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TuesdayNovember 30, 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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Justice Department Files Suit Against Puerto Rico Police Department

The Department of Justice announced today the filing of a lawsuit against the Policía de Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Police Department or PRPD) alleging the PRPD retaliated against Agent Investigator Sofía Figueroa Rossy (Figueroa) for complaining about a hostile work environment based on sex, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.

According to the Justice Department’s complaint, the PRPD retaliated against Figueroa when, after she complained of sexual harassment, the PRPD failed to keep Figueroa’s complaint confidential, involuntarily transferred her out of the PRPD’s Sex Crimes Division, and failed or refused to take action on Figueroa’s appeal of the involuntary transfer. 

The Justice Department is seeking an order from the court that the PRPD take remedial steps to ensure a non-retaliatory workplace for its employees; that the PRPD supplement its mandatory training for all supervisors regarding sex discrimination and retaliation under Title VII so that complaints like Figueroa’s remain confidential and do not result in retaliation; and that the PRPD provide Figueroa with make-whole remedial relief , including compensatory damages for mental and/or physical injuries caused by the PRPD’s retaliatory conduct.

The San Juan Local Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigated and attempted to resolve Figueroa’s charge of discrimination before referring it to the department for litigation. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Secretary Napolitano’s Mexico Visit Focuses on Facilitating Travel and Humane Deportations

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano today visited Mexico City to meet with her international counterparts and reiterate the Obama administration’s ongoing commitment to combating terrorism and other transnational crimes–signing an agreement to facilitate secure and legitimate travel between the countries.

In Mexico City, Secretary Napolitano and Mexico Ministry of the Interior Secretary José Francisco Blake Mora signed an agreement for a program pilot travel program between the two nations.

Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program that allows pre-approved members who have undergone robust background checks and provided biometrics expedited customs processing.

Secretary Napolitano, Minister Blake Mora and Mexican Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Julian Ventura also signed a Letter of Intent affirming their shared commitment to collaborating on a strategic plan for the expedited and humane repatriation of Mexican nationals to the interior of Mexico.

The Letter of Intent builds the agreement of April 3, 2009–formalizing the operational coordination between governments to guarantee a safe, orderly and humane repatriation process.

Read more by HS News Staff →

UPDATE: 15 DREAMers Arrested on Day 20 of Hunger Strike

UPDATE: Monday, after refusing to leave, 15 DREAM Act demonstrators were arrested for criminal trespassing outside the offices of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison in San Antonio, Texas. Among those arrested were a former city councilwoman, a Methodist minister and a number of students donning graduation caps.

Wanting to speak to the senator, and being denied, the protesters camped outside the office for nine hours until the police arrived and began arresting people. While the senator did not want them to be arrested, the owner of the building did.

Several of the students arrested were part of the hunger strike that began 20 days ago in an attempt to pressure Hutchison into supporting the DREAM Act.


ORIGINAL: The University of Texas, San Antonio students are on their 19th day of a hunger strike to bring attention and action on the DREAM Act.  The students have also called for a ‘Community Action’ and plan to protest in front of Republican Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.  The DREAM Act if legislated would allow thousands of undocumented college students to remain in the country if they meet certain eligibility criteria. 

The Senator has been the focus of the students ire since she once supported the bill and now does not, opposing it last September when the issue came before the Senate.  Now they want to face her head on tomorrow when they gather at her San Antonio office at noon. 

Read more at Dream Act UTSA →

Dominican Youngster Wins International Peace Prize

Sixteen-year-old Francia Simon from the Dominican Republic won the International Children’s Peace Prize for campaigning for better access to health care and education.

Simon, who lives in a sugar plantation community, won the award for helping 136 children obtain birth certificates, without which it is impossible to access health care and education in the Caribbean nation.

“Without a certificate, you are not a person,” said Simon, who was dressed in the white, red and blue colours of her country.

“You are the flag for thousands of children in the world,” said Guatemalan
1992 Nobel Peace laureate Rigoberta Menchu Tum during the award ceremony.

The International Children’s Peace Prize, awarded by the Dutch foundation KidsRight, includes a donation of 100,000 euros (132,000 dollars) to projects connected with the winner’s activities.

Read more at News Asia →

Spain’s “El País” Only Spanish Language Newspaper Getting WikiLeaks

Last Sunday, WikiLeaks provided five international news organizations with over 250,000 classified documents in what has became the greatest leak of secret data in history, among them was Spain’s El Pais, the only Spanish language paper chosen by WikiLeaks.  The other were New York Times, The Guardian from the UK, The German Der Spiegel, and France’s Le Monde of France. 

These newspapers received more than a quarter million cables from WikiLeaks and following a rigorous analysis of the documents, the newspapers confirmed their authenticity, and together built databases to organize the information by year, location of origin, destination, subject, classification, etc.  Since Sunday, as announced by WikiLeaks founderJulian Assange, the five news sources have been simultaneously publishing relevant information from the leaked cables.

What is a Cable?

A cable is very much like a group e-mail. For many years the term cable referred to the formal telegrams that consular staffers would send across the oceans and around the world in Morse code. The difference between a cable and a or an email has more to do with content than method of delivery.  Both are drafted in a computer, both travel electronically, but you need a military or diplomatic clearance to both send and receive cables; cables are stored on a database permanently.  Put simply, if you want to send a note to President Obama about the schedule for next week’s events, you’d use an e-mail. If you’re transmitting an assessment of Iran’s Plutonium stash, you’d send a cable.

El País

Despite there being agreements between all five newspapers regarding when to simultaneously publish internationally relevant content, each one has autonomy of selection, assessment and ultimate publishing of communications that affect their countries.

Javier Moreno, the newspaper’s Editor has said being the only Spanish speaking source, their focus will be cables about Spain and Latin American countries. Information concerning Argentina has already been published, and Moreno is promising to publish leaked information concerning Venezuela, México, Boliva, Cuba and Colombia.

Without disclosing any major details, Moreno said the leaks reveal details of current armed conflicts and diplomatic confrontations, while providing hard evidence of questionable practices by the US State Department and embassies around the world.  Moreno said that most of his correspondents, as well as specialists in international information and journalists have been working around the clock reviewing, organizing and reporting back their findings.

El País has decided not to translate the cables to assure that visitors can read the documents as they were received. Names and data that could compromise the security of people and countries has been removed.

Vicente Jiménez and Antonio Caño wrote in El País that some of the articles they’ll be writing about “Cablegate” will deal more with examining how more than 250,000 secret documents only accessible by State Department officials, military and members of 16 intelligence agencies were leaked into WikiLeaks website in the first place.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Texas Creates “Mini Novelas” to Teach Hispanics About DUI/Driver Safety (VIDEO)

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) launched a series of mini telenovelas this month in an effort to extend the message to the Hispanic community about the consequences of drinking and driving.  TxDOT is one of the first U.S. state agencies to tackle the dangers of drinking and driving through the telenovela format, which is very popular in the Spanish-speaking community.

The telenovelas aired as thirty second and two minute spots on Univision, Estrella, and Telefutura during the evening news for two weeks in late November.

The three, two-minute episodes will also be available online on Youtube.

Drinking and driving poses a great danger for Hispanics in Texas, where they make up over one third of the population. Key statistics:

• 36% of all DUI fatalities in Texas in 2009 occurred in crashes were a Hispanic driver was under the influence of alcohol. (TxDOT, CRIS)
• 14,643 Hispanic drivers in Texas were involved in alcohol related crashes in 2009. Of these, 72% were under the influence of alcohol.(TxDOT, CRIS)
• Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for Hispanics one to 44 years of age, and 15 percent of U.S.-born Mexican Americans had a DUI within the past 12 months according to a 2008 study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Related Videos

Read more by HS News Staff →

AZ Fails to Nab Businesses For Immigration Violations

AZ Fails to Nab Businesses For Immigration Violations

Photo: "America's Toughest Sheriff" Joe Arpaio

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Over the last two years, since Maricopa County officers began immigration raids, almost 500 hundred people have been removed from various businesses. However, very little action has been taken against the companies they worked for despite America’s self-proclaimed “Toughest Sheriff” Joe Arpaio proudly (and constantly) pointing to his state having the toughest law against employers who hire undocumented immigrants.

After a raid in Phoenix Monday, Arpaio held a press conference. When a reporter asked Arpaio about the lack of action against employers, but the frequent action against the employees Arpaio confusingly answered, “If we don’t get the employer, we’re sure going to continue to get the employees that are here illegally using false identification.”

The fact of the matter is that Arpaio and his “immigration posse” have arrested almost 500 people, but only two businesses have EVER been forced to shut down, and each only did so for a few select days, not permanently.

As of 2007, Arizona companies have been required to screen new employees by way of E-Verify (a DHS online tool) to determine their legal status. About 70,000 Arizona companies’ sites have signed up for E-Verify, and they make up 1/6 of the U.S.’s total number of companies using it, despite having only 1/50 of the country’s population within its borders.

Read more at Stateline →

No Surprise Here:  Republican Congressmen Hire Few Hispanics Staffers

Studies by the University of Texas and the Congressional Hispanic Staff Association, not to much surprise, have disclosed that the Republican Party (GOP) is lagging being in hiring Hispanic staffers and there are few in key leadership positions like Chief of Staff. 

A 2009 study of Hispanics working in Congress show a majority working as schedulers, followed by staff assistants, which are viewed as low-level entry positions.

The hiring of few Hispanics is not likely to change with the upcoming 112th congressional session.  It appears that conservative Republicans versus their moderate Republican counterparts hired even fewer Hispanics.  This upcoming session will put the Republicans house members in the majority.

Currently Hispanics make up only 7% of congressional staff while Hispanics make up 16% of the general population.  A call for a diversity initiative that will recruit Hispanics is being called for and it remains to be seen what the incoming Republican leadership will do.

Read more at Politico →

Education Secretary Duncan: We desperately need to pass the DREAM Act

Education Secretary Duncan: We desperately need to pass the DREAM Act

Photo: Arne Duncan

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

On Monday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that despite allies’ pessimism towards getting it done in the lame-duck session, Congress cannot afford to wait on the passing of the DREAM Act.

Duncan pointed out that the DREAM Act is about fairness and economic necessity and not about politics (despite many using its controversy for political gain).

“For young people, for our country, for out country’s economy, we desperately need to pass the DREAM Act. We have a chance to do it now in the lame-duck session. And I simply don’t think we can afford to wait,” said Duncan.

While Republican critics of the legislation continuously claim the bill is only being pushed by Democrats in order to pander to Hispanic voters, former Commerce Secretary (and Republican) Carlos Gutierrez says it would be a “shame” to not have the DREAM Act passed before January, but added that DREAM Act backers need to keep in mind that the “big picture” is comprehensive immigration reform, and it is necessary that they explain how the DREAM Act fits into that “big picture” rather than focus solely on the bill.

“We’re very clear this is not a substitute for comprehensive immigration reform, and we should not allow it to become a substitute for comprehensive immigration reform,” said Gutierrez during a conversation of which Duncan was a part. “This needs to be positioned as a first step in a comprehensive solution and not a substitute for a comprehensive solution.”

Read more at Politico →

Ecuador Offers Political Asylum to WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange

President of Ecuador Rafael Correa extended an invitation to journalist and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to discuss documents leaked on his website as they relate to Ecuador and other Latin American countries, according to a statement from the country’s foreign ministry.

In the same Statement, vice chancellor Kintto Lucas offered Assange political asylum “We are open to grant him Ecuadorian residency, without any kind of problem or any kind of conditions.”

The Australian born Assange, will face criminal charges if he sets foot in Australia and was rejected for permanent residency in Sweden in October. Sweden has also expedited an international warrant for Assange’s arrest for alleged rape and molestation, accusations that came out after WikiLeaks released more than 75,000 pages of documents relating to the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan in July.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colorado’s AZ-style Immigration Law Could be Ready for Consideration by January

Despite likely Democratic interference in the State Senate, Republican members of Colorado’s state and local government have been working on a bill almost identical to Arizona’s controversial SB 1070. 

Arizona’s law made it a crime to not carry proper immigration documentation at all times, and gave authorities power to detain people suspected to be in the country unlawfully, a power previously reserved for federal government officials. The outcry from immigrant rights groups and civil liberties organizations resulted in a number of lawsuits against the state, and has since put parts of SB 1070 on hold, but Colorado officials say they are not writing their law any differently.

In fact, Senator Kent Lambert says Colorado’s Arizona-like bill is not being written with an attempt to avoid lawsuits at all. He and others are fully expecting the bill to bring on lawsuits should it be passed.

The proposal is expected to be ready to present to the legislature in January, when the next session begins.

Read more at Daily Political →

Cuban Cardinal Obtains “Clear Promise” - More Political Prisoners to be Released

Catholic Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega y Alamino has obtained a “clear promise” from the government of President Raul Castro that eleven more political prisoners will be released very soon.

The Cuban Cardinal has been instrumental in obtaining releases for other political prisoners and is pleased with the news.  The eleven prisoners were said to have refused exile in Spain while others had, so their release was doubtful.  Cuba will now allow them to remain in the country.

The remaining dissident prisoners were part of the “Group of 75” that were jailed seven years ago for speaking up against the government.  Some of those 75 were either paroled for medical reasons, died in prison after going on a hunger strikes and others released with the Cardinal’s help and that of the Spanish government.  51 political prisoners have been exiled to Spain under a deal orchestrated by Cardinal Ortega y Alamino.

Read more at Catholic Culture →

OVERNIGHT NEWS IN MEXICO:  Female Police Chief Killed in Mexico (VIDEO)

Mexican authorities in Chihuahua are reporting that one of a handful of female police chief’s in Mexico has been gunned down Monday.  Hermila Garcia Baeza was the police chief of the north city of Meoqui, a town of 21,000.

She was apparently ambushed on her way to work on a local highway, authorities are reporting.  It is suspected gunmen employed by drug traffickers killed her.

Garcia Baeza was a formally trained lawyer who was in charge of a 90-unit police force that is located approximately 43 miles from the state capital of Chihuahua city. The state of Chihuahua, that borders Texas, has three other female police chief, including 20-year old Marisol Valles. 

Related Videos

Read more at LAHT →

Narco Blogger’s After-Math Images from Mexican Military Assault on Suspected Criminals (WARNING)

The Narco Blogger has obtained several images from a fierce military operation in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. All killed are not identified nor is the military operation known.

Several dead men are observed heavily armed, some with military-style clothing.  Mexican military personnel not pictures also came upon a garage of some sort which the killers used to hide their trucks.

To read in Spanish/Espanol click here


Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazilian and Paraguayan FIFA Officials Accused of Taking Bribes According to BBC Documentary

A BBC television documentary today accuses three FIFA officials of taking bribes in the 1990’s just as these same three FIFA executives prepared to decide who holds the World Cup in 2018 and 2022.

Implicated are Nicolas Leoz of Paraguay and head of South America’s soccer federation, Ricardo Teixeira of Brazil and head of that country’s 2014 Games and Issa Hayatou who represents the soccer interests of African nations.  These same individuals are part of the Executive Committee of FIFA that will decide this Thursday where the 2018 games are held.

The documentary alleges $10 million in bribes were taken over a ten year period with the majority of those funds going to Teixeira.  FIFA President Sepp Blatter has declined to comment on the allegations.  While other soccer organizations are calling for Thursday vote to be postponed until a complete investigation is done. 


Read more at Monsters and Critics →

NALEO Urges Elected Latino Officials and Community Leaders to Advocate for DREAM Act

Latino elected officials and civic leaders have a critical opportunity to help secure the support of their Senators and Member of Congress for the DREAM Act, says the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), which would enable thousands of immigrant students to make significant advancements in their education or a military career.  Because of the changes in Congress resulting from the 2010 election, NALEO feels this may be the last opportunity for the next few years to make a difference in the lives of DREAM students.

Congressional action is expected on the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act during the “lame duck” session, which starts this week.  The legislation allows eligible students who entered this country before age 16 and who have been in the United States for at least five years to earn legal status if they pass background checks, attend college, or serve in the military for at least two years.

In past weeks, both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have demonstrated their commitment to advancing the Act in early December.  The Senate is expected to schedule a vote on the bill this week and the House is expected to vote on the bill this week or make the provisions of the DREAM Act an amendment to another piece of legislation.

NALEO is urging Latino elected official or community leader, to play a crucial role in advocating for the passage of the DREAM Act by educating their constituents and stakeholders about the importance of passing this legislation and encouraging them to contact their Senators and Member of Congress to urge them to pass the DREAM Act. Anyone can call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 to be connected to their Senators’ and Member of Congress’ Office.

The NALEO Educational Fund has prepared talking points and is providing everyone with a description of some of the more common “myths” about the DREAM Act and factual responses to them that can be found on their website. 

Read more at NALEO →

TuesdayNovember 30, 2010