Did you know undocumented immigrants paid $10.6 billion in state and local taxes in 2010? Or that the percentage of immigrants from Asia now surpasses the percentage of immigrants from Latin America? 10 Immigration myths debunked

Graphics: Jake Turcotte Research: Allison Terry/The Christian Science Monitor

How Latin America is reinventing the war on drugs.

How Latin America is reinventing the war on drugs.


Floods, landslides, and collapsed infrastructure killed at least 66 as of Sunday, with heavy rain to continue through Wednesday. Blogger Tim Muth looks at how El Salvador, one of the worst hit Central American countries, prepared for the rain and the impact it could have on harvests.


Peru’s new president re-vamps counterinsurgency strategy

Peru’s new president has vowed to take a hard line against the country’s Shining Path guerrillas, and appears to have modeled his strategy on Colombia’s counterinsurgency successes.

Within days of taking office, Peru’s President Ollanta Humala called on the country’s armed forces to step up efforts against the Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso). In an Aug. 3 speech to commanders of the Peruvian Armed Forces, Army, Navy, Air Force, and National Police, the president called for a radical shift in strategy in the fight against the rebel group. He singled out the embattled Apruimac and Ene Valley region (VRAE), which is the major hotspot of rebel activity in Peru.

READ: In fight with Shining Path, Peru’s President Humala takes a page from Colombia

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"The Mexican Knights Templar code of conduct appears to be a false appeal to Mexico’s citizens. By promising to stand up for poor and the oppressed, they take a page from the FARC’s book in claiming to fight for economic justice while really cashing in on criminal actions. Their rule to use violence in only certain cases doesn’t stand up to the brutal and seemingly senseless killings that they have committed in the past month."

James Bosworth is a freelance writer and consultant based in Managua, Nicaragua. He is one of the many guest bloggers for the Latin America Monitor blog. His comment was related to a blog he wrote regarding Mexico's newest criminal organization, the Knights Templar. The Mexican Knights Templar issued a “code of conduct” that included moral standards while also justifying the use of lethal force.


(PHOTO: Melanie Stetson-Freeman, Monitor Staff)

US Customs and Border Protection recently released data showing the number of those arrested trying to cross the US-Mexico is down sharply. There were 447,731 undocumented immigrants arrested in fiscal year 2010, reported CNN. That is a 58 percent decrease from fiscal year 2006.

Officials say that the number of agents along the border, which doubled during the same time frame, has played a preventive role.

But it seems that migrants are also weighing the pros of earning American dollars against the real threat that criminals in Mexico will take their lives before they even get the chance.