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SundayDecember 11, 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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Argentina Urged to Protect Human Rights of Indigenous Groups

Argentina Urged to Protect Human Rights of Indigenous Groups

Photo: Argentina Urged to Protect Human Rights of Indians

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A United Nations expert urged Argentina to strengthen its measures to protect the human rights of indigenous groups as well as their rights to land ownership and education, adding that a mechanism to establish dialogue between them and the Government is urgently needed.

“It is necessary that the Government prioritize indigenous issues, develop new programs and public policies for them, and that it ensure that these are implemented in line with international standards,” said UN Special Rapporteur on indigenous rights James Anaya after his 11-day visit to the country.

“A central preoccupation expressed by indigenous leaders during my visit was the lack of judicial security over their land ownership rights and in particular the various problems and delays they face regarding their properties,” Mr. Anaya said, referring to recent instances where land initially occupied by indigenous groups has been appropriated by the Government.

Many of the land disputes, Mr. Anaya noted, have occurred between indigenous groups and private companies – in particular excavating firms – which have been enabled by judicial authorities.

Mr. Anaya emphasized the “lack of dialogue and participation with the affected indigenous groups before undertaking such projects, and the lack of their role in the decision-making process, as well as of sharing the benefits of the projects resulting from use of their lands.”

During his visit, Mr. Anaya held meetings with several representatives of indigenous communities in various provinces as well as with Government authorities in the capital, Buenos Aires.

Mr. Anaya also stressed the need to give indigenous groups in remote areas access to adequate education that includes bilingual and intercultural exchanges to keep indigenous dialects alive, as well as facilitating the university attendance.

Read more by HS News Staff →

U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to Provide Immigration Legal Services to Membership

U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to Provide Immigration Legal Services to Membership

Photo: USHCC to Offer Immigration Legal Services

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The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) today announced a partnership with Florida-based Como Inmigrar a USA (CIAUSA) that will provide easier and more affordable immigration legal services for Hispanic Business Enterprises (HBEs) across the country.

CIAUSA is a group of experienced professionals in the immigration field that specialize in various legal procedures, including asylum, naturalization and visa processing services for individuals.

Through this partnership, members of the USHCC seeking these services can take advantage of three membership levels that provide up to a 60 percent discount on standard immigration legal fees.

With more than 50 years of combined experience, Como Inmigrar a USA experts are able to assist USHCC members in achieving their goals.

Founded in 1979, the USHCC actively promotes the economic growth and development of Hispanic entrepreneurs and represents the interests of nearly 3 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States that combined generate in excess of $420 billion annually. It also serves as the umbrella organization for more than 200 local Hispanic chambers and business associations in the United States and Puerto Rico.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Heinous: Mexican Man Sells 14-Yr Old Daughter for $365 After Raping Her

Heinous: Mexican Man Sells 14-Yr Old Daughter for $365 After Raping Her

Photo: Heinous Incest Crime Huixquilucan, Mexico

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A man was arrested for raping his 14-year-old daughter and then selling her for 5,000 pesos (about $365) to his buddy, who also sexually abused her, the Mexican Attorney General’s Office said.

The two men and one of the girl’s brothers, who failed to prevent the abuse, were arrested by the Federal Police in Huixquilucan, a city in Mexico state, which surrounds the Federal District and forms part of the Mexico City metropolitan area, the AG’s office said.

The girl reported the abuse to the AG’s office’s special unit for violence against women and people trafficking, or Fevimtra, at the urging of neighbors, officials said.

The Federal Police tracked down and arrested the unidentified suspects, the AG’s office said.

The three suspects were carrying several knives and ammunition at the time of their arrest, the AG’s office said.

The girl is receiving psychological counseling from specially trained AG’s office personnel, officials said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

STUDY:  $5.3 Billion in Financial Aid Going to Students Who Don’t Need It

STUDY:  $5.3 Billion in Financial Aid Going to Students Who Don’t Need It

Photo: Financial Aid for Latinos

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Chris Ogren stands in a frustrated hunch at a window of New York University’s financial aid office, where he’s come for the fifth time in two days to sort out a problem with his $45,000 worth of student loans.

It gives him little comfort to learn that U.S. universities and colleges are handing $5.3 billion in financial aid this year to students who the government says don’t need it, according to new figures from the College Board, while another nearly $4 billion in tax credits meant to help Americans pay tuition went to families with incomes between $100,000 and $180,000.

More money for higher-income families means less help for lower- and middle-income ones, education experts say. And, in fact, the share of financial aid being given to low-income students like Chris Ogren, who are falling deeper and deeper into debt, has declined steadily over the last 10 years, government statistics show.

“It just doesn’t make any sense,” said Ogren, a 20-year-old junior. “You don’t give the bloated guy the cheeseburger when the starving man is starving.”

The news comes at a time when universities are being stretched by budget cuts and endowment shortfalls. It also follows separate announcements that student debt among low- and middle-income students continues to rise, and income inequality in the United States is getting worse.

Read more at Hechinger Report →

Mexico to Finance Early Stage Companies, High Growth Companies - First of Its Kind Fund

Mexico to Finance Early Stage Companies, High Growth Companies - First of Its Kind Fund

Photo: New Mexico investment Fund

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The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) approved a $4 million equity investment in Angel Ventures Fund I, a fund that will invest in knowledge-intensive, technology-based firms in Mexico.

Through this project, the MIF and Angel Ventures Mexico L.P., the fund’s manager, will contribute to the development of a conducive ecosystem for financing early stage companies through the creation of the first fund dedicated exclusively to seed capital in Mexico. The fund will match qualified angels’ investments in innovative projects and start-up companies with high growth potential, as well as in existing early stage companies that are relatively new and need support to to scale up.

In addition to increasing access to capital by co-investing with individual angel investors, the fund will stimulate innovation, entrepreneurship and a business culture in the country, ultimately strengthening the investment ecosystem that will lead to sound economic development.

The fund will target companies that have capital requirements of $200,000 to $2 million, and present high growth potential and a scalable model. The fund will operate as a “matching fund,” only investing in companies alongside a qualified angel investor. The capital contributed by the fund will represent between 20% and 50% of the total size of each project. Up to 25 projects and early stage companies will receive seed financing.

The fund intends to target five sectors that are the most relevant: technology companies capable of rapid growth to meet rising domestic demand from low and middle-income segements of the populations; health care; manufacturing; retail; and companies whose business models focus on benefiting vulnerable sectors of the population or the environment, giving them a clear sustainable advantage.

The Multilateral Investment Fund, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, plays a leading role in the development of conducive ecosystems to finance entrepreneurship, and is an active investor in seed and venture capital funds in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Panama Awaits Former Dictator Manual Noriega’s Return, Some Twenty Years Later

Panama Awaits Former Dictator Manual Noriega’s Return, Some Twenty Years Later

Photo: Manuel Noriega Returns to Panama

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Panama is awaiting the arrival Sunday of former strongman Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega, who was extradited from France and will be taken immediately to prison to serve the sentences handed down to him on various convictions.

“Our priority is his security,” Foreign Minister Roberto Henriquez said.

Noriega is scheduled to arrive aboard an Iberia Airlines flight from Madrid at Tocumen international airport, located about 27 kilometers (17 miles) east of Panama City.

The former strongman arrived in Madrid at 9:50 a.m. on an Iberia flight from Paris with six Interpol agents and his personal physician.

The Iberia flight from Madrid to Panama City was delayed for nearly 80 minutes, but the carrier did not say why.

Noriega will be handed over to prison officials as soon as he arrives in Panama.

The former general will be taken to El Renacer, a maximum-security prison located in a jungle area on the shores of the Panama Canal.

The area where the prison is located was controlled by the United States during Noriega’s time in power from 1983 to 1989.

It is not known whether Noriega will make any statements to the press on arrival at El Renacer, where numerous television satellite trucks and reporters are camped out, Henriquez said.

“It’s a very long trip, especially for Noriega, who is a person age 77,” Henriquez said.

Noriega, according to Panamanian officials, must serve six sentences totaling 67 years.

The former strongman was found guilty of the murders of guerrilla physician Hugo Spadafora and Maj. Moises Giroldi, the Albrook massacre, depriving Maj. Humberto Macea of his freedom, corruption and embezzlement.

Noriega asked to be extradited to Panama to face the charges against him.

Under Panamanian law, prisoners age 70 or older can be allowed to serve their sentences under house arrest.

Noriega served 20 years in prison in the United States on drug trafficking charges before being extradited to France in 2010, where he was sentenced to seven years behind bars for money laundering.

The former strongman surrendered on Jan. 3, 1990, to the U.S. troops who had invaded Panama the previous month, ending the military dictatorship established in 1968 by Gen. Omar Torrijos (1929-1981).

Read more by HS News Staff →

Sofia Vergara, George Lopez and Others to be Part of CNN Heroes All Star Tribute Tonight

Sofia Vergara, George Lopez and Others to be Part of CNN Heroes All Star Tribute Tonight

Photo: George Lopez & Sofia Vergara on CNN Heroes Tribute

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CNN, the worldwide leader in news, announced new show details and additions to the line-up for CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute.  Hosted by Anderson Cooper, the show honors everyday people doing extraordinary things, and will air live from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, CA,  globally on CNN’s networks including CNN/U.S., HLN, CNN International and CNN en Español. Additionally Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the multiple Emmy-award winning chief medical correspondent for CNN, will conduct exclusive backstage interviews streamed live on CNN.com during the show with bonus content available on CNN’s mobile apps for iPad, iPhone and Android.

Each of the Top 10 CNN Heroes, will receive a $50,000 grant for being named as this year’s honorees. One of 2011 CNN Heroes will be named the “CNN Hero of the Year” live on the tribute show, as voted by fans across the globe, and will receive an additional $250,000 grant to further aid their charitable work.

During the live broadcast, the Top 10 CNN Heroes will each have his or her story told by a celebrity. CNN has announced additional celebrity presenters and participants including:  George Lopez, entertainer and long-time supporter of CNN Heroes, will be introducing Hometown Heroes, showing viewers what you can do to be a hero in your very own backyard and Sofia Vergara, Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG-nominated actress.

As previously announced, J.R. Martinez, will be co-hosting the live pre-show, Showbiz Tonight @ CNN Heroes, with AJ Hammer, host of HLN’s evening show, Showbiz Tonight. Holly Robinson Peete will be hosting the social media suite on the red carpet.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Jose Rico Appointed New Director White House Initiative on Hispanic Educational Excellence

Jose Rico Appointed New Director White House Initiative on Hispanic Educational Excellence

Photo: Jose Rico White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics

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U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan today announced the appointment of José Rico as the new director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. The Initiative is in charge of expanding academic excellence and improving educational opportunities for Hispanics for President Obama and Secretary Duncan.

“For the last two years as the Initiative’s deputy director, José has helped create an active national network of Latino community leaders to increase the academic success of Hispanics to meet President Obama’s 2020 college completion goal,” Duncan said. “We’re fortunate that José will take the helm at the Initiative and lead the Obama Administration’s efforts to improve educational opportunities for Hispanics.”

Hispanics are the largest minority group in the public education system, comprising more than 1 in 5 students in the nation’s elementary, middle and high schools, according to a report by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. The report shows that Hispanics will drive the growth of the labor force over the next several decades, accounting for 60 percent of the nation’s growth between 2005 and 2050.

Prior to his work with the Administration, Rico served from 2005-2009 as principal of Chicago’s Multicultural Arts High School, named by then Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan as founding principal in 2005.  He previously worked for the University of Illinois-Chicago’s Small Schools Workshop to help develop small, innovative learning communities in public schools.  He also worked during this time as a school improvement coach and on charter school projects with the Knowledge Works Foundation and the National Council of La Raza.

Earlier, Rico was program director for Public Allies, a nonprofit dedicated to community service; and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant Rights, organizing its Removing Barriers to Education campaign, working with parents around the state to ensure their children were not denied access to education. Rico earned a bachelor’s degree at Northeastern Illinois University, a master’s degree from University of Illinois-Chicago in curriculum instruction and another master’s from National-Louis University in administration.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cristina Fernandez Kirchner Sworn in For 2nd Term as President of Argentina

Cristina Fernandez Kirchner Sworn in For 2nd Term as President of Argentina

Photo: Cristina Kirchner Inaugurated 2nd Term President

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Argentine President Cristina Fernandez was sworn in for a second term here Saturday in a ceremony in which she broke with protocol by referring to her husband and predecessor, Nestor Kirchner, while taking the oath of office.

Dressed in mourning black, Fernandez swore on the Bible to undertake her duties as president of the nation with loyalty and patriotism, and added that “if I should do otherwise, may God, my country and he (Kirchner) help me.”

Since Kirchner’s death in October last year, the president has often referred to her husband in public ceremonies as “he.”

Fernandez received the presidential sash from the hands of her daughter Florencia and herself took the ceremonial staff under the gaze of outgoing Vice President Julio Cobos, who has been at odds with the president for the past two years.

With this formula, the president avoided giving any role to Cobos, who, according to protocol, should have conducted Fernandez’s swearing-in ceremony.

Visibly moved, Cristina Fernandez hugged her daughter while Congress resounded with applause and cheering for the president and for Kirchner.

Invited presidents, foreign delegations, lawmakers, government officials, Peronist leaders and representatives of human rights organizations packed the Argentine Congress.

In the streets, supporters in their tens of thousands hailed the president’s inauguration with Peronist slogans and chants like “I’m a Peronist, I’m a soldier of Cristina.”

The 58-year-old Fernandez, who won re-election in October in a landslide, gave a one-hour, 15-minute speech in which she touted the country’s economic gains under her leadership and that of her late husband.

Fernandez said that, after nine straight years of growth, there is not only a “new Argentina” but also “a world of greater challenges and major decisions committed to the interests” of Argentine society.

The country, she said, has made a “phenomenal leap” since 2003, when her husband assumed the presidency amid one of the worst economic crises in Argentine history, including a jobless rate of 25 percent, debt equivalent to 140 percent of gross domestic product and a poverty index of 54 percent.

Since then, she said, Argentina has grown at a tremendous rate, creating 5 million jobs and achieving the highest minimum wage in the region.

Fernandez is Argentina’s second woman president. In 1974, Isabel Peron, who was first lady and vice president, became head of state when her husband, Juan Domingo Peron, died.

Read more by HS News Staff →

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 Chile: MAKINA KANDELA

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Juan Laverde, Open Mic, makina kandela, antonio tobón

Introducing:

From Chile:

Artist:Makina Kandela
Song: Kandela Medley
Band Members: Carmen Gloria Vilches: Main Vocals.
Edén Carrasco: gaita hembra, sax, clarinet, back vocals.
Antonio Tobón: gaita macho, maracas, guacharaca, back vocals.
Cristian Urrutia:  alegro drum, back vocals.
Gina de la Hoz: tambora, back vocals.
Mariana Galarza: llamador, back vocals.
Sebastián Carrasco: Trumpet, back vocals.
Pablo Contreras: Bass.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Congressman Luis Gutierrez Calls For Investigation of Hate Crimes in Puerto Rico

Congressman Luis Gutierrez Calls For Investigation of Hate Crimes in Puerto Rico

Photo: Rep Gutierrez Wants Hate Crimes, Puerto Rico Investigated

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Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez wrote Attorney General Eric Holder calling for a federal task force to investigate and prosecute hate crimes occurring in Puerto Rico. 

Earlier in the week, the legislature in Puerto Rico began consideration of Senate bill 2021 to eliminate gender, national origin, and sexual orientation or identity as protected classes related to hate crimes under the Puerto Rico penal code (see Rep. Gutierrez’ previous statement from Dec. 5).  The Congressman, who has been an outspoken critic of what he considers a broad spectrum of erosions of civil and human rights in Puerto Rico under the current government regime, is now asking AG Holder to get personally and directly involved.

“If Puerto Rico doesn’t want to protect its residents from attacks, violence and murder, then the federal authorities need to step in and ensure the most basic rights of life and liberty are protected,” Rep. Gutierrez said.  “The Attorney General has prioritized hate crime prosecutions and here we have the ruling party in Puerto Rico going in the completely opposite direction and it should not be allowed to happen on the Attorney General’s watch.”

Rep. Gutierrez’ letter asks the Attorney General consider “steps you can take to protect the communities that the ruling party in Puerto Rico has chosen to specifically put at risk.”

At least 18 LGBT individuals have been killed in Puerto Rico and a pattern of violence against women, transgendered, gay and lesbian people, and immigrants has been widely reported and was addressed in a landmark Department of Justice report on the systematic abuses of the constitutional rights of the Puerto Rican people by the police department of Puerto Rico.

Read more by HS News Staff →

At Least Three Dead When 6.5 Earthquake Hits Mexico

At Least Three Dead When 6.5 Earthquake Hits Mexico

Photo: Eathquake Hits Guerrero Mexico

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A magnitude-6.5 earthquake killed three people and sent people into the streets of Mexico City, where power outages were reported, but no injuries.

The earthquake occurred around 7:48 p.m. on Saturday, the seismology service said.

Initial reports said the temblor had a magnitude of 6.8, but it was later downgraded to a 6.5.

The earthquake, which occurred at a depth of 59 kilometers (36 miles), had its epicenter in a sparsely populated area in Guerrero state about 166 kilometers (103 miles) southwest of Mexico City, the seismology service said in its initial report.

Two of the deaths were registered in Guerrero, the federal emergency management office said.

An 18-year-old man died in Iguala, a town located about 44 kilometers (27 miles) from the epicenter, when the roof of a taco restaurant collapsed, the federal emergency management office said.

Officials in Guerrero, however, said the victim was 11.

A 25-year-old man died on one of the highways leading into the Pacific resort city of Acapulco when he collided with some rocks that had been dislodged by the temblor, while his passenger was injured, federal emergency management officials said.

A man died in the northern part of the state when some rocks fell on his vehicle, the Guerrero emergency management office said.

About half a dozen people were injured across Guerrero, state officials said.

An Efe reporter saw cracks in highways and some roads on the verge of collapsing in the area where the epicenter occurred.

In Mezcala, a town outside the city of Zumpango, some houses sustained extensive damage.

Power and gas service were reported out in several sections of Mexico City, but no injuries were registered.

Wireless telephone networks were overloaded with traffic after the earthquake, media outlets in the capital reported.

Power outages occurred in 28 boroughs in the capital and residents of a building in the Doctores district had to be evacuated when the structure started swaying, but no damage was reported, Mexico City officials said.

Metro service was not affected and the international airport resumed operation after a brief interruption in service during the earthquake.

The earthquake was felt in Mexico City and Guerrero, Colima, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Morelos, Oaxaca, Puebla and Mexico states, the federal emergency management office said.

“Although the epicenter of this earthquake was not on the coastline, it set off the seismic alert system in the state of Guerrero,” the federal emergency management office said.

Four aftershocks were registered up to 45 minutes after the initial quake, federal emergency management officials said.

Mexico, one of the countries with the highest levels of seismic activity in the world, sits on the North American tectonic plate and is surrounded by three other plates in the Pacific: the Rivera microplate, at the mouth of the Gulf of California; the Pacific plate; and the Cocos plate.

That last tectonic plate stretches from Colima state south and has the potential to cause the most damage since it affects Mexico City, which has a population of more than 20 million and was constructed over what was once Lake Texcoco.

The magnitude-8.1 earthquake that hit Mexico City on Sept. 19, 1985, was the most destructive to ever hit Mexico, killing some 10,000 people, injuring more than 40,000 others and leaving 80,000 people homeless.

The most recent powerful quake to hit Mexico was a magnitude-7.6 temblor that rocked Colima on Jan. 21, 2003.

Read more by HS News Staff →

STUDY:  Breast Cancer Death Rates Higher for Latinas

STUDY:  Breast Cancer Death Rates Higher for Latinas

Photo: Breast Cancer More Deadly for Latinas

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Hispanic women are more likely to die from breast cancer than non- Hispanic white women, according to research presented at the 2011 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec. 6-10, 2011.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer and is the second cause of cancer death in women in the United States. Incidence and survival rates vary by ethnicity, and previous research has demonstrated a trend toward poorer survival in Hispanic women.

From 1992 to 1996, Kathy D. Baumgartner PhD and colleagues conducted the New Mexico Women’s Health Study (NMWHS), a statewide, population-based, case-control breast cancer study that examined the difference between Hispanic and non-Hispanic white women for breast cancer risk. In all, 692 women with a first primary breast cancer participated.

Hispanic women were about 20 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than non- Hispanic white women, which is consistent with other reports, Baumgartner said. After adjusting for age, stage, lymph node involvement and estrogen receptor (ER) status, the researchers saw the risk drop considerably to almost equal that of non-Hispanic white women — suggesting that “the ethnic difference in breast cancer mortality may be mostly biologically based,” Baumgartner said.

In addition, Hispanic women who received chemotherapy were about 1.5 times more likely to die from breast cancer compared with non-Hispanic white women who received chemotherapy, after adjusting for age and the characteristics noted above.

“It is not clear how much of this ethnic difference in survival is due to socioeconomic factors influencing access to screening and treatment or to biological ones,” Baumgartner said. “Some studies suggest that Hispanic women are more likely to develop ER-negative tumors that are resistant to chemotherapy.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Supreme Court’s Decision on Texas Redistricting Garners Negative Reaction, Bad for Latino Voters

Supreme Court’s Decision on Texas Redistricting Garners Negative Reaction, Bad for Latino Voters

Photo: Latino Vote 2012 Election

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The League of United Latin American Citizens, (LULAC) voiced its extreme disappointment over the decision by the United States Supreme Court to grant the State of Texas’ Motion to Stay.  The decision will not end the fight and LULAC will continue to litigate to ensure the full protection of the Voting Rights Act for Latinos.  The case will return to the Federal District Court to redraw the maps again and LULAC will ensure that Latinos voting districts are protected.

Citing violations of the Voting Rights Act, LULAC is pursuing litigation in New Mexico and Georgia and soon in Alabama maintaining that the political maps drawn by GOP lawmakers do not reflect the growth in the states’ Hispanic and black populations. Currently, Texas has received four additional Congressional seats as a result of the 2010 Census which indicated that the Texas population grew by almost four million and Hispanics comprise 65 percent of that growth.

On November 17, 2011, a federal court panel consisting of three judges in San Antonio issued redistricting maps that sided with LULAC, MALC, NAACP and the Latino Taskforce, represented by MALDEF, and other individual plaintiffs in drawing new maps for both the Texas House of Representatives, and Texas U.S. Congress.

With regard to the Texas Senate, LULAC was the only plaintiff representing Texas Senator Wendy Davis from Senate District 10 where the legislature removed 250,000 Latino voters from the district, setting the stage for the candidate’s absolute defeat. LULAC successfully persuaded the court to restore the 250,000 Latino voters to District 10.

In the Texas House of Representatives, LULAC joined with MALC, in its fight regarding the redistricting of the Texas House of Representatives. With these efforts, LULAC, MALC and the Latino Taskforce (MALDEF) were successful in convincing the Federal Court to redraw six new Texas House of Representative Districts.

The League of United Latin American Citizens, the oldest and largest Hispanic membership organization in the country, advances the economic conditions, educational attainment, political influence, health, housing and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating nearly 900 LULAC councils nationwide.

Read more by HS News Staff →



SundayDecember 11, 2011