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August 5 & 8: from Dogon country, Mali - Israel - San Salvador - Postville, Iowa

Recording the mask dance,Tereli, Dogon country, Mali. (Photo/Jaap Croese)

Kicked out of the factories and sent back to their farms: why the crackdown on illegal workers is actually hurting Americans.  

Then, the reverse remittance trap. Salvadorans find themselves sending money to their relatives in the U.S.

How Israel's military culture helps make it the startup-company capital of the world.

And from a high plateau in Mali, a trio of Canadians brings healing hands to people who've never seen medical care.


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An encore edition of Dispatches in the summer.

In the Shadow of the Raid

In May, 2008, William Toj was hiding in an Iowa meatlocker when immigration agents caught up with him.

It was the Guatemalan's first day working illegally in the United States. So he did the only thing he could under the circumstances.

He burst into tears.  His job at the Agri-processors meatpacking plant in Postville was over, along with those of nearly 400 other illegal immigrants.  Some had worked there as much as eleven years.

It was the biggest workplace raid the Bush administration had ever conducted.  And targetting of illegal employees inflamed the immigration debate. Now, the Obama adminstration is going after employers, too.

Jesus Xicay poses with a photograph of his niece Lilian Ordóñez in the village of San José Calderas, Guatemala. Prior to Ordóñez's arrest, Xicay had survived thanks to money she sent back from Postville.(Photo/Jennifer Szymaszek)

When journalist Greg Brosnan and his partner heard about the raid, they were researching a film about the impact of the recession on Central American villages, where remittances from the US are often the only source of income.

The film is called In The Shadow Of The Raid, and Greg Brosnan spoke to Rick about it last October from Mexico City...

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Filmmaker Greg Brosnan is the director of the documentary In The Shadow of the Raid, co-produced by Jennifer Szymaszek.

Send us your pesos

The global recession Greg Brosnan looked at in Guatemala is also playing a cruel trick on people in El Salvador.

Time was they too relied on cash remittances from family members  working in the US. But this year they find themselves being asked to send money to their unemployed relatives in places like California.

It's a big problem for a small country when a lot of its people live somewhere else. And one they never thought they'd face, as Canadian journalist Dominique Jarry-Shore discovers in El Salvador's capital.

Dominique's dispatch...

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To the moon, Rick!

Rick confesses he was crushed -- crushed! -- when he heard this year that the US is getting out of the man-on-the-moon business.

Rick's essay....

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Healing Dogon country

Here's something you may not know: eleven years ago, one of the poorest countries in the world came to Canada's aid.

That was the year of the ice storm.  And a small group of people in the African state of Mali raised sixty-five dollars for the relief effort in rural Quebec.

Call it payback.  Some years earlier, Canadians had sent help to them after a bad flood in Mali.

All these years later, Dispatches contributor Alexa Dvorson went trekking among the Dogon people of Mali's remote Bandiagara escarpment, and found the wheel has turned again.

Alexa's documentary...

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A postscript to that story; Tyler Belgrave has since formed a partnership with SOS Children's Villages, and is raising funds to build a medical clinic and train medical staff in Mali's Dogon region.

Israeli tech takes off

If Dan Senor has it right, conflict is good for business. At least in Israel.

After all, Israel has what he calls "the highest density of start-up (companies) in the world."

Out of frequent clashes with its neighbours has come a military culture with technology that's contributed to thousands of new  businesses, all searching for markets.

According to a new book, Start-Up Nation, "Israel represents the greatest concentration of innovation and entrepreneurship in the world today."

Arguing and yelling helped too, says co-author Dan Senor, and last November, he joined Rick from New York.

Rick's conversation with Dan...

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Dan Senor reading an excerpt from the book....

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Dan Senor is the co-author of Start-Up Nation, written with Saul Singer. It's published in Canada by McClelland and Stewart.

This program is the work of producers Dawna Dingwall, Alison Masemann and Steve McNally with technical producer Victor Johnston, senior producer Alan Guettel, and Rick Macinnes-Rae.

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