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MondayApril 2, 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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30th Anniversary of Falkland Wars

30th Anniversary of Falkland Wars

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Argentine President Cristina Fernandez repudiated Britain’s refusal to resume a dialogue on sovereignty over the Falkland islands, on the 30th anniversary of the start of the war between the two countries for possession of the South Atlantic archipelago.

In addition to insisting on a dialogue to resolve the dispute “in peace,” Fernandez said that she asked for the help of the International Red Cross in identifying the unknown Argentine soldiers buried on what Latin Americans call the Malvinas, some 740 kilometers (about 460 miles) east of Argentina.

Britain still rules “10 colonial enclaves,” among them the Falklands, Fernandez emphasized while presiding over a ceremony to commemorate the war in Ushuaia, capital of the remote southern province of Tierra del Fuego.

Argentina wants the 1965 United Nations resolution deeming the territorial dispute to be a case of colonialism that the parties must resolve through dialogue, keeping in mind the interests of the English population of the island, to “be obeyed.”

“The cause of the Malvinas” is not just that of Argentines but rather the Union of South American Nations and “all countries that demand peaceful dialogue” to resolve conflicts, she said.

Fernandez took advantage of the occasion to answer British Prime Minister David Cameron, who had said that Argentina was seeking “to steal the freedom” of the Falklanders when it invaded the islands 30 years ago.

“The Argentines also did not have freedom” when the war was launched, the president remarked referring to the fact that the occupation of the islands was ordered by a military dictatorship that unleashed a wave of repression that left some 30,000 people “disappeared” between 1976 and 1983.

Fernandez emphasized that the history of the Falklands “is not ... (one) that began 30 years ago ...(but rather) a history that next year will mark 180 years,” a reference to the islands being “usurped” by British troops in 1833.

“It’s a mid-19th century injustice that there still exist colonial enclaves like those we have here,” she said.

The 30th anniversary of the war was commemorated with events in all the large cities of Argentina, while in Buenos Aires protests outside the British Embassy turned violent, though no injuries were reported.

The question of the Falklands has been incorporated into the agenda of the 6th Summit of the Americas, set for April 14-15 in the Colombian city of Cartagena.

Argentine troops invaded the Falklands on April 2, 1982, at the order of the military junta then in power in Buenos Aires.

Full-fledged fighting in the islands officially began on May 1, 1982, with the arrival of a British task force, and ended 45 days later with the surrender of the Argentines.

The conflict claimed nearly 1,000 lives - some 700 Argentines and 255 British soldiers and sailors.

Relations between Buenos Aires and London have been tense since early 2010 due to oil exploration by British companies in Falklands waters.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Narco Leader Benjamin Arellano-Felix Sentenced to 25 Years & $100 Million Asset Forfeiture

Narco Leader Benjamin Arellano-Felix Sentenced to 25 Years & $100 Million Asset Forfeiture

Photo: Benjamin Felix-Arellano Sentenced

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DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart today announced that Benjamin Arellano-Felix, nearly 60, the former leader of the Tijuana Cartel/Arellano-Felix Organization (AFO) was sentenced to serve 25 years in federal prison.

Judge Burns also ordered Arellano-Felix to forfeit $100 million in criminal proceeds. The sentence followed Arellano-Felix’s conviction for racketeering and money laundering.

“Today’s prison sentence virtually ensures that Arellano-Felix will spend the remainder of his life in custody. Following this sentence, he will be deported to Mexico to finish a 22-year sentence. This is a fitting end for a person who has caused so much suffering and destruction,” commented United States Attorney Duffy.

Long-reputed to be one of the most notorious multi-national drug trafficking organizations to ever exist, the AFO controlled the flow of cocaine, marijuana and other drugs through the Mexican border cities of Tijuana and Mexicali into the United States.

Arellano-Felix was the leader of the AFO from approximately 1986 to until his arrest on March 9, 2002.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Outage Cuts Cell Phone Service to 16 Million People in Argentina- Sparking Social Media Protest

Outage Cuts Cell Phone Service to 16 Million People in Argentina- Sparking Social Media Protest

Photo: No Cell Phone Coverage in Argentina

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An outage left about 16 million customers of Spanish telecom company Movistar without cellular phone service Monday in Argentina, sparking protests on social-networking sites.

The company is dealing with “an issue reported at a general level with the data, voice and SMS (text messaging) network” and is working to “fix it as soon as possible,” Movistar, a unit of Spanish telecom giant Telefonica, said in a Twitter posting.

Some 50 million cell phones are in service in the Argentine market, or about 10 million more units than the country has people.

Movistar competes in Argentina with Mexico’s Claro, Personal, a joint Argentine-Italian company, and U.S.-based Nextel.

Read more by HS News Staff →

6.0 Aftershock Hits Guerrero and Oaxaca, Mexico Today

6.0 Aftershock Hits Guerrero and Oaxaca, Mexico Today

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A magnitude-6.0 earthquake rocked an area between the southern Mexican states of Guerrero and Oaxaca on Monday, but no injuries have been reported, the Mexican Seismology Institute said.

The earthquake occurred at 12:36 p.m. at a depth of 12 kilometers (about 7.5 miles), the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The USGS put the earthquake’s strength at magnitude-6.3.

The temblor was less powerful than the magnitude-7.4 earthquake that occurred in March, the Mexican Seismology Institute said.

Monday’s quake was an aftershock from the March 20 temblor, which killed two people and was followed by dozens of aftershocks on the day it occurred, Mexican Seismology Institute spokesmen told Efe.

The epicenter of Monday’s earthquake was located 28 kilometers (17 miles) east of Ometepec and close to the epicenter of the March 20 quake.

Hospitals and essential services are operating normally, officials said, adding that an aerial inspection did not reveal any damage to structures in Ometepec.

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

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

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

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

Read more by HS News Staff →

Gael Garcia Bernal Heading to Puerto Rico in June to Film Boxing Champ Roberto Duran Bio-Pic

Gael Garcia Bernal Heading to Puerto Rico in June to Film Boxing Champ Roberto Duran Bio-Pic

Photo: Gael Garcia Bernal Heading to Puerto Rico in June to Film Boxing Champ Roberto Duran Bio-Pic

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The film “Hands of Stone,” which tells the story of former boxing world champion Roberto Duran, will begin filming June 4 in Puerto Rico, one of the production companies confirmed to Efe on Monday.

Rosi Acosta, of KCPR, said that a group of the film’s producers is currently in Puerto Rico looking for sites at which to shoot the movie, which stars Gael Garcia Bernal as the Panamanian fighter.

Along with Garcia, Acosta said that the cast includes Robert de Niro, who will play the role of Ray Arcel, Duran’s trainer, and pop singer Usher as Sugar Ray Leonard.

She said that there are still other potential cast members who have yet to confirm that they will be part of the film, including actress Michelle Rodriguez and Puerto Rican rapper Tego Calderon.

Acosta said that the film will be made in Puerto Rico because of the “versatility of locations that allow any Latin American country to be recreated.”

She also emphasized that the film project will be reinforced by the incentives offered by the Puerto Rico Film Commission, a state agency.

Acosta estimated that the production will provide Puerto Rico with about $16 million in revenues.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Battery Charges Against Manny Ramirez Dropped, Wife Failed to Cooperate

Battery Charges Against Manny Ramirez Dropped, Wife Failed to Cooperate

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The misdemeanor domestic battery charge filed against former baseball great Manny Ramirez by his wife has been dropped.

The State Attorney’s Office was reportedly unable to serve Ramirez’s wife Juliana with a subpoena and said the charge against Ramirez was dropped “because the victim was uncooperative.” Adding, “She successfully avoided being served with a state subpoena and is believed to be out of state.”

The abuse was said to have occurred make in September. Ramirez was arrested after Juliana called the police claiming that her husband slapped her and caused her to fall back and hit her head of the bed’s headboard.

When questioned by police, Ramirez said he had not slapped her and only grabbed her by the shoulders during an argument. He said that when he “shrugged her” away she then fell back and hit her head.

And the good news continues for Ramirez, as Major League Baseball has decided to let the outfielder buy his way out of suspension. Should he pay up, Ramirez may be able to join the minor league’s Oakland A’s active roster immediately.

Last season, Ramirez, who was with the Tampa Bay Rays at the time, chose to retire rather than serve a suspension for a failed drug test. Retirement not sitting well, Ramirez approached baseball officials to determine what he would have to do to return to the diamond.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Pot Belly? Nope, It’s a Coke Belly - Woman in Brazil Hides Drugs in Fake Baby Bump

LATINO BLOTTER: Pot Belly? Nope, It’s a Coke Belly - Woman in Brazil Hides Drugs in Fake Baby Bump

Photo: Woman in Brazil Hides Drugs in Fake Baby Bump

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A 20-year-old woman is in serious trouble after federal police discovered she was attempting to smuggle several pounds of drugs into Brazil by way of a fake baby bump.

Police say the young woman became visibly nervous when she arrived at the international airport in the north-eastern city of Natal and was confronted with the usual round of questioning given to passengers arriving from areas known for drug trafficking.

Likely due to her inability to lie convincingly, the woman admitted that large bump on her torso was not growing a baby, but instead was hollow and holding 4.6 pounds of cocaine.

The woman, who had arrived from an airport in western Brazil, was arrested along with the man who had been waiting for her outside in a taxi.

The fake belly has been around for awhile, even Gaby Rodriguez used them when she conducted an experiment at her high school in which she wore the bumps and chronicled the experience as an “expecting teen mom” and wrote a book titled The Pregnancy Project.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Sombrero-Wearing Sacramento Man Jumps on Cop Car

Sombrero-Wearing Sacramento Man Jumps on Cop Car

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The events leading up to one of the most frighteningly memorable mug shots we’ve seen were nothing short of bizarre.

At around 1 a.m. on March 28, an officer was sitting in his car when a man wearing a sombrero, a puffy jacket, and one boxing glove jumped onto the hood of the car. The can shouted his own name numerous times and then ran off.

Police say it was easy to find him due to his description alone – just picture it – and he was found nearby passed out in the street.

He was identified as 55-year-old Jesse James Thomas and arrested on suspicion of public intoxication., but something tells us any suspicions the officers had were easily confirmed.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Selena Gomez Wins Big at 2012 Kids’ Choice Awards

Selena Gomez Wins Big at 2012 Kids’ Choice Awards

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It appears Selena was the biggest winner of the 25th Kids’ Choice Awards on Nickelodeon, but she wasn’t the only Latino/Hispanic to win the bright orange blimp.

Carlos Pena, Jr. and his bandmates/fellow actors of Big Time Rush walked away with the award for Favorite Music Group. The guys start production of the Big Time Rush show’s third season this month.

Voiced by Antonio Banderas, “Puss in Boots” won for Favorite Animated Movie, though the actor missed out on the award for Favorite Voice From an Animate Feature, which went to Katy Perry for lending her voice to Smurfette.

Victoria Justice and the rest of the cast of Victorious received the award for Favorite TV Show, beating out Selena Gomez’s Wizards of Waverly Place

However, Gomez had little to be sad about as she won two awards Saturday night, taking home the awards for Favorite TV Actress and Favorite Female Singer, beating out gal pal Taylor Swift, who actually won big the following night at that the America Country Music awards.

At the very end of the award show, host Will Smith grabbed Gomez’s boyfriend Justin Bieber, who won Favorite Male Singer, while the audience went wild as he was slimed.

The green slime has become a staple at the award show, and the Biebs wasn’t the only one to get the slime treatment. Halle Berry Glee’s Chris Colfer, and Taylor Lautner were all slimed.

Read more by HS News Staff →

7 Teens Arrested for Attack of 15-year-old Hispanic Boy Outside Middle School

7 Teens Arrested for Attack of 15-year-old Hispanic Boy Outside Middle School

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According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office, seven black teens have been arrested for their parts in the attack off a 15-year-old Hispanic boy.

Video of the attack, which occurred outside Cactus Middle School in Palmdale, California as the victim was walking home from school, was recorded and reportedly put on YouTube, though it has since been removed.

The video shows that the group approached the victim and challenged him to a fight. Before he could run away, the group began the beating while others stood by and watched.

As the boy was beaten by as many as 10 young males, many shouted derogatory statements and racial slurs. The boy eventually fell to the ground where the assault continued.

In the end, the attack left the victim with bruises, head trauma, missing teeth, shoe prints all over his body. The attack eventually ended because the boy managed to get up and run away.

Authorities say they are investigating the March 14 attack as a hate crime, and the arrested males range in age from 13-16, and have been arrested on charges of assault and committing a hate crime. Authorities continue to look for information on the other suspects and ask anyone with information to come forward.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Puerto Rican Jail Guard Found Guilty in Drowning Deaths of 8 Inmates

Puerto Rican Jail Guard Found Guilty in Drowning Deaths of 8 Inmates

Photo: Sbana Hoyos Prison

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A jury in Puerto Rico found a security official guilty of the deaths of eight prisoners who drowned when the vehicle he was transporting them in between prison and the courthouse was submerged by floodwaters in the northern city of Arecibo.

The jury, comprised of nine women and three men, found Hector Cruz Santiago guilty of negligently driving the van the inmates from the Sabana Hoyos prison were riding in and causing their deaths last November.

Two other prisoners in the group of 10 who were being transported to court appointments were able to be rescued by Corrections Department personnel.

At that time, the director of the state Emergency Management Agency, Nino Correa, confirmed that all the prisoners were handcuffed and had their feet shackled, which made it practically impossible for them to be able to swim.

Preliminary versions of the incident were that Cruz Santiago decided to drive across a stream in which the water level had risen due to heavy downpours, and the current swept the van downriver.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Thousands Take to the Streets to Promote Non-Polluting Pedal Power in Brazil

Thousands Take to the Streets to Promote Non-Polluting Pedal Power in Brazil

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Some 6,000 people took to the streets of Rio de Janeiro over the weekend for an 11-kilometer (6.8-mile) bike ride as part of the World Bike Tour, which was held in the Brazilian city to promote alternative and non-polluting transportation, the official Agencia Brasil news agency reported.

The riders, who were chosen from among 60,000 people who took part in a lottery, pedaled down the iconic Avenida Atlantica in the Copacabana district to Flamengo park on Sunday.

Organizers of the World Bike Tour, which was created in Lisbon in 2006, provided bicycles designed for disabled riders.

Rio de Janeiro state Environment Secretary Carlos Minc was among the thousands of riders who took part in the event.

The event’s goal was to promote cycling as “a more human, non-polluting and healthy means of transportation,” Minc said.

Participants, who paid a registration fee of 200 reais (about $111), received an assortment of sports gear.

World Bike Tour has been held in Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Madrid and Oporto.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Man Wanting to Attend Son’s Funeral in U.S. Denied Entry from Mexico

Man Wanting to Attend Son’s Funeral in U.S. Denied Entry from Mexico

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After his son died in a house fire in Pennsylvania, Mexican national Fidelmar Merlos-Lopez just wanted to see him laid to rest, but when he tried to gain entry to the U.S. he was turned away.

Saturday, “Fidel” Merlos-Lopez, 34, told Fox News, ‘I told the customs officer that all I want is a permit to see my boy for one last time. They treat me as if I am a criminal. Right now, I need their support, and they are refusing to help me.’

On March 27, 10-year-old Damien Lopez was killed in a house fire in Shenandoah along with his aunt, cousin and 7-month-old half-brother.

Merlos-Lopez had been living in Mexico, working as a bus driver, while working on a green card, which his attorney said he is well on his way to obtaining. In 1995, he entered the U.S. illegally as a teenager. He met and married his first wife, a U.S. citizen, and had his son Damien. His relationship with Damien’s mother did not work out and the couple divorced. Merlos-Lopez would marry once more, again to a U.S. citizen.

In 2007, Merlos-Lopez was stopped for running a red light and turned over to immigration officials. He then left the U.S. voluntarily and had been working to reunite with his family ever since.

Though he had not been able to see his son in three years, the father says he spoke with Damien twice a week.

Now, he is fighting to see his son one last time.
______________________________________________
UPDATE:
A spokesperson for Merlos-Lopez said that he has been allowed to enter for the funeral and burial after being issued a humanitarian parole

Read more at Associated Press (NY Daily News) →

Nationwide Immigration Sweep Nets 3,100 Convicted Criminal Aliens

Nationwide Immigration Sweep Nets 3,100 Convicted Criminal Aliens

Photo: Massive Criminal Alien Round Up

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As part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) ongoing commitment to prioritizing the removal of criminal aliens, the agency announced today the results of a six-day national “Cross Check” enforcement operation-which led to the arrest of more than 3,100 convicted criminal aliens, immigration fugitives and immigration violators.

This six-day operation, the largest of its kind, involved the collaboration of more than 1,900 ICE officers and agents from all of ICE’s operations.

Officers arrested 2,834 individuals that had prior criminal convictions including at least 1,063 aliens who had multiple criminal convictions. Of those arrested, had felony convictions including murder, manslaughter, attempted murder, kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, armed robbery, terroristic threats, drug trafficking, child abuse, battery on a child, sexual crimes against minors, and aggravated assault.

Of the total 2,834 criminal aliens arrested, 50 were gang members and 149 were convicted sex offenders.

In addition to being convicted criminals, 698 of those arrested were also immigration fugitives who had previously been ordered to leave the country but failed to depart. Additionally, 559 were illegal re-entrants who had been previously removed from the country.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hispandering

Hispandering

Photo: Spanish Language

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Time Magazine made it official; Hispanics will pick the next President. Accordingly, even el muy loco, as David Letterman mocked Newt Gingrish, has engaged in hispandering: El sueño americano para todos (the American dream for everyone, except those damn illegal immigrants!) A Churchilian witticism best defines loco: a fanatic is a person who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.

Hispandering, a newly coined term, combining pandering, to please, and Hispanic, etymological synonym for Spanish—from the Latin hispanus, relating to Hispania—, the common denominator for an ethnicity encompassing all races (if one can still use race without sounding moronic) and the socio-economic gamut. In other words, paraphrasing Orwell’s observation about political language, hispandering is a strategy designed to make lies sound truthful and give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

Hispanics are in for an avalanche of bilingual adjectives. Following the rhetorical principle of oppositions here are the top five qualifiers and their antonyms:

1. Inteligente, not to be confused with intellectuals, deemed not in touch with reality, snobs wanting every American to have a college education. Antonyms of Intelligent abound, for Spanish is rich when it comes to denigrating an opponent: Idiota, stupid. Imbécil, idiot. Tonto, not very smart, simpleton.  Estúpido, imbecile—not fool or dummy. Tarugo, blockhead. Obtuso, weird, twisted.

2. Honorable, truthful, sincere, trustworthy, impeccable character and immaculate reputation. A political operative confided that his candidate insists on the introduction: Les presento al honorable... (And here is the Honorable…) The list of opposites is long, starting with mentiroso, liar. Sinvergüenza, shameless scoundrel. Calumniador, name-calling snake. Ladrón, thief. Rata, low-life. Inescrupuloso, capable of selling mother forun voto. And bandido, crook, as exemplified by President Nixon’s infamous farewell: No soy un bandido.

3. Macho, nothing tops it when campaigning for Commander-in-Chief. President Clinton explained the reasons by spelling out the Republican mantra: “You have to vote for us (Republicans) ‘cause my opponent is a slug, and they’re going to tax you into the poorhouse. On the way to the poorhouse, you’ll meet a terrorist on every street corner. And when you try to run away from that terrorist, you will trip over an illegal immigrant.” So, candidates point a finger to the imaginary enemy and proclaim: Soy el más macho, meaning, I am the one to defend the country against foreign enemies and deport all illegal immigrants (political correct Spanish for illegal immigrant is indocumentado.) The opposite of macho is débil, slug and weak. The colorful wimp has a long equivalent in mequetrefe.

4. Serio, thoughtful, conscientious, prudent, earnest and sober. Serio has also a negative nuance, as it denotes inability to make voters laugh. It used to be that running the country was more serious than brain surgery, now voters want entertaining candidates, cool public officials. The opposite of serio is payaso, clown and fool. A candidate who makes people laugh is chistoso, funny, as in telling a good joke, and divertido, fun.

5. Fiel, faithful to the spouse and ideology. Antonyms are infiel, hell-bound atheist and sinful adulterer, a really negative adjective—unless a law degree prepares the candidate to argue: no tuve sexo con esa mujer. Also antonym of faithful is camaleón, that wonderful reptile that changes colors to suit the occasion, or that candidate who, former senator Specter put it cinematographically, changes positions more often than a pornographic movie queen, the quintessential flip-flop.

Raul Guerrero is a novelist and essayist, author of the novel INSOLENCE and more recently La dudosa fuga de la cronista LIBERTINA. He directs SalonEspanol.com.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Venezuela Oil Blast Kills One, Injures Three

Venezuela Oil Blast Kills One, Injures Three

Photo: Deadly Accident at Venezuela's PDVSA

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At least one worker was killed and three others were injured in an explosion over the weekend at a refinery in eastern Venezuela operated by Petrocedeño, which is owned by state-owned PDVSA, France’s Total and Norway’s Statoil, PDVSA said.

The accident occurred Sunday when workers “were installing a water separator, which caused the explosion in the area,” Petroleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA, said in a statement.

The blast happened at Petrocedeño’s facility in Anzoategui, a state in northeastern Venezuela, “but operations were restored immediately,” PDVSA said.

The situation was brought “completely under control by the petroleum industry’s Emergency Security and Control team,” the state-owned oil company said.

Carlos Alberto Machuca, 33, died in the blast, while David Hernandez, 31, suffered second-degree burns and Alexis Mata and Hermes Martinez experienced respiratory problems due to smoke inhalation, PDVSA said.

All of the injured workers are being treated by doctors and are listed in stable condition, the state-owned oil company said.

A team has been formed “to investigate the causes that gave rise to the situation,” PDVSA said.

PDVSA has a 60 percent stake in Petrocedeño, while Total has a 30.3 percent interest and Statoil owns a 9.7 percent stake.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Largest Solar Farm in the World Coming to U.S.-Mexico Border

Largest Solar Farm in the World Coming to U.S.-Mexico Border

Photo: Largest CPV Solar Farm Coming to U.S. Mexico Border

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SolFocus, announced the launch of a landmark solar power plant in Baja California near Tecate, Mexico, with construction starting in late 2012 and being operational before the end of 2013.

With a 450-megawatt capacity this will be the largest solar farm in the world.  CPV solar power uses mirrors and lenses to attract light from the sun into solar cells that in turn produce electricity. 

“The project is in direct alignment with the Mexico and U.S. bilateral clean energy agenda. The countries share a common goal of achieving strong economic growth and energy security while addressing climate change and increasing the reliability of energy infrastructure,” said Lic. David Muñoz, Director General of the Baja California State Commission of Energy.

Historically, the renewable energy market in Mexico has been comprised primarily of wind power. However, with the launch of this project, solar has made a major step forward as an energy source for the country.

The power plant is being built on land owned by Grupo Musa near Tecate. Northern Mexico has the third greatest solar resource in the world, making it an ideal location for this project.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Chavez Returns Again to Cuba for 2nd Round of Cancer Treatments

Chavez Returns Again to Cuba for 2nd Round of Cancer Treatments

Photo: Chavez Back in Cuba for Radition

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was welcomed by Cuban President Raul Castro at the international airport in Havana, where he will continue the radiation therapy treatment against cancer he began a week ago, state media reported Sunday.

Chavez held “a brief and animated conversation” with Castro upon his arrival Saturday night at the Jose Marti airport, the official Juventud Rebelde newspaper said in a front-page story accompanied by a photograph of both leaders.

This is Chavez’s second visit to Cuba after his latest operation performed on the island a little over a month ago to remove a new tumor, a recurrence of the cancer for which he was operated on last June.

Last weekend, the Venezuelan leader returned to Havana to begin the radiation treatment that, according to what he publicly announced about it, he will have to undergo for at least four more sessions although he said that some of those might be administered in Venezuela.

The return of Chavez to Cuba on Saturday came 72 hours after he had jetted back to Caracas after being on the island for five days to undergo the first radiation sessions.

Also present at the airport welcoming ceremony was Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.

Chavez had surgery on June 10, 2011, for a pelvic abscess in Havana on the last leg of a tour he had made of Brazil, Ecuador and Cuba, and doctors later detected a cancerous tumor in his pelvic region, which was then removed.

Since the first operation, the Venezuelan president has returned to Cuba on several occasions to receive chemotherapy or have medical checkups performed.

Read more by HS News Staff →



MondayApril 2, 2012