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SaturdayNovember 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.

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Pole Dancers Take to the Streets in Buenos Aires (VIDEO)

Pole Dancers Take to the Streets in Buenos Aires (VIDEO)

Photo: Miss Pole Dancer

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Competitors showed off their skills prior to the Miss Pole Dancer Argentina competition. Pole Dancing is striving to clean up its image. Some have even pushed to have it considered for the Olympics.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Troops Discover 140 Migrants Hidden in Truck

Mexican Troops Discover 140 Migrants Hidden in Truck

Photo: Migrants found in Truck

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Soldiers discovered 140 undocumented Central American migrants hidden inside a truck crossing the southern border state of Chiapas, Mexico’s defense department said Monday.

The migrants were found during a routine inspection at a checkpoint set up near the town of Tonala as part of operations targeting organized crime, the department said in a statement.

Two people were arrested for transporting the Central Americans “in conditions that put their physical well-being at risk,” while the migrants were turned over to Mexican immigration authorities for repatriation, the statement said.

An estimated 140,000 Central Americans enter Mexico each year on their way to the United States, walking part of the way or riding aboard freight trains, buses and cargo trucks.

The trek is fraught with danger, with criminals and corrupt Mexican officials preying on the migrants, who often pay traffickers as much as $10,000 to get them to the United States.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Disney’s New Star Raini Rodriguez gives “Austin& Ally” Set Tour (VIDEO)

Disney’s New Star Raini Rodriguez gives “Austin& Ally” Set Tour (VIDEO)

Photo: Raini Rodriguez

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Disney’s’ newest star Raini Rodriguez takes us on a tour of the new series “ Austin & Ally “ The show premieres December 4th on Disney.




Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Read more by HS News Staff →

Surf for Life Members Surf and Build a School in El Salvador

Surf for Life Members Surf and Build a School in El Salvador

Photo: Surf for Life in El Salvador

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It’s not uncommon for surfers to travel the world chasing the best waves. But what is out of the ordinary is how members of Surf for Life pass the time when they’re not out on the water. Instead of kicking back and relaxing, they spend their downtime helping build infrastructure for coastal communities.

California native Lissette Perez runs a hotel for surfers near El Cuco beach in El Salvador. She found out about Surf for Life - a grassroots organization which pairs travelers with vital projects in Central America - when a group of surfers from San Francisco stayed at her hotel. 

Perez, who also runs a non-profit organization which helps improve educational opportunities in El Salvador, talked with them about her plans to build a high school. They volunteered to help.

“They came down and spent almost two weeks,” she says, “About 20 surfers came and worked, hands-on, and helped us finish the foundation and begin the walls on the project.” 

The volunteers were members of Surf for Life, which is based in San Francisco. Financial planner and surfer Alex Fang co-founded it four years ago.

“My friend and I wanted to create an organization that would allow people to travel, but also focus energy towards creating something positive,” Fang says.

Surf for Life organizes trips to surfing destinations, where surfers also work on infrastructure projects which promote education in the local communities.

“For us, that includes bridges, things that allow people to access schools, schools themselves, renovating schools so they’re usable or completing unfinished schools.”

Students in El Cuco, El Salvador, try out a bench and desk made by Surf for Life members Danny Hess and Jay Nelson.

Sierra Brasher, 32, joined the group three months ago. “We’re saying, ‘Thank you so much for providing us with your waves and your beaches and as a treat for you, we’re going to build a school in your community because your community needs it.’”

Brasher just returned from a Surf for Life trip to Costa Rica.

“It was the most memorable week of my entire life,” she says. “I got to co-lead a trip of 14 volunteers. We went to Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. It’s in a jungle. It’s on this beautiful beach.”

Brasher and her group helped build a two-room elementary school.

“We had a total of 40 volunteers that traveled down there and the first group was laying the foundation,” Brasher says. “Then the second group laid the tiles down and they finished the dry wall. Then our group grouted the tiles, cleaned up all the grout, and then we painted the entire interior and exterior of the two rooms.”

And that wasn’t their only project. The group also helped build a soup kitchen which serves the BriBri, a local indigenous tribe there.

Computer security expert Ian Sharpe was one of the people on Brasher’s team.

“I don’t think I ever sweat as much as I had when I was down there in Costa Rica,” he says. “I think it was a combination of all of the manual work and then also the climate.”

Still, says Sharpe, it was a rewarding experience.

“You see the smile on the kids’ faces and you know you’re making a lasting impact in the community. At the last day the students all created some thank you cards and thanked us for all the hard work, for helping them build up the school.”

So far, Surf for Life has focused on Central American communities, but co-founder Fang plans to expand.

“We’re looking at potential projects and partnerships with a few other organizations in Japan, Africa and in South Asia,” Fang says. “We’re looking at Bangladesh and trying to create a women’s center in one of the surfing villages out there.”

While Surf for Life members are building what local communities need, they are also changing perceptions about surfers. They are not interested only in riding the waves and having fun, they also care about the people who live near the beautiful beaches they love.Image

Read more at Voice of America →

FARC Accused of Killing Columbian Indigenous Tribe Leaders

FARC Accused of Killing Columbian Indigenous Tribe Leaders

Photo: Embera Tribe

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Leftist FARC guerrillas are responsible for the deaths of two Indian leaders in the northwestern province of Antioquia, the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia, or ONIC, said Thursday.

John Dobiana Mecheche and Fabio Domico, both Embera Katio Indians, were killed by members of the 34th Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, ONIC said in a statement.

Dobiana was gunned down Nov. 6 in Vigia del Fuerte, while Domico was fatally shot six days later while traveling on a road in the town of Dabeiba.

Domico, the deputy governor of the Indian community of Nendo, ran unsuccessfully for the Dabeiba municipal council in last month’s elections, ONIC said.

Six Embera Katio leaders have been slain so far this year in Antioquia, along with 13 Senue Indians, according to the statement.

Calling on the Attorney General’s Office to “diligently” investigate the murders, ONIC also asked the government to “take effective measures for the protection” of indigenous people.

ONIC likewise demanded that the FARC and other armed groups respect the autonomy of the indigenous peoples.

Colombia is home to nearly 1 million indigenous people divided into around 100 different ethnicities. The nation’s Constitutional Court has warned that 35 of those groups are in danger of dying out.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Selena Gomez’s Stalker Walks- Case Dismissed

Selena Gomez’s Stalker Walks- Case Dismissed

Photo: Selena Gomez

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The man who infamously stalked Selena Gomez and frightened her to the point of filing for a restraining order against him was dismissed and not charged during his hearing.

According to Yahoo! OMG!, Thomas Brodnicki was accused of stalking Gomez between the months of July and October.

The singer filed a restraining order against Brodnicki that required him to remain at least 100 yards from her. A hearing scheduled for November 23 will determine whether or not this restraining order will stay in place for the next three years.

While LAPD detectives believed Brodnicki to be a “credible threat” to Gomez, Celebrity News & Style reported that the judge said there was not sufficient evidence that Brodnicki intended to convey these threats to Selena or harm her.

Even Brodnicki’s lawyer knew how lucky his client was with the judge’s decision.

“Get the f—- out while you can,” he offered as words of advice for Brodnicki.

Selena Gomez was not present at the case and has not yet released a comment regarding the court’s decision. However, the LAPD is still intent on putting evidence together that will show Brodnicki intended to harm the singer so that the man will be put away.

Read more at The Celebrity Cafe →

Hispanic Occupy Oakland Protester Arrested, Faces Deportation

Hispanic Occupy Oakland Protester Arrested, Faces Deportation

Photo: Francisco “Pancho” Ramos-Stierle

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Francisco “Pancho” Ramos-Stierle was arrested as he was sitting in silent, non-violent protest against the deep inequality that pervades our society and affects so many Latinos and immigrants.

But what makes Pancho different from so many of the “Occupy” protestors who have been arrested is that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is trying to deport him.  Pancho’s information was immediately passed from local police to immigration officials through the Secure Communities (S-COMM) program. So even though the charges against him were dropped, he is still under federal immigration hold.  ICE has less than 48 hours to either take him into federal custody or release him and cancel his deportation.

Please you take a moment and sign this petition demanding that ICE release Pancho and cancel his deportation immediately

Read more by HS News Staff →

Maria Muldaur Releases New CD- Steady Love

Maria Muldaur  Releases New CD- Steady Love

Photo: Maria Muldaur

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In 1974, singer Maria Muldaur(born Maria Grazia Rosa Domenica D’Amato) became an international pop sensation with her hit song “Midnight At The Oasis.”  Since then, she’s recorded nearly 40 albums, weaving between blues, folk, jazz and gospel.  Her latest effort Steady Love falls into a category she calls “bluesiana.”

Muldaur has an encyclopedic knowledge of contemporary music.  Her specialty is New Orleans rhythm-and-blues, inspired by working with legendary piano man Dr. John.

“I became addicted to that just wonderful, rolling, syncopated New Orleans piano style that he and Professor Longhair have done so well,” she explains. “And I’d come back off a tour with him and I just really missed that sound.  So I made it a prerequisite that any piano player that played with me had to really bone up on that New Orleans piano sound.  That’s about when I coined the phrase “bluesiana.”  In the early-‘90s I went down there to record my first album there called Louisiana Love Call.  It’s just a very appealing, infectious, soulful kind of music, and it’s just kind of where I live musically.”

Muldaur became an established folk and blues singer with the Jim Kweskin Jug Band.  She released her debut album in 1973, and, the following year, got her first real taste of fame with “Midnight At The Oasis.”

“It did kind of take me by surprise but it was a very happy surprise,” she admits.  “All it meant to me was I was nominated for Grammys, the album went gold, eventually platinum and all that.  And it wasn’t just a hit in this country, but it was a big hit worldwide.  For some bizarre reason that goofy little song just captured people’s imaginations all over the world, but I went right on doing what I was doing.  I thought, ‘Ok, goody, now I can turn even more people on to the music I love.”

While she still performs her signature song on tour, Muldaur is always prepared with new material.  It’s obvious her appreciation of the blues hasn’t diminished with time. 

“New Orleans grooves and rhythms are full of lots of percolating syncopation.  It’s just very deep, lively, greasy, swampy kind of rhythms going on,” Maldaur says. “Chicago blues are mostly shuffles, and Delta blues are usually acoustic sort of stuff that was the blues when the blues first emerged in the rural South before anyone plugged their guitars in.”

Steady Love was recorded in New Orleans and includes tunes by Louisiana natives Percy Mayfield and Bobby Charles, as well as Elvin Bishop, Greg Brown and Eric Bibb.  Rick Vito’s “I Am Not Alone” is one of a handful of gospel songs featured on the album.

Muldaur and her Red Hot Bluesiana Band wind up their current tour in San Francisco with a Christmas concert on December 7. 

Read more at Voice of America →

Half of All Murders In Puerto Rico Drug Related

Half of All Murders In Puerto Rico Drug Related

Photo: Drug Related Murders

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Just over 49 percent of the murders committed so far this year in Puerto Rico were drug-related, according to police statistics released on Thursday.

That figure represents 490 people who were murdered for reasons linked to the drug trade, which uses the Caribbean island as a “bridge” to smuggle drugs to the U.S. mainland.

Part of those illegal drugs coming from South America remains in Puerto Rico for local consumption and becomes a lucrative business for rival gangs.

The large quantity of weapons circulating illegally on the island facilitates the “war” between gangs over control of drug corners, located mainly in Puerto Rico’s public housing projects.

The island will reach 1,000 murders so far this year by next weekend, in all likelihood.

At the current murder rate of 3.1 killings per day, the U.S. commonwealth will finish 2011 with 1,135 violent deaths and a murder rate of 30.5 per 100,000 residents.

The figures show that 87 percent of the violent deaths in Puerto Rico were committed with firearms.

The wave of violence is not restricted to drugs, with 14.5 percent of the murders - or 144 deaths so far this year - being revenge killings.

Fights and arguments led to 12.2 percent of the murders, while 6.7 percent were committed during robberies and the rising number of incidents of domestic violence amounted to 2.7 percent of the killings.

Some analysts have said that one of the reasons that murders are on the rise in Puerto Rico, now exceeding the yearly record of 995 killings set in 1994, is that only 42 percent of the killers have been caught.

That impunity, according to the analysis, has contributed to the continuation of the murder wave, which is resulting in growing insecurity among the Puerto Rican public.

The worrying situation on the island led the leader of the main opposition Popular Democratic Party, Alejandro Garcia Padilla, to ask the National Guard to watch the coastlines, ports and airports to try and prevent the entry of drugs and weapons.

The National Guard was deployed on the streets of the island 18 months ago on joint patrols with the police, a measure that has not reduced the crime rate but has led to complaints over its high cost.

Garcia Padilla, in an effort to improve the situation, proposed buying better equipment for the police and reestablishing within the department a separate investigative command.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Bus Carrying 17 Caught in Colombian Mudslide, Slides into Ditch

A mudslide dragged a bus 80 meters (260 feet) down a highway in central Colombia and dumped it in a ditch, but the 17 people aboard survived the accident, police said.

Luis Enrique Roa Merchan, the police commander in Quindio province where the damaging mudslide took place Thursday, told reporters that the accident occurred near the town of Cajamarca at a spot known as Cansaperros.

Roa’s report provided some “peace of mind for the families of these 17 people,” explaining that 15 have already been rescued and some of them sent to medical centers in the region, though none had suffered serious injuries.

He added that police and experts from the emergency management agency were working to rescue two people who are alive and unharmed in the wreckage of the bus that covered the route between Bogota and Cali, capital of the southwestern province of Valle del Cauca.

He did stress that the rescue of these two people is being carried out according to all security guidelines, since he did not rule out further avalanches of mud and trees sliding down the mountain in view of the continuing heavy rains.

He said that “no one is missing” in the accident that made it necessary to close one of the busiest highways in the country.

The DGR disaster management agency said in its report Thursday evening that so far this year 95 people have died in Colombia in accidents related to the torrential rains, which have affected 328 of the country’s 1,102 municipalities.

Between April 2010 and the same month this year, Colombia suffered the longest and most damaging rainy season in decades, which left more than 440 people dead, affected 3.6 million people, destroyed roads, bridges, hundreds of houses, flooded thousands of hectares (acres) of crops and drowned thousands of head of cattle and poultry.

Read more by HS News Staff →

CHILL this weekend with a Latin American Natural Wonder

RELAX 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 →

Report Reveals Disturbing Truths Behind Border Patrol Transportation Raids

Report Reveals Disturbing Truths Behind Border Patrol Transportation Raids

Photo: Train ICE Raids

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When news broke last month that the Border Patrol would scale back raids on trains and buses near the northern border, the response from Capitol Hill was rather predictable. In a breathless letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) fretted that the policy will “entice potential terrorists, drug smugglers, and illegal immigrants to attempt to enter the country.” But as demonstrated by a comprehensive report released by civil rights groups last week on transportation raids in upstate New York, the Border Patrol’s new northern raid policy was long overdue.

As the report makes clear, interrogating passengers on domestic trains and buses not only diverts Border Patrol agents from their primary responsibility—protecting the borders—but has resulted in widespread legal violations against both immigrants and U.S. citizens alike. Specifically:

Though the Border Patrol is charged with intercepting individuals as they attempt to entry the country, most people arrested in transportation raids were not recent entrants—with more than 75% having lived in the United States for at least a year.

In numerous cases, Border Patrol agents arrested immigrants without “probable cause” to believe they were in the country illegally—a violation of both federal law and the Constitution.

Border Patrol agents also routinely flouted federal regulations containing the so-called “two-officer rule,” which generally prohibits agents who make an arrest from subsequently determining whether sufficient legal grounds existed to make the arrest.

In a typical raid, Border Patrol agents board a train or bus and ask passengers questions about their immigration status. As the report points out, questioning people in this manner—though technically legal—exploits a somewhat arbitrary distinction created by the Supreme Court. Under the Constitution, law enforcement agents must suspect a person of illegal activity to physically hold them for questioning. But so long as an ordinary person would feel free to ignore an officer’s questions, the Supreme Court has held that police can interrogate whoever they wish, however they wish. Because most people are unaware of their right to ignore questions from law enforcement officers, Border Patrol agents engage in conversations that are “consensual” under the law, even if the people being questioned feel they have no choice but to respond.

The report also notes that the targets of transportation raids are not merely immigrants who are in the country illegally. Instead, and as was also reported earlier this year by the Chronicle of Higher Education, hundreds of international students and scholars have been wrongfully detained—sometimes for days or weeks—after being encountered on trains or buses by Border Patrol agents. In one particularly egregious example, a music student from China was held in detention for three weeks despite possessing valid immigration status.

More broadly, last week’s report adds even more evidence suggesting the Border Patrol routinely fails to respect the rights of noncitizens they encounter. In September, the Arizona-based organization No More Deaths released a report chronicling rampant abuses against migrants in short-term Border Patrol custody, including denial of food, water, and medical services; infliction of physical abuse; failure to return personal property, including money; and detention in overcrowded and non-temperature controlled cells. Of equal concern, agents along other parts of the border have long been accused of intimidating immigrants they encounter into accepting “voluntary” departure rather than have a hearing before an immigration judge, which could lead to relief from deportation.

While the Border Patrol serves an undeniably important function, the conduct of its agents has for too long gone unquestioned. Even assuming the tactics described in last week’s report are no longer in use, the agency remains in sore need of more oversight.


Read more at Immigration Impact →

SaturdayNovember 19, 2011