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ThursdayNovember 24, 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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Indigenous Indians Take Over U.S. Gas Plant in Argentina

Indigenous Indians Take Over U.S. Gas Plant in Argentina

Photo: Maluche Indians Take Over Apache Plant

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Members of a Mapuche Indian community in western Argentina are occupying a gas-processing plant owned by U.S. energy firm Apache, the company said Thursday.

The members of the Gelay Ko community began occupying Apache’s plant outside the city of Zapala on Tuesday to demand an end to natural gas drilling, saying it is polluting water supplies in that area of Neuquen province.

They also want the provincial government to help them build homes and provide them with farm equipment, spokespersons for that indigenous community told the local press.

Apache, a Houston-based energy company that began operating in Argentina in 2001 but has been forced to halt drilling for security reasons, has urged the courts to intervene and resolve the conflict, company spokespersons told Efe.

The gas-processing plant, which supplies both residential and industrial customers and is located 1,600 kilometers (995 miles) southwest of Buenos Aires, near the Chilean border, has been surrounded by police to prevent disturbances.

The conflict also has caused a 30 percent drop in output at the plant, they added.

“We’re remaining firm here. The blame lies with the province (Neuquen), which grants concessions without the permission of the communities that live in the area,” Mapuche spokesman Martin Maliqueo told Argentine daily Rio Negro.

The Gelay Ko community accuses Apache of polluting potable water sources with its gas drilling and says the Neuquen government is ignoring its demands, including its request for social assistance.

Apache also holds concessions to oil and gas blocks in the southern provinces of Rio Negro and Tierra del Fuego and the western province of Mendoza, all of which are located near the border with Chile, where the bulk of the Mapuche population lives.

Read more by HS News Staff →

NYC and Mayor Bloomberg Limit Cooperation with Immigration Officials

NYC and Mayor Bloomberg Limit Cooperation with Immigration Officials

Photo: NYC pro-immigrant

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed into law a measure that limits in certain circumstances the cooperation between the New York City Department of Corrections and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Until now, the department has honored requests from ICE to hold undocumented immigrants at the city’s Rikers Island prison an additional 48 hours after their cases are concluded.

Under the new ordinance, Corrections will not comply with ICE detainers in instances where the immigrant has no criminal record, faces no pending charges and is not on the terrorism watch list.

Protests by pro-immigrant organizations, activists, immigrants and their relatives resulted in City Council President Christine Quinn and many of her colleagues presenting a bill to reduce cooperation with ICE.

The drafters of the bill said that 50 percent of the 3,506 foreign-born Rikers inmates subjected to ICE detainers in 2009 had no prior convictions.

Upon signing the bill, Bloomberg emphasized the impact that the immigrant population has on the life of the city.

“New York is a city of immigrants, and it is impossible to overstate the role immigrants play in our city’s economy, culture, and civic vitality. As such, my Administration has gone to great lengths to ensure that immigrants have the opportunity to thrive here in the five boroughs,” the mayor said.

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26 Bodies Found on Busy Intersection in Guadalajara, 2nd Mass Dumping of Bodies in Mexico This Week

26 Bodies Found on Busy Intersection in Guadalajara, 2nd Mass Dumping of Bodies in Mexico This Week

Photo: 26 Bodies Found in Guadalajara Intersection

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The bodies of 26 men were found inside two SUVs and an automobile abandoned on a busy avenue in Guadalajara, one of Mexico’s largest cities, prosecutors said Thursday.

The vehicles, which had Mexico City tags, were left at an intersection in the Vallarta San Jorge section of Guadalajara, the capital of the western Mexican state of Jalisco, the state Attorney General’s office said.

Investigators initially said 23 bodies were at the crime scene, but they later found three more inside the vehicles, Jalisco Attorney General Tomas Coronado said.

The crime scene is near a supermarket and the convention center where the Guadalajara International Book Fair is scheduled to begin on Saturday.

Police received a call in the early morning hours about the bodies, all of which were “bound and gagged,” Jalisco Public Safety Secretary Luis Carlos Najera told Televisa.

The killers left a message inside one of the vehicles, the public safety secretary said, without revealing the contents.

Municipal security cameras are scattered around the area where the bodies were dumped and it is presumed that they captured images of the killers.

Guadalajara hosted the 16th Pan American Games from Oct. 14-30 and the Para Pan American Games ended on Sunday.

No serious incidents were reported during the sports event, officials said.

Thousands of police officers were deployed during the events and criminals have now returned to “their daily work,” Najera said.

The Sinaloa cartel operates in Jalisco via an ally, the Jalisco Nueva Generacion cartel.

This was the second mass dumping of bodies in Mexico this week.

Read more by HS News Staff →

This Thanksgiving Border Patrol Helps Needy Families Living Along U.S.-Mexico Border

This Thanksgiving Border Patrol Helps Needy Families Living Along U.S.-Mexico Border

Photo: Border Communities Get Thanksgiving Meal

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All along the U.S. border with Mexico, local governments have joined forced so that the poorest families in their communities may also have a nice dinner this Thanksgiving.

On Tuesday evening, about 185 low-income families living in Sunland Park, New Mexico, each received a turkey from the local authorities.

The event took place at the town’s elder center and hundreds of people showed up there to receive not only the turkeys, but also energy-saving lightbulbs and new coats for their children.

The donations were made in part by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, representatives of which attended the event to disburse the gifts.

“We want (members of) the less economically fortunate community to be able to have their Thanksgiving dinner. It’s important that the CBP join with the people of our society and thus avoid having them fear us like happens with many citizens,” agent Soledad Ferrell told Efe.

Sunland Park is a border town with a little over 14,000 residents, of whom the majority live in extreme poverty.

“We will visit the city’s poorest homes to personally bring some gifts, including Thanksgiving dinner,” said municipal government spokesperson Alondra Lozano.

In El Paso, Mayor John Cook and members of his team on Thursday will hold a public dinner, where the invited guests are homeless people and those who don’t have enough money to provide their children with a special dinner.

“This is the seventh year that we’ve held this dinner with the poorest people in our city. We’re expecting about 7,000 people, since in past years the number was very similar,” said the mayor.

Hundreds of volunteers come each year to the El Paso Convention Center to help cook the huge dinner.

“It’s an enriching and very spiritual experience,” said Linda Lee, a volunteer who has participated in the event for three consecutive years along with her husband.

Just like Lee, other volunteers had to sign up to participate weeks in advance, and so many offered their services that last week the mayor’s office was repeating that they didn’t need any more helpers for the event.

“It’s a pleasure for us to know that the citizens are aware of this work and take part of their free time to help the less fortunate,” an aide to the mayor told Efe.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico to Build One of Latin America’s Largest Wind Farms, Heineken Already a Customer

Mexico to Build One of Latin America’s Largest Wind Farms, Heineken Already a Customer

Photo: Mexico to Build Largest Wind Farm in Region

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The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a loan of up to 1.1 billion Mexican pesos (or approximately $72 million) to help finance the construction of a 396-megawatt wind farm in Mexico, a project that will expand renewable energy supply in the country and contribute to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

The project, the biggest wind farm in Mexico and one of the largest in Latin America, will be located in the La Ventosa region of Oaxaca state, one of the world’s best region for wind resources. The farm will supply energy to subsidiaries and affiliates of Fomento Económico Mexicano, S.A.B. de C.V. (FEMSA) and Cerveceria Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma (CCM - Heineken) under 33 self-supply agreements, helping the beverage companies save an estimated 10 percent of their total energy costs.

“This operation, given the size of the project, is a significant step in the development of viable renewable energy projects in Latin America.’’ said Jeff Easum, the team leader of the project at the IDB’s Structured and Corporate Finance Department. “We are helping Mexico harness its abundant wind energy resources to meet growing energy demand while reducing fossil fuel imports for electricity generation.”

The project, forecast to reduce emissions by up to approximately 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, will be made up of 132 towers with turbines and include the construction of a 52-kilometer transmission line linking the farm with the electricity grid.

The operation is part of growing IDB support to help Mexico develop its renewable energy industry. The Bank has been supporting Mexico in developing the regulatory and institutional framework necessary to incorporate renewable sources of energy into the energy matrix as well as implement its Renewable Energy Law.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico to Republican Candidates:  ‘There are No Radical Islamists in Mexico’

Mexico to Republican Candidates:  ‘There are No Radical Islamists in Mexico’

Photo: No Radical Islamists in Mexico

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The allegations by U.S. Republican presidential candidates that Islamic groups have a presence in Mexico “are unfounded,” Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa said.

“There is no foundation that can can support the kinds of statements” made during the Republican presidential debate earlier this week, Espinosa said.

“We were very surprised when assertions were made during the debate without providing any kind of element of respect,” the foreign secretary said, referring to allegations that members of the radical Islamic groups Hamas and Hezbollah were using Mexico to enter the United States.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a leading contender for the GOP nomination, said during Tuesday night’s debate on foreign policy that Hezbollah was operating in Mexico and other Latin American countries.

“We have, right now, Hezbollah, which is working throughout Latin America, in Venezuela, in Mexico, throughout Latin America, which poses a very significant and imminent threat to the United States of America,” Romney said during the debate in Washington.

While acknowledging that “these kinds of statements are made in an electoral context,” Espinosa urged “greater caution” from the candidates, especially on “such delicate and important issues as these” in bilateral relations.

Read more by HS News Staff →

78 and 81-Year Old Mexican Women Attempt to Smuggle $1 Million in Cash Out of U.S.

78 and 81-Year Old Mexican Women Attempt to Smuggle $1 Million in Cash Out of U.S.

Photo: Senior Citizen Smuggling Cash

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U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested one male and two elderly female Mexican nationals on Friday for attempting to smuggle more than $1 million inside a Ford Explorer.

At approximately 12:00 p.m., agents on patrol near Oceanside stopped a suspicious 1997 Ford Explorer traveling southbound on Interstate 5 near Oceanside Harbor Boulevard.

Agents requested and were granted consent to search the vehicle. Agents performed an interior inspection of the vehicle and discovered two large black duffel bags with 74 cellophane-wrapped bundles containing $1,129,191 in U.S. currency.

The 41-year-old male driver was taken into custody and subsequently turned over to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Homeland Security Investigations. The two female passengers, ages 78 and 81, were found to be in violation of their terms of admission and were returned to Mexico. The currency and vehicle were seized by the U.S. Border Patrol pending forfeiture proceedings.

Rodney Scott, Acting Chief Patrol Agent of the San Diego Sector, said, “Stopping this suspected drug money from entering Mexico not only denies criminal organizations the funds necessary to support their operations but also keeps our communities safer.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

U.S. Civil Rights Commission to Discuss Civil Rights Impact of State Immigration Laws

U.S. Civil Rights Commission to Discuss Civil Rights Impact of State Immigration Laws

Photo: U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

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The United States Commission on Civil Rights announces that at its monthly business meeting on Nov. 18, 2011, the eight-member Commission unanimously voted to look into the civil rights impact of state-enacted immigration enforcement laws, with a special focus on Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.

Commission Chairman Martin R. Castro stated, “I believe that the enactment of these state immigration enforcement laws presents a pressing national civil rights issue that affects immigrants and U.S. citizens alike.  I’m proud that my fellow Commissioners joined me in voting unanimously and in bipartisan manner to have the Commission look into this important issue.”

The Commission will analyze whether the state-enacted immigration enforcement laws have adversely affected the civil rights of both naturalized and native-born U.S. citizens and non-citizen immigrants on the basis of color, race, and/or national origin, and whether they cause a denial of equal protection in the administration of justice. In particular, the Commission will examine whether the state-level immigration laws foster discrimination and/or contribute to an increase in hate crimes; cause elevated racial and ethnic profiling; affect students’ rights to public primary and secondary school education; and compromise public safety and community policing. 

A briefing will be held in 2012 that will allow the Commission to receive testimony as to the impact that these state-enacted laws have had on local communities.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is an independent, bipartisan agency charged with monitoring federal civil rights enforcement.  Members include Chairman Martin R. Castro and Commissioners Roberta Achtenberg, Todd Gaziano, Gail Heriot, Peter Kirsanow, David Kladney, Abigail Thernstrom, and Michael Yaki.  Commission meetings and briefings are open to the general public.

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Selena Gomez Helps BFF Taylor Swift End her 17-Country Tour

Selena Gomez Helps BFF Taylor Swift End her 17-Country Tour

Photo: BFF's Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez

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What are singing BFF’s good for??  Just ask Selena Gomez who helped her pal Taylor Swift wrap up her 98-show, 17-country tour this week.  Swift was performing her last show on Tuesday in New York City at the Madison Square Garden arena when Selena joined in on the fun.  As Taylor pointed out “on special occasions you want to be surrounded by your best friends,” as she introduced Selena.

The two singers belted out Selena’s “Who Says” together to the roaring crowd.  Oh did we mention Swift also had James Taylor help her end her tour in style.  Swift and Taylor performed two songs together. 

Check out Selena with her BFF Taylor.


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Center for Disease Control Issues Outbreak Notice for Cholera in the Dominican Republic

Center for Disease Control Issues Outbreak Notice for Cholera in the Dominican Republic

Photo: Cholera Outbreak

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) an outbreak of cholera has been ongoing in the Dominican Republic since November 2010.

Cases continue to remain at elevated levels. The provinces with the highest number of cases in September 2011 were San Juan, Santo Domingo, and the National District.  Dominican Republic authorities are taking measures to prevent the spread of the disease. The risk of cholera for travelers to the Dominican Republic is likely very low if precautions are taken. Travelers should consume only safe food and water.

Cholera is a bacterial disease that can cause diarrhea and dehydration. Cholera is most often spread through the ingestion of contaminated food or drinking water. Water may be contaminated by the feces of an infected person or by untreated sewage. Food is often contaminated by water containing cholera bacteria or by being handled by a person ill with cholera.
How can Travelers Protect themselves?

Most travelers are not at high risk for getting cholera, but people who are traveling to the Dominican Republic should exercise caution to avoid getting sick.

CDC recommends that all travelers prepare a travel health kit when going abroad. If you are planning travel to the Dominican Republic, CDC advises packing the following supplies in your travel health kit to help prevent cholera and to treat it.

  * A prescription antibiotic to take in case of diarrhea
  * Water purification tablets
  * Oral rehydration salts

Although no cholera vaccine is available in the United States, travelers can prevent cholera by following these 5 basic steps:1) Drink and use safe water*

1) Drink and use safe water

2) Wash your hands often with soap and safe water

3) Use toilets; do not defecate in any body of water

4) Cook food well (especially seafood), keep it covered, eat it hot, and peel fruits and vegetables

5) Clean up safely—in the kitchen and in places where the family bathes and washes clothes.

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President of European Parliament Focuses on Human Rights and Internet’s Role at EUROLAT Meeting

President of European Parliament Focuses on Human Rights and Internet’s Role at EUROLAT Meeting

Photo: President of European Parliament Focuses on Human Rights and Internet's Role at EUROLAT Meeting

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Cooperation between states is one of the key issues in fighting for human rights, said European Parliament president Jerzy Buzek on Wednesday at the EUROLAT meeting in Brussels. He pointed to a significant improvement in relations between Europe and Latin America but said a lot still remained to be done. EU High Representative Catherine Ashton shared his view: “We have gone somewhere but we still have a long way to go.”

In his speech, President Buzek looked back at the creation of EUROLAT in 2006 and stressed how quickly things can change. “In 2006, Europe was strongly developing, and now it is living through the period of crisis. In Latin America the picture is the opposite”, he said, and complimented the Latin American countries on the progress in their parliamentary work.

President Buzek also underlined the growing importance of the Internet in recent years and its role in changing the way politics is done. “Through the Internet, millions of people have access to the same information as politicians. This is a completely new situation.”

Both President Buzek and High Representative Ashton highlighted the importance of forging strong strategic relations with countries all over the world in order to fight for human rights and press freedom, as well as to build democracy. Ms. Ashton said the EU would continue to give its support and guardianship to countries going through the democratic process, such as Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.

The Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly, EUROLAT, is a joint multilateral parliamentary assembly composed of 150 members, 75 from the European Parliament and 75 from the Latin American component. In the three-day meeting, held in Brussels from 21 to 23 November, MEPs and their Latin American counterparts discussed the financial crisis and globalization, as well as organized crime and natural disasters.

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ThursdayNovember 24, 2011