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SaturdayOctober 15, 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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Honduran Bishop to Run for Office Because Politics ‘Screwed the Poor’

Honduran Bishop to Run for Office Because Politics ‘Screwed the Poor’

Photo: Bishop Santos

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The “Red Bishop” of Honduras says he will run for president of the Central American nation if he gets permission from Pope Benedict XVI.

Bishop Luis Santos Villeda of Santa Rosa de Copan will celebrate his 75th birthday in November and plans to immediately submit his resignation to the Vatican, as required by canon law. Once his resignation is accepted and he is freed from the responsibilities of bishop, Bishop Santos says, he will run for president as a candidate of a progressive faction of the Liberal Party, whose last president, Manuel Zelaya, was deposed in a 2009 coup.

“I don’t aspire to be president of Honduras. This isn’t my idea,” Bishop Santos told Catholic News Service.

He said he was first asked by Liberal Party leaders in the 1990s, and again in 2009, to become a candidate, but both times he declined.

“But now that I’m retiring as bishop, I hope to speak with the pope and get his permission. I would no longer be bishop or have any church office, but would remain a priest. I could celebrate Mass privately in the morning before showing up in the presidential office at 8 a.m.,” Santos said.

Bishop Santos has long been a public supporter of the Liberal Party, whose red flag contributed to his nickname. He was also a strident opponent of the 2009 coup, a position that put him at odds with Tegucigalpa Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, who backed the coup.

Analysts say the cardinal’s support for the coup cost him political capital; the cardinal is seen much less often in public these days. Bishop Santos, on the other hand, remains highly visible, despite his remote western diocese, which includes some of the poorest communities in Central America. He has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Resistance, the loose-knit coalition of civil groups opposing the government since the coup.

However, not everyone would be pleased with a Bishop Santos candidacy.

“The decision of the bishop to get involved in politics after stepping down as bishop does damage to the church and damage to politics,” said Jesuit Father Ismael Moreno, director of Radio Progreso, a station closely identified with the Honduran left.

“Politics here is historically closely linked to clericalism. So when a bishop or priest decides to participate in partisan politics, that doesn’t help us move toward a political culture of citizenship,” said Father Moreno.

“And it would damage the church because he’s not a bishop of unity, rather, he has fostered confrontation. So it would divide Catholics even more than they’re divided now, and not in the name of the struggle of the poor, but rather in the name of party politics. That would harm those in the church who are struggling to serve the community without being interested in achieving quotas of power. It would make a lot of the rest of us look like we’re participating in social movements because we’re interested in personal power,” Father Moreno said.

Thelma Mejia, an independent journalist and political analyst in Tegucigalpa, puts long odds on the possibility of Santos being elected president.

“While he has backing within one faction of the Liberal Party, he’s not very electable given his polemical nature and his permanent confrontational stance. Hondurans in general don’t like frontal confrontation, and since the coup we’re even more tired of confrontation,” she said.

Mejia said the polls show more than 50 percent of Hondurans identify themselves as centrist, independent of the Liberal and National parties, which have dominated the country’s politics for a century.

“We need a political leader that appeals to this center, in order to carry out the change that’s needed. And no one from the Resistance nor from the bipartisan tradition has yet appeared who can do that,” she said.

Bishop Santos rejects the notion that church leaders should remain outside partisan politics.

“It’s very convenient for the rich that the church remains outside of politics, because that way they can mistreat and steal from the poor without the church protesting. They’re happy because no priest will complain. And if one does, they label him a communist,” Bishop Santos said.

“Why do I get involved in politics? Because it is politics that has screwed the poor,” the bishop said.

He said most Catholic bishops in Honduras have remained quiet on political matters because they are foreigners.

“If they intervene in the internal politics of Honduras, they could lose their residency so, at the end of the day, they remain quiet. But it’s politics that makes people poor, that leaves the clinics and hospitals without medicine, that robs money from the villages. It’s politics that supports the rampant corruption in Honduras. As a bishop, I can’t be disinterested in the health and education of the children, the least of my sisters and brothers,” Bishop Santos said.

“This is a rich country, with productive land. But there’s a lot of injustice,” he said.

He cited the example of gold mining in his diocese: He said foreign companies fly the gold out of Honduras on helicopters without passing through customs.

“They don’t pay taxes on this, just a small amount to the municipalities. We Hondurans don’t know how much the companies take away or what it’s worth. Why don’t we know this?”

Bishop Santos said he has no interest in modeling his possible presidency after that of Fernando Lugo, the Paraguayan bishop-turned-president, “because he gave up everything. He left the ministry behind and was elected as a layperson. I’m going to remain a priest, but without any position within the church.”

If he is not elected president, Bishop Santos said, he plans to work with Lenca indigenous farmers in expanding educational opportunities and developing better marketing for their crops.

Read more at Catholic News Service →

Glenn Beck Sneers At Students Who Can’t Afford A College Education (VIDEO)

Glenn Beck Sneers At Students Who Can’t Afford A College Education (VIDEO)

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Conservative idol Glenn Beck spent much of his speech at the Values Voters Conference this weekend lambasting young Americans who are part of the 99 Percent Movement, and those who have the audacity to not be rich but want a college education. Beck all but declared that the 14 million jobless Americans are unemployed by choice — echoing similar sentiments by GOP candidate Herman Cain. “There are many in this country I call the fun-employed,” the former Fox News host told the crowd.

“The violent left is coming to our streets, all of our streets, to smash…to bankrupt…to destroy,” he said of Wall Street protesters who have spread across the country. Beck then turned his vitriol towards poor students who can’t afford a college education on their own:

BECK: We also have the responsibility to understand we are accountable for each of those choices. You go to school, you rack up a lot of school loans, that was your choice. We also have to understand that those choices have eternal consequences. And consequences that ripple throughout society…If you can’t afford to go to college, go to the free public library. I did it. It works.

Obviously, for most students who have to take out loans to pay for college, going into debt is not a choice. But according to Beck, students frustrated by rising tuition, shrinking financial aid and mounting debt should quit whining and just not go to college.

Meanwhile, Beck continues to rake in a fortune through his conspiracy theory-peddling “Glenn Beck university” program. You can learn about the secret history of America hidden by the liberals for just $9.95 per month or $74.95 for the year.

Read more at Campus Progress →

Chilean Miners Mark Anniversary of Famous Rescue

Chilean Miners Mark Anniversary of Famous Rescue

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A group of the Chilean miners rescued in an operation that transfixed the world a year ago returned to the San Jose mine Thursday for a solemn ceremony.

Chile’s Former Mining Minister Laurence Golborne was among those who attended the service, together with engineers and several of the rescued workers. During the service, workers laid the first stone of a monument honoring the 33 miners.

The 69-day ordeal began on August 5, 2010 when the San Jose mine collapsed. The miners were rescued on October 13 when they were pulled one-by-one to the surface in a 22-hour operation.

Not all of the rescued workers were at the anniversary event. Despite the media attention the miners received, many of them are still living in poverty and without steady work.

Read more at VOA →

Colombia Cocaine Lab Destroyed in Raid

Colombia Cocaine Lab Destroyed in Raid

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Colombia police say a large illegal drug processing laboratory has been destroyed during a raid that netted six tons of cocaine valued at $180 million. 

Police say they also seized tons of other material in the raid in a rural section of Meta province in the eastern part of Colombia.  There are no reports of arrests.

Authorities say they believe the operation was run by a drug gang known as the Popular Revolutionary Anti-Terrorist Army of Colombia.  Police say the laboratory and nearby houses could shelter at least 40 men.

The United Nations says Colombia is among the world’s largest cocaine producers, and the United States is one of its most lucrative markets.

Read more at VOA →

TELEMUNDO To Host Its First-Ever Primary Republican Presidential Debate In December

TELEMUNDO To Host Its First-Ever Primary Republican Presidential Debate In December

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News Anchor José Díaz-Balart To Host Telemundo GOP Presidential Debate Focused on Issues Relevant to the Hispanic Community, Including Jobs, Health, Education and Immigration.

Telemundo announced today that it will produce and broadcast its first ever Republican Presidential debate from Las Vegas, Nevada in early December, weeks before the primary season begins in key states with a high concentration of Hispanics. The prime time debate, broadcast in Spanish, will be hosted by Telemundo news anchor José Díaz-Balart and will focus on all issues and topics of concern to the Hispanic community, including the economy, health, and immigration and education policies, among others.

Telemundo has invited the Republican Presidential candidates to establish a direct dialogue with the Hispanic community and address the issues that matter to them at a critical time in our country.

The debate, produced in partnership with NBC News, will be broadcast live on Telemundo and its stations reaching nearly all U.S. Hispanic viewers in our country, and may be rebroadcast at a different time across other NBC News platforms.

The debate is part of “Decisión 2012,” a Telemundo News initiative housing all political coverage related to the 2012 elections.

Users will be able to obtain all the information on this debate through Telemundo’s digital platforms and social sites by visiting www.Telemundo.com or on Facebook “Noticias Telemundo” and Twitter on @TelemundoNews.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hispanic Group Reacts to Announcement Naming Arizona as the Host State for Super Bowl 2015

LULAC was dismayed to hear today that the National Football League has chosen the State of Arizona to host the 49th Super Bowl. In light of Arizona’s hate-based legislation, the action taken by the NFL serves as an endorsement of the state’s abhorrent actions against the Latino and migrant communities. LULAC has actively opposed such hate-based legislation and at its National Convention this summer passed a resolution calling for an economic boycott of Arizona.

“The NFL turned a blind eye today to the state’s hateful, wasteful, and hurtful legislation that has divided communities and made enemies out of neighbors. Arizona is facing devastating budget cuts to education, healthcare, and housing. Rather than deal with such issues, the Arizona legislature is energized around legislation that is meant to instill fear in the Latino and migrant communities,” said LULAC National President Margaret Moran.

According to a statement released today, football fans have in the past generated more than $500 million in economic activity for the community that hosts the Super Bowl. Instead of supporting efforts that would encourage stakeholders and community leaders to build alliances and re-direct state politics away from hate-based legislation, the NFL has chosen to provide an economic shot in the arm to a state that will only continue to oppress an already disadvantaged community.

About the League of United Latin American Citizens: The League of United Latin American Citizens, the largest and oldest Hispanic membership organization in the country, advances the economic conditions, educational attainment, political influence, housing, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating through 880 LULAC councils nationwide. For more information, visit www.lulac.org

Read more by HS News Staff →

Founder of Ladies in White Dies in Cuba- Laura Pollan RIP

Founder of Ladies in White Dies in Cuba- Laura Pollan RIP

Photo: Cuban dissident Hector Maseda hugs his wife Laura Pollan, leader of The Ladies in White,

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Laura Pollan, who helped found the dissident group Ladies in White in Cuba after her husband was jailed in a 2003 crackdown on government opponents, has died in a Havana hospital on Friday at the age of 63, her family and fellow dissidents said.

Pollan was one of Cuba’s leading opposition voices and deeply involved in promoting change on the Communist island until she developed a pulmonary illness and went into the hospital on October 7th.

She had been on a respirator in the intensive care ward of Calixto Garcia hospital ever since and died of cardiac arrest on Friday, said Berta Soler, her longtime co-leader of the Ladies in White.

Husband Hector Maseda told Reuters at the hospital that a medical team had tried for an hour to revive her without success.

“I asked to see her and went to see her body. I was there with her for a while, alone,” said the visibly shaken Maseda.

Elizardo Sanchez, head of the independent Cuban Commission of Human Rights, said the loss of Pollan was a big one for opponents of the Cuban government.“It’s really bad news for the human rights and pro-democracy movement. It’s an irreparable loss. We’ll see with time if others step forward to take her place,” he said.

Cuban state media called Pollan and her group “Ladies in Green” referring to the color of dollars they said she received from Washington. She said they accepted aid from whoever would give it, but insisted they were an independent movement.

“We continue being defenders of human rights. We are not politicians, we want freedom for the country, democracy,” she told Reuters in a September interview.

 

Read more at ABC News →

Az State Senator R Pearce claims Mormon Blessing on his Hardline Immigration Stance- NOT So says LDS

Az State Senator R Pearce claims Mormon Blessing on his Hardline Immigration Stance- NOT So says LDS

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Sen. Russell Pearce claims the Mormon Church backs his hardline stance on illegal immigration. Brahm Resnik gets the church response in this Video.Pearce and Mitt Romney give the compassionate side of Mormonism a bad name!

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Crime data and Spillover Violence Along the Southwest Border

Crime data and Spillover Violence Along the Southwest Border

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As organized crime-related violence has increased in northern Mexico, so has the heated rhetoric regarding the U.S. side of the border. The title of National Geographic’s program, Border Wars, exemplifies the sentiment, echoed by several politicians, that the border region is lawless and dangerous. For residents of the U.S. border region, thankfully, the reality is anything but that.

In fact, as violent crime surged in parts of Mexico, the U.S. border region became safer. While in Mexico the murder rate climbed 29% between 2005 and 2010, it declined 24% in the U.S. border states. This suggests that despite a smattering of violent incidents perpetrated by members of Mexican criminal groups in the United States, widespread “spillover violence” has not occurred.

Other studies demonstrate similar findings. Using data reported to the FBI by local law enforcement agencies, USA Today found that most cities in the border region (within 100 miles of the border) had violent crime rates lower than state and national averages. Indeed, some of the largest border cities, like El Paso and San Diego, have murder rates that are less than half the national average and among the lowest in the nation for cities of their size. Another report, by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, analyzed the rates of violent crime from 1999-2008 and found no statistically significant increase in violent crime in cities and towns where Mexican drug trafficking organizations are known to operate, either along the border or in any part of the United States.

Read more at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars →

New Latino Family Show in the Works By Kenny Ortega- Dance Style!

New Latino Family Show in the Works By Kenny Ortega- Dance Style!

Photo: Kenny Ortega

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NBC is developing a Latino family drama with dance elements executive produced by top choreographer/director Kenny Ortega and The Event executive producer Steve Stark. Ortega is also set to direct the untitled project, about a multi-generational Hispanic family running a Latin dance studio in Miami. Ligiah Villalobos (Under The Same Moon/La Misma Luna) has been hired to write the script, with Todd Robinson serving as a non-writing producer. Ortega, Stark and Robinson developed the world and the characters on the show, drawing on personal stories centered around their families and their connection to dance.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hurricane Jova leaves 100,000 in Mexico and South America Facing Flooding

Hurricane Jova leaves 100,000 in Mexico and South America Facing Flooding

Photo: UN- Mexico Flooding

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Some 100,000 people in Mexico and Central America are facing flooding as Hurricane Jova and a tropical depression unleash torrential rains over the region, the United Nations reported today as it activated emergency and assessment teams in Nicaragua and El Salvador.

In Mexico heavy rainfall from the hurricane has affected 50,000 people in the state of Tabasco, while nearly 43,500 others have been hit by flooding in Guatemala, where almost the entire country has been affected, with 1,700 families already losing their homes and the rains forecast to continue for the next two to three days, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a news release.

A UN emergency technical team has been activated and is in communication with authorities in Nicaragua, where nearly 5,500 people have been affected and over 1,000 houses damaged.

In El Salvador, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), the regional arm of the UN World Health Organization (WHO), has joined the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in carrying out an assessment of the most crowded shelters. Over 2,200 people are already in emergency shelters.

In Honduras and Costa Rica damage has so far been limited, with some people cut off and few in emergency shelters, OCHA reported.

Read more at UN News →

Los Angeles Hate Radio Show Loses Advertisers as Latinos Boycott

Los Angeles Hate Radio Show Loses Advertisers as Latinos Boycott

Photo: LA Times

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Verizon and AT&T Wireless have pulled their advertising off KFI’s “John and Ken” show in response to a campaign by several Latino groups to drive the controversial radio talk hosts off the air.


Vons and Ralphs, which have advertised on the show in the past, have agreed to not advertise in the future, the Burbank Leader reported. The National Hispanic Media Coalition made the announcement during a demonstration Thursday in front of KFI’s offices in Burbank.

“John & Ken” are John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, controversial conservative talking heads who read the phone number of local advocate Jorge-Mario Cabrera of the Coalition of Humane Immigration Rights of L.A. (CHIRLA) on the air as part of their campaign to drum up public dissent for the passage and signing into law of the California DREAM Act.


Cabrera reported receiving multiple harassing calls. As part of the harassment, CHIRLA says the callers took part in “terrorizing [and] threatening [the staffer] and crashing the organization’s phone system,” according to the organization, all at the goading of Kobylt and Chiampou.



About 35 protesters walked in front of the KFI building on Olive Street, chanting phrases such as “KFI drop the hate” and “John and Ken must go.” Written transcripts of some of the messages left for Cabrera were also read aloud.


“We stand by responsible journalism,” Maria Rodriguez, spokeswoman for the coalition where Cabrera works, said. “We stand by journalism that creates dialogue, not confusion and hate.”


In a statement, KFI defended the “John and Ken” show hosts.


KFI’s Statement on John and Ken:

“Expressing your opinion is not a firing offense. KFI stands behind John and Ken and their right to speak their minds- opinions shared, incidentally, by over a million California listeners each week and protected by the First Amendment.

A handful of individuals who claim to speak for the Southern California Latino community have exaggerated or misrepresented what was said on the air in a transparent effort to advance their own political agenda and their own personal ambitions. However, the station wants to be sure that there are no misunderstandings between us and LA’s important, vibrant and diverse Latino community. We are meeting with a larger, more representative group of local Latino leaders – including representatives of LULAC, the nation’s oldest and largest Hispanic Civil Rights organization, the Latin Business Association, the nation’s largest Hispanic business group, and others –  to have an open, fruitful discussion about any concerns they may have.

Because KFI refuses to fire John and Ken, as demanded by these few individuals, they have called for a boycott of their show and the station.  We’re not going to validate the political agenda of a few and we reject their efforts to intimidate us, or to interfere with our relationship with our listeners.”

Read more at LA Times →

Mexico City Celebrates “Halloween” with a Marriage of Traditional and Contemporary Style

Mexico City Celebrates “Halloween” with a Marriage of Traditional and Contemporary Style

Photo: Day of the Dead

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Leave plastic pumpkins and wizard costumes, synonymous with the American Halloween, behind and embrace the traditional Mexico City “Day of the Dead” (Dia de los Muertos). On the annual holiday, Nov. 1 (Dia de todos los santos) and Nov. 2 (Dia de los fieles difuntos), family and friends gather to remember departed loved ones. The multi-day celebration blends cultural, artistic, epicurean and historical characteristics of Mexico City to create an unrivaled experience.

Vibrant celebrations come alive throughout Mexico City as a corner stone of the holiday. Candles bring to life a peaceful cemetery under the expansive night sky. Mouthwatering Mexican candies beckon taste buds. Resounding music fills the streets as locals take part in somber dances while donning vibrant fall colors.  Family alters displaying the deceased pictures and once favorite Earthly possessions - cempoasuchil flowers, sugar cane, tequila, mezcal - are prepared as early as mid-October to honor the departed.

The “City of the Dead,” Mixquic, fuses Catholic and ancient Aztec cultures.  Under the curtain of night, visitors attend street festivals where popular pre-hispanic dances ensue, visit the lord and lady of the underworld, witness the decoration of family burial plots, and observe overnight candlelight rituals. Traditional ceremonies can also be found in the city’s center plaza, the Zocalo, and at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM).  The Zocalo’s offering of the Claustro de Sor Juana is an annual attraction where residents gather to adorn the main altar in cempoasuchil flowers and play sacred music.  Easily accessible to the public is UNAM’s “Dead Offerings of University City,” which holds stage performances, poetry readings and musical concerts by students and professors to commemorate the holiday.

In anticipation of the “Day of the Dead,” a mirage of festivities that are rooted in pre-historic and colonial traditions and infused with contemporary culture, overtake the world’s third largest city.  Serenading mariachi musicians on gondolas (trajineras) and the Tianguis del Dia de Muertos, a large “Day of the Dead” market with dancing, flower stalls and local handmade items, are found in Xochimilco, the “Venice of Mexico City.” Venture to the bohemian inspired neighborhood of Coyocan for a colorful holiday market where visitors and residents gather in the historical center dressed in costumes on Nov. 2 to enjoy an evening street festival. American ghosts and goblins hold little significance to the most popular costume of choice, “Catrina,” the iconic female skeleton dressed in an elegant gown, which is the creation of famed artists Jose Guadalupe Posada and Diego Rivera.

Mexico City is the country’s premier tourism destination, welcoming more than 12 million visitors a year.  The ancient capital presents a vibrant, contemporary culture combining pre-Hispanic, colonial and modern influences that span nearly seven centuries.  With 160 museums (more than any other city in the world), 31 distinct archaeological and historic sites, as well as 100 art galleries, the city’s tourism industry is enhanced with the support of the Mexico City Tourism Promotion Fund (Fondo Mixto de Promocion Turistica del Distrito Federal).  For more information, please visit www.mexicocityexperience.com, download the free StyleMap Mexico City app, and for daily updates, please friend/follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MexicoCityExperience) and Twitter (@MexicoCity).

Read more by HS News Staff →

Pan American Games Teams up with Children International, a U.S. Charity, to Help Poor Children in MX

Pan American Games Teams up with Children International, a U.S. Charity, to Help Poor Children in MX

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Children International, a U.S.-based humanitarian organization working in Mexico, has been named the Pan American Games’ sole charity partner.

“Sponsored children through Children International are leading the Pan Am Games as a symbol of identity to future generations of Mexicans. We are proud to partner with an organization that is changing the lives of children through sports,” said Jose Gallegos, director of Children International-Mexico.

Children International was selected as the charity partner since both organizations share similar missions. Children International helps impoverished children become healthy, confident, self-reliant adults through access to health care, education, and skills formation through programs like sports. The mission of the Organizing Committee of the Pan American Games Guadalajara 2011 is to strengthen sports infrastructure in Mexico through the construction of new sports facilities which will serve as training centers for the next generation of athletes.

As part of the partnership, children and youth participating in Children International’s sports programs will be able to play organized sports in the new arenas. Children International’s sports programs include Game On! Youth Sports, created by the International Alliance for Youth Sports (IAYS). Game On! offers training and guidance to youth sports leaders in an outdoor classroom setting. Much like the mission of the Pan American Games, Game On! strives to increase youth participation in sports as well as training volunteers and improving sports infrastructure.

Children International provides support to over 14,000 poor children in Mexico and over 212,000 throughout Latin America.

The Pan American Games XVI are taking place in Guadalajara, Mexico, from October 14 through October 31. The games will host 10,000 athletes from across Latin America who are participating in 35 sports.

Read more by HS News Staff →

UNWIND This Weekend with a Latin American Natural Wonder

UNWIND this weekend with a Latin American natural wonder.  Guess What and Where this is?
Juan Laverde, Latin American Natural Wonder

Read more by HS News Staff →

Lost in Detention - A FRONTLINE Documentary With Correspondent Maria Hinojosa (VIDEO)

Lost in Detention - A FRONTLINE Documentary With Correspondent Maria Hinojosa (VIDEO)

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The documentary, “Lost in Detention,” will air on the evening of October 18th on PBS. Immigration has been a key issue across the political arena, but despite all the promises, the prospects for comprehensive immigration reform are scarce. Last year, President Obama’s administration set a new record for detaining and deporting undocumented immigrants under the Secure Communities enforcement program.

The program was set up to target and deport dangerous criminal immigrants, but has that always been the case? In her upcoming FRONTLINE documentary “Lost in Detention,” Maria Hinojosa takes an in-depth look at the enforcement of the Secure Communities program, and explores the hidden world of immigration detention. What she and the FRONTLINE Investigative team found is shocking and unimaginable.

Co-sponsored by:

Immigrant Defense Project
Make the Road NY
National Institute for Latino Policy (NiLP)
New York Immigration Coalition
New York & Long Island Civic Participation Project
Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights

Watch Lost in Detention Preview on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

Read more by HS News Staff →



SaturdayOctober 15, 2011