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FridayAugust 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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Showing its true Colors: Dept of Homeland Security Comes Clean with its Mass Deportation Agenda

Showing its true Colors: Dept of Homeland Security Comes Clean with its Mass Deportation Agenda

Photo: ICE Deportations

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced significant changes to Secure Communities(S-Comm), the department’s signature immigration enforcement program. Starting Friday, DHS will unilaterally rescind Memoranda of Agreement with 42 states that authorized fingerprint information sharing with DHS under the flawed S-Comm program, stating that such agreements are unnecessary. This latest announcement makes clear that S-Comm is an unfunded, mandatory program imposed on states despite intentionally misleading assertions by DHS to the contrary.  DHS also announced it will continue to unilaterally implement S-Comm in existing jurisdictions and expand the program across the country.

S-Comm has been the subject of significant community outcry in recent months. DHS’s announcement comes shortly after several states, including Illinois, New York, and Massachusetts, attempted to opt-out of the program by rejecting the Memoranda of Agreement their states currently have with DHS. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center.

“The Department of Homeland Security has clearly shown that its regard for rules, community safety, and transparency take a backseat to using S-Comm, a fundamentally flawed program, to advance its mass deportation agenda. Since the program’s inception, the program’s rules of engagement have shifted to fit DHS’s needs, and not the needs of our communities. A program that was once voluntary has become mandatory, and a program that was sold as customizable to address community concerns has become a one-size-fits-all mandate.

“DHS has chosen to ignore the reams of evidence proving that S-Comm has become a virtual dragnet that ensnares members of the immigrant community and places them directly in the deportation pipeline and dismiss the concerns raised by communities across America. Instead they will unilaterally engulf the country in a program that will undoubtedly sever the tenuous tie between immigrant communities and local law enforcement and endanger us all.”

Nora Preciado, staff attorney at the National Immigration Law Center, added, “Today’s announcement continues a pattern of deception that has shattered any modicum of confidence that the immigrant community may have had with DHS. The Obama Administration must end this disastrous program before it is allowed to wreak more havoc on communities from Los Angeles to New York.” 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Nationals Plead Guilty to Trafficking Mexican Women in the U.S. for Sex

Mexican Nationals Plead Guilty to Trafficking Mexican Women in the U.S. for Sex

Photo: Sex Trafficking of Mexican Women

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The Justice Department announced today that two Mexican nationals, Israel Cortes-Morales, 31, and Alberto Cortes-Castro, 30, pleaded guilty in federal district court in Miami to charges of conspiring to commit sex trafficking of Mexican women.

According to the information presented in court, from 1999 through December 2010, the defendants forced multiple victims from Mexico to engage in prostitution in the United States for the defendant’s financial benefit.

With false promises of a better life, legitimate employment and marriage, the defendants lured victims from their homes in Mexico, knowing that they would actually force the women to be prostitutes here.  The victims were compelled, through threats, psychological coercion and other means, to work within a prostitution circuit that spanned the east coast of the United States, including Miami.

“Human trafficking of this kind deprives its victims of their freedom and dignity, and will not be tolerated in this country. We will aggressively prosecute any individual who exploits others in this way for their own personal gain,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.

Sentencing has been scheduled for Oct. 28, 2011.  The case against a third defendant, Ernesto Cortes-Castro, 25, remains pending.

Earlier this year, Mexican authorities successfully prosecuted a third defendant, Jorge Velasquez, 24, for his role in the sex trafficking conspiracy.  Velasquez was sentenced in Mexico to 18 years and three months in prison.  Mexico prosecuted Velasquez along with three other Mexican traffickers.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Comcast NBCUniversal Failing to Live Up to Diversity Promises

Comcast NBCUniversal Failing to Live Up to Diversity Promises

Photo: Comcast NBCUniversal Failing to Live Up to Diversity Promises

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When Comcast and NBCUniversial merged, they promised they would work to bring more diversity to programming as well as in the office, but so far, they have yet to fulfill that promise, and minority groups have noticed.

It appears the merged company has already saying no to some pretty high-profile people.

Recently, Oprah Winfrey met with Comcast executives to ask for more support for her OWN Network, but was turned down.  Hip hop mogulRussell Simmons was also turned down after approaching NBCU in regards to acquiring the Style network.

Even the NAACP and Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, both immersed in civil rights, are having issues with the network.

In the office, so to speak, diversity is lacking as well. In fact, some of the power held by Salaam Coleman Smith, the African-American woman who is president of NBCU’s Style Network, was recently taken away, and she no longer reports directly to Lauren Zalaznick, chairman of NBCU Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media.

And until earlier this week, NBCU’s chief diversity officer spot remained vacant after Paula Madison retired from in May.

Wednesday, Craig Robinson, President and General Manager of KNBC, the NBC owned television station in Los Angeles, was named EVP, Chief Diversity Officer for the company. The African-American will be reporting directly to NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke.

Robinson will start this new role August 15, and as he is already involved in a number of diversity-themed employee groups within the company, he has a lot to live up to.

Read more at The Wrap →

Thai Goalie Has No Patience, Kicks Brazilian Player Karate Style

Thai Goalie Has No Patience, Kicks Brazilian Player Karate Style

Photo: Chinnakorn Deesai kicks Edvaldo Perieira

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On minute 65 of the game between Thailand’s teams of Siam Navy and Chiangrai, Goalie Chinnakorn Deesai went tae-kwon-do on Edvaldo Perieira.

The brutal and absolutely uncalled for kick to the chest was condemned by among fans of both teams; the goalie was kicked off the game, and his team lost 3-0.

Watch the video and tell us what you think in our forums section!

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Dairy Queen to Open Stores in Guatemala!

Dairy Queen to Open Stores in Guatemala!

Photo: Dairy Queen To Open In Guatemala

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The Ice Cream giant has reached a franchise agreement with “Grupo Buen Rollo” to expand to Guatemala this October.

The Minneapolis based “American Dairy Queen Corporation” has 856 stores outside the U.S. and Canada, and is looking at opening at least 15 stores by 2015. They already have 11 locations in Panamá.

The Dairy Queen locations in Guatemala will feature all of the ice cream products that have made the DQ corporation an icon in the industry, such as the Blizzard®Treats, soft-serve cones, sundaes, DQ Cakes and MooLatté® frozen blended coffee beverages.

Grupo Buen Rollo operates 60 fast-food franchises in Central America, Mexico and Colombia.

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Read more by HS News Staff →

Eva ‘Evita’ Peron’s Life Has Been Turned Into an Animated Film (VIDEO)

Eva ‘Evita’ Peron’s Life Has Been Turned Into an Animated Film (VIDEO)

Photo: Eva De La Argentina, A Evita Perón animated Film.

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The life, times and untimely death of Argentina’s most beloved First Lady have been turned into an animated film!

The animated feature highlights the work of Evita, a vehement defender of worker’s and women rights in the Argentina of the 50’s; The film touches on her infancy and youth in “Los Toldos” where she was born in 1919, her ambitions to be an actress, her love and commitment to Gen. Juan Domingo Perón and her activist work, before delving on the facts and controversies surrounding her untimely death and the way her body was embalmed and taken out of the country, after wax copies of her remains were made and buried.

The film was produced by Azpeitía Cine and Illusion Studios, and Argentine journalist María Seoane.

Eva, de la Argentina (Trailer) from HD Animation on Vimeo.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

NYC Mayor Bloomberg Announces Programs to Tackle Disparities Between Minority Males and Their Peers

NYC Mayor Bloomberg Announces Programs to Tackle Disparities Between Minority Males and Their Peers

Photo: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg

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Thursday, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced the launch of the Young Men’s Initiative, the nation’s boldest and most comprehensive effort to tackle the broad disparities slowing the advancement of black and Latino young men. This cross-agency enterprise is the culmination of 18 months of work begun when the Mayor committed in his 2010 State of the City address to find new ways to tackle the crisis. Through broad policy changes and agency reforms over the next three years, a public-private partnership will invest more than $127 million in programs that will connect young men to educational, employment, and mentoring opportunities across more than a dozen city agencies. Mayor Bloomberg announced the Initiative at a breakfast co-hosted by the Council of Urban Professionals and the New America Alliance at the offices of Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

“When we look at poverty rates, graduation rates, crime rates, and employment rates, one thing stands out: blacks and Latinos are not fully sharing in the promise of American freedom and far too many are trapped in circumstances that are difficult to escape,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Even though skin color in America no longer determines a child’s fate – sadly, it tells us more about a child’s future than it should. And so this morning, we are confronting these facts head-on, not to lament them, but to change them, and to ensure that ‘equal opportunity’ is not an abstract notion but an everyday reality, for all New Yorkers.”

Key programmatic components include the overhaul of the Department of Probation, which has supervision of almost 30,000 New Yorkers—the majority black and Latino males.

To strengthen educational supports, $18 million will help provide transformative mentoring and literacy services while a $24 million investment will launch the Expanded Success Initiative, a pioneering effort that will target schools that have shown progress in closing the achievement gap in high school graduation and use them a laboratory for strategies to eradicate the achievement gap in college and career readiness.

Additionally, an investment of almost $25 million will connect young men with employment opportunities via an expansion of Jobs-Plus, an evidence-based program that program that saturates public housing communities with high-quality services, community support for work, and removes barriers to obtaining employment.

Over the next three years, the programmatic innovation portion of the initiative will be funded with $67.5 million of city funding, $30 million from the Campaign for Black Male Achievement of the Open Society Foundations (OSF) and $30 million from Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs and Chancellor Dennis Walcott will supervise implementation of the Young Men’s Initiatives across city agencies. The Mayor has directed all involved agencies to report to him each month on their progress. These standing meetings will ensure that agencies are held accountable for success.

“The obstacles faced by young men and boys of color are appalling and inconsistent with the open society we aspire to be,” said George Soros. “I know from practical experience that it is possible to make meaningful improvements and transform the lives of our most vulnerable.”


Read the full plan for the city here.

Read more at Office of Mayor Bloomberg →

Sex & Parenting by Dr. Charley Ferrer

Sex & Parenting by Dr. Charley Ferrer

Photo: Sex & Parenting by Dr. Charley Ferrer

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I was getting in trouble because of sex since I was a little girl. Not because I was “doing it” but because I wanted to talk about it and know what the secret was. The birds and the bees didn’t make sense to me and storks…come on, really? My biggest joke when I lecture is that “as I child I got in trouble for talking about sex; now I get paid to.”  In all the fear and confusion, the sexual liberation, and the demands for more reforms from religious leaders and political organizations, many have forgotten one essential thing: we’re all sexual human beings!

We need to stop judging and remember the truth about it—sex is not dirty and it’s supposed to be fun! It’s supposed to be shared with someone you respect, trust, and lust for. I won’t say love since that’s really not a requirement when you become an adult and no longer under the dictates of your parents, the government or religious organizations. Well, ok I guess those three will hunt you the rest of your life like an angry ghost; however, it’s up to you to turn on the light, look under the covers and discover your own path for sensual awakening. You’re no longer a child that has to conform or get a spanking. If you’re willing to make a grown up decision then learn about the grown up consequences and take action to protect yourself and those that you interact with. This is something many adults don’t do then angrily yell at their teenagers for following in their footsteps.

Read more at HS News - Latin Lovin' →

Juárez Cartel Killer Laments Ordering Execution of Over 1,000 People in Video Confessional (VIDEO)

Juárez Cartel Killer Laments Ordering Execution of Over 1,000 People in Video Confessional  (VIDEO)

Photo: Jose Antonio Acosta Hernandez, aka “el Diego"

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Jose Antonio Acosta Hernandez, aka “el Diego,” “Blablazo” or “15”, a former cop himself, spills the beans after being caught last Friday and admitting to orchestrating 1,500 assasinations.

“El Diego,” considered by Mexican authorities as the second most important man within the internal structure of the Juártez Cartel, confessed to feeling regretful of his actions, and laments being unable to see his kids grow up; in a questioning session taped by police.  Acosta also urged the 45 young men between the ages of 18 to 25 who were under his command, to re-do their lives outside of drug trafficking.

In the video, Acosta confesses to more than 1,500 executions, including the murder of Chihuahua’s Internal Affairs attorney Sandra Ivonne Salas García; Acosta also admitted to being the author of the birthday party massacre in Villas de Salvárcar where—as he points out, most of the guests were innocent, and got killed by mistake. He says he feels bad about it.

Acosta’s criminal career started in 2004, while he was a member of the police.

“El Diego” says criminals are protected and supported by police authority, who provide them with police uniforms, tips and information, and even equipment to build car-bombs.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Pack-Burro Racing Looking to Become Official Sport of Colorado

Pack-Burro Racing Looking to Become Official Sport of Colorado

Photo: Pack-burros and their human running mates race to the finish line

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Participants of a sport many have never heard of are pushing to have it become the official sport of Colorado.

The Western Pack Burro Racing Association is asking Colorado legislators to recognize pack-burro racing as the state’s official sport, as they believe it is the only sport indigenous to Colorado.

Legend has it that during the gold rush of the 19th century, after striking gold, prospectors would quickly load up their burros and quickly head in to town to register their claim before any rivals arrived. This is said to have been the start of pack-burro racing teams.

Since 1949, the Rocky Mountain mining town of Leadville has held an annual burro race to commemorate the gold rush tradition. Since then, a number of other communities have followed in the tradition.

The race actually does not allow the person to ride their burro, hence the “pack-burro” part. In following the tradition of the miners who used to donkey friends to carry their tools and supplies, today’s racers must pull, push or, in some stubborn-burro cases, drag the animals through the race.

According to the WPBA website, “The burro-racing season runs from late May through September. There are presently five events in five mountain towns. Each event is part of a festival celebrating the town’s history.”

Though the sport may sound silly to some (the WPBA motto is “Celebrating 62 years of Hauling Ass”), it takes real athletes to compete in these races, both human and donkey alike.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal →

Border Patrol Accused of Forcing Drug Traffickers to Eat Marijuana & Run Naked in Desert

Border Patrol Accused of Forcing Drug Traffickers to Eat Marijuana & Run Naked in Desert

Photo: Rogue Border Patrol Agents

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Yesterday two Border Patrol agents working the Arizona-Mexico border were indicted of violating the civil rights of four convicted drug smugglers in an incident that occurred back in November of 2008.

Agents Dario Castillo and Ramon Zuniga stopped four men suspected of drug smuggling across the border.  However, instead of simply arresting the men who were in the country illegally, the agents then proceeded to ask the men to take their clothes off.  The agents burned the clothes and demanded that the Mexican nationals eat the marijuana they were carrying and made them flee into the cold desert night, barefoot and semi-naked.

U.S. prosecutors saw this as unreasonable search and seizure, which is a violation of someone’s civil rights. 

Both men if convicted face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Musicians File Lawsuit to Have the Latin Jazz Category Reinstated at the Grammys

Musicians File Lawsuit to Have the Latin Jazz Category Reinstated at the Grammys

Photo: Bobby Sanabria, one of the musicains fighting to reinstate Latin Jazz Grammy category

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Back in June, four Latin jazz musicians announced that they planned to take legal action to against the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences after their genre, along with 30 other categories, were removed from the list of Grammy awards available. Monday, they kept that promise, and file suit against the Academy to have the award reinstated.

Ben Lapidus, Mark Levine, Eugene Marlow, and Bobby Sanabria are among a number of musicians upset by the Academy’s April announcement that they would be eliminating 31 of its 108 categories.

The musicians’ suit claims that by eliminating the categories, the Academy has failed to uphold its obligations to its members, adding that the removal of he Latin jazz category “could have severe detrimental impact on the plaintiffs’ musical careers.”

By eliminated the Latin jazz category, all jazz musicians are now competing for one of two awards – Best Jazz Instrumental Album or Best Jazz Vocal Album.

Sanabria, a Grammy-nominated percussionist, said the categories’ elimination was “the most blatant example of racism in the history of any arts organization.”

The musicians’ lawyer, Roger Maldonado, “You would have to submit under the broad jazz category, now. You’re competing against any other number of genres that are not going to be viewed the same.” He added, “You’re also trying to compare apples and oranges in a way that just doesn’t work.”

The Academy responded, saying, “The Recording Academy believes this frivolous lawsuit is without merit, and we fully expect to prevail.”

Though the lawsuit is primarily to see the return of Latin jazz category at the Grammys, Maldonado, said he would be happy to coordinate with other musicians looking to reinstate other categories.

Read more at The Washington Post →

Carlos Meda: A Texas Mariachi in Iraq Serenading the Locals (VIDEO)

Carlos Meda: A Texas Mariachi in Iraq Serenading the Locals (VIDEO)

Photo: Carlos Meda

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Meet Specialist Carlos Meda, the marine that spices up the Iraqi national anthem with mariachi flavor.

When a middle-school Carlos Meda saw the local high school band perform, he begged his parents to allow him to enroll, but the humble family couldn’t afford instruments. Far from giving up, Meda reached out to the school to see if they would let him rent an instrument.

“At the time I didn’t really know the difference between instruments, and my parents couldn’t afford to rent me an instrument. So the school offered me something they owned that I could rent out from them, like at no cost. Of course, it just happens to be one of the biggest instruments in there. So, I picked up the tuba.”

After high school, Meda formed a Mariachi band, and begun singing and playing guitar professionally.

In 1998, Meda joined the Marine Corps, and in 2005 he joined the Texas Army National Guard Band, where he got reacquainted with his old friend the tuba.

Last December, Officer Jeff Lightsey, the band commander, was told by his 34th Infantry Division counterpart that he needed to appoint one soldier to learn the Iraqi national anthem and perform it in front of locals and media at various events as the country restores its democracy.

“To be frank, he is the only soldier deployed here that could have pulled off the Iraqi anthem vocally,” said Lightsey.

Meda explains that the Iraqi national anthem’s lyrics explain what homeland means to the Iraqi people.

“I spent a lot of hours trying to learn the pronunciation, because I knew that I would be in public, and I did not want to present that wrong or say it wrong,” said the humble mariachi.

Meda’s performance of the Iraqi national anthem has received praise and wide acclaim; last month, after a performance in the Muthanna province ”the governor of the province came up to me (and said), ‘I heard you. I heard you, and it sounded really good. You pronounced it right.’ And I got a lot of compliments that I did it right.”

“It’s an honor. It’s a great honor,” Meda said.

Read more at dvidshub.net →

3 Immigrant Mothers Tell Their Stories of Having a LGBTQ Child in “Tres Gotas de Agua”

3 Immigrant Mothers Tell Their Stories of Having a LGBTQ Child in “Tres Gotas de Agua”

Photo: Mirna Medina tells the story of finding out her son is bisexual

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Hoping to bring to light the faces of the Latino LGBTQ community, Somos Familia spoke with a number of mothers to discuss what it was like for their children to come out.

Somos Familia created “Historias de Color” (Colorful Lives) to “develop leadership among parents of LGBTQ children by sharing and developing their personal stories and actually having these stories recorded.”

In a documentary entitled, “Tres Gotas de Agua” (Three Drops of Water) three immigrant women tell their stories of having a LGBTQ child, and how important it is to love them, not only for their benefit, but for the benefit of the community.

One mother said, “My message is to give them support, to support them, to accept them as they are.”

Another mother, Mirna (seen below), reminds us, “All of society is one big family. I believe…that [when] we accept one another, we begin to create safer communities.”

 

 

Read more at COLORLINES →

Chile Prepares for 1st Anniversary of San José de Copiapó Mine Collapse

Chile Prepares for 1st Anniversary of San José de Copiapó Mine Collapse

Photo: The 33 Chilean Miners One Year After.

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A mass and the inauguration of an exhibition in Atacama will mark the first anniversary of the collapse of the San José Mine in Chile.

The ceremony will begin at noon in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Candelaria, patron saint of miners. President Sebastián Piñera, his wife Cecilia Morel and most of the miners will be in attendance.  People involved in the rescue operation, such as lifeguards, engineers and technicians are also expected to attend.

After the ceremony, Piñera will inaugurate an exhibition titled “The Rescue that Shook the World,” when he will (at last) return the famous scrap of paper with the message in red marker written by workers, now an icon of survival and a symbol of hope.

The scrap of paper with the emblematic ” We are well on the refuge’s 33” note will be turned to the miners Luis Urzúa and José Ojeda, who will then give the note to Magdalena Krebs, the director of the Department of Archives and Museums, to be preserved and displayed to the public at the Museo Regional de Atacama .

Some politicians are refusing to attend today’s events, alleging there has not been any changes in safety regulations or government monitoring of the mining industry.

“Despite all the respect that the 33 miners deserve and all the suffering that they and this country lived through, we are not able to celebrate acts of this nature without truly bringing to justice the security and social justice issues facing the miners themselves,” said Brunilda González mayor of Calderato.

Nearly half the miners have been unemployed since the mine collapsed one year ago, most have signed up to give speeches about their experience, teamwork and persistence. Three sell fruit and vegetables in the street and four, so far, have gone back to mining.

The 33 have not seen any money from book or film deals, many have gotten by until now on the philanthropic efforts of Leonardo Farkas, the eccentric Chilean millionaire and mine owner, who wrote them checks for 5 million pesos (about $10,950), and gave each a motorcycle, but miners Claudio Yanez and Pedro Cortez have had to sell their bikes for food.

31 miners are currently suing the state for failure to properly monitor the San José mine; mayor González said they deserve every penny of the US$16 million they’re demanding as compensation from the National Geology and Mining Service (Sernageomin).

“We agree with what the miners are demanding from the state because there is a responsibility of public officials to make sure the laws are followed,” she said.

“We’re very content, very grateful to the government and the president for what they did. We filed this lawsuit so that people understand that everyone has the right to sue when things aren’t being done correctly. If a worker commits an error of this size, the company isn’t going to think twice about finding those responsible” said miner Luis Urzua, the miner that kept his team united when hope was slipping away inside the mine.

Coinciding with today’s events to commemorate the mine collapse, president Piñera’s new proposal for mining safety reform will seek approval in Congress.

If approved, the “Law of Mining Security and Institutions” will split the National Geology and Mining Service (Sernageomin) into the Superintendency of Mining and the Geological Service of Chile.

The reform seeks to double the budget for mining oversight as well as increase the number of mine supervisors; the new Superintendency of Mining will be responsible for approving new mining projects, supervising safety at mines and issue penalties to mines that fail to comply with regulations.

Read more at EMOL →

Mexico & 15 Other Latin American Countries File Suit Against Alabama’s New Immigration Law

Mexico & 15 Other Latin American Countries File Suit Against Alabama’s New Immigration Law

Photo: Mexico Files Brief Against Alabama's HB 56

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The list of countries and organizations filing legal briefs or lawsuits against Alabama’s new tough immigration law continues to grow.  First came the very much anticipated suit by the U.S. government followed by the Catholic Church and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Now Mexico and 15 other Latin American countries have filed briefs expressing concern about the welfare of their citizens in Alabama.  Mexico specifically noted in its brief:

“Mexico has an interest in protecting its citizens and ensuring that their ethnicity is not used as basis for state-sanctioned acts of bias and discrimination.”

Alabama’s law is designed to affect virtually every aspect of an unauthorized immigrant’s daily life, from employment to housing to transportation to entering into and enforcing contracts to going to school. 

Alabama’s H.B. 56 goes further than Arizona’s controversial S.B. 1070 in that school administrators are being asked to check the immigration status of their students.  The law doesn’t mandate that they turn students away if they are undocumented but rather document the number of these students and the related costs on the state’s budget.

The lawsuits by the U.S. government and Catholic Church have more teeth where as the legal briefs filed by Latin American countries are more symbolic and can not stop the law being put in place in Alabama. 

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latino Blotter:  Special Ed Teacher Had 1-Year Sexual Affair with 16-Yr Student

Latino Blotter:  Special Ed Teacher Had 1-Year Sexual Affair with 16-Yr Student

Photo: Waleska Velasquez Admits to Having Sex with Student

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Waleska Velasquez, from Miami, will probably never get to teach again thanks in great part to her one-year sexual affair with a 16-year old student from the Miami Jackson Senior High School.

The 29-year old special education teacher allegedly confessed to having sexual relations with the student for over a year; having trysts inside the school and the parking lot.  In addition,  Velasquez informed police she sent the student nude photos of herself and many gifts that included cash and a cell phone.

Miami officials were notified of the situation by The Department of Children and Families who had received an anonymous tip.  She is facing charges on three counts of having sex with a minor.

Read more by HS News Staff →

ICE Arrests TX Pawn Shop Employees for Ammo Smuggling into Mexico

ICE Arrests TX Pawn Shop Employees for Ammo Smuggling into Mexico

Photo: ICE Nabs Pawn Shop Employees for Ammo Smuggling

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A local pawn shop manager and five other employees were arrested on Wednesday on federal ammunition-smuggling charges by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

ICE HSI special agents arrested all six of the following targeted individuals: Bryan Nelson Schonberg, 60, manager of Geneva Loan and Jewelry Co.; Jaime Rangel, 40; Guadalupe Gallegos, 47; Cirilio Soriano, 47; Elataria Pedroza, 57; and Raquel Galvan, 47. They are scheduled to have their initial hearing Aug. 4 in federal court.

All of the defendants, except Pedroza, are charged with the following crimes: conspiracy to smuggle ammunition from the United States, aiding and abetting ammunition smuggling, conspiracy to smuggle high-capacity firearms magazines, aiding and abetting high-capacity firearms magazine smuggling, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Pedroza is charged with conspiracy to smuggle ammunition from the United States, and aiding and abetting ammunition smuggling.

They are all named in a five-count federal grand jury indictment returned July 27. The indictment alleges that from July 1, 2010 until July 27, 2011 the defendants conspired to smuggle ammunition from the United States into Mexico. According to the indictment, the scheme involved selling large quantities of ammunition and large-capacity ammunition magazines to ICE HSI undercover agents.

Further, the defendants, knowing that the goods would be smuggled into Mexico, allegedly repackaged the ammunition from its original factory-rigid cardboard boxes into taped bundles or plastic bags to make it easier to conceal from authorities.

During the yearlong investigation, federal agents seized about 34,500 rounds of assault-caliber ammunition and more than 180 large-capacity magazines for AK-47- and AR-15-type firearms.

If convicted, the defendants face the following possible sentences: a maximum of 20 years in federal prison on the money-laundering conspiracy charge, up to 10 years in federal prison per smuggling charge, and, up to five years in federal prison per smuggling-conspiracy charge.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Remittances to Mexico from Migrants for First Six Months of 2011 Were Up by 4.7%, Totaling $11.16B

Remittances to Mexico from Migrants for First Six Months of 2011 Were Up by 4.7%, Totaling $11.16B

Photo: Remittances to U.S. from Mexico Up

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Mexican nationals living and working outside of Mexico sent remittances totaling $11.16 Billion for the first six months of the year.  This amount is a 4.7% increase from the same time last year.

In total 34.2 million remittance transactions were recorded with the average remittance at $326.51 vs $317 for the first half of last year.

The northern states of Mexico like Sonora and San Luis Potosi saw the largest increase in remittances in 2011.  June of 2011 marked the ninth consecutive month that remittances increased.  Remittances to Mexico from Mexican nationals living in the U.S or in other countries is the second source of revenue for the country after oil exportation.

Read more at LAHT →



FridayAugust 5, 2011