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FridayJuly 8, 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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JUST IN:  Former First Lady Betty Ford and Co-Founder of the Betty Ford Center Dies at Age 93

JUST IN:  Former First Lady Betty Ford and Co-Founder of the Betty Ford Center Dies at Age 93

Photo: Betty Ford Passes Away at Age 93

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Betty Fords’ family has just announced that the former first lady and widow of the late President Gerald Ford had died at age 93 with her family at her side in Rancho Mirage, California.  Betty Ford was also know as the co-founder of the Betty Ford Center that serves as a treatment center for drug and alcohol addiction located in California.

The former Elizabeth Anne Bloomer was born in Chicago and wed the future President of the United States in 1948 after a brief first marriage.  She was named Newsweek’s woman of the year in 1975 for her controversial remarks at the time regarding abortion and sexual relations and her brave and public fight with breast cancer. 

Betty Ford became a widow when President Gerald R. Ford died in 2006.  She has publicly supported the Equal Rights Amendment and the Supreme Court’s position on legalized abortion.

Upon her passing President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued the following statement: 

We are deeply saddened by the passing of First Lady Betty Ford. As a staunch advocate for women’s and equal rights, Betty paved the way for generations of women to follow. Her courage, compassion, and commitment to helping our nation deal with drug and alcohol abuse and addiction helped thousands of people to a successful recovery and in the process she helped to save countless families. We were honored to host President and Mrs. Ford at the White House in 1998 when they received the Congressional Gold Medal for their dedication and service to our nation.

Betty was a remarkable woman whose legacy will live on in people around the country whose lives are longer and better because of her work. Our thoughts and prayers are with her children and grandchildren. We are grateful for her contributions, and for her kindness to us. We will miss her.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

President Warmly Receives New Dominican Republic Ambassador to U.S.

President Warmly Receives New Dominican Republic Ambassador to U.S.

Photo: U.S.-Dominican Relations

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The new Dominican Republic ambassador to the US, Anibal de Castro, presented his credentials yesterday to President Barack Obama in the White House. Meanwhile the President lauded the great relations both countries enjoy and the contribution from Dominicans living in the US.

De Castro was at the White House yesterday for his credentials ceremony and was warmly received.  He was previously ambassador to the United Kingdom and prior to his diplomatic days, De Castro was a newspaper editor in the Dominican.

At the ceremony, President Obama highlighted the close family and cultural bonds and collaboration between both governments. He said one of every 300 Americans will visit the DR on vacation or business every year and 100,000 Americans live and work in the Dominican Republic.

“The United States and the Dominican Republic share a long history of mutually beneficial relations, and I am sure that your arrival here will reinforce the bilateral relations between our nations. Your personal experience as ambassador before the United Kingdom in London, as well as the commitment with freedom of the press and expression during your journalism career will be of much use for the representation of the interests of the Dominican nation here in Washington,” the U.S. chief executive said.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: “Officer of the Year” Arrested for Selling Meth

LATINO BLOTTER: “Officer of the Year” Arrested for Selling Meth

Photo: "Officer of the Year" David Britto Arrested for Selling Meth

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Last year, Officer David Britto was “Officer of the Year” in Boynton Beach, Fla. Today, he’s on trial for selling methamphetamines.

ImageBritto was born in Brazil and moved to Queens, New York when he was seven. He then moved to North Carolina where he lived before joining the Marines. He served from 2001 until 2006. The 28-year-old former Marine has been with the Boynton Beach police Dept. since 2007. Along with being the department’s “Officer of the Year” award recipient last year, Britto was also a mentor for the Florida Community Alliance’s “Teen Police Academy” and has also made himself somewhat of a relationship and life expert.

The officer has at least three websites for various life-changing endeavors. One site blessedwarrior.com, is intended to help people find him for mentoring and motivational speaking. On HowToWinMyExBack.org he gives tips on how to win your ex back. (Who knows, maybe now ImAnOfficerSellingMeth.com is the works as well.)

Tuesday, DEA agents arrested Britto saying he “had and intended to sell more than 500 grams of methamphetamines between June 2009 and March 2011.”

The Boynton Beach Police currently cooperating with the DEA’s investigation.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazil Prepares for the Next World Cup. Watch the Progress Anytime! (LIVE STREAM)

Brazil Prepares for the Next World Cup. Watch the Progress Anytime! (LIVE STREAM)

Photo: ew Palmeiras soccer Stadium, known as Arena Palestra

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Check out the construction of the new Palmeiras soccer Stadium, known as Arena Palestra! Located in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Read more by HS News Staff →

As the Last Space Shuttle Mission Soars, Remembering Hispanics Contribution to Space Shuttle Program

As the Last Space Shuttle Mission Soars, Remembering Hispanics Contribution to Space Shuttle Program

Photo: Final Space Shuttle Launch

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As the space Shuttle Atlantis soared into space from the Kennedy Center and in front of an estimated 750,000 spectators this afternoon, HS-News travels down memory land to remember Hispanics contribution to the 30-year NASA program. Latino astronauts have become pioneers for the entire community, breaking barriers and inspiring achievement in science and technology.

Over the 30 years and 135 launches there have been many Hispanics and Latinos involved as support staff, engineers and of course as astronauts here are a few of them:

*  Jose Acaba (1st Puerto Rican on Space, in 2009 went on the International Sapce Station for two weeks)

*  Frank Caldeiro (Argentinian conducting atmospheric research on 2006)

*  Franklin Chang-Diaz (of Costa Rican descent, 1st Hispanic on space mission in 1986)

*  Sidney Gutierrez (veteran of two space mission: 1991, 1994)

*  Jose Hernandez (son of Mexican immigrants, Discovery space shuttle 2009)

*  Christopher “Gus” Loria (selected as astronaut 1996)

*  Michael Lopez-Algeria (1st Spanish astronaut, performed 10 spacewalks)

*  Rodolfo Neri Vela (born in Mexico flew space mission making him first Mexican to travel in space)

*  Carlo I. Noriega (born in Peru, selected as astronaut 1994, flew two mission in 1997 & 2000).

*  Ellen Lauri Ochoa (1st female Hispanic, flew in 1993 space shuttle, current Deputy Director of Johnson Space Center)

*  John ‘Danny’ Olivas (of Mexican descent, flew on two space shuttles: 2007, 2009)

Read more by HS News Staff →

Green Living: Take a look at Joysxee, the Floating Garbage Island in Mexico

Green Living: Take a look at Joysxee, the Floating Garbage Island in Mexico

Photo: Joysxee, the Floating Garbage Island.

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Creator Rishi Sowa has been living on the neatest pile of garbage ever, in the Isla Mujeres, Mexico.

For about ten years, Sowa has made his home this marvel made from plastic bottles, discarded wood and planted vegetation, floating on thousands of discarded plastic bottles.

With the help of friend Scott Mader, Sowa is soon planning to expand his green island home, release it into the open water an travel around on it.

Check out these amazing photos.

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Read more at Inhabitat.com →

Cross the Border Regularly? Be Sure to Check Your Trunk for Pot

Cross the Border Regularly? Be Sure to Check Your Trunk for Pot

Photo: Police near the border examining a car with a trunk full of marijuana

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A school teacher is sitting in a Juarez jail after a search of her car at the U.S.-Mexico border uncovered 100 pounds of marijuana in her trunk. However, both her and the FBI, claim she is not working with drug traffickers and is simply the victim of an increasingly common practice of using unsuspecting drivers’ as drug traffickers.

Ana Isela Martinez Amaya, is a 35-year-old private school teacher from the La Fe Preparatory School in El Paso, Texas. Each day, like clockwork, she travels north across the border to teach her 4th grade students. This routine was noticed by drug traffickers, and because of it, she has been sitting in jail since May 26 on drug charges.

“I’m not a drug dealer. I have been an honest person all my life. I just want authorities to know it’s absolutely unfair to have me here because I’m not guilty,” Martinez told KVIA an ABC affiliate in El Paso.

Traffickers have been using cross-border commuters to smuggling drugs into the U.S. and the FBI says Martinez is one of those commuters. According to the affidavit filed by FBI Special Agent Daniel, Martinez and Dr. Justus Lawrence Opot and co-worker Marisol Perez were unsuspecting victims of a drug trafficking scheme.

The affidavit states smugglers select their targets by placing lookouts at the port of entry. These lookouts identify vehicles that use the SENTRI express lane daily. (SENTRI stands for Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection.) One the vehicles were selected, the smugglers obtain the vehicles’ identification numbers. Using that number, they have spare keys made. At night, when the cars are unoccupied the keys are used to open the trunk and place drugs inside. The next time the car owner gets in, they have no idea they are about to become accidental drug traffickers.

Since the affidavit was shared with Mexican authorities, Opot and Perez have been released, but Martinez remains in jail. Her husband however, says they will use the FBI information to try to gain her freedom.

In a conversation recorded by the FBI and documented in the affidavit, smugglers Jesus Chavez and Carlos Gomez admit that targeted Martinez.

“We have seen that girl (Martinez Amaya) for about a year because she’s like a clock, boss,” Gomez stated in a recorded call. “At 5:00—she was there. Boom-boom-boom! Always.”

“It has given us motivation,” Martinez’s husband, Isaac Cuanalo, says of the FBI information. “It corroborates that Ana is innocent and that Ana is a victim that she did not know of the suitcases. We are thanking God.”

Read more at El Paso Times →

WE HEARD: JLo and Hubby to Sit with Prince William and Kate at BAFTA Gala

WE HEARD: JLo and Hubby to Sit with Prince William and Kate at BAFTA Gala

Photo: JL & Marc Anthony to Entertain Prince William and Kate

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Prince Guillermo and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge will stop in LA for several days to promote British interests in the U.S.  There is a tour to skid row, a polo match, but its the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) gala that has everyone abuzz.  The Duchess of Cambridge has never been to the U.S.

The royals will walk the red carpet with British TV, film and theater stars for the BAFTA gala at the Belasco Theatre on Saturday.  So who is going to get to sit nice and close to the newlywed royals?  US Magazine is reporting that not only are JLo and Marc Anthony going to be in attendance they will get a seat of honor at the Duke and Duchess dinner table. 

What will JLo and her Papi talk to the newlyweds about - will they offer their secrets of successful marriage after having countless marriages between the both of them???

As President of BAFTA, William, 29,  is expected to make a brief speech at the ball.

Expected to join the royal newlyweds in celebrating are a multitude of British actors and actresses, and other Hollywood’s royal couples beside JLo and Marc that include Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann, and Barbra Streisand and James Brolin.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Subcommittee on Counterterrorism to Hear Tesitmony of Hezbollah Dealings in Latin America

Subcommittee on Counterterrorism to Hear Tesitmony of Hezbollah Dealings in Latin America

Photo: Subcommittee on Counterterrorism to Hear Tesitmony of Hezbollah Dealings in Latin America

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Congress’ fear that the radical Islamic group known as Hezbollah has reached into Latin America has brought together a number of public policy groups to discuss defense options with the House Homeland Security subcommittee on counterterrorism and intelligence. Hezbollah is classified as a terrorist organization by the State Department, and before the events of 9/11, it was responsible for the majority of U.S. terrorism attacks.

The groups will testify in front of the subcommittee, and statements are expected to align with those made by Air Force General Douglas Fraser, who stated that Iran and its close allies in Hezbollah are taking full advantage of their relationship with Hugo Chavez, President of Venezuela, and outspoken critic of the U.S.

Fraser added that Iran has increased its number of Latin American embassies and is teaching the ways of Islam to the low-income resident.

“There are flights between Iran and Venezuela on a weekly basis and visas are not required for entrance into Venezuela or Bolivia or Nicaragua,” Fraser said. “So we don’t have a lot of visibility in who’s visiting and who isn’t, and that’s really where I see the concerns.”

Fraser heads U.S. military operations throughout Latin America, and describes Iran as a growing influence, and warns of the “potential risk” this poses to the region.

Congress is also worried about Iran’s influence and the part it may play in the region’s deadly drug war.

Last year, Jameel Nasr was arrested by police in Mexico for allegedly traveling to Venezuela and other Latin American countries to set up Hezbollah-influenced networks with the intention of targeting Israel and Western nations.

Nasr was the reputed head of Hezbollah’s Mexico operations. He was reportedly living in Tijuana, just south of the U.S.-Mexico border when he was arrested.

Additional intelligence reports show Hezbollah has been financing training and propaganda operations in South America.

In 2007, Venezuelan President Chavez and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad agreed to use part of a joint $2 billion investment fund to ward off what they referred to as U.S. domination in developing countries. Details were not released about the agree, though the fund was initially meant to build infrastructure and fund oil production.

Read more at Town Hall →

Alabama Must Now Defend Tough New Immigration Law in Federal Court Against Class Action Lawsuit

Alabama Must Now Defend Tough New Immigration Law in Federal Court Against Class Action Lawsuit

Photo: Alabama's Anti-Immigration Law Challenged in Court

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The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and a coalition of civil rights groups filed a class action lawsuit today challenging Alabama’s extreme anti-immigrant law, HB 56, passed last month. The draconian law is even more restrictive than the Arizona law it was inspired by—Arizona’s SB 1070.

The Alabama law chills children’s access to public schools by requiring school officials to verify the immigration status of children and their parents; authorizes police to demand “papers” demonstrating citizenship or immigration status during traffic stops; and criminalizes Alabamians for ordinary, everyday interactions with undocumented individuals says the suit. The lawsuit charges that the extreme law endangers public safety, invites the racial profiling of Latinos, Asians and others who appear foreign to an officer, and interferes with federal law.


The coalition filing the lawsuit includes the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Alabama, the National Immigration Law Center, the Asian Law Caucus, and the Asian American Justice Center. The law is set to take effect September 1.

The lawsuit charges that HB 56 is unconstitutional in that it unlawfully interferes with federal power and authority over immigration matters, in violation of the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution; subjects Alabamians―including countless U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents―to unlawful search and seizure, in violation of the Fourth Amendment; unlawfully deters immigrant families from enrolling their children in public schools; unconstitutionally bars many lawfully present immigrants from attending public colleges or universities in Alabama; and drastically restricts the right to enter into contracts.

Alabama is the fifth state to have enacted laws emulating Arizona’s controversial and costly SB 1070, even though the Arizona law was blocked by the courts. In a stinging rebuke to these unconstitutional laws, federal courts have also halted implementation of similar laws passed in Utah, Indiana and Georgia. The coalition has announced plans to challenge the latest state to pass an Arizona-inspired anti-immigrant law, South Carolina. 

So far, none of these discriminatory anti-immigrant laws passed by the states have been fully implemented due to legal challenges.

“If allowed to take effect, this law will deter parents from enrolling their children in schools, restrict the ability of individuals and businesses across Alabama to freely engage in commercial activities, and restrict ministers from fully administering to their parishioners’ spiritual and other needs,” said Linton Joaquin, general counsel of the National Immigration Law Center. “In short, Alabama’s law will affect the daily lives of countless residents, native-born and foreign alike. Alabama cannot constitutionally turn teachers, landlords, and community members into de facto immigration enforcement agents. We look forward to adding HB 56 to the roster of discriminatory laws that have been blocked by federal courts.”

“HB 56 is the harshest version of the SB1070 copycats we have seen so far,” said Sin Yen Ling, senior staff attorney with the Asian Law Caucus. “Requiring schools to verify a student’s immigration status forces teachers to become law enforcement officers which is counterproductive to creating a positive learning environment. HB 56 should be struck down as unconstitutional.”

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit reflect the far-reaching and devastating impacts HB 56 would have if allowed to be implemented even for a single day.  Plaintiff Matt Webster and his wife are in the process of adopting two boys. These children do not currently have federal immigration status but are in the process of acquiring it based on their U.S. citizen adoptive parents. Alabama’s immigration law will criminalize these youths and make it illegal for Webster to transport and provide for these children. 

“I will be considered a criminal for harboring, encouraging and transporting my own sons,” he said. Webster added, “I am furious that our state representatives have wasted and will continue to waste taxpayer money with this law. I am a Republican and probably agree with many of our Republican legislators on most issues.  On this one, however, I do not.” 

The law has also raised concerns from faith-based organizations that provide community services.  Other agencies that work with immigrant communities are concerned the law may criminalize their work. 

“We are fearful that HB 56 will lead to another era in this state of racial profiling and discrimination and foster hate and separation, rather than welcoming and community-building,” said John Pickens, executive director for Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, a plaintiff in the lawsuit. “What we need is a comprehensive national immigration policy, and our state legislative leaders, and Governor Bentley, should be urging our congressional representatives in Washington to support comprehensive immigration reform, rather than spending time passing and trying to enforce piecemeal state immigration laws.” 

The Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (¡HICA!), a social service organization that works with the Latino community, joined the lawsuit because of the damage the law will inflict across the state. 

“If implemented, HB56 will cause irreparable harm to Alabama’s reputation, to the vitality of our economy, and to the well-being of hardworking immigrant families that ¡HICA! works daily to engage and empower,” said Isabel Rubio, executive director of ¡HICA!. “With no other recourse remaining, ¡HICA! must join this lawsuit to stop HB56.” 

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama on behalf of several organizations and individuals across the state who will be adversely affected by the law.

Read more by HS News Staff →

As Captain Morgan Leaves, Puerto Rico Hopes to Keep the Rum Business Lucrative With New Distillery

As Captain Morgan Leaves, Puerto Rico Hopes to Keep the Rum Business Lucrative With New Distillery

Photo: As Captain Morgan Leaves, Puerto Rico is Hoping to Keep the Rum Business Going With New Distillery

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Near San Juan, Puerto Rico, a former pharmaceutical plant is being transformed into a rum distillery in hopes of helping the economy recover from the loss of Captain Morgan rum.

The new distillery is being developed by Club Caribe Distillers LLC, a local bottler of Coca-Cola, and agreements to produce rum in bulk for third parties has already been made. However, the company is also looking to break into the U.S. market with new products: a white rum called Club Caribe, a spiced rum called Black Roberts, and Ron Carlos, a dark rum.

“We see a great opportunity to increase the demand for local rum in the United States,” said Alberto Rivera, senior vice president and principal finance officer for Club Caribe.

When at full capacity, the plant should be able to produce 10 millions gallons of rum per year, though as part of the 20-year deal, only 2 million gallons of rum will be produced in the plant’s first year. It is scheduled to be opened in early 2012.

Club Caribe is expected to employ 25 people and invest $10 million in machinery and equipment in the former GlaxoSmithKline building. In the first year, it is believed the plant’s production will eventually generate $20 million in revenue for the island.

As Captain Morgan leaves the island, the U.S. commonwealth is expected to lose $140 million in. The rum producer is moving “next door”, to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The rum industry has created 4,500 direct and indirect jobs. It also provides the government with around $400 million annually in rum rebate revenue.

The new distillery is located in the mountain town of Cidra, Puerto Rico.

Read more at Caribbean Business →

American Ambassador In El Salvador Under Fire for Gay Rights OpEd

American Ambassador In El Salvador Under Fire for Gay Rights OpEd

Photo: Ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte Under Fire for Gay Rights OpEd

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Ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte was heavily criticized by a coalition formed by 42 pro-life and pro family groups, and the church in El Salvador where she serves as the U.S. Ambassador.

Mrs. Aponte published an OpEd in El Salvador’s Prensa Gráfica titled “For the Elimination of Prejudice, Wherever It Is.”

In the article Aponte discussed June having been proclaimed Gay Pride Month in the US and America’s commitment to ending sexual orientation based violence and discrimination around the world. She also applauded the government of President Mauricio Funes for their continued efforts in favor of gay rights on a national and international scale.

Finally, she said that the responsibility of promoting gay rights is not only on the government’s shoulders but also on “each one of us.” She added that each generation had to bring their countries closer to equality and noted that progress would take time, but that the “diversity of the Americas” would be celebrated.

In response to Aponte’s article, a combination of domestic and foreign pro-life and pro-family groups, Christian communities and several church groups accused her of violating the Vienna Convention of the U.N. General Assembly, which states that diplomats are obligated not to interfere in the internal affairs of the receiving state, and that other states have the duty to respect the character of other states.

The coalition for life and family said they agreed with the ambassador when she said there should not be “violence against homosexuals, bisexuals, transsexuals, etc.” but just like there should not be violence “against thin, fat, tall or short people.

“Not accepting the legitimacy of ‘sexual diversity’ does not mean we are violating any human right,” one group said before ending with “We prefer to feel proudly ‘old fashioned,’ keep our moral values, preserve our families and posses the clarity of what defines good and evil.”

An U.S. Embassy official in El Salvador, who asked not to be named because he wasn’t authorized to speak to the media, said in a July 6 interview with CNA that the ambassador “was not commenting on foreign culture and laws; (she) was restating U.S. policy,” because President Obama and Secretary Clinton have stated this position previously.

“One of the reasons that we have ambassadors around the world is to explain U.S. policy outside of our border, so that is what she was doing,” he explained. “She is the president’s representative in this country.”

It is evident however, that el Salvador wants nothing to do with the “progressive” stance of the US on the subject, and furiously insist that the Ambassador stay away from their affairs, their values, or leave.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Former High Ranking Member of Tijuana Cartel Pleads Guilty in US Court

Former High Ranking Member of Tijuana Cartel Pleads Guilty in US Court

Photo: Drug Cartel Leader in US Jail

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Rigoberto Yanez-Guerrero, a former ranking member of the Tijuana Cartel/Arellano-Felix Organization (AFO), entered a guilty plea in federal court in San Diego today, announced U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California.

Yanez was extradited by the government of Mexico to the United States in December 2010 to face charges in California for narcotics trafficking, money laundering, and organized crime-related offenses. Long reputed to be one of the most notorious multi-national drug trafficking organizations, the AFO controlled the flow of cocaine, marijuana, and other drugs through the Mexican border cities of Tijuana and Mexicali into the United States. Its operations also extended into southern Mexico as well as Colombia.

According to court records and the defendants’ admissions at today’s hearing, Yanez admitted that he was a member of the AFO from approximately 1995 to 2001. During that time, Yanez served as a point of contact for Colombian traffickers wishing to do business with the AFO and transmitted money to Colombian drug traffickers. Yanez admitted that he participated in the shipment of approximately five-10 tons of cocaine from Mexico to the United States. According to his plea, Yanez faces 20 years in prison and will forfeit $1 million involved in or derived from his illegal activities.

Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 3, 2011, before U.S. District Court Judge Larry A. Burns in San Diego.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Everglades National Park Reaching Out in Spanish

Everglades National Park Reaching Out in Spanish

Photo: Everglades National Park Reaching Out in Spanish

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Everglades National Park is one of a kind. It is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States and boasts rare and endangered species. It has been designated a World Heritage Site, an International Biosphere Reserve, and a Wetland of International Importance, significant to all people of the world.

It is also located adjacent to Miami with its huge and diverse Spanish speaking population. Yet many residents are barely aware of the Everglades, and even more are uncertain of how to visit the Park.

In an effort to reach out to its Spanish speaking neighbors, the Park is pleased to debut a new web page “en Español” on its web site.  This page features two new videos designed to show Spanish speaking families how close they are to an amazing place and how they can explore it easily in a fun and entertaining way.

‘Hola Everglades’ is a new orientation video designed to help people plan their trip to the park and focuses on park facilities and activities.  The entire program was filmed in Spanish but it can be viewed with English captions.  ‘Hola Everglades’ was produced in-house by Jennifer Brown and features rangers Maria Thomson and Jenny Guerra.  Also featured is ‘Everglades: Aventura y Diversión’ a reality television special produced by Univision 23 with a grant from the National Park Foundation. It features the adventures of a Miami family’s first overnight camping trip to the park.

Watch the videos here.

Read more by HS News Staff →

UPDATE: Hacker Group ANONYMOUS Shuts Down Ministry of Education Website

UPDATE: Hacker Group ANONYMOUS Shuts Down Ministry of Education Website

Photo: ANONYMOUS Shuts Down Ministry of Education Website

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UPDATE:  Less than 10 minutes after the Anonymous cyber rendezvous took place at 10am, The Chile’s education related sites “mineduc.cl” “convivenciaescolar.cl” “mineduc.gov.cl” “ayudamineduc.cl” “becapres.gob.cl” “divesup.cl sies.cl.” have been shut down.

Some, like the Chilean Ministry of Education website have been able to come back online, but are soon shot back down by the hackers.

Updates, pictures of the unresponsive websites as well as tentative new targets can be followed via the operation’s Twitter account.


ORIGINAL STORY:  The “MalEducados” cyber-operation follows several weeks of student protests in Chile, offering them online suppor 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.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Obama’s New Border Strategy:  Information Sharing

Obama’s New Border Strategy:  Information Sharing

Photo: U.S. Southwest Border with Mexico

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Yesterday the White House and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano unveiled an updated U.S.-Mexico border strategy that wholly consists of increased coordination and resource sharing between all enforcement agencies at the federal, state and local levels.

The strategy, Napolitano said, is designed to “strengthen our coordinating efforts to interdict drug traffickers and disrupt their links to terrorism and organized crime.”

The updated strategy is part of the requirement of the extensive National Southwest Border Counternarctocis Strategy.  An update is required every two years to effectively patrol 1,969 miles of border from Texas to California.  Many critics, especially Republicans are expected to view this ‘updated’ strategy as limited and not enough.

The new strategy would make the US drug czar head of the new coordinated effort along with the Attorney General’s Office and Homeland Security.  There is no new funding, manpower or strategies noted in this new border initiative.  Nonetheless, the $600 million budgeted last year to beef up the border remains in place and the 1,000 additional Border Patrol agents and new customs agents that come with it.

 

Read more at My San Antonio →

Latino Independent Distiller Launches ‘Tributo a Mi Padre,’ Tequila Honoring Father’s Memory

Fulfilling a life-long dream and keeping a son’s promise, Latino entrepreneur and former head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Hector V. Barreto, officially launches Tributo a Mi Padre (Tribute to My Father), a premium tequila spirit, at the 6th Annual East L.A. Meets Napa Premiere Food and Wine Tasting Event, in Downtown Los Angeles.

Born under the Mexican sun in the region of Tequila, whose ancient Nahuatl name also means “a place of tribute,” Tributo is grown in the generational farmlands of the Barreto family and extracted only from the rich, blue agave plants which populate this fertile valley. Available in its three traditional presentations, Blanco, Reposado and Anejo, Tequila Tributo’s craftsmanship reflects a deep respect for the land in which it is produced and for the authentic tequila-making traditions that date back to the late 18th century.

Tributo’s original marketing and distribution plan calls for a phased release, which will commence in California –the world’s largest tequila market– and Nevada. Under a “Focused Market” hyper local approach, the label will provide sustained support and presence throughout the year in select urban markets. Distribution in the U.S. will be managed by Innovation Spirits, a company formed by Wines & Spirits industry executives with the goal of taking advantage of the growing market and consumer demand for specialty wines & liquor products.

Tequila Tributo’s unique story, with its ties to both Mexico and the U.S. Latino community, is at once reflective of the generational journey that millions of Mexicans have made to El Norte, and the great stories of entrepreneurial achievement and success that have added beautiful chapters to the story of America. Among them, the life of the late Hector Barreto Sr., a native of Jalisco, Mexico, who settled in the United States during the 1950s. Credited as the first president of the Kansas City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and a founding member of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), Mr. Barreto’s career and life have long been recognized and honored by the U.S. Latino community.

His son, Hector V. Barreto, inherited his father’s entrepreneurial spirit and public service vocation. From 2001 to 2006, he served as the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, under appointment by President George W. Bush, and unanimous approval by the U.S. Senate. He currently serves as Chairman of The Latino Coalition, a non-profit nationwide organization based in California, with offices in Washington, DC, and Guadalajara, Mexico.

The spirit of risk and adventure that have nurtured a son’s dream and love for his father, also created Tributo. An uncompromising focus on excellence and quality in craftsmanship, now sustain it. “Tributo A Mi Padre was created as a way of honoring my father’s memory, and a truly well lived life. It is my hope that this fine tequila will help others celebrate the special moments in their lives,” Barreto asserted.

“Tequila Tributo a Mi Padre holds in each of its bottles the essence of our culture, the flavor of our land, our passion for perfection, and an obsession to produce only the purest and most authentic tequila. Nothing more. Nothing less.”

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Dominican Baseball Prospect Arrested by Border Officers for Concealed Cocaine

Dominican Baseball Prospect Arrested by Border Officers for Concealed Cocaine

Photo: Sneakers Carrying Cocaine from Dominican Republic

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Customs and Border Protection Officers (CBP) at JFK Airport intercept a 21 year old man attempting to smuggle over six pounds of cocaine in his luggage. The bag he was carrying contained four pairs of sneakers with narcotics concealed within the soles.

On June 29th, CBP officers at JFK stopped Mr. Cristian Vasquez Martinez, who arrived on a flight from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for an enforcement exam. Mr. Martinez’s visa information indicated that he was a prospect for the Tampa Bay Rays. Further inspection revealed that he was released by the team deeming his visa invalid. Upon examination of Mr. Martinez’s luggage, CBP officers discovered four pairs of sneakers, which were unusually heavy. A more intrusive exam of the sneakers produced a white powdery substance that field-tested positive for cocaine.

“CBP officers in the New York area remain vigilant in their efforts to combat the illicit trade of narcotics,” stated Robert E. Perez, Director, Office of Field Operations, New York Field Office. “These highly skilled officers are committed to their mission of protecting our nation’s communities.”

The narcotics seized during this inspection carried a street value over $138,000.

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US Execution of Mexican National Violates International Law – UN Rights Chief

US Execution of Mexican National Violates International Law – UN Rights Chief

Photo: Humberto Leal García

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The United Nations human rights chief said today she deeply regrets the execution in the United States of Mexican national Humberto Leal García, stating that it is a breach of Washington’s obligations under international law.

Mr. Leal García was sentenced to death for murder in the state of Texas in February 1998. He was executed yesterday after a last minute decision by the US Supreme Court denying a stay of execution.

“The execution of Mr. Leal García places the US in breach of international law,” said High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, who is currently on official mission in Mexico.

“I am very disappointed that neither the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles nor the Governor took steps open to them to prevent this breach of the US obligations under international law from occurring,” she stated.

A news release issued by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) notes that, in addition to the normal UN position of opposing the death penalty as a matter of policy, this case raises particular legal concerns, as Mr. Leal García was not granted consular access, which – as a foreign national – was his right under international law.

“The lack of consular assistance raises concerns about whether or not his right to a fair trial, guaranteed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and binding on the United States, was fully upheld,” the Office stated.

OHCHR adds that in 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a ruling stating that the US must review and reconsider the cases of 51 Mexican nationals sentenced to death – including the case of Mr. Leal García – as they had not received consular services. This never took place.

“Today’s execution will undermine the role of the International Court of Justice, and its ramifications are likely to spread far beyond Texas,” Ms. Pillay said, noting that she had sent two letters on this issue to the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.

“It is also the responsibility of all federal countries ensure that all individual states respect the international obligations assumed by the country as a whole,” she added.

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FridayJuly 8, 2011