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MondayMarch 5, 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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9-Year Old Piano Prodigy Performs with Mexican Philharmonic

9-Year Old Piano Prodigy Performs with Mexican Philharmonic

Photo: Daniela Liebman Piano Prodigy, Mexico

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A 9-year-old pianist made her solo debut over the weekend with the Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra in western Mexico, opening the orchestra’s season.

Daniela Liebman, who has performed in the United States, Spain and Italy, played pieces by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and other classical composers during her appearance in her home state of Jalisco.

“I love to play because you can make people feel things that you can’t make them feel with words,” Daniela told Efe after signing autographs and posing for photos with fans on Sunday night.

The young pianist performed with the philharmonic orchestra at the Teatro Degollado in Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco.

Daniela, who comes from a family of talented musicians, is considered a child prodigy because she started playing the piano at the age of 3 and turned professional at the age of 6, her teacher, famous teacher, composer and conductor Anatoly Zatin, told Efe.

Daniela’s life is like that of most girls her age from Monday to Wednesday, attending the 4th grade, doing chores, playing video games and exploring the Internet.

The rest of the week, however, Daniela is in Colima, located about 200 kilometers (124 miles) from Guadalajara, where Zatin serves as director of the Instituto Universitario de Bellas Artes.

Daniela spends between three and four hours a day at the piano, putting in “a pretty intense session,” Zatin said.

Daniela’s hard work has paid off, allowing her to perform at the Varallo International Piano Festival in Milan, Italy, the Elan Piano Festival in Texas and in numerous concerts in various Mexican states.

“It hasn’t been hard because you can’t get nervous about doing something that you like to do,” Daniela, who won Madrid’s Noche music contest last year, said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Tattooed Murder Scene Killer, Anthony Garcia, Collected $30,000 Unemployment Benefits while Jailed

Tattooed Murder Scene Killer, Anthony Garcia, Collected $30,000 Unemployment Benefits while Jailed

Photo: Anthony Garcia, Courtest Los Angeles Police Department

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Convicted murderer,  Anthony Garcia, is getting more notoriety than his murder-scene tattoos, this time for collecting unemployment benefits while sitting in a Los Angeles jail.

Authorities say Garcia’s 47-year-old father, Juan Garcia and his two girlfriends Sandra Jimenez and Cynthia Limas collected his unemployment checks from 2008-2010, cashed them and deposited the funds into Garcia’s account and that of other gang members.

Garcia, a gang member, is in jail for the 2004 killing of rival gang member John Juarez.  The murder scene, that included a Pico Rivera liquor store and a character getting shot, was proudly tattooed on Garcia’s chest, which helped authorities convict him.

Los Angeles authorities believe Garcia collected more than $30,000 in benefits illegally.  Garcia father and the girlfriends have been arrested on grand theft charges. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latino Blotter:  Man Mom Meets on Online, Moves in 4 Days Later,  Assaults Her 3-year Old

Latino Blotter:  Man Mom Meets on Online, Moves in 4 Days Later,  Assaults Her 3-year Old

Photo: Matthew James Salinas Arrested for Abusing 3-Yr Old

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A Texas mom is accused of meeting a man on line allowing him to move in with her four days later and watching when he sexually assaulted her three-year-old daughter.

The alleged assailant is 23-year-old Matthew James Salinas who is charged with aggravated assault of a child and has bond set at $40,000. 

The unidentified victim made believable complaints to her grandmother in February, she in turn went immediately to the Cameron County Sheriff.  Salinas was living with the mother, toddler and grandmother. 

According to some reports the grandmother had also caught Salinas ‘fondling the girl’.  It is also being reported that the little girl claims her mother was present when Salinas assaulted her. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Pablo Milanes Cancels Tour in Spain After Emergency Surgery

Pablo Milanes Cancels Tour in Spain After Emergency Surgery

Photo: Pablo Milanes Cancels Tour in Spain After Emergency Surgery

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Cuban singer-songwriter Pablo Milanes cancelled his Spanish concert tour after undergoing emergency surgery for an umbilical hernia at Ruber Internacional Clinic in Madrid.

Although the hernia did not prove to be serious, the medical team treating the artist advised him to undergo the operation to avoid possible peritonitis, according to the Cuban musician’s public relations office.

The same sources said that Milanes, who will have to have complete rest for three weeks, tried to avoid the series of cancellations until the last minute by using a corset during his performances.

At present, it is not known what will be done about the tickets already sold for his Spanish tour, which kicked off on March 2 in Barcelona’s Palau de la Musica and could now be postponed until Milanes’ complete recovery.

The Cuban singer, who is scheduled to release his next album at mid-year, had included 12 concerts on his current tour.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Nearly 4 Million Mexican teens have Posted Racy Photos on Web

Nearly 4 Million Mexican teens have Posted Racy Photos on Web

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Around 3.6 million Mexican teenagers say they have posted photos of themselves in “provocative poses” on the Internet, the IFAI data-protection agency said.

And more than 40 percent of those young people say they do not consider it dangerous to go out on a date with someone they met online, IFAI Commissioner Angel Trinidad Zaldivar said.

At an event with two law firms specializing in data protection, Trinidad said that “a new culture of personal data protection” must be pushed in Mexico, the IFAI said in a statement.

In Mexico, where e-commerce represents some 15 percent of total buying and selling, there are some 40 million regular Internet users, a quarter of them teens.

Of those, 45 percent have their computer in their room and 30 percent post personal data such as their address, telephone number, school name and family photos on the social networks, IFAI says.

Mexico has a federal law protecting personal data but continues to face great challenges in this area, Trinidad said.

“Every day we leave a large trace of personal information; we consult Internet pages, we send e-mails, we make purchases with a credit card, calls from our cell phone and thanks to the flow of information big companies obtain an average of 2,500 details on each of us each month,” he said.

In Mexico, the most frequent crimes that occur online are identity theft, fraud, extortion, child pornography and piracy, according to the Mexican Internet Association.

Read more by HS News Staff →

VP Joe Biden’s First Leg of Latin America Trip is Visit with Mexico’s Felipe Calderon

VP Joe Biden’s First Leg of Latin America Trip is Visit with Mexico’s Felipe Calderon

Photo: VP Joe Biden meets with President Felipe Calderon, Mexico City

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Mexican President Felipe Calderón met with US Vice-President Joseph Biden, currently on a working visit to Mexico City, at the official Los Pinos residence today.

They agreed on the importance of coordinated work with a long-term view for the well-being and security of the two countries. They also highlighted the importance of the contributions made by migrants to their communities.

President Calderón hailed the Mexican economy and the advancements achieved in social development. He highlighted the complementary nature of efforts by Mexico and the United States to create more and better jobs and to increase the competitiveness of their respective economies.  Calderon also hailed the measures adopted by President Barack Obama and stressed the need to reinforce measures against arms trafficking into Mexico and money laundering.

For his part, Vice-President Biden repeated the US government’s commitment to reinforcing the strategic partnership with Mexico. Biden highlighted the importance of the frequent dialogue between top level government officials on all issues in the broad bilateral agenda promoted by President Calderón and President Obama.

Vice President Biden also met with the three presidential candidates, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Enrique Pena Nieto and Josefina Vazquez Mota. 

Tomorrow the Vice President will travel to Honduras with plans to meet with President Porfirio Lobo.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Michelle Rodriguez Among Those Discovery Their Ancestry on PBS Series “Finding Your Roots”

Michelle Rodriguez Among Those Discovery Their Ancestry on PBS Series “Finding Your Roots”

Photo: Michelle Rodriguez, PBS Series "Finding Your Roots"

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Michelle Rodriguez is among those taking part in the 10-part PBS series Finding Your Roots, in which those taking part join Harvard scholar and renowned cultural critic Henry Louis Gates Jr. into the discovery of each person’s ancestry and the role it plays in American history.

Finding Your Roots examines the histories and family genealogies of a number of well-known personalities. But everyone has a story. Whether it’s anecdotes about ancestors from generations past, or stories of recent relatives, each of us has a rich, unique genealogical heritage to share. Tell us your family story.

ImageRodriguez, who impressed many in her first film Girlfight in 2000, was born in San Antonio, Texas to a Dominican mother and Puerto Rican father. She has since starred in a number of movies, notably in The Fast and the Furious and its sequels. She had also made appearances on television shows.

The series will premiere on March 25 and will run on Sundays until May 20 at 8 p.m. on PBS. Two episodes will air back-to-back on March 25.

Other celebrities include: Kevin Bacon, Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker, Angela Buchdal, Geoffrey Canada, comedian and LGBT activist Margaret Cho, Harry Connick Jr., Robert Downey Jr., CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Samuel L. Jackson, musician John Legend, Congressman John Lewis, Branford Marsalis, Yasir Qadhi, Condoleezza Rice, Kyra Sedgwick, comedian Wanda Sykes, Ruth Simmons, Martha Stewart, Barbara Walters and Rick Warren.

Read more by HS News Staff →

6.1 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Argentina this Morning

6.1 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Argentina this Morning

Photo: 6.1 Earthquake near Santiago del Estero

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An early morning earthquake registering at a 6.1 magnitude rocked Argentina with no reports of damages or injuries.

The earthquake struck some 342 miles below the Earth’s surface some 69 miles away from the city of Santiago del Estero.

It is believe the depth of the quake is why there were no reports of damage or injuries.

Santiago del Estero is located in the northern region of the country and is the country’s twelfth largest city.

Read more by HS News Staff →

JUST IN:  G8 Summit in Chicago Cancelled by White House, Moving to Camp David

Chicago’s Crain Magazine is reporting that the White House has cancelled the May G8 meetings in Chicago.  World leaders were due to gather in the Windy City for the G8 and also the NATO summit, which has not been cancelled.

It was to be the first time in over 30 years that both international summits were to be held in one city.  It was also going to be a time when the President would celebrate his home town.

Numerous Latin American leaders were planning on attending the summit on May 19 -20. 

The White House issued the following statement:  “To facilitate a free-flowing discussion with our close G-8 partners, the president is inviting his fellow G-8 leaders to Camp David on May 18-19 for the G-8 Summit, which will address a broad range of economic, political and security issues.

The president will then welcome NATO allies and partners to his hometown of Chicago for the NATO Summit on May 20-21.”

 

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

How Do You Say “The Lorax” in Spanish? Animated Film Earns $70.7 Million Opening Weekend

How Do You Say “The Lorax” in Spanish? Animated Film Earns $70.7 Million Opening Weekend

Photo: How Do You "The Lorax" in Spanish? Animated Film Earns $70.7 Million Opening Weekend

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Though Universal expected “The Lorax”, based on the Dr. Seuss book of the same name, to have an impressive opening weekend, “The Lorax surpassed their estimate of $40 million.

In the biggest opening of 2012 thus far, “The Lorax” scored big at the box office, bringing in $70.7 million.

“The Lorax” tells the story of 12-year-old Ted, voiced by Zac Efron, who is in search of something that will help him win the affection of the girl of his dreams, Audrey (Taylor Swift). To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax (Danny Devito), the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world, and “speaks for the trees.” The story takes place in a time when trees and other fauna have become subjects of legend.

According to The Wrap, “The Lorax” “is now the biggest-opening animated family film that is not a sequel. It is Universal’s fourth-biggest opening of all time. And it is the biggest opening weekend for a movie based on a Dr. Seuss book.

Read more at The Wrap →

Justin Bieber Celebrates his 18th Birthday With Girlfriend Selena Gomez

Justin Bieber Celebrates his 18th Birthday With Girlfriend Selena Gomez

Photo: Justin Bieber Celebrates his 18th Birthday With Girlfriend Selena Gomez

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The now 18-year-old Justin Bieber celebrated his birthday with his girlfriend, actress/singer Selena Gomez over the weekend.

After being given the impressive gift of a $100,000 electric luxury car (a Fisker Karma) from his manager and Usher, Bieber joined Gomez for what he later tweeted as being a “#greatnight”.

Gomez, 19, also took to Twitter that day, saying, “Happy birthday to my best friend in the whole world!!!!”

It has been reported that Gomez flew in from the Florida filming of the movie Spring Breakers to attend her beau’s Los Angeles birthday party.

Throughout the night, photos were being posted on Twitter and it seemed the Biebs was happy to be with his girlfriend for the weekend.

Gomez wore a red, strapless dress, while Bieber went retro with an Elvis-inspired hairdo and black and white houndstooth jacket.

Bieber reportedly bought himself a substantial birthday gift, a $10.8 million mansion in Los Angeles. The home is reportedly still listed, meaning the deal may not be done, but Bieber isn’t the only one who digs the house. Since his split from Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher has been renting the mansion for an shocking $50,000 a month.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latino Blotter:  Mom Pleads Guilty to Smothering Child & Burying in Playground

Latino Blotter:  Mom Pleads Guilty to Smothering Child & Burying in Playground

Photo: Tiffany Toribio Pleads Guilty to Suffociating 3-yr son

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The horrific suffocation murder of a homeless 3-year old boy by his mother has concluded with her guilty plea today in New Mexico. 

Tiffany Toribio pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and child abuse for smothering and burying her child in a playground back in 2009.  The case came to light when family members reported a dead boy found in an Albuquerque playground fit the description of Ty.

Shortly after police questioned Toribio she confessed to suffocating her son, reviving him when she changed her mind and then suffocating him again.  She then proceeded to dig a shallow grave in a playground under the swing set.

Toribio, 25 years-old, who was homeless with the child at the time, was sentenced to 33 years in prison.

Her only defense was that she didn’t want her son to grow up homeless, unloved and alone like she did.  Reportedly she and the child had been kicked out of the house they were living in and were walking around the park at 1 a.m. when she decided to kill him.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Prince Harry Visits Belize Before Heading to Brazil as Part of Diamond Jubilee Tour (VIDEO)

Prince Harry Visits Belize Before Heading to Brazil as Part of Diamond Jubilee Tour (VIDEO)

Photo: Prince Harry Visits Belize Before Heading to Brazil

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Saturday, Prince Harry visited the Xunantunich Mayan Temple in Benque Viejo del Carmen, Belize as part of his Diamond Jubilee tour in the Caribbean and Central America.

The 27-year-old prince is serving as representative for Queen Elizabeth II as ambassador for Britain while he travels through Belize, Brazil, Jamaica, and the Bahamas.

During the second day of his Diamond Jubilee tour, the prince toured the Mayan ruins city of Xunantunich, where he climbed El Castillo, the site’s highest pyramid.

While in Belize’s capital city of Belmopan, he participated in the official naming of a new road. It was named Queen Elizabeth II Boulevard after his grandmother. After the naming, Prince Harry joined the locals in a street party.

The prince also laid a wreath at the memorial for British soldiers who died in the Belize over the years.

Friday, Prince Harry will head to Brazil in support of his charity Sentebale, which supports orphans and other children in the African country of Lesotho.

Read more at BBC →

Snooki Pregnant and Now Engaged

Snooki Pregnant and Now Engaged

Photo: Snooki Pregnant and Engaged

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Several media outlets are reporting that ‘Jersey Shore’ star, Snooki, is not only pregnant but also engaged.

The engagement news come on the heels of the pint-sized, over tanned guidette’s pregnancy reports.  The father of the baby is said to be her boyfriend, Jionni LaValle, who has been seen on the Jersey Shore reality series.

The Chilean (surprise she is not Italian!!!) Snooki is not confirming People magazine and E! News reports that LaValle popped the marriage question. 

The 24-year-old star has been saying in various interviews Jionni ‘is the one’, so if he popped the question she probably has said yes. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

As Suspected- Chavez Confirms Tumor was Malignant

As Suspected- Chavez Confirms Tumor was Malignant

Photo: Chavez Health -Cancer Repairs

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that he will undergo more radiation therapy after confirming that the tumor that was removed from his body on Feb. 26 in Havana was a “recurrence” of the cancer he was diagnosed with last June.

Chavez offered the details of the biopsy performed on the tumor, which he said was “two centimeters (about 3/4 inch) in diameter, that was removed from his body a week ago during a special 90-minute television program that was recorded in Cuba on Saturday and broadcast from there on Sunday in which he said that the cancer had not metastized and clarified that the date of the operation was the 26th.

“The (pathological) study was done with the required scientific rigor on the tumor that was completely removed and it confirmed what had already been supposed, that it is a recurrence of the cancer that was initially diagnosed,” Chavez announced at the close of the program.

Chavez said that “the most important thing” about the medical report is the part where it says that doctors confirmed that there were no lesions at this time suggesting the presence of cancer “either locally, or in the nearby organs, or at a distance ... (and) no metastasis or (cancerous) nodes.”

Chavez appeared energetic during the program and issued instructions to the members of the executive cabinet who accompanied him to Cuba, and he said that the operation was performed on Feb. 26 rather than on the 27th, as had been initially reported, adding that his recovery “is natural, is progressive, is sustained ... (and) rapid.”

He said that the diagnosis of the recurrence of cancer did not surprise him “at all,” since when he had been informed that a new tumor had been detected he knew that it could be a cancerous one “of the same kind as the previous one.”

To date, Venezuelan authorities have not reported the precise location of the original tumor, which was the size of a “baseball,” Chavez had said last year, stating only that it was located in the pelvic region.

Despite the confirmation of the tumor and the therapy he will now have to undergo, Chavez said that he feels “very optimistic” regarding the prognosis for recovery “thanks to ... good diagnosis and rapid intervention.”

The news of the recurrence of the disease came after Chavez had claimed at the end of last year that he had been cured of cancer while he was pushing ahead with long workdays that, his ministers said, proved his strength and also while he was moving forward with plans to run for reelection in the Oct. 7 presidential election.

Last year, Chavez had undergone four rounds of chemotherapy and was continuing to rest and recover, although more and more frequently he was making more prolonged appearances at public events and holding longer working sessions, all of which were broadcast by state-run television.

“I’m ready along with you to confront what we have to confront, but we will live and we will prevail,” he said on the television program broadcast on Sunday, repeating a phrase that he has used since the start of his battle with cancer nine months ago.

He thanked his supporters for their prayers and downplayed once again the rumors that have been circulating inside and outside Venezuela that his health situation is more serious than the government has been letting on.

Despite the fact that the special TV program had been announced to run “only” an hour, the president extended it for another half hour and discussed such matters as Sunday’s Russian presidential election, which Vladimir Putin won, despite controversy, and the conflict in Syria.

Chavez, who traveled to Havana on Feb. 24 for the medical procedure, did not specify where he will spend his time recovering or when he will return to Venezuela.

Read more by HS News Staff →

George P. Bush, the Latino Nephew, Helping GOP Reach out to Hispanics

George P. Bush, the Latino Nephew, Helping GOP Reach out to Hispanics

Photo: George P. Bush on Immigration

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The nephew of former President George W. Bush and son of Jeb Bush, George P. Bush, is making a name for himself in the Republican party with his outreach to the Latino voter.

The Republican Party has been continuously criticized for the negative rhetoric about immigration and the tendency to over look the Latino voter – well nephew Bush is trying to change all that.  He is the co-founder of the Hispanic Republicans of Texas Political Action Committee, which aims to advance Hispanics within the ranks of the Republican Party and get Latino voters behind those candidates.

He is a natural for this task not only because of his political lineage but because he is Latino; his mother Columba Garnica Gallo is Mexican.  Bush’s grandparents on his mother’s side were migrant workers.

According to the action committee “Hispanic Republicans of Texas was founded to recruit, train and elect Hispanic Republican candidates to state and local office. Over the past 18 months, HRT has rapidly grown into a political movement assisting those Hispanic leaders called to serve the public good.”

Bush’s position on the DREAM Act and immigration are moderate and left of where most of the current Republican presidential candidates are.  According to an interview with the Texas Tribune, Bush supports portion of the DREAM Act, “including a pathway toward legalization for illegal immigrants they serve in the military.” 

He also advocates the undocumented already in the U.S. be “taken out of the shadows and contribute to society and provide an opportunity to contribute and pay their fair share.” 

Read more by HS News Staff →

WATCH Salma Hayek’s New ‘Got Milk?’ Ad (VIDEO)

WATCH Salma Hayek’s New ‘Got Milk?’ Ad (VIDEO)

Photo: WATCH Salma Hayek's New 'Got Milk?' Ad

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What can we say? Sometimes you just need some milk.

Check out Selma Hayek’s hilarious Got Milk? commercial.


Related Videos

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Bloomberg Billionaire Index Declares Carlos Slim ‘King’ of the Rich, $68.5 Billion Net Worth

Bloomberg Billionaire Index Declares Carlos Slim ‘King’ of the Rich, $68.5 Billion Net Worth

Photo: Carlos Slim Richest Man

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As if we didn’t already know it – Mexico’s telecom tycoon, Carlos Slim, has been named the richest man in the world by another financial source beside the Forbes list.

The Bloomberg Billionaire Index, a new ranking index, has put the 72-year old head of Telemex as ‘El Rey’ of the billionaires with a $68.5 billion net worth.  The usual suspects came in second and third, Bill Gates ($62.4 billion) and Warren Buffet ($43.8 billion), respectively.

Another Latin American came in the top 10 of the Bloomberg index and that was Eike Batista.  Batista is a Brazilian mining mogul with a net worth of $28.8 billion. 

And coming in 6th place was Spaniard Amancio Ortega owner of the popular Zara clothing chain, coming in with a net worth of $38.8 billion.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Former Brazil President Lula Hospitalized with Infection After Conclusion of Cancer Treatment

Former Brazil President Lula Hospitalized with Infection After Conclusion of Cancer Treatment

Photo: President Lula Hospitalized Again

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Brazil’s former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, diagnosed last October with cancer of the larynx, is back in Sao Paulo’s Sirio Libanes Hospital with a “slight lung infection,” the medical center said.

Lula was admitted to the hospital with a “low fever” and began treatment with antibiotics.

Doctors described his condition as good, but decided to keep him hospitalized until his current symptoms are completely under control.

In October last year at the same hospital he was found to have cancer of the larynx, which was treated first with chemotherapy and later with radiation. In the process the ex-president lost 12 kilos (26 pounds) and was left in a somewhat weakened condition.

The sessions of radiation therapy ended on Feb. 17, when doctors announced that the treatment had been “successful,” though they decided to have Lula undergo further examinations this month to verify the total disappearance of the tumor.

Read more by HS News Staff →

49 Human Rights Advocates Killed in Colombia in 2011

49 Human Rights Advocates Killed in Colombia in 2011

Photo: 49 Human Rights Advocated Killed Colombia

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A total of 49 human rights defenders were murdered in Colombia in 2011, a year in which individual attacks against those activists increased by 36 percent, a report from the non-governmental organization Somos Defensores says.

The document, to which Efe obtained access, explains that the increase translated into 239 attacks, which included murders, threats, forced disappearances, assaults, arbitrary arrests, attacks in which injuries were inflicted and improper application of the penal system.

Diana Sanchez, a representative for the Asociacion Minga, one of the three NGOs that comprise Somos Defensores, said in an interview with Efe that 2011 was a year of “lights and darks,” given that while the number of attacks against rights defenders increased the government worked to provide greater protections for the activists.

Sanchez acknowledged the concern of the administration of Juan Manuel Santos with implementing the Victims and Restitution of Lands Law and guaranteeing human rights, but she emphasized the difficulty of doing so, given that Colombian institutions still do not hold complete sway in some parts of the country.

In the case of the northern provinces of Antioquia, Cordoba and Sucre, where 25 of the 49 murders occurred, Sanchez attributed that fact to the “high level of land disputes and paramilitarism” in the region.

“The national government has set its sights there on the Victims Law and there has been much pressure from landowners, ranchers, actors with a lot of real power who refuse to hand over lands that they violently usurped in the past,” Sanchez said.

The activist identified another tumultuous region on the southern border with Ecuador comprising the provinces of Cauca, Nariño, Putumayo, Caqueta and Valle del Cauca, where violence against activists is due “to the heavy ... armed conflict” in that zone, which is a “rearguard area for the guerrillas.”

The report emphasizes that the main victims of the different attacks are Indians, above all members of the Nasa, Embera and Awa tribes, as well as people attempting to reclaim stolen lands and community leaders.

With regard to the attackers, she emphasized the role of “the paramilitaries,” referring to the criminal bands that are the reconstituted offshoots of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC, paramilitary group, which demobilized between 2003 and 2006.

“The fact that 50 percent of the reported cases have the paramilitaries as the alleged perpetrators is an indication that they continue acting out from under (government) control,” the document said, adding that there had been an increase in the activities of those groups.

Somos Defensores also said that “the figures show the existing distance between the reality of the regions of Colombia and the effectiveness of the recent prevention and protection policies formulated by the authorities,” and the group demanded that the Attorney General’s Office make a greater commitment toward prosecuting cases involving attacks against rights defenders.

In comparing 2011 with prior years, Sanchez explained the differences, saying: “It’s not that there were no attacks earlier. On the contrary, what is happening is that there are two phenomena. The title of (human rights) defender has more meanings than that of exclusive NGO activist and besides there are more complaints,” Sanchez said.

In addition to the Asociacion Minga, the Colombian Commission of Judges (CCJ) and the NGO Benposta Nacion de Muchachos make up Somos Defensores.

The president of the CCJ, an entity that has consultative status with the United Nations, will present the conclusions of the report on Tuesday, March 6, before the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Read more by HS News Staff →



MondayMarch 5, 2012