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TuesdayJuly 5, 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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Small Farmers in Latin America to Get International Loan Assistance

Small Farmers in Latin America to Get International Loan Assistance

Photo: Small Farmers in Latin America Get Boost

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The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has closed a $3.6 million loan to provide access to finance for smallholder producer groups and farmers associations in nine Latin American countries through a loan to the “Fund for Small Small Rural Producers in Latin America” or “Fondo para los Pequeños Productores en América Latina (FOPEPRO).”

The loan to FOPEPRO is comprised of $2 million from IDB’s Opportunities for the Majority initiative and $1.6 million from social investors Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, Calvert Foundation and Monarch Community Funds. The IDB acted as the lead arranger and book runner for the transaction.

FOPEPRO is the first private, locally managed investment fund of its kind in the smallholder agricultural sector in Latin America. Although the Fund will initially target producer groups in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru and Paraguay. If FOPEPRO exceeds its funding goals,  there are plans to further scale the Fund’s activities throughout the region, so as to better serve the vast unmet financing needs of small rural producers.

Headquartered in El Salvador, FOPEPRO is seeking to raise a total of $20.5 million to finance onlending credit lines and investment loans to organized farmer cooperatives and associations. This market that has been traditionally underserved in the Latin America since many financial institutions lack the expertise to mitigate the risks in agricultural lending – from seasonality of the production cycle, weather risk, geographic disparity of clients and lack of physical collateral.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

State Dept Honors Mexican Fulbright Scholar as Outstanding State Alumni Member

State Dept Honors Mexican Fulbright Scholar as Outstanding State Alumni Member

Photo: Adriana Labardini Inzunza Top State Alumni

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The U.S. Department of State has named Adriana Labardini Inzunza, a Mexican alumna of the Fulbright, Humphrey, and Voluntary Visitor programs, as State Alumni Member of the Month.

Throughout July, her leadership and promotion of community service will be recognized on the State Alumni website, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ official website for the more than one million Department-sponsored exchange alumni worldwide. Each month, the Bureau’s Office of Alumni Affairs, which supports alumni as they build on their exchange experiences, confers the award on an outstanding alumnus or alumna.

Labardini studied at the Columbia University Law School as a Fulbright student from 1990 to 1991, completed a Humphrey Fellowship at the University of North Carolina in 2003, and in 2006 she participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program on non-governmental organization management and development. Beyond her exchange programs, she has had a wide variety of professional experiences ranging from being a partner in the Sanchez -Mejorada y Velasco law firm to the chief of staff at the Mexican Federal Telecommunications Commission (COFETEL).

During her Humphrey Fellowship, Labardini focused on information technology, public policy, and rural development, and sought to create business models for less advantaged sectors. She returned to Mexico in 2006 concerned about the situation of consumers, law enforcement, and access to justice. Labardini started a public interest law firm for consumers, and also founded Mexico’s first advocacy non-profit organization, ALCONSUMIDOR, A.C., and a research center on consumption and consumers (Centro de Investigación del Consumo y el Consumidor, A.C.).

Her initiatives have elevated the consumer protection agenda at the federal level in Mexico. ALCONSUMIDOR, is devoted to assisting, informing and empowering users of services such as energy and telecommunications. The company also acts as watchdog for pro-competition law enforcement, rules, and policymaking. As executive director, she organized the first International Congress on Class Action Regimes for Consumers and co-authored a bill on class action legislation in Mexico.

Labardini is a founding member of the Fulbright-García Robles Mexican Alumni Association and, as a lawyer, assisted in writing its bylaws. She served as secretary of the association’s first board of directors from 1996 to 1999. She is also an active member of the Mexican Fulbright Commission’s (COMEXUS) selection committee. In this role, she interviews Fulbright and Humphrey candidates from Mexico.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

More U.S. Hispanics Indentifying Themselves as American Indian

More U.S. Hispanics Indentifying Themselves as American Indian

Photo: Raramuri of Mexico. More U.S. Hispanics Indentifying Themselves as American Indian

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As the number of Hispanics continue to grow, so too is the number of Hispanics identifying as “American Indian”.

Since 2000, the number of Hispanics who identify themselves as Amerindians has triple – going from 400,000 to 1.2 million. Amerindians is a blanket term used for the indigenous people of the Americas, North and South who are also Hispanic.

“Seventy percent of the 57,000 American Indians living in New York City are of Hispanic origin, according to census figures. That is 40,000 American Indians from Latin America — up 70 percent from a decade ago,” wrote the Herald Tribune.

José C. Moya, a professor of Latin American history at Barnard College told the paper, “There has been an actual and dramatic increase of Amerindian immigration from Latin America,” and points to the change in immigration patterns to the U.S. to explain the increase in Amerindians.

Dr. Moy has stated that according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, half of all Hispanics having moved to New York in the last 10 years have been Mexican.

He added that in 1994, with the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the traffic between Mexico and the U.S. increased.

As theHerald Tribune stated Mexico’s “government started to strip Indian landowners of a long-held legal protection from privatization. The resulting conflict awakened ethnic tensions that dated back centuries, and spurred a populist support of indigenous heritage.”

For others like Peru-born Carlos A. Quiroz, the ethnic/racial options on the census forms are not acceptable, so he selects “Non-Hispanic” American Indian, which is usually the intended choice for North American Indians. To him, “Hispanic” is not an ethnic category.

“Hispanic is not a race, ” said Quiroz, whose ancestors were the Central Andes’ Quechua people. “Hispanic is not a culture. Hispanic is an invention by some people who wanted to erase the identity of indigenous communities in America.” He added, “We don’t believe we have to accept this identity just because we speak Spanish.”

Read more at Herald Tribune →

Meet Johnny Gómez, a LATIN AMERICAN HERO

Meet Johnny Gómez, a LATIN AMERICAN HERO

Photo: Technical Sgt. Johnny Gómez

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Technical Sgt. Johnny Gómez has served the nation he calls home since even before becoming a US Citizen!

Gómez was born and raised in Medellín, Colombia, a city well known as one of the most dangerous in the world, and the place that saw kingpin Pablo Escobar grow up to become the world’s most dangerous man and successful criminal. He died in 1993.Image

In 1982, when Gomez was 12, he and his family packed up and moved to Boca Raton, Florida; 5 years later Johnny was a Boca Raton High School graduate.

“After I graduated high school I really wanted to travel and see the world,” Gomez said. “My old soccer coach talked to me about the Air Force, so I went and talked to a recruiter and ended up enlisting.”

Three years into his military career, however, the only part of the world Gómez had seen with the Air Force, was a Base in Nebraska.

“I was up for re-enlistment and I told them I wanted to go overseas,” Gomez explained. “They said they couldn’t send me overseas because I didn’t have my citizenship.”

After realizing that not being an American citizen was keeping him from traveling the world while serving in the military, he decided to start the citizenship process, a process that became painless and was expedited because of his loyalty to the military.

Once a citizen, Gómez decided to serve his newfound motherland in its conflict with Afghanistan.

“For us in the reserve, deployments are basically voluntary. But my squadron was deploying in the winter, but after [my wife] Heather has [our second child] ,I didn’t want to leave her.”
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Counting on all the love and support of his wife, Gomez got deployed with his current squadron during the spring and summer of 2011, in the midst of Heather’s pregnancy.

“This was important to Johnny and throughout our relationship he has always wanted to put his training to use,” said Heather, through e-mail. “The troops need someone like him, someone who always seems to know what to do and when to do it. There was never a question of him not deploying.”

“When you’re evacuating a [wounded] U.S. serviceman or women and you see them lying on a cot, it’s hard,” he continued. “It’s a huge sense of accomplishment, though, when you get them where they need to be and you know they’re going to get to see their loved ones back home again.”

Gómez is due back home to Maryland six days before becoming a dad. We Wish the Best to this Latin American Hero until then.

Messy Fan Base: Argentina’s Messi Loved Everywhere, Except at Home

Messy Fan Base: Argentina’s Messi Loved Everywhere, Except at Home

Photo: Argentines Don't Like Leo Messi!!

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The soccer star who has won everything there is to win with the Barça is booed at home. Why? No goals wearing the Argentine jersey, that’s why.

Chosen the best soccer player by Fifa for two years in a row, Leo Messi, the young, short Argentine phenom who has won everything there is to win with the Barcelona FC is often frowned upon by his country folk.

Cab drivers, waiters, executives, journalists and most Argentines say that the phenom might be a phenom in Spain, but once he wears the Argentine #10 national jersey, he becomes an average, lazy at best, mediocre showoff, and the lack of goals and/or interesting plays with the national team is enough to support those claims.

The president of the Argentine soccer federation, Julio Grondona defends Messi, and said that Lio “never plays badly”  and that players around him, are the ones making mistakes.

The tie against Bolivia in the opening game has only fueled the anger of the Copa América hosts fan base; many feel that the team lacks order and communication, and some are downright preoccupied, as their Wednesday game against Colombia approaches. 

If the Argentine national team, and Messi don’t begin to understand each other, and continue stumbling for possession of the ball, history might repeat itself, and the Argentines might walk out of the clash like they did on that epic match in September of ’93.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Verizon’s My Fabulous Quince Contest Offers Teens The Opportunity to Win Quinceanera of Their Dreams

Verizon’s My Fabulous Quince Contest Offers Teens The Opportunity to Win Quinceanera of Their Dreams

Photo: My Fabulous Quince Contest from Verizon

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Latin Music Hottest New Artist, Prince Royce, to Perform at Grand Prize Winner’s Party

From July 1 through August 31, teens across the United States will have the chance to enter to win the Quince of their dreams as part of Verizon’s My Fabulous Quince contest.  Eligible teens from 13 participating cities and surrounding areas (Los Angeles, San Diego, Fresno, El Paso, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Tampa, Miami, Albuquerque, Secaucus, Chicago and Washington, D.C.) can participate by submitting an essay online or at Verizon Wireless My Fabulous Quince expos.  For details, visit: http://www.myfabulousquince.com.  Thirteen winners will receive an all-expenses-paid Quince, as well as a college scholarship and Verizon products.

“At Verizon, we recognize that our customers celebrate different types of traditions.  The Quince tradition marks a coming of age milestone for a young lady and has long been celebrated by Latino families across the United States.  Although generally celebrated for girls, there are more 15-year-old boys celebrating this cultural event,” said Elva Lima, executive director of community relations and multicultural communications at Verizon Wireless.  “This contest will give a young lady or man the Quince of their dreams.  We encourage teens of all backgrounds to join us by participating in My Fabulous Quince.”

Contest Entry, Selection Process and Prizes

Following the contest entry phase, 20 finalists will be selected from each of the 13 participating cities.  From September 8 through 22, consumers can vote online or text in their vote for their favorite finalist.  The finalist with the highest number of votes will win the grand prize, consisting of an all-expenses-paid Quince for up to 200 guests, a $5,000 college scholarship, three Verizon smartphones and an exclusive performance by multi-platinum recording artist Prince Royce who will sing his greatest hits including: “Stand By Me,” “Corazon Sin Cara” and “Mi Ultima Carta.”

“I’m excited to be part of Verizon’s My Fabulous Quince and to be able to make one of my fan’s dreams come true,” said Prince Royce.  “Growing up, I enjoyed going to Quinceaneras, and this time around I’ll have the chance to share that special moment with the grand prize winner.”

The top finalist in each of the remaining 12 cities will receive a first prize package, which includes a Quince for 100 guests with all expenses covered by Verizon, as well as a $2,500 college scholarship and a Verizon smartphone. 

Quince Expos and Prince Royce Meet & Greets

Teens and their families around the country will also have the chance to get up close and personal with Prince Royce at the My Fabulous Quince expos at select Verizon Wireless stores and through the new Prince Royce app, available to Verizon Wireless customers. 

Quince expos and Prince Royce meet-and-greets will take place in the following cities. For times and event details, visit: http://www.myfabulousquince.com:

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Expo attendees will receive tips on how to plan a Quince celebration on any budget, as well as exclusive offers from local vendors.  In addition, attendees can donate no-longer-used wireless phones to HopeLine® from Verizon to help support victims of domestic violence and help protect the environment by disposing of wireless phones in an environmentally sound way.  Attendees who make a donation to HopeLine® from Verizon will receive a VIP pass, which will guarantee them access to meet Prince Royce at the My Fabulous Quince expos. 

The Prince Royce app with the latest Prince Royce news, audio, video and information on the My Fabulous Quince contest and expos is now available to download from Android Market™ for Verizon Wireless customers with 4G LTE Android™ smartphones and select 3G Android mobile devices.  For more information about Verizon’s My Fabulous Quince, including contest rules, eligibility and Quince expos, please visit http://www.myfabulousquince.com.

Read more at My Fabulous Quince →

Archaeologists Hawass and Martinez Believe They May Have Found the Tomb of Antony and Cleoptra

Archaeologists Hawass and Martinez Believe They May Have Found the Tomb of Antony and Cleoptra

Photo: Archaeologists Hawass and Martinez Believe They May Have Found the Tomb of Antony and Cleoptra

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A radar survey of the temple of Taposiris Magna, west of Alexandria, Egypt, was completed last month as part of the search for the tomb of Cleopatra and Mark Antony. The Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) expedition excavating the temple and its surrounding area is headed by Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the SCA, and Dr. Kathleen Martinez, a scholar from the Dominican Republic.

Dr. Hawass stated that the cooperation between Egypt and the Dominican Republic for the excavation of the temple has been ongoing for about three years. The recent radar survey is the most significant step taken by the team to date. It was carried out by an Egyptian radar team, with American expert Dr. Roger Vickers serving as a consultant. The radar revealed 3 possible spots of interest where a tomb may be located. The expedition has received the results of the survey, and will begin excavating each of these three spots next week.

The most important recent development at Taposiris Magna has been the discovery of a large, previously unknown cemetery outside the temple enclosure. The expedition has found 27 tombs. 20 of them shaped like vaulted sarcophagi, partly underground and partly aboveground. The remaining 7 consist of staircases leading to simple burial chambers. Inside these tombs, the team has found a total of 10 mummies, 2 of them gilded. The discovery of this cemetery indicates that an important person, likely of royal status, could be buried inside the temple. It was common for officials and other high-status individuals in Egypt to construct their tombs close to those of their rulers throughout the pharaonic period. The style of the newly discovered tombs indicates that they were constructed during the Greco-Roman period.

Dr. Martinez stated that the expedition has excavated a temple at Taposiris Magna dedicated to the goddess Isis, and discovered coins depicting the face of Alexander the Great. They have found a number of deep shafts inside the temple, three of which seem to have been used for burials. It is possible that these shafts were the tombs of important people, and the team’s leaders believe that Cleopatra and Mark Antony could have been buried in a deep shaft similar to those already discovered inside the temple.

Dr. Hawass said that the expedition has so far found a beautiful head of Cleopatra, along with 22 coins bearing her image. The statue and coins show her as a beauty, contradicting the idea recently suggested by an English museum curator that the queen was quite ugly. The finds from Taposiris reflect a charm that could have captured the hearts of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, and indicate that Cleopatra was in no way unattractive. Moreover, the features of the sculpted head show no sign of African ancestry, contradicting a recently advanced theory. The team has also found many amulets, along with a beautiful headless statue dating to the Ptolemaic Period. Among the most interesting finds is a unique mask depicting a man with a cleft chin. The face bears some similarity to known portraits of Mark Antony himself.

Read more at Dr. Zahi Hawass →

Argentine Model Launches Controversial Anti-Abortion Campaign

Argentine Model Launches Controversial Anti-Abortion Campaign

Photo: Natalia Fassi

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Argentine model Natalia Fassi, who is actually eight-months pregnant posed for a set of unsettling anti-abortion photographs to get her pro-life message out.Image

Natalia Fassi can be seen in one photograph piercing her belly with syringes; there’s a tattoo on her pregnant belly that reads in English “life.”

In another photograph titled “Lost Lullaby” an ominously lit Fassi leans on a piano, where there’s a bloody doll between her legs.

Next Monday, Fassi will present the rest of the 40 photographs from the photo session at a ceremony to be held at the Museum of the National Senate’s Library in Argentina; she will also be presented with a distinction for being the first model in Latin America to helm a campaign like this, while actually pregnant.


Read more by HS News Staff →

Attorney Jose Baez Proves His Critics Wrong:  Casey Anthony Found Not Guilty

Attorney Jose Baez Proves His Critics Wrong:  Casey Anthony Found Not Guilty

Photo: Jose Baez Helps Casey Anthony Escape Death Penalty

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After deliberating for no more than 10 hours the Casey Anthony jury have found her not guilty of killing her daughter, 2-year old Caylee.  Anthony was only found guilty of the lesser charge of lying to police authorities, she may never face jail time.  She was found not guilty of aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter and the death penalty charge of first degree murder. 

Baez who over the weekend gave his closing remarks and made a ‘cut the cheese’ remark had long been criticized as incompetent and in over his head.  Well he not only proved his client innocent but he proved his critics wrong.

Baez went from being a local lawyer trying to the national spotlight.  As far as his legal background he took the long route to the bar.  He graduated law school in 1997 but wasn’t admitted to the Florida bar until eight years later, in 2005.  His personal life which is now open for public fodder was the reason for his career setbacks – he didn’t pay child support or provide for his teenage daughter.  Last year his home was in foreclosure.

It is not known if Baez is Cuban-American or Hispanic-American, he does speak Spanish fluently and has given interviews to numerous Spanish media outlets.

He reported law degree from the St. Thomas (as in the Bahamas) School of Law degree has obviously served Casey Anthony well. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

‘Glee’ Stars Gets Naughty with Onstage Girl-to-Girl Kiss Featuring Naya Rivera (VIDEO)

What happened to wholesome fun and song at ‘Glee’ concerts?  I am sure the entire cast was trying to figure out how to finish their international concert series with a bang.

What the Dublin, Ireland audience got was a ‘steamy’ girl-on-girl kiss by cast members Heather Morris and Naya Rivera on this their final concert performance.  Gossip Cop reports that: 

Morris (Brittany) told the audience she wanted to bring her crush Darren Criss (Blaine) onstage to make out with him, but Criss responded, “That’s really flattering but actually I’m taken.”

Rivera (Santana) then came to rescue and gave her on-screen lover a smooch.

We aren’t sure if it’s as earth shattering as the Madonna-Brittany kiss, you decide. 

 


Related Videos

Read more by HS News Staff →

Maryland Republicans Deliver Petitions to Halt the Implementation of the State’s DREAM Act

Maryland Republicans Deliver Petitions to Halt the Implementation of the State’s DREAM Act

Photo: Maryland Republicans Deliver Petitions to Halt the Implementation of the State’s DREAM Act

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With more than 12 boxes of petitions, Republican delegates in Maryland are pushing to have the state’s DREAM Act brought to a public vote in 2012.

The boxes of signed petitions were placed out the entrance to the Maryland Secretary of State’s office in an attempt to get Senate Bill 167 on the ballot for a statewide referendum. SB167 has become known as the Maryland DREAM Act.

The Republican delegates are hoping to see the DREAM Act come up for a vote in an attempt to be rid of it.

“We have rules,” Republican Del. Neil Parrott said. “We need to enforce our immigration laws, and this bill tries to skirt around those.”

The bill already passed through the House of Delegates and the Senate, and was set to go into effect this week, but petition signatures to stop it began showing up at the Secretary of State’s office.

Parrott said only 55,736 signatures were necessary, but 130,000 were expected to arrive by Friday. State and local officials now have until July 20 to verify them.

At one gathering in recent months, Maryland’s Democratic Senator Jim Rosapepe was applauded and cheered when he said he was an Italian immigrant, and stated that U.S. immigration laws are “clearly broken.” Adding that it’s “no reason to deny students a good education.”

The DREAM Act would allow high-performing undocumented students to attend local colleges and universities while paying in-state tuition.

Read more by HS News Staff →

One of Los Zetas’ Top Members Arrested in Connection With ICE Agent’s Murder

One of Los Zetas’ Top Members Arrested in Connection With ICE Agent’s Murder

Photo: "El Mamito", One of Los Zetas' Top Members Arrested in Connection With ICE Agent's Murder

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In February, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata,32,  was killed when he and another agent were ambushed in San Luis Potosi. Monday, Mexican authorities said they had arrested a leader in the Zetas drug cartel connected to the killing.

Jesus Enrique Rejon Aguilar aka “El Mamito” has been arrested in connection to the agent’s death. Rejon is allegedly a member of Los Zetas, one of Mexico’s most powerful and violent drug cartels.

According to Ramon E. Pequeno, anti-drug division chief of Mexico’s federal police, “El Mamito” was once a member of the Mexican Army’s elite forces, but deserted in 1999. It is believed that one month later he joined the Grupo de los 14 which went on to form Los Zetas, which was the armed wing of Gulf Cartel (Cartel del Golfo), before breaking off in 2010 and becoming their own cartel. Since that division, disputes between the two have been ongoing.

“When [U.S. agent] Jaime Zapata was murdered on February 14, El Mamito was in San Luis Potosi, coordinating actions perpetrated by the Zetas,” Pequeno told CNN.

Zapata’s death marked the first time in 25 years that a U.S. law enforcement was killed while on duty in Mexico.

Authorities have called Rejon “one of the leaders and founders of the Zetas criminal organization,” and have stated he was the third most powerful leader of the cartel.

Los Zetas are considered by the DEA to be responsible for a large part of Mexico’s escalating violence.

Pequeno calls Rejon’s arrest “a triumph for the Mexican government.”

Read more at CNN →

Miss Brazil Got Robbed in Front of her Own Home, Beauty Pageant Prize Stolen!

Miss Brazil Got Robbed in Front of her Own Home, Beauty Pageant Prize Stolen!

Photo: Miss Brazil, Debora Lyra, gets robbed in front of home!

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Debora Lyra, Miss Brazil,  was held at gunpoint in front of her own home in Sao Paulo authorities are reporting.

In a statement given to police on Monday, she said a well-dressed man with a handgun approached her as she pulled into her gated condo complex.

Aiming a pistol at Lyra, the man took her purse, and her vehicle, which was part of her prize for winning the national beauty pageant in 2010.

Fortunately, she didn’t suffer any physical abuse, but still shaken up after the episode she twitted “For how long will these criminals keep doing this? I was just robbed at the entrance to my house.”

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Justice Dept Mandates Spanish & Chinese Language Voting Material Be Made Available in CA

Justice Dept Mandates Spanish & Chinese Language Voting Material Be Made Available in CA

Photo: Spanish & Chinese Language Voting Material

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The Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California announced today an agreement with Alameda County, Calif., to ensure compliance with provisions of the Voting Rights Act that require the county to provide election materials and information in Spanish and Chinese. 

“The right to vote is the foundation of our democracy, and language barriers should never keep citizens from accessing that right,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “Today’s agreement ensures that Alameda County’s Spanish and Chinese-speaking citizens will be able to cast an effective ballot and successfully participate in the electoral process.  I congratulate Alameda County for their earnest cooperation in resolving this matter.” 

The consent decree with Alameda County, which must still be approved by the federal district court, provides for a comprehensive language assistance program for Spanish and Chinese limited English proficient voters, including the dissemination of election-related materials and information in Spanish and Chinese.  The consent decree requires the presence of trained bilingual election officials at polling places on election day.  Further, Alameda County must make sure that all Spanish and Chinese-language signage is displayed as prominently as the English-language signage at the polling places throughout the county. 

The consent decree also establishes that Alameda County will develop an advisory group of interested community members and organizations that will assist the county in determining how to most effectively provide election materials, information, and assistance to Spanish and Chinese-speaking voters.  The consent decree also provides that federal observers may monitor election day activities in polling places in Alameda County.  The Voting Rights Act requires that jurisdictions determined by the Census Bureau to have a substantial population of minority-language citizens, such as Alameda County, provide voting materials and assistance in the covered minority language as well as in English.  

Enforcement of the protections of the Voting Rights Act is a significant priority for the Civil Rights Division.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico’s Soccer Team: One of FIFA’s Top 10 Teams and A Major US Brand

Mexico’s Soccer Team: One of FIFA’s Top 10 Teams and A Major US Brand

Photo: El Tri Marque Brand and a Top 10 Team

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Thanks in great part to Mexico’s national soccer team winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup championship, it is now back on the list of the world’s 10 best teams, according to FIFA (international soccer federation).

Last month when Mexico defeated the U.S. in the Gold cup championship it earned 25 points taking it from a world ranking of 28th to a venerated 9th spot. 

Currently World Cup champions, Spain, hold the No. 1 spot on FIFA’s list followed by No. 2 Netherlands, with 1871 points and 1661 points, respectively.  The losses experienced by Brazil and Argentina dropped them from their perennial inclusion in the top 10. 

It has taken Mexico’s team close to four years to win its way back to a top stop. 

The team is also making its mark as a top major U.S. brand thanks to its rabid fans.  Bud Light and All State Insurance are amongst some of its key sponsors.

The team when it plays on U.S. soil, on average attracts 71,000 fans.  The CONCACAF game in California attracted 93,000 fans.

Anytime Univision airs games it gets top audience numbers.  The championship gave Univision’s all Spanish broadcast, 8 million viewers – close to what the Stanley Cup and U.S. Open each got.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Botched Suitcase Houdini Act for Mexican Prisoner!

Botched Suitcase Houdini Act for Mexican Prisoner!

Photo: Juan Ramírez, trying to escape.

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Juan Ramírez was caught as he tried to escape a Mexican jail inside his conjugal visitor’s suitcase.

The couple’s plan to abandon the prison inside a suitcase was very close to succeeding; at the very door, the 19-year old accomplice, Maria Del Mar Arjona, couldn’t hide her nervousness, and failed to convince the guards that all there was inside the suitcase, was dirty laundry.

Officers found Ramírez curled inside the suitcase, and promptly returned him to his cell. Arjona was arrested and faces charges for assisting the botched escape.

Ramírez has been in jail since 2007, doing a 20-year sentence for possession of illegal firearms.

Read more by HS News Staff →

UPDATE:  7 American Tourists Remain Missing from Capsized Boat in Mexico

UPDATE:  7 American Tourists Remain Missing from Capsized Boat in Mexico

Photo: American Tourists Rescued in Mexico from Capsized boat

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UPDATE:  As of this morning seven American tourists remain missing from the capsized fishing charter boat in Baja California, Mexico.  One American tourist has been confirmed dead when Erik, the fishing charter boat out of the San Felipe port, capsized due to an unexpected and violent electrical storm at sea.  Thus far 19 of the tourists and all 16 crew members had been rescued either by the Mexican Navy or local fisherman. 

Rescuers, which include the U.S. Coast Guard out of San Diego remain hopeful that the tourists, mostly from California, will be rescued in what are now calm waters. 

The boat capsized early Sunday morning after leaving port on Saturday for a routine weeklong fishing trip.  The traveling group consisting of 27 men, had been organizing these fishing trips for years, always around the Fourth of July.  The majority of the men rescued were in good condition in spite of some of being in the water for over 16 hours. 


ORIGINAL STORY:  A 115-foot fishing charter boat with 44 passengers, half of which are American, was struck by an electrical storm early today and capsized two miles from shore in Mexico.

The boat left the port of San Felipe in Baja California to go into the Sea of Cortez on Saturday and was struck by an electrical storm early Sunday,  the boat then capsized.  When two boat passengers were rescued along with the cook by local fisherman, the Mexican Navy became involved.

The boat called the Erik was found some 87 miles south of the San Felipe port.  There were 27 passengers and 17 crew on board, of which 27 were U.S. citizens.  19 tourists mostly from San Francisco were rescued as were 16 crew members. Some swam to shore and others were rescued were by the Mexican Navy. 

The U.S. Coast Guard from San Diego also assisted in the search for missing passengers.  They confirmed that thus far one passenger was dead and eight remain missing.

The boat which has been successfully operating since 1989 has sleeping accommodations for up to 42 guests. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Criminal Alien Alters Fingerprints to Try to Remain in U.S.

Criminal Alien Alters Fingerprints to Try to Remain in U.S.

Photo: Criminal Alien Alters Fingerprints

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Yesterday, Freddie Davila was arraigned in Federal Court in Boston, on charges for re-entry after deportation and is currently awaiting sentencing. Davila was arrested on June 9, by Customs and Border Protection Officers from the port of Boston Anti-Terrorism Contraband Enforcement Team outbound division, when it was discovered that Davila had altered his fingerprints to avoid arrest.

Davila was boarding a flight to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, when he was stopped and questioned by CBP officers. When resources permit, CBP conducts departure/outbound examinations for compliance of documentary and other regulatory requirements, focusing on currency, weapons, export violations, and fugitives exiting the U.S. In this case, CBP officers determined that Davila’s fingerprints appeared to have been altered and determined that further investigation was necessary.

Additional inquiries conducted by CBP officers into his past travel history and the documents he presented in the name of R. M. Mejia indicated that the passenger may not be who he says he is. Further inspection determined that Davila may have altered his fingerprints in order to avoid apprehension.

A subsequent background check indicated Davila has multiple arrest warrants for distribution/dispensing of class B, a controlled narcotic. It was also discovered that Davila had been previously ordered formally removed from the U.S. but failed to depart and instead decided to unlawfully remain in the U.S.

Davila is being processed to re-instate his previous order of deportation and is currently in the custody of the U.S. Marshals awaiting sentencing. If convicted, Davila faces up to two year in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and one year of supervised probation.

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TuesdayJuly 5, 2011