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ThursdayAugust 25, 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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Mexican American Alliance Release Key Points About Hurricane Irene

Mexican American Alliance Release Key Points About Hurricane Irene

Photo: Mexican American Alliance Release Key Points About Hurricane Irene

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FEMA, along with the entire federal family, is leaning forward to support our state and territorial partners as Hurricane Irene continues to threaten the east coast, having already impacted Puerto Rico.  FEMA through its regional offices in Atlanta, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston are in constant contact and coordination with state and local officials that could be impacted or have already been impacted by this storm, to ensure they have the support they need to respond. Given the unpredictability of these storms, we are currently planning for a number of scenarios, including potential impacts to major metro areas and critical infrastructure.

·      The President convened a call this morning with Chief of Staff Bill Daley, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, Brennan and other White House officials to get an update on the track of Hurricane Irene and on FEMA’s efforts to prepare for the storm’s impact on the Eastern seaboard of the US.  The President directed his team to ensure all needed resources are included in the preparation efforts and asked them to continue to closely coordinate with state and local officials in those areas that are likely to be affected.

·      We encourage residents in potentially impacted areas to continue to monitor weather conditions and listen to the direction of state and locals, including any state or local orders to evacuate.

·      In advance preparation for the storm, FEMA National Incident Management Assistance Teams are arriving in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, today in anticipation of further deployment to potential impact areas along the east coast of the U.S.  In addition, Incident Management Assistance Teams are also being deployed to Connecticut, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont,  to coordinate with state, tribal and local officials to identify needs and shortfalls impacting potential disaster response and recovery.

Read more at Mexican-American →

Steve Montenegro, One of the Republican’ Party’s Latest Latino Politicians

Steve Montenegro, One of the Republican’ Party’s Latest Latino Politicians

Photo: Steve Montenegro, Arizona's Republican state legislator

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The ever increasing demographic of Hispanic Republicans appears to have a rising star in 29-year-old Steve Montenegro, a state legislator in Surprise, Arizona.

The Salvadoran immigrant has garnered both commendation and criticism from Latino voters. While conservative Latinos praise him for coming to the U.S. legally, other Latinos disapprove of his support of Arizona’s SB 1070, which made undocumented immigration a state crime.

The young politician is only the latest Latino to be groomed by the Republican party as it believes more in the Latino community are leaning right these days.

Montenegro joins New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and Florida Senator Marco Rubio on the list of conservative Hispanics. And recently, Sen. Rubio has been in the news as a possible candidate for vice president, though for now he is denying it is his intent.

As for Montenegro, he believes it is God’s will that he serve both his church and his country as a conservative politician.

“My calling is to serve. I’m a minister and I’m called to serve in that,” he told New America Media. “But I’m also…I believe with all my heart, that I’ve been called to serve the conservative, the cause of freedom.”

Montenegro’s family moved to California when he was four years old, and would live in Colorado, Michigan, and even Canada before they settled in Arizona, and his father became a pastor at a church in Surprise.

He says he was taught at an early age that to be a true American, assimilation was necessary. So he learned English in kindergarten and his parents made sure he was not just a Salvadoran in America.

“Being an American to them, it wasn’t about segregating,” he said. “They didn’t embed in me, ‘You are brown, you have to be this way.’ No, they embedded, ‘You’re a child of God, you are a student, you have to be the best. El mejor hijo de Dios’ (the best son of God).”

Read more at New America Media →

Rio De Janeiro Man Sleeps In a Coffin Every Friday

Rio De Janeiro Man Sleeps In a Coffin Every Friday

Photo: Zeli Ferreira Rossi Sleeps In a Coffin Every Friday

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Zeli Ferreira Rossi, a retired 60 year old from Rio de Janeiro has slept inside a coffin every Friday, for the last 25 years and isn’t apologizing for it.

Ferreira, who worked as an electrician for most of his life said he had a “blood pact” with a close childhood friend, whereby the pair swore to the other that whoever died first, had to purchase the coffin for the other one.

In 1983, Ferreira Rossi was run over by a car, and was forced to stay in the hospital for over 4 months; he suffered a femoral fracture, cranial trauma and other severe injuries.

Rumors spread that he had perished in the accident and his childhood friend, faithful to his promise, sent his family a coffin, scaring the bejezus out of them.

Since the funeral home wouldn’t accept returns on purchased coffins, Ferreira Rossi decided to keep it, swearing that if he ever recovered from the injuries that at the time had him confined to a wheelchair, he would start sleeping in the coffin, as a thankful act to God.

Five years later, the old friend was murdered. Rossi bought a brand new coffin, and sent it, as promised.

Every Friday, his wife Cleusa Pereira wraps him in blankets, kisses him goodnight and seals the coffin, where her husband is said to meditate with ease, relax and have sweet dreams. 

And that my friends is a true story that can only happen in Latin America or in a really scary Hollywood movie.


Read more by HS News Staff →

Ahead of Hurricane Irene Cruise Ships Leave Passengers in San Juan, PR Some With No Way to Get Home

Ahead of Hurricane Irene Cruise Ships Leave Passengers in San Juan, PR Some With No Way to Get Home

Photo: Ahead of Hurricane Irene Cruise Ships Left Passengers in San Juan, PR and NY declares state of emergency

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In preparation for the incoming Hurricane Irene, cruise ships were warned to leave the ports of Puerto Rico to ensure they would not get caught in the storm. However, when the ships left, they did so without all of their passengers.

Sunday afternoon, cruise lines were informed that due to the storms approach, harbor traffic was going to be limited, and they were advised to leave before they were originally scheduled. Upon this alert, Carnival Cruise’s Victory and Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas ship left four and six hours early.

Carnival left about 300 passengers in San Juan Sunday, and Royal left 145.

ImageLeft-behind Carnival passengers were provided hotel rooms by the cruise line, which also offered to fly them to the next scheduled port on Wednesday, Barbados. However, since the cruise was within a U.S. territory, only about half were able to take the flight to Barbados as they had not brought their passports. And while cruises urge passengers to bring passports, it is not required since they were leaving from a U.S. territory.

Unfortunately, Royal Caribbean cruisers were not given the same accommodations and were told that only the 15 people that purchased their tickets directly from the cruise line would be given hotel rooms. The remaining 130 were left to find their own hotels or accommodations. And those that wished to meet up with the ship at the next port, Aruba, had to pay for their own plane tickets.

In the end, Hurricane Irene hit the island nation Sunday and left more than 800,000 without power.

As Irene continues on, as many as 200,000 people have evacuated North Carolina, many from outlying islands like Ocracoke Island.

And in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has just declared a state of emergency, in preparation for Hurricane Irene.

Read more at USA TODAY →

Kidnapped Journalist Humberto Millán Salazar Found Dead

Kidnapped Journalist Humberto Millán Salazar  Found Dead

Photo: Kidnapped Journalist Humberto Millán Salazar

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Unidentified gunmen ambushed the on-line editor of “A Discusión” and presenter of Radio Fórmula Humberto Millán along with his brother in Sinaloa.

Millán’s brother was released soon after the confusing incident where gunmen in pickup trucks ambushed the pair and abducted them.

The body of Millán was just found near a farm called “La Cochera” located in Campo Morelia,  Culiacán.

Millán died of a single shot to the head. His body was found face down and with the same clothes he was kidnapped on; the body showed signs of torture.

Federal police are rounding up elements for a search operative to find whoever is behind the death of Millán, who reportedly avoided working on organized crime issues.

According to the International Press Institute, seven Mexican journalists have been murdered since the start of 2011. Only Iraq, with eight, has seen more journalists’ deaths this year.


Read more by HS News Staff →

Body of “Colombiana” and “Treme” Actor, Michael Showers, Found Floating in Mississippi River

Body of “Colombiana” and “Treme” Actor, Michael Showers, Found Floating in Mississippi River

Photo: Body of actor, Michael Showers, found floating in Mississippi River

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The body of actor Michael H. Shower was found floating in the Mississippi River Wednesday morning in New Orleans.

It is unclear whether foul play was involved, but the actor’s girlfriend said he suffered from depression and anxiety, and was just diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in March.

The girlfriend reported Showers, 44, missing Tuesday after he said he was going to the French Quarter with a friend Monday night and never returned. His body is believed to have been in the water for about two days. An autopsy was scheduled for Thursday at 2 p.m.

Police are still looking for his missing car, a 2002 Infiniti G-20.

The actor was currently on the HBO series “Treme” which was shot in the New Orleans area. His other credits include, “The Vampire Diaries,” I Love You Phillip Morris,” “Traffic, and show “The Wire.” “Colombiana” is scheduled to open Friday, August 26. It stars Zoe Saldana, Michael Vartan, Callum Blue, and Showers, who plays a police officer. He also had a role in the wildly successful show “Breaking Bad.”

His “Treme” costar Wendell Pierce took to Twitter Wednesday night saying, “Rest In Peace to my costar Michael Showers. ‘Capt Guidry’ on TREME. He will be a lasting part of our New Orleans story and television history.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

CHILE: Workers & Students March in Second Day of Unrest (VIDEO)

CHILE: Workers & Students March in Second Day of Unrest (VIDEO)

Photo: Nationwide Strike in Chile

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Chilean labor and student strikes have organized into one 48-hr nationwide pot-banging strike or “Cacerolazo,” protesting the limp education, social, and economic systems of the country. Image

Valparaiso, Viña del Mar, Puente Alto, La Granja, Santiago… all report civilians protesting, chanting and demanding serious dialogue with a government they say refuses to hear them.

Police can hardly contain protesters, and despite manifestations being peaceful for the most part, violence between police elements and hooded protesters tend to erupt toward the end of every scheduled march.

Check out the videos below and click on the photo collage for a larger view.

For streaming video and reports of the troubling situation in Chile, take a look at the stream below.


Streaming Live by Ustream

Read more at El Mercurio, Chile →

An Environmental Win for California Latino School Children

An Environmental Win for California Latino School Children

Photo: An Environmental Win for CA Latino School Children

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Today, the EPA entered in an agreement with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) to resolve a civil rights complaints filed on behalf of Latino school children in 1999. 

The Office of Civil Rights’ extensive analysis of pesticide use in California from 1995-2001, raised concerns that there was an adverse and negative impact on Latino children resulting from the use of methyl bromide, a key component in pesticides.  This concern was based on the high percentage of Latino children in schools near fields where pesticide containing methyl bromide was applied.  EPA communicated its concern to CDPR in 2011.

As part of the agreement CDPR has agreed to monitor levels of methyl bromide near the schools in the original complaint.  Since 2001, the EPA and the State of California have implemented stringent regulations that deal with methyl bromide exposure levels throughout the entire state. 

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act prohibits intentional discrimination on the base of race, color, and national origin.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Judge Awards Family $2.8 Billion for the Pushed Suicide of Father at the Hands of Castro’s Cuba

Judge Awards Family $2.8 Billion for the Pushed Suicide of Father at the Hands of Castro’s Cuba

Photo: Gustavo Villoldo's father was pushed by the Castro government to commit suicide

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For years, Gustavo Villoldo and his family have lived in pain after his father, who shares the same name, was practically tortured, threatened, and pushed to commit suicide by the Cuban government in the years after Fidel Castro came into power. This week, a Miami judge awarded the family a record-breaking $2.8 billion.

Before Castro took power, Villodo’s father owned a number of successful businesses including a car dealership, a car station. The family owned additional real estate but all was lost. Like many of the wealthy families in Cuba at the time of the Castro’s revolution, assets, bank accounts and any other wealth were taken away. Many of these families were arrested, tortured and/or killed.

Sadly, it is unlikely that the family will see much of $2.8 billion judgment, as Cuba has long said they will not pay damages in these cases. In response, lawyers like Villoldo’s have gone after Cuban-linked assets around the world to seize even a portion of what it owed to their clients.

In her judgment, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Beatrice Butchko wrote that the actions taken against Villoldo and his family were so terrible that they were equivalent to torture, writing that the father “was told repeatedly that he, his sons, and his wife would be killed, unless he acquiesced to the turnover of his property and took his own life.”

Judge Butchko’s ruling comes just two years after another judge awarded the family $1 billion. Again, Cuba refused to pay.

After the threats against their family, the Villoldo family were exiled and moved to the U.S.. Villoldo, the son, ended up training with the U.S. Army and working with the CIA.

Read more at The Washington Post →

Creepy is the New Disney, Guillermo del Toro Remaking The Classics

Creepy is the New Disney, Guillermo del Toro Remaking The Classics

Photo: Guillermo Del Toro

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Del Toro is remaking “Haunted Mansion,” “Pinocchio” and “Beauty and the Beast”. Could a gothic “Dumbo” be in the works? Steampunk “Brave Little Toaster” maybe?

For some 80 years, Disney has delivered its proprietary brand of Magic via an impressive roster of colorful and lovable characters who, usually prancing in lush sets, bring to life spectacularly crafted stories one memorable scene at a time.

Think “Dumbo’s” drunken spell, the spaghetti string scene in “Lady and the Tramp”, “The Bear Necessities,” any clip from “Bambi,” “Pinocchio’s” sheepish smile”…

That was before. This is after. The man behind this week’s big theatre opener “Don’t be Afraid of the Dark” is now in charge.


“Haunted Mansion” (2003) was a comedy movie starring Eddie Murphy, funny, slapsticky…..del Toro’s “Haunted Mansion”? Will scare your socks off.

Del Toro is a self-proclaimed, long-time fan of the ride “I’m trying to honor the ride, so in my mind it’s not a remake, but entirely a new approach to what I think, as a fan, the “Haunted Mansion” is. I was at the theme park the year that ride opened and I’ve been going at least twice a year since then.” In an Mtv interview, Del Toro said to have gone back to Disney’s archives for original designs on “The Haunted Mansion” and promised to revive (no pun intended) the infamous Hatbox Ghost character and give it a center role on his remake.

Del Toro also said to be working very closely with director Jon Favreau to connect his “Haunted Mansion” with Favreau’s “Magic Kingdom,” “I told Jon he could use some of the stuff and I can use some of his stuff and make it a cohesive universe. That would be fantastic.”

In the same interview, Del Toro said he started writing and is excited at the prospect of remaking “Beauty and the Beast,” with Emma Watson in the title role.

“Well, I met with Emma Watson about it because I’m very interested in doing the movie with her. She’s just perfect for the film, and we talked about the classic iteration of the tale. I love the sort of darker, beautiful, hopelessly romantic but Gothic take on the tale. We discussed this,” said the director to NYMag’s Vulture.

Disney has traditionally been a synonym with cute. With adorable. So it comes as a huge surprise that Guillermo del Toro is the man chosen to preserve the magic, doesn’t it?

Nothing against Del Toro. In fact, we are seriously looking forward to his take on “Pinocchio.”

A “Beauty and the Beast” with Señor Visionary del Toro at the helm? Our mouths water.

But the fact remains that it’s weird. Think of it the other way around. What if Disney was making a fluffy and pastel “Pan’s Labyrinth” where the labyrinth is more like a cheesy maze, the faun is an unicorn, and the Spanish conflict atmosphere was replaced by double entendre discussions between chatty candlesticks and grumpy clocks?

And… what could possibly be in the works? An Underworld “Dumbo”? Steampunk “Brave Little Toaster”?


Read more by HS News Staff →

FDA Works with Mexico on Cross-Border Food Safety, Special Focus on Papayas

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its counterpart agencies in the Mexican government, the National Service for Agroalimentary Public Health, Safety and Quality (SENASICA) and the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS), are expanding their collaboration to reduce the risk of contamination of food that moves across the U.S.-Mexican border. This new level of collaboration has added importance as papayas from Mexico have been linked to approximately 100 cases of Salmonella Agona in 23 U.S. states.

U.S. and Mexican officials have been working closely together to find the source or sources of contamination of Salmonella in fresh papayas entering the U.S. from Mexico. From May 12, 2011, to August 18, 2011, FDA analysis found a 15.6 percent Salmonella contamination rate. The positive samples were from 28 different firms and include nearly all the major papaya producing regions in Mexico.

Now, under an FDA Import Alert issued today, papayas from each source in Mexico may be denied admission into the United States unless the importer shows they are not contaminated with Salmonella, such as by using private laboratories to test the papayas. FDA may consider five consecutive commercial shipments over a period of time, analyzed from a validated laboratory, as being adequate for removal from the Import Alert.

Simultaneously, FDA and Mexican officials are stepping up their joint effort to trace recent contamination incidents back to their source and discover their cause or causes, in order to inform future prevention strategies. FDA and Mexican officials also are collaborating on laboratory methodologies used in Mexico for testing fresh papayas for Salmonella.

Beyond these immediate steps, the Mexican government and papaya industry have agreed to a longer range action plan that will define proper food safety procedures throughout the chain of production and distribution in Mexico and verify that the procedures are working effectively through product testing and other government oversight. Mexican officials are overseeing the industry’s implementation of the action plan and the FDA is collaborating with the Mexican government in this effort.


Read more by HS News Staff →

Carlos Santana Returns to Arizona for Concert, Again States his Distaste for SB 1070

Carlos Santana Returns to Arizona for Concert, Again States his Distaste for SB 1070

Photo: Carlos Santana Returns to Arizona for Concert, Again States his Distaste for SB 1070

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In May, Carlos Santana publicly lashed out against Arizona’s controversial immigration law known as SB 1070 and other states that were passing or attempting to pass similar laws saying they were only created out of fear. Now, on his way back to Arizona to perform, the world-renowned musician says he’s returning to help his audience “go beyond the negativity of fear.”

As Santana prepares to play in Phoenix for his Sound of Collective Consciousness Tour, he remains without kind words for the those behind SB 1070.

The award-winning musician told The Arizona Republic,”I’m not with fear. I am not for you or I or anyone shutting the door on a little child’s fingers. We are all children of God. But fear is fear. If you look at what happened in Germany with the Nazis and the Hebrews, it’s not a healthy thing to just blanket people like that. Surely, we have learned from history that there’s a better way for us to treat each other. We do need to understand that we’re all children of God and we all need to coexist.”

He added that he himself came from Mexico to the U.S. in 1975 and pledged his allegiance to a country with states that have now chosen to treat people unfairly simply because they were not born in America or because of the color of their skin.

“For a long time, Arizona refused to validate Martin Luther King’s birthday until Arizona was told, ‘You will never have the Super Bowl.’ All the sudden (singing), ‘Happy Birthday,” he said.

When asked why he and his band would play in a state with laws and policies he’s so clearly disagrees with he told the paper, “Every state in United States is my home, and so I’m not afraid to come to Arizona and play because I have a lot of sisters and brothers there and I work really hard for what I do. I’m not cashing in or stealing someone’s money. People come to hear Santana because they know they’re going to be uplifted and it’s going to go beyond the negativity of fear.”

Read more at The Arizona Republic →

Mexico’s Fútbol Federation Calls for an End to Violence

Mexico’s Fútbol Federation Calls for an End to Violence

Photo: Stop Futbol Violence

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After last weekend’s incident during the Santos-Morelia match, the federation has issued a plea for more efforts to control widespread violence.

“It is clear that the incident that occurred on Saturday at the stadium had nothing to do with internal matters or soccer,” said Mexican Soccer Federation secretary-general Decio de Maria on Monday after meeting with representatives of all the professional divisions.

The game between Santos and Morelia was called off after gunfire erupted outside the Corona stadium in the city of Torreón; players, referees and staff for both teams ran for cover as hundreds of fans rushed onto the field to protect themselves from the shots fired outside.

Others hid under the stadium’s seats while the shootout between Federal Police and unidentified individuals was at its peak.

In the next few days, both teams are due to decide when to conclude the match, tied at 0-0 when the game halted.

The Federation and the Federal Government reached an agreement to improve security in and around stadiums, and said to be willing to do all necessary investments to guarantee security for stadium goers and soccer fans during the upcoming Pan-American Games in Guadalajara this October.


Read more by HS News Staff →

Hurricane Irene: Current Status and Weekend Forecast

Hurricane Irene: Current Status and Weekend Forecast

Photo: Hurricane Irene

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Hurricane Irene, a large, powerful Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale, continues to plow through the Bahamas, with the U.S. in its sights.

As you can see on our projected path map below, Hurricane Irene will be a very dangerous hurricane as it tracks towards the East Coast this weekend. Anyone in the corridor from eastern North Carolina to the Northeast U.S. should be preparing for a hurricane!

As of Thursday morning, the first tropical storm and hurricane watches have been posted for the U.S.

Interactive map: Hurricane Irene interactive projected path

The Weather Channel Exclusive Threat Level for Hurricane Irene

Find out the potential impacts from Hurricane Irene in the U.S. on The Weather Channel’s exclusive threat level graphics below.

We’ve added an “EXTREME” threat level category from eastern North Carolina to southern New England. According to Hurricane Expert, Dr. Rick Knabb and Sr. Meteorologist, Stu Ostro, “this is a particularly threatening situation and it’s best for people to be on alert.”

Computer models are currently trending toward a forecast solution of rare potency for portions of the Northeast.

Irene has the potential to be a serious and multi-hazard threat for the major metropolitan areas of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. This includes Norfolk, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, Hartford, and Boston. This hurricane has the potential to produce flooding rains, high winds, downed trees (on houses, cars, power lines) and widespread power outages. Significant impacts along the immediate coast include high waves, surge and beach erosion. The severity of the impacts will be determined by Irene’s exact path and intensity, which remain uncertain at this time.

For North Carolina, odds are increasing that the main impacts of damaging winds and storm surge flooding will be confined to the far eastern portions of the state. In addition to the Outer Banks, this potentially includes Morehead City and Atlantic Beach.

Timing: Irene will make its closest approach to North Carolina late Friday night through Saturday. Northeast U.S. impacts would be this weekend into early Monday of next week.
We remain a couple of days away from Irene’s direct impacts along the US East Coast and critical uncertainties related to Irene’s exact track and intensity remain. Stay tuned to The Weather Channel and right here on weather.com for further updates.

Eastern U.S. Threat Level
The threat level from the eastern N.C. to southern New England is extreme. The potential for widespread damaging winds, flooding rain, and, in some locations, coastal flooding and storm surge is very real this weekend.



Read more at The Weather Channel →

INSIGHT:  The Root of Mexico’s Sadism

INSIGHT:  The Root of Mexico’s Sadism

Photo: Fatalism in Mexico

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Sadism is not an everyday word in the Spanish vocabulary. Yet, it is an every day event if you live in Mexico.

On any given day, if you asked around, you would be lucky to find someone in Mexico who could identify the root of the word, and fewer still would relate it to the Marquis de Sade. Instead, many Mexicans might associate sadism with the ancient stories of the Maya and the Aztecs, who were known to break skulls or remove the hearts of their enemies, believing such offerings would appease the gods and bring a better future to their people.

These actions, perceived today as savage, instilled in the Mexican culture a sense of fatalism that crystallized with the arrival of the Spaniards, whose conquest involved controlling Indian tribes and converting them to Christianity by way of blunt force and subjugation.

A Nation Born of “Double Violence”

As the Nobel Laureate poet and essayist Octavio Paz said in his perhaps best-known book The Labyrinth of Solitude, “If Mexico was born in the 16th century, we have to understand that [the country] is the son of a double violence; the one imposed by the Aztecs and the one from the Spaniards.”

Like any other country, Mexico is difficult to understand without first understanding its past.

Mexicans revere and fear death, but also laugh about it. Death could be the ultimate sacrifice as well as the ultimate punishment. The concept has even become part of its culture through songs of love and loneliness, which have survived for generations.

Foreigners might wonder how, amidst the present violence, a concept like sadism is largely ignore by the Mexican masses. Yet, even children as young as seven can easily identify old traditional songs, such as, “No vale nada la vida . . . la vida no vale nada.” That roughly translates as, “Life is worth nothing . . . nothing is worth living.”

After enduring nearly three centuries of submission under the Spanish crown and another century dealing with the broken promises of a revolution that has only benefited a small portion of the population—those who were already in power for generations—Mexicans can only find hope in their immediate families. And for decades now, that immediate family, for millions of Mexicans—has been the drug cartels.

With no political connections, no access to education, no jobs and no hope for the future, millions of young men and women had opted for the cartels as their best bet. They all know that pledging allegiance to the cartels means committing to a lifestyle that might sooner or later end with jail—or death. However, many have declared publicly that they’d rather live a short life “as a king,” than a long life “as a pariah.”

Read more at New America Media →

¡Felicidades! Uruguay on Your 186th Year of Independence

¡Felicidades! Uruguay on Your 186th Year of Independence

Photo: Flag of Urugay

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Today, all of Uruguay is celebrating and rejoicing its 186-year old independence from Spain. The Spanish arrived in 1516 and stayed for close to 300 years as it colonized the region and enslaved native populations.  The fight for independence started in 1811 when national hero Jose Gervasio Artigas launched a revolution for freedom that was marked by the key Battle of Las Piedras.  The country declared itself independent from Spain on 1825 some 14 years later.

Uruguay enjoys acclaim as one of the top 100 country’s with the highest quality of life in the world and being one of the least corrupt in South America.  The country was once known as Oriental Republic of Uruguay and is home to 3.5 million plus people that will be celebrating today with fireworks, parades and concerts that will take place throughout the country.

The Obama Administration and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent their regards and praise to the country on this day:

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to all Uruguayans as you celebrate the anniversary of your independence this August 25. This is a moment to reflect on your rich history and the shared values of our two countries.

The relationship between the United States and Uruguay is firmly rooted in our work to expand democratic ideals, human rights and individual freedoms in our hemisphere and throughout the world. Uruguay has led by example with a strong commitment to the rule of law, human rights and economic development. Together, our countries are contributing to the recovery efforts in Haiti and to peacekeeping missions across the globe. Countries are more peaceful and prosperous because of our work together.

As you celebrate this special day, know that the United States looks forward to continuing to strengthen this relationship. I wish all Uruguayans a safe and happy independence day.

Read more by HS News Staff →

ThursdayAugust 25, 2011