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SaturdayFebruary 4, 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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Mexican Human Rights Activist’s Norma Andrade Face Slashed by Attacker

Mexican Human Rights  Activist’s Norma Andrade Face Slashed by Attacker

Photo: Norma Andrade

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Mexican human rights activist Norma Andrade suffered a knife wound to the face in an attack in this capital and has been hospitalized, officials said.

An unknown assailant attacked Andrade at around 8:00 a.m. Friday while she was walking her granddaughter to school, a spokesman for the Mexico City District Attorney’s Office told Efe, adding that she is receiving treatment for a five-centimeter (two-inch) gash in her cheek.

The aggression occurred two months after an attacker shot the founder of the “May Our Daughters Return Home” non-governmental group multiple times in the violence-wracked northern border city of Ciudad Juarez.

Andrade, who gave a statement to police at the hospital in Mexico City, was unable to identify the attacker or pinpoint a motive, the DA’s office said.

The federal Government Secretariat released a statement Friday night condemning the attack and reiterating its commitment to protecting human rights defenders.

The secretariat added that at the request of the independent National Human Rights Commission it has “activated the corresponding procedures to provide appropriate protection” for the activist and her family in coordination with the Mexico City government.

Andrade, who has received death threats from drug-trafficking gangs, fled to the Mexican capital after the Dec. 2 attack in Juarez, in which she was shot in the left shoulder and right hand.

Amnesty International’s Mexico chapter issued a safety alert in the wake of this latest attack, saying the activist is in “imminent danger” and calling on authorities to fulfill their obligation to offer her effective protection, including at the hospital.

The rights watchdog noted that since 2008 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has urged the Mexican government to protect four members of the May Our Daughters Return Home rights group, including Andrade.

AI also noted that the Juarez hospital where Andrade had received treatment for the gunshot wounds late last year had discharged her after receiving anonymous threats warning that its medical personnel would be killed if they continued to treat her.

Over the past two-and-a-half years, five human rights activists have been killed in alleged organized crime-related violence and 12 others have left the country, the Chihuahua state’s Human Rights’ Commission said.

The most recent case was that of Susana Chavez, a poet and women’s rights activist who, like Andrade, led efforts to seek justice for the - mainly unsolved - slayings of more than 500 women in Ciudad Juarez since 1993.

Most of the victims were young women from poor families who worked in the assembly plants, known as “maquiladoras,” that sprung up around the city to take advantage of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Many were sexually assaulted before they died.

Chavez was raped, murdered and mutilated on Jan. 11, 2011, by three attackers, including a minor.

A month earlier, Marisela Escobedo was slain while staging a demonstration outside the Chihuahua governor’s office to demand justice for the murder of her daughter, whose confessed killer had been released by a three-judge panel due to lack of evidence.

Another killing that rocked Juarez, located across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, was that of Josefina Reyes, a former municipal official in a Juarez suburb and longtime social activist who was gunned down on a road outside the city.

In November 2010, activist Flor Alicia Gomez, a member of the Justice for Our Daughters and the Women’s Human Rights Center groups, was raped and murdered.

In September 2009, Paz Rodriguez Ortiz, founder of a human rights association, was shot and killed in front of his wife.

The northern state of Chihuahua, where Juarez is located, has accounted for about 30 percent of the approximately 50,000 murders committed in Mexico since late 2006, when newly inaugurated President Felipe Calderon militarized the struggle against Mexico’s drug cartels.

Ciudad Juarez, a coveted drug-smuggling corridor that is being fought over by the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels with backing from hit men from local street gangs, is considered Mexico’s murder capital.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Banderas Asks Mexicans to Join Fight Against Child Sexual Exploitation

Banderas Asks Mexicans to Join Fight Against Child Sexual Exploitation

Photo: Antonio Banderas

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Spanish actor and producer Antonio Banderas made a call from Mexico for everyone to join the fight against child sexual exploitation, something that, he said, affects not only underdeveloped nations but everyone.

“We have to take this very seriously and root it out,” the film star, who is visiting the Mexican city of Cancun as a guest of honor at the opening of a hotel of the Spanish Iberostar chain, said Friday.

Banderas made the call during the presentation of the book “Libro de Sueños” (Book of Dreams), prepared by the humanitarian organization Unicef and the Iberostar Group to make parents and their children understand the dangers and degradation of child sexual exploitation.

He spoke about the importance of raising awareness to combat child sexual exploitation and said that in recent years it has become “a problem affecting many nations.”

“Many of us associate the scourge with a single country, I’m not going to say which one but it’s in all our minds, an Asian country, but when we do that we’re making a little exercise in hypocrisy because we know that basically that is going on in many countries, including some that are totally developed,” he said.

The country to which Banderas referred seems to have been Thailand, where the scourge of child sexual exploitation is prevalent.

At the opening ceremony, the executive vice president of the Iberostar Group, Gloria Fluxa, announced that the new publication, “Libro de Sueños,” is to be found in every room of the hotel chain, with versions in Spanish, English and German.

She said that the work is a story by the Zaragoza writer Begoña Oro, author of books for children and teens, and contains 16 pages of illustrations and interactive texts.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Tigres del Norte ft. calle 13 - “America”  WOW! (VIDEO)

Tigres del Norte ft. calle 13 - “America”  WOW! (VIDEO)

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Los Tigres del Norte (English: The Tigers of the North) is a norteño-band ensemble based out of San Jose, California, hailing from Rosa Morada, Sinaloa, Mexico.

We hope you enjoy this Video- We did!

Related Videos

Read more by HS News Staff →

US Attorney General Faces Renewed Criticism Over Mexico Gun Operation

US Attorney General Faces Renewed Criticism Over Mexico Gun Operation

Photo: Eric Holder

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U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has faced a new round of Republican criticism over a controversial tactic in which U.S. authorities allowed gun buyers to move arms into Mexico, destined for drug cartels.

In testimony to Congress Thursday, Holder said “Operation Fast and Furious” was flawed, and that allowing arms to “walk” - under any circumstance - is unacceptable.

“The tactic of not interdicting weapons, despite having the ability and legal authority to do so, appears to have been adopted in a misguided effort to stem the alarming number of illegal firearms that are trafficked each year from the United States to Mexico,” Holder said. “Now, to be sure, stopping this dangerous flow of weapons is a laudable and critical goal, but attempting to achieve it by using such inappropriate tactics is neither acceptable nor excusable.” 

Holder told lawmakers on the committee Thursday that he never authorized the operation, and ordered it to stop after he found out about it.

Republicans charge that the Justice Department has not provided enough information to them.

The head of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, California Republican Darrell Issa, has accused Holder of protecting staff, deceiving the public and obstructing the panel’s investigation.

At the hearing Thursday, he warned of possible congressional action to force the Justice Department to provide information to the committee.

“Mr. Attorney General, you have, the Executive Branch has, executive privilege,” said Issa. “It’s narrow. It’s well-defined. There is case law. If you do not find a legitimate basis to deny us the material we’ve asked for, we will seek the remedies necessary to compel.”

U.S. authorities lost track of hundreds of weapons they were supposed to be monitoring. Many weapons eventually were recovered from crime scenes. Two were found at the scene where U.S. border agent Brian Terry was shot and killed in 2010.

Holder said the Justice Department is building its case and is close to making announcements regarding arrests and holding those responsible for the agent’s death and the flawed operation.

Read more at Voice of America →

Felicidades Bacardi on Your 150th Birthday

Felicidades Bacardi on Your 150th Birthday

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Family-owned Bacardi Limited officially marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Company and its iconic BACARDI® rum brand on February 4 with activities around the world honoring the world’s favorite rum brand. The Company is celebrating its spectacular growth from a small distillery founded by Don Facundo Bacardi Masso in Santiago de Cuba in 1862 to what is now the world’s largest privately-owned spirits company.

Consumers around the world celebrate with classic, great tasting BACARDI rum cocktails at one-of-a-kind birthday parties and other BACARDI-themed events while the Bacardi family marks this historic milestone with its largest reunion ever. As part of its yearlong anniversary celebration, Bacardi launches themed promotions, opens a historical exhibition in Italy, rolls out a $2,000 limited-edition super-premium blend from the Bacardi family Maestros de Ron (Master Blenders) and accepts proclamations from governments declaring the day “Bacardi Day.”

“This is an extraordinary milestone to celebrate as the passion and entrepreneurial spirit shown by my great-great grandfather in Santiago de Cuba a century and a half ago gave birth to exceptional rum that changed the spirits industry forever. Every day I’m inspired by his achievements and am proud to carry on his legacy as chairman of the Company he established on February 4, 1862, in Santiago de Cuba,” says Facundo L. Bacardi, Chairman of Bacardi Limited and fifth generation family member. “The fact that our family name is on every bottle of BACARDI rum is a constant reminder of a deep-seated commitment to deliver products of exceptional quality for the best tasting cocktails. Since the creation of BACARDI rum 150 years ago, some 365 billion BACARDI cocktails have been enjoyed worldwide.”

BACARDI Parties around the World
150th anniversary celebrations featuring award-winning musical talent and top celebrities are giving consumers around the world the chance to party with BACARDI and enjoy legendary BACARDI rum cocktails. Today, Rolling Stone® magazine hosts the must-attend “BACARDI Bash: 150 Years Rocking the Party” in Indianapolis where performances from LMFAO, Lupe Fiasco, Cobra Starship and Gym Class Heroes make this one of the hottest tickets the weekend of the “big game”—the most anticipated professional football championship game in the U.S. The festivities continue throughout 2012 as Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East host their own BACARDI 150th celebrations.

Bacardi kicked-off star-studded BACARDI 150th birthday parties for consumers from Berlin to Miami with celebrities and VIPs. Magazine publisher Conde Nast also hosted a commemorative event for BACARDI rum in New York. Celebrity Cruises® marks the milestone with a party aboard the Celebrity Summit® as it departs February 4 from Puerto Rico, home to the largest BACARDI rum distillery in the world.

The Largest Bacardi Family Reunion Ever

Nearly 600 members of the Bacardi family from around the world gathered in Puerto Rico to celebrate the 150th anniversary at their largest reunion ever. Activities included a commemorative celebration featuring a family photo of all eight generations of the Bacardi family and the unveiling of a bust of Bacardi founder Don Facundo Bacardi Masso by sculptor and family member Helena Bacardi that will take permanent residence on the Bacardi campus in Puerto Rico. Bacardi Limited Chairman and great-great grandson of Company founder, Facundo L. Bacardi, led other family members in the planting of a coconut palm to commemorate the original “el coco” that stood at the entrance of the first Bacardi distillery in Cuba and has long symbolized the Bacardi family’s perseverance over adversity. Puerto Rico is also home to the Casa Bacardi Visitor Center, the second most-visited venue in Puerto Rico, drawing more than 230,000 visitors a year to learn about the rich history and unique production of BACARDI rums.

“It is exceptional for a family-owned company to survive 150 years, let alone thrive,” said Seamus McBride, CEO of Bacardi Limited. “The fact that Bacardi has grown into the third-largest global spirits company is truly something to celebrate.”

Official Founding Day of February 4 Recognized as “Bacardi Day”

At the family reunion, Puerto Rico Governor Luis G. Fortuno presented Bacardi with a proclamation declaring February 4 “Bacardi Day” in acknowledgement of the Company’s key role in the island’s economy. Other proclamations, resolutions and official letters recognizing the 150th anniversary of BACARDI rum include congratulatory letters from the Bermuda Ministry of Development and Tourism, where Bacardi Limited is headquartered; and Florida Governor Rick Scott; as well as proclamations from Miami-Dade County; the City of Coral Gables, where Bacardi Americas is headquartered; and a United States Senate proclamation by Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio; U.S. House Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s statement for the Congressional Record; a Florida Senate resolution introduced by Senator Miguel de la Portilla and approved by the Florida Senate; and a Florida House resolution introduced by Representative Erik Fresen.

Consumer Promotions
By visiting the BACARDI Facebook® page (www.facebook.com/BACARDI), consumers of legal drinking age in select markets can vie for tickets to upcoming BACARDI 150th birthday parties and BACARDI party crates filled with all the ingredients to host their own unforgettable gatherings. In select markets, consumers can also win or purchase commemorative BACARDI glassware, specialty packs and apparel featuring vintage brand advertisements and/or designs by artists of Cuban heritage.

The Ultimate BACARDI Factory
On February 11 at 8 p.m. ET, National Geographic Channel’s “Ultimate Factories” program will take viewers in the U.S. and Puerto Rico on a tour to see how BACARDI rum is made. The program is slated to air in the “Megafactories” series in Canada March 17; Italy March 18; Australia/New Zealand March 27; UK/Latin America March 29; Southeast Asia April 5; Spain/Portugal May 28; Norway/Sweden/Finland/Belgium and Netherlands/Luxemburg/Holland/Hungary May 31; Turkey June 1; Russia/Baltics/Romania and Greece/France June 5; and Germany June 21.

Ron BACARDI® de Maestros de Ron, Vintage, MMXII

Bacardi also marks its anniversary with displays at Miami International Airport, Puerto Rico’s Luis Munoz Marin International Airport and other select international airports that roll-out a limited edition BACARDI blend honoring 150 years of Bacardi rum-making expertise and craftsmanship. Eight Bacardi family members, all former BACARDI Maestros de Ron, have combined their extraordinary talents to create a special BACARDI rum — Ron BACARDI de Maestros de Ron, Vintage, MMXII. A blend of the finest rums laid to rest in oak barrels over the last 20 years and finished in 60-year-old Cognac barrels, the vintage blend in a hand-blown crystal decanter housed in a leather case retails for US$2,000. Only 400 decanters are available for purchase at select airports and premium retail establishments.

Cocktail Competition
On February 20, BACARDI will shake things up with a special 150th anniversary edition of its Legacy Cocktail Competition, drawing top mixologists from more than 25 countries to the finals in Puerto Rico.

Bacardi Heritage on Display at Museo dell’Automobile di Torino

An exhibit showcasing the 150 years of heritage and craftsmanship of BACARDI rum opens in Turin, Italy, at the famous Museo dell’Automobile di Torino (Automobile Museum of Turin). Throughout February, museum patrons of legal drinking age can immerse themselves in a visual and narrative journey of Bacardi the company, BACARDI rum and their pioneering roles in cocktail history.

Year of the Bat
Bacardi is proud to support Bat Conservation International in raising public awareness for bats as part of its “Year of the Bat” campaign. A 15-second advertisement describing the many environmental and economic benefits of bats airs on the CBS JumboTron in New York City’s Times Square until the end of March. With one of the most recognizable logos in the world featuring a bat, Bacardi has believed in the power of bats for 150 years.

Bacardi support for bats goes back to its founding in 1862 when Dona Amalia, the founder’s wife, spotted a colony of fruit bats in the rafters of the Bacardi distillery in Cuba. In Spain, where Don Facundo emigrated from, and with the native Taino Indians in Cuba, bats symbolized good health, family unity and good fortune, so the Bacardi founder made sure the bats remained in the distillery and identified with his new rum. The Bacardi creation became known by the people as el Ron del Murcielago or “the Rum of the Bat.” Today, the Bacardi Bat Device still proudly graces every bottle of BACARDI rum. The Bacardi family’s long-term involvement with bat research, education and conservation is also reflected in the work of the non-profit Lubee Bat Conservancy to protect biological diversity through the conservation of fruit bats and their habitats

Read more by HS News Staff →

Florida Teacher ‘Disciplines’ Autistic Students with Hot Sauce

Lillian Gomez, a Kissimmee, Florida, special education teacher, was recently removed from her classroom and suspended after putting hot sauce on her student’s crayons.  According to Gomez, the hot sauce was meant to keep her autistic students from putting the crayons in their mouths. 

This action has caused an outrage among parents and school officials.  Many parents are concerned about their children; as many are non verbal and do not fully understand what happened.  One parent expressed concern that her child was frightened of crayons after the incident. 

Lillian Gomez will face a hearing later this month regarding her probable termination from Sunrise Elementary School. 


Read more at Univision →

How to Fix a Broken Border: Disrupting Smuggling at Its Source

How to Fix a Broken Border: Disrupting Smuggling at Its Source

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This week, the Immigration Policy Center releases How to Fix a Broken Border: Disrupting Smuggling at Its Source. This perspectives paper is part two of a three-part series by former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard. In this piece, Goddard shines a much-needed light on the nature of modern-day smuggling.

“If this country wants to stop smuggling and not just present an obstacle to immigration reform,” Goddard says, “we must take a broader and more analytical approach to what motivates the smugglers—and the means by which they illegally move drugs, money, guns, and people in such large volumes with such impunity. Going after the contraband product or smuggled people, as this country has been doing for years, is destined to be an endless chase. The cartels will just regroup and continue operations, learning from their mistakes. If we are serious about stopping the threat on the border, we have to dismantle the criminal organizations that carry the contraband and take away the tools that make them so effective. Anything less will fail.”

To view the paper in its entirety, see:
How to Fix a Broken Border: Disrupting Smuggling at Its Source (IPC Perspectives, February 2012)
Also view part one of the series:

How to Fix a Broken Border: Hit the Cartels Where It Hurts (IPC Perspectives, September 2011)

Read more by HS News Staff →

HS Narco News: 9 Gunned Down at Nightclub in Northern Mexico

HS Narco News: 9 Gunned Down at Nightclub in Northern Mexico

Photo: Mexico Police at Scene

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Gunmen killed nine people, including a police officer and five musicians, and wounded 11 others at a nightclub in the northern Mexican city of Chihuahua, local authorities said Saturday.

The incident occurred at around 1:00 a.m. Saturday when a group of armed men burst into the establishment and opened fire, Chihuahua municipal police said in a preliminary report.

Five of the victims belonged to a norteño band, three were customers and the other victim was an off-duty police officer, the report said.

Some norteño singers sing what are known as “narcocorridos,” ballads that recount the exploits and travails of drug kingpins, and these artists have occasionally been targeted by the drug gangs over the songs.

The 11 wounded were rushed in private vehicles to different clinics in the city, capital of the likenamed state, and all are currently listed in stable condition.

Chihuahua state, one of the most affected by drug-related violence in Mexico, has accounted for about 30 percent of the more than 47,000 drug-related murders registered since newly inaugurated President Felipe Calderon declared war on the country’s drug cartels in December 2006.

Chihuahua is home to Ciudad Juarez, located across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, and considered Mexico’s murder capital.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Costa Rican Girl (12) Raped by Father; Gives Birth to Brother, Struggles to Maintain Family (VIDEO)

Costa Rican Girl (12) Raped by Father; Gives Birth to Brother, Struggles to Maintain Family (VIDEO)

Photo: Incest Charge in Costa Rica

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In the small town of Cuajiniquil, Costa Rica, a young girl’s life has been changed forever after being a victim of incest.  At just 12 years of age, “Gisell” was raped by her father, Javier Luna Lopez.  After the rape, she soon found out she was pregnant.  She gave birth to a baby boy, her son, yet also her brother.

The attack occurred after her father arrived home drunk and found his daughter asleep in her bed.  Unable to defend herself, “Gisell” was violated by her father, changing her life forever.  Lopez was later arrested and faced trial.  Although “Gisell” was too distraught to testify during her father’s trial, the evidence was enough to convict him.

Today “Gisell” is learning to juggle her studies, normal childhood activities, as well as her responsibilities as a mother.  Her baby remains a part of the family; however the entire family is still struggling.

According to Maribel Peña, a specialist at the Patronato Nacional de Infancia, a child services center, long term therapy for the entire family will be imperative.  “Gisell” as well as her mother and siblings will need continued emotional support and therapy in order to overcome the abuse of her father. 

Although this young girl has faced an atrocious act of abuse she still continues to look towards the future.  “Gisell” hopes to continue her studies and eventually become a teacher. 


Read more at Univision →

Colombian Spy Chief Currently in Panama Will Not be Extradited

Colombian Spy Chief Currently in Panama Will Not be Extradited

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Panama rejected on Friday a request from Colombia to extradite former spy chief Maria del Pilar Hurtado, who faces charges in Bogota over an illegal wiretapping scandal.

The foreign ministry cited the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights, an international accord on asylum and Panamanian law as reasons for denying Colombia’s request.

The ministry also noted an executive order issued last November by Panama’s president granting asylum to Hurtado, who fled Colombia in the fall of 2010.

Currently enjoying asylum in Panama are former presidents of Guatemala, Jorge Serrano Elias; and Ecuador, Abdala Bucaram; as well as erstwhile Haitian military strongman Raoul Cedras.

Hurtado is accused of criminal conspiracy, illegal wiretapping, diversion of public funds and falsifying documents. She led the DAS security agency from August 2007 to October 2008 and is one of several former directors to be charged in the scandal.

A former senior DAS official said in December 2010 that the main intended recipient of transcripts of the illegal telephone intercepts was Alvaro Uribe, Colombia’s president from August 2002 to August 2010.

William Romero said Hurtado instructed him and other DAS agents to spy on Supreme Court justices, assuring her subordinates that the order came from Uribe.

The targets of the warrantless wiretapping by DAS, which reports directly to the office of the president, also included opposition politicians, journalists and political activists, some of them foreign nationals who visited Colombia.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Arizona Democratic Party responds to Russell Pearce Running for Reelection

Arizona Democratic Party responds to Russell Pearce Running for Reelection

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Arizona Democratic Party Executive Director Luis Heredia released the following statement on Russell Pearce filing for reelection:

“As we saw last weekend when Russell Pearce was elected the GOP’s shadow chairman, the Arizona Republican Party is doubling down on the same failed leadership that even Pearce’s own conservative district has rejected. Given that, it should come as no surprise that Pearce is running for reelection.”

“Arizona has shown time and again over the last year that it has moved past the ugly and divisive politics of Russell Pearce. Come November, Arizona will again show Pearce that his time is over.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

SaturdayFebruary 4, 2012