About the author:

Photo of Billy Shields.

Billy Shields spent most of his seven-year career in journalism as a newspaper reporter in Latin America and the Caribbean. He filed general assignments in Mexico for The Guadalajara Colony Reporter, covered crime for The Virgin Islands Daily News and wrote for The Associated Press.

In 2003 he was on a team of writers at the Daily News that won the Associated Press Managing Editors Award for Public Service, after the newspaper exposed flagrant instances of government largesse in the territory.

In addition to his native English he speaks both Spanish and Portuguese. His work and research have taken him to seven countries and territories in the Americas including Brazil, Argentina and Cuba.

Currently he is working on a master's degree at the University of Florida in Journalism and Latin American Studies. He graduated from Kenyon College in 1997 and is a native of Richmond, Va.