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WednesdaySeptember 8, 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: Bodies of Investigators Found in Tamaulipas Mexico

UPDATE: Prosecutor Roberto Suarez Vazquez and Juan Carlos Suarez Sanchez, a top security official, disappeared the day after they began the investigation into the deaths of 72 migrants in Tamaulipas. Two bodies have been located northeast of San Fernando. Documents on the bodies matched those of the missing investigators but DNA tests have also been ordered to confirm identities.

ORIGINAL: In a shocking turn of events, the lead detective investigating the homicides of 72 Central American migrants found in a ranch out of Tamauplias is now missing.  Robert Suarez and a local police officer working with him are both missing as of Thursday though no one from the Mexican government is confirming or denying this.  Mr. Suarez was the first on the gruesome scene discovered Tuesday, when a now identified wounded Ecuadorian national lead police to the scene.

Upon investigation Mr. Suarez and other detectives found 58 men and 14 women all from South America that had been executed.  The wife of Suarez, Norma Nelly Aguilar, is confirming her husband is missing and fears the worse, “I can only assume that those who abducted by husband are connected to organized crime in this region.” 

Mexican authorities believe members of Los Zetas drug cartel carried out the executions.

Read more at BBC →

Puerto Rican Artistic Duo Selected to Represent the U.S. at Venice Art Biennale (VIDEO)

The U.S. Cultural Affairs Department (ECA) announced the selection of Puerto Rico-based artist collaborative Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla as the United States’ representation to the 54th International Art Exhibition in Venice, Italy in 2011.  This global event ensures that the excellence, vitality, and diversity of the arts in the United States are effectively showcased abroad and provides an opportunity to engage foreign audiences to increase mutual understanding.

The presentation of the collaborative Allora & Calzadilla will feature six new commissions incorporating interactive sculpture, performance, and sound elements.  The Indianapolis Museum of Art will magnify the impact of the exhibition by providing educational and visual literacy training for under served youth from Indianapolis, Ponce, Puerto Rico, and Venice, who will facilitate tours in the U.S. Pavilion and engage in social networking and new media initiatives.

The selection of Allora & Calzadilla resulted from an open competition and followed the recommendation of an advisory committee convened by the National Endowment for the Arts. The work of Allora & Calzadilla, a Spanish-speaking team living and working in Puerto Rico, encompasses a broad range of mediums that includes sculptures, printmaking and video.  Their work can be seen throughout some of the most acclaimed museums in the world like the Tate Modern in London.

Related Videos

Read more by HS News Staff →

Missing Children Case in Belize Highlight Influence of Occult in Region

It’s day eight and the disappearance of two siblings from Toledo, Belize remains a mystery. Since Monday police have been scouring the area, but up to now, there are no solid leads as to what could have happened to Onelia and Benjamin Rash, two school aged children who went missing on August 30th when they were allowed to venture twelve miles from home to sell fruits. The investigation into the missing children took a tragic turn over the weekend when an animal sanctuary was burned based on the visions of a local fortune teller. 

On Sunday, a group of angry villagers set ablaze a crocodile sanctuary owned by a U.S. couple. This was fueled in great part by readings and visions from local psychic, Delfina Alvarez, who has now been charged with fraudulently representing herself as a fortune teller. The ruins of what was once a million dollar investment developed to protect local crocodile remains under heavy police and military guard. 

The American Crocodile Education Sanctuary, founded by Vincent and Cherie Rose, was reduced to ashes by a gang of angry villagers in search of the missing children.  The busload of men armed with rifles and machetes entered the property on the visions of Alvarez who said the children had been fed to the crocodiles and that the Rose’s were criminal fugitives from the U.S.  Despite not finding Benjamin and Oneila Rash on the property they set the place ablaze.  Vincent Rose has flatly denied any involvement with the children or even knowing them.  Cherie Rose was Vice President of the local Belize Tourism Industry Association chapter but resigned after she and her husband were forced to leave town following death threats by angry villagers, many who still believe Alvarez’ visions. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

La Cruz Roja Calcula que ya Son 600.000 los Damnificados por Lluvias en México

Las intensas lluvias que en las últimas semanas han afectado a varios estados del este y sur de México han dejado hasta ahora “más de 600.000 damnificados”, dijo hoy a Efe el presidente de la Cruz Roja mexicana, Daniel Goñi.

“Lo más grave, lo más delicado” es que el “99% son gente de superescasos recursos”, explicó el representante de la Cruz Roja, que ha puesto en marcha en varios estados una campaña de apoyo a los afectados.  Según el representante de la Cruz Roja las precipitaciones fueron las más copiosas para un mes de julio en veinticinco años tras un julio de 2009 que, en contraste, fue el más seco en todo el país.

La gravedad de la coyuntura estriba en que en muchos casos los damnificados “pierden todo su patrimonio” y les será muy difícil recuperarlo en esta situación de “emergencia estacional”, agregó.  Para asistirlos la Cruz Roja mexicana puso en marcha una primera fase de acopio de agua potable, alimentos y otros artículos de primera necesidad el pasado 28 de agosto en Veracruz, uno de los tres estados con más afectados, junto a Tabasco y Oaxaca.

Read more at EFE News Service →

New and Established Artists Lead in Nominations for Latin Grammy’s (VIDEO)

The 11th Annual Latin Grammy announced its nominations today from Hollywood’s Avalon nightclub.  The list once again reflects a wide array of established and rising talent from across the Latin music world.  Mario Domm (lead singer of the Mexican ban Camila), Jorge Drexler (Uruguayan songwriter), Juan Luis Guerra and Alejandro Sanz lead with four nominations each.

Audience favorite, Sanz’s “Paraiso Express” was nominated for Album of the Year and his song “Desde Cuando” was nominated for Song of the Year.  The nominations represent musical genres from Spain to Central America to South America and reflect the most musical submissions the Latin Recording Academy has ever had.

Winners will be announced on November 11th when the awards ceremony airs live on the Univision Network from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas

Related Videos

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latinos in U.S. Charter Schools

A joint report released by the Center for American Progress (CAP) and NCLR (National Council of La Raza) examines how charter schools are improving educational outcomes for a growing number of Latino and English language learner (ELL) students. The report, Next Generation Charter Schools: Meeting the Needs of Latinos and English Language Learners, assesses the role of charter schools in the education of Latinos and ELLs and reviews state charter school policies that create a recipe for positive results, as well as those that can unintentionally hinder effective instruction.

Next Generation Charter Schools profiles four high-performing charter schools: El Sol Science and Arts Academy in Santa Ana, California; Raul Yzaguirre School for Success in Houston, Texas; YES Prep Gulfton in Houston, Texas; and International Charter School in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The report examines the best practices of these schools, including how they recruit students and work to engage communities and parents.

“Charter schools offer a strategic model for how to improve the educational outcomes of Hispanic and ELL students, who are currently disproportionately represented in troubled schools,” said NCLR Vice President of Education Delia Pompa. “All public schools can better serve their students by adopting the strategies highlighted in this report.”  The most recent data suggest that one-quarter (23.8 %) of charter school students are Latino, a number that is expected to keep growing at a rapid pace. Forty percent of Latino students are also ELLs, so the role that these schools have in serving ELL students will take on a larger significance in coming years.

All four schools offer lessons for better recruiting, educating, and preparing Latino and ELL students, such as:

  * Establishing high expectations for all students’ academic, intellectual, and social growth
  * Accelerating the pace at which ELLs engage with grade-level content
  * Increasing opportunities for expanded learning time
  * Training all staff on effective instructional strategies to engage ELLs
  * Promoting family engagement and community collaboration

For a complete copy of the report go to HSN Library.

Read more at National Council of La Raza →

Likely a Latino Candidate on Slate for Chicago Mayor

U.S. Rep Luis Gutierrez is instructing an exploratory committee to meet within the next few days to consider his running for the Chicago Mayors office that Richard Daley announced he would vacate in February. Gutierrez confirmed his interest in a statement released by his Washington office on Tuesday evening. “In the coming days, I will talk with my family and meet with my supporters and make a decision about my political future,” he said in the statement.

Gutierrez was a Chicago alderman prior to him running for Congress in 1991. Gutierrez represents a district in Congress that is predominantly Puerto Rican ( Logan Square and Humboldt Park) and Mexican American. ( Pilsen and Little Village).

One other possible Latino candidate is Manny Flores, the chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission and former alderman of the First Ward. Flores, who once worked for Gutierrez, told the Chicago News Cooperative that he’s considering a mayoral bid.

Read more at Chicago News Cooperative →

Cameron to make 3D Film of Brazilian Xikrin-Kayapo Tribe

Avatar director James Cameron is preparing to make another film “about an indigenous tribe trying to preserve its land,” but this time it is a true story.

Cameron is making a documentary about the Xikrin-Kayapo tribe in Brazil and its attempts to stop the construction of the Belo Monte hydroelectric dam, which is to be built near tribal lands on the Xingu River. When the Xikrin-Kayapo leaders approached the director to ask for his help, Cameron said he “could not turn away.”

The dam, to be built by the end of 2010 or early 2011, is projected to be the third largest in the world. Opposition groups say the [resulting] flooding will displace about 12,000 people and destroy the fishing industry, but the Brazilian government maintains that the lands will not be harmed.”

“I want to return to meet some of the leaders of the Xikrin-Kayapo tribe who invited me,” the Canadian director said in an interview published in the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper.
“I want to take a 3D camera to film how they live, their culture,” said Cameron, whose blockbuster movie Avatar tells the story of the peaceful Na’Vi people who live in harmony with nature on the planet Pandora and wage a bloody fight against strip-miners from Earth.

His short film about the dam will be included on the “Avatar” special-edition DVD, scheduled for release in November.

Read more at Movie Web →

New Legal challenge to ICE Searches at Border

The Obama administration has continued a Bush administration policy which permits officers at U.S. borders to detain travelers’ laptop computers and examine their contents even without suspecting the traveler of wrongdoing—or, in the language of DHS policy, “absent individualized suspicion”; in a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in the Eastern District of New York, the plaintiffs allege that DHS policy of substituting “search at will” for “reasonable suspicion” violates constitutional rights to privacy and free speech.

6,671 travelers laptops or other devices (phones, digital devices ) were searched between October 2008 and June 2010, according to the ACLU:
• Slightly less than half — 45 percent — were U.S. citizens
• 83 percent were male
• 52 percent identified as white
• 10 percent as black
• 9 percent as Asian

The policy also permits agencies under certain circumstances to share the data found on travelers’ devices, which was done 282 times between July 2008 and July 2009, according to the ACLU.

Read more at Homeland Security Newswire →

Honduran Massacre Linked to Drug Gangs

Honduras is reporting that at least 18 people were ambushed and killed at a shoe factory yesterday in the city of San Pedro Sula.  At least four men burst into the factory and started firing assault rifles at the workers resulting in 18 young men between the ages of 17 an 24 being killed and several others wounded.  The northern coastal town of San Pedro Sula is 150 miles from the capital of Tegucigalpa and has been the site of numerous drug turf battles.  The shoe factory has 23 employees and all were present at the time of the killings.  The National police called this attack ‘a massacre’ by small drug gang factions trying to resolve disputes. 

Read more at BBC.UK →

Hispanic Childhood Obesity Initiatives Given Large Financial Boost

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is pouring $2 million into an initiative that will bring together five civil rights organizations with the prominence and strength to help reverse childhood obesity, especially in African-American and Latino communities where the epidemic continues to hit hardest.

Over the next 16 months, the groups will aim individually and collaboratively to advance the public advocacy and policy changes critical to creating healthier communities. The initiative recognizes the power of their work to solve systemic issues of racial and social injustice, which underlie many neighborhoods’ limited access to affordable, nutritious food or safe places for children to be physically active.

The organizations include the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC); Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF); National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); National Council of La Raza (NCLR); and National Urban League (NUL).

ImageRWJF’s announcement of the initiative coincides with September’s designation as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Prevention is acutely needed in communities of color given the troubling disparities that persist in rates of childhood obesity and related health problems.  Forty percent of Hispanic boys are overweight or obese, for example, while nearly three of every 10 African-American adolescent girls are obese. And while obesity is associated with increased risk of asthma, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease for all children, the risk is decidedly higher among these populations.

Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF president and general counsel: “The disparate effect of childhood obesity on the Latino and African American communities is a national civil rights issue, with significant effects on the future American workforce that will sustain and continue to build our great nation. We must act now to address this problem in order to secure our national future. MALDEF is pleased to partner with our sister organizations and RWJF in taking on this critical concern.”

Read more at Robert Wood Johnson Foundation →

Venezuela Getting ‘Connected’

The number of Internet subscribers in Venezuela soared 43.16 percent in Q2 2010 compared to Q2 2009, according to the state-run National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel). In its quarterly report, the Conatel said 2.4 million internet connections were registered in a population of almost 29 million.

A total of 9.7 million users were recorded, representing a penetration rate of 34 percent, using digital and analogue technologies. Despite the deep recession in which the country finds itself, the telecommunications sector grew by 6.5 percent in Q2 2010 in year-on-year.  Venezuelans have now 28,200,000 mobile lines, almost one per capita in a country with one third of the population connected to Internet.

The National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel) reports in a statement that the sector is booming in its main variables during the first quarter. According to that note, the Internet service registered an increase of 43.16 percent in the period of April, May, June, compared to the same period of 2009.  To date, about 9,700,000 Venezuelans surf the Net via wired or wireless technology, not taking into account access from smart phones.

All these advances provided the sector 18.35 percent more revenues, accounting for 7,990,000 Bolivars (about $3,073,000).

Read more at Portada →

WednesdaySeptember 8, 2010