RE: Latin American Tamales
By what I have tasted and seen, mostly from different people from Central and South America hear at work. It's just a variation of the same basic food. The difference in the regional verieties is the stuffing and what they are wraped in. I've noticed that Mexican tamales are most always pork, chicken or cheese wrapped in corn husks while the others were a mixture of meat and vegetables or even some fruit wrapped in bannana leaves, both with a corn masa exterior. The only constant was that they were both steamed. That is just from personal observation. Southern tamales I would have no idea.
You got me curious about Southern/Mississippi Tamales so I went looking for information. As near as I can tell they were brought to Mississippi by the Texan migrant workers and picked up by southern field hands. The only difference I could find was that they were made with corn meal instead of masa which gives them a courser texture.