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ThursdayMarch 17, 2011

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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United Airlines & Hispanic Education Org. Sponsor Video Contest on Latin America

United Airlines & Hispanic Education Org. Sponsor Video Contest on Latin America

Photo: United Airlines and Latin America

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United, a wholly owned subsidiary of United Continental Holdings, Inc. and the ¡Adelante! U.S. Education Leadership Fund has announced their 2011 video contest, “Destino: Latinoamérica” (“Destination: Latin America”), for Hispanic college students.

To enter, students must submit a two-to-three-minute video highlighting five reasons to visit one of the Latin American or Caribbean countries where United flies. The first-place winner will receive four tickets good for travel to any United destination in the continental U.S., Mexico, Central America or the Caribbean. The second-place video maker will get two tickets. 
 
The deadline for the video submission is May 27.  Videos, which may be submitted in English or Spanish, must be no more than three minutes long. Videos will be judged on clarity of expression, originality and creativity.  Winners will be announced at ¡Adelante’s! Leadership Institute for Hispanic college students in San Antonio, Texas, on Oct. 17;

“The ‘Destino: Latinoamérica’ video contest gives students a great opportunity to see a part of the world with similar cultures and ancestry to their own,” said Jay Zambrano, executive director, ¡Adelante! Fund, whose mission is to increase Hispanic college graduation rates.  “We hope that the travel experience can lead to a better understanding of themselves, plus a stronger connection to their own backgrounds.”

United also provides tickets for 10 ¡Adelante! scholarship recipients from around the U.S. to attend the organization’s October Leadership Institute in San Antonio.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Minority Groups Support Planned Parenthood

In two letters to Congressional leadership sent this week, more than 30 leading medical and public health organizations, including the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Nurses Association, expressed their support for continued funding of Planned Parenthood and the national family planning program (Title X).

This is in response to the House Republican leadership’s extreme proposals to eliminate Title X and, separately, bar Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal funds for any purpose, including preventive health care, lifesaving cancer screenings, breast exams, birth control, HIV testing, and testing and treatment for other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).  Both proposals face significant resistance in the Senate.

A second letter, signed by 18 leading HIV/AIDS advocacy organizations — including HIV Law Project, the National Minority AIDS Council, and the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) — highlights the critical roles that Planned Parenthood and Title X play in preventing the spread of HIV.

Read more at Minority News →

U.S. Drones Are Helping to Fight Mexico’s Drug War

U.S. Drones Are Helping to Fight Mexico’s Drug War

Photo: U.S. unmanned drones

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Aiding Mexico’s battle against the overpowering drug cartels, the U.S. has sent unmanned aircrafts to conduct surveillance flights over dangerous areas.

The Mexican government confirmed the use of the droids in a statement released Wednesday. Though Mexico is appreciative of the assistance, many are questioning the U.S.’s interference in a country long known for being proud of their independence.

“These missions have been especially useful in helping combat crime and have increased the technological superiority of Mexican authorities,” said President Felipe Calderon’s security council in a statement.

The droid flights began last month, and the information collected has already provided useful information, particularly in regards to the investigation of U.S. Customs Agent Jaime Zapata’s death.

Zapata was shot and killed on February 15th in an attack by people suspected to be drug gang members. They shooters also wounded Zapata’s partner.

When President Obama met with Calderon earlier this month, The Times said the two agreed that the drone missions should continue, but Mexican officials are wary of U.S. interference, as they are sensitive about their nation’s sovereignty, even if such interference were to assist in the fight against drug trafficking.

Over the next several years, the U.S. has promised Mexico anti-drug equipment to the tune of $1.3 billion, including Black Hawk helicopters, and training.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hispanic National Bar Association Tackles Foreclosure Crisis in Latino Communities

Hispanic National Bar Association Tackles Foreclosure Crisis in Latino Communities

Photo: Hispanic National Bar Association

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The HNBA is proud to announce the launch of its Street Law en Español: Understanding Foreclosures Program.  This initiative was inspired by the ongoing foreclosure crisis and its disparate impact on the Latino communities across the country.  To respond to this crisis, HNBA has joined with the Coalition for Debtor Education, a not-for-profit organization whose continuing mission is to assist consumers, with a particular emphasis on vulnerable populations, in understanding and improving their ability to manage their financial affairs. 

The program consists of a training webinar.  The webinar is geared towards educating law students who are interested in educating their local communities regarding foreclosure, consumer debt, and bankruptcy laws.  Interested Latin American Law Student Associations (LALSAs) and Hispanic American Law Student Associations (HLSAs) have already started gathering interested members and coordinating workshops with professors in their law school, local attorneys in the fields of consumer debt, bankruptcy and foreclosure, and community-based organizations, for community members who are facing foreclosure or other debt issues. 

The purpose of these workshops is NOT to give legal advice to community members, but rather to provide them with information, including local resources, and help them to understand intricate and confusing legal principles at a basic level.

Michael Salorio, President of the Hispanic Law Students Association at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, William H. Bowen School of Law, said “We’re excited to serve as the pilot program right here in Little Rock, where there’s a large population of Mexican and Central American immigrant families who really stand to benefit from the planned workshop.”

Workshops are in the planning for Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, New York, Texas, and Washington D.C…with more to come.

Read more by HS News Staff →

HAPPY ST. PATRICKS DAY From Your Friends At HS-News! Celebrate with Green Tequila

HAPPY ST. PATRICKS DAY From Your Friends At HS-News! Celebrate with Green Tequila

Photo: Mariachi Irish drinking songs, anyone?

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HS-News brings you two Green Tequila recipes to get your Irish going this Saint Patrick’s Day!


Herradura Green Agave
Ingredients:

1 1/2 ounces Herradura BlancoImage
1 ounce Melon Liqueur
Squeeze fresh lime juice

Directions:

Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice.
Shake and strain into a martini glass.
Garnish with a lime wedge.

Rosangel Luck (of the Irish)
Ingredients:

1 part Rosangel
1 part White Cranberry juice
2 splashes Midori melon liqueur
1 splash triple sec

Directions:

Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice.
Shake and strain into a martini glass.
Garnish with an orange twist.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Investigators Say Fatal Shooting of Guatemalan Immigrant by LAPD Was Justified

The police commission in Los Angeles, has ruled that the fatal shooting of a Guatemalan immigrant by the LAPD was justified.

With a unanimous agreement, the commission decided that officer Frank Hernandez acted within department policy when he shot 37-year-old Manuel Jaminez Xum on September 5th. Xum died the next day.

The shooting outraged a number of people believing the situation should have been handled differently. It led to three days of protesting, and 20 being arrested. Carlos Montes of the Southern California Immigrant Coalition said, “Many people in the community saw that Jaminez was no serious threat to anyone. He was too drunk to walk and could barely stand and there are people who even said he didn’t have a weapon.”

But the LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa have defended Hernandez’s actions.

On Sept. 5th, police say Xum was drunk while riding his bike and threatening people. Hernandez claims Xum lunged at him, which forced him to shoot. Chief Beck says there was a knife recovered at the scene.

“The vast majority of the witnesses described the knife, described the actions. There’s a lot of angst about this in the community and a lot of misinformation,” Beck said.

Read more at abc Los Angeles →

Violent Struggle Over Illegal Mining in Colombia Forces Hundreds to Flee

Violent Struggle Over Illegal Mining in Colombia Forces Hundreds to Flee

Photo: Illegal Mining in Colombia

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At least 800 ethnic Afro-Colombians have had to flee their homes in western Colombia since the start of the month because of a struggle between armed groups in the mineral-rich area to control illegal mining activities, the United Nations refugee agency reported today.

The displaced villagers from the Anchicayá River region have sought shelter in Colombia’s Pacific Ocean port city of Buenaventura, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported from Bogotá, the capital city.

UNHCR staff will visit the area in the coming days with Government officials and representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to gather first-hand information and assess the situation.

The displacement follows an incident on February 28 when members of an illegal armed group stopped a public bus in the area and shot a male villager. A week later, two other bodies were seen floating in the Anchicayá River. The area is rich in mineral resources, including gold.

Some 370 children are among the hundreds of internally displaced persons (IDPs) who have registered with authorities since arriving in Buenaventura, according to UNHCR.

The agency reported that a group of about 200 members of the Embera indigenous community in Colombia’s Chocó department – which is to the north of Buenaventura – have had to flee their homes along the banks of the Pavasa River because of the activities of a separate illegal armed group.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Why Mexicans Have a Special Place in Their Hearts for St. Patrick’s Day (VIDEO)

Why Mexicans Have a Special Place in Their Hearts for St. Patrick’s Day (VIDEO)

Photo: St. Patricios supported Mexicans in the War against the US

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St. Patrick’s day might be the day of the Irish, but it holds a special significance to Mexican people too, due to the brave actions of heroes known as San Patricios.

While tales of their military skills and rock solid determination are not popular outside of México and the South West, in México the redheaded group of men known as “los colorados” who fought alongside the Mexicans in the Mexican American War, have national hero status.

“Los San Patricios” became a crucial part of the Mexican Army during the war; a group of foreigners who, displeased with the ethnic and immigrant bias on the part of Anglo-Protestant officers, and losing faith in the reasons they were given for fighting Mexican Catholics, deserted the American Army, and joined the Mexican side.

“The San Patricios were alienated both from [U.S.] American society as well as the U.S. Army,” says Professor Kirby Miller of the University of Missouri, an expert on Irish immigration. “They realized that the army was not fighting a war of liberty, but one of conquest against fellow Catholics such as themselves.”

They were led by Captain John Riley of Clifden in County Galway—and in deference to Ireland referred to themselves as the St. Patrick’s Battalion. They fought against the U.S. forces in all the war’s major campaigns and according to their Mexican comrades “deserved the highest praise, because they fought with daring bravery.”

Despite fighting with tremendous might, the Mexican army—even supported by a squad of Patricios that fought like their Norse ancestors, the American Army proved to be more powerful, and these Patricios paid the ultimate prize for switching sides.

Every San Patricio who deserted from the U.S. Army was jailed and subsequently court-martialed. Many were set free, but the Irish paid for their crime; accounting for approximately half of those executed.

Respect for the Irish remains high in Mexico, as well as those of Mexican heritage. In 1959, the Mexican government dedicated a commemorative plaque to the San Patricios in San Angel, a Mexico City suburb. The plaque lists all the names of the battalion of immigrants who lost their lives in battle and execution.

On this St. Patrick’s Day (and future ones as well) don’t forget to the toast to the San Patricios, who understood the tribulations of immigrants and chose to stand with them in battle until the end.

¡Viva los San Patricios! ¡ Viva la justicia!

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

President Obama’s Trip to Latin America “Still On”

President Obama’s Trip to Latin America “Still On”

Photo: President Obama prepares to visit Latin America

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Despite earlier speculation that, due to the current unrest in the Middle East and the fear of nuclear disaster in Japan, President Obama might not travel to Latin American, White House spokesman Jay Carney said, “The trip is still on. The president will be going…”

President Obama will leave for Brazil on Friday, and looks to advance U.S. foreign policy and revive its economy. He will also travel to Chile and El Salvador.

“You have to remember that economic growth in the United States is the president’s top priority,” said Carney. “This trip is very focused on economic opportunities for the United States and the trade relationship.”

The president and his family are scheduled to visit Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, and San Salvador while in Brazil. These locations were chosen to shine a light on the economic and trade issues as well as take a step toward energy and cooperation.

U.S. officials have taken notice of Latin America’s economic improvements in recent years, with the deputy national security advisor for international economic affairs Mike Froman saying, “There has been tremendous progress in this region economically over the last decade or so. It is playing an increasingly important role in our economic well-being.”

“This trip fundamentally is about the US recovery, US exports, and the critical relationship that Latin America plays in our economic future and jobs here in the United States.”

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, after speaking in Washington with Antonio Patriota, Brazil’s foreign minister, had a look at President Obama’s agenda for his trip, and said, “We are cooperating closely and our bilateral work on           issues and global challenges, including food security and human rights, and clean energy and global inequality, is key to both of us and we will explore even additional ways to pursue our common interests and our common values.”

Chile will be the president’s second stop, and is expected that he will give a regional speech on the March 21st. It is also believed that Obama will ask Chile to take more discernible role in Latin America, and be an economic role model for other countries, as well as defender or democracy and human rights. Chile has previously been hesitant to boast about it’s democratic ways, as it did not want step on the toes of its neighbors.

The American president’s final stop will be El Salvador. The country is not as solid as Chile and Brazil and is hoping to gain the support of the U.S.. The main point of discussion will be the regional security issue and, together, working on solutions to the problems of drug trafficking, gangs and organized crime, said El Salvador’s ambassador to the U.S. Francisco Altschul.

Though an overwhelming majority of media will be focused on other international news, these three Latin American countries will likely take advantage of the president’s time, and look to redefine their relationships with the U.S.

Read more by HS News Staff →

BE WARNED: Serial Scammer Targeted L.A. Latino Community

BE WARNED: Serial Scammer Targeted L.A. Latino Community

Photo: Ponzi Scheme Targeting Latinos

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Last month, a California con man was sentenced to 22 years in prison for running a Ponzi scheme that raked in at least $30 million from more than 500 victims and for launching a mortgage fraud operation that targeted distressed homeowners.

The man behind these scams—a Mexican national living in the U.S.—did most of that damage by purposely targeting mostly working-class, Spanish-speaking victims in Los Angeles.

And at Juan Rangel’s sentencing hearing, more than a dozen victims addressed the court, including one investor who had been convinced to invest money she received after her son was killed while serving as a U.S. soldier in Iraq.

The Ponzi scheme. Rangel’s company—Financial Plus Investments—was never licensed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, but that didn’t stop him from offering investments with guaranteed returns as high as 60 percent annually.

Rangel solicited investors from Los Angeles through Spanish-language newspapers and magazines, radio advertisements, television infomercials, and investment seminars.

He told potential investors that his company earned profits from real estate-related investments, and that if they invested with him, their money would be used to buy, renovate, and sell properties…and make high-interest rate loans to homeowners who were facing foreclosure. But what they didn’t know was that Rangel was using their money to pay off prior investors and fund a $2.5 million mansion and luxury sports car.

But, as all Ponzi schemes do eventually, Rangel’s scam—which started around November 2007—began collapsing in on itself when he didn’t have enough new investors to pay off the old ones. Checks stopped going out, and Financial Plus closed its doors in July 2008.

The mortgage fraud scheme. For approximately two years before, Rangel and his Financial Plus vice-president—who was also charged in this scheme—identified homeowners who were in default on their mortgages but who still had substantial equity remaining in their properties. Spanish-speaking Financial Plus employees were then directed to make unsolicited visits to identified homeowners with Latino surnames.

Rangel and his vice president would then meet with the homeowners who were interested in Financial Plus’ offer to help them avoid foreclosure. Some homeowners were told that Financial Plus would refinance their properties with another lender using a “co-signer” who had good credit. Others were told that Financial Plus would arrange for temporary sales of the properties, that the titles would be transferred but they could still live in the home, and that the titles would be returned to them after a year or less.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Argentine Woman Says She Has Been Dating Shakira’s Ex for the last 6 Years (VIDEO)

Argentine Woman Says She Has Been Dating Shakira’s Ex for the last 6 Years (VIDEO)

Photo: Antonio de la Rúa Cheated on Shakira with Mariana Gallo

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Mariana Gallo, a 27 year old Argentine woman claims Antonio de la Rúa is a cheater and claim they had a 6 year relationship, even when he was seeing Shakira.

Gallo says that she and De la Rúa are childhood friends, and their relationship got more than friendly six years ago.

She claims to not only have met Shakira, but also to have travelled with the couple “without her knowing Antonito was cheating on her with me.”

“This comments are to, you know, force him to tell the truth, and face the situation” Gallo said to Univisión’s “Tijeras” adding she knows intimate details of the entrepreneur’s breakup with Shakira.  Shakira and de la Rua had been dating for eleven years until they broke up in August of last year.  He remains her manager and adviser. 

De La Rúa has not provided any comment.

 

 

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Crime is Costly in Mexico at Nearly $85.38 Billion a Year

Crime is Costly in Mexico at Nearly $85.38 Billion a Year

Photo: The cost of crime in Mexico

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A study just released by the Citizens Crime Research Institute (Icesi) revealed that crime costs accounted for 8.9 percent of Mexico’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009. That’s nearly $85.38 billion or 1.01 trillion pesos.

In 2007, 7.4 percent of the GDP went to crime-related costs, and it climbed to 8 percent in 2008, then to 8.9 percent in 2009.

In 2008 and 2009, crime-related spending rose 11.5 percent, costing each Mexico resident 10,363 pesos ($870) a year.

Federal, state, and municipal governments pay for 19.2 percent of the crime burden (and another 1.2 percent of indirect costs), while the private sector covers 79.7 percent of the cost.

“The increases in public investment have not resulted in a reduction in the crime rate” or in “the perception of crime among the population,” Icesi. The report also states that “the economic impact of crime has not eased in the country.” More money is being spent trying to handle crime, but that does not indicate that it is being used more wisely.

Read more at LAHT →

Atlanta Braves Coach Luis Salazar Loses Eye After Line Drive Hits Him

Atlanta Braves Coach Luis Salazar Loses Eye After Line Drive Hits Him

Photo: Atlanta Braves Coach Luis Salazar

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In his first year with the Atlanta Braves organization Coach Luis Salazar has suffered an enormous loss after a line drive hits him in the face during spring training.

54-year-old Salazar is the organization’s minor league manager and was injured last week in Florida when he was standing by the dugout in a game between the Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals.  That is when Brian McCann fouled a ball and hit him in the face.

Doctors were unable to save his eye but otherwise he is expected to make a full recovery.  McCann is said to be very shaken by the incident and has visited Salazar in the hospital. 

Prior to joining the Braves organization Salazar was a hitting coach for the L.A. Dodger and played major league baseball with the San Diego Padres when they played in the World Series in 1984.  He also played third base for the Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox. 


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Miami-Dade, Angry About Property Tax Hike, Vote out Mayor Carlos Alvarez

Miami-Dade, Angry About Property Tax Hike, Vote out Mayor Carlos Alvarez

Photo: Miami-Dade's Mayor Carlos Alvarez before being voted OUT of office

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In a special vote on Tuesday, Carlos Alvarez was removed as mayor of Miami-Dade county in Florida. The vote was triggered by an overwhelming majority of voters angry about a hike in property taxes.

Miami-Dade is one of the largest counties in the country, with about 2.5 million people. Before all the votes had even been counted, it was clear they were now in Alvarez’s favor. At one point, with just under 85 percent of the votes in, 88 percent of the votes were for the ousting of Alvarez.

The Republican mayor was first elected in 2004, then re-elected in 2008. The recall bid was headed by billionaire anti-tax advocate, Norman Braman. The former owner of the Philadelphia Eagles said the increase in property taxes would cause an “erosion in the quality of life” in Miami. Braman was a Spanish-language radio regular though he does not speak Spanish. He succeeded in getting Hispanics in the area to vote against the mayor, many of them already feeling betrayed my Alvarez.

Last year, Alvarez, 58, pushed through a budget that raised property taxes by 14 percent for 40 percent of the county’s homeowners, despite a double digit decrease in property values.

Two years ago, Alvarez told Miami to brace themselves for “tough times,” and then proceeded to give his aides relatively large raises. His former chief of staff’s salary went from $185,484 to $206,783.

And taking it as a slap in the face, the area’s residents, dealing with foreclosures and increased taxes, have to witness Alvarez drive around in a stylish BMW 500i Gran Turismo, which taxpayers help subsidize.

The Cuban-born now-former mayor, was raising taxes at a time when other counties and states are lowering them to stimulate the economy, and residents had had enough.

“Why would you raise property taxes when many people are fighting just to hold on to their homes? And then he raises salaries for some county workers,” said housewife Olga Navon, 45-year-old housewife. “He should have looked for another solution and been more sensitive at a time when people are worried about the economy and their jobs.”

Now, county commissioners can appoint an executive to serve the rest of Alvarez’s term – ending in late 2012 – or call a special election.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latinos Struggle in Los Angeles to Preserve Culturally Significant Hub of the City

Latinos Struggle in Los Angeles to Preserve Culturally Significant Hub of the City

Photo: Los Angeles El Pueblo Historic District

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Dozens of merchants along Los Angeles’ El Pueblo’s shopping street, who sell tacos and souvenirs, are afraid that city rent hikes could sever their historical attachment to this locale.

“I believe that the long-range plan is probably to run us all out of here,” said Mike Mariscal, 55, who wore a threadbare pleated guayabera shirt. “It’ll kill me.”  Mariscal runs a shop in Los Angeles El Pueblo historic district, he sells painted masks, woven blankets and Day of the Dead figurines.

A series of disputes surround the adobe buildings, shops and Mexican-era churches in an increasingly trafficked corner of L.A.  One argument is over Indian graves unearthed during construction of a Mexican-American cultural center. Another involves a monument to Hispanic war heroes where the original Chinatown once stood.

“It’s like a tiny version of Jerusalem. It involves multiple races and their claims to our city’s history,” said University of Southern California history professor Philip J. Ethington. “Anything having to do with its historical significance is going to make people stand up.”

El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument is believed to have been on the sidelines of a Gabrielino-Tongva Indian village before 1781, when an expedition of Spanish subjects of different ethnic backgrounds first founded the settlement that grew into Los Angeles.

Buildings in the village include the Avila Adobe house, and the church of La Placita, both dating from times under Spanish domain.

After the United States seized California territories during the 1846-1848 Mexican-American War, the site annexed part of the city’s original Chinatown.

In the 30’s, Christine Sterling, the widow of a lawyer for the always-swelling film industry, received the support of the City Council, to preserve and renovate the Avila Adobe.

She settled dozens of Hispanic merchants and artisans in shops along “Olvera Street” donning the area with a Mexican village feel.

The Church of La Placita draws some 10,000 devotees each week; it is a popular spot for baptisms, confirmations and weddings among the so many Catholic residents of surrounding Hispanic neighborhoods.

Plans to modernize the city of Los Angeles, including a possible high-speed rail hub through the area, has resulted in the area becoming a battleground for the descendants and advocates of the city’s ethnic communities whose entire lives revolves around the site.

“Los Angeles is known for erasing its history and trampling on one culture to serve another,” said lawyer Robert Garcia. “The heightened interest in downtown Los Angeles underscores more than ever the need to revive the forgotten history of Los Angeles.”

García, filed a lawsuit alleging the city of Los Angeles failed to obtain proper approvals, when it allowed a war veterans association to build a monument to Hispanic Congressional Medal of Honor recipients on a field that had previously been Tongva village land and was later part of the original Chinatown.

Mariscal, and other merchants, who have long staged Day of the Dead festivals and Las Posadas Christmas pageants, say their own culture is at stake in a fight with the city over spiking rent.  They won’t say how much they currently pays but claimed the hike would drain their profits.

“I’m not going to work 60 to 80 hours a week just to give what little I make to the city,” he said.

 

 

 

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Minority Organizations Say Debit-Card Fees Cap May Negatively Affect Latinos in the Long Run

Minority Organizations Say Debit-Card Fees Cap May Negatively Affect Latinos in the Long Run

Photo: Debit Cards for Hispanics

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The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) are expressing concern about the Federal Reserve’s proposed caps on debit-card interchange fees set to take effect in July.

“I am concerned that without a thorough examination of the unintended effects of this amendment, the Hispanic community, which relies heavily on debit cards, will suffer a significant burden,” Javier Palomarez, the USHCC chief executive officer, wrote in a letter to lawmakers.

His assertation and that of others is that the limits would force people with low incomes to get rid of checking accounts because of new fees bankers would put on those accounts to make up for the revenue they would lose on debit-cards.  Banks are expected to lose some $12 Billion by the cap.

The USHCC, NAACP and others are urging members of Congress to analyze all the possible effects this cap would have. 

“Should this occur, then the 80 million underserved consumers in the United States—including thousands of Hispanics who use general-use prepaid debit cards today—would be adversely impacted,” Palomarez wrote in the letter to John Boehner, Speaker of the House. 

Read more at Bloomberg →

Cartoon Art Museum to Present First Ever Latino Comics Expo

Cartoon Art Museum to Present First Ever Latino Comics Expo

Photo: Cartoon Art Museum, San Francisco

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Cinco de Mayo always brings many tasty treats and ethnic delights to the San Francisco Bay Area. In celebration of the season, the Cartoon Art Museum presents the First Annual Latino Comics Expo on Saturday, May 7 and Sunday, May 8, 2011.

The Latino Comics Expo is an event celebrating the influence of Latino culture on the comic book arts. The event founders are longtime Bay Area arts patron Ricardo Padilla and cartoonist/publisher Javier Hernandez.

Attending creators include Michael Aushenker, EL GATO, CRIME MANGLER; Hector Cantu, writer of the BALDO newspaper strip; Jose Cabrera, CRYING MACHO MAN; Jaime Crespo, TORTILLA; Javier Hernandez, EL MUERTO; Rafael Navarro, SONAMBULO; Anthony Opreza, AMIGOMAN; Grasiela Rodriguez, LUNATIC FRINGE; Carlos Saldaña, BURRITO; and others to be announced. Museum patrons will have the opportunity to meet these artists, purchase books, get original sketches and participate in workshops and special presentations throughout the weekend.

Highlighting the Expo will be a rare convention appearance by Mario Hernandez, who launched the legendary LOVE AND ROCKETS comic book series back in 1982 , along with his brothers Jaime and Gilbert. Mario will be conducting a reading and signing. An exhibition celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of LOVE AND ROCKETS is scheduled to launch at the Cartoon Art Museum in 2012.

“We’re honored that Ricardo and Javier approached us to host this historic event,” said Cartoon Art Museum Curator Andrew Farago. “They’re bringing a lot of knowledge and a lot of enthusiasm to the Expo, and I’m looking forward to working with such a talented group of creators. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Ricardo’s already started planning for the Second Annual Latino Comics Expo.”

Founded in 1984, the Cartoon Art Museum is the only museum in the western United States dedicated to cartoons and comics. The Museum was started by a group of cartoonists and collectors who wanted to share their appreciation of this unique art form with the rest of the world. The Museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation, study and exhibition of original cartoon art in all forms to benefit historians, cartoonists, journalists, artists, collectors and the general public.

Read more by HS News Staff →

UN Secretary General Voices Concern About Guatemala’s Human Rights Violations and Rising Crime

UN Secretary General Voices Concern About Guatemala’s Human Rights Violations and Rising Crime

Photo: Ban Ki-moon with President Colom of Guatemala

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today expressed appreciation of Guatemala’s contribution to United Nations peacekeeping operations, but also voiced alarm at the worsening rate of crime, insecurity and human rights violations in the Central American country.

Mr. Ban told reporters that at a meeting with members of the Guatemalan cabinet, he had expressed alarm over rising crime and insecurity and that he was particularly concerned about abuses of human rights. “Ending impunity is critical to protecting all Guatemalans from violence,” he said, adding that the UN will provide additional support.

“We have to foster security for all Guatemalans and their children. I am sure the people of Guatemala agree they did not end 36 years of armed conflict only to see violence take other forms.  Now it is time to end all violence,” said Mr. Ban.

The Secretary-General recalled that Guatemala is known throughout the world for its ecological diversity, its rich culture, and its proud history. “Our shared challenge today is to ensure that Guatemala also earns a reputation as a haven of justice, respect for human rights, and true security.  We have serious work ahead,” he said.

He described his talks with Mr. Colom as “constructive,” saying they covered important issues of concern to both of them, including insecurity, poverty, violence against women, regional issues, and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the global commitments to reducing extreme and boosting social-economic progress by the target date of 2015.

He said that Mr. Colom and he were in full agreement on the importance of the work of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). “I expressed the UN’s strong support for CICIG and Commissioner Francisco Dall’Anese,” Mr. Ban said.

The Secretary-General also met Nobel Peace Prize laureate Rigoberta Menchu and was due to have bilateral with several heads of State in Central America, including those of Costa Rica, Belize, El Salvador, Panama, the Dominican Republic and Honduras. He was also slated to launch the UN Peacebuilding Fund’s engagement in Guatemala.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Obama Urged to Halt Deportations until Promised Immigration Reform is Approved

Obama Urged to Halt Deportations until Promised Immigration Reform is Approved

Photo: No More Deportations

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34 Leaders of 24-immigrant advocacy US organizations leaders have asked President Obama to issue an executive order halting all deportations until immigration reform is approved.

“If there’s not going to be immigration reform, then halt the deportations and stop separating our families,” Angela Sanbrano, with the Chicago-based National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities, a network of dozens of community-based groups led by Latin American and Caribbean immigrants, told a press conference in DC on Tuesday at the end of a three-day gathering.

She also criticized the Secure Communities program, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement initiative launched in 2008 and designed to identify immigrants in U.S. jails who are deportable under immigration law, saying it causes immigrants to be viewed as criminals and a “threat.”

Jose Luis Gutierrez, NALACC’s associate director, said Secure Communities has been a colossal failure, citing a university study that found that 76 percent of people deported through that partnership between federal agencies and state and local law enforcement had no criminal record.

“The underlying issue here is that programs like these are being implemented that have a very negative perception of immigrants and a special focus on Mexican immigrants or those who resemble them, including Central Americans and Caribbean’s,” he added.

Aaron Ortiz, member of the Mexican-American Coalition for Immigration Reform, formed by a group of influential Mexican and Mexican-American leaders, concurred with Gutierrez on the need for direct lobbying of U.S. senators and representatives to encourage them to keep immigration reform on the agenda.

“It’s a fact that we won’t have it this year but we have to keep working to keep the debate going,” he added.

Read more at Fox News →

Spanish Church Starts Excommunication for Priest Who Paid for Abortions and Has Girlfriend

Spanish Church Starts Excommunication for Priest Who Paid for Abortions and Has Girlfriend

Photo: Father Manuel Pousa

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The Spanish Catholic Church in Barcelona has started the excommunication process for a priest that has admitted to paying for parishioners abortions and condones same-sex unions.

Barcelona’s Archbishop Lluis Martinez Sistach has confirmed Spanish church officials have met with Father Manuel Pousa regarding his own ‘declarations’ in a book where he admits to breaking canon law.  Father Pousa admissions on the abortions date back to 2008 whereas his book “Father Manuel: Closer to the Earth than to Heaven,” came out this year in February.  The church has been conducting its own due diligence on the matter ever since 2008, though many pro-life advocates wanted Pousa ousted immediately. 

In Pousa’s book and through interviews it has been determined he did indeed pay for an abortion and has blessed homosexual unions.  He has also espoused his belief that women should be ordained, rejects celibacy and has admitted to having a celibate relationship with his girlfriend.

Read more at Catholic News →

Univision Radio Raises More than $4.7 Million to Support St. Jude Hospital and Children with Cancer

Univision Radio Raises More than $4.7 Million to Support St. Jude Hospital and Children with Cancer

Photo: Promesa y Esperanza, Univision & St. Jude

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In a nationwide effort to help fight childhood cancer and other deadly diseases, Univision Radio, the leading Spanish-language radio group in the United States, and its listeners raised more than $4.7 million in cash and pledges during the 14th annual Promesa y Esperanza (Promise and Hope) radiothon, which took place on February 3 and 4, benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, the nation’s top children’s cancer hospital.

Univision Radio stations across the country and Puerto Rico dedicated more than 30 hours of programming to raising funds for St. Jude and its lifesaving medical research.

New this year, Univision Network and Univision Local Media used social media resources, such as Facebook and Twitter, and the St. Jude webpage, www.promesayesperanza.org, to motivate fans to support the radiothon.

Since opening in 1962, St. Jude has treated children from all 50 states and around the world. From public donations such as the Promesa y Esperanza radiothon, St. Jude researchers and doctors are able to share medical discoveries around the world, including several Latin American countries, to help increase survival rates for children with cancer and other catastrophic illnesses.

Read more by HS News Staff →



ThursdayMarch 17, 2011