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ThursdayJanuary 12, 2012

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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Secretary Janet Napolitano Participates in Human Trafficking Roundtable

Secretary Janet Napolitano Participates in Human Trafficking Roundtable

Photo: Stopping Human Trafficking

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Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano met with public and private sector representatives for a roundtable discussion at the White House to discuss the Department’s efforts to combat human trafficking, in recognition of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. This month, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Blue Campaign launched a new suite of awareness trainings, which will be distributed to key sectors, including transportation, hospitality, retail, law enforcement, first responders, and NGOs to increase awareness and educate people on how to identify and report suspected cases of human trafficking.

During the roundtable meeting, Secretary Napolitano was joined by officials from the U.S. Fire Administration, the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association, National Native American Law Enforcement Association, National Latino Peace Officers Association, the Polaris Project, Airlines for America, Carlson and the National Retail Federation. Secretary Napolitano underscored the importance of collaborating with the public and private sectors to build a sustained effort to combat human trafficking.

This month, the Blue Campaign launched a general awareness training, designed to inform the general public about how to identify and report human trafficking to the proper authorities. The Blue Campaign is also launching awareness and training materials for the federal acquisition workforce, first responders and airline employees, to help increase awareness about the indicators of human trafficking.

In 2010, Secretary Napolitano launched the Blue Campaign– a first-of-its-kind initiative to coordinate and enhance the Department’s anti-human trafficking efforts, led by a cross-component steering committee, which is chaired by the Senior Counselor to the Secretary of Homeland Security Alice Hill. The components of the Department of Homeland Security combat human trafficking through a variety of programs, and the Blue Campaign helps to coordinate this work.

Read more by HS News Staff →

2011 Food Prices Highest on Record According to UN

2011 Food Prices Highest on Record According to UN

Photo: Global Food Prices Record High

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Global food prices declined in December, but the overall annual average was the highest ever on record, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported today.

Last month, FAO’s Food Price Index level was 211 points – 27 points below its peak in February. The decline was driven by sharp falls in the international prices of cereals, sugar and oils due to a productive harvest coupled with a slowing demand and a stronger United States dollar.

However, despite the steady decline in prices during the second half of the year, the Index overall averaged 228 points in 2011 – the highest average since FAO started measuring international food prices in 1990. The second highest average occurred in 2008 at 200 points.

Cereal prices registered the biggest fall due to record crops and an improved supply outlook, with the FAO cereal price index dropping 4.8 per cent last month. Maize prices fell by six per cent, wheat by four per cent, and rice by three per cent. However, the cereal price index for the year rose by 35 per cent from 2010, the highest since the 1970s.

The oils and fats price index also dropped, with a three per cent decline from November due to the unexpected surge in supplies of vegetable oil – mainly of palm and sunflower oil – which, coupled with poor global demand for soybeans, deflated prices.

Meat prices were slightly down from November, mainly due to the 2.2 per cent drop in pig meat prices, but as with other commodities, its annual price was 16 per cent higher than in 2010.

Dairy prices remained almost unchanged, and the sugar price index declined for the fifth consecutive month, reflecting expectations of a large sugar world production surplus over the new season due to good harvests in India, the European Union, Thailand and Russia.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Orange Juice From Brazil to be Tested for Fungicide

Orange Juice From Brazil to be Tested for Fungicide

Photo: Orange Juice From Brazil to be Tested for Fungicide

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The Food and Drug Administration confirmed Wednesday to Efe that it will test all imports of orange juice after detecting low quantities of a fungicide in a batch coming from Brazil.

Although the amounts of the fungicide detected have been very small, the FDA will test the orange juice imports to ensure against new incidents of the detection of carbendazim, banned in the United States but used in other countries to prevent crop infestations.

The agency will test all the shipments of orange juice arriving in the United States, will destroy those that test positive but will permit the OJ to be sold if no traces of the prohibited pesticide are found, an FDA spokesperson told Efe.

The Environmental Protection Agency does not authorize the use of the chemical product on U.S.-grown oranges since studies with animals have linked carbendazim to a high risk for liver tumors.

The FDA says that carbendazim in orange juice is residue from an “illegal chemical pesticide,” although according to preliminary EPA testing the low detected quantities found so far does not pose any risk for people who may have consumed it.

The detection of the fungicide was communicated to the FDA late last December by a company that markets orange juice, which detected it in concentrated products it and its competitors were selling.

Brazil is one of the main exporters of orange juice to the United States, while Brazilian authorities allow the use of the fungicide on fruits such as apples.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latin Musics Mana & Prince Royce reach No. 1 on Billboard Latin Songs

Latin Musics Mana & Prince Royce reach No. 1 on Billboard Latin Songs

Photo: Mana & Prince Royce Amor Verdadero

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Mexican rock icons Mana climbed to the top of Billboard’s Latin Songs chart this week with “El verdadero amor perdona,” featuring bachatero Prince Royce. “Promise,” Romeo Santos’ collaboration with R&B giant Usher, climbed from third to second in the rankings, which are determined on the basis of radio airplay.

La Adictiva Banda San Jose de Mesillas advanced one spot to No. 3 with “Nada iguales,” while another Mexican outfit, Banda El Recodo de Cruz Lizarraga, jumped from No. 6 to No. 4 with “Te quiero a morir.”

Rihanna’s “We Found Love” - with Calvin Harris - remained in the fifth position on the Latin Songs chart.

Aventura vocalist Romeo Santos’ first solo disc, “Formula: Vol. 1,” returned to the top spot on the Billboard list of best-selling Latin Albums after spending a week in second place.

3BallMTY’s “Intentalo” edged up from third to second, and “Sono sono: Tite Curet,” featuring various artists, vaulted 13 spots to No. 3.

“Mi amigo El Principe”, by Mexican crooner Cristian Castro, advanced from fifth to fourth, bumping Jenni Rivera’s “Joyas prestadas: Banda” down to No. 5.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cop in Violent & Drug Plagued Ciudad Juarez Busy Issuing 6-Year Traffic Ticket for Toy Motorcycle?

Cop in Violent & Drug Plagued Ciudad Juarez Busy Issuing 6-Year Traffic Ticket for Toy Motorcycle?

Photo: 6-Year Old Given Ticket for Toy Motorcycle

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Traffic cops in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s murder capital, gave a 6-year-old boy a citation after he crashed his toy motorcyle into an SUV, a police spokeswoman said.

The incident occurred on Dec. 27, when the boy, identified only as Gael, was riding his toy motorcycle in the gated subdivision where his family lives and collided with an SUV that had blown a stop sign, transit police spokeswoman Mayra Maldonado told Efe.

Officers gave the boy a citation for driving without a license and colliding with another vehicle, and charged him for the cost of transporting his toy motorbike to the municipal dump, Maldonado said.

Municipal officials returned the toy motorcycle to the boy the same afternoon and voided the citation after police investigators concluded that the woman driving the SUV was at fault for failing to stop.

The officers who cited the child will be punished for “having acted outside the law,” Ciudad Juarez municipal secretary Hector Arcelus said.

Charging a 6-year-old child with traffic violations was “ridiculous,” the boy’s mother, Karla Noriega, said.

“All I wanted was for them to give my son back his motorcycle and for the fine to be voided. It shows lack of judgment and is ridiculous that they cited Gael since he cannot have a license because he’s only 6,” Noriega told Efe

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Housekeeper Stole Employer’s $350,000 Multi-Diamond Engagement Ring

LATINO BLOTTER: Housekeeper Stole Employer’s $350,000 Multi-Diamond Engagement Ring

Photo: Latina housekeeper, Cody Mejias steals employer's $350,000 engagement ring

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Housekeeper Cody Mejias has been arrested for allegedly stealing a high-priced engagement ring from her employer, claiming she stole it to provide for her family.

The diamond ring was stolen from the Stuart, Florida home of Robert Hill and is worth an estimated $350,000 due to it’s size and unusual cut.

The expensive piece reportedly went missing from the home while Mejias, 26, was cleaning it, but instead of calling the police to handle the situation, Hill called a private investigator who gave the housekeeper a polygraph test.

After failing the test, the investigator says Mejias avoided him and refused to see him, after which the police were called.

The ring was tracked down and found to be at Jensen Beach Jewelers, where owner Charles Sarullo said Mejias sold him the ring for $4,800.

The Hills had offered a $5,000 reward, but Sarullo was also reimbursed the $4,800 he had paid Mejias for the ring.

Sarullo told police he sold the ring to Mejias, who told him she had inherited the piece from a deceased aunt.

Mejias eventually confessed to stealing the ring while she worked in Hill’s home.

She was arrested and charged with grand theft and is currently being held on $20,000 bond.

According to the affidavit, Mejias “stated she needed the money to feed her children.”

She has since sent an apologetic letter to the Hills.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Deadly Statistic:  47,000 Dead from Narco Wars in Mexico

Deadly Statistic:  47,000 Dead from Narco Wars in Mexico

Photo: 47,000 Dead from Cartel Violence, Mexico

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A total of 12,903 people were killed in drug-related violence between January and September 2011 in Mexico, an increase of 11 percent with respect to the same period of 2010, bringing the drug war death toll since December 2006 to 47,515, the government said.

The Attorney General’s Office on Wednesday’s released figures through Sept. 30, 2011 “on homicides which, due to their characteristics, may have occurred in the context of rivalries among criminal organizations.”

Of the drug-related deaths in the first nine months of 2011, 10,200 were “executions,” 1,652 were shooting deaths in clashes with the authorities, 740 were the result of “direct aggression” and 311 occurred in clashes among criminal gangs, the report said.

The country’s most violent city continued to be Ciudad Juarez, which is located across from El Paso, Texas, and is the scene of a brutal turf war pitting the Sinaloa and Juarez drug cartels.

The federal government says 1,206 homicides occurred in Juarez between January and September 2011, while the Chihuahua state Attorney General’s Office has already put that city’s drug war death toll for all of last year at 1,974.

Though still extremely high, drug-related murders last year in Juarez were down sharply from 2010, when the number of homicides topped 3,100.

The Pacific resort city of Acapulco ranked second with 795 organized crime-related deaths, followed by the northern cities of Torreon (476) Chihuahua (402), Monterrey (399), Durango (390), Culiacan (365) and San Fernando (292).

The homicides remain concentrated in a handful of states, according to the AG’s office, which said eight states accounted for 70 percent of the apparent drug-related deaths.

“2011 is the first year in which the the homicide growth rate is significantly lower compared with what was seen in previous years,” the AG’s office said.

The nationwide drug war death toll between January and September 2011 was up 11 percent relative to the same period of 2010; by way of comparison, homicides climbed 70 percent between 2009 and 2010, 63 percent between 2008 and 2009 and 110 percent between 2007 and 2008.

A total of 15,273 organized crime-related homicides occurred in 2010, the biggest yearly figure since President Felipe Calderon militarized the struggle against the nation’s well-funded, heavily armed drug gangs shortly after taking office on Dec. 1, 2006, deploying tens of thousands of soldiers and federal police to drug war flashpoints.

The AG’s office released the updated homicide figures amid clamoring by non-governmental organizations and the media for a new official death toll.

The previous homicide figure had been published a year ago, when authorities reported a total of 34,612 organized crime-related killings between Dec. 1, 2006, and the end of 2010.

“Beyond the legitimate interest in crime statistics, the important thing is to guarantee that each one of the cases is being investigated” by the state and federal authorities, the AG’s office said, adding that it will continue working on a homicide database to guarantee access to justice for victims’ relatives and facilitate exchange of information among the different levels of government.

In fact, international human rights organizations say that few cases are investigated.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a report late last year that the Mexican AG’s Office only opened 997 investigations into drug-related murders between 2007 and August 2011 and that “federal judges have only convicted 22 defendants for homicides and other offenses tied to organized crime.”

Based on those statistics, the organization also questioned claims by Calderon’s government that the vast majority of victims of drug-related violence are criminals.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Google Map Street View Shows Woman Face Down on the Sidewalk in Brazil. What Happened?! (VIDEO)

Google Map Street View Shows Woman Face Down on the Sidewalk in Brazil. What Happened?! (VIDEO)

Photo: Google Map Street View Shows Woman Face Down on the Sidewalk. What Happened?! (VIDEO)

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“Easter eggs” have been found in a number of things, but one found of a Brazilian street view on Google Maps has us wondering, what happened?

While Easter eggs are generally intentionally hidden messages, funny features, or inside jokes, this one was likely not intentional. (Diego Rivera’s Easter egg was to hide himself in his own murals.)

ImageOn 4 Rua Flor de Espatodia, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, a woman is first seen walking down the street. However, if users clicked on her and changed the angle of the street view, she is seen face down on the side walk. So sometime between when the camera person was behind her and when he or she passed the walking woman, she’d fallen down.

Since all we can see is her standing and then on the ground, the moments between leave us wondering.

The world may never know, but here’s hoping she is well!

Since links to the actual Google Maps page went viral, the downed woman has been blurred in the street view.

This YouTube video however shows the unblurred view.


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Teen Calls For Boycott of Girl Scout Cookies After Transgendered Latina Allowed in Troop

Teen Calls For Boycott of Girl Scout Cookies After Transgendered Latina Allowed in Troop

Photo: Teen Calls For Boycott of Girl Scout Cookies After Transgendered Latina Allowed in Troop

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A California teen and former Girl Scout is calling for people to boycott and not buy cookies from the Girl Scouts because the organization allowed a young transgendered children into a troop in Colorado.

Known only as Taylor, the 14-year-old girl made a video in which she says the Girl Scouts of the USA have not been “honest with us girls, its troops, its leaders, its parents or the American public.”

She goes on to say that many scouts and their parents were kept in the dark about the Girl Scouts allowing transgendered children to be a part of the
all-girl experience.”

Back in October, Bobby Montoya, 7, who was born a boy but identifies as a girl, was turned away before eventually being allowed to join her local Girl Scout troop in Colorado.

After Montoya was admitted, Rachelle Trujillo, vice president for communications of the Colorado Girl Scouts released a statement saying, “If a child is living as a girl, that’s good enough for us. We don’t require any proof of gender.”

In the video, Taylor, who is said to be from Ventura County, CA, said that this type of policy found theoretically allow 12th-grade boys into troops if they claim they identify as girls.

She states, “The real question is, why is GSUSA willing to break their own safety rules and go against its own research institute findings to accommodate transgender boys? Unfortunately, I think it is because GSUSA cares more about promoting the desires of a small handful of people than it does for my safety and the safety of my friends and sister Girl Scouts, and they are doing it with money we earned for them from Girl Scout cookies.

At the end of the video, a link appears, sending viewers to HonestGirlScouts.com, an interesting site to say the least.

Would you consider this hate speech meant as an attack on the LGBT community?

The YouTube video was made private by the owners, but not before the New York Daily News got a hold of it. Watch Taylor’s video below.

Read more by HS News Staff →

What Do You Think of Demi Lovato’s Performance at the 2012 People’s Choice Awards? (VIDEO)

What Do You Think of Demi Lovato’s Performance at the 2012 People’s Choice Awards? (VIDEO)

Photo: Singer/actress Demi Lovato performed at 2012 People's Choice Awards and won Female Pop Artist award

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The last year or so has been a rough one for young Latina Demi Lovato. She came out of rehab, she began and ended relationships, released a new single then a new album, and lost her role as Sonny Monroe on Disney’s “Sonny With a Chance.”

Before the show’s start, Lovato turned some heads with her revealing red carpet dress, a peach-colored strapless Marchesa dress showing of the Latina’s curves.

In 2011, the songstress had a lot going on, but at Wednesday night’s People’s Choice Awards she gave her all with her performance of “Give Your Heart a Break,” and walked away with an award for Favorite Female Pop Artist.

Congrats, Ms. Lovato!

Read more by HS News Staff →

Dominican Republic Repatriates 1st Group Deported from U.S. in 2012, 132 Ex-Convicts

Dominican Republic Repatriates 1st Group Deported from U.S. in 2012, 132 Ex-Convicts

Photo: 1st Group of Deported Dominicans Arrives Home

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The Dominican Republic repatriated the first group of Dominican citizen’s deported from the U.S. – 132 criminals.  This first group arrived yesterday at Las Americas Airport on a special plane chartered by Immigration and Naturalization Service.

The group that was escorted by eight U.S. federal agents came from prisons throughout the U.S.  The group had been arrested in the U.S. for charges ranging from identity theft to drug trafficking to murder.  The group served prison sentences anywhere from 4 to 10 years before being deported as undocumented immigrants.

Upon being received back home the ex-convicts will go through a back ground check to see if they are wanted in the Dominican for any crime if not they will be free to go anywhere in the country.

Last year the U.S. deported 3,878 Dominican ex-convicts via flights leaving the U.S. two-to-four times a month.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Wealthy Florida Couple Allegedly Shot by Employee Julian Ospina-Florez

LATINO BLOTTER: Wealthy Florida Couple Allegedly Shot by Employee Julian Ospina-Florez

Photo: Dr. and Mrs. Rivera allegedly shot by employee Julian Ospina-Florez

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Julian Ospina-Florez is accused of killing the couple he worked for in an attempt to steal the wife’s merchandise.

Ospina-Florez, 31, was the driver for Dr. Hector Rivera and his wife Debra, and also worked as Mrs. Rivera’s assistant. The couple lived in an affluent and gated Florida community of Avila near Tampa.

The Colombian-born employee is said to have been the one to call the police after Dr. and Mrs. Rivera were shot and killed. He claimed he was also a victim, though investigators have since named him as the lead suspect in the case.

ImageMonday night, Ospina-Florez called 911 saying he and the Riveras had been shot. Police say that when they arrived, the crime scene was complicated and it took time to put things together.

Debra River, 55, was found in one of her home’s bathrooms, having been shot multiple times. Her husband, 56, was found dead in their driveway. He was on his way home from a neighbor’s house with a plate of food for his wife.

The couple had been married for more than 30 years.

A 9mm handgun owned by Ospina-Florez was found in the Rivera home and records show he had purchased ammunition at a WalMart the month prior to the slayings.

Ospina-Florez had worked for the Riveras for more than year, but their relationship with them had become strained recently. In January, the couple’s home was burglarized and police now suspect Ospina-Florez was behind the crime.

Court records show Ospina-Florez was in financial trouble, leading investigators to believe he was desperate and did the unthinkable.

Ospina-Florez is facing two counts of first degree murder with a firearm, and if found guilty of killing Dr. and Mrs. Rivera, he could face the death penalty.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Unnamed Teammates Blast Jet’s QB Mark Sanchez, Calling Him “Lazy and Content”

Unnamed Teammates Blast Jet’s QB Mark Sanchez, Calling Him “Lazy and Content”

Photo: Teammates Blast Jet's QB Mark Sanchez, Calling Him "Lazy and Content"

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Reports are surfacing that some of Mark Sanchez’s teammates are sick of him and are urging the New York Jets’ general manager to trade him and try to get the Colts’ Peyton Manning.

The New York Daily News is reporting that unnamed NY Jets players are calling for a trade to replace their young quarterback, because he fails to see that being a professional means giving 100 percent in practice and working hard every single day, not just during games. Adding that Sanchez also lacks the leadership skills the team needed to get to the Super Bowl.

On player told NY Daily, ‘We have to bring in another quarterback that will make him work at practice. He’s lazy and content because he knows he’s not going to be benched.’

Just before the new year, Sanchez made that claim that his defensive recognition, clock management, and abilities in other aspects of the game are “light years ahead” of other everyone else.

His claims were laughed at when, less than a week later, the Jets’ general manager said the 25-year-old’s “rate of growth isn’t where it needs to be.”

But though some players have anonymously blasted Sanchez, especially since some put the team’s failure to make it to the playoffs on the young QB’s shoulders, other teammates have come out with support.

Wednesday, Jet’s left guard Matt Slauson told CBS News, ‘Mark is heading in the right direction. He is going to be a great quarterback and I really believe he can lead us to a championship. His rookie year, we went to the AFC championship and again last year. The guy can do it. He can get it done. The rest of the team has to do their part, too.’

Defensive lineman Marcus Dixon also showed his support for the QB, saying a bad season shouldn’t be blamed on one guy, and that most of the team understands that.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Why Was Luis Colon Buying Large Quantities of Pesticides with Stolen Credit Cards?  Help Us Find Him

Why Was Luis Colon Buying Large Quantities of Pesticides with Stolen Credit Cards?  Help Us Find Him

Photo: Luis Colon, Jr. Wanted by FBI

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Luis Colon Jr., also known as ‘Junito’  is wanted for his alleged participation in a credit card fraud scheme. Between 2009 and 2010, it is alleged that Colon purchased large quantities of pesticides using stolen credit and debit cards.

The pesticides were purchased on the Internet or over the phone from companies located in Georgia, Texas, and elsewhere, and shipped to addresses in New Jersey and Pennsylvania for resale at a store in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with no link to terrorism. Specifically, Colon would allegedly make contact with people and falsely present himself as a representative from their local utility company.

He would convince the victims to give him their credit/debit card information by offering the victims an opportunity to save money on their utility bill by creating automatic debit accounts. He would then contact pest control companies and use the stolen card information to purchase the pest control products and have them shipped to various locations. Colon was arrested for credit card fraud in New Jersey, but was allowed to make bail.

After he fled the area, a bench warrant was issued for Colon on September 22, 2011, in the District of New Jersey, and he is being charged with credit card fraud; aggravated identity theft; and conspiracy to commit credit card fraud.

Help us find Luis Colon Jr. who is on the FBI’s Wanted List.  If you have information on Colon’s whereabouts, contact your local FBI office.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Iran’s Ahmadinejad Enjoys Meeting “Comandante Fidel” in Cuba

Iran’s Ahmadinejad Enjoys Meeting “Comandante Fidel” in Cuba

Photo: Ahmadinejad in Cuba

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad confirmed here Thursday that he held a wide-ranging discussion with former Cuban leader Fidel Castro during his brief stay on the island.

“It has been a cause of great joy for me to see Comandante Fidel safe and sound,” the Iranian told reporters at Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport, where Ahmadinejad was being seen off by Cuban President Raul Castro, Fidel’s successor and younger sibling.

Iran’s president described as “very, very good” his talks with both of the Castros and referred to Raul as “my dear brother.”

“In reality,” Ahmadinejad said, “we (Cuba and Iran) are in a single front struggling with the goal of demanding the rights of the peoples.”

Noting the two countries’ “common positions” on many regional and global issues, he said Tehran and Havana will continue to cooperate in the economic and political realms.

Cuba was the third stop on Ahmadinejad’s whirlwind tour of Latin America, which began Monday in Venezuela, from where the Iranian traveled to Nicaragua.

He will arrive later Thursday in Ecuador.

Ahmadinejad’s sojourn in friendly Latin American countries comes as Washington and its allies have intensified pressure on Iran over its nuclear program.

The United States and Israel say they believe the program has a military component aimed at developing nuclear weapons, while Iran says it is interested only in energy and producing isotopes for medical use.

Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency have found no evidence of diversion of nuclear materials in Iran.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Public Opinion: Republicans versus Hispanics

Public Opinion: Republicans versus Hispanics

Photo: Hispanic Vote 2012

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The current Republican primary campaign has made Republicans’ hostility to immigrants—and to any policies that might help immigrants—crystal clear. Indeed, Republican presidential candidates are seeking to outdo one another in loudly proclaiming their opposition to any and all pro-immigrant policies. This suggests Republicans are going to have a great deal of trouble attracting Hispanic support in the presidential election this November.

Consider these results from a recent Pew Hispanic Center poll. In that poll Hispanics favored the DREAM Act—which would allow illegal immigrants’ children, who were brought by their parents to the United States, to attain citizenship if they go to college or serve in the U.S. military for two years—by a staggering 91-7. Republicans, however, strenuously oppose such a provision.

The Pew poll also asked Hispanics if they thought illegal immigrants who went to high school in their state and are accepted to public college should be eligible for the in-state tuition rate. Respondents favored this idea by an almost-as-overwhelming 84-12. But again, Republicans have pledged noisily to oppose any such policy.

To say that Republicans are on the wrong side of Latino public opinion considerably understates the case. They’ll likely pay a price for that come November.

Read more at Center for American Progress

Video of Mexican Businessman Beats Doorman for NOT Changing Tire- Goes Viral (VIDEO)

Video of Mexican Businessman Beats  Doorman for NOT Changing Tire- Goes Viral (VIDEO)

Photo: Man beats doorman

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A video of a wealthy businessman beating a doorman at his luxury apartment building has sparked outrage in Mexico, where people have taken to social-networking sites to vent their anger.

The attack occurred in July of last year but did not come to the public’s attention until Tuesday, when the video of the incident went viral on YouTube.

The footage shows Mexican textile group owner Miguel Moises Sacal approaching Hugo Enrique Vera, insulting him several times and then delivering a brutal beating that left the man with two broken teeth and other lesser injuries.

Other employees of the luxury Mexico City apartment building can be seen on the video doing little or nothing to stop the beating.

According to Mexican news reports, Sacal apparently became enraged when Vera did not help him find the jack in his car.

Several Facebook groups have sprouted up against Sacal, while on Twitter - where he is sarcastically called “El Gentleman de Las Lomas,” a reference to the affluent Mexico City neighborhood where he lives - the businessman’s attack on the doorman is one of the most commented topics.

Users of the social-networking sites have called for boycotts of Sacal’s clothing stores or urged people to go to the home of the businessman - who faces battery charges but has not been arrested - and beat him in similar fashion.

The Web users not only have expressed anger over the attack but also over the fact Sacal has managed to avoid jail by securing a court injunction against arrest, a judicial tactic they say is evidence that wealthy Mexicans are above the law.

The case is proceeding toward trial and the businessman, who also appears in another video insulting a journalist and a traffic policeman after committing an infraction, has submitted evidence in his defense.

Mexico City ombud Luis Gonzalez Plasencia also has expressed his full support for the injured apartment building employee, saying his office will support Vera’s effort to pursue the battery charges to the fullest extent of the law.

The capital’s Human Rights Commission, for its part, has filed a formal petition with the District Attorney’s Office, requesting that it take steps to protect the worker’s safety.


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National Hispanic Christian Leadership to Emphasis Education and Evangelism in 2012

National Hispanic Christian Leadership to Emphasis Education and Evangelism in 2012

Photo: Hispanic Christian Leadership Conferenc

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The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, (NHCLC) also known as the Hispanic Evangelical Association, the nation’s largest Christian Hispanic organization, has announced that they will emphasize evangelism and education through high impact efforts, in addition to their seven primary directives.

The NHCLC states that, although 2012 is a Presidential year, their priority is a non-partisan agenda, an agenda of the Lamb and the Cross—both horizontal and vertical. Headline news continues to talk about the GOP race and the November election but the NHCLC will focus on bringing souls to Christ through the Hispanic Church, particularly through an emphasis on church planting across the U.S. and Puerto Rico and ultimately showing the love and mercy of Christ to Americans in need of hope.

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the NHCLC, is often quoted about the vertical and horizontal work of the NHCLC and he has announced that the NHCLC’s 2012 vertical focus will be actuating a strong course of evangelism and church planting through the Hispanic Church.

The NHCLC’s primary horizontal focus for 2012 will be education with a goal of 25% Hispanic enrollment in Secondary education by end of this year. The NHCLC partners with Christian universities and colleges through their education directive and their Hispanic Education Alliance.

The Alliance is comprised of nine Christian Universities and colleges working in conjunction with an outstanding assembly of pastors, church leaders, academic administrators, and educators who are united in making great strides toward impacting the drop-out statistics and increasing the educational pursuits of the Hispanic community for the betterment of the nation—believing that Christian schools and organizations can be the catalyst for a national Hispanic movement.

Read more by HS News Staff →

U.S. Diplomats Travel to Chile and Colombia to Discuss Security and Human Rights Issues

U.S. Diplomats Travel to Chile and Colombia to Discuss Security and Human Rights Issues

Photo: U.S Latin America Relations

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Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Maria Otero will travel to Chile from January 11 to 13 and to Colombia from January 17 to 20. Under Secretary Otero will be accompanied in Colombia by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Kathleen Fitzpatrick and USAID Assistant Administrator Mark Lopes.

In Chile, she will participate in the International Conference on Transparency and Probity in Congress and the Political Party System. She will also meet with senior officials, members of civil society and youth to discuss human rights and transitional democracy. On Friday, January 13, Under Secretary Otero will deliver a speech on civilian security and democracy at the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL).

While in Colombia, Under Secretary Otero will travel to Tumaco to visit with local law enforcement officials, municipal officials, farmers, and civil society. She will also hold bilateral meetings in Bogota with senior officials and members of civil society on issues such as illicit narcotics, counterterrorism cooperation, law enforcement, human rights, internal displacement, victims and land restitution, and good governance.

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Singer Jose Felciano Says He’s Finishing His Tribute Album to Elvis Presley

Singer Jose Felciano Says He’s Finishing His Tribute Album to Elvis Presley

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Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Jose Feliciano will soon come out with a new album dedicated to Elvis Presley.

Feliciano said Wednesday in an interview with Efe that he decided to create the new album because he had followed Presley’s music since he was 11 and living in New York after his parents moved there from the central Puerto Rican town of Lares.

The 61-year-old artist said that he had recorded eight of the 12 songs appearing on the album in the studio at his home.

He also said that he identified with Presley because both were born in poverty, and he added that the first time he saw a toilet was when he came to New York.

In the Big Apple he also became a fan of the “king of rock and roll” without forgetting the Puerto Rican music of artists such as Tito Rodriguez, Davilita, Felipe Rodriguez, the Vegabajeño Trio, Johnny Albino and the Mayari Quartet.

“I have a tremendous musical education because I listened to all of those together,” said Feliciano, who three days ago sang during the celebration of Presley’s birth in Memphis.

Feliciano also said he was “happy” about the San Sebastian National Prize, which he will receive on Thursday in the Plaza del Quinto Centenario in Old San Juan “for his musical career on the world level for more than five decades.”

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Individuals Charged with Trafficking Identifies of Puerto Rican Citizens to Undocuented Aliens

Individuals Charged with Trafficking Identifies of Puerto Rican Citizens to Undocuented Aliens

Photo: Immigration Identity Fraud

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Fifty individuals were charged in an indictment unsealed today in Puerto Rico with conspiracy to commit identification fraud in connection with their alleged roles in a scheme to traffic the identities of Puerto Rican U.S. citizens and corresponding identity documents. The charges are the result of an extensive investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), in partnership with other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

The one-count indictment was returned by a federal grand jury on Dec. 29, 2011, and unsealed today. Defendants were arrested yesterday in multiple districts throughout the United States and Puerto Rico and will make initial appearances in federal court in the districts in which they were arrested. In addition, law enforcement agents executed searches as part of an ongoing investigation.

According to the indictment, from at least April 2009 to December 2011, conspirators in 15 states and Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, trafficked the identities of Puerto Rican U.S. citizens, corresponding Social Security cards, Puerto Rico birth certificates and other identification documents to undocumented aliens and others residing in the United States.

The indictment alleges that conspirators located in the Savarona area of Caguas, Puerto Rico (Savarona suppliers) obtained the Puerto Rican identities and corresponding identity documents. Conspirators in various locations throughout the United States (identity brokers) solicited customers. The identity brokers allegedly sold Social Security cards and corresponding Puerto Rico birth certificates for prices ranging from $700 to $2,500 per set. The indictment alleges that identity brokers ordered the identity documents from Savarona suppliers, on behalf of the customers, by making coded telephone calls, including using terms such as “shirts,” “uniforms” or “clothes,” to refer to identity documents. Specifically, the brokers asked for “skirts” for female customers and “pants” for male customers in various “sizes,” which referred to the ages of the identities sought by the customers.

According to the indictment, once the identity brokers received the identity documents, they delivered the documents to the customers and obtained second payments. The brokers generally kept the second payments for themselves as profit. Some identity brokers allegedly assumed a Puerto Rican identity themselves, and used that identity in connection with the trafficking operation.

As alleged in the indictment, the customers generally obtained the identity documents to assume the identity of Puerto Rican U.S. citizens and to obtain additional identification documents, such as legitimate state driver’s licenses. Some customers allegedly obtained the documents to commit financial fraud and attempted to obtain a U.S. passport.

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ThursdayJanuary 12, 2012