Rich Lord, Len Boselovic and Stephanie Strasburg
Alcoa, the Pittsburgh-based aluminum giant, spent a century extracting bauxite from Suriname, propelling a plantation economy into the industrial age. Alcoa's mining operations brought American and Dutch managers, Creole construction workers, indentured laborers from Indonesia and even a few escaped French convicts to the South American country. Its ships carried bauxite to Japan, Europe, and Alabama. Now Alcoa is exiting Suriname, and as grantees Rich Lord, Len Boselovic and Stephanie Strasburg report in their series, it has plunged the country's economy deep into crisis.
First Brexit. Then Trump. Now Le Pen? Grantee Sarah Wildman, writing for Vox, takes a look at Marine Le Pen, the French elections, and the global impact of populism, nativism and Islamophobia.
Grantee Peter Gwin explains how the Central African Republic, a country blessed with deep reserves of diamonds and gold, forests thick with timber, and rich deposits of uranium and petroleum, remains one of the world's poorest places.