A woman holds an infant.

Americas Now

Colombia - Fragile X Syndrome (Michelle Begue) - For decades a small rural town in Colombia developed a reputation for having offbeat citizens who exhibited strange behavior. They became the focus of a scientific study that revealed they were actually victims of a gene mutation. It's called Fragile X. And it's a leading cause of physical, social and intellectual abnormalities. Correspondent Michelle Begue travelled to the town of Ricaurte to bring us this report. Game Changer - Lorena Nieva Teaching Dance to Disable (Anne Laurent) - In Mexico, a dance instructor is giving people with disabilities an opportunity to shine. Lorena Nieva is a ballerina and student of psychology. She combined her two passions to push them and rethink their limitations, by breaking with the strictness of ballet and focusing more on her students' needs. She's achieved great results both "in and out" of the studio. Lorena is this week's Game Changer. Urban Voices - NY - The Architect (Joe) - According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were more than 55 million Latinos living in the United States as of 2016. Back in 1980, that number was under 15 million. Our Urban Voice was born in Latin America and has lived in the U.S. for decades. He re-located to New York City to seek success in a profession the town is famous for - architecture. Today he's the head of a leading firm in the city and helping enhance the skyline with his sleek and often slender structures. Our Urban Voice is architect Ismael Leyva.

Americas Now is a production of CGTN, a global broadcaster that receives funding from the government of China.

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Americas Now

Mexico - Smuggled Arms (Mike Kirsch) - The gun laws in Mexico are among the toughest in the world. There's only one gun store in the entire country which is run by the military. But every year 250-thousand firearms are being sold on the black market. As Correspondent Mike Kirsch reports from Mexico City they're being smuggled into the hands of criminal organizations by an unknown third-party from the United States. Belize - Endangered Reef (John Zarrella) - One of the world's great treasures lies just off the coast of the Central America the nation of Belize.

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Americas Now

Colombia - Microfinances (Michelle Begue) - According to Colombia's National Statistics Department, 12.4 million people were living below the poverty line in Colombia in 2017. That translates into living on less than 88 dollars a month. For many of those residents dreams of having their own business seem impossible. But some industrious women, with some innovative ideas, have found support in the form of a financial service. And it's helping produce a long-term change in their lives. Correspondent Michelle Begue has the story from Bogota.

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Americas Now

Chile - Surviving the Andes (Joe) - On October 13th, 1972 a plane carrying a rugby team from Uruguay crashed in the Andes Mountains on its way to Chile. Initially, 33 people survived (but many perished in the days that followed). For the next two months those who remained endured below freezing temperatures and high altitude waiting for help. It never came. The story became famous because the passengers resorted to cannibalism to survive. On the 45th anniversary of their rescue, Americas Now presents an interview with passenger turned life-saving doctor Roberto Canessa.

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Ecuador - Venezuela Exodus (Harris Whitbeck) - South America is experiencing its largest mass migration in recent history. Tens of thousands of Venezuelans are fleeing the economic hardship and political instability in their country...arriving at the borders of neighboring countries each day. Peru, Colombia, Argentina and Brazil are all coping with intense pressure from the influx. Correspondent Harris Whitbeck reports from Ecuador, another country feeling the strain of the crisis -- and one that's already seen its share of mass migrations.

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Americas Now

Belize - Millennial Nation (John Zarrella) - When violence is a serious problem in a community, it often prevents young people from experiencing growth. It's a problem that is prevalent throughout the Caribbean, particularly in Belize. This nation that sits on the east coast of Central America only became independent thirty-six years ago. The vast majority of its citizens are under the age of thirty. In every sense Belize is a millennial nation struggling to find its footing.

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Brazil - Children of Zika (Lucrecia Franco) - Between 2015 and 2017 some 3000 babies in Brazil were born with a rare condition. Their heads were much smaller than normal and their brains weren't fully developed. Doctors diagnosed those babies with "Microcephaly," a disorder caused by a variety of genetic and environmental factors. And these cases were linked to Zika. Correspondent Lucrecia Franco visited the city of Recife, one of the country's most affected areas in the world for what is now called "Congenital Zika Syndrome", and brought us the story of the Zika Children.

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Americas Now

Witness - Chasing Pablo Escobar ( CP) - In the late 1980's, two DEA agents volunteered to work on a top-secret mission. It ended up taking down the world's wealthiest criminal empire at the time, the Medellin Drug Cartel in Colombia and its leader Pablo Escobar. The story of Javier Pena and Steve Murphy inspired the hit "Netflix" drama "Narcos." Americas Now had the opportunity to sit down with the intrepid investigators to hear their incredible tale.

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Americas Now

Lifeline for Haiti - In recent years -- money sent by Latinos abroad.. .to their families back home -- has grown. In fact...from 20-16 to 20-17...they sent a total of 75-billion dollars...a new record, according to the World Bank. The money...called, remittances reflects the rise of migration across the continent..."two-thirds" of migrants from Latin America -- live in the United States. One of the countries that receives the most -- is Haiti, where the money accounts for almost 35-percent of the GDP.

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Americas Now

Honduras - Child Marriage Ban - According to The World Bank, 15 million girls marry before the age of 18 globally. It's a phenomenon that's common in many poor nations around the world. One of the countries with the highest rates of underage marriage has been Honduras. But in 2017 lawmakers passed a landmark ruling which raised the marital age from 16 to 18. The new law is a big adjustment for Honduras where marrying very young has always been part of the culture. Correspondent Harris Whitbeck takes a look at how difficult banning a practice can be when it's so steeped in tradition.

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