A newsstand owner counts Argentine pesos in Buenos Aires. Many Argentines carry large amounts of cash, saying they do not trust banks. This has contributed to a surge in robberies. Leo La Valle/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Leo La Valle/AFP/Getty Images

A man smokes marijuana outside Uruguay's parliament in Montevideo on Wednesday, where lawmakers in the lower house debated and passed a bill that would legalize marijuana and regulate its production and distribution. Matilde Campodonico/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Matilde Campodonico/AP

Images from posters made by relatives show 10 of the 12 young people kidnapped in broad daylight from a bar in Mexico City on May 26. No one has claimed responsibility for the brazen abduction. Marco Ugarte/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Marco Ugarte/AP

Colombian army soldiers patrol the Loma de Cristo—bal neighborhood after warring gangs forced dozens of families to flee. Medellin used to be the most dangerous city in the world but officials embarked on innovative projects designed to make life better in tough neighborhoods. Paul Smith for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Paul Smith for NPR

Eloisa Barrios visits the humble graves of nine male family members in the Guanayen cemetery. She says all nine were killed by the police, in what was a vendetta against her family. Recently, a 10th member of the family was stabbed to death. He was 17. Meridith Kohut for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Meridith Kohut for NPR

Isabel Narvaez, in El Placer, says she is still traumatized by the rape she suffered. The small hamlet in Colombia is just one place where women were victims of violent crimes during the civil conflict. Paul Smith for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Paul Smith for NPR