Earlier this month, Mexican soldiers stack bails of marijuana -- 134 tons of it -- to be burned near the city of Tijuana. Many people in the Mexican border town do not believe that legalizing recreational marijuana use in California will change the level of violence driven by Mexico's drug trade. Francisco Vega/Getty Images hide caption

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Haitians sit  in front of the fence surrounding the crumbling presidential palace in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in August. Nine months have passed since a devastating earthquake killed more than 200,000 people, left 1.5 million homeless and destroyed much of the capital. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

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Relatives of Edelmiro Cavazos, mayor of Santiago, stand next to his coffin at his funeral in Santiago, Mexico, on Aug. 19. Cavazos was abducted, tortured and then murdered, allegedly by some of his own police officers. He is one of 11 Mexican mayors killed this year. Dario Leon/AFP hide caption

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Eight months after the earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince on Jan. 12, the Presidential Palace stands, half-collapsed, as a symbol of how slow and difficult the reconstruction effort is proving to be. It will be a major problem facing Haiti's next president. Campaigning for the election, scheduled for Nov. 28, is under way. Valentina Pasquali for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Valentina Pasquali for NPR

Diana Kennedy was awarded the highest order given by the Mexican government to foreigners, the Order of the Aztec Eagle, for her work in exploring Mexican culture through food. Courtesy of University of Texas Press hide caption

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Some sights in Port-au-Prince have changed in the eight months that have passed since the earthquake. Billboards advertising mobile phones, home appliances and Delta Air Lines tower over a sprawling tent camp near Haiti’s international airport and stand in stark contrast to the meager lives of the camp’s dispossessed residents. Courtesy of Valentina Pasquali hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Valentina Pasquali

Protesters shout slogans against Mexican President Felipe Calderon in front of the National Congress where the president delivers his annual address in Mexico City,  Sept. 2. Recent opinion polls confirm that the majority of Mexicans feel that their country is worse now than it was when Calderon took over in 2006. Luis Acosta/Getty Images hide caption

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Edgar Valdez Villarreal at the Mexican federal police headquarters in Mexico City on Aug. 31. Alfredo Estrella/Getty Images hide caption

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A migrant from Honduras waits for a train during his journey toward the U.S.-Mexico border on the outskirts of Mexico City. Marco Ugarte/AP hide caption

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A group of people kidnapped by alleged drug traffickers as they were rescued by members of the Mexican army in Sabinas Hidalgo, north of Monterrey, on April 27. Sixteen people, including a woman and a 2-year-old girl, were rescued during the operation. Dario Leon/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Police officers patrol a street in Torreon, in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila, on July 19 after gunmen interrupted a party there, killing 17 people and injuring at least 18. Ramon Sotomayor/AP hide caption

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Acapulco, Mexico's celebrated coastal resort, was once a destination for Hollywood stars, but now struggles to attract foreign tourists frightened by drug-related violence. Jason Beaubien/NPR hide caption

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A Toyota Sienna minivan has been bulletproofed in a Mexico City shop that retrofits vehicles with armor. The glass in the door window is considerably thicker than in regular car windows. Jason Beaubien/NPR hide caption

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A military police officer patrols at the scene of a murder in Juarez, Mexico, in March. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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