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ThursdayNovember 11, 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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Mexican Idols Café Tacvba Release Documentary (VIDEO) (BILINGUAL)

The Grammy and Latin Grammy winners from Mexico,  Cafe Tacvba (with a “V.” With a “U” it’s the Café where they took their name from) has pleased audiences around the world for 21 years of one of the most interesting musical careers of any Latin American band. Now they’re taking a surprising new step: Cafe Tacvba is going to the big screen.

Directed by Ernesto Contreras and José Manuel Cravioto, the new documentary Seguir Siendo: Cafe Tacuba, started as a short film of their Japan tour, where they performed an exclusive gig for princess Hitachi, and then extended itself into one and a half hours of the Mexican outfit on 20 years worth of tours and daily activities. 

Joselo Rangel, Cafe Tacuba’s guitarist, says that this film will be a big event since it shows new aspects of the band fans have never seen before.

The world premiere of Seguir Siendo: Cafe Tacuba took place March 14th at the Guadalajara Film Festival.  The film is out on Mexican theaters and should hit American markets next year.

Read more by HS News Staff →

New Mexico Gov Elect Doesn’t know what the DREAM Act is

Susana Martinez, the new Mexico Governor-elect needs to be reminded what the DREAM Act is.  When a reporter asked the Republican politician if she supported the DREAM Act , her response was “Remind me. I know that the scholarship….”

Once reminded that “The DREAM Act is the law that people have been trying to pass for 10 years that would allow children of illegal immigrants to stay in the country as long as they go to college or perform military service. Martinez replied,”Oh yes, yes, yes. OK, I do know that.”

Susana Martinez campaigned strongly on the need to “secure the border” and fight the “people who have come here to New Mexico illegally with the sole purpose of committing crimes.”

All we can say is “Thank God Governors Don’t Vote on Federal Law”.

Read more at Guanabee →

Adorable Baby Dolphin Rescued in Uruguay (VIDEO)

A baby river dolphin was rescued by citizens passing by the La Plata river in Uruguay after it was discovered by walkers on a beach near the capital, Montevideo.

The calf was suffering from injuries believed to have been caused by a fishing net.  The baby dolphin is only about ten days old, and there was no sign of his mother when he was rescued.

The use of fishing nets is a controversial debate among many people in southern South America. Oftentimes, fishermen use fishing nets improperly. When fish are caught using a net, there’s always a large amount of hatchlings and eggs that become trapped. Young fish can cause food poisoning and the killing of eggs can lead to a poor marine ecosystem in the area.

ImageThe head of the NGO “Rescate Fauna Marina” Richard Tesore, has been taking care of the baby dolphin, and giving him swimming lessons; a Magellan penguin dubbed “Pingu” is also being looked after at the center in Punta Colorada, and has taken an interest in the baby dolphin, now named “Nipper”.



Read more by HS News Staff →

Major Mexican Drug Cartel Offers to Dissolve

The vicious Mexican cartel known as “La Familia” has made public a letter, where they offer to disband and turn themselves to the authorities, if the government promises to protect citizens in the state of Michoacán.

Officials from the Michoacan chapter of the federal Attorney General’s Office have reported that the one-page letter allegedly signed by the Mexican drug cartel “La Familia Michoacana” appeared on a “narco-manta” on an overpass and was dropped in the streets of a few towns in the state of Michoacan, as well as sent as an e-mail to reporters last Tuesday.

Authorities said they couldn’t immediately confirm the authenticity of the letter, but Ricardo Najera, spokesman for the federal Attorney General’s Office, stressed that “regardless of whether the message is authentic or not, the federal government does not make deals or negotiate with drug cartels.”

“La Familia” appears to have deep local roots and a vast network of civilian allies and sympathizers who adhere to the cartel’s set of rules that enforce family values; “La Familia” prohibits using (though not moving massive amounts and dealing) hard drugs, and strives to maintain an image of martyr-like struggle, sought to convince the public that the group is defending Michoacán (hometown of president Felipe Calderón) against other armed groups.

“We have decided to retreat and return to our daily productive activities if the federal and local authorities ... promise to take control of the state with force and decision,” read the letter, dated November 2010.

The letter said “La Familia” was formed in 2005 “by men and women from Michoacán ready to give their lives to defend their state ... against external gangs that, through terror and violence, have attempted to take over not only our state, but the whole country.”

Further into the letter, “La Familia” manifests their wish to protect Michoacán and its residents and promises to dissolve if federal police promise to act honestly and defend the state with their lives. “If the government accepts this public commitment and lives up to it, “La Familia Michoacana” will dissolve.” The gang’s decision to contemplate an eventual dissolution, was allegedly motivated by abuses against civilians from harassing authorities, as they conduct activities at the margin of the law in order obtain intelligence leads and put pressure on the cartel.

If the letter is to be believed, the expert consensus is that the cartel could be contemplating to shut down because it has simply run its course. Gary Hale, a retired DEA intelligence officer and founder of the Grupo Savant consulting firm, opines that “La Familia” could be trying to find a way to make money by less violent and legal means.

Jorge Chabat, an expert on drug trafficking of the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE), said the group could also be suffocating from financial difficulties, and the letter is their way to catch a breath: “This is a way to negotiate out of a business they’re stuck in, with no greater cost to them,” he said, and it could be a sign that the group is trying to use the public to pressure the government into an agreement.

Employees of the Attorney General’s Office in Michoacán are investigating the letter’s authenticity, and trying to determine clues about its origin, but have repeatedly stated a zero disposition policy to negotiating with criminals.


Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Troops Getting Help From U.S. Military to Battle Cartels

Historically, Mexico has been extremely reluctant to cooperate with U.S. forces due, in large part, to deep-seated hostility over invasions. And while Mexico still will not permit U.S. military trainers or advisers to remain full-time, but with recent drug violence out of control, U.S. military advisors have begun training forces and sharing information in an attempt to battle Mexico’s drug cartels.

While U.S. military officials have been slow to publicly discuss their growing ties with Mexico for fear of inciting resistance from the Mexican public should they be upset by U.S. interference, former and current U.S. military officials say they have been instructing hundreds of Mexican Officers for the past two years.

Counternarcotics funding from the Pentagon for Mexico has almost tripled. Funding went from $12.2 million in 2008 to more than $34 million in 2010.

Recently retired head of the U.S. military’s Northern Command Gen. Victor Renuar, said, “We have tried to share many of the lessons we’ve learned in chasing terrorist organizations in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Despite prevalent animosity between the two countries, U.S. military officers are regularly traveling to Mexico to assist by means of short courses for their Mexican counterparts, who go on to train their own personnel. Conversely, more Mexicans are also being trained at U.S. military bases, which has dramatically improved the exchange of information.

Read more at The Washington Post →

Huge Human Smuggling Cell Busted in Arizona

A major cell of a human smuggling ring has been dismantled. Investigators believe the cell to be responsible for the transportation of thousands of undocumented immigrants from the U.S.-Mexico border to Phoenix and other locations throughout the country.

Wednesday, nine people were arrested after a yearlong investigation. While the nine have yet to be formally charged, they are being accused of picking up undocumented immigrants after they cross the border on foot, and taking them to “drop houses” in Phoenix while they await transports to other parts of the country.

A man calling himself Mark Rodriguez-Banks led the group of smugglers. Authorities are still trying to determine whether he gave his real name and whether or not he himself is in the country legally.

Rodriguez-Banks was responsible for the providing the vehicles used in transporting the immigrants from the border to Phoenix.

Some of the 62 vehicles seized Wednesday were disguised as flower delivery trucks or of those belonging to a carpet cleaning business.

The group of smugglers appears to have “specialized” in smuggling people from Central America, as many of their customers came from Guatemala. Last year, the smugglers were involved in two cases involving resisting arrest, fleeing law enforcement, aggravated assault on an officer and endangerment.

According to the U.S. Border Patrol, Arizona is the busiest unlawful entry point for human and drug smugglers. Arrests along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border account for 40 to 50 percent of all immigrant arrests each year.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Traditional Drink, Ponche, Ingredients Prohibited from Entry

Ponche, a traditional Mexican holiday punch, is shared and enjoyed among many families along the Southwest Border during holiday seasons. However the ingredients used to make it, guavas, Hawthorne apples and sugar cane are all illegal when imported across the border. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and agriculture specialists at the ports are expecting an increase in the attempted importation of the prohibited ingredients through passenger ports.

CBP is advising the public the prohibited items pose significant pest risks. Both the guavas and Hawthorne apples are prohibited, under 7 CFR 319.56, and the sugar cane if imported freshly harvested is prohibited under 7 CFR 319.15.

According to Pete Flores, the acting Director of Field Operations in San Diego, the ports of entry are expecting an increase in attempts to illegally bring the Ponche ingredients across the border.

“I want to remind the public that these products are prohibited and failure to declare them could result in penalties,” he said. “Historically, we’ve seen an increased rate of interception of these items during the holiday seasons.”

According to CBP, officers and agriculture specialists will be on the lookout for individuals attempting to import these ponche ingredients through the passenger environment and will refer vehicles for secondary inspection that are believed to be transporting these and other prohibited items.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

Read more at U.S. Customs and Border Protection →

One Out of Three Deportation Requests Denied

As immigration reform is being argued all across the country, deportations are at a high, but one out of three deportation requests are being rejected according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.

Between 1998 and 2010, the report says that, in the last three months of the 2010 fiscal year (July, August, and September) immigration courts rejected one out of three requests to deport people.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made the requests.

The report states, “This turndown rate is up from what it was – one out of every four –12 months earlier.

While the national average is one out of three, some immigration courts in Los Angeles, New York City, and Miami rejected far more. In NYC, 70 percent of the requests were rejected, while Los Angeles denied 63 percent, and Miami judges denied 59 percent.

ICE is apparently “refusing to release its own records” according to the report’s authors who say their lack of ICE records makes it difficult to interpret the data and draw concrete conclusions about the yet-undiscovered reasons for the increase in the rejection rate.

Read more at Fox News Latino →

Former Chicago Sox Executive and Sox Scouts for Latin America Indicted for Kickbacks

A former professional baseball player scouting executive for the Chicago White Sox and two former scouts for the team in Latin America were indicted Wednesday on federal fraud charges for allegedly accepting kickbacks totaling approximately $400,000 from signing bonuses and contract buyouts paid to secure 23 prospective players between 2004 through 2008. A seven-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury alleges that the White Sox baseball team was defrauded of money, as well as the honest services of the defendants, who allegedly concealed the kickbacks from the team and its more senior officials.

Charged with seven counts of mail fraud were David S. Wilder, the White Sox former farm system director and Jorge L. Oquendo Rivera, the former White Sox Latin American scout.  Victor Mateo, a White Sox scout in the Dominican Republic was charged with three counts of mail fraud. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of unspecified illegal proceeds from the alleged fraud scheme.

“These defendants allegedly defrauded their employer and enriched themselves by taking advantage of vulnerable ballplayers, who were anxious to pursue their dreams of stardom in the major leagues” said Robert D. Grant, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to the indictment, the White Sox maintained a Latin American scouting program to identify and recruit prospective players in such countries as Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, and Venezuela, and to sign them to written contracts. The Sox either paid a signing bonus, a one-time, up-front payment made to new players to induce them to sign a contract.

As part of the scheme, Oquendo and Mateo allegedly scouted for and identified prospective Sox players in Latin America from whom they could obtain a portion of the players’ signing bonuses. They also allegedly engaged in discussions with these players or their representatives about the amount of signing bonuses, as well as the amount the players were willing or expected to pay in kickbacks to them and Wilder. Oquendo allegedly engaged in these same practices in his negotiations with Mexican teams and their representatives.


Read more at Chicago FBI →

UN Representative Heads to Bolivia to Assess Human Rights Situation

The United Nations human rights chief will be visiting Bolivia later this week to discuss progress and issues of concern with government officials, as well as representatives of the legislature, the judiciary and civil society.

The visit which starts tomorrow comes amid a recent agreement between the UN and the Bolivian government allowing a Human Rights Commission office to exist a further three years, until 2013.

The country office, set up in 2007, provides technical assistance to State institutions and civil society organizations, promotes human rights, and monitors and reports on the status of human rights in the South American nation.

The visit is intended to help the High Commissioner obtain first-hand understanding of current dynamics in the country relating to human rights, including progress and specific issues of concern, as well as examine ways in which her office can provide further support and advice.

During the visit UN officials will meet with President Evo Morales Ayma, Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca, Justice Minister Nilda Copa Condori and other senior government officials, as well as representatives of the National Assembly and the Judiciary.  They will also meet with indigenous authorities – including Afro-Bolivian organizations – to discuss a range of human rights issues.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Honduras Invests in Fiscal Reform

Honduras obtained financing totaling $45.8 million to support the country’s fiscal reform efforts, which seeks to bolster macroeconomic stability and restore sustainable growth by modernizing the tax system and improving state utility revenues.

The resources will be disbursed in two tranches of $22.9 million. The first one will be triggered by the approval of a tax reform designed to boost collection and increase efficiency and equity. The second tranche will be timed with the approval and implementation of regulations pertaining to tax reform.

Honduras will also enact a law against tax evasion. In addition, the government will take steps to raise the revenues of the state-owned electricity and telecommunications company.

Read more by HS News Staff →

ThursdayNovember 11, 2010