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On May 23 FIU experts will report on The New Face of Central American Gangs: MS-13 and the Gang Phenomenon in El Salvador at FIU-DC. LACC Research Director Jose Miguel Cruz and JGI Research Scientist Jonathan Rosen present results of their survey of nearly 1,200 youth gang members and former members. FIU's Pres. Rosenberg will introduce the panel, joined by moderator Frank Mora, and Cynthia Arnson (Woodrow Wilson Center) and Desmond Arias (George Mason University) will act as discussants.

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Professor Nick Andre and FIU alumna Nyya Toussaint have created the first Haitian Creole course for the language-learning platform, Duolingo. The platform, also accessible via app, includes a language proficiency assessment. This Haitian Creole course was developed with the support of Toussaint’s US Department of Education FLAS Fellowship award. It will soon be available in all of Duolingo’s platforms free of charge. Click on title to read more.

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Jorge Esquirol, FIU Law professor and LACC affiliated faculty member, teaches, publishes and lectures in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. Over the past year alone, he has lectured in the US, Germany, Colombia, Thailand, Brazil, Uruguay, Italy and South Africa. Esquirol's focus is broad, earning him renown for his ability to present comparative scenarios for each audience. Specialties? International, comparative and commercial law. Congratulations to a LACC member making global impact!

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Citing LACC's support of K-12 Portuguese language and culture programs at FIU and in Miami Dade County Public Schools, on Saturday, May 6th, the American Organization of Teachers of Portuguese (AOTP) Florida Chapter presented the 2017 award to LACC Director Frank Mora. The award is in recognition of "the passion and commitment for education, inclusiveness and diversity."

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On April 25, Dr. Jean Rahier inaugurated a collection of his work in a ceremony at the Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar, Quito. The material is part of his research carried out in Afro-Ecuadorian communities between 1984 and 2003 on festivals, cultural practices and issues related to racism and discrimination. The new collection is the major repository of Afrodescendants in the Andean region. The donation took place within the framework of the MOU signed between FIU and the UASB in 2015.

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Dr. Bianca Premo announced the first phase of FIU's History Dept. project that visualizes via online mapping the multiple power structures people navigated during colonial times. The overlapping jurisdictions of church, crown, guild, and villages made for a life far more complex than perceived by traditional observation of a one-dimensional map of a Spanish viceroyalty. The project is spearheaded by PhD candidates, post-docs and faculty from the History Department.

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On April 23, Jose Miguel Cruz appeared on C-Span as the expert consultant on Steve Scully's Sunday morning show that discussed transnational gangs. His take: the gang MS-13 of teens has been forced to start over again after last administration abolished them on both coasts and is far more dangerous in Central America. The interview took place after Attorney General Sessions cited the gang's role in the Trump administration's immigration policies.

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Nicolas Lemay-Hébert’s research is on post-earthquake Haiti and the political economy of interventions, local narratives of resistance to interventions, and peacebuilding and state building issues. Multiple stays in Haiti led to in-depth knowledge of the toll cholera —absent until UN Peace Forces arrived— has wreaked on the poorer Haitian population. Following the long overdue apology from the UN in 12/2016, Nick and his team are currently advocating for the material retribution to victims.

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In 2016-2017 Professor Jorge Esquirol of FIU's College of Law published books, chapters and law articles on comparative property law and the internationalization of Latin America's judicial systems. The works were published in Portuguese, Spanish and Italian by prestigious legal journals and publishing houses. Esquirol has a S.J.D. from Harvard Law School, focusing on Latin American legal systems and teaches international law, comparative law and commercial law at FIU.

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FIU’s LACC, CRI and Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management joined researchers from the Brookings Institution and St. Thomas University in January to present findings from the LACC/Brookings publication on Cuba's tourism industry. Under discussion: policy options for Cuba’s tourism industry, the U.S. role in its future expansion, and the potential impact of the Trump administration. The event was aired in its entirety this week on C-SPAN.

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