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MondayFebruary 27, 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 to Visit Latin America

Secretary Janet Napolitano to Visit Latin America

Photo: Sectretary Janet Napolitano in Latin America

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Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner David Aguilar, and Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for International Affairs Alan Bersin will travel to Latin America.

Napolitano and her team will be visiting Mexico City, Guatemala City, San Salvador, San Jose and Panama City from February 27 through February 29 to meet with international counterparts and discuss the United States government’s efforts in facilitating trade and travel, enhancing information sharing and working to ensure a more safe, secure and resilient global supply chain.

More details on the trip will be released once they are finalized.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Schools in the U.S Teaching Spanish With New Method

Learning Spanish is becoming more important for Americans every day, so the pilot launch of an interactive learning program in schools is being carried out to create a new model for introducing the United States’ second-most-spoken language into the country’s educational system.

E.L. Haynes Public Charter School in Washington has been the first to employ the new program that enables students to study Spanish on their own computers using specialized software.

The fact is that Washington’s large Hispanic presence makes it increasingly necessary to adjust public-school education to the needs of each student.

“We have students who are ethnically Latinos but know nothing of Spanish, or they can speak it but not write it, and there are others who speak no English at all,” the school’s founder and head, Jennie Nyles, told Efe.

Teacher Teresa Danskey said that this software provides ninth-grade students with Spanish classes that personalize the learning more than traditional methods do, while combining understanding, reading, writing, vocabulary and pronunciation in a single method.

She explained that English-speaking students aren’t the only ones who need help with their Spanish - all Spanish-speakers need to hone their language skills since so many of them lack command of the written language.

With this new program, students look at photos on their computers that they then have to describe orally - the software indicates whether the words and pronunciation are correct or not. Other activities require the student to write phrases or answer questions.

Traditional methods are more like group exercises, but this system is very personal. The program doesn’t go on to the next lesson until the student has satisfactorily completed the one he or she is working on,” Danskey said.

The program being introduced at Haynes in its pilot stage can be used to teach any language.

For students it’s an easier and “more fun” way to learn Spanish, above all because of the difficulties English speakers so often have with Spanish pronunciation.

Kashmyere Hunter, one of the students taking the program, generally uses it a home, but often studies it during the morning before classes start, dedicating to it in all some three to four hours a week.

“The word that’s hardest for me to pronounce is ‘bicicleta’ (bicycle),” 9th-grader Patrick Smith told Efe.

Smith still doesn’t understand what his Spanish-speaking schoolmates talk about among themselves, but knows that the software will eventually enable him to grasp the meaning of what they say.

“It’s a lot of fun to learn another language, but sometmes it’s very hard to pronounce the words,” he said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Archbishop Warns of Fake Tickets for Papal Mass

Mexican Archbishop Warns of Fake Tickets for Papal Mass

Photo: Pope to travel to Mexico

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Distribution of tickets for the Mass that Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate during his visit to the central Mexican state of Guanajuato is slated to start in the second week of March and all tickets being offered on the Internet are fake, Leon Archbishop Jose Guadalupe Martin Rabago said.

“Whoever says they have tickets available is obviously lying,” the archbishop said Sunday.

Martin Rabago said in a press conference that it would be difficult to estimate how many people might travel to Guanajuato to see the pope.

“I believe that any of us who gives an estimate could make a mistake. I have heard various figures from those who say 2 million might come, that 3 (million) will come, and some who still talk about more,” Martin Rabago said.

Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate an open-air Mass in the morning on March 25 at the city of Silao’s Guanajuato Bicentenario Park, which can hold about 300,000 people, all of whom will need tickets to enter, the archbishop said, adding that tickets would not be sold.

Only 500 people, including a priest from each of Mexico’s 91 dioceses and lay people who receive invitations, will participate in the praying of vespers on Saturday, March 24, at the Leon Cathedral, Martin Rabago said.

Leon is home to 1.4 million people and the massive influx of tourists is expected to overwhelm the city’s hotels, forcing many visitors to camp out in the public spaces set aside for that purpose by municipal officials.

The city government approved a measure last Friday to charge those camping out in Leon 200 pesos ($15.55).

The up to 160,000 visitors expected by city officials can go to visitapapalenleon.mx or call 01 800 5366 486 to reserve a camp site in Leon.

The biggest crowds are expected for the pope’s drives through the city on the afternoon of March 23, when he will arrive in Leon, and on March 26, the day that he will leave the Mexican city for Santiago, Cuba.

Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to stay at Leon’s Colegio Miraflores during his visit to Mexico.

No details have been released on the route to be taken by the Popemobile during Benedict XVI’s visit and officials have not said how many volunteers have been recruited to form the human wall planned along the route.

The Catholic Church has called for at least 75,000 young people to serve as volunteers in support tasks.

Pope Benedict XVI is scheduled to visit three cities in Guanajuato.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Boston College Senior Franco Garcia Missing Since February 21

Boston College Senior Franco Garcia Missing Since February 21

Photo: Franco Garcia of Boston College missing since February 21

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A search is on for a 21-year-old Massachusetts student who went missing last week.

Friends and family of Franco Garcia are worried and confused after the Boston College senior disappeared. He was last seen at around 12:20 a.m. early Wednesday morning, as friends saw they saw him as he left a local bar in Brighton, MA. A friend said she thought it was odd that he did not say good bye, but still just assumed he went home.

Posters have been put up all over town and state that he was last seen wearing a long-sleeved white and blue striped shirt and jeans. He is said to be about 6 feet tall and a 200 lbs.

His car is still parked at Boston College and has not moved since he disappeared. Police say his cell phone signal was last detected near Chestnut Hill reservoir and the nearby wooded area in Boston.

State Police specialists took a boat onto the reservoir and used a side-scan sonar device, which they dragged through the 20- to 25-foot-deep water, but found nothing. Divers were also deployed, but they too found nothing. A helicopter also searched the area, but turned up nothing. The search of the reservoir is said to continue Tuesday.

Garcia has been living with his parents in nearby West Newton while he attends Boston College, studying chemistry and playing clarinet in the school’s symphony band and trombone on the marching band.

Garcia’s friends has set up various ways to get the word out about his disappearance, including the Twitter hashtag #FindFranco and the Gmail account findfrancoBC@gmail.com.

They urge anyone with information, photos or videos from the area the night of his disappearance (February 21) or since to contact them or the Newton Police Department at 617-796-2100.

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STUDY:  Family and Peers Essential to Mexican-American College Student Success

STUDY:  Family and Peers Essential to Mexican-American College Student Success

Photo: Carlos Gustavo Research on Mexican-Americans

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Hispanics are enrolling in the higher education system at a greater rate than ever, yet they are less likely than their non-Hispanic peers to enter college or earn degrees, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. A new study by a University of Missouri researcher found that Mexican-American college students’ family and peer attachments are associated with prosocial and physically aggressive behaviors that can affect their success in college.

Gustavo Carlo, Millsap Professor of Diversity in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, found that college students who maintained strong relationships with their parents and peers were more likely to report less physical aggression and higher levels of empathy, an emotion associated with more prosocial behaviors, such as assisting in emergencies or helping others without expecting a reward.

“The ability to develop secure, trusting, intimate relationships is a marker of positive development,” Carlo said. “Close parent and peer attachments lead to positive outcomes such as successful social functioning, academic competence and contributions to society.”

Latinos’ positive development largely remains unstudied, but Carlo says understanding the importance of relationships in Mexican-American culture could help higher education administrators find ways to increase the number of Latino students who enroll in college and earn degrees. Carlo says educators and administrators should help young Latino adults adapt to college life by including parents in their children’s continued development and exposing students to positive peer environments.

“The combination of students’ attachment to their parents and their peers seems to best predict their developmental outcomes,” Carlo said. “Even though the students aren’t living with their parents, there’s clearly still a connection there, especially for Mexican-American women. Since peers tend to have a significant influence on Latino men, we need to pay attention to the nature of their peer groups.”

The study, “Empathy as a mediator of the relations between parent and peer attachment and prosocial and physically aggressive behaviors in Mexican-American college students,” was published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Carlo collaborated with researchers Rachel Hayes and Miriam Martinez from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Meredith McGinley from Chatham University.

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies is part of the College of Human Environmental Sciences.

Read more by HS News Staff →

AZ Gov. Jan Brewer Passes on Dinner at White House, Endorses Mitt Romney

AZ Gov. Jan Brewer Passes on Dinner at White House, Endorses Mitt Romney

Photo: AZ Gov. Jan Brewer Passes on Dinner at White House, Endorses Mitt Romney

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Arizona’s controversial Governor Jan Brewer has announced her endorsement of presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

On Sunday, Brewer told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that she felt Romney was the man she felt “can carry the day.” Adding, “Mitt is by far the person that can go in and win.”

Brewer has made national headlines for her support of harsh and often-deemed racist immigration laws.

The endorsement from Brewer ahead of Tuesday’s Arizona Republican presidential primary could both help and hurt Romney. While Brewer’s support could sway the opinions of conservatives who have had trouble warming up to him, the sought-after Latino vote is likely to be hurt by such support.

The national front-runner has said he wants to complete an impenetrable fence along the U.S.-Mexico border and has recently called for “self-deportation” of the undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

Along with her support of Romney, Brewer also made the announcement hat she would not be attending the National Governors Association dinner at the White House over the weekend.

This decision comes on the heels of a highly publicized duel she reportedly had with President Obama shortly after he landed in Arizona last month.

Though they admit to a not-so-pleasant exchange of words on the tarmac, Gov. Brewer told reporters Saturday that the incident “was a little distorted rather than reported probably the way that it actually happened.”

Gov. Brewer stated that her decision not to attend the black-tie event at the White House was a result of prior commitments.

Read more by HS News Staff →

CALIFORNIA: 11-Yr-Old Dies of Blood Clot in Brain Just Hours After Fight Outside School

CALIFORNIA: 11-Yr-Old Dies of Blood Clot in Brain Just Hours After Fight Outside School

Photo: 11-Yr-Old Dies of Blood Clot in Brain Just Hours After Fight Outside School

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A California girl was pronounced dead just hours after a fight with another girl outside their school this weekend.

Friday, 11-year-old Joanna Ramos and others students were leaving and afterschool program Friday when Joanna and another girl began fighting in a nearby alley. It is said they were fighting over a boy.

A friend of Joanna’s said she told a teacher about the fight and the teacher said she’d talk with the girls on Monday. Sadly, Joanna would not be in school the that day.

Though witnesses say neither girl used weapons or even fell to the ground during the pre-planned fight, just six hours later, Joanna was dead.

According to the Associated Press, adults saw that the Long Beach girl was not feeling well. Joanna’s 17-year-old sister said the 11-year-old was vomiting before finally losing consciousness on the couch.

She was taken to the hospital, where she was revived three times and underwent emergency surgery to remove a blood clot in her brain. By 9 p.m. Friday Joanna was dead, a mere 6 hours after the fight.

A coroner has not yet released a cause of death and police say it is unclear whether the fight earlier in the day had anything to do with her death. No charges have been filed in the case and officers are said to be talking to the other girl involved in the fight.

Outside of Willard Elementary School, flowers and other objects have begun building in remembrance of Joanna.

Read more by HS News Staff →

U.S. Tourists Warned of Potential Kidnapping Threat in Iquitos, Peru

U.S. Tourists Warned of Potential Kidnapping Threat in Iquitos, Peru

Photo: Iquitos, Peru Travel Warning Issued

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The U.S. Embassy warns U.S. citizens of a potential kidnapping threat in the Iquitos area.  The Embassy has received information that members of criminal organizations may be planning to kidnap foreigners in the Iquitos region.  Possible targets, time frames, and methods are not known.  The region has not been put off limits for U.S. Embassy personnel; however employees are being reminded to take this threat into consideration and practice good personal security while working in or traveling to Iquitos.

The U.S. Embassy recommends that all U.S. citizens take security measures while overseas to lower their profile and susceptibility to criminal assaults, carjackings, kidnappings or other attacks.  By maintaining a high level of vigilance of your surroundings to detect potential surveillance and frequently changing your departure times and routes of travel, you can make it difficult for would-be kidnappers to target you. 

Please see the Department of State’s Tips for Traveling Abroad for more tips on how to stay safe while overseas.

You can stay in touch and get Embassy updates by checking the Embassy Lima website.  Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or by calling the regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. 

U.S. citizens residing and traveling abroad should review the Department’s Worldwide Caution and other travel information when making decisions concerning their travel plans and activities while abroad. 

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Dominican Smugglers Leave Undocumented Cubans in Treacherous Waters to Die

Dominican Smugglers Leave Undocumented Cubans in Treacherous Waters to Die

Photo: Yola Rescue with Cuban migrants

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An alien citizen of Cuba died yesterday afternoon, adding to the recent toll of deaths of undocumented aliens in the Mona Passage being transported by smuggling organizations attempting to reach the shores of the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.

Facing the threat of being intercepted and arrested by law enforcement, yesterday afternoon two human smugglers left a group of aliens of Cuban nationality by “yola” close to the treacherous cliffs of Mona and and Monito islands; both part of a natural reserve between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Federal authorities under the Caribbean Border Interagency Group, along with Dominican Republic Navy, were able to join forces to interdict and arrest the two Dominican smugglers and rescue 12 adult males, one male minor and three women.

The migrant vessel proceeded to transit towards Mona Island, where the remaining 12 migrants jumped into the water and began swimming towards shore.

Immediately thereafter, the smugglers proceeded to flee the scene and head back towards the Dominican Republic with the CBP surveillance aircraft in aerial pursuit.

Customs and Border Protection helicopter recovered the 11 survivors and the deceased Cuban from Mona Island Thursday night and transported them to the main island of Puerto Rico. The Cushing transported the three other survivors to Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, where they turned custody to awaiting CBP Border Patrol Agents.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Did Jennifer Lopez Show Us a Little too Much at the Oscars? (VIDEO)

Did Jennifer Lopez Show Us a Little too Much at the Oscars? (VIDEO)

Photo: Did Jennifer Lopez Show Us a Little too Much at the Oscars?

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Though many swear they witnessed a J.Lo nip slip at the 2012 Oscars, the actress/singer’s stylist says no way.

Jennifer Lopez’s stylist Mariel Haenn has been making the rounds telling reporters that the 42-year-old’s Zuhair Murad dress with its deep-v neckline was “custom-made” for her.

Haenn told MTV, ‘The Oscar dress was custom-made for Jennifer by designer Zuhair Murad. The dress fit perfectly to her every inch. There were cups built in and there’s no chance that there were any how do you say? ‘Slips.’ While the dress did give the illusion of sheerness, jokes on everyone who wishes they saw something!”

Taking advantage of the publicity, someone created a Twitter account with the handle “JLosNipple”.

It’s exactly as it sounds. The tweets are in the point of view of Lopez’s nipple. With just 69 tweets, the now-famous tweeter has 1,854 followers.

Here were the first tweets, starting just minutes after the alleged slip:

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Was there a slip?


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Latin Artists Go Home Empty Handed from 2012 Oscars

Latin Artists Go Home Empty Handed from 2012 Oscars

Photo: 2012 Oscar Winners

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Latin artists left the 84th Annual Academy Awards unrewarded, even as “The Artist,” a French silent film in black and white, took home five Oscars including the one for the year’s Best Picture.

As expected, Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” was the biggest rival to “The Artist,” winning five gold statuettes, though all were for technical achievements.

Neither the Mexicans Demian Bichir and Emmanuel Lubezki, nor Argentina’s Berenice Bejo, nor the Brazilians Carlinhos Brown and Sergio Mendes, nor Spain’s Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal and Alberto Iglesias, had any luck at a ceremony that produced few surprises.

Lubezki wasn’t kept in suspense for long, being the first to know that an Oscar wasn’t in the cards for him, though he had been a top pick to win the Best Cinematography award for his work in “The Tree of Life.”

This was the fifth time Lubezki was nominated for an Oscar, but could only look on as Robert Richardson took the cinematography prize for “Hugo.”

More predictable was the Best Actor category, in which Jean Dujardin took the golden trophy for “The Artist,” while Bichir, nominated for his role in “A Better Life,” watched his chances vanish from his seat in the Hollywood & Highland Center, formerly called the Kodak Theatre.

Something of a foregone conclusion was Bejo’s unsuccessful grab for the Best Supporting Actress prize despite the box-office success of her film “The Artist.”

The Argentine who grew up in France lost to a teary Octavia Spencer, whose part in “The Help” captured the vote of most members of Hollywood’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Brazilian musicians Carlinhos Brown and Sergio Mendes competed in the Best Original Song category with their tune “Real in Rio,” from the animated film “Rio,” against just one rival, “Man or Muppet,” from the feature puppet film “The Muppets.”

Despite the enthusiasm shown by Brown and Mendes when they arrived at the theater and danced on the red carpet, the prize went to the song created for Jim Henson’s wacky characters.

Spaniards had no better luck, not even Fernando Trueba, who had already won an Oscar in 1994 with “Belle Epoque” for Best Foreign Language Film.

Trueba directed, together with designer Javier Mariscal, the animated film “Chico y Rita,” a love story about two musicians in pre-Castro Cuba.

“Rango,” the strong favorite, took the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film.

The other Spaniard in the fray, Alberto Iglesias, went home empty-handed for the third time in his bid to win the Best Original Score award, bestowed this year on Ludovic Bource for “The Artist.”

Iglesias, composer of soundtracks for almost all Pedro Almodovar’s films, had been nominated for his music in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.”

“The Artist,” nominated for 10 Oscars, collected Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Original Score, with the prize for Best Director going to Michel Hazanavicius - husband of Berenice Bejo - and for Best Costume Design to Mark Bridges.

“Hugo,” with one nomination more than “The Artist,” in the end had to settle for technical awards, and together with the golden statuette for Best Cinematography was also honored for Best Art Direction, Sound Editing and Visual Effects.

Veteran film star Meryl Streep came out on top in a category that had been considered a toss-up - Best Actress - against Viola Davis’ performance in “The Help.”

Streep won her third Oscar for playing Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady,” a role that won her a 17th Oscar nomination, an absolute record for most lifetime Academy Awards nominations.

“The Iron Lady” also took Best Makeup to make it the only movie besides “The Artist” and “Hugo” to win more than one award.

Christopher Plummer set a record by winning Best Actor in a Supporting Role for “Beginners,” at 82 becoming the oldest person ever to win an Oscar.

Woody Allen won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for “Midnight in Paris,” the fourth of his career and the third in this category, while Alexander Payne took his second statuette for Best Adapted Screenplay for “The Descendants.”

The Iranian movie “A Separation” was honored as the Best Foreign Language Film.

Read more by HS News Staff →

NALEO’s Arizona Latino Voter Profile

NALEO’s Arizona Latino Voter Profile

Photo: Latino Arizona Voters 2012

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The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, released its 2012 primary electoral profile for the state of Arizona.

“Nearly 16% of voters in the state of Arizona are Latino,” stated NALEO Educational Fund Executive Director Arturo Vargas. “Given the size of the Latino electorate and the fact that Arizona has played host to several competitive presidential elections over the last few decades, we know the support of Latino voters will play a critical role in the outcome of the 2012 election.”

With Arizona emerging as “ground zero” in the nation’s debate over immigration policy, the state’s anti-immigrant climate could play a significant role in mobilizing Latinos to cast ballots in the 2012 primary and general elections. 

There are 11 electoral college votes at stake in tomorrow’s primary. 

Click here for NALEO’s complete report

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Brazil: 30 Tourists Robbed During Hiking Trip

About 30 tourists were robbed over the weekend by six armed men while hiking in Tijuca National Park in the southern section of Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian police said.

The tourists were on one of the trails Sunday leading to Pedra da Gavea, a monolith that rise more than 800 meters (2,622 feet) and offers impressive views of the city, when the robbers cut them off.

The robbers took cell phones, purses, cash and cameras from the tourists, police said.

A police officer in the tour group managed to get away and call for help, but the robbers escaped, the G1 news Web site reported.

Police searched for the armed robbers in the heavily wooded and mountainous area.

Tijuca National Park, declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, has several units that offer magnificent vistas and includes Corcovado Mountain, home to the world famous Christ the Redeemer statue.

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Mexico’s Cemex Buys Ireland’s Readymix

Mexico’s Cemex Buys Ireland’s Readymix

Photo: Cemex Buys Readymix PLC

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Mexico’s Cemex, one of the world’s three largest cement companies, said it has agreed to acquire all of the shares in Ireland’s Readymix PLC it did not already hold for 10.6 million euros ($14.2 million).

The Mexican firm said in a filing with the Mexican stock exchange that it would make the share acquisition through its Cemex Spain unit.

Cemex said in the filing that it agreed to acquire the stake it did not already own in its subsidiary - approximately 39 percent of the total - for 0.25 euros ($0.36) per share.

The transaction must still be approved by Readymix’s shareholders, although the filing said that the company’s Irish shareholders consider Cemex’s offer to be “fair and reasonable.”

Founded in 1906, Cemex operates in more than 50 countries and is one of the world’s “big three” cement makers along with France’s Lafarge and Switzerland’s Holcim.

The Mexican company posted a net loss of more than $1.5 billion in 2011, or 18 percent higher than the previous year’s net loss, although sales, which climbed 8 percent, were up for the first time in four years.

The cement giant’s balance sheet was battered by the global recession and the accompanying slump in construction.

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Plaguing Problem for Latin America: Inmates Killed in El Salvador Prison

Plaguing Problem for Latin America: Inmates Killed in El Salvador Prison

Photo: Chalantanga Prison, El Salvador

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At least three inmates were murdered and another is missing at the Chalatenango prison in northern El Salvador, officials said.

The three bodies were found Saturday night in different parts of the prison and the missing inmate may also have been murdered, the director of the national bureau of prisons, Nelson Rauda, said.

The killings may be linked to a fight involving members of rival gangs, Rauda said, without disclosing how the men were murdered.

A state of emergency has been declared at the Chalatenango prison for 10 days, with inmates ordered to remain in their cells and all visits cancelled, Rauda said.

Three inmates were murdered in December at the prison in Chalatenango, located about 72 kilometers (45 miles) north of San Salvador.

Prison officials, meanwhile, discovered a tunnel Saturday at the San Francisco Gotera prison in eastern El Salvador that prisoners apparently planned to use for an escape.

El Salvador’s 21 prisons are designed to hold about 8,300 prisoners, but they currently house more than 24,000 inmates, official figures show.

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Peru’s Uncontacted Amazon Tribes Exploited as ‘Human Safaris’ Says Survival International

Peru’s Uncontacted Amazon Tribes Exploited as ‘Human Safaris’ Says Survival International

Photo: Uncontacted Tribes as Human Safari

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Peru’s uncontacted Mashco-Piro tribe is facing the very real threat of being exploited by ‘human safaris’, according to British newspaper The Observer.

Last month, Survival International released detailed photos of the tribe, to draw attention to the importance of protecting them from unwanted contact.

The Mashco-Piro live in Peru’s Manú National Park, which is extremely popular with tourists, and sightings of the tribe have increased in the last year.

Illegal logging and nearby oil and gas projects are forcing them out of the forest and closer to the riverbanks, where they are more visible to passing boats. 

Now, The Observer says the Mashco-Piro could fall victim to yet another threat – ‘human safaris’; a scandal first exposed by Survival International in India’s Andaman Islands in 2010.

An investigation by The Observer suggests that some unscrupulous tour-guides working in Manú Park are trying to profit from sightings of the tribe.

The newspaper has evidence that some companies are offering tourists ‘tailor-made programmes’ where they are ‘lucky’ enough to see ‘uncontacted natives’.

The findings bear a disturbing resemblance to the ‘human safari’ scandal on the Andaman Islands. However, organizations in Peru are acting quickly to prevent such a situation.

Peruvian authorities and indigenous organization Fenamad are urging local residents to stay away from the tribe, and are setting up a guard post to prevent intruders from making unwanted contact.

They are also working closely together to ensure illegal loggers are caught and the tribe’s land protected.

Survival International’s Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘Of course not all tour operators are pursuing ‘human safaris’, and it’s reassuring to read that some acknowledge the dangers for both tourists and the Mashco-Piro of large numbers of people entering this area. But the unscrupulous operators really need to be exposed, as encouraging tourists to ‘view’ the Mashco-Piro is extremely irresponsible, and potentially deadly.’

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MondayFebruary 27, 2012