Jason Beaubien

Jason Beaubien is NPR's Global Health and Development Correspondent on the Science Desk.

In this role, he reports on a range of health issues across the world including the mobilization of massive circumcision drives in Kenya; how Botswana, with one of the highest rates of HIV in the world, has managed to provide free, life-saving drugs to almost all who need them; and why Brazil's once model HIV/AIDS program is seen in decline.

Prior to moving into this assignment in 2012, Beaubien spent four years a NPR foreign correspondent covering Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. From his base in Mexico City, Beaubien filed stories on politics in Cuba, hurricanes in Haiti, the FMLN victory in El Salvador, the world's richest man and Mexico's brutal drug war.

For his first multi-part series as the Mexico City correspondent, Beaubien drove the length of the U.S./Mexico border making a point to touch his toes in both oceans. The stories chronicled the economic, social and political changes along the violent frontier.

In 2002, Beaubien joined NPR after volunteering to cover a coup attempt in the Ivory Coast. Over the next four years, Beaubien worked as a foreign correspondent in sub-Saharan Africa, visiting 27 countries on the continent. His reporting ranged from poverty on the world's poorest continent, the HIV in the epicenter of the epidemic, and the all-night a cappella contests in South Africa, to Afro-pop stars in Nigeria and a trial of white mercenaries in Equatorial Guinea.

During this time, he covered the famines and wars of Africa, as well as the inspiring preachers and Nobel laureates. Beaubien was one of the first journalists to report on the huge exodus of people out of Sudan's Darfur region into Chad, as villagers fled some of the initial attacks by the Janjawid. He reported extensively on the steady deterioration of Zimbabwe and still has a collection of worthless Zimbabwean currency.

In 2006, Beaubien was awarded a Knight-Wallace fellowship at the University of Michigan to study the relationship between the developed and the developing world.

Beaubien grew up in Maine, started his radio career as an intern at NPR Member Station KQED in San Francisco and worked at WBUR in Boston before joining NPR.


Latin America
12:01 am
Thu July 21, 2011

At Border, Teacher Becomes Unwitting Drug Smuggler

Ana Isela Martinez Amaya, a teacher at an El Paso school, spent more than a month in a Juarez jail after Mexican police found drugs in her car at the Mexico-U.S. border crossing. But FBI agents uncovered a complex drug operation that involved tracking Ford cars and copying their keys. Their investigation ultimately led to charges against Martinez being dropped.
Jesus Alcazar AFP/Getty Images

For Ana Isela Martinez Amaya, May 26 began like any other school morning.

Martinez got up at 5:45 a.m. and got her 6-year-old daughter ready for school. At 6:30, the two of them left their house in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, in a tan 2003 Ford Focus. They headed toward the Stanton Street Bridge crossing into Texas.

Martinez is a teacher at a bilingual charter school in El Paso. She had just been named the Teacher of the Year at her school.

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Reporter's Notebook
7:24 am
Sun July 10, 2011

Fear, God And Family Pervade Migrants' Journey

Migrants ride on top of a northern bound train toward the U.S.-Mexico border in Oaxaca, southern Mexico, in March. Migrants crossing Mexico to get to the U.S. have increasingly become targets of criminal gangs who kidnap them to obtain ransom money.
Eduardo Verdugo AP

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:40 am

The number of migrants from Central America and Mexico who are trying to cross illegally into the United States has dropped dramatically over the last few years, in part because the trip has become incredibly dangerous. NPR's Jason Beaubien recently traveled along much of the migrant trail in Mexico. He sent this reporter's notebook.

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Reporter's Notebook
4:06 pm
Fri July 8, 2011

Dreams And Danger: Notes From The Migrant Trail

NPR reporter Jason Beaubien walks on railroad tracks while reporting a story about the dangers that face Central American migrants in Tenosique, Tabasco, Mexico.
David Rochkind for NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:40 am

NPR's Jason Beaubien has traveled from Central America through Mexico in recent weeks, following a route that many migrants take trying to reach the U.S. It's a journey that has grown increasingly dangerous as some of Mexico's most brutal drug cartels strengthen their control over the smuggling and extortion of migrants. He sent these reflections from the migrant trail.

Flores, Guatemala

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Latin America
12:46 pm
Fri July 8, 2011

Brutal Cartels Make Crossing U.S. Border Even Riskier

Undocumented Mexican immigrants walk through the Sonoran Desert after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Migrants attempting to cross are at risk of being kidnapped, extorted or even killed by drug gangs.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 20, 2011 3:52 pm

Last in a three-part series.

For many migrants trying to reach the U.S. from Mexico, the border region is a terrifying, lawless place, and their fear is often justified. Things are so bad in Matamoros, a border city just across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas, that last month the city's police were stripped of their weapons, ordered off the streets and replaced by soldiers.

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Latin America
12:06 pm
Thu July 7, 2011

Drug Cartels Prey On Migrants Crossing Mexico

Mexican soldiers have taken control of the police department in downtown Matamoros, in the border state of Tamaulipas.
Jason Beaubien NPR

Second in a three-part series.

If there's one place that has come to illustrate the perils confronting the hundreds of thousands of migrants crossing Mexico in an attempt to reach the United States, it's San Fernando in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas.

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