Manuel Rueda

Manuel Rueda is a freelance journalist based in Bogota, Colombia where he has been living for the past five years. Manuel has covered the peace deal between Colombia's government and the FARC rebels, Venezuela's political crisis and how Colombia is adapting to the arrival of more than one million Venezuelan migrants. He is a dual citizen of Colombia and Venezuela and always ready to travel. Last year he also produced stories in Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru and Brazil.  

US dollars are now commonly used by businesses in Venezuela. The informal adoption of the dollar has helped to decrease inflation and product shortages.

Venezuela’s public sector workers take on multiple side jobs just to get by

To supplement their meager wages, many government workers in Venezuela are turning to side hustles that include driving taxis, baking cakes, selling clothes or taking care of pets. And that’s having an impact on the quality of public services.

Venezuela’s public sector workers take on multiple side jobs just to get by
Group of people at night sitting on motorized wheelchairs

Wheelchair tours show Colombia’s Medellín from a different perspective

Wheelchair tours show Colombia’s Medellín from a different perspective
Large mural of Venezuela that includes the disputed Essequibo region

A border dispute between Venezuela and Guyana could intensify as Maduro aims for reelection

A border dispute between Venezuela and Guyana could intensify as Maduro aims for reelection
Tourists stroll down a street that is packed with bars and restaurants, in Medellin's Provenza neighborhood.

Medellín was one of the world’s most dangerous cities. Now, it's trying to grapple with an influx of tourists.

Medellín was one of the world’s most dangerous cities. Now, it's trying to grapple with an influx of tourists.
people in line with signs

Victims of Guatemalan military seek justice for war crimes 

Victims of Guatemalan military seek justice for war crimes 
sidewalk

Colombian activists try to shame city government into fixing broken sidewalks — by painting them pink

In Colombia's capital city Bogotá, pedestrians need to watch out for loose slabs of pavement they can trip over, or wobbly tiles that get their feet wet or splash dirty water on their pants. But some activists have started trying to shame the city into making repairs more quickly by covering the broken spots with pink paint and black Xs. 

Colombian activists try to shame city government into fixing broken sidewalks — by painting them pink
protest

Colombia starts ceasefire with nation's oldest rebel group 

A six-month ceasefire between the Colombian government and the rebel group known as the National Liberation Army began this month. Support for the truce, and ongoing peace talks, could depend on whether the group ceases attacks on civilians that include kidnappings and extortion. 

Colombia starts ceasefire with nation's oldest rebel group 
A fully-covered man riding a motorbike in the street at night

New banking services tackle barriers faced by migrants

Some startups throughout the Americas are establishing loans geared towards migrants. Among them is Galgo, which helps migrants buy motorbikes in order to earn money with delivery apps like Uber Eats.

New banking services tackle barriers faced by migrants
people lined up

Colombian searchers reveal new details on the rescue of four children who survived plane crash in the Amazon 

Colombia’s president awarded medals to members of the search party that found the four Indigenous children in one of the world’s toughest terrains.

Colombian searchers reveal new details on the rescue of four children who survived plane crash in the Amazon 
A police officer searches and checks the documents of a man living in the Kiwanis Community, during a preventive patrol in search of gang members in Soyapango, El Salvador, Aug. 16, 2022, amid a state of exception.

El Salvador imprisons dozens of foreign visitors in crackdown on crime

In El Salvador, thousands of people have been imprisoned over the past 15 months, including dozens of international visitors, as the government tries to stop gang violence through a law known as the “state of exception.”

El Salvador imprisons dozens of foreign visitors in crackdown on crime
The CAFEMIN shelter in Mexico City is designed for 80 people, but it's currently hosting 500, with most of them sleeping on gym mats in the shelter's basketball court.

Shelters for migrants in Mexico City overwhelmed as US changes its asylum rules

Migrants from many countries were previously able to cross the US border on foot and turn themselves in to officials to begin asylum proceedings. But since May 12, it's become much harder, and those turned down are banned from re-entering the US for the next five years. Many are now trying to secure appointments through a US government app, but spaces are limited.

Shelters for migrants in Mexico City overwhelmed as US changes its asylum rules
man with trash

‘We were treated as disposable beings’: Waste pickers in Colombia fought for their rights after 11 murders

The people who collect garbage for recycling organized among themselves to change how they are paid and how they are treated. Today, waste pickers are officially recognized as part of the municipal waste system. 

‘We were treated as disposable beings’: Waste pickers in Colombia fought for their rights after 11 murders
Three families from Afghanistan prepare to board a boat in Necocli, Colombia, that will take them towards the border with Panama.

Afghan families traverse most of Latin America to seek asylum at the US border

The US government changed the rules governing how people can seek asylum at the US-Mexico border last week, as a pandemic-era policy called Title 42 expired. Although it may become more difficult, thousands of people are still making their way from South America to the US border, including migrants from all over the world. Some are making their way through the Darien Gap, a dangerous jungle that separates Colombia and Panama.

Afghan families traverse most of Latin America to seek asylum at the US border
After migrants arrive in Capurgana's harbor, they are loaded on tuk-tuks and taken to the shelter on the edge of town.

Migration across Darién Gap changes Colombian village’s economy

In the small village of Capurgana, at the entrance to the Darién jungle and near Colombia’s border with Panama, hundreds of villagers now work as guides and porters leading migrants across the rainforest.

Migration across Darién Gap changes Colombian village’s economy
A group of Venezuelan migrants begins the grueling three day trek across the Darien Gap, as they leave the Colombian village of Capurgana.

As Title 42 ends, more migrants from South America are crossing the Darién jungle en route to US

In Capurgana, a small town on the southern edge of the Darién Gap in Colombia, about 300 people are arriving each day to make the grueling trek across the jungle, which lasts three to four days.  

As Title 42 ends, more migrants from South America are crossing the Darién jungle en route to US