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WednesdayDecember 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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Massive Manhunt Underway: Alleged Zetas Break Elmer Arnoldo Zelada Out of Prison in Guatemala

At least two dozen heavily armed men attacked a prison at 2:42 pm (Guatemala time) near the Mexican Border, and broke Elmer Arnoldo Zelaya out of jail.

The 20 year old prisoner was arrested last Saturday, and found guilty of several crimes including kidnappings and murders. The rescued prisoner, Elmer Aroldo Zelada Galdamez, is best known for his vicious attack on the ex-beauty queen Odalis Lutin Rodas and the kidnap and subsequent dismemberment of Malacatecos first division soccer player Carlos Vásquez; Vázquez was last seen when he and a few teammates went out to buy some dinner. His body was later found dismembered on November 28, dumped in five plastic bags with a note that said-(this is)... “For Messing With the Women of Others.”

ImageThe Zetas left behind two SUV vehicles, and a sedan at the prison that are currently being investigated by police officials, as well as assault rifles and grenade launchers.

Guatemala’s minister of government Carlos Menocal confirmed that the infamous Los Zetas cartel are behind today’s violent operative, in which one police officer and one civilian lost their lives.

The minister said that the prison holding Elmer Arnoldo Zelada was designed to hold minor offenders, and that he had ordered reinforcements to the area.

There’s tension in the zone as several bystanders were caught by stray bullets during the intense firefight earlier today; roadblocks have been set up and several helicopters circle the area looking for the criminals in San Marcos, western Guatemala.

Read more at BBC →

Ecuador’s Government Offering Incentives for Migrants to Return Home

Ecuador’s Government Offering Incentives for Migrants to Return Home

Photo: Ecuador Helps Migrants

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

With the current state of the U.S. economy, programs that were initially set up to help Ecuadoreans assimilate in the U.S. are now being used to entice the very same people to come back to Ecuador.

With unemployment rates still high, and rising tension over Latino immigration, Ecuador’s attempts to lure its people back to the country have been somewhat successful. A program from the Ecuadorean called Welcome Home is offering a number of incentives for those considering a return including money to start new businesses, one-way plane tickets, and an import taxes and fees waiver for anything they bring home.

People like Victor Lopez, who has been in the U.S. for 21 years, are making the tough decision to leave the United States and return to Ecuador, Lopez says his frustration over waiting for a green card, the cutting of his work hours, and missing his children were all part of his decision to leave the U.S., but he says the final straw was the overall downfall of the economy.

Ecuador joins El Salvador, Ethiopia, Jamaica, Mexico, and Morocco in offering incentives to lure migrants home, but differs in that they have pushed their “return-campaign” far more, having placed advertisements on bus depots and Spanish-language television networks in New York, and having a ministry specifically dedicated to migrant affairs.

Read more at New York Times →

Baseball’s $100 Million Dollar Man: Mexican-American Adrian Gonzalez

The Boston Red Sox announced on Monday afternoon, that Adrian Gonzalez will be the next addition to their roster, while at the same time making contract money history for a Mexican-American player. 

The move will reportedly make the first baseman the ninth highest-paid athlete in major league history, though the exact number is still a mystery, reliable sources are placing the eight contract value at $154 million.

This would give Gonzalez one of the most lucrative contracts in Major League Basebell history. The ninth most lucrative contract, to be exact. It would also make the San Diego born first baseman the first player of Mexican descent to sign a nine-figure deal.

Read more by HS News Staff →

BREAKING NEWS:  Luxury Cruise Ship Survives its “Own Perfect Storm” near Argentina (VIDEO)

One of the most elegant expedition vessels operating in Antarctica, the Clelia II, was disabled when a 30 foot wave hit it.  The ship was returning to Argentina amidst heavy seas when the wave surged and took out windows and power.

The luxury cruise ship was traveling with 88 passengers, all Americans, for an Antarctic cruise.  The Chilean Navy is on their way to help the disabled ship; there are no reports of injuries.

This ship was also damaged and put out of commission several months ago along the same route. 

The Clelia II, was withdrawn from service during January of this year for repairs following an accident that occurred over Christmas week.  The five-deck ship had arrived at Antarctica’s famed Petermann Island on Dec. 26 for a passenger landing when a stronger-than-anticipated current pushed it toward the rocky shoreline.

Read more at Forbes →

Salma Hayek: “I was Once an Illegal Immigrant”

The Mexican actress penned an article and is featured in the cover of December’s edition of Spain’s V magazine. In her article, she said “I was an illegal immigrant in the United States. It was for a small period of time, but I still did it.”

The 44-year old Hollywood star, who is now a US citizen also commented on her rough beginnings in Hollywood, even saying she felt the industry was racist back then: “I had to endure the worst time of all in terms of racial discrimination in Hollywood when I first started out. It was inconceivable to American directors and producers that a Mexican woman could have a lead role.”

Sayek, who was spotted Christmas shopping at a doll auction in Paris Tuesday, went on to praise Hollywood’s inclusion of Latinos to the industry “Hollywood has definitely grown, in embracing the inclusion of Latinos in the world because, for some time, we didn’t exist. We were not part of any stories.”


Read more by HS News Staff →

Rep. Gutierrez Delivers Speech to House Today, prior to DREAM Act Vote

Rep. Gutierrez Delivers Speech to House Today, prior to DREAM Act Vote

Photo: House of Representatives

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

This morning as the House of Representatives opened for the day, Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) delivered a “one-minute” address to the House. The House is expected to take up the American Dream Act (HR 6497, aka the DREAM Act) later today. The following is the text, as prepared, of the Congressman’s remarks.

When I was a school teacher, I never knew how well my kids were doing until I gave them a test. That’s when you find out what you’ve really learned.

We need to have a test right here in this chamber today.

We need to test our tolerance, our fairness, our sense of justice. We need to vote – today—on the Dream Act.

Will we pass the test? Will we get an “A” or an “F”?

Those who will grade this test are watching. A generation of young people are hoping. Their futures are riding on whether we pass this test.

Their families and communities are watching to see how we do on this test. Our nation wants to see if we are compassionate and if we have the courage to do what is right.

This is a pass or fail test. Our kids – our young people – have all passed. They’ve worked hard. They’ve planned for better futures. They love America.

Today, I urge my colleagues not to fail these kids. Call the Dream Act for a vote and let us pass on hope to our next generation.

See The Latest Version of HR 6497 in the HS Library

Read more by HS News Staff →

DREAM VOTE UPDATE:  DREAM Act’s Hope May Lie With AgJobs Bill

As hope for the DREAM Act’s passage dwindles, House leaders are now considering adding it to an agriculture jobs bill in a last-ditch effort to gather additional votes.

Adding it to the AgJobs bill, which has had support from “moderate Republicans and Democrats from agriculture districts,”  is an attempt to gain votes from the rural members of the House.

An insider says talks of pairing the two bills has been around for a few days now, and says, “That’s been the thinking – that AgJobs will bring votes to DREAM.”

The AgJobs bill would allow migrant farm workers to come to the United States through a guest worker program and later apply for permanent resident status, while the DREAM Act would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children as long as they meet specific criteria.

After the House vote, the Senate is expected to hold a test vote later in the day.

Read more at Politico →

STUDY:  Only One-in-Four Mexican Youth Uses Condoms

A study by the Mexican Youth Institute has found that only one out of every Mexican youth uses condoms.  The number one reason for lack of use – they don’t like it. 

The national youth survey found that a majority of youth is well informed about the benefits of birth control and what options are available yet chose to use condoms for personal reasons. 

This finding is troubling because 90 percent of all new HIV cases in Mexico are amongst young people.  39 percent of those surveyed had already contracted a sexually transmitted disease.

For those using birth control the numbers fall off as they age.  In Mexico as people get older and are with one partner, birth control use tends to decline. 

Read more at Latin American Herald →

President Santos Declares State of Emergency in Colombia Due to Worst Downpours in Decades (VIDEO)

President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos expressed his regret over the loss of lives and declared a 30 day state of emergency that could be extended, if the downpours battering the Antioquia region don’t subside.

Weather experts say the storms and showers season could last until March.

Flooding and landslides caused by torrential rain have killed 206 people and left more than 1.5 million people homeless in 28 of the 32 state provinces of the northern most south american nation.

“We have decided to declare an economic, social and environmental state of emergency in the disaster area for 30 days, an we’ll probably extend it up to 90 days” said Santos, after evaluating damages in the area where authorities estimate at least 100 people lost their lives to the massive landslides of the weekend.

“The priority of all our actions here and in the whole country is to save lives and lighten the suffering of the people, then we will think about how to repair the damages,” said the president and urged regional governors to evacuate high risk areas, saying the mud avalanche was a “tragedy foretold” that could happen again if measures aren’t applied.

“To all the residents of this high risk zone, I ask you: in so far as is possible, let us evacuate this area. They have shown me places where what happened on Sunday could happen again and we have to avoid that,” Santos said. Image

President Santos promised his government would build 1000 new homes in Bello, Antioquia for victims who lost their homes or had to be evacuated, and would help pay their rent until they could be relocated.

The Disasters and Emergencies Coordinator of the Social Protection Ministry, Luis Fernando Correa assured that the affected families will receive 10 million colombian pesos (around $5,000) and the injured will get an endowment “to give them aid, for transportation, emergency medical service, hospitalization, medicines and rehabilitation,” as the region has been declared a disaster zone.

Read more by HS News Staff →

BREAKING NEWS:  Fire in Chilean Prison Kills at Least 81 (UPDATE) (VIDEO)

A fire broke at the San Miguel prison in the Chilean capital city of Santiago that reportedly has left 83 inmates dead. Reports indicate the fire broke out early this morning in a wing of the prison that houses 2900 inmates.

Chilean authorities have said that in the southern wing of the prison only 5 prisoners out of 72 made it out alive. In the north wing, 60 out of 75 prisoners were rescued, the others died due to suffocation from the smoke.

Hospital sources informed that all prisoners admitted are at a risk for death, and suffered severe burns in their respiratory airways.

Human Rights organizations have asked the government to set up a Center of Attention to assist families of dead and injured victims. They are labeling the response to the fire as inhuman. There have been reports of desperate and confused family members throwing mud and rocks at penitentiary officials desperate for clear and concise information.

The Chilean Secretary of State informed that president Sebastián Piñera cancelled all items on his morning agenda to attend to the crisis, and has met with the ministers of State, Justice and Health to discuss the events, and ways to improve the jail system.


Read more by HS News Staff →

U.S. Officials Meet with 14-Year Old Mexican Assassin; Two Sisters also Drug Cartel Members

U.S. Embassy officials in Mexico met with the 14-year old alleged assassin in prison to assure his safety and inform him of his rights in a foreign country, should he indeed be a U.S. citizen.  They are still searching for a birth certificate for the boy to make final confirmation of U.S. citizenship.

‘El Ponchis’ as he is known, has been detained by Mexican officials for the torture and beheadings of four individuals in Mexico.  The boy was arrested with his 19 year-old sister as they were getting ready to board a flight to San Diego to be with family. 

The 19-year sister has been identified as Elizabeth Jimenez Lugo, both are suspected of working with the South Pacific Cartel leader Julio ‘El Negro’ Padilla.  Elizabeth is allegedly El Negro’s girlfriend. 

A 23-year old sister, Lina Erika Jimenez Lugo, who drove the pair to the airport, has also been arrested as an alleged cartel member. 

Read more at Google News →

New Technology Launched in Mexico by GoogleEarth Will Track Environmental Changes

Google has made public a new online technology that will allow scientists to monitor and quantify changes to the environment, using 25 years worth of satellite data collected by LANDSAT, the longest satellite continuously orbiting around Earth.

The internet giant has labeled the new product Google Earth Engine. Presented during the International Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico, it’s potential applications include tracking deforestation and mapping land trends. It comes with some of Google’s signature mind bending quirks, including tools that remove clouds and haze from satellite images among others.

Researchers are using the tool to produce maps illustrating forest canopy damage in the Amazon, and persistent surface water in Central Africa.  Google demonstrated the capabilities of the new technology to attendees at the Climate Change Conference by creating the most comprehensive scale map of Mexico’s forest and water resources ever made. Produced in collaboration with Mexico’s National Forestry Commission, the map used 15,000 hours worth of computation, and 53,000 LANDSAT scenes; this project alone would have taken three years to accomplish using one computer, according to Google officials, the Google Earth Engine did it in one day.

“No one has ever been able to analyze that entire data set for Mexico, or even come close,” said Rebecca Moore, the project’s engineering manager.

The map will be used by Mexico to make decisions about land use.


Read more by HS News Staff →

WednesdayDecember 8, 2010