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SundayOctober 2, 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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Global Action Needed to Stop Deadly Drug Gangs Say Anti-Crime Experts

Warning that the solution to narcotics trafficking must be global in scale, the chief United Nations anti-crime official began a two-day official visit to Mexico, where tens of thousands of people have been murdered and mutilated in drug wars over the past five years.

“Organized crime and the criminals behind these networks pose a massive threat to the region and are increasingly impacting on other parts of the world,” UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Executive Director Yury Fedotov said after a first meeting with President Felipe Calderón in Mexico City, praised the country’s efforts in countering organized crime.

“These criminals are responsible for the death and misery of people across the globe through their increasingly diversified illicit operations. We have to remember, however, that such violent crimes form part of a much bigger, worldwide picture in which we face a complex and shifting threat; we have to remember that while the crimes are often violently local, our solutions must be global.”

In meetings with Mr. Calderón and a number of senior leaders, Mr. Fedotov’s will discuss areas ranging from human trafficking and migrant smuggling through to illicit drugs and corruption.

“On too many occasions, it is the citizens who have become victims while attempting to pursue a peaceful existence,” he said of those who are often most affected by organized crime.

Recalling last month’s “abhorrent” violence at a casino in Monterrey, where 52 people were reported to have died in an arson attack linked to drug gangs, Mr. Fedotov pledged his agency’s continued support to Mexico, noting that its location at the intersection between South America and North America often pits it against criminal groups working to undermine peace and security.

Speaking ahead of his visit, Mr. Fedotov commended Mexico’s security and justice reforms which are seen as critical moves in tackling organized crime while simultaneously placing victims at the center of support.  The country’s ongoing security reform and other steps to respond to illegal activities are important as are recent moves to improve conditions for victims of crime during investigations and protect their integrity, dignity and identity.

In his speech to the General Assembly’s annual general debate last week, Mr. Calderón called on the UN to help establish strict controls in producer and supplier countries on the high-powered weapons that feed the arsenals of traffickers.

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Check Out Enrique Iglesias “I Like How It Feels” (VIDEO)

Check Out Enrique Iglesias “I Like How It Feels” (VIDEO)

Photo: Enrique Iglesias "I Like How It Feels"

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Check out Enrique Iglesias new video that he directed himself with alot of famous Latino’s doing cameo appearances.  There is concert footage, there is Enrique partying and Enrique with his fun and famous friends.  Check out George Lopez, Eva Longoria, Pitball and others singing with Enrique.


Related Videos

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Fashion Designer Isabel Toledo Stages 1st Runway Show in a Decade in Puerto Rico

Fashion Designer Isabel Toledo Stages 1st Runway Show in a Decade in Puerto Rico

Photo: Isabel Toledo Runway Show in Puerto Rico

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This past week San Juan, Puerto Rico welcomed one of the most renowned Hispanic fashion designers of her time, Isabel Toledo. 

Toledo who has been designing for over two decades came into the international spotlight when her lemongrass yellow wool shift and matching coat were selected by Michelle Obama to wear to her husband’s presidential inauguration.

The Cuban-American designer who also is creative director for Anne Klein but has not staged a runaway show for over a decade.  She chose Puerto Rico over Paris and Milan to introduce her spring 2012 collection.  She also previewed her collection for Payless shoes, designing nine pairs of shoes for them and two purses.  The designer was guest of honor for Puerto Rico High Fashion Week.  All tickets sales from the fashion show benefited The Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico. 

Toledo featured different heel heights and a lot of “sunset colors,”  yet we love her very affordable knitted platform pumps for Payless!!!

Read more by HS News Staff →

Number of Latinos Getting College Degrees Way Below National Average

Number of Latinos Getting College Degrees Way Below National Average

Photo: Low Number of Latinos Get College Degree

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Despite an important demographic shift across the United States, a limited proportion of Latinos are earning college degrees. While Latino youth now represent the largest minority group in K—12 U.S. schools and are the fastest-growing segment of students, Latino college completion stands at just 19.2 percent – far below the national average of 41.1 percent.

These are just some of the findings from a new report released by the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center called The College Completion Agenda Progress Report 2011.  The report and an accompanying state police guide were developed in collaboration with the National Council of La Raza and Excelencia in Education.

“We have a challenge as a nation to become number one again in college completion. We cannot reach this goal without increasing the college completion rate of Latinos,” said Gaston Caperton, president of the College Board.  ”This study demonstrates that our students’ ability to succeed directly impacts our nation’s ability to thrive economically and socially.”

The report and state policy guide, combined with an interactive website, contain in-depth findings about the educational progress of Latino students and offer a series of recommendations for addressing the challenges they face. This effort builds on the College Completion Agenda that was launched in 2010, based on the recommendations from the College Board’s Commission on Access, Admission and Success. The 10 interdependent recommendations span the pipeline, from early childhood to adult education, to reach the goal of increasing the proportion of Americans ages 25—34 with a postsecondary degree to 55 percent by 2025.

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U.S. Dedicates New 10-Acre Consulate General Compound in Tijuana, Mexico

U.S. Dedicates New 10-Acre Consulate General Compound in Tijuana, Mexico

Photo: New U.S. Consulate General in Tijuana, Mexico

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In an important symbol of enduring friendship with Mexico, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Earl Anthony Wayne dedicated the new United States Consulate General facility in Tijuana on Friday. Mayor of Tijuana Carlos Bustamante, Governor of Baja California Jose Guadalupe Osuna Millan, U.S. Consul General Steven Kashkett, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Janice Jacobs, and Leo Hession Managing Director for Operations at the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Situated on a 10-acre site in the Mesa de Otay neighborhood, the multi-building complex provides approximately 165 consulate employees with a state-of-the-art workspace.

The facility is registered with the U.S. Green Building Council for certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) green building rating system.

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Priest Robbed While Hearing Confession by Confessor in the Dominican Republic

Priest Robbed While Hearing Confession by Confessor in the Dominican Republic

Photo: Dominican Priest Robbed While Hearing Confession

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What started out as a confession of sins ended in the robbery of Father Carlos Santana in the Dominican Republic.  Father Santana was quick to point out:  “This is indicative of the great deterioration of Dominican society.  What happened to me is nothing.  How many church have not been robbed and even the blessed sacrament defiled and thrown aside!”

Father Carlos said the unidentified man stole his Blackberry and money, all items he had with him in the confessional box.  The incident started after mass at Casa Emaus when the man asked the priest to hear his sins.

The priest heard the man’s sins gave him absolution then hugged him and that is when he believed his personal items were stolen. 

Father Carlos, who is also the local Archbishops assistant, noted “When fear of God is lost, all is lost.”

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Commentary:  Alabama’s Dangerous New Anti-Immigrant Law

Commentary:  Alabama’s Dangerous New Anti-Immigrant Law

Photo: Alabama H.B. 52 'Dangerous' Anti-Immigrant Law

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Last week, Judge Sharon Blackburn failed to enjoin major portions of Alabama’s extreme anti-immigrant law, HB 56, leaving many dangerous sections open to implementation. Local police, for example, are required to act as federal immigration enforcement agents by demanding proof of legal status from anyone who appears to be foreign. Other provisions—that go further than Arizona’s law—insist public school administrators check the legal status of students and their parents and create confusing and burdensome new restrictions on contracts between the state government and immigrants and between private citizens and immigrants. It’s unclear how far the restrictions on contracts will go, but at a minimum they will limit access to housing and utilities for anyone who cannot produce the proper documentation.

Although supporters claim the law will solve the state’s economic problems and reduce crime, HB 56 will inflict greater economic damage to Alabama, costing the state millions to implement and defend. And the crime argument simply doesn’t hold water. Since 1990, Alabama’s unauthorized population has risen from five thousand to 120 thousand.  Yet the violent crime rate in the state has fallen by more than a third. Restrictive immigration laws have proven to reduce, not maximize, law enforcement effectiveness.

These kinds of laws also tend to have a chilling effect on state businesses that depend heavily on foreign talent and investments, such as Alabama’s automotive and emerging biotechnology and aerospace industries. The Korean automaker Hyundai, for example, has brought thousands of jobs to Montgomery. The German company ThyssenKrupp has built a $3.7 billion steel mill north of Mobile, Alabama, that will employ 2,700 workers when it is running at full capacity. HB 56 sends a clear and decidedly un-American message that many of these foreign workers who live and work in Alabama are illegal until proven legal; guilty until proven innocent.

Meanwhile, Alabama’s law enforcement agencies are struggling to fulfill current mandates in tough fiscal times. The additional burdens imposed by this law will hurt, not help, in fighting crime. Reports show the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has already cut 20 percent or more of its budget this year, eliminating 145 deputy positions in order to make up the $3 million missing in this quarter’s budget. According to Tuscaloosa (AL) Police Chief Steve Anderson, the new law will require officers to spend more time on basic traffic stops, not to mention potential court appearances, taking time away from solving real crimes and protecting communities.

Local schools and administrators will also have to bear the burden of enforcing Alabama’s draconian immigration law. The Principal of Crossville Elementary School in northeastern Alabama reportedly said, “We don’t have the personnel to do all the work that is needed to find out which parents are legal. That’s my biggest concern—putting it off on the schools to police illegal immigration. I don’t think school is the place to do that; we don’t have the resources.”

Alabama has just entered dangerous new territory and, in the process, dragged the rest of the country along for the ride. Those out-of-state politicians and organizations behind these state-level experiments with immigration policy will not lose anything more than a court battle. Sadly, it’s the people of Alabama—being used by anti-immigrant crusaders—who have the most to lose.

COMMENTARY SUBMITTED BY THE IMMIGRATION POLICY CENTER

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Join us This and Every Sunday At HS-News Open Mic

Join us This and Every Sunday At HS-News Open Mic

Photo: Introducing This Week, From Colombia: Jose Rodríguez

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Jose Rodriguez, SrCucaracha

Introducing:

From Colombia:

Artist:Jose Rodríguez: Sr. Cucaracha
Song: Barton Hollow (The Civil Wars Cover)

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Response to Massive Cuts in Job Training Program for Farmworkers and Migrants

Response to Massive Cuts in Job Training Program for Farmworkers and Migrants

Photo: Cuts to Farmworker & Migrant Retraining

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This paste week the House Appropriations Committee released the draft fiscal year 2012 Labor, Health, and Human Services (LHHS) funding bill. The cuts proposed in this bill would cut funding for the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employment and Training Administration nearly in half.

“Right now there are over 14 million Americans without a job, yet a large percentage of job openings remain unfilled due to a shortage in workers who have the skills these positions require,” notes David Strauss, Executive director of AFOP. “Despite this fact, the House Appropriations Committee is proposing draconian cuts to the very job training programs working to get Americans the education and training services they need to get back to work and help businesses find the workers they need.”

The National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP), is a fiscally responsible federal job training program aimed at educating and training farmworkers into jobs that allow them to earn a self and family-sustaining income. AFOP and its 52 non-profit and public agencies that operate the NFJP provide access to training and supportive services to help farmworkers create better futures for themselves.

Agencies that are awarded the competitive grants provided by the DOL typically place over 80% of job-training farmworker customers into good jobs with benefits.

“Our country’s leaders need to hear from the public; they need to hear that while solutions to our budget deficit are necessary, we cannot demolish our education and workforce system,” said Strauss.  “We need a balanced and comprehensive approach that combines gains in efficiency and invests in our nation’s education and workforce.”

The Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs is the national federation of nonprofit and public agencies that provide training and employment services to migrant and seasonal farmworkers.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Guatemala Issues Formal Apology to Deposed Former President Jacobo Arbez’ Family, 57 Yrs Later

For the first time in 57 years, the government of Guatemala is issuing an official apology to the family of the former President of the Republic of Guatemala, Colonel Juan Jacobo Arbenz Guzman, for human rights violations by the Guatemalan state.

Arbenz, one of the icons of the revolution of 1944, was ousted from the Presidency of the Republic by a coup led by the CIA, on June 27, 1954, under false accusations of communism.  At that time, his family’s property was confiscated illegally and he was deported, along with his family.  Arbenz was also publicly humiliated by being forced to strip naked before cameras at the Guatemala airport.

After many decades, a Friendly Settlement Agreement was signed by the State in the case of Guatemala vs. Jacobo Arbenz in May, 2011, and processed by the State of Guatemala and the Commission on Human Rights, a body of the Organization of American States.

In addition to the apology, the Guatemalan government also agreed to revise textbooks in Guatemala to include Arbenz’ positive influence on the country (the so-called Guatemalan Spring).  Also, Arbenz’ biography will be rewritten, the national highway he built will be named after him, and a new educational program will be created to train government staff so that they always take into account the needs of farmers and indigenous people, as Arbenz promoted during his tenure.

In 1954, through a secret mission the CIA led an overthrow of President Jacobo Arbenz, a democratically elected leader in Guatemala, based on trumped-up charges of communism. However, the main reason for the American-led coup was that American financial interests had been put at risk.

The Boston-based United Fruit Company (now called Chiquita Banana) owned most of the land in Guatemala by way of a deal with Dictator Jorge Ubico in which he granted the American company land free of taxes for 100 years. Their financial position was threatened by the agrarian reform that Arbenz was introducing that had been approved by the Guatemalan congress. Also, the construction of a highway to the main port of export challenged the American International Railways company, which charged onerous tolls because it was the only way to reach the port. And the construction of the hydroelectric plant Jurun Marinala would have freed Guatemalans from dependency on the US and thus would have broken the monopoly on electricity of Bond and Share, an American-owned company.

The coup orchestrated by the Eisenhower administration and the Dulles brothers at the CIA and State Department (who were on the board of directors for United Fruit Company) forced Arbenz into exile and the U.S. imposed a junta government that imposed terror, repression and silence among its citizens. As a result, for the next 50+ years, there has been more violence and civil bloodshed than most countries have ever seen. More than 200,000 students, workers, professionals, farmers and non-combatants were killed, and more than one million people became refugees.

To date, the U.S. government has never issued an apology to the people of Guatemala or to the Arbenz Family. 

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Meet One of the Undocumented Students Who Benefited from Texas In-State Tuition (VIDEO)

Meet One of the Undocumented Students Who Benefited from Texas In-State Tuition (VIDEO)

Photo: Texans Against In-State Tuition for Undocumented Students

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Meet Karla Resendiz who besides being an honor student, college graduate and Texas resident is now the face for in-state tuition for undocumented students.  Governor Rick Perry urged his fellow Republican presidential candidates “to have a heart” during a debate when justifying the in-state tuition benefit for undocumented students and now the issue has become a lightening rod for the election and most likely caused Perry to lose his campaign lead.

Listen to Resendiz as she rattles off her impressive academic credentials and defends herself against charges she is taking a benefit she doesn’t deserve.  In 2010 she earned a doctor of pharmacy degree at University of Texas at Austin’s six year program.  Interestingly she was brought here by her parents when she was 12 and has been trying to become a citizen for the last 13 years and is still in the waiting line. 

When and if she ever becomes a U.S. citizen at least she will be a highly educated one and can claim to be a National Honor Society member, capital of the fencing team and the leader of Rockwall High School’s junior Rotary Club amongst many other things.


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Former Colombian Maritime Instructor Sentenced for Transporting Cocaine

Former Colombian Maritime Instructor Sentenced for Transporting Cocaine

Photo: Colombian Sentenced for cocaine trafficking on go-fast boats

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A former Colombian maritime training instructor and a co-conspirator were sentenced to federal prison for conspiring to transport thousands of kilograms of cocaine from various ports along the coast of Colombia to waiting vessels that transported the cocaine to the United States and other countries, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

Wilson Jesus Torres-Torres, a Colombian maritime training instructor, and Baudilio Vivero-Cardenas, were sentenced to 144 months and 96 months in prison, respectively.  They pleaded guilty on Dec. 30, 2010, before U.S. District Judge Ellen S. Huvelle in the District of Columbia to one count of conspiracy to violate the Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act.

Torres-Torres and Vivero-Cardenas were charged in a one-count indictment returned in the District of Columbia on Feb. 24, 2009.  They were arrested in Colombia on Sept. 30, 2009.  Vivero-Cardenas was extradited to the United States on Sept. 2, 2010, and Torres-Torres was extradited to the United States on Sept. 23, 2010.

According to court documents, from September 2005 to February 2009, Torres-Torres and Vivero-Cardenas were members of a Colombian drug trafficking organization based in Buenaventura, Colombia, that transported large quantities of cocaine for various other drug trafficking organizations.  The defendants admitted that they used fishing vessels and “go-fast” boats to transport thousands of kilograms of cocaine from various ports along the coast of Colombia to waiting transport vessels on the high seas, which would transport the cocaine to the United States and other countries. 

According to court documents, the vessels involved in the conspiracy were equipped with high frequency radios, global positioning system devices, satellite telephones, large amounts of fuel, and multiple outboard motors to facilitate the transport of cocaine over long distances on the high seas until the destination or off-loading rendezvous point was reached.

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International Concern About Journalist Killings in Mexico

International Concern About Journalist Killings in Mexico

Photo: UN Urges Mexico Take Action on Journalists Killings

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The United Nations human rights office expressed concern over the increase in the number of killings of journalists in Mexico this year, and urged the country’s authorities to launch immediate investigations to punish the perpetrators.

In the past month alone, four journalists have been killed for their reporting on organized crime. The most recent killing occurred last Saturday, when the body of María Elizabeth Macías, editor of a Nuevo Laredo newspaper, was found decapitated with a handwritten message linking her murder to her postings on Internet-based social networks.

During a news conference in Geneva, Rupert Colville, a spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), condemned the killings and said they illustrated the “the exceptionally vulnerable situation of journalists in particular, as well as the deteriorating situation of freedom of expression in the country.”

According to the non-governmental organization (NGO) Reporters without Borders, 80 journalists have been killed in Mexico since 2000, making it one of the most dangerous countries to exercise freedom of expression.

The situation for civilians has also worsened as gruesome killings continue to take place in the country. On 13 September a man and a woman were found dead, hanging from an overpass in Nuevo Laredo with a handwritten message saying “this is what will happen to Internet users.”

Other killings that took place this month include 23 men and 12 women, whose tortured bodies were found in two abandoned trucks in Veracruz City, and the finding of five severed heads inside a bag alongside boards with messages in Acapulco.

“We understand the challenge the Mexican Government is facing in its fight against rising violence. However, we are also extremely concerned at the prevalent impunity regarding these killings, and the many other similar crimes committed in recent years,” Mr. Colville said.

OHCHR called for investigations into the killings, reminding Mexican authorities of their obligation to protect citizens from threats to the rig

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SundayOctober 2, 2011