1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to secondary content



FridayAugust 19, 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.

Read More


Farm Workers in Yakima Valley Win $2 Million After Employers Allegedly Violated Federal Labor Laws

Farm Workers in Yakima Valley Win $2 Million After Employers Allegedly Violated Federal Labor Laws

Photo: Farm Workers in Yakima Valley Win $2 Million After Employers Allegedly Violated Federal Labor Laws

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Wednesday, a federal appeals court ruled that hundreds of Latino farm workers are to be awarded their share of a $2 million settlement after two employers violated Washington state’s Farm Labor Contractor Act (FLCA).

The lawsuit claimed that nearly 600 Yakima Valley farm workers with Valley Fruit in Wapato and Green Acres in Harrah allegedly lost their jobs in 2004 when temporary workers were brought in from Thailand.

Under the FLCA, guest workers are allowed to be brought in from other countries if the employers can prove they cannot find workers locally. However, the lawsuit claims the employers hired Global Horizons to bring in foreign workers, and almost 600 local farm workers were fired and replaced with 175 temporary workers. The farms claim all the local employees were either let go with just cause or quit on their own accord.

Wednesday’s court ruling stated that each worker should receive between $350 and $3,000, though lawyers in the case believe the ruling is likely to be appealed in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Read more at Huffington Post →

Spanish Singer Alejandro Sanz has Decided to Move to México, Feels Violence Talk Exaggerated

Spanish Singer Alejandro Sanz has Decided to Move to México, Feels Violence Talk Exaggerated

Photo: Alejandro Sanz, moving to México

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Sanz said he’s not afraid of violence and that people tend to “exaggerate” when talking about Mexico’s current situation.

Alejandro Sanz is moving to México along with his three kids, at least until the end of the year.

Sanz is part of the judge panel for a new reality TV show looking for the best Mexican singer.

“I think people tend to exaggerate the situation” Sanz said. “This nation has so much beauty within that we can’t let ourselves be scared by what happens in some isolated regions [...] Is like if people stopped traveling to London or Athens because of the recent rallies,” Sanz commented.

The 42 year old singer also said that while he is living in México, he plans to write material and edit an album to be recorded early 2012.

Read more at El Espectador →

Buenos Aires Coffee House, Borges Favorite, Seized By Disgruntled Staff

Buenos Aires Coffee House, Borges Favorite, Seized By Disgruntled Staff

Photo: The Richmond, Before and After.

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

The Richhmond Café, an emblem of the Argentine capital closed down and forgot to pay its employees, who regret the literary haven will be turned into a Nike Store.

The Old English style chairs of the Richmond Café, those where Jorge Luis Borges and many other illustrious Argentine artists sat for literary gatherings and poetry readings.  Now the decorative ornaments, marble tops, china, furniture, pool tables, chess sets even the piano disappeared over the weekend, cruelly dissipating the doubts of employees, who left work on Saturday hearing rumors their might be problems.

“I’ve been working here for 40 years […] they’ve taken everything, we left on Saturday with everything in its place, and today, there’s nothing,” lamented Miguel Angel,  one of the 13 waiters who were never told their work place was disappearing and turning into a Nike Store.

“To me, the Richmond was a refugee in the middle of Downtown Buenos Aires; a magical place after work in the middle of the chaos of the city, to me it was like entering an old film from the past,” said one of the café’s regulars.

After finding themselves out of a job and lacking answers, the disgruntled staff decided to break into the chained and pad locked establishment and take over it until they get paid.

Neighbors have manifested their support of the staff, whom they consider the familiar and always polite staff of a place that carries a strong historical significance.  The city has declared the building a cultural patrimony of Buenos Aires, ensuing it’s protection from demolition or modification, but has no saying on the businesses that might operate in it.

Image

Read more at La Nacion →

Judge Dismisses Case Against US for BP Agent Shooting Teen, Because he Died in Mexico not US

Judge Dismisses Case Against US for BP Agent Shooting Teen, Because he Died in Mexico not US

Photo: Drainage ditch the teen was in when he was shot by a Border Patrol officer

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

In the summer of 2010, a 15-year-old boy was shot and killed by a Border Patrol agent. The boy’s family filed a $25 million lawsuit against the United States, but court documents revealed that on August 11 their case was dismissed, due to the side of the fence he was shot on.

The family of Sergio Adrian Hernandez Güereca believed BP Agent Jesus Mesa Jr. “negligently, wrongfully, and tortuously caused the death” of the teenager, on June 7th, 2010, when Mesa was patrolling the border.

Reports say Hernandez Güereca was with a group of boys when Mesa saw them running up a concrete drainage ditch and touching the chain-link fence on the U.S. side. He proceeded to take them into custody for illegally entering the country, and drew his firearm when he began being pelted with rocks. He shot Güereca twice, and the 15-year-old died from his injuries.

The video became internationally known when a cell phone video of the altercation was shown on television.

The family’s case however, was dismissed earlier this month, as Senior U.S. District Judge David Briones said the U.S. government could not be sued because the boy technically died on the Mexico side of the border, and “there are no statutes that apply to sue the U.S. government,” said the El Paso Times.

The family has said they will appeal the judge’s decision, and their lawyer, Bob Hillard said, “We find it interesting that the court has allowed us to continue with legal action against the Border Patrol agent involved but has said his employers cannot be held responsible even though the agent was trained by the government, on-duty, in uniform and standing on American soil when he fired his gun across the border to shoot and kill Sergio.”

An FBI investigation into the case is ongoing, and Mexican officials have insisted on a full investigation.

Read more at El Paso Times →

UPDATE: Jasmine Villegas Gets 3 Year Restraining Order Against Major Creeper (VIDEO)

UPDATE: Jasmine Villegas Gets 3 Year Restraining Order Against Major Creeper (VIDEO)

Photo: Villegas and Cintron

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Steven Cintron, a 33 year old creeper who threatened to rape and kill Villegas will have to stay 100 yards from her for at least the next 3 years.

Jasmine Villegas, the teen singer who a while back was romantically linked to Justin Bieber, and starred in his “Baby” music video has been awarded an extension of three years in the restraining order she filed against Steven Cintron.

A Los Angeles Superior Court ruled that Cintron has to stay at least 100 yards away from the17-year old singer for the next three years.

The order extends to the internet as well and Cintron has been banned from contacting Villegas via twitter, and from making any more YouTube videos about her—he had made over 75!

According to court documents, Cintron sent Jasmine thousands of messages from 2009 to 2011. In these messages, Cintron often presented himself as a thug, and threatened people close to Villegas –whose name he can’t even pronounce correctly, proclaiming himself her “owner.”

In one particularly disturbing YouTube clip ... he offered $5,000 to anyone who would kill her; in a number of videos, the 33 yoear old man appeared holding deadly weapons, i.e. a gun, machete knives and the sort, and has also threatened to kill her mom, her current boyfriend, and her little brother.

Take a look at the creepy Cintron in the clip below, and join us in our forums section, where we will be discussing whether 100 yards is enough distance to put between a 17 year-old singer, and such an unbalanced person.


Original Story:

Pop singer Jasmine Villegas has successfully obtained a restraining order against a stalker who has been issuing threats of murder and rape.

Villegas starred in Justin Bieber’s “Baby” video and was the opening act for his “My World Tour”.  Currently she is working on releasing her debut album and thus far has released one single from it “All These Boys”.  On numerous occasions Villegas has been identified as one of Bieber’s girlfriends before he started dating Selena Gomez.

The stalker has been identified as Steven Cintron and according to court documents he has sent thousands of messages including video messages with death threats on them.  In one such video Cintron offers $5,000 to anyone that would kill Villegas.  He is also alleged to have threatened the star’s family and friends. 

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Southern California Iraqi Criminals Have Connections to Mexican Drug War

Southern California Iraqi Criminals Have Connections to Mexican Drug War

Photo: Illegal firearms recovered from an Iraqi club with ties to Mexican cartels

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

An investigation into an Iraqi social club in California has uncovered evidence leading law enforcement officials to believe Iraqis are working with one of Mexico’s most dangerous drug cartels.

Over the last 10 years the Southern California Iraqi social club in El Cajon with ties to the Chaldean Organized Crime Syndicate has been investigated various times for being involved in drug sales, gambling, car theft, and gun smuggling.

ImageIn 2010, police began looking into the increase in drug trafficking and violent crime throughout El Cajon. Much of this crime was attributed to Iraqi organized crime elements, which was recently discovered to be involved with the Mexican mafia, as well as the Sinaloa drug cartel.

The club at 811 E. Main Street was identified as the hub of criminal activity by the Iraqi organized crime unit in El Cajon. Police say the crimes that occurred there included attempted murder, methamphetamine and marijuana sales, sale of diverted pharmaceuticals, gambling, resisting arrest, illegal liquor sales, and illegal sales of firearms.

The investigation, known as Operation Shadowbox began in January 2011 and has undercover officers buying large amounts of narcotics, pharmaceuticals, firearms, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) from those at the club.

As a result of the investigation, 60 arrests have been made, and polce seized 13 pounds of methamphetamine; over 4 pounds of MDMA (ecstasy) and pharmaceuticals including Vicodin, Oxycontin, Codeine, Xanex, and Percocet, one pound of cocaine, heroin, crack cocaine, and over 3,500 pounds of marijuana. Additional seizures include over $630,000 in US currency, 3 luxury cars, and the seizure of 34 firearms including semi-automatic assault rifles and several fully automatic firearms, and 4 IEDs, said the El Cajon Police Department.

Many of those arrested have lengthy criminal records, and as the investigation continues, police anticipate more arrests and seizures will be made.

Since 2006, when Mexico’s President Calderon began his war on drugs, nearly 40,000 people in Mexico have been killed by cartels or cartel-related violence.

Read more at El Cajon Police Department →

WATCH Demi Lovato Sing Her Hit “Skyscraper” Onstage (VIDEO)

WATCH Demi Lovato Sing Her Hit “Skyscraper” Onstage (VIDEO)

Photo: DemiLovato

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

The Disney star performed her song live for the first time at Sunday night’s “Do Something Awards”

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cecilia Muñoz Answering DREAM Act Questions on Twitter

Cecilia Muñoz Answering DREAM Act Questions on Twitter

Photo: Obama and Immigration Reform

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a new strategy that focuses immigration resources in a way that puts public safety and national security first.  Following the announcement, Cecilia Munoz, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, answered your questions on Twitter, submitted with the hashtag #WHChat

Below find the archive of the comments, or go to Storify

Read more by HS News Staff →

Kat Von D’s Engagement is Back On, Lets World Know With “Para Siempre”-Captioned Photo on Twit

Kat Von D’s Engagement is Back On, Lets World Know With “Para Siempre”-Captioned Photo on Twit

Photo: Kat Von D and fiancé (again) Jesse James, via Twitter with caption, "Para Siempre"

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

People magazine is reporting that alternative vixen Kat Von D is wearing her engagement ring again, after her and on-again, off-again fiancé Jesse James told the magazine:

”Sometimes you are only given one chance in life. It was up to me to open my eyes and see it. That girl is my chance. I will never stop fighting and striving to hold on to her. Showing her how special she is, and how much I love her.”

Both Kat, 29, and Jesse, 42, posted a photo of them together. Kat, via Twitter, posted an image of them kissing the with the caption, “Para Siempre” (“Forever”).

The news of the rekindled engagement comes just as TLC announced the cancellation of Von D’s tattoo show, “LA Ink”, which follows the Latina as she and the shop’s other artists work (and play) at her West Hollywood parlor “High Voltage Tattoo”.

James and Von D began dating in 2010 after his high-profile divorce from Sandra Bullock due to infidelity on his part. They announced their engagement in January, and just last month, had called off their engagement.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Madrid Police Clashes With Anti-Pope Protesters (VIDEO)

Madrid Police Clashes With Anti-Pope Protesters (VIDEO)

Photo: Pope Benedict XVI

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Spanish police have arrested more than a dozen people protesting the cost of Pope Benedict’s visit to Madrid.

Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Madrid Thursday for a four-day visit to the Spanish capital in celebration of World Youth Day. At least a million pilgrims from across the world have come for the Catholic youth festival which started on Tuesday and cost 50 million Euros.

To Madrid citizens the estimated cost of $61M seems excessive to spend on one visit, specially for a country living through a financial crisis and living through a record rate of unemployment and dealing with so many more problems that early elections were called for.

Protesters took to the streets both Wednesday and Thursday to manifest their discontent and were met with heavy police force.  Reports have the police arbitrarily flinging their batons at bystanders and arresting some 18 people, while wounding a total of at least 30. Ironically, the cost of police, and security is not contemplated in the $60 million budget. 

More than 100 protest groups chanted things like “God yes, Church no” and “Not with my taxes,” the money protest then fused with other causes, including those seeking a change in the Church’s attitude towards gay rights and groups advocating for a clearer separation of Church and state.

In the meantime, Pope Benedict XVI met with King Juan Carlos at the royal Zarzuela Palace near Madrid and warned Friday of an “eclipse of God,” while speaking to a group of nuns outside a 16th century Spanish monastery.

“Young people,” said the pope “need reference points in a society which is increasingly confused and unstable.”

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Barber Performs Ritualistic Animal Sacrifices in Shop Basement

LATINO BLOTTER: Barber Performs Ritualistic Animal Sacrifices in Shop Basement

Photo: William Camacho says right to practice his religion is being violated

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

A Boston area barber shop has been closed after city animal control officers discovered animals were being slaughtered by barber and shop owner, William Camacho.

Camacho, 41, is the owner of Bad Boy Cutz, a barber shop in the Boston neighborhood of New Bedford. He claims his “moral rights” were violated when animal control removed two chickens, two pigeons, and four roosters – one dead – from the basement of the barber shop. The animals, along with statues, candles and altar that filled the room were noticed by fire and building inspectors performing a routine safety inspection on Tuesday. They then contacted animal control.

The barber says his religion, Palo Mayombe, is one he has practiced since he was a child. The Afro-Caribbean religion is like Santeria in that they perform animal sacrifices as they believe the blood to be sacred.

“Palo Mayombe [is] actually working with the dead and working with the spirits,” Camacho told ABC. “We use the roosters to sacrifice so that the spirits can eat. That’s the way they eat. It’s a tradition.”

Camacho says the area is “just not ready” for his religion, and said, “[The police] violating my First Amendment rights, man. They fabricated a case on me. They’re hitting me with animal cruelty charges.”

The pigeons were found with the dead rooster in a sealed cardboard box in the basement, and officers had initially suspected a cockfighting ring.

Thursday, Mayor Scott W. Lang said the barber shop was closed “because of health reasons, not religion.”

According to a health inspector, the floor of the basement was lined with fecal matter and was “traveling up to the barbershop itself, which was affecting the general public.”

Mayor Lang said he agrees with Camacho’s right to believe in any god he chooses, but went on to say there are “government responsibilities to protect the public health and to prevent cruelty to animals. My feeling is I support the Board of Health in this, and certainly if there are any other departments that find violations.”

Read more at South Coast Today →

Dilma Rousseff’s Government Looses Fourth Minister in 72 Days

Dilma Rousseff’s Government Looses Fourth Minister in 72 Days

Photo: Brazilian Ministers Forced to Resign

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Agriculture Minister Wagner Rossi quit amid a corruption scandal, same as Transportation and Justice ministers, and earlier in the summer Brazil’s chief of staff also resigned.

Wagner Rossi presented his resignation effective immediately following a meeting with Rousseff to discuss press allegations saying Rossi had accepted bribes and free airfare from agricultural companies.

Rousseff has demonstrated a far tougher stance toward these kind of behavior than her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula; earlier this summer she asked Transportation Minister Alfredo Nascimento to resign and dismissed his cabinet after allegations surfaced that the ministry was overcharging for public works and when rumors of bribe taking surfaced.

Antonio Palocci, former Chief of Staff and main political adviser for Rouseff was also forced to resign when it was revealed that his personal assets had multiplied twenty fold during his days as federal deputy, between 2007 and 2010.

Minister of Defence, Nelson Jobim was also asked to resign this summer, not due to accusations of corruption, but due to “internal government affairs” that could be related to comments given by Jobim to Piauí magazine about Chief of Staff Gleisi Hoffman, and Minister of Institutional Relations Ideli Salvati.

While Rousseff’s image as a transparent leader and heavy handed corruption fighter consolidates and grows stronger, any wave of forced resignations makes people and politicians uneasy, particularly when most of these flush-outs share a political party; many wonder when the next “resignation” will come, and whether the Rousseff administration might have stepped into unstable territory.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico Sugar Export to U.S. Grow by More than 200%

Mexico Sugar Export to U.S. Grow by More than 200%

Photo: Mexico Sugar Exports to U.S. Increase by 200%

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Mexico continues to be the principal supplier of sugar to the U.S. by exporting 1.32 million tons during this last harvest season, which reflects a 206% increase from last year.

The 2010-2011 sugar exports from Mexico set a record for this growing season that takes place from October to June.  Mexico produced 5.18 million tons of sugar during these 9 months.  The country’s harvest rate increased by 7.4 percent in order to meet the world’s growing sugar demand.

Mexico is the sixth-largest exporter of sugar in the world.  Nonetheless, the country imports some minimal amounts of sugar from Nicaragua to maintain steady levels of sugar reserves.  Sugar reserve levels are typically kept at over 1 million tons.

Read more at LAHT →

Case-by-Case Review for Undocumented Aliens in Line for Deportation

Case-by-Case Review for Undocumented Aliens in Line for Deportation

Photo: DREAM Act Student May Not be Deported

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

President Obama has announced that his administration will take the 300,000 deportation cases for illegal immigrants and review them on a case-by-case basis.  The new policy calls for giving a chance to undocumented immigrants who don’t have criminal records to stay in the U.S. by suspending deportation proceedings against them.

In making the announcement the Obama administration said by using “prosecutorial discretion” its highest priority would be to deport criminal aliens and stop the deportation of DREAM Act students, spouses of military members, those with family members including gay partners and non-criminal alien deportations a low-priority.

The Department of Homeland Security also announced the creation of a joint committee with the Department of Justice that will review these 300,000 cases and determine which cases are low priority and can therefore be administratively closed.

The administration also noted that those that qualify can apply for permission to work in the U.S. and probably receive that permission.

Reaction from Rep. Luis Gutierrez, an unwavering immigrant advocate, was swift: “I am proud of the President and Secretary Napolitano for standing up for a more rational approach to enforcing our current immigration laws.”

While Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, who enacted SB 1070 one of the nation’s toughest anti-immigration legislation, blasted the policy change as nothing more than “backdoor amnesty”. 

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latino Voter Poll:  Hispanics Aspire for Higher Education though Many Unable to Afford It

Latino Voter Poll:  Hispanics Aspire for Higher Education though Many Unable to Afford It

Photo: Latinos Aspire for Higher Education

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

When it comes to their children’s education, Latino voters have clear and high aspirations: a new poll revealed that an overwhelming 96%—almost all—would like to see their kids earn a college degree, whether it is a bachelor’s, master’s or professional degree.

What is not so clear is whether these voters can achieve this, at least from the financial point of view, since 59% do not think they will be able to continue paying their children’s tuition if it increases again next year. And 40% thinks that in general, even today, it will be difficult to pay all the costs associated with having their children attend college.  These are some of the results of an impreMedia/Latino Decisions poll, the fourth in a series of six national polls exploring the opinions of the Latino group that has best integrated into American society: registered voters. This particular poll focused on the education issue.

“These results confirm that the stereotype many have about Latinos in this country, that they push their children to look for a job instead of studying, is nothing but a stereotype,” said Adrián Pantoja, an associate professor of political science at Pitzer College. “What happens is that aspirations are one thing and another are economic realities that at times prevent these dreams from coming true. This population is aware of the limitations.”

An interesting poll finding is that, when it comes to seeking solutions for problems related to education and the low high school graduation rate, Latino voters are not so attached to ideological solutions (read: liberal or conservative) and freely choose from both options, sometimes in contradictory ways.

For example, the poll revealed Latinos consider the participation of parents the most important or crucial issue in tackling education problems. Only 17% blamed the state, 10% the school district and 5% teachers. In fact, Latinos usually have a high opinion of their children’s schools and teachers. Of respondents, 73% think their children’s teachers are good or excellent, while 67% think the school their children attend is good or excellent.

Read more at Latino Decisions →

U.S. Being Forced to Release New “Embarrassing” Documents Related to Secure Communities Program

U.S. Being Forced to Release New “Embarrassing” Documents Related to Secure Communities Program

Photo: Secure Communities Documents to be Released

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

In the wake of protests and civil disobedience in Chicago and across the country criticizing the Obama administration’s Secure Communities program, immigrant advocates called on the government to turn over remaining documents about the program sought in a Freedom of Information lawsuit and to halt the controversial program.

A batch of unredacted documents released by court order this week, which federal district court Judge Shira A. Scheindlin called “embarrassing,” included acknowledgement by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) attorneys that they would have to “rewrite” memos on whether the program is mandatory for states and localities and revealed schisms between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on the right of states and localities to opt out of the program.

In her order, Judge Scheindlin chided the agencies for going “out of their way to mislead the public about Secure Communities,” and pointedly stated that the “purpose of the [Freedom of Information Act] is to shed light on the operation of government, not shield it from embarrassment.”

The judge has not yet ruled on whether the government must release other documents relating to the legal authority to make Secure Communities mandatory.  Strikingly, the government continues to attempt to withhold documents that shed light on that policy.  ICE will be back in court today arguing it should be able to keep secret documents relating to the agency’s purported legal basis to impose S-Comm on unwilling states like Massachusetts, Illinois and New York.

The documents are being sought in a Freedom of Information lawsuit brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Immigration Justice Clinic of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law with the law firm of Mayer Brown LLP on behalf of the National Day Laborer Organization Network.

One previously redacted email chain of over 100 pages shows the director of Secure Communities, David Venturella, dodging questions from Margo Schlanger, an important official from the Department of Homeland Security Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (OCRCL). When ordering release of this document, Judge Scheindlin observed that the exchange showed “clearly obfuscating” and “non-responsive” answers from ICE in response to a request for clarification from OCRCL about Secure Communities policy. 

Another email chain from July 2010 discussing a draft response to Representative Zoe Lofgren’s letter requesting clarification on the agency’s opt-out policy indicates that the FBI was considering an opt-out option.  The FBI had concerns that if no opt-out was allowed, states might consider not sending fingerprints to the FBI for other purposes.  The email notes that “moving away from the mandatory stance” would require “S1” (Secretary Napolitano) and AG approval.

The back-and-forth and deception was clearly frustrating to ICE officials.  In an angry email dated August 6, 2010, a Secure Communities employee comments: “We never address whether or not it is mandatory – the answer is written to sound like it is but doesn’t state it.  It’s very convoluted – or is that the point?  I’m all about shades of grey but this really is a black and white question…Is it mandatory?  Yes or No.  Ok, so not such an easy question to answer.”

The groups said they will continue to litigate this case to obtain the full information about S-Comm that the public is entitled to.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Puerto Rican Company Charged & Fined for Cover Up of Oil Pollution

Puerto Rican Company Charged & Fined for Cover Up of Oil Pollution

Photo: Coral Reefs of Puerto Rico

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Epps Shipping Company, a Liberian corporation doing business out of Carolina, Puerto Rico, was sentenced in federal court for violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) and making false statements to U.S. Coast Guard inspectors, announced Assistant Attorney General Ignacia S. Moreno and United States Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez-Velez.

The company was sentenced to pay a $700,000 criminal penalty to include a $100,000 payment towards community service projects to rehabilitate and protect coral reefs in Guanica Bay, Puerto Rico.  In addition, the company was placed on five years of supervised probation and will have to implement a comprehensive Environmental Compliance Plan to continuously monitor and evaluate pollution prevention from any ship it owns or operates.

Epps Shipping Company owned and controlled the M/V Carib Vision, a commercial ship that was engaged in the transportation of molasses throughout the Caribbean region.  On Nov. 6, 2010, the U.S. Coast Guard conducted an inspection of the vessel in the port of San Juan, P.R.  The Coast Guard learned from inspecting the engine room and interviewing crewmembers that the vessel’s Oil Water Separator and other pollution prevention equipment was inoperable and could not be used to treat the vessel’s oily waste prior to it being discharged overboard. The investigation revealed that prior to Nov. 6, 2010, the crew of the vessel used the emergency bilge discharge system to dump its oily waste directly overboard without first processing it through the ship’s pollution prevention equipment as required. 

During the period of probation, Epps Shipping Company will be required to implement a comprehensive Environmental Compliance Plan (ECP) which will ensure that any ship owned or operated by Epps complies with all maritime environmental requirements established under applicable international, flag state, and port state laws.  The ECP ensures that Epps’ employees and the crew of any vessel owned or operated by Epps are properly trained in preventing maritime pollution. An independent monitor will report to the court about Epps’ compliance with its obligations during the period of probation.

Read more by HS News Staff →



FridayAugust 19, 2011