Jan-Albert Hootsen, America Magazine

Jan-Albert Hootsen

America Magazine


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Past articles by Jan-Albert:

Ill-prepared for Covid-19, Mexico City prisons continue to allow visitors

At each of Mexico City’s 13 prisons, hundreds of people are still admitted each visiting day to see their imprisoned family members. For the inmates, they are a vital lifeline. → Read More

Fear and uncertainty haunt Mexico’s monarch butterfly reserve after activists’ murder

A shadow hangs over El Rosario where each year millions of monarch butterflies alight on the reserve's fir trees. Two local protectors of Mexico's monarch preserve have been killed, and so far, no one can say what happened to them. → Read More

Workers at Catholic migrant shelters in Mexico say intimidation by authorities is increasing

The increased attention by Mexican police and armed forces is encouraging undocumented migrants to avoid shelters, many of which are run by the Catholic Church here, and to follow more dangerous routes through Mexico, aid workers warn. → Read More

As violence in Mexico continues to rise, can a new National Guard help?

According to the federal government, at least 8,493 people were killed during the first three months of this year. If this trend continues, the year will end with approximately 35,000 murders in Mexico—more than the already record-breaking 34,202 homicide victims of last year. → Read More

What’s in your cup of coffee? Capeltic, a Chiapas-based cooperative, is serving up dignity

Bringing their product from field to coffee bar through these fair trade networks means coffee growers in one of the poorest areas in Mexico are less vulnerable to volatile commodity market price shifts. → Read More

Mexico stays neutral in Venezuela crisis, calls for international summit

Mexico's call for a summit is the latest twist in a crisis that continues to divide the world after Venezuela’s embattled socialist president, Nicolás Maduro, was sworn in for a second term. → Read More

In an overcrowded Tijuana shelter, asylum seekers from Central America begin a long wait

Thousands of caravan migrants now wait in tents at the Benito Juárez Sports Complex in Tijuana, unsure if they will ever be allowed to enter the United States. → Read More

With help from people and the church in Mexico, refugee caravan pushes on

Many members of the caravan say that the generosity of Mexican citizens helps them keep moving to their destination, the U.S. border still some 1,500 miles to the north. → Read More

Graveyard mass honors Mexican women who pursued truth about drug war victims

The women seeking justice for vanished loved ones in Veracruz, Mexico, won the Notre Dame award for human rights. University President John I. Jenkins co-celebrated a Mass near the unmarked graves of drug war victims. → Read More

A Nicaraguan priest warns of further persecution of the church

Even hardened by weeks of bloodshed on the streets around his parish, the Rev. Edwin Román Calderón was not prepared for what he saw on June 2. Junior Gaitán, 15, was carried into his small church in Masaya, a small city about 20 miles south of Nicaragua’s capital, Managua. He was bleeding heavily. → Read More

Mexican church anticipates ‘cordial’ relations with incoming President López Obrador

Mr. López Obrador’s political platform is decidedly secular and nationalistic. As president he intends to place a heavy emphasis on combating corruption, which he and his political allies believe to be the root cause of the criminal violence, poverty and inequality that plague the country. → Read More

The Catholic Church in Nicaragua suspends peace talks as the political crisis deepens

Nicaragua’s political crisis is in its second month, and President Daniel Ortega’s soft authoritarianism has turned into violent repression. → Read More

Political violence is disrupting Mexico’s elections

At least 102 candidates and political workers have been murdered since September. → Read More

The church in Mexico urges Catholics to vote but endorses no candidates

As consequential as the next Mexican election may be, the Catholic Church in Mexico has largely remained on the sidelines so far. → Read More

Warnings—but little evidence—of Russian meddling in Mexican elections

Opponents say that leftist firebrand Andrés Manuel López Obrador is Putin’s favored candidate; he is brushing off the accusations of Russian interference in Mexico. → Read More

Church in Chiapas asks for help as violence displaces thousands of indigenous farmers

Approximately 5,000 indigenous Tzotzil Mayans have been scattered in small refugee camps in the area surrounding the town of Chalchihuitán, in Mexico’s southernmost state of Chiapas. They say they were chased out of their homes by unknown gunmen after the escalation of an old land dispute. → Read More

As Mexico’s army moves against drug lords, Catholic groups fear impact on human rights

A new law will formalize the military's role in fighting organized crime, but many would prefer strengthening Mexico’s poorly trained and underpaid police forces. → Read More

Mexico still assessing earthquake damage to hundreds of churches

Two months after a pair of major earthquakes, parishioners in Mexican towns fear the loss not only of church buildings, but also priceless works of art. → Read More

Independent candidates threaten to break grip of Mexico’s parties in next election

Next year’s Mexican election will host a broader and more diverse group of presidential hopefuls than ever before. → Read More

Jesuit groups call Trump’s border wall a distraction as migrants suffer

Poverty and criminal violence are pushing hundreds of thousands of people northward while escalated deportations are tearing families apart in the United States. → Read More