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TuesdayJune 21, 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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ICE Assists Mexican Authorities in Seizing Over $2.4 million Concealed Inside Telephone Cable

ICE Assists Mexican Authorities in Seizing Over $2.4 million Concealed Inside Telephone Cable

Photo: Money Hidden in Cable

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Mexico’s customs authority, the Servicio de Administración Tributaria (SAT), with assistance from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), seized over $2.4 million concealed within four large rolls of telephone cable at the cargo facility of Mexico City’s Benito Juarez International Airport. The money was to be placed on a flight bound for Caracas, Venezuela.

On June 16, 2011, the Mexican authorities seized the currency for federal prosecution by the Procuraduría General de la República (PGR). U.S. and Mexican investigators continue to follow-up on all investigative leads.

The seizure is the result of joint HSI and SAT efforts under Operation Firewall, a comprehensive law enforcement operation targeting criminal organizations involved in the smuggling of large quantities of U.S. currency.

HSI is the largest investigative arm of DHS, charged with enforcing a wide array of laws, including those related to financial crime, trade fraud, narcotics smuggling, cash smuggling, and others. HSI has taken a leading role in combating bulk cash smuggling.

The HSI Office of International Affairs is a critical asset in this mission, responsible for enhancing national security by conducting and coordinating international investigations involving transnational criminal organizations and serving as HSI’s liaison to counterparts in local government and law enforcement. With agents in 69 offices in 47 countries, including Mexico City, the HSI Office of International Affairs works with their foreign counterparts to identify and combat transnational criminal organizations before they threaten the United States.

In October, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano and ICE Director John Morton joined senior Mexican officials to host the first-ever graduation of Mexican customs officials from a 10-week, HSI-led investigator training course at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy in North Charleston, S.C. Twenty-four men and women from SAT participated in the inaugural session of the Mexican customs investigator training conducted by HSI agents.

The course included coursework in both Mexican and U.S. customs law, as well as training in a wide variety of investigative techniques, officer safety tactics, and ethics - helping to provide the graduates with the tools and knowledge necessary to combat cross-border crime, including money laundering, customs offenses and weapons and drug trafficking, in close coordination with HSI special agents and other U.S. law enforcement officials.Image

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico Bans Shark Fishing in Federal Waters

The National Commission of Aquaculture and Fisheries (Conapesca) decided to ban the fishing of all shark species in federal waters on both coasts in order to contribute to the conservation of the resource.

The ban will be extended during the period of greatest reproductive intensity of the main species, that is to say, between May and August each year, and in each particular region.

According to Mexican fishery authorities, this is the first such action taken in the countries of Latin America.

Commission officials met on June 2 with concessionaires and licensees of commercial fishing for shark and specialists in this resource to present the results of “research on reproductive periods of representative species and the effects of their protection” by scientists from the National Fisheries Institute (Inapesca), reported Conapesca.

During the meeting held in Mexico City, Inapesca researchers detailed the methodology used in the sampling, presented the results of the studies in the geographical areas where the fleet of the country’s coastal work and the information from the observers’ programme on board.

Before publishing the establishment of the closed season in the Official Journal of the Federation (DOF), Conapesca will perform indications regarding the regulatory project with additional technical considerations made by experts of the Institute.

The meeting was also attended by some representatives of the National Chamber of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Canainpesca), of the Union of Coastal Shipowners from Océano Pacífico AC, of the National Federation of Fisheries Cooperatives (Conacoop) and Inapesca specialists.

Juan Campos Cárdenas, a spokesman for the Federation of Shark and Scale Cooperatives assured that fishermen are willing to enforce the ban. However, he sought to establish compensation for the period of inactivity.

While the Government considers that about 30,000 tonnes of sharks are caught annually in Mexican waters, several organizations for the protection of marine fauna warn that overfishing has reduced the volume, AFP reported.

Read more at http://www.fis.com/fis/worldnews/worldnews.asp?l=e&country=0&special=&monthyear=&day=&id=43394&ndb=1&df=0

U.S. Border Patrol Agents Rescue 13 Illegal Aliens From Extreme Conditions

U.S. Border Patrol Agents Rescue 13 Illegal Aliens From Extreme Conditions

Photo: US Border Patrol

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U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Rio Grande Valley Sector saved the lives of 13 illegal aliens over the weekend and early this morning.

The first incident occurred Friday when agents assigned to the Falfurrias Station rescued eight illegal aliens, who had fallen victim to harsh conditions in the brush near San Manuel, Texas. The agents received assistance from a Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine (OAM) helicopter that spotted the group and guided agents on the ground to the location.

Another two illegal aliens were rescued Saturday near Encino, Texas, after the Starr County Sherriff’s Office received a 911 call from two people who said they were lost and needed help. The information was relayed to agents assigned to the Falfurrias Station, who, with the assistance of an OAM helicopter, were able to locate the two men using GPS coordinates obtained from the phone call. The men appeared to be in good health and declined medical attention.

Falfurrias agents also rescued an illegal alien Sunday after she made a phone call to Brooks County 911 stating she was lost. The agents found the woman in good physical condition and she did not request medical attention.

The most recent rescue was made this morning when personnel onboard an OAM helicopter spotted two people struggling to swim across the Rio Grande. Agents assigned to the McAllen Station, who were patrolling the river by boat, responded to the area and were able to pull a man from the water. They also spotted a woman clinging to a tree and rescued her as well.

“When attempting to illegally enter the United States, people often underestimate the dangers posed by the Rio Grande and the harsh South Texas terrain,” Chief Patrol Agent Rosendo Hinojosa said. “Fortunately for these 13 individuals, our agents were able to prevent these incidents from ending tragically.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Juanes Announces Tour, Says 3 Year Hiatus is a Rumor

Juanes Announces Tour, Says 3 Year Hiatus is a Rumor

Photo: Juanes is not taking a break from music

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The Colombian singer said in an interview that his singing career is far from over, and he’ll just take a few family days after a series of Spain concerts.

Juanes feels he’s living through pivotal times, “[P.A.R.C.E.] is a very special tour for me. This has been a special year for me. This album is special, and the moment is special as well.” said the artist before noting this one, is a “moment for change”.

“My music and my career have taken a different turn, I’m not exactly sure in which direction, but I do know I’m in a change process,” said Juanes, who feels his latest album acted like a spiritual cleanser of sorts.

Despite currently leaning toward a more Rock sound, Juanes said his upcoming tour will feature “a tour” through every one of his songs as a solo artist, “the way they are.”

Following live shows in nine Spain cities, Juanes will take the infamous month-long rest, which because of a “misinterpretation of the issues” was until last a week.  Rumors were that the hiatus was to be as much as a few years long.

“The only thing I’m going to do is take a few days at home with my kids. I need to be with them and compose new songs, oxygenate my music, and move on forward,” said the artist who has plans to go back to the recording studio next year. “Music is my life, and will always be my vehicle to express myself. Obviously, there are moments of physical and mental fatigue in which you collapse for a moment, and you must stop, but these are just moments, nothing else.”


Read more at Bogotá Vive In →

Sen. McCain Blames Arizona Wildfires on Illegal Immigration

Sen. McCain Blames Arizona Wildfires on Illegal Immigration

Photo: Sen. McCain Blames Arizona Wildfires on Illegal Immigration.

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As firefighters in Arizona battle the raging wildfires, U.S. Senator John McCain is pointing the finger at illegal immigration as the cause of the ongoing fires that have left so many without homes, and immigration advocates have had enough.

It would appear that Sen. McCain was attempting to keep the flame lit under the hot topic of immigration when, during a press conference Saturday, he stated that “there is substantial evidence that some of these fires have been caused by people who crossed out border illegally.”

McCain went on to say that the fires he alleges were started by immigrants were used as a way of communicating with other immigrants, and not just to provide warmth and a means of preparing food.

“They have set fires because they want to signal others,” said McCain. “They have set fires to keep warm and they have set fires in order to divert law enforcement agents and agencies from them.”

He added that securing the border would serve as a preventative measure for future fires.

Despite Sen. McCain’s claims, Sunday, a U.S. Forest Service official told CNN that while it is believed that an “escaped campfire” was responsible for at least one of the wildfires, there is no reason to believe illegal immigrants were the cause.

McCain’s comments angered a number of Latino leaders, including Angelo Falcon, president of the National Institute for Latino Policy, who wrote a letter to CNN with his view on the matter.

“The degree of irresponsible political pandering by Sen. McCain has no limits,” Falcon wrote. “With the lack of evidence, he might as well also blame aliens from outer space for the fires.”

Read more at CNN →

Brazil Court Orders Man Convicted of Ordering Nun’s Death to Remain in Jail

Brazil Court Orders Man Convicted of Ordering Nun’s Death to Remain in Jail

Photo: Dorothy Stang

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Brazil’s top court has decided that the rancher convicted of masterminding the murder of a US Nun in 2005 will remain in court while his case is appealed.

73-year-old Dorothy Stang was a nun as well as an environmental activist when she was shot down in the Amazonian state of Para after working for 30 years to protect the rain forest and defend poor settlers’ land rights.

During the trial, prosecutors argued the two ranchers hired gunmen for $25,000 to kill Stang after she blocked them from appropriating land the government had given to poor farmers.

The gunman, Rayfran das Neves Sales, is serving a 28-year sentence. He confessed he shot Stang six times on a muddy Amazon road. Two accomplices, Clodoaldo Carlos Batista and Amair Feijoli da Cunha, are serving 17 and 18 years, respectively, in an arrangement that allows them to work outside as long as they sleep in prison.

Read more at Yahoo News →

Watch the trailer for Andrés Wood’s Much Awaited New Film (VIDEO)

Watch the trailer for Andrés Wood’s Much Awaited New Film (VIDEO)

Photo: Andrés Wood Released Trailer for "Violeta se fué a los Cielos"

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“Violeta se Fué a Los Cielos” is the name of Andres Wood’s latest production. It is a film about the life and work of Violeta Parra.

Violeta del Carmen Parra Sandoval was a Chilean folklore singer and visual artist. She was one of the main figures of the “Chilean’ New Song,” (La Nueva Canción chilena), a revolutionary take on of Chilean folk music which would become tremendously influential and extend ideas and sounds far beyond Chile.

Andrés Wood says actress Francisca Gavilán’s portrayal of Violeta Parra surpassed any expectations of producers, cast and crew members, “she is the movie,” remarked Wood.

The film is based on a book penned by Parra’s son, and will open in Chile this upcoming fall. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latino Groups Files Redistricting Lawsuit in Texas

Latino Groups Files Redistricting Lawsuit in Texas

Photo: Latino Groups Files Redistricting Lawsuit in Texas

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A lawsuit has been filed in federal court to have Texas House and congressional maps redrawn to better reflect the demographics of the state.

“Latinos in Texas have earned the right to districts that reflect their strength and importance in the state. The filing of this suit is a first step toward securing that right,” said Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, one of the members of the Task Force.

An increase in Texas’ Hispanic population is part of what gave the state four additional congressional seats, but the new congressional map currently under consideration by the Legislature would only create one Latino opportunity district. The Task Force is concerned that the chances of Latinos elected their preferred candidates of choice in two other congressional district have been weakened.

“Texas was forced in 2001 and 2006 to redraw statewide redistricting plans because of its failure to comply with the federal Voting Rights Act,” Nina Perales, MALDEF’s vice president of litigation and lead counsel in the case told the Rio Grande Guardian. “We have turned to the courts again to make sure Texas follows the law in the current redistricting cycle.”

Vice president of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project and co-chair of the Task Force, Lydia Camarillo said, “We are filing this lawsuit on behalf of more than nine million Latinos in Texas and ask the courts to fix a horrific attack on democracy and fair play.”

“Only when Latinos gain majority-Latino districts that reflect their growth, can the Latino electorate vote for the candidates of their choice and democracy can prevail.”

Read more at Rio Grande Guardian →

Illegal Reentry Now Top Reported Criminal Charge, Surpassing Illegal Entry

Illegal Reentry Now Top Reported Criminal Charge, Surpassing Illegal Entry

Photo: Illegal Reentry Now Top Reported Criminal Charge, Surpassing Illegal Entry

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According to a recent report, illegal reentry to the U.S. has become the top criminal charge, as it accounts for almost a quarter of all criminal prosecutions, and almost half of all criminal immigration prosecutions filed in the first half of fiscal year 2011.

Using data from the Justice Department, the report, from TRAC Immigration, a non-partisan organization out of Syracuse University, showed that there were 18,532 new prosecutions for illegal reentry during the first half of fiscal year 2011.

The report states:

Trends over the past twenty years show how, under the Obama Administration, prosecutions for this statute continue to top those under previous administrations (see Figure 1 and supporting table).


Illegal reentry is a felony offense and results in longer sentences than the second most frequent immigration charge brought this year, illegal entry, which is classed as a petty misdemeanor. During the first six months of 2011, the average prison sentence was 14 months for those convicted where illegal reentry was recorded as the lead charge. This contrasts with an average of only 1 month prison time for convictions where the recorded lead charge was just illegal entry. Together, these two statutes account for over nine out of ten (91 percent) of all immigration criminal prosecutions.

As mentioned above, this year is also the first year that recorded prosecutions for illegal reentry surpassed those of illegal entry, which have been declining from their high during FY 2009 (see Figure 2 for the twenty year trends for this statute).


Read more at TRAC Immigration →

Shakira and Piqué Together In Jerusalem

Shakira and Piqué Together In Jerusalem

Photo: Shaquira and Gerard Piqué

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While in Jerusalem, the singer is participating in a child education forum, sponsored by the president of Israel and her soccer player boyfriend tagged along.

Shakira’s Foundation Pies Descalzos is working with the Barcelona Fútbol Club and a foundation lead by Israeli president Simón Peres to guarantee the protection and education of thousands of children around the world, and the development of strong values and healthy habits.

“I would like a world that worked like a team,” said Shakira,  “a team like Barça. This way we could win the match against discrimination.”

The blooper of the day was Simón Peres’ as he mistakenly introduced Shakira, as “Sharika,” he was promptly and politely corrected by the singer.

Shakira and Piqué had the chance to go sightseeing, always surrounded by a security ring protecting them from the hundreds of curious fans.


Read more by HS News Staff →

ICE Arrests over 2,400 Convicted Criminal Aliens, Fugitives in Countrywide Operation

ICE Arrests over 2,400 Convicted Criminal Aliens, Fugitives in Countrywide Operation

Photo: ICE Arrests over 2,400 Convicted Criminal Aliens

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As part of the Obama administration’s ongoing commitment to prioritizing the removal of criminal aliens that threaten public and national security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) today announced the results of a seven-day targeted “Cross Check” enforcement operation-which led to the arrest of more than 2,400 convicted criminal aliens and immigration fugitives in May of this year. Last week, ICE also announced key improvements to its Secure Communities program as the agency continues to focus its resources on those in our country illegally who have also broken criminal laws.

“The results of this operation underscore ICE’s ongoing focus on arresting those convicted criminal aliens who prey upon our communities, and tracking down fugitives who game our nation’s immigration system,” said ICE Director John Morton. “This targeted enforcement operation is a direct result of excellent teamwork among law enforcement agencies who share a commitment to protect public safety.”

In May, ICE officers from all 24 ICE Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) field offices throughout the nation located and arrested more than 2,400 aliens with prior criminal convictions in all 50 states. All of the criminal aliens taken into custody had prior convictions for crimes such as armed robbery, drug trafficking, child abuse, sexual crimes against minors, aggravated assault, theft, forgery and DUI. In total, 22% of the individuals ICE officers took into custody were immigration fugitives-convicted criminal aliens with outstanding orders of deportation who had failed to leave the country.

ICE conducted the first successful Cross Check operation in December 2009, and has since conducted Cross Check operations in 37 states, including regional operations in the Southeast, Northeast and Midwest regions. These previous Cross Check Operations resulted in ICE arresting 2,064 convicted criminals, fugitives, and aliens nationwide who have illegally re-entered the United States after removal.

This seven-day operation, the largest of its kind, involved the collaboration of more than 500 ICE agents and officers, as well as coordination with the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), and our state and local law enforcement partners throughout the United States.

The arrestees include:

· A 32-year-old man residing in Amesbury, Mass., from the Dominican Republic, who is a registered sex offender convicted of assault, battery on a household member, indecent assault, battery on a child, and leaving the scene/person injured.

· A 51-year-old man residing in Denver, Colo., from Libya convicted of first degree sexual assault against a child and assault domestic violence.

· A 38-year-old man residing in Orlando, Fla., from the Philippines convicted of battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting officer with violence, reckless driving and refusal to submit to blood/urine test.

· A 37-year-old residing in North Hills, Calif., from Mexico convicted of aggravated felony sex crime and rape of an unconscious victim. He was also identified as illegally re-entering the United States after deportation. He will be removed from the United States following his prosecution for illegal re-entry after deportation.

· A 47-year-old man residing in Magnolia, Texas, from Mexico convicted of injury to a child with intent to cause bodily injury, burglary, marijuana possession, driving while license suspended and indecency with a child by sexual contact.

ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes efforts first on removing those serious criminal aliens who present the greatest risk to the security of our communities, such as those charged with or convicted of homicide, rape, robbery, kidnapping, major drug offenses and threats to national security. ICE also prioritizes the arrest and removal of those who game the immigration system including immigration fugitives or those criminal aliens who have been previously deported and illegally re-entered the country.

To date, ICE has removed a record number of more than 109,700 criminal aliens from the United States in fiscal year 2011, including more than 585 criminal aliens convicted of homicide and more than 3,177 criminal aliens convicted sex offenders.

Read more at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement →

UN Expert Urges Mexican ‘State of Emergency’ to Battle Food Poverty and Obesity

UN Expert Urges Mexican ‘State of Emergency’ to Battle Food Poverty and Obesity

Photo: Obesity in Mexico

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A United Nations food expert has called for a “state of emergency” in Mexico to battle both food poverty and obesity, and suggested that changes to the country’s agricultural policies could tackle the two problems simultaneously. 

Olivier De Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, said that some 19 million Mexicans are food insecure, “but at the same time, Mexico is one of the countries most severely affected by overweight and obesity, second only to the United States.”



“A state of emergency should be declared,” he said at the end of a week-long visit to Mexico, according to a press statement released by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Mr. De Schutter said both undernutrition and overnutrition are the result of several factors, including monocropping and export-led agriculture at the expense of healthy and diverse diets, policies skewed towards the interests of rich farmers rather than smallholders, and marketing of energy-rich foods by companies.

“Agricultural policies and social policies aiding consumers should be made mutually supportive and support local food systems that could present most benefits for consumer and small-scale farmers alike,” he said.

“For instance, existing food aid programmes should source more of their food supplies from small-scale, local producers to increase their incomes and to ensure the provision of fresh foods to consumers.”

Mr. De Schutter also called for a moratorium on field trials of genetically modified (GM) maize and said the Government should prevent the introduction of transgenic maize, claiming they would not benefit most farmers since it would lead them to gradually depend on seeds protected by intellectual property rights that may make farming prohibitively expensive.

“The introduction of GM maize in Mexico will pose a serious threat to agrobiodiversity, a crucial asset in the face of future threats and unpredictable changes brought about by climate change,” he said.

The Special Rapporteur said agrarian reform “should focus on smallholders and aim at scaling up agroecological techniques. It should start by developing pro-poor agricultural policies: the current policies favour the richest states, the richest municipalities and the richest producers.”

Mr. De Schutter, who serves in an independent and unpaid capacity, reports to the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Campus Party Takes Over Colombia! (VIDEO)

Campus Party Takes Over Colombia! (VIDEO)

Photo: Colombia gets ready for Campus Party 2011

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With 102,845 registered Campers from around the world coming, the largest expo of “all things tech” prepares to kick in June 27.

Campus Party is the largest technology, creativity, gaming, and digital culture event in the world. It is an annual event that since 1997 has been bringing thousands of people (and their computers) together for seven days of activities, contests, conferences, chats, discussions, and a showcase of the latest in computers, communications and new technologies.

Participants will be able to hear discussions on the ethics of wiki-leaks and even be able to build their own telescope, for the night activities. Later they might want to try to beat the cyber-soccer king and win an iPad, or find love in a round of speed dating. 

Assisting personalities include Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield, Atari Founder Nolan Bushnell, Word Leader in Space Robotics Mark Joseph León and 6-Time Extreme Bike Trial Guinness Record Winner Javier Zapata.

Outdoor activities include an aerial robot rally, concerts, and several green events like a team contest where teams must bring 3 pounds of junk (old toys, engines, motherboards, etc.) and build a robot with 1 pound of other team’s junk, plus whatever recyclable materials they can find.

Hundreds of tents have been set-up in Bogotá’s Corferias, and the set-up stage of the event has started. Contests and several other events within Campus Party are of a global nature, so visit the Campus Party website for more information on how to participate in workshops and conferences via-webcam, or submit your work to photography, digital music, app creation, programming, software creation and many, many more contests available to anyone in the world!


Read more by HS News Staff →

Hurricane Beatriz Threatens some of Mexico’s Most Popular Resorts

Hurricane Beatriz Threatens some of Mexico’s Most Popular Resorts

Photo: Hurricane Beatriz

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The Pacific ports of Acapulco, Manzanillo and Zihuatanejo are closed.

The US National Hurricane Center said winds rose to 150km/h (90mph), with the storm moving over the coast.

Tourists have been sheltering in their hotels, with reports of one tourist injured by a falling tree in Acapulco.

Early on Tuesday, Beatriz was located about 20km (15 miles) south-east of La Fortuna and 80km (50 miles) west-northwest of Manzanillo, moving northwest at about 20 km/h (13mph).

It was expected to drop 15-30cm (6-12in) of rain along the coast, with a risk of flash floods and mudslides.

The category 1 hurricane is expected to weaken and move away from the coast by the end of Tuesday.

Read more at The Weather Channel →

Argentine Hotel of Francis Ford Coppola Broken Into AGAIN!

Argentine Hotel of Francis Ford Coppola Broken Into AGAIN!

Photo: Ford Coppola's Argentina Hotel Robbed!

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ImageIt happened again! In 2007, burglars took expensive film equipment including computers that contained the script for his film “Tetro” .

Francis Ford Coppola’s hotel in Palermo, Buenos Aires was broken into Sunday night.

The director and producer owns a small beautiful bed and breakfast with seven rooms,  a full-time housekeeper and an English-speaking concierge.

Three armed men entered the small “Jardín Escondido” (“Hidden Garden”) hotel, subdued the manager and employees and took money from the cash register and other valuables.

Nobody was hurt during the incident.



Read more by HS News Staff →

“Cause for Shame and Mourning” the Situation in Venezuelan Prisons

“Cause for Shame and Mourning” the Situation in Venezuelan Prisons

Photo: Site of Venezuela Prison Violence

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The horrific acts of violence which took place in the last few days in Venezuela’s prisons – particularly in the Internado Judicial Capital El Rodeo I in Guatire, in the state of Miranda - of which still today the exact number of deaths is not known , have led the Bishops of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Episcopal Conference of Venezuela (ECV) to publish a document on the situation of prisons, of which a copy was sent to Fides by Caritas Venezuela.

The document reports 37 deaths and dozens seriously injured, according to unofficial figures gathered by the families of prisoners.

The text denounces: “These facts where inmates clash with each other and against state security forces using firearms, confirms in such an outrageous and shameful way what has been reported continuously and for many years: the state authorities in Venezuela not only violate the constitutional mandate sanctioned in Article 272 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, but they have completely abandoned their responsibility to safeguard the lives and physical integrity of people detained and punished with imprisonment, to allow the bold and open action of internal mafias and gangs, who exercise absolute control within the premises of the prison inmates and, even with the use of weapons, with the complicity of the authorities of the country”.

The bishops speak of responsibility and indifference of the state that is lived at the institutional level, as one reads further on: “The authority of the Venezuelan state cannot abdicate its authority in any way from its obligations as far as the rights and guarantees of inmates in prisons are concerned, and in no way should be regarded with indifference or as something normal that in the prisons of Venezuela not only there is overcrowding, corruption, lack of basic services, procedural delays and lack of registration of the prison population, but also that the state allows criminal gangs and mafias to impose their law within prisons. This is a very serious situation, with consequences that the authorities cannot avoid”.

In the text, signed by the President of the Justice and Peace Commission and Vice-President of the ECV, His Exc. Mgr. Roberto Luckert Leon, Archbishop of Koro, the bishops express their solidarity with the prisoners and their families. The text concludes that the current situation in the prisons of Venezuela “does not cease to be for the Venezuelan State and for our entire society in general, a source of shame and mourning”.

The document is dated June 16, because the facts to which it refers occurred in the previous weekend (June 11 and 12), but unfortunately the news spread by the agencies and the local press reported other violent armed clashes occurred in the last hours , with numerous deaths and injuries, always in the area of Miranda a El Rodeo. (EC) (Agenzia Fides 18/06/2011)

The Bishops letter in Spanish is attached

Read more at agenzia fides →

TuesdayJune 21, 2011