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ThursdayJuly 7, 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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Colombia Promotes First Geothermal Energy Project

Colombia Promotes First Geothermal Energy Project

Photo: Geothermal Energy Coming to Colombia

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Colombia will promote investment in non-conventional renewable energy sources and lay the groundwork for its first geothermal project with a $2.7 million grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) administered by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Colombia, which currently obtains up to 70 percent of its electricity from hydraulic sources, has yet to tap its potentially vast geothermal resources, which would allow it to harness the virtually unlimited heat from the Earth’s core. Geothermal power generation produces less waste and pollution than conventional resources such as coal or oil but with high upfront development costs.

The IDB, which has nearly three decades of experience with geothermal projects, is encouraging countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to develop alternative low-carbon energy sources to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.  This part of the project, which will be executed by Colombia’s Ministry of Mines and Energy’s Planning Unit, will also update the country’s database of information on available non-conventional renewable energy resources.

A second component, to be carried out by ISAGEN, a Colombian public-private utility company, will focus on the technical, environmental and social studies required to assess and validate the geothermal potential in the sites of the Macizo Volcanico del Ruiz, a volcanic massif in Colombia’s central mountain range.

Depending on the results of the studies and the subsequent exploratory drilling phase, ISAGEN may build a 50-megawatt geothermal plant on one of the sites. GEF resources will also be used to analyze a suitable financial structure for the construction of the power plant, which is expected to have a demonstrative effect of Colombia’s potential to develop alternative energy resources.

Another key goal of the project is to disseminate information and knowledge about non-conventional renewable energy in Colombia. Staff from INGEOMINAS, Colombia’s geology and mining institute, and students from the National University of Colombia are participating in the technical assessment of the potential geothermal sites.

As counterpart contributions to the GEF grant for the project, ISAGEN is contributing $850,000 while the Ministry of Mines and Energy is contributing $200,000.

The IDB acts as an executing agency of the Global Environment Facility, an independent financial organization backed by 182 member countries. The GEF provides grants for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, land degradation, organic pollution, the ozone layer and international waters.

The IDB’s Energy Division is currently carrying out GEF-funded projects in nine countries in Latin America and the Caribbean involving solar, wind and hydro power, biogas, methane recovery and energy efficiency.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Metal Singer Dies in Motorcycle Accident Just Short of 1st Anniversary of Wife’s Fatal Accident

Metal Singer Dies in Motorcycle Accident Just Short of 1st Anniversary of Wife’s Fatal Accident

Photo: Metal Singer Dies in Motorcycle Accident Just Short of 1st Anniversary of Wife's Fatal Accident

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The singer for metal band One of Sixx was killed in a motorcycle accident in Texas over the 4th of July weekend. His death comes just weeks before the one-year anniversary of the death of his wife, also killed in a motorcycle accident.

Vocalist Victor Villareal, 41, known as Vikk Real for the bands One of Sixx and Byfast, was killed in San Antonio as he was attempting to make a U-turn to go back and help a stranded friend and fellow biker.

At around 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Villareal, leader of the Sentinels Motorcycle Club, and two other riders were heading to dinner when one of the riders’ bikes broke down. Villareal was leading the trio, so he did not stop right away like the other two. When he noticed his friends had stopped, he pulled over. Villareal pulled on to the shoulder and waited for the opportunity to make a U-turn. It was then that a Dodge truck pulling a horse trailer passed the biker. Villareal’s bike became entangled in the trailer’s wheels, and he died on the scene.

ImageSheriff’s Sgt E.M. Conger said it was an accident and criminal charges are not likely to be filed.

What makes the timing of Villareal’s death even more difficult for family and friends is the fact that on July 26, 2010, his wife Jessica died in a motorcycle accident as wll. It was her 37th birthday. Victor and Jessica Villareal leave behind a son, 17-year-old Stephen Moreno, and a daughter, 11-year-old Isiscianna Villarreal, who are currently with their grandparents as they try to handle the trauma of losing both parents in just under 12 months.

As co-founder of the Sentinels, Villareal spoke to the club about safety often, and was wearing a helmet when the fatal accident occurred.

“We’re still in a state of shock,” said David “Wolf” Laughlin, the Sentinels’ sergeant-at-arms. “We’ve all noticed the timing, and the general consensus is Baby J (Jessica Villarreal) wanted him back.”

The couple met when they were teenagers and stayed very close for decades. They married in 1998 then formed One of Sixx, with Jessica singing backup for Villareal.

Read more at My San Antonio →

Secretary Hillary Clinton and Brazilian Foreign Minister to Launch Open Government Partnership

Secretary Hillary Clinton and Brazilian Foreign Minister to Launch Open Government Partnership

Photo: U.S.-Brazil relations

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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota will announce the Open Government Partnership (OGP) at a high-level meeting of governments and civil society at the Department of State on July 12, 2011. The Open Government Partnership is a new, multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.

In the spirit of multi-stakeholder collaboration, OGP will be overseen by a steering committee that includes a diverse coalition of governments and civil society organizations and will be co-chaired by Brazil and the United States in its inaugural year.

Last September at the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama challenged countries to embrace open government saying, “When we gather back here next year, we should bring specific commitments to promote transparency; to fight corruption; to energize civic engagement; and to leverage new technologies so that we strengthen the foundation of freedom in our own countries, while living up to ideals that can light the world.” OGP aims to do that by engaging a large and diverse group of countries in a fresh conversation about governance challenges.

The July 12 event will convene government and civil society representatives to discuss best practices through interactive panels, issue framing sessions, and idea sprints. Another feature, “Innovation Alley,” will demonstrate technologies and other tools and methodologies available from private and non-profit companies and organizations that enhance open government. Representatives from over 50 countries and more than 40 civil society organizations are expected at the day-long event.

This event will set the stage for the formal launch of the Open Government Partnership in September 2011, when the governments on the steering committee will embrace an Open Government Declaration, announce their country action plans to promote OGP principles, and welcome the commitment of additional countries to join the Partnership.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Fewer People Migrating North as Mexico Sees All Around Improvement

Fewer People Migrating North as Mexico Sees All Around Improvement

Photo: Fewer People Migrating North as Mexico Sees All Around Improvement

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As immigration hysteria is still raging in parts of America, the number of immigrants coming from Mexico has actually slowed considerably, and research suggests it’s due to the changes Mexico has been undergoing.

Over the last 30 years the U.S. saw a huge wave of Mexican immigrants come in, but as Mexico’s economy improves the number of people wanting to head north is dropping.

Co-director of the Mexican Migration Project at Princeton, Douglas S. Massey, says his long-term study in Mexican emigration hubs revealed that interest in heading to the U.S. fell to the lowest in at least 60 years.

“No one wants to hear it, but the flow has already stopped,” Massey told the New York Times, referring to illegal traffic. “For the first time in 60 years, the net traffic has gone to zero and is probably a little bit negative.”

The Mexican census recently revealed that four million more people were in Mexico than had been estimated.

Census figures for the U.S. showed that while illegal immigration from Mexico accounted for roughly 6 of every 10 undocumented immigrants in the U.S., the illegal Mexican population in America has actually shrunk. Fewer than 100,000 people illegally crossed the border or violated their visas in 2010, which is down from around 525,000 annually from 2000 to 2004.

And while the U.S. economy has been rocky to say the least, Mexico has seen an improvement both economically and politically.

As the NY Times wrote, “Even far from the coasts or the manufacturing sector at the border, democracy is better established, incomes have generally risen and poverty has declined.”

Perhaps the most meaningful change has come to education, with the census shows that in Jalisco, the number of senior high schools or preparatory schools for students between 15 and 18 has increased from 360 in 2000 to 724 in 2009. With population growth not increasing at the same rate, the statistics show an increase in percentage of students staying in school rather than the number.

Read more at New York Times →

ANONYMOUS Calls for a Massive Cyber-Attack in Support of Chile Students

ANONYMOUS Calls for a Massive Cyber-Attack in Support of Chile Students

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The “MalEducados” cyber-operation follows several weeks of student protests in Chile, offering them online support for their cause.  Anonymous, who is behind the cyber-operation, is calling for global hacker support tomorrow at 10 am. to support students protesting for better access to education.  They have been protesting for several months. 

Anonymous has announced via the facebook profile of “Operation Storm of the South,” a profile that had been used in the past to publish announcements, and call for support.

“The “MalEducados” operation is born as a consequence of the absolute ineptitude of the Latin American governments to watch over the fundamental human right to an education and the free access to knowledge,” the organization wrote.

“We wish to adhere to the protests of Chilean students for a quality and free education. The Chilean government can’t continue allowing and much less encouraging the profiting from the people’s education.”

It is in this context that Anonymous has called upon hackers in Chile, Latin América and the entire world to log into their IRC chat tomorrow at 10am, for more information on the steps to follow, and the targets that they will be boycotting.

Read more by HS News Staff →

JOIN THE CELEBRATION: 100 Years of Machu Picchu (LIVE STREAM)

JOIN THE CELEBRATION: 100 Years of Machu Picchu (LIVE STREAM)

Photo: 100 Years of Machu Picchu

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Partake of the celebrations happening at the site LIVE, with our live stream.  Don’t miss tonight’s light and sound show LIVE from 6:00pm CDT onward.

In celebration of Machu Picchu’s Centennial—one hundred years of the discovery of the city, Cuzco has organized many festivities including, weeks of craft fairs, talks, excursions, concerts, food fairs, parades, awards ceremonies, dance exhibits, cocktail parties, art festivals, street fairs, and much more.

President Alan García climbed to the site to inaugurate the festivities the 62-year old president told visitors he once lived for 40 days in Machu Picchu, in his 20’s, the late 60’s. “There were a lot of young foreign visitors, Argentinean songs, sambas, Spaniards who sang songs from the Civil War… We had long debates over politics, philosophy, anarchism, Marxism. It was a beautiful experience, one of those that mark your life,” he said.

Don’t miss the most important celebrations LIVE below, and listen to studio commentators talk about the festivities, as well as what the future holds for the mystifying Peruvian mountain city.

 

Every day, thousands of people hike through Machu Picchu, and sometimes, VIP’s mix in with the crowds.  Below, some of our favorite Machu Picchu celebrity photos.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latino Immigrants Worry About Competing With Refugees in the Low-Income Job Market

Latino Immigrants Worry About Competing With Refugees in the Low-Income Job Market

Photo: Latino Immigrants Worry About Competing With Refugees in the Low-Income Job Market

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Just as Latino immigrants were thought to have the strongest hold on service-sector jobs in Utah, a new kind of immigrant may be taking over these low-skilled occupations.

The competition for service-sector jobs is growing, as the Latino immigrants currently holding these jobs are coming up against international refugees in the battle for the same positions.

It is estimated that about 1,100 refugees will arrive in Utah throughout the year, joining the 25,000 once-refugees already in Salt Lake County. The

The Latino immigrants currently in Utah are not just worried about the increased number of bodies competing for jobs, but also how their immigration status will look compared to refugees’.

Tony Yapias, director of immigrant activist group Proyecto Latino de Utah, told Deseret News that housekeeping workers in hotels say they are receiving letters from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) requesting additional documentation regarding their residency status. The workers are afraid they will not be able to meet the requirements needed under the federal E-Verify program, and will lose their jobs to refugees with proper documentation.

“They have papers. They have Medicaid and everything else,” Yapias said of those in the refugee community. He added that the only government involvement the Latino immigrants have is with ICE, but that is seen as more of a danger than a source of help. “The only resource (the Latino) has is contact with a friend or a family member.”

Gerald Brown, state coordinator for refugee resettlement with the Department of Workforce Services, stated that while both groups are immigrants, they are not on equal footing. And while Latino immigrants are worried about losing their jobs, some refugees are equally as worried about the possible animosity created when and if they take said jobs.

“It’s very uncomfortable to work for refugees and know that sometimes they displace these folks,” Brown said. “But I’m also not in a position to pass up jobs that are available.”

Read more at Deseret News →

Latinos Form First Ever Mexican-American Vintners Association in Napa Valley

Latinos Form First Ever Mexican-American Vintners Association in Napa Valley

Photo: Mexican-American Vintners Association Formed

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For the first time in US wine industry history, Mexican-American vintners and wine industry leaders have joined forces to officially launch the Napa Valley Mexican-American Vintners Association (NVMAVA).

Formed as a 501(C)6 non-profit organization, NVMAVA’s mission is to promote Napa and Sonoma Valley wines produced by Mexican-American vintners, to advocate quality standards for its members and to promote and support the contributions of Mexican-Americans to the wine industry.

Organizational programs will include marketing and selling wines nationally and abroad, achieving and maintaining high industry standards, support for current and future members in all wine related areas and educational opportunities for the general public and students interested in a wine industry profession.

“I am very proud to be part of NVMAVA and thankful to all of the founding vintners who committed countless hours towards making this dream a reality. From its inception we felt that we owe it to our community, our heritage& most importantly, to our ancestors whose strong work ethic and sacrifices laid the foundation for our own success. Through our collective and united efforts we will strive to nurture and support future generations of Latino growers, vintners and executives,” states Rolando Herrera, NVMAVA President & Owner of Mi Sueño Winery.

Founding NVMAVA members include Alex Sotelo Cellars, Fernando Candelario, Ceja Vineyards, Encanto Vineyards, Maldonado Vineyards, Mi Sueño Winery, Rios Wine Company, Robledo Winery, and Volcan.

To celebrate the wine industry milestone, NVMAVA is hosting BAUTIZO an inaugural wine and food event to kick-off the association and reveal its official logo. Bautizo will be held Saturday, July 30, 2011, at Maldonado Vineyards in Calistoga, California.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Sexual Assault Case of 11-year-old Latina by 19 Men Being Delayed by DNA Results

Sexual Assault Case of 11-year-old Latina by 19 Men Being Delayed by DNA Results

Photo: Cases of six of the 19 men accused of sexually assaulting 11-year-old were pushed back

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In the small town of Cleveland, Texas, 19 men are accused if being a part of the sexual assault of a then-11-year-old girl. But a judge has pushed back the cases of six of them due to a delay in DNA testing.

Wednesday, six of the men appeared in state district court to receive status updates on their cases. Prosecutor Joe Warren asked for delays in the cases for another four to six weeks so DNA testing of evidence could be completed.

The six indicted individuals - Tyrone Ellis, Jr., 19; Devo Green, 20; Carlos Ligons, 22; Jamarcus Napper, 18; Walter Harrison, 26; and Cedrick Scott, 27 - entered their not guilty pleas during arraignment hearings.

Seven others who had previously pleaded not guilty - Timothy Ellis; Kelvin King, 21; Xavier King, 17; Eric McGowen, 19; Jared McPherson, 18; Marcus Porchia, 26; and Isaiah Ross, 21 - were also in court.

State District Judge Mark Morefield reportedly said, “I’m going to pressure the state to pressure the DPS lab to get whatever analysis as quickly as possible.”

The case made national headlines as details of the alleged assault became public. The suspects range in age from a middle school student to a 27-year-old. Two of the suspects are star athletes at the local high school, and other alleged attackers have criminal records.

Most of the suspects face charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child. Four, however, face charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child. One of the men, Marcus Porchia, 26, was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting another girl. That case is not related.

Many residents in the town cried racial profiling, as all of the suspects are black. Some 9,000 residents even suggested that the girl was somewhat culpable in what happened because she wore makeup and dressed to appear older. These claims shocked people all across the country, especially when the girl’s parents were accused of not keeping a better eye on their daughter.

The now-12-year-old is the daughter of Mexican immigrant parents. She is currently in foster care while her parents work with child welfare authorities. USAToday say the parents, who have health problems, have received threatening phone calls and have since moved out of Cleveland.

Read more at USA TODAY →

Acapulco’s Bet on Street Security: Sexy, Female Only Police Force

Acapulco’s Bet on Street Security: Sexy, Female Only Police Force

Photo: Acapulco to have woman cops only

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Controversy ensued when the Secretary of Public Safety , Ramón Almonte Borja put up an ad looking for women 18 to 26, 5-foot-5 with weight proportional to height, and in good physical health, to become cops.

“The idea is to have a women only police corps, preferably sexy ones, to become an icon of the city […] we’re designing a striking uniform, so as to distinguish us like police in London, for example, so that Acapulco can have an additional visual attraction to what we already have,” said Almonte.

Currently, there are more than 120 unfilled officer positions to be filled by these bomb-shell cops who would not be armed, and whose function would be mostly to act as tourist guides.

Women rights organizations have expressed outrage at what they consider a sexist idea; Blanca Rico, executive director of Semillas in Mexico City, described the position of her women’s rights group as “indignant.”

“Once again women are put in the stereotype of being decorations,” she reportedly said. “One would never imagine male police officers being selected for their looks.”

Asked if he consider his proposal somewhat sexist and exclusive, Almonte said that as with any job, there are certain requisites that applicants must adhere to and qualifications that they need to possess.

“It will not only be a pretty face,” Almonte said, “they also must have characteristics that enable them to help tourists, like the command of a second language,” he said.

What do you think?

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hispanic ‘Nanny’ in Casey Anthony Case Now Seeking Damages, First IDed as Caylee’s Abductor

Hispanic ‘Nanny’ in Casey Anthony Case Now Seeking Damages, First IDed as Caylee’s Abductor

Photo: Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez Sues Casey Anthony

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Now that Casey Anthony is due to be freed from jail next Wednesday, everyone is lining up to extract justice and/or money, except of course, her poor deceased 2-year old daughter Caylee.

The convicted liar, early in the disappearance of her daughter alleged that Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, a Hispanic ‘nanny’ had taken her daughter.  Anthony went as far as taking Florida authorities to where Gonzalez allegedly lived.  Eventually Anthony confessed she had made that story up entirely.  However, there is a real Zenaida and she is claiming she lost her job, was humiliated, harassed and embarrassed by the accusation.

Gonzalez is proceeding with her defamation claim originally filed in 2008.  Gonzalez is not the only one seeking to get money from Anthony, who is indigent, jobless and toxic.  The State of Florida is interested in recouping its costs and the searchers may also seek to recover money spent on the search for Caylee.

Gonzalez has never met Anthony or her deceased daughter, which of course shouldn’t stop her from cashing in on the infamy.  Gonzalez is from Kissimmee, Florida and the Anthony family is from Orlando and there very well could be many other Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzales, but none have come forward. 

In order to prevail in court Gonzalez has to prove that the habitual liar identified her specifically rather than just made up the name. 

We guess if an alleged child killer can walk free a make believe nanny can sue for never being a nanny.  Anthony has been subpoenaed to testify in the lawsuit on July 19th only six days after tasting freedom.

Read more at Orlando Sentinel →

Unrelated News: Have We Found Candidates for Russian Goodwill Embassadors? Probably Not…

Unrelated News: Have We Found Candidates for Russian Goodwill Embassadors? Probably Not…

Photo: Unrelated News: Have We Found Candidates for Russian Goodwill Embassadors? Probably Not...

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Okay, so this is completely unrelated to Hispanics or Latinos or even the Americas, but these “concerned citizens’” are frighteningly amusing.

At least two men pretty much ignored the toppled-over truck, and either drove away or drove around, ignoring it completely. It seems the only person wondering what happened was the gas station attendant.

Don’t worry, it appears the truck’s passenger(s) were (are) okay. As for the drivers that appear to just continue with their day, maybe they could use some help. How do you not react to that?

“Oh look, a truck flipped on its side with people struggling to get out. Better drive around them. Hmm, I wonder if I should run in and grab some Fritos.”


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Read more by HS News Staff →

Pinochet’s Home Now a Pot Den!

Pinochet’s Home Now a Pot Den!

Photo: Marijuana Found in Augusto Pinochet's home!

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Police found 182 full grown plants and 5 pounds of marijuana on drying racks, near a creek in the same property where the Chilean dictator is buried and where his family called home for years!

The former dictator’s oldest daughter told Chilean newspaper “La Tercera” that she had no idea that in “Los Boldos”, the property where her father spent most of his last days, and the place where he was laid to rest, was being use to grow marijuana.

“I’m surprised. Whatever happens in Los Boldos, we have no idea. It’s open, animals wonder by. It’s half abandoned,” she said.

The peculiar discovery happened a long time ago, but only surfaced this week. Police confirmed that they found a complex irrigation system, plugged to the local drinkable water grid, as well as a large supply of fertilizer.  No suspects have been arrested, and whoever started, kept and presumably sold the illegal plants, remains a mystery.

The property was seized shortly after Pinochet’s death, and as investigations on his personal fortune proceeded. Pinochet left behind a fortune of 26 million dollars, 21 of which cannot be accounted for legally.

Pinochet bought the property in the nineties, and even spent some time under house arrest in it, toward the end of his life. According to the house keeper, nobody has visited since last year’s earthquake. He said his job is to keep up the house and chapel on the north side of the property. He was surprised to learn the south side of the 126 acre property was being used to grow pot.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Search Continues in Mexico for Missing American Boating Tourists While Captain is Arrested

Search Continues in Mexico for Missing American Boating Tourists While Captain is Arrested

Photo: Search continues for American Tourists in Mexico

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As time passes and hope fades, the search continues for seven American boating tourists in the Sea of Cortez in Mexico. One American tourist has been confirmed dead when Erik, the fishing charter boat out of the San Felipe port, capsized due to an violent electrical storm at sea.  Thus far 19 of the tourists and all 16 crew members have been rescued either by the Mexican Navy or local fishermen.

Rescuers, which include the U.S. Coast Guard out of San Diego were remaining hopeful that the tourists, mostly from California, will be rescued in what are now calm waters.  Meanwhile the captain has been arrested by Mexican authorities in connection with the sinking of the Erik.

According to authorities the captain had been ordered by authorities not to leave port on Saturday due to a pending storm – clearly he defied those orders.  Other reports say the captain was arrested for operating without a license. 

No official word from Mexican officials on the captain’s fate. 

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Puerto Rico’s Police Chief Resigns as Island’s Violence Rises

Puerto Rico’s Police Chief Resigns as Island’s Violence Rises

Photo: Puerto Rico's Police Chief Resigns as Island's Violence Increases

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Following a record number of homicides in Puerto Rico, the island’s police chief, Jose Figueroa Sancha, resigned Saturday.

Gov. Luis Fortuño’s administration said Col. Jose Luis Rivera will be serving as interim police chief.

Local press has speculated that Figueroa Sancha’s resignation was prompted by Puerto Rico’s record 101 murders committed in June, but the governor’s office stated that he asked to be relieved of his duties to take care of unspecified health issues.

A statement from the governor said, “Jose Figueroa Sancha was an incorruptible, tireless and implacable fighter against crime and drug trafficking. Under his command, powerful drug-trafficking organizations were attacked and dismantled like never before in Puerto Rico.”

As Figueroa Sancha steps down, there is currently an average of 10 murders each weekend. June’s homicide report shows there were 19 more killings than June 2010, and 21 more than June 2009. So far this year, there have been 568 homicides in U.S. commonwealth.

San Juan saw the highest number of homicides in June.

Authorities say the increase in violence in mostly due to rival gangs fighting for “turf”.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is now urging the government to take action, stating that Figueroa Sancha’s resignation does not change the status of violence or the abuse of power by police in Puerto Rico.

Sancha, who worked for the FBI for 23 years before becoming police chief in November 2008, is leaving the post in the midst of a crime wave and criticism of the department’s use of excessive force by police on peaceful protestors, Dominican immigrants, and low-income and black Puerto Ricans, as we have extensively documented. Police have beaten, pepper-sprayed and tear-gassed student and labor protestors. The abuses are legion, and have been largely ignored by both the Puerto Rican and U.S. governments.

Today, the ACLU, along with LatinoJustice Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund and the National Institute for Latino Policy, ran ads in Roll Call and Congressional Quarterly Today asking Congress to speak out against these abuses and make clear that as this kind of violent restriction of constitutionally protected rights would not be tolerated on the mainland, so it should not be tolerated in Puerto Rico.

Congress should also call on the Department of Justice to bring its ongoing investigation of the Puerto Rico Police Department, which was initiated in July 2008, to a close and issue its findings. Sancha’s resignation will not fix the problem of systemic police abuse and brutality that predated his appointment and continued on his watch.

Our organizations will be having a congressional briefing on July 12 at 10 a.m. in 2226 Rayburn, at which we will preview findings of a forthcoming ACLU report that documents the severity and scope of police abuse on a level that shocks the conscious. Under the U.S. Constitution, Puerto Ricans are entitled to the same rights and protections as all U.S. citizens.

Read more at LAHT →

Hate Crimes Against Hispanics on the Rise in Nation’s Capital

Hate Crimes Against Hispanics on the Rise in Nation’s Capital

Photo: Washington D.C.

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Police officials in Washington D.C. are reporting that racially motivated hate crimes against Hispanics are on the rise in the nation’s capital.  Typically hate crimes in D.C. have targeted someone for their sexual orientation not their race.

In the past 18 months, 39 percent of all hate crimes were racially motivated.  Police Chief Cathy Lanier noted that the new targets “are largely Hispanic and white residents.”

Last year D.C. police responded to numerous robberies targeting Hispanics as they left their place of work.  The department’s Latino Liaison Unit has been advocating for Hispanic residents to be on the look out and to be aware they are being targeted for certain crimes.  Chief Lanier did not cite any example of white hate crimes.

Experts believe the rise in hate crimes against Hispanics is being fueled by the deepening racial divide between the have’s and have not’s and some people not wanting the city to be defined by its minority populations.

Read more at Washington Examiner →

WATCH: Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls, Run Begins 11:30 CDT (LIVE STREAM)

WATCH: Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls, Run Begins 11:30 CDT (LIVE STREAM)

Photo: Pamplona's San Fermín

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Image Be a part (from the safety of your home) of the crazy San Fermín crowd and enjoy a few exhilarating moments of the 204 hour long festivities, live from Pamplona!
At the exact same time every sixth of July, Pamplona floods with a swarming flock of white and red clad daredevils.

ImageA “chupinazo” blast –a firecracker, sets in motion 9 intense days of the most boisterous uninterrupted partying Spain and all of Europe has ever seen.
On Wednesday, the Mayor shot the chupinazo and cheered the crowd with the traditional “Pamploneses, pamplonesas, viva San Fermín, gora San Fermín!” As per tradition, the crowd tied red handkerchiefs to their necks, a reckless thing to do considering that every year, at 6:30pm six huge fighting bulls and six steers are released to charge through the narrow, winding streets of the northern Spanish town, chasing after anything red that moves.

It is a party alright, but certainly not for the animals, and not unlike every year hundreds of protesters have staged staged demonstrations in the city’s plazas and cultural venues to protest against the mistreat and killing of bulls.

Check it out for yourself on this Live Stream of today’s festivities!

Captured Zeta Leader States ALL Their Guns are Obtained in the U.S., Tied to Killing of US Agent

Captured Zeta Leader States ALL Their Guns are Obtained in the U.S., Tied to Killing of US Agent

Photo: 'El Mamito' Captured by Mexican Authorities

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“El Mamito” also known as Jesus Enrique Rejon Aguilar has been busy talking to Mexican authorities about his role as the leader of one of the country’s most vicious drug cartels– Los Zetas.  Since “El Mamito” was captured earlier this week he has been especially informative about where the cartel gets their guns.

Authorities on both side of the borders are very interested in the issue of guns and cartels, since Aguilar is being tied to the killing of U.S. agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico. And hearings are currently being held on the “Fast and Furious” government program that accidentally put U.S. guns in the hands of the Mexican cartels.

Rejon said all the Zeta’s guns are purchased in the United States, no exception.  They are transported either by vehicles or boats.  The arms are typically purchased from arms suppliers or ‘straw purchasers’ as they are known, who work for the cartels in the U.S.  In a recent case a U.S. citizen was charged with buying 200 AK-47’s and Beretta pistols for the cartel and was planning on delivering them 10 to 20 pieces at a time by simply walking over the border into Mexico.

Certain members of Congress want gun dealers to report sale of multiple long guns and people to submit to background checks when purchasing guns at gun shows.  Both initiatives are expected to get backlash from the National Rifle Assocation (NRA). 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Border Patrol Agents Seize Nearly $15 Million Worth of Marijuana

Border Patrol Agents Seize Nearly $15 Million Worth of Marijuana

Photo: Bundles of Marijuana Seized at Border

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Nearly $15 million worth of marijuana was confiscated by U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Rio Grande Valley Sector in multiple seizures over the past four days.

The largest seizure was made Tuesday at the Falfurrias Checkpoint when a Border Patrol K-9 indicated that a tractor-trailer possibly contained contraband. Upon further inspection agents found nearly 5,000 pounds of marijuana, with an estimated value of more than $3.9 million, hidden within the trailer.

Additionally, more than 2,500 pounds of marijuana were seized Wednesday under similar circumstances at the Border Patrol checkpoint near Sarita, Texas, by agents assigned to the Kingsville Station.

The drivers of the vehicles from the two checkpoint seizures were arrested and turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration, along with the marijuana, for further investigation.

Agents assigned to the Rio Grande City Station foiled a large marijuana smuggling attempt Thursday when they saw several people cross the Rio Grande and walk through a wooded area toward Fronton, Texas. When agents approached the group and identified themselves, the smugglers fled into the thick brush, leaving behind more than 1,400 pounds of marijuana.

Additional seizures throughout the sector pushed the total amount of marijuana seized from Monday through Thursday to nearly 9.5 tons.

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ThursdayJuly 7, 2011