisco, first as an editor and then as a general assignment reporter with a focus on immigration reporting. From 1994 to 2001, Kahn was the border and community affairs reporter at NPR station KPBS in San Diego, where she covered Northern Mexico, immigration, cross-border issues and the city's ethnic communities.

While at KPBS, Kahn received numerous awards, including back-to-back Sol Price Awards for Responsible Journalism from the Society of Professional Journalists. She won the California/Nevada Associated Press award for Best News Feature, eight Golden Mike Awards from the Radio & TV News Association of Southern California and numerous prizes from the San Diego Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists of San Diego. She was also awarded three consecutive La Pluma Awards from the California Chicano News Media Association.

Prior to joining KPBS, Kahn worked for NPR station KUSP and published a bilingual community newspaper in Santa Cruz, CA.

Kahn is frequently called upon to lecture or discuss border issues and bi-national journalism. Her work has been cited for fairness and balance by the Poynter Institute of Media Studies. She was awarded and completed a Pew Fellowship in International Journalism at Johns Hopkins University.

Kahn received a Bachelors degree from UC Santa Cruz in Biology. For several years she was a human genetics researcher in California and in Costa Rica. She has traveled extensively throughout Mexico, Central America, Europe and the Middle East, where she worked on a English/Hebrew/Arabic magazine.

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4:39pm

Wed July 1, 2015
Latin America

Salvadorean Children Hope To Reunite With Parents Under U.S. Program

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 6:23 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

8:55am

Wed July 1, 2015
Parallels

A Father In California, Kids In El Salvador, And New Hope To Reunite

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 11:00 am

Marta Elsie Leveron, 19, (left) and her brother Freddy David Leveron, 18, have not seen their father since he left El Savador to work in California in 1999. A new U.S. program allows families to reunite if one parent is a legal U.S. resident. The girl in the middle is Liliana Beatriz Leveron, 16, a cousin of the other two. Her parents are in the U.S. and she's seeking to reunite with them as well.
Carrie Kahn NPR

Editor's Note: Unaccompanied minors surged across the U.S. southern border last year. In response, the Obama administration has introduced a program that would allow families to reunite. In this story about the divided Leveron family, NPR's Richard Gonzales reports first from California, followed by Carrie Kahn in El Salvador.

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5:20am

Wed July 1, 2015
Education

As Panama's Economy Booms, So Do Concerns Over Debt And The Environment

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 9:44 am

Panama City's skyline.
Arnulfo Franco AP

The 66th floor of Panama City's Trump Tower is a fine spot to experience Panama's booming economy. Beyond the building's windows, hundreds of skyscrapers stretch the length of the capital's skyline. Inside, a hand of blackjack will set you back $200, but all-you-can-drink champagne costs just $10.

On average, economic growth in Panama has topped 8 percent in the last five years, making the country the envy of its struggling Latin American neighbors.

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3:21pm

Tue June 16, 2015
Parallels

How Mexico Quietly Legalized Same-Sex Marriage

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 8:06 pm

Fernando Urias (left) and Victor Manuel Aguirre kiss after they learned they were allowed to marry, during a protest outside the municipal palace in the northern border city of Mexicali, Mexico, on Jan. 17.
Alex Cossio AP

In the U.S., the Supreme Court's widely anticipated ruling on same-sex marriage has been the focus of nonstop speculation and debate. In Mexico, meanwhile, the highest court effectively legalized same-sex unions this month with a decision that was so low key many failed to notice.

Mexico's Supreme Court quietly published an opinion, known as a jurisprudential thesis, ruling that defining marriage as a union only between a man and a woman is discriminatory and in violation of Mexico's constitution.

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8:38am

Sun May 24, 2015
Latin America

Accusations Pile Up Against Panama's Former President

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 10:40 am

Panama's former President Ricardo Martinelli answers questions during an interview at a hotel in Guatemala City in January.
Moises Castillo AP

Former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli wasn't always rich.

One of Central America's richest and most eccentric former politicians, Martinelli started off as a credit officer at Citibank in Panama. He bought one business, then another. Among his holdings is the country's largest supermarket chain, Super 99, known for bargain prices and catchy jingles.

But while his jingles may get Panamanian's hips moving, Martinelli's alleged pilfering and profiteering make their blood boil.

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4:43pm

Fri May 22, 2015
Parallels

What Archbishop Romero's Beatification Means For El Salvador Today

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 11:49 am

Maria del Pilar Perdomo holds up a framed portrait of the slain Archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Arnulfo Romero, during a procession on March 24 to mark the 35th anniversary of his assassination in San Salvador, El Salvador. Romero was killed in 1980 while offering Mass. Romero will be beatified on Saturday.
Salvador Melendez AP

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to fill the streets of the capital of El Salvador on Saturday to celebrate as one of Latin America's most revered and controversial religious figures is beatified — the last official step before sainthood.

They will gather to pay tribute to former Archbishop Oscar Romero, a beloved priest and staunch defender of the poor, who was murdered while celebrating Mass in 1980.

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7:43am

Sat April 18, 2015
Latin America

In Panama, Restoring Streets And Reforming Gangs At The Same Time

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 9:45 am

Former gang member Ricky James (left) and developer K.C. Hardin in Casco Viejo.
Carrie Kahn NPR

Panama, like its Central American neighbors, is struggling with a rise in gangs. A recent census by the country's security forces put the number of criminal organizations operating in Panama now at about 200.

One neighborhood, in the capital's historic district, is taking on its gang problem with a group of strange bedfellows.

First, meet K.C. Hardin.

"I moved to Panama 12 years ago just to surf and do nothing for a couple years, I thought," says Hardin.

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6:09pm

Sat April 11, 2015
Latin America

At Summit, All Eyes On Meeting Between Obama And Castro

Originally published on Sat April 11, 2015 9:04 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Presidents Obama and Raul Castro of Cuba shook hands last night before opening ceremonies of the Summit of the Americas in Panama. But the informal meeting between the two men today was the most anticipated moment of the conference.

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4:32pm

Thu April 9, 2015
Politics

Cuban Dissidents, Castro Supporters Throw Fists At Americas Summit

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 10:16 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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3:28am

Thu April 9, 2015
Goats and Soda

She's 66 And Finally Getting Electricity. Bring On The Ice Cream!

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 4:56 pm

Monique Yusizanna Ouz, 66, is going to have electricity for the first time in her life.
Carrie Kahn/NPR

In the village of Tuffet, a rocky 45-minute drive from the closest city along Haiti's southern coast, several men get down to work in Monique Yusizanna Ouz's rural home. They're wiring up her two-room, dirt floor house with a breaker box, an outlet and a light fixture.

She's 66 years old, and for the first time in her life, she's going to have electricity.

Ouz, who has five grandchildren, wants a refrigerator. She wants cold drinks — for herself but also to sell. And she wants ice cream, too.

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4:34pm

Tue March 24, 2015
World

Mexican Drug Lords File Complaint Over Inhumane Prison Conditions

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 6:39 pm

Some of Mexico's most infamous drug traffickers, including El Chapo Guzman and Edgar "La Barbie" Valdez Villarreal, have written a letter to the country's National Human Rights Commission complaining about conditions in the maximum security prison where they are being held.

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4:27pm

Tue March 24, 2015
The Two-Way

Notorious Mexican Criminals Say Prison Conditions Are Inhumane

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 9:13 am

Reproduction of a letter to the National Commission of Human Rights from criminals, drug dealers, murderers and kidnappers in "El Altiplano," Mexico's highest-security prison.
Ronaldo Schemidt AFP/Getty Images

Mexico's National Human Rights Commission is dealing with a new case of alleged violations by federal officials. This complaint, however, comes from the country's most vicious and notorious criminals — more than 100 of them.

Nearly 140 prisoners at Mexico's maximum security prison say they're being housed in unsafe and inhumane conditions.

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7:11am

Sat March 21, 2015
Parallels

Ex-Boxing Champ Steps Back Into Spotlight As A Face Of Addiction

Originally published on Sat March 21, 2015 10:56 am

Julio Cesar Chavez at his home in Tijuana, Mexico.
Carrie Kahn NPR

In Mexico, the problem of drug trafficking is well publicized, but you can't say the same when it comes to the problem of drug addiction.

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5:34am

Tue March 17, 2015
Latin America

In Mexico, A Fight Over Press Freedom

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 7:25 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And a controversy is swelling in Mexico over press freedoms. That's after one of the country's most famous investigative journalists was fired from her radio show. She's known for targeting some of Mexico's top public figures. NPR's Carrie Kahn has more.

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4:25am

Fri March 13, 2015
Parallels

Mexico Takes Out Cartel Heads, But Crime Continues To Climb

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 7:56 am

The alleged leader of the Zetas drug cartel, Omar Trevino Morales, is taken under custody to be presented to the press at the Attorney General Office's hangar at the airport in Mexico City, on March 4. Mexican authorities captured Trevino Wednesday, dealing a blow to the feared gang and giving the embattled government a second major arrest in a week.
Omar Torres AFP/Getty Images

Two of Mexico's most ruthless drug cartels have lost their leaders. In the span of just one week, the Mexican government captured the heads of the Knights Templar and the Zetas trafficking organization. That brings the number of capos taken out by the current administration to 11.

But many analysts believe the spectacular arrests will do little to tackle the country's growing insecurity.

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5:02pm

Thu March 12, 2015
Parallels

Tijuana Cops Turn On Body Cameras And Hope To Turn Off Bribery

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 11:20 am

The 2,100-person Tijuana municipal police force is one of Mexico's largest. It's also the first in the country to employ body cameras for its officers.
Washington Post/Getty Images

Mexican cops have gotten a bad rap. They are known more for taking bribes than fighting crime. One police department in Mexico hopes that body cameras, a high-tech tool gaining popularity in the U.S., will redeem its reputation.

The police chief in the border city of Tijuana says they will show that it's not just bad cops that are the problem; the public plays a big role in corruption, too.

Within days of three Tijuana police officers clipping on the cameras, one recorded an eye-opening traffic stop.

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4:30pm

Wed March 4, 2015
NPR Story

Monarch Butterfly Population Rejuvenated After Last Year's Record Low

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 8:29 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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4:57pm

Sat February 14, 2015
Business

Netflix Streams Its Way To Cuba — Slowly

Originally published on Sat February 14, 2015 6:32 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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5:24pm

Fri January 23, 2015
Latin America

U.S.-Cuba Talks First Step In Long Process Of Restoring Relations

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 9:00 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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4:18pm

Mon January 12, 2015
World

Five Years After Earthquake, Haiti's Recovery Remains Uneven

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 6:20 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

4:12pm

Thu January 8, 2015
World

In Haiti, Time Running Out To Schedule Overdue Elections

Originally published on Fri January 9, 2015 1:34 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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3:34am

Mon January 5, 2015
Latin America

Lacking Internet, Cubans Rely On 'The Package' For Entertainment

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 9:37 am

Young Cubans prepare their sticks to charge the latest internet "package" with films, television series, software and other similar stuff from foreign origin downloaded from the web.
AFP/Getty Images

Cuba has promised its citizens better Internet access in this New Year. The few Cubans who now manage to get online find it expensive and slow.

Warming ties with the U.S. have stirred hope for improved telecommunications. But until then, many residents have devised an ingenious work-around, or should we say walk-around.

On Havana's Malecon, roaming guitarists play for the crowds resting against the iconic sea wall. In this nightly gathering spot, it's old fashioned interacting. No one is on a cell, no eyes glued to smart phones.

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4:21pm

Tue December 23, 2014
Latin America

Cubans Celebrate The Return Of Three Last Spies

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 6:26 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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5:05am

Mon December 22, 2014
Latin America

Cuba's Jews, Catholics Have Very Different Takes On The U.S. Thaw

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 1:33 pm

A member of the activist group Women in White is arrested during a demonstration to commemorate Human Rights Day in downtown Havana, on Dec. 10. Members of the opposition movement say they feel betrayed by the U.S. decision to restore ties with Cuba's communist regime.
Adalberto Roque AFP/Getty Images

In Havana, two religious communities are celebrating the holiday season but have taken very different approaches to the news that relations between the U.S. and Cuba are warming.

For Jews who belong to Temple Beth Shalom in Havana, their numbers may be small, but size doesn't matter.

On Sunday night, a couple hundred people filled the temple's sanctuary to light six Hanukkah candles, watch teens put on a play, and clap to a group of toddlers dancing to the holiday classic "Eight Little Candles," sung in Ladino, a Judeo-Spanish language.

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7:47am

Sat December 20, 2014
NPR Story

Cubans Blame Their Woes On The U.S. Embargo

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 4:08 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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5:04pm

Fri December 19, 2014
Latin America

Cubans Eager For More Economic Investment

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 6:58 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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7:16am

Mon December 15, 2014
Latin America

Haiti's President Searches For Next Prime Minister

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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4:57am

Mon December 8, 2014
Latin America

Burnt Remains Of Missing Mexican Student Identified; 42 Still Not Found

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 7:44 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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3:34am

Mon December 1, 2014
The Salt

Mexican Chef Serves Up An Authoritative Guide To Her Country's Cuisine

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 9:21 am

With over 700 pages and 600 recipes, Mexico: The Cookbook, attempts to document exhaustively the country's varied regional cuisines. Recipes in the book include (from left): potato and chorizo tacos; divorced eggs with tomatillo sauce; and tikin-xik fish, a grouper dish from the Yucatan Peninsula.
Courtesy of Fiamma Piacentini-Huff and Phaidon

If you want to give your taste buds a gustatory tour of Mexico, then Margarita Carrillo is ready to be your guide.

The Mexican chef and food activist has spent years gathering hundreds of recipes from every region of the country for Mexico: The Cookbook, her new, encyclopedic take on her country's cuisine.

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5:22pm

Wed November 26, 2014
Parallels

Two Men's Efforts To Help Migrants In Mexico End In Their Murders

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 9:29 pm

Two years ago, Honduran Wilson Castro was one of countless migrants trying to make his way to the United States. He decided to stay in Mexico instead and help Adrian Rodriguez Garcia feed other migrants traveling through by train. The two men were murdered recently in Huehuetoca, Mexico.
Carrie Kahn

This is the story of the murder of two aid workers in Mexico. The men fed Central American migrants traveling north through Mexico on a freight train that stopped near their home.

They were critical of both corrupt police, who abused and extorted the migrants, as well as the organized crime gangs that kidnapped and robbed them.

It wasn't hard to find the two men — they were never far from the train tracks — but there were no witnesses to their deaths, and police won't comment about the case. The double homicide didn't even get a mention in the local press.

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