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ThursdayApril 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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Rain Storms in Argentina Leave 14 Dead Some by Electrocution

Rain Storms in Argentina Leave 14 Dead Some by Electrocution

Photo: Deadly Storms in Argentina

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Fourteen people were killed and 18 others injured in a storm that brought rain, hail and winds of more than 90 kph (56 mph) to the provinces of Buenos Aires and Santa Fe, Argentine authorities said Thursday.

Residents of this capital and its suburbs woke up to flooding and streets blocked by downed trees and light poles.

The storm also cut electricity to some neighborhoods and interrupted passenger rail service, while transportation in general was snarled amid heavy Holy Week travel.

Two of the 14 fatalities died of electrocution and the rest were crushed beneath collapsing roofs, walls and trees, the emergency management office said.

Ten people were hurt, two of them seriously, when the roof of a church in Claypole, Buenos Aires, was ripped away by the wind and landed on commuters waiting at a bus stop some 40 meters (yards) away, paramedics said.

“Almost a tornado, an infernal thing” was how an official of the Buenos Aires provincial government, Diego Santilli, described the storm that descended on the area Wednesday night.

Read more by HS News Staff →

U.S. Woman Moves with 4 Children to Join Deported Husband in Mexico

U.S. Woman Moves with 4 Children to Join Deported Husband in Mexico

Photo: Martinez Family Deportation

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Wisconsin native Jennifer Martinez is preparing to move her four U.S.-born children to Mexico, where their father, an undocumented immigrant, was deported last month despite a campaign that included a direct appeal to President Barack Obama.

Martinez contacted the Mexican Consulate in Chicago to arrange dual citizenship for the kids, who range in age from 17 months to 6 years.

“There will be at least 10 years of obligatory residence in Mexico. I don’t want to go, but I have to reunite the family. I don’t have a choice,” she told Efe by telephone from Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

Her husband, 32-year-old Jaime Martinez, was deported March 23, a day after Jennifer was joined by various immigrants rights groups in calling on Obama to use his discretionary authority to block the deportation.

“I had a lot of faith that they were going to let him go,” Jennifer says now. “He wasn’t a criminal, he had a family and a job. He wasn’t a threat to society.”

“But despite his being our only means of support, no one listened to me. Now I have to accept reality and take my struggle to Mexico,” she says.

Jaime Martinez was being held by the Chicago office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, several hours away from Manitowoc, and Jennifer received no official notice of her husband’s deportation.

“Another person who was locked up with Jaime called me at 8:00 at night to tell me they cut his (Jaime’s) telephone account with the order to get ready to travel,” the immigrant’s wife recounts.

“I got to Chicago at midnight, with barely a half-hour to see him through a window, without any chance of a kiss or a hug,” she says.

“My children got very nervous and they threw up. It was all horrible as we watched the bus go to the airport, from where they took him to Texas to cross into Mexico,” Mrs. Martinez remembers.

Jennifer and Jaime met in 1998, a year after the Mexican man entered the United States for the first time at the age of 17.

The couple later married and settled down in Manitowoc, where Jaime was arrested by local police on a warrant issued by ICE, which was pursuing Martinez because he re-entered the country twice after previous deportations, the latest in 2003.

Before beginning the long drive to Mexico, Jennifer Martinez plans to take part in an April 29 march in Milwaukee organized by the immigrants rights organizations Voces de la Frontera.

“With faith in God I will continue struggling wherever I find myself, to reunite undocumented families and until someone starts to think humanely, leaving politics aside,” she says.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Antonio Banderas Lending Voice to Animated 3D Film “Justin and the Knights of Valour”

Antonio Banderas Lending Voice to Animated 3D Film “Justin and the Knights of Valour”

Photo: Antonio Banderas Lending Voice to Animated 3D Film "Justin and the Knights of Valour"

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Spanish actor Antonio Banderas has lent his voice to one of the main characters in “Justin and the Knights of Valour,” a feature-length 3D animated film scheduled for release next year.

The English-language movie is the latest project of Kandor Graphics, a Spanish animation studio in which Banderas is a partner and which received an Oscar nomination for best animated short film in 2009 for “The Lady and the Reaper.”

Banderas told Efe during a visit to the studio’s headquarters in the southern city of Granada, that the film - about a boy on a quest to become a knight against his father’s wishes - “is a homage to the values that unfortunately no longer prevail as much, such as love, loyalty and bravery.”

Although the film will not hit theaters until 2013, Kandor’s latest production has already been sold to 123 countries.

Banderas, who voices the character of Sir Clorex, a phoney and vain “Latin lover,” said the role forced him to use a “completely different” register to that of his acclaimed Puss in Boots character in the “Shrek” franchise.

“Puss in Boots is a small character to which I gave a big voice and this is a big and muscular character to which I gave a very tiny voice,” Banderas said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

44 Years Later Jose Felicano AGAIN Sings His Rendition of the National Anthem

44 Years Later Jose Felicano AGAIN Sings His Rendition of the National Anthem

Photo: Jose Felicano at Marlins Park

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In 1968, Jose Felicano sang The Star-Spangled Banner, Latino style and got lamblasted, fast forward to last night’s opening day at the Miami Marlins new stadium and it was all love.

The Marlins hosted the St. Louis Cardinals to a full house while Jose Felicano got what some call his second chance to get it right.  Check out the video. 

Back on October 7, 1968 in Detroit, the Puerto-Rican blind singer sang a ‘Latin jazzy style’ version of the national anthem on acoustic guitar, according to the Miami Herald.  Afterwards the singer faced enormous back lash with many saying the rendition was disrespectful and un-American. 

Last night Felicano sang the song again in much the same way and this time to much praise.

What’s changed?  Well for starters opening night at Marlins park was decidedly Latino flavored with Emilio Estefan handling the pre-game activities.  And Miami unlike Detroit has a large Latino population. 


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Mexico City: Free BlackBerry App Alerts Users Prior to Major Earthquakes

Mexico City: Free BlackBerry App Alerts Users Prior to Major Earthquakes

Photo: Mexico City: Free BlackBerry App Alerts Users Prior to Major Earthquakes

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Mexico City is offering a free app for those with BlackBerrys that alerts users prior to massive earthquakes.

The app will alert the city’s 20 million residents up to 50 seconds before an earthquake hits.

During the apps unveiling, Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said, “We did not have this in 1985. If we had, then surely thousands of lives would have been saved.”

In 1985, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake struck the city just after 7 a.m. It resulted in the death of at least 10,000 people and severely damaged many parts of the city. The 8.0 was followed by two aftershocks with magnitudes of 7.5 and a 7.0

The few seconds before an earthquake can mean life or death, and Ebrard says this app is part of the city’s attempt to save more people.

The app is part of the advance-alert system developed by Mexico’s National Autonomous University, and has been tested by government officials who said the app’s alerts gave them enough of a warning ahead of the March 20 earthquake that they were able to prepare themselves and increase the safety of themselves and those around them.

In the next few weeks, 6,800 alarms will be placed throughout the city, hopefully further increasing the number of people given advanced warning.

Read more at El Universal →

Billboard Magazine in Brazil Puts Urinal Guitar in Bar Bathroom

Billboard Magazine in Brazil Puts Urinal Guitar in Bar Bathroom

Photo: Billboard Magazine in Brazil Puts Urinal Guitar in Bar Bathroom

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An interesting urinal in Brazil invites its users to “keep on rockin’ in the pee world.”

Billboard magazine in Brazil has placed a guitar urinal in the bathroom Bar Aurora in Sao Paolo, giving male fans of the Guitar Hero and Rock Band video games a place to continue “making music.”

Called “Guitar Pee”, the urinal features seven strings and even an amp where, you guessed it, the patron pees what appear to be buttons at the base of the strings and “plays” the corresponding note.

What we’re wondering is what kind of mess is on the floor of this urinal?

Image

Read more by HS News Staff →

Accused of Discrimination Against Latinos, Maricopa Co. Sheriff Joe Arpaio Says No to DOJ Demands

Accused of Discrimination Against Latinos, Maricopa Co. Sheriff Joe Arpaio Says No to DOJ Demands

Photo: Maricopa Co. Sheriff Joe Arpaio Says No to DOJ Demands

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Negotiations between the U.S. Department of Justice and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office seem to be falling apart, as Sheriff Joe Arpaio says he will not allow the DOJ to “strong arm” him.

Tuesday, Arpaio rejected the DOJ’s demand that his office’s operations be overseen by an independent agency, which the DOJ said was a crucial element required to begin negotiations.

In a statement, the self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff” said, “I am the constitutionally and legitimately elected Sheriff and I absolutely refuse to surrender my responsibility to the federal government. And so to the Obama administration, who is attempting to strong arm me into submission only for its political gain, I say, ‘This will not happen, not on my watch!’”

A letter from Deputy Assistant U.S. Attorney General Roy Austin however, says Arpaio had previously agreed to the monitor, saying, It was disappointing, to say the least, for you to contact us 24 hours before our negotiations were scheduled to continue and raise, for the first time, a precondition that you understood would result in the cancellation of negotiations—and, by extension, the initiation of a civil lawsuit—and calls into question whether you were ever interested in settling this matter.”

If negotiations completely break down between Arpaio and the DOJ, they will face off in federal court, costing each side a substantial amount of money.

Read more at The Arizona Republic →

LATINO BLOTTER:  Criminal Gives Police Fake Name, Forgot His Real Name was Tattooed on Arm

LATINO BLOTTER:  Criminal Gives Police Fake Name, Forgot His Real Name was Tattooed on Arm

Photo: Dylan Edward Contreras

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19-year-old Dylan Edward Contreras tried to pull a ‘not-so-quick-one’ on police in Twin Falls, Idaho.  When Contreras and friends were stopped by police this weekend and asked for identification Contreras told officers he was Emiliano Velesco.

The problem is Emiliano Velesco doesn’t exist and that’s when a sharp officer notice the name ‘Contreras’ tattooed on the young man’s forearm.  The officer ran the name Contreras with the birth date provided and bingo Dylan Edward Contreras was found and so were multiple outstanding warrants.

Contreras is now, not only in trouble for the outstanding warrants but for providing police with false information.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Storm leaves 12 dead/18 Injured in Buenos Aires Argentina

Storm leaves 12 dead/18 Injured  in Buenos Aires Argentina

Photo: Storm Damage in Buenos Airess

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Twelve people were killed and 18 others injured in a storm that brought rain, hail and winds of more than 90 kph (56 mph) to greater Buenos Aires, Argentine authorities said Thursday.

Residents of the capital and its suburbs woke up to flooding and streets blocked by downed trees and light poles.

The storm also cut electricity to some neighborhoods and interrupted passenger rail service, while transportation in general was snarled amid heavy Holy Week travel.

One of the 12 fatalities died of electrocution and the rest were crushed beneath collapsing roofs, walls and trees, the emergency management office said.

“Almost a tornado, an infernal thing” was how an official of the Buenos Aires provincial government, Diego Santilli, described the storm that descended on the area Wednesday night.

Read more by HS News Staff →

POLL:  Latinos Prefer an Expanded Role for Government

POLL:   Latinos Prefer an Expanded Role for Government

Photo: Pew: Latinos Prefer Big Government

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The recently released Pew Hispanic Center poll had many nuggets of information from Latinos identifying themselves with their country of origin to English vs. Spanish to their preference of an expanded role for government.

In the poll, an overwhelming majority of Latinos, 75%, prefer an expanded role for government , a position closely associated with the Democratic party.  Where as only 19% want government to get smaller which stands in contrast to 41% of the general public that wants government’s role reduced. 

In spite of Latino’s preference for expanded government, 32% view themselves as conservative

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Bus Driver Gets Two DUIs in 17 Hours Drove Drunk With Children on Bus

LATINO BLOTTER: Bus Driver Gets Two DUIs in 17 Hours Drove Drunk With Children on Bus

Photo: Bus Driver Gets Two DUIs in 17 Hours Drove Drunk With Children on Bus (WPXI)

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Police say a Pennsylvania bus driver drove three busloads of children around town while he intoxicated, then drives drunk again a few hours later.

Washington County bus driver, Miguel Rivera was first charged with driving drunk at around 10 a.m. Friday morning, when an officer bulled him over while he was driving 142 students from Washington Park School on a field trip. He was given a breathalyzer test and it was determined he had been driving the children around with a blood-alcohol level of .8. While that is the legal limit for driving under regular circumstances in the state of Pennsylvania, it is four times the legal limit for commercial vehicle drivers.

Just 17 hours later, the 49-year-old bus driver was pulled over for once again driving while under the influence, this time in his own vehicle.

Rivera is now facing 142 counts of child endangerment for each child he transported on the bus while he was intoxicated.

He has since been fired from G.G. & C. Buss Co. Inc., which stated, “We’re committed to providing safe transportation with drivers who are compliant as well as having the safest vehicles.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

WATCH Sofia Vergara’s Promo for Her SNL Appearance This Saturday

WATCH Sofia Vergara’s Promo for Her SNL Appearance This Saturday

Photo: Sofia Vergara on Saturday Night Live

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Check out the promo for Sofia Vergara’s upcoming hosting stint on Saturday Night Live.  The ‘Modern Family’ star trades barbs with SNL regular Jason Sudeikis who eventually asks her to sleep with him.  Watch.

On April 7, the Modern Family star will host SNL with musical guest One Direction, a popular British boy band.  One thing is for sure, accents will be flying Saturday.

This will mark the first time the Latina bombshell will host the show, but with a very active funny bone, she’s sure to bring the laughs.

We can’t want to see the hilarious Colombiana on SNL, what about you?

Read more by HS News Staff →

Jessica Sanchez Sings Second Whitney Houston Song on ‘American Idol’ - “How Will I Know” (VIDEO)

Jessica Sanchez Sings Second Whitney Houston Song on ‘American Idol’ - “How Will I Know” (VIDEO)

Photo: Jessica Sanchez Sings Second Whitney Houston Song on 'American Idol' - "How Will I Know"

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“American Idol” contestant Jessica Sanchez turned to Whitney Houston once again for Wednesday night’s episode, singing the late star’s “How Will I Know” from 1985 – 10 years before Jessica was born.

At just 16 years old, Jessica quickly became both a fan and judge favorite. Just one month ago, the half-Mexican and half-Filipino powerhouse wowed everyone with her rendition of Whitney’s “I Will Always Love You.”

Judge Jennifer Lopez told her, “You’re such a little girl, but there’s a woman up there at the same time. Your vocals just make everything go away for me. I listen to you and I can’t believe those vocals are coming out of that little body.”


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Latinos and African Americans Dipping into their 401(k) More than Others to Survive

Latinos and African Americans Dipping into their 401(k) More than Others to Survive

Photo: 401(k) and Latinos

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According to a report by USA Today, Money, Latinos and African Americans dipped into their 401(k) retirement accounts at a higher rate than any other demographic.

The study was co-sponsored by Ariel Investments and it shows that this trend is a dangerous setback for minorities and their long-term retirement security.

Specifically 40% of Latino workers carried a 401(k) loan balance because they had either taken a hardship withdrawal or taken a loan against their retirement funds.  Hispanics and African Americans also had a high rate of default on their 401(k) loans.  76% of Hispanics that left their employers then default on their loans.

A majority of Latinos who left their jobs in 2010 cashed out their 401(k) in order to make ends meet versus 39% for white employees that left their jobs. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

WATCH Colbert Video on Romney’s ‘Latino Vote’ Problem - Hilarious!

WATCH Colbert Video on Romney’s ‘Latino Vote’ Problem - Hilarious!

Photo: Stephen Colbert and Latinos

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Watch a hilarious video from the ‘Colbert Report’ as Stephen Colbert explains Mitt Romney’s Latino vote problem, i.e. he doesn’t have it.  Not only does Colbert explain the problem he enlists his own Super PAC to get the Republican’s the Latino vote.  The video according to Colbert is “English with a Spanish accent.” 

You are sure to love the chihuahua dog, which is about the size of Romney’s Latino vote. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latino Market “Least Served” by Financial Institutions, 50% Have no Banking Relationship

Latino Market “Least Served” by Financial Institutions, 50% Have no Banking Relationship

Photo: Latino's Least Served by Financial Institutions

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Credit unions and other financial institutions would gain new members and customers if they adapted to the needs of the growing Hispanic market, the group “least served” by the financial sector, an expert in the subject said.

“The credit unions must understand that the face of the U.S. consumer is changing and that for there to be growth, (they) must adapt to new consumers, instead of forcing those consumers to adapt to (them),” Miriam De Dios, vice president of Coopera Consulting, in Des Moines, Iowa, told Efe.

De Dios emphasized that, according to reports, 50 percent of U.S. Hispanics do not have a traditional relationship with financial institutions, such as banks and credit unions, but rather use alternative financial services, generally at higher cost.

“Because of that, there’s a great opportunity,” she said.

The Mexican-born De Dios grew up in the United States, where she saw her parents “suffer due to many things, including not knowing the U.S. financial system.”

That personal experience led her to become interested in financial matters and five years ago she joined Coopera, attracted by the vision of founder Warren Morrow.

Morrow was born in Mexico to a Mexican mother and an American father and spent part of his childhood there before moving to Tucson, Arizona. Later, he studied biology at Iowa’s Grinnell College, where, in 1999, he founded the non-profit Latino Leadership Project that, after several transformations, became Coopera Consulting.

Coopera is now the property of the Iowa Credit Union League.

Morrow died unexpectedly in February at age 34. “It was something unexpected and impacted us deeply. Warren was a very passionate person and believed in the idea of bringing dignified financial services to the Hispanic community through the ... credit unions,” De Dios said.

She feels that she and her colleagues should continue with Morrow’s mission to “help the community to get ahead.”

One of the ways to do that, she said, is to educate Hispanics about traditional financial services.

But the other option is to educate the credit unions about the need to implement a systematic process to serve the Hispanic market.

“Having a strategy to better serve the Hispanic community is a need nowadays for the savings institutions and credit unions. It’s something good they should do and also it’s an investment in their future,” De Dios said.

By attracting new Hispanic members, credit unions can reduce the average age of their members, thus creating a “sustainable future.”

“Hispanics are a solution to the challenges of the financial institutions, since they represent a young and new market with a growing buying power and an appetite for a variety of financial services. The credit unions need the Hispanics, and the Hispanics (need) those credit unions,” she concluded.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Pre-Columbian Human Remains Found in San Andres Cholula, Mexico

Pre-Columbian Human Remains Found in San Andres Cholula, Mexico

Photo: Pre-Columbian Human Remains Found in San Andres Cholula, Mexico

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City workers discovered a pre-Columbian ossuary in San Andres Cholula, a city in the central Mexican state of Puebla, while completing a drainage project, the press reported.

The ossuary, which contains three complete human skeletons and 12 skulls, was found in a layer of soil dating back about 800 years, National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, officials told the press.

The remains may be from the Olmec-Chichimec culture, INAH experts said, adding that the bones appear to belong to members of one family who were buried over several generations.

The bones will be analyzed at an INAH laboratory while specialists continue to dig at the site, which was found about a month ago.

Specialists will try to gather more information at the site and a report will be issued in two months, the INAH said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

160,000 Businesses Left Mexico in 2011 Due to Violence

160,000 Businesses Left Mexico in 2011 Due to Violence

Photo: Violence in Mexico Negative Effect on Business

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More than 160,000 businesses left Mexico last year due to persistent violent crime woes, according to the president of the country’s largest business group, Coparmex.

“Business leaders and entire families are leaving for other countries in search of security and wellbeing,” Alberto Espinosa said.

Since President Felipe Calderon took office in December 2006, some 50,000 people have died in conflict among rival drug cartels and between the criminals and security forces.

Espinosa said violence not only has altered the lives of ordinary Mexicans but is increasingly affecting the economy, noting that insurance premiums have risen 30 percent and construction firms have raised their costs to cover expenses incurred in protecting their infrastructure investments and workers.

He added that over the past five years some 24 million Americans have avoided travel to Mexican border areas, representing some $800 million in lost revenue.

“Organized crime is weakening the competitiveness of (Mexico’s 32) states, discouraging domestic and foreign investment, causing the closure of formal companies. In 2011 alone, more than 160,000 companies ceased operating nationwide,” the head of Coparmex said.

Espinosa, who did not indicate the size of those companies or how many workers lost their jobs, lamented frequent prison breaks, road blockades and multiple homicides in states such as Nuevo Leon, Guerrero, Coahuila, Durango, Chihuahua and Tamaulipas.

He added that the security plans that have been adopted have been insufficient and that investment to equip police with cutting-edge technology has not succeeded in bringing down crime rates.

Espinosa said the number of homicides has doubled and kidnapping rates have climbed 81 percent over the past five years.

According to figures from prosecutors, four kidnappings, 2,000 robberies and 4,600 acts of extortion were reported daily nationwide in 2011, mainly in Chihuahua, Baja California, Jalisco and Mexico City.

“Ninety-eight percent of the crimes go unpunished and of all cases that go to trial just one in 10 criminals is sentenced,” the employers’ federation chief said.

Citing recent surveys, he said eight in 10 Mexicans believe crime is worse today than a year ago and three out of 10 say they have been crime victims in the past three months.

Half of Mexicans say organized crime gangs are winning the battle against the government and 40 percent deem Calderon’s strategy of deploying army troops nationwide to combat the drug gangs to be a failure, Espinosa added.

His remarks came just days after the official start of the campaign for the July 1 general elections, in which Mexicans will choose Calderon’s successor, senators and lower-house lawmakers and state and municipal authorities.

Espinosa called on all authorities and candidates to evaluate the situation and design new programs to meet the challenge posed by organized crime.

“We’re demanding clear commitments from the presidential candidates. It’s not enough just to criticize the current policies or offer to change the strategy,” Espinosa said.

The latest polls show Enrique Peña Nieto, candidate of the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, with a 13-percentage-point lead over Josefina Vazquez Mota of the governing National Action Party, or PAN.

The candidate of the center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, is a distant third, 10 percentage points behind Vazquez Mota.

Mexico’s constitution limits the president to a single six-year term.

Read more by HS News Staff →



ThursdayApril 5, 2012