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WednesdayAugust 18, 2010

Latino Daily News: Bringing You the Latest Hispanic Current Events and News Stories 24/7

To reflect the dynamic interests of our audience, Latino Daily News is an online daily news source and virtual cultural center for and about Latinos. We offer the latest news headlines, as well as innovative and insightful Hispanic current events stories, photos, videos, and commentaries from a Latino perspective, 24/7.

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UPDATE: A Peruvian Court today Denied Lori Berenson Parole

UPDATE After serving 14 and ½ years of a 20-year sentence, and being granted release in May, Ms Benson (40) was ordered back to serve out her term.

Ms. Berenson has already returned to the prison with her 15-month-old son.

United States Citizen Lori Berenson was released from Peruvian prison last May after serving 15 of her 20-year sentence. The 40 year old New Yorker was charged with collaborating with the terrorist group, Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement ( MRTA)

The Peruvian Special Prosecutor last week questioned Ms Berenson’s repentance and wants her to comply with the balance of her original sentence. Ms Benson was allowed to make her case to the court. Her statement included: “If my participation contributed to violence in Peru, I deeply regret it and I repent. If I have done harm to the country I regret it, I apologize. To those people who felt they were affected by my words or actions, I beg pardon”, said Berenson addressing the criminal judge.
“I was sentenced for the crime of collaboration with terrorism, I collaborated with MRTA, but I never was a leader or a militant; I never participated in acts of violence, much less blood and have never killed in my life”, added Berenson.

Furthermore “I’m only interested in raising my 15 month child”.

The court will rule within 15 days on whether Benson will remain on parole or need to report back to prison to complete her sentence.

Read more at Merco Press →

Displays of Rear Gear No Longer Banned In Chile

Exhibitionist and mini-skirt mavens are rejoicing in Coquimbo, Chile where mini-skirts showing all your rear gear were recently outlawed for public service employees.  No one, not even Governor Sergio Gahona, thought women would mind in this very conservative Catholic enclave of Chile.  Chilean women stood up, not before pulling down their short skirts, and protested often and loudly.  The ban is now lifted, no pun intended. 

Chile maybe geographically the narrowest country in the world it is no longer the most narrowed minded. 

Read more at Huffington Post →

The Myth About Violence Surging at U.S.-Mexico Border

A surging crime rate and safety concerns at U.S.-Mexico border is one of the most often bantered about reasons for Arizona’s new immigration law and the $600 million Southwest Border bill.  Arizona Senator John McCain views the porous border as the source leading “to violence-the worst I have ever seen.”  Governor Jan Brewer goes on to say “Arizona is now confronted by some of the most vicious and dangerous narco-terror organizations the world has seen.”

Reports, however, are showing the U.S. border as safe and getting safer with no increase in violence on the U.S. side of the border.  A recent FBI report shows border cities, Austin, El Paso, Phoenix and San Diego as having some of the lowest crime rates.  Not surprising other government reports show urban police officers more at risk of death than a Border Patrol agent.  Whereas , a recent poll of 1,200 adults living along the border,  found that a majority, 87%, felt safe living there.

We do know that myths can sway elections and create notoriety for those seeking it at the expense of the truth.

Read more at Alternet →

Sicarios Hieren a Tiros a Tres Agentes Federales en Ciudad Juarez

Una fuente policial dijo a la prensa que la agresión contra los agentes ocurrió cerca del hotel donde se hospedan los federales desplegados en esa urbe.

De acuerdo con el testimonio de uno de los oficiales, los miembros del Departamento de Inteligencia de la PF eran perseguidos por los presuntos sicarios y al intentar resguardarse en el lugar donde están hospedados junto a otros elementos fueron atacados a balazos.

En el lugar de la agresión los peritos encontraron varios casquillos, y tanto el automóvil en el que viajaban los uniformados como el de los delincuentes quedaron en sentido contrario sobre una avenida, una de las más transitadas en esta localidad, constató Efe.

Ciudad Juárez está considerada como la zona más violenta de México por el número de asesinatos atribuidos a cárteles de la droga, que en lo que va de este año suman 1,700.

Read more at Noticias Terra →

HS News Joins Amnesty International: Say No to SB1070

Arizona’s stringent new anti-immigrant law, SB1070, has whipped up a firestorm of controversy - with good reason. The law has the effect of legalizing racial profiling.

The draconian new law requires anyone who the police “reasonably suspect” of being an “illegal immigrant” to produce papers proving they are here legally. If for any reason you don’t show documentation, you’ll be criminally prosecuted for trespassing, jailed and deported.

SB1070 usurps federal jurisdiction on immigration policy and sets a dangerous precedent other states are already looking to follow.

Say NO to Arizona SB1070.

Urge Congress to craft a fair and humane immigration policy that respects human rights. The Arizona law is an assault on the very notion of human rights. It turns the state’s Latinos and anyone else who fits a police officer’s idea of what an “illegal immigrant” looks like into criminal suspects.

Amnesty has outlined core reform principles at this critical juncture in the immigration debate. Stand with us in championing the following:
• Provide a formal process by which undocumented people can obtain legal status.
• Reform immigration policies that unnecessarily separate families.
• Protect the rights of immigrants most at risk including undocumented immigrants, immigrant women and immigrant children.

Anti-immigrant forces are emboldened; they want other states to enact similar legislation, and they’re thirsty for an even bigger victory - sweeping, get-tough federal enforcement legislation.
We must act swiftly to balance the scales of justice.

While a federal judge recently prevented portions of the Arizona law from going into effect immediately, this action is only temporary. SB1070 is simply “on hold” and could become law in the very near future.

Please speak out against Arizona SB1070 by urging Congress to fix our broken immigration system



Read more by HS News Staff →

Guatemalans March on Capital

Thousands of Guatemalan Indians marched through the streets of the capital Tuesday to bring attention to their demands. They are demanding approval of a Comprehensive Rural Development Law by President Alvaro Colom and Congress. To draw attention to a law they have been requesting for several years that they believe would help alleviate some of the poverty in the countryside. The Indians staged sit-ins at Congress and on the Plaza de la Constitucion.

“They have no will. It’s something that doesn’t interest them,” Juan Tiney, the head of the National Indigenous and Peasant Coordinator, said.  The Colom administration “is willing to attend to” the peasants’ demands, but it insists that to do that it needs resources it does not currently have.  Guatemalan government figures estimate Indians comprise 42% of the overall countries population and 70% of them live in poverty.

Read more at Latin American Herald Tribune →

Panama Canal- Site of Multi-National Military Exercise

PANAMAX 2010, one of the largest multinational training exercises in the world is underway. With military personnel from 18 countries participating and more than 2000 civilians, the task force will respond to scenarios from terrorism threats to disaster relief. The exercise will enhance the cooperation of the various nations ground, naval, air and Special Forces and ability to respond to a major threat to the Panama Canal.

Sponsored by the US Southern Command and the Government of Panama, nations participating in PANAMAX 2010 include: Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, United States and Uruguay.

“This year’s exercise simulates a “terrorist organization” attack against the Panama Canal plus the control of several countries of the area with the purpose of destabilizing the global economy,” said Jesus Rodriguez Panamanian coordinator of the PANAMAX 2010. Panama will make a request to the United Nations Security Council who in turn instructs the US to lead a multinational force to assure that the canal remains open for military access as well as shipping traffic as part of the exercise.

“We have seen the great activity of the drugs cartels in the region and along the Panamanian coastline, which is closely connected to terrorism and the weapons trade. Drugs have become synonymous of terrorism”, said Rodríguez.

The Panama Canal opened in 1914 and almost one million vessels have used the canal. It is estimated that 5% of the world’s trade uses the canal generating 800 million US dollars for the Panamanian treasury.

Read more at Merco Press →

Agreement over U.S. Access to Colombian Bases Declared Unconstitutional

A deal crafted last year giving U.S. military personnel more access to Colombian military bases was deemed unconstitutional by the country’s Supreme Court.  Last year the government of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe struck a deal with Washington to allow U.S. personnel onto military bases where the U.S. did not have a presence.  This accord involved seven military bases and garnered a lot of criticism from other Latin American country’s including Bolivia, Brazil and Venezuela fearful of the U.S. imposing on their sovereignty.  The accord was not approved by Congress the reason it was struck down by the court.

The deal was crafted by the current President Juan Manuel Santos when he was the country’s defense minister in order to “improve our ability to combat drug-trafficking and terrorism”.  The accord’s original intent was to secure more U.S. know-how to combat leftist guerrillas in the country and improve anti-drug trafficking campaigns.  It did not call for additional U.S. military personnel to come into the country but rather to have the 1,400 already present have access to other military bases. 

The Colombian government can go before Congress and seek approval so that the accord can go into effect.  However, it remains a controversial ask in the eyes of many Colombian legislators who prefer to have the country manage their own problems without U.S. influence.


Read more at Guardian UK →

Bolivian Miners Blockade and Hunger Strike Ends on 19th Day

TODAY: On the 19th day of striking Bolivian miners reached an accord with government officials.  Strikers, that included the region’s Governor and local Mayor, met with representatives of President Evo Morales and reached several accords most importantly the government agreed to give “priority” to building a local airport to increase tourism in the area and thereby creating more jobs.  The blockades that virtually shut down the city were removed and stranded tourists were able to leave the region, all unharmed.

UPDATE:  As the Bolivian miner strike enters its 15th day the majority of stranded tourists have escaped but negative international reaction is expected to hurt Bolivia’s economy.  Of the estimated 100 foreign tourists stranded in Potosi, Bolivia, 70 have escaped thus far.  Yesterday, five Australians managed to escape by bribing local taxi drivers to smuggle them out of the region. 

The strike which is virtually holding the mining town of Potosi hostage has resulted in road blockades and protesters shutting down many local mines, most of which are foreign owned or operated, in the region.  Yesterday, the strikers took over the San Cristobal mine, a Japanese silver mining operation which is the third largest silver producer in the world.  If the strike continues international silver production and pricing will be negatively effected.  Thus far France and England have issued travel alerts to the region and other foreign-owned businesses in Bolivia are questioning their commitment to invest in the country, all of which hurt Bolivia’s economy.

The mining state of Potosi, Bolivia remains blockaded with everyone from residents to union leaders to the Governor steadfast in their commitment to get the government’s attention.  Approximately 6,000 people are on a hunger strike there and have cut high way and railway links to Chile and Argentina while setting up blockades entrapping hundreds of tourists.

The residents of this southern Bolivian city have had enough and want President Evo Morales to listen to their demands for more investment in their region.  In 2007 Bolivian miners took over the town of Cochabamba demanding the governor’s resignation which resulted in three deaths.

The French government has interceded in the matter since 56 French tourists were caught in the melee.  The French government is a large investor in Bolivia’s lithium mines and stated the unrest could threaten investment in the future. 


Read more at The Age →

WednesdayAugust 18, 2010