Manila | Facing the Forests. Can community land management save forests and fight climate change?
By: Dorian Merina | May 1, 2011


MANILA - Deforestation destroys some 1 million hectares of forest in Southeast Asia each year. It also accounts for about 20 percent of global greenhouse emissions. The Dumagats of the Central Philippines are some of the 1.6 billion people of the world that depend directly on forests for their livelihood. The story of their struggle to protect their forest home shows the hidden side of poverty in the global fight against.... Read More

Rise in border apprehensions shifts to South Texas
By: Dorian Merina | Take Two | February 4th, 2014


While apprehension rates along the US-Mexico border remain the lowest in decades, new numbers released by the U.S. Border patrol show that there’s a significant shift in where border crossers are headed and where they're coming from. In Texas’ Rio Grande Valley the number of apprehensions has tripled since 2010, straining resources and revealing a troubling trend: a rising number of unaccompanied children from conflict zones in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. "The murder rates have really exploded, especially in Honduras," said Melissa del Bosque, reporter with the Texas Observer, who also writes the blog La Línea. According to new figures released by U.S. Border Patrol at the end of January, apprehensions in the Rio Grande.... Read More

Understaffed immigration judges face rise of migrant cases
By Leslie Berestein Rojas and Dorian Merina | Take Two | August 29th, 2014




The nation's immigration courts face an unprecedented backlog, with more than 375,000 pending cases working their way through a strained system. At hearings, immigrants often share details of harrowing journeys or stories of persecution in their home country. Government prosecutors seek to make the case for who should be deported while immigration attorneys fight to keep their clients here. Ultimately, it's up to the judges to determine what the facts of the case are and which immigrant has a lawful, legitimate reason to stay..... Read More ->



Groups Focus on Coral Triangle to Preserve Tuna, The Jakarta Post, Indonesia
By: Dorian Merina, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Life | Tue, November 11 2008

The region that produces nearly 90 percent of the world's tuna catch is under serious threat due to overfishing and deteriorating environmental factors, a group of government officials, business leaders and conservation groups said. The area, known as the Coral Triangle, covers 5.7 million square kilometers and includes the territorial waters of Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands.... Read More

Pornography Bill Stirs Controversy in Indonesia, World Politics Review
By Dorian Merina, Sept. 29, 2008

Close to 16 million Indonesians are expected to leave the country's cities this week in a mass exodus to their hometowns in order to celebrate Idul Fitri and the end of the Ramadan month. But this year, they will be hitting the roads as a broad national debate over a controversial anti-pornography bill continues to rage from the local communities of Bali to the streets of Jakarta. Earlier this month, the government announced that it was close to passing legislation that would monitor not only media, but also behavior -- even conversation -- that is seen to violate "the normative values of society." At the time, Mahfudz Siddiq, chairman of the conservative Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), touted the bill's passage as imminent and promised it as a "Ramadan gift" to.... Read More

Filipino farmworkers' 1965 strike a pivotal moment in California
By Dorian Merina | Take Two | March 28th, 2014

Photo by: Dorian Merina/KPCC

In the new film, "Cesar Chavez," there’s a scene where a group of Filipino farmworkers are attacked in a labor camp in Delano. It’s a brief scene, but a pivotal moment in the United Farm Workers’ movement. It was September 1965 and tensions were rising in the region between established growers and a migrant workforce. Lorraine Agtang was 14 at the time, and remembers working the fields, picking grapes with her family, when the strike began..... Read More