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May 20 & 26: from Juarez - Sarajevo - Bogota - Lima

Soldiers stand guard at a crime scene where the crashed car of a U.S. Consulate employee sits in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. (Associated Press)

Mexico's widening drug war. A CBC/NPR investigation points to collaboration between its biggest cartel, and elements of the Mexican army.

Who owns the thousands of priceless historical artifacts from Peru's Machu Picchu currently residing at Yale? Here's a hint. It's not Peru.

And, new hope in the place they call The Heart of the World. How the Indians of Colombia recovered their mystic mountain.

Mexicos'drug war: The fix is in

    Between Texas and the Mexican border, there's this bridge where you can buy CDs celebrating the drug cartel that controls it, and the cartel that wants to.


A baby-faced ex-con known as Joaquin Guzman, is on a bloody campaign to run the whole show in Mexico.

They call him "El Chapo," which loses some of its swagger when the translation turns out to be "Shorty."

But Shorty is long on violence, and his cartel -- based in the state of Sinaloa -- seems able to use it with relative impunity.

A joint investigation by the CBC and National Public Radio found strong evidence that the Sinaloa Cartel -- the oldest and the richest of Mexico's drug mafias -- is colluding with corrupt elements of the Mexican army.

The Sinaloans also depend on bribes to federal government officials to help Guzman elude capture, expand his empire, and keep his people out of jail.

That story now, from Bruce Livesey at the scene of another cartel skirmish.

Listen to Bruce's dispatch...

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Security breeds insecurity in the Balkans

    Stability and security in the Balkans always bears watching.

The Bosnian war is not that long over.

And a new report says the rise of security companies in the region is a troubling new flashpoint.

Organized crime is now mixing with legitimate agencies in Bosnia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania and Serbia.

And the big question is how big a threat does it pose to the entire European Union?

Some of the answers are in a new report from the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.

It's a coalition of journalistic agencies from across eastern Europe, funded by the U.N. and the U.S.

Drew Sullivan is the Advising Editor.

Listen to Drew Sullivan....

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Peru's ancient groove

    One of the lingering casualties of colonialism is the very history of the countries it touched.

Think of the Elgin Marbles, and ongoing Greek efforts to repatriate them from the walls of the British Museum.

Machu Picchu (CBC)

Should the deals a country was obliged to cut under colonialism be still binding today?

It's the heart of a bitter dispute around 15th-century artifacts from Machu Picchu the stone citadel high in the Andes Mountains of Peru.

Credit for its re-discovery earlier this century actually goes to an American, by the name of Bingham: a Yale man who rode the publicity right into a seat in the U.S. Senate.

Today, there's still an academic argument over the exact purpose of the fabled settlement.

Then there's the legal dispute between Peru and Yale University, which is holding on to thousands of its choice artifacts, as we first heard from Dispatches contributor Andrew Princz in March of 2009.

Listen to Andrew's dispatch...

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Since that piece first aired last year, Peru has dropped the fraud and conspiracy charges in its lawsuit against Yale. The University still says the whole case should be dismissed.

No date has been set for a hearing, but it seems unlikely to be resolved in time for Peru's plans to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of Bingham's discovery, in July of next year.

The sacred Sierra

    After fifty years on the run, the Indians of Colombia have recovered sacred lands, high in the mountains of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

But it's a case of the mystical, meeting the political.

The tribes were run off over the years by drug-runners and paramilitary conflicts and deforestation.

Now, the Colombian government is helping them rebuild.

And helping itself. It's using these settlements to consolidate its own jurisdiction over the area.

For an insight into this curious politic unfolding high in the Colombian mountains, I spoke last year with Sibylla Brodzinsky, a journalist in Bogota who's seen it firsthand.

Listen to Rick interview Sibylla....

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A listener on The Listening Post

    Well, a moment now to reflect on your mail about one of our stories last week.

We received a number of comments after my interview with Richard Gizbert, a TV host with al-Jazeera's English network, which began airing in Canada this month.

The Arabic network is not available.

Not because of regulation, as I erroneously stated.

Listener Ron Cohen points out the CRTC approved it for broadcast back in 2004. And he ought to know.

Cohen chairs the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, dealing with queries and complaints about private broadcasters.

Some broadcasters complain CRTC conditions requiring them to monitor and delete potentially-abusive comments from al-Jazeera Arabic would be too strict and costly.

Nonetheless writes Ron Cohen,

It is interesting that no (satellite or cable company) has seen fit to apply to include Al-Jazeera Arabic on its list of eligible satellite services since 2004, despite the assurance of the Commission that, subject to the.... Conditions of License, it would consider any such applications expeditiously.

Have the (satellite or cable companies) been worried about the possibility of any abusive comment? In any event, the road to carriage has been wide open to them for almost six years.

That from Ron Cohen, chair of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.

Coming Up: Zimbabwe's high cost of living and low price on life

    In Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe and his political opponents have reached a kind of Cold Peace, and runaway inflation has cooled somewhat.

But people still pay a high price for living there.

And it starts in the grocery store as we'll hear from correspondent Laura Lynch.

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Zimbabwe; a high cost of living and a low price on life.

Next week on Dispatches.

This program is the work of producers Dawna Dingwall, Alison Masemann and Steve McNally, intern Eve Caron, technical producers Tim Lorimer and Victor Johnston, senior producer Alan Guettel, and Rick MacInnes-Rae.

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