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WednesdayMay 25, 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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Cesar Chavez Home Nominated for Placement in National Historic Registry

Cesar Chavez Home Nominated for Placement in National Historic Registry

Photo: National Chavez Center as Historic Landmark

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The nine-member California Historic Resources Commission voted on May 19 to nominate the National Chavez Center, where Cesar Chavez lived and led the farm worker movement during his last 22 years at La Paz in Keene, Calif., for placement on the National Historic Registry. The nomination by state commissioners, all gubernatorial appointees, during their quarterly meeting at Santa Monica City Hall is being transmitted to the National Park Service, which together with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will make the final decision.

The California commission cited the “unquestionable” national historical importance of Chavez’s 187-acre complex in the Tehachapi Mountains between Bakersfield and Mojave where the farm labor and civil rights leader is also buried. On Feb. 21, Secretary Salazar and National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis joined 800 farm worker veterans and supporters in dedicating the movement’s “Forty Acres” complex outside Delano as a National Historical Landmark.

“Forty Acres and other historical sites in the town of Delano were where the first half of the story of Cesar Chavez and the farm worker civil rights movement took place,” says Paul F. Chavez, president of the Cesar Chavez Foundation, which owns and manages both the Forty Acres and the Chavez center in Keene. By nominating the Keene sites, the state historic commission recognizes them as “where the second half of the story of my father and the farm worker movement occurred.”

Making it on the National Historic Registry affords a certain level of protection, Paul Chavez points out. The Keene facilities, often called La Paz, were where Cesar Chavez planned strategies, mapped out organizing, boycott and political campaigns, trained farm worker leaders and held large community celebrations and gatherings from 1971 until his death in 1993.

Keene is also one of a number of historical sites in California and Arizona associated with Cesar Chavez that Congress instructed the National Park Service to study in order to evaluate a range of options for preservation and public visitation, and examine ways to use these sites to help tell important aspects of farm labor history. The study will consider appropriate roles for the park service to preserve these sites and tell these stories.

Today, the National Chavez Center includes a 7,000 square foot Visitor Center featuring Chavez’s carefully preserved office and library, multi-media room and exhibit spaces; beautifully landscaped memorial gardens surrounding his gravesite; and the recently opened Villa La Paz, a 17,000 sq. ft. conference and retreat center where new generations of leaders will gather in the renovated historic Mission-style structure where Chavez met, strategized and planned during most of the last quarter-century of his life.


Read more by HS News Staff →

Largest Corporate Social Responsibility Conference for the Americas Opens in Paraguay

Largest Corporate Social Responsibility Conference for the Americas Opens in Paraguay

Photo: Major Conference in Paraguay

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The Inter-American Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility, CSRAmericas 2011, opened in Paraguay with a reaffirmation of the importance of corporate social responsibility as a key tool for transforming Latin American society..

More than 800 entrepreneurs from 35 countries and more than 100 panelists from the private and public sector are attending including Federico Franco, acting Paraguayan President and Danilo Astori, Vice President of Uruguay.

In his inaugural address, Paraguayan Finance Minister Dionisio Borda noted that the bicentennial celebration of his country’s independence coincides with “the most important forum on corporate social responsibility in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Borda emphasized the Paraguayan government’s commitment to encourage responsible business practices as part of the country’s strategy to benefit from its record 2010 GDP growth of 15.3 percent.

The conference, which will continue until May 26, focuses on three main themes: business solutions to social challenges, responsible solutions to business challenges, and a business approach to climate change.

Read more by HS News Staff →

San Antonio: Organization Files Suit to Stop the Renaming of Street to Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard

San Antonio: Organization Files Suit to Stop the Renaming of Street to Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard

Photo: Cesar E. Chavez

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Years after his death, revolutionary Cesar Chavez is still at the heart of controversy. This time, over a street sign

In San Antonio, Texas, city council members approved the renaming of a 5.4-mile street to “Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard” after the Mexican-American labor organizer, but the San Antonio Conservation Society has filed suit to stop the change.

Rollette Schreckenghost-Smith, president of the society, said, “We consider the name of a street historic.”

But Jaime Martinez, who has been advocating for the street rename for more than 10 years thinks the society’s reasoning is just a guise.

“If we had picked anyone other than Cesar Chavez, we would not have had a problem,” said Ramirez. “He was for labor. He was for civil rights. He was for human rights. He was for the poorest of the poor. He was like Martin Luther King, and some of them are very conservative.”

This is just the most recent battle of Chavez’s legacy, as while some look back on his work with admiration, others do not.

Chavez was the founder of the National Farm Workers Association in 1962, which would grow to become the United Farm Workers. His work shines a light on the struggle of agricultural laborers, and helped them get better pay and more safe work conditions.

As for this “struggle” in San Antonio, the city’s Attorney General Michael Bernard said, ““This seems to be a controversial subject. It seems to be an emotional subject. ... There’s a lot of efforts to turn public policy questions into legal questions. “From a legal point of view, I think the procedures were followed.”

Read more at CNN →

REINVENTING the Mexican Siesta!

REINVENTING the Mexican Siesta!

Photo: Before and After the Siesta Revolution!

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ImageThis Madrid based architecture/design conglomerate is set to revolutionize the dozing off at the office industry with Ostrich, the XXI century siesta device. 

OSTRICH is the name of this sleeping bag hood thingy, which according to the creators “offers a micro environment in which to take a warm and comfortable power nap at ease.”

Designed by Kawamura-ganjavian, OSTRICH “is neither a pillow nor a cushion, nor a bed, nor a garment, but a bit of each at the same time. Its soothing cave-like interior shelters and isolates our head and hands (mind, senses and body) for a few minutes, without needing to leave our desk.”

Currently operating from Madrid, Kawamura-ganjavian is an architecture and design studio founded in 2000 by Key Portilla-Kawamura and Ali Ganjavian.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Frosty Pod Rot Threatens Cocoa Farms in Latin America

Frosty Pod Rot Threatens Cocoa Farms in Latin America

Photo: Frosty pod rot threatens cocoa farms in Latin America

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Cocoa farmers in Latin America are battling a hearty opponent that is already on its way to crippling the chocolate industry, as it is a main ingredient in the treat.

Frosty Pod Rot is an invasive disease caused by a fungus first identified in Ecuador in 1917. It has since rapidly spread to other countries throughout Latin America with the exception of Brazil, but the country’s farmers are scrambling to protect their crops. Infested plantations can suffer dramatic yield losses, leading in some cases to complete destruction of the crop.

The disease is spread through spores that travel through the air or by human contact. It arrived in Mexico in 2005, which is the 6-largest producer in the region and the farthest north the disease can travel due to the climate.

In the 1900s, the infestation in Latin American had gotten so bad that healthy cocoa was sent to West Africa. Currently, the Ivory Coast provides one-third of the world’s cocoa, but political turmoil has threatened production.

Latin American government officials, as well as international researchers, have told the farmers that the best defense against the fungus is to use cocoa varieties that are resistant to the disease.

And though governments and food companies such as Nestlé SA and Mars Inc. have invested a substantial amount of money into cocoa genetics and breeding research, a disease-resistant variety has yet to be found.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal →

Harvard Alum and President of Mexico Felipe Calderon to Give Commencement Speech at Stanford

Harvard Alum and President of Mexico Felipe Calderon to Give Commencement Speech at Stanford

Photo: Mexico's President Felipe Calderon at Stanford

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Stanford University’s 2011 graduating class will be hearing Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon on its 120th Commencement day, June 12th, 2011. 

University President John Hennessy noted:

“President Calderón assumed office at one of the most challenging times in the history of his nation, and is a respected foreign leader who has been involved in public service and advocacy for his entire life.”

“He is committed to finding solutions to a number of national and global problems, ranging from combating drug cartels to comprehensive immigration reform and arms control. His views on a life devoted to solving pressing problems and to improving society will be particularly meaningful to our graduates, as will his experience leading a nation so vitally intertwined with the future of California and the United States.”

The University’s four senior president’s nominated Calderon in order to send “a powerful message” to the U.S. and the world about the importance of leadership in international cooperation and social justice.

Calderon has a Bachelor’s degree in law, Masters in economics, and a Master’s in public administration from Harvard in 2000.  He was elected as Mexico’s President in 2006 to a one-time six-year term. 


Read more by HS News Staff →

Edward James Olmos Joins Cast of “Dexter”

Edward James Olmos Joins Cast of “Dexter”

Photo: Edward James Olmos and Michael C. Hall

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Edward James Olmos is set to join the cast of “Dexter”.  Olmos is the first Latino addition to the upcoming and much awaited season of Showtime’s serial killer drama.

Oscar nominee (first Latino to receive the honor), Golden Globe and Emmy winner Edward James Olmos will play a “brilliant, charismatic professor of religious studies,” through the sixth season of Dexter.

No further details have been given, but the addition of rapper Mos (formerly Mos Def) as a “hardened ex-con who claims to have found religion yet seems to continually find himself surrounded by violence,” and the upcoming season’s tagline “All hell breaks loose,” certainly suggest the sixth season might deal with the usual issues of morality, now through a religious perspective.

Could Edward James Olmos be the next Trinity Killer? The next Lundy?

Details will surely surface as the show wraps up production this summer; we can’t wait to know who is going to play “Jamie” described as “an outgoing and fun Latina in her mid-20s, this Florida native relocates to Miami for grad school” and just what twisted happenings await blood splatter analyst Dexter Morgan this sixth season airing in September.

Read more by HS News Staff →

New Immigration Laws in Indiana Trigger Lawsuit by ACLU

New Immigration Laws in Indiana Trigger Lawsuit by ACLU

Photo: Indiana New Immigration Laws

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The new Indiana immigration laws that deny in-state tuition rates to undocumented immigrants and revokes tax credits for businesses found to be hiring undocumented individuals are going to be tested legally.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Indiana is set to file a lawsuit challenging the merits of these new laws – the suit is being filed on behalf of all foreign-born people in the state.  The two new bills were passed in April and just signed by Governor Mitch Daniels.

The basis of the ACLU legal filing is that the new Indiana laws encroach on the federal government that oversees all issues having to do with immigration.  Most of the controversial elements seen in other state immigration laws, such as allowing police officers to stop anyone and asking for proof of immigration and English-only mandates, were stricken.

Read more at Indy Channel →

Mexican Horse Racing May Be Coming to Colorado

Mexican Horse Racing May Be Coming to Colorado

Photo: Mexican horse racing may be coming to Colorado

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Looking to bring in more revenue, city leaders are considering bringing Mexican horse racing Island Grove Regional Park in Greeley, Colorado.

The Greeley Stampede is the park’s largest celebration, and Island Grove has become well known for its dog show facilities in recent years.

But recently, Greeley business man Alberto Loya suggested that the park bring horse racing enthusiasts to the venue year-round by holding Mexican horse racing events.

The quarter-mile track needed for Mexican horse racing would be on the south side of the park in the extra parking usually only used during the Greeley Stampede.

Mexican horse racing has two horses – one on one – run down the track, usually in front of hundreds or even thousands of people.

Loya would rent the park, as well as bleachers and fencing for the events, which would run 20-30 weekends a year when the park is not occupied by other events.

“This project is about bridging the cultural gap,” the executive summary stated. “It’s about bringing the community together. It’s about highlighting Greeley as a welcoming community.”

Loya regularly hosts events at Island Grove, including Mexican rodeos and concerts. This type of horse racing is very popular amongst Latinos.

Read more at Greeley Tribune →

Major Project Underway To Digitize and Preserve ALL Latin American Art Documents

Major Project Underway To Digitize and Preserve ALL Latin American Art Documents

Photo: Latin American art texts have been cataloged and digitized

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Thousands of 20th century Latin American art texts have been cataloged and digitized by teams based in the US and Latin America.

Manifestos, newspaper articles, letters, artists’ notes and sketches, lectures and unpublished manuscripts from 20th century artists will be available on Documents of 20th-Century Latin American and Latino Art, a digital archive and a companion publications project to come live next January.

Thousands of texts from 20th century Latin American art have been cataloged and digitized by teams in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, México, Perú, the United States and Venezuela.

Additionally, the Museum of Fine Arts of Houston and Yale University Press will publish documents deemed critical and representative of 20th-Century Latin American and Latino Art, into a 13-volume anthology, featuring selections of primary-source materials from the digital archive.

Mari Carmen Ramírez, curator of Latin Américan Art in MFAOH and director of the Latin American department’s research arm of the International Center for the Arts of the Americas, says the project could transform the field by preserving documents that might otherwise be lost and by giving collectors otherwise unavailable information and insights about Latin American art works, and by allowing scholars to compare artistic developments through Latin America.

“That’s something that’s never happened before, because these countries are isolated from each other in many ways,” she says.


Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico Still Awaiting Promised Aid From U.S. to Battle Drug Violence

Mexico Still Awaiting Promised Aid From U.S. to Battle Drug Violence

Photo: Mexico awaits additional promised aid from the U.S.

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In 2008, the U.S. government agreed to provide equipment and training for Mexico to help combat the ongoing drug violence, but despite the promised help from two administrations, less than 60 percent of that help has been received.

As the number of deaths rises, and the violence continue, U.S. officials point to the $423 million worth of aircraft, surveillance equipment, and training that has reached Mexico’s struggling security forces since December 2008. And President Obama is hoping to end an additional $500 million worth of assistance in the form of equipment and training by the end of 2011.

Mexico says delivery timelines have not been met, and only 74 percent of the spending is due to be completed by mid-2012.

Spokesman for the Mexican Embassy in Washington, Ricardo Alday says delivery of the aircraft and other equipment is “critically important,” and that “the importance of out bilateral relationship … should be the compass that allows all U.S. actors involved to comply with the promised delivery time frame.”

Six Blackhawks, a twin-engine intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft and four maritime surveillance aircraft are waiting to be delivered, while only 11 of 22 aircraft have been sent to Mexico.

Read more at Houston Chronicle →

New Technology Lets You Use Your Smartphone to Become Bilingual

New Technology Lets You Use Your Smartphone to Become Bilingual

Photo: Word Lens App for Translating Spanish

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Want to know Spanish but don’t want to learn Spanish, try using your smart phone camera and the Word Lens app.  The app was developed by Quest Visual CEO, Octavio Good.

You simply point your smart phone camera at a Spanish language sign, and then the app breaks down the word, letter by letter and translates them instantly.  Right now the application only translations Spanish to English and vice versa.

The translation, which is in real time, also comes with an expansive dictionary you can access as you are translating.  The app works best in outdoor light and with large lettering so don’t try translating the Mayan codices.

The app is still under development and will eventually add other languages. 

Read more at Smart Plant →

Report: 100,000 Fewer Hispanics in Arizona Than Before SB 1070 Was Signed Last Year

Report: 100,000 Fewer Hispanics in Arizona Than Before SB 1070 Was Signed Last Year

Photo: Hispanics leaving Arizona

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According to a BBVA Bancomer report, there are 100,000 fewer Hispanics in Arizona than their were at the start of 2010, when the controversial immigration bill SB 1070 was signed into law.

BBVA Bancomer is Mexico’s largest financial institution, and regularly publishes research on immigration issues from its economic studies service.

Though a margin of error must be allowed, as the information used is from a survey, the report said, “we estimate around 100,000 fewer Hispanics compared to how many there were at the start of 2010.

The report specifies that the majority of the Hispanics that left the state “are of Mexican origin” and suspects the decline “is due in large part to the potential (full) implementation of the law.”

BBVA said that if Hispanics had left due to the economic recession “the decrease observes would have begun prior” to April 2010, when Governor Jan Brewer signed SB 1070 into law.

It is not possible to pinpoint where they went after leaving Arizona, though some may have moved to other states, while a small number “returned to their home countries.”


Read more at LAHT →

Sen. Grassley Vows to Hold Up All Obama Nominees Until We Know How Mexican Cartels Got U.S. Guns

Sen. Grassley Vows to Hold Up All Obama Nominees Until We Know How Mexican Cartels Got U.S. Guns

Photo: U.S. Guns in Hands of Mexican Cartels

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Senator Chuck Grassley (R) is unsettled and angry that the Senate and the American people don’t know how U.S. guns got into the hands of Mexican drug cartels via U.S. sponsored programs.

The Iowa Senator is demanding that the Department of Justice unveil details around its ‘Gun Runner’ and ‘Fast and Furious’ programs otherwise he will hold up all of the President’s nominees for government posts. 

These programs were mandated to crush gun-smuggling routes from the U.S.-to-Mexico however approximately 1,300 weapons ended up in the cartels hands – one of those allegedly killing U.S. agent Brian Terry.

Some sources allege federal agents allowed the cartel the guns in hopes of tracing their route into Mexico and that government officials then lost track of them. 

Attorney General Eric Holder has started an internal investigation into the matter but otherwise justice officials are refusing to hand over all documents on the matter since there is a pending investigation. 

Read more at UPI →

Majority of Brazilians in Debt, Countrys Economic Growth Fueled by Credit Experts Say

Recent research is showing that over half of Brazilian families are in debt with high rates of debt default being predicted.  This is fueling the feeling that Brazil’s sky rocketing growth is mostly due to credit markets.

The research conducted by ‘Paulista Association of Supermarkets’ (APAS) shows that 75% of Brazilian households are finding it difficult to pay their bills leading to a prediction that defaults rates will reach a record 8%.

The Brazilian government is being proactive in launching initiatives to urge Brazilians to save and/or pay with cash.  They want to assure Brazil’s economic growth which has been stellar continues and is not fueled entirely by credit. 

Read more at Rio Times →

STUDY: Race or Immigrant Status Doesn’t Put You at Higher Risk for Suicide, Mental Illness Does

Native Americans may have higher rates of attempted suicide than other ethnic groups, but differences disappear when controlling for mental illness and sociodemographic factors, researchers said here.

In fact, risk of attempted suicide was nearly equalized across all racial groups—whites, blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asians—when controlling for these factors, reported Shay-Lee Bolton, PhD, of the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, during an oral session at the American Psychiatric Association meeting.

Suicide is a major public health problem in the U.S., with 34,000 deaths in 2007, the last year for which data were available, Bolton said. Prevention is a top priority, but the factors that drive patients to such attempts are unclear, particularly the relationship between ethnicity and suicidal behavior.

In fact, some studies have shown a higher risk among whites compared with blacks or Hispanics, while others have found the exact opposite. A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Native Americans had the highest rates of suicide among all ethnic groups in the U.S.

Like the latest CDC report, Bolton and colleagues found that Native Americans had the highest rates of attempted suicide at 6.5%, which was more than double that of whites, blacks, and Hispanics, who each reported a prevalence of around 3%.

Asians had the lowest percentage at 2%.

They also saw that across almost all racial groups, attempted suicide rates were two to three times greater for females than males, except among Asians, who had no sex differences in suicide rates, Bolton said.

Contrary to what the researchers expected, those who were foreign-born were less likely to attempt suicide than those born in the U.S., except among Asians, who were more likely to attempt suicide if they had migrated to the U.S.

Bolton called this finding interesting and novel given that many people think immigrants “may be more vulnerable, but in this case it seems they’re somewhat protected.”

Across all groups, suicide risk increased with decreasing income and increased with greater prevalence of mental disorders, Bolton said.

If they had any lifetime Axis I or II disorders, whites were 15 times more likely to have attempted suicide, Asians were 12 times more likely, Hispanics nine times, and blacks six times, Bolton said.

Read more at Minority Report →

Church Concerned About Rising Violence Against Women in Panama

Church Concerned About Rising Violence Against Women in Panama

Photo: map of Panama

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Concerned about the high number of women in Panama killed by their husbands or partners or former partners, the Archbishop of Panama, Mgr.José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, urged the authorities to enforce the law more effectively and priests to address the issue of domestic violence as a transversal issue in all catechesis.

The Archbishop believes this is a problem of enormous dimension - ethical, psychological and social - that deserves more attention from the authorities, with a stronger law enforcement. In addition, society must report the number of cases in a timely manner and “to ensure the care and protection of all women who make complaints, ” he added.

In a statement to the local news agency, Mgr.Ulloa Mendieta underlined: “We must condemn violence and support victims. ” The Archbishop also called on all people of good will to join efforts to support the work of organizations and groups currently working to prevent and protect women’s lives that are threatened in many homes of the community.

The number of women killed in Panama has increased dramatically. According to data from the Agency Alc, in 2011, until now, 55 women have been killed and more than 70 percent have been killed by their partner or former partner. The disturbing thing is that not even 6 months have gone by and already in 2011, the figures exceed the overall total of 2010, which ended with 42 homicides on behalf of women.

Read more at Agencia Fides →

WednesdayMay 25, 2011