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TuesdayApril 10, 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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Kidnappers Demand $10 Million and Explosives for Kidnapped Gas Employees in Peru

Kidnappers Demand $10 Million and Explosives for Kidnapped Gas Employees in Peru

Photo: Shining Path Guerillas, Peru

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The armed group that kidnapped gas company employees in a jungle area of southeastern Peru demanded $10 million for their release, Correo newspaper said Tuesday, posting an image of the purported handwritten ransom note on its Web page.

The captors, suspected of being a Shining Path guerrilla unit, also demanded explosives.

Police and Interior Ministry sources contacted by Efe said they were unable to confirm the newspaper’s story. The top elected official in the La Convencion district, however, told reporters the captors had the ransom note delivered by a doctor and a nurse.

Fedia Castro also denied reports that the armed group had initially seized 30 workers and subsequently released all but seven of them.

“There is no one who was freed. It’s 40 Peruvians, 40 lives that are in danger and that’s why I make this clarification,” she said.

The abduction took place in the Valley of the Apurimac and Ene rivers, or VRAE, region, where both drug traffickers and the remnants of the Shining Path guerrilla group operate.

The people taken hostage in the town of Kepashiato work for Coga and Skanska, which are contractors on the massive Camisea natural gas project.

The two closest police posts are in Quillabamba, eight hours away by road, and Pichari, a 12-hour journey from Kepashiato.

In Lima, Efe saw a plane carrying Energy and Mines Minister Jorge Merino and some 50 police commandos take off around midday Tuesday bound for Cuzco, the largest city in southeastern Peru.

The Maoist-inspired Shining Path launched its revolt on May 17, 1980, with an attack on Chuschi, a small town in Ayacucho province.

A truth commission appointed by former President Alejandro Toledo blamed the Shining Path for most of the nearly 70,000 deaths the panel ascribed to politically motivated violence during the two decades following the group’s 1980 uprising.

Shining Path founder Abimael Guzman was captured with his top lieutenants on Sept. 12, 1992, an event that marked the “defeat” of the insurgency, but isolated remnants of the group fight on.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Top Guatemalan Drug Trafficker Tied to Zetas Sanctioned by U.S. Treasury

Top Guatemalan Drug Trafficker Tied to Zetas Sanctioned by U.S. Treasury

Photo: Los Zetas in Guatemala

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The DEA today announced that the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s designated Guatemalan national Horst Walter Overdick Mejia, a critical link in the drug trade between Colombian producers and the violent Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas, as a specially designated narcotics trafficker.

Today’s action, prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with this individual and freezes any assets the designee may have under U.S. jurisdiction.

Last week, an indictment against Overdick Mejia was unsealed for his narcotics trafficking and related firearms activities. On April 3, Guatemalan authorities arrested Overdick Mejia, the head of a major drug trafficking and money laundering organization based in Guatemala.

A veteran spice buyer, he used his local contacts and his business acumen to smuggle thousands of kilograms of cocaine to Mexico and on into the United States. It is widely believed that Overdick Mejia is responsible for bringing Los Zetas into Guatemala in 2008 in order to eliminate a competing trafficker and who later became their most important ally in Guatemala. He also laundered millions of U.S. dollars in narcotics proceeds generated by both his own organization as well as Los Zetas.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Baby Wakes Up in Argentine Morgue After Being Declared Dead

Baby Wakes Up in Argentine Morgue After Being Declared Dead

Photo: Child survives premature birth

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A baby born prematurely awoke in the morgue of a hospital in northern Argentina 12 hours after having been declared dead, authorities in Chaco province announced Tuesday.

The assistant health secretary for Chaco, Rafael Sabatinelli, called the incident “unfortunate,” adding that an investigation will be launched focusing on the health professionals involved in the matter at the hospital.

The incident occurred at Perrando Hospital when the mother of the little girl born six months after being conceived asked to go to the morgue to see her daughter and discovered her to be alive.

“During the night I went with my husband to where the little coffin was. He used a lever and opened the coffin. Suddenly, I heard a whine. (The baby) was covered (and there was a lot of) frost,” said Analia Bouter.

The child is now in good health, according to press accounts.

“Each member of the personnel who were involved in the matter has responsibilities. So, they will have to pay accordingly for this,” said Sabatinelli in remarks cited by Diario Norte newspaper on its Web site.

“We’re awaiting the results of the corresponding reports so that the matter may be clarified,” he added.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Shipwreck at Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands Claims Two

Shipwreck at Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands Claims Two

Photo: Shipwreck at Ecuador's Galapagos Islands Claims Two

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Fourteen people who survived a shipwreck near Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands and the bodies of two people killed in the accident arrived Tuesday at the port of Manta, while the search continues for three missing crew members, the media reported.

Last Wednesday, the fishing boat Tuna I sank near the Galapagos Islands due to weather conditions, according to crew members, and Ecuadorian officials are continuing their efforts to determine the exact cause or causes of the accident, Ecuavisa television said.

The 14 survivors arrived Tuesday at Manta and were attended to by doctors, who treated the serious sunburns they had suffered.

One of the survivors, Efren Flores, said that they had collected “racks and ropes from everyone to build a raft” on which they managed to survive, an account which agrees with other statements gathered by Ecuavisa.

Meanwhile, the owner of the boat, Jorge Parrales, emphasized to the network that the search will not end with the arrival of the survivors and bodies, given that the firm continues to be “concerned” about finding the missing crew members.

According to the fisherman, two huge waves caused the boat to capsize.

The Galapagos Islands are located about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) west of the coast of continental Ecuador and were named the first World Natural Heritage Site in 1978.

Read more by HS News Staff →

31 Pounds of Coke Seized at Texas Border, $1 Million Street Value

31 Pounds of Coke Seized at Texas Border, $1 Million Street Value

Photo: 31 Pounds of Coke Seized

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Anzalduas/Reynosa International Bridge seized approximately 31 pounds worth of cocaine on Thursday. The estimated street value of the cocaine is just over $1,000,000.

On April 5, a gray 2004 Nissan Maxima driven by a 30-year-old male Mexican national from Monterrey, N.L., Mexico arrived at the Anzalduas International Bridge. The driver presented his border crossing card to the CBP officer and was referred to secondary for further inspection. In secondary officers discovered and seized 13 packages weighing approximately 14.22 kilograms (31.35) pounds of alleged cocaine that were hidden within a compartment in the bumper area of the vehicle. CBP seized the vehicle as well.

In another unrelated incident at the same border crossing, CBP officers encountered a 29-year-old male Mexican national attempting to enter the United States by allegedly presenting a U.S. birth certificate and driver’s license issued from the state of Tennessee. The male traveler was referred to secondary for further document review and it was there that officers discovered that the birth certificate was not legitimate, and that the traveler was in fact a Mexican national without documents to enter or reside in the United States.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Theater in Argentina Now Serves as Magnificent Bookstore and Café

Theater in Argentina Now Serves as Magnificent Bookstore and Café

Photo: Theater in Argentina Now Serves as Magnificent Bookstore and Café

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In 1919, the doors to the Teatro Gran Splendid opened in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but after the theater closed and was leased to Grupo Ilhsa in February 2000 it became one of the most impressive bookstores in the world.

With the theater seating removed and the location renamed the El Ateneo Grand Splendid, the massive book and music store is also home to a café.

In 2007 alone, more than 700,000 books were sold to the store’s estimated 1 million visitors passing through its doors.

Check out photos of the bookstore once named No. 2 in The Guardian’s 2008 list of the World’s Ten Best Bookshops.


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Read more by HS News Staff →

Scarlett Johansson’s Image Used on Sex Shop Business Cards Without Permission

Scarlett Johansson’s Image Used on Sex Shop Business Cards Without Permission

Photo: Scarlett Johansson's Image Used on Sex Shop Business Cards Without Permission

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Scarlett Johansson appears to be the latest star to have her image used without her permission.

Ms. Johansson currently appears on business cards for a store in Calexico, California, which is near the Mexican border.

The cards are for a store called VIP, and aside from the probable annoyance of simply not given permission to use her image, Johansson was likely horrified to learn that VIP is a sex shop – sorry “adult superstore”, and that her image is sandwiched between the Spanish translations of “lingerie,” “lubricants” and “toys.” And I think we all know what kind of “toys” they’re selling.

According to TMZ, when asked why he thought it was okay to use the actress’ image on the cards, the manager claimed he had no idea the woman used was a famous Hollywood actress.

Johansson is currently making the rounds for the upcoming blockbuster The Avengers, in which she plays Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow. The movie hits theaters May 2, 2012.

Back in March, Kim Kardashian sued a plastic surgeon for using her image on a billboard for plastic surgery without her permission.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hard Rock Looking to Open New Hotel & Casino in Peru

Hard Rock Looking to Open New Hotel & Casino in Peru

Photo: Hard Rock Looking to Open New Hotel & Casino in Peru

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The capital of Peru looks like it will soon become the home of a new Hard Rock Café & Casino.

The new resort is scheduled to open in 2014 in Lima and will make it the second attempt to make a Hard Rock business work in the area. In 2002, the Hard Rock Café in Larcomar was closed due to poor performance.

According to Peruvian newspaper Gestión, the five-star hotel would cost between $35 million to $45 million in investments, which an unnamed investment group is said to be looking for.

With the pressure to create a Hard Rock Café & Casino that works, the head of Hard Rock Café’s operations and franchises for Latin America, Tom Perez said the new resort will have a different format.

“We will return with a different product and format, to a changed country as well, since Peruvians’ purchasing power has evolved,” Perez told El Comercio.

Hard Rock is also opening new Cafés in Santiago, Chile, San José, Costa Rica, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is also opening Hotel/Casinos in Cancun and Puerto Vallarta, and will soon be opening a sixty-six story tower in Panama called the Hard Rock Hotel Panama Megapolis.

Read more by HS News Staff →

DEA and Dominican Authorities Arrest Pilot of Billionaire Narco El Chapo Guzman

DEA and Dominican Authorities Arrest Pilot of Billionaire Narco El Chapo Guzman

Photo: El Chapo Guzman Pilot Arrested

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The pilot of Joaquín “Chapo” Guzmán, leader of the drug cartel, Sinaloa and the most powerful drug trafficker perhaps on the planet for whose capture the United States has offered 30 million dollars, has been arrested in the Dominican Republic during a joint operation between the United States Drug Enforcement Agency and local authorities, according to the Dominican newspaper, Listín Diario.

In the operative, occurring recently in Santo Domingo, two Mexicans fell in the hands of the DEA while a third accomplice, of Colombian origin, was able to escape.  The intelligence sources, of which the paper has access, seemed very hesitant to give more details about the operation that occurred in a hotel within the capital. It seems that the Dominican and North American authorities were informed that the pilot and close confidant to “Chapo” would come to the Dominican to establish some contacts and they prepared to trap him in a raid, after which both Mexicans were extradited to the United States, where there were warrants for their arrests. 

The sources did not give many details about the two arrested Mexicans, only saying that one’s last name was Chávez Ramírez and the other Alvarado Torres.  They also did not give many details about the extradition to the United States.  The U.S. has previously stated that “Chapo” Guzmán, is their number one fugitive, while Janet Napolitano, the head of Homeland Security, stated recently that “Chapo” could face the same fate as Bin Laden, who was surprised in his hideout and was killed by special forces.  The North American authorities have been closing in on the powerful drug trafficker and in recent weeks have arrested various allies in operatives in Mexico. 

According to the sources of Listín Diario, the arrest of these two Mexicans has provided the DEA with valuable information assuring the imminent arrest of el Chapo.  The Sinaloa cartel has been operating in the Dominican Republic for some time.  Recent murders, the majority in the northern region of the country, have been attributed to this cartel. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Botero’s Bronze “El Gato” Has His Whisker Stolen in Medellin

Botero’s  Bronze “El Gato” Has His Whisker Stolen in Medellin

Photo: El Gato by Fernando Botero

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One of the whiskers on the giant “El Gato” (The Cat) statue donated by painter and sculptor Fernando Botero to his native Medellin has been stolen, an official in the Colombian city told Efe.

The theft targeting the 1,050-kilo (1.2-ton) work of art occurred on Holy Thursday.

This is not the first time that a work by the world famous artist has been vandalized and experts will be called in to restore the statue.

The big cat has 14 whiskers and officials will consult Botero, aiming to restore the $1.3 million work to its original condition in the next few weeks.

“El Gato,” which is made of bronze, has graced the plaza at the San Cristobal Library Park in Medellin, where Botero was born in 1932, since April 2.

The gigantic feline, which is 3.9 meters (12.7 feet) long and 1.5 meters (5 feet) tall, was made in the Italian city of Pietra Santa, where Botero lives for several months each year.

The artist donated 23 sculptures and part of his private art collection to Medellin, the capital of Antioquia province, several years ago.

Botero’s most recent donation to Medellin was 61 works from his “Viacrucis: La Pasion de Cristo,” which is currently on exhibit in the Antioquia Museum.

The donation includes 27 oil paintings and 34 drawings of the passion and death of Christ.

Botero, considered Colombia’s most famous artist, is known for paintings and sculptures that exaggerate the shape and volume of human figures, animals and objects.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Narcos Placing Want Ads Seeking Drivers to Cross Border, No Questions Asked

Narcos Placing Want Ads Seeking Drivers to Cross Border, No Questions Asked

Photo: Narco Place Want Ads

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U.S. and Mexico border officials are warning job seekers to be on the look out for want ads placed by narcos seeking drivers, no questions asked.

The ads typically read something like “A company that is a leader in its field is looking for male employees.”  “Company seeking drivers to drive vehicles from Tijuana to San Diego.  Drive this car, it’s a company car, and someone will meet you and take you to where you’re supposed to go.” 

According to U-T San Diego, the unsuspecting applicants then take their vehicle or someone else’s vehicle and cross Mexico into the U.S. and drop the vehicle off.

In the last twelve months alone over 30 people have been arrested at the border when the vehicle they were driving was found to be loaded with drugs.  All of them claimed to have answered an innocent want ad. 

Now Border patrol is placing ads in Spanish language border newspapers announcing ““Warning! Drug traffickers are announcing employment for drivers to cross to the United States. Don’t be a victim of the smuggler’s trap.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Check Out the First Trailer for “Mrs. Eastwood & Company” - Starring the Icon’s Wife and Family

Check Out the First Trailer for “Mrs. Eastwood & Company” - Starring the Icon’s Wife and Family

Photo: Check Out the First Trailer for "Mrs. Eastwood & Company" - Starring the Icon's Wife and Family

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E! has finally released the first trailer for the upcoming reality show “Mrs. Eastwood & Company”.

Clint Eastwood, his wife Dina Ruiz Eastwood, and their family signed on to let the cameras roll on their lives for a new reality show on the E! network.

“Mrs. Eastwood & Company” will primarily follow Dina, 46, and Eastwood, 81, have been married since 1996 and have two child together, though he has six other children from previous relationships. It will follow the Hollywood icon, his wife, 15-year-old daughter, Morgan, and his 18-year-old daughter Francesca, the child he had with Frances Fisher.

ImageWhile Eastwood was filming Invictus with Matt Damon in South Africa, Dina discovered the six-piece male singing group Overtone. The group will also be seen on the show, as Dina is now managing them.

It should be pointed out that the cameras will not be following Eastwood around a la the Kardashian clan, but he will be making occasional appearances.

The 30-minute reality show, will premiere May 20 at 10 p.m. on E!.


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Freak Horse Accident Kills Mexican Bull Rider in Illinois

Freak Horse Accident Kills Mexican Bull Rider in Illinois

Photo: Freak Horse Accident Kills Mexican Bull Rider in Illinois

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Bull rider Gonzalo Tortugal was injured in a freak accident as he attempting to get onto a horse in the northern Illinois suburb of Wadsworth on Sunday.

The 20-year-old from Mexico was reportedly with a group of friends at a horse barn on the property of Tony Ocampo’s Landscaping in Wadsworth when he saw a horse and asked if he could ride it.

When he attempted to get on, the horse unexpectedly bucked, sending Tortugal to the ground. As the horse came back down he landed on Tortugal’s torso.

Tortugal’s girlfriend, Angelica Gallejos said her boyfriend had been riding bulls since he was 15 years old and was very familiar with horses, adding that he loved animals.

Sadly, his love of animals led to his demise, as Tortugal was rushed to the Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, where he underwent surgery, but did not survive.

Tortugal had been living with his sister in Waukegan.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Vigilante Border Justice?  Two Illegal Border Crossers Shot and Killed by People in Camouflage

Vigilante Border Justice?  Two Illegal Border Crossers Shot and Killed by People in Camouflage

Photo: Shooting of Undocumented in Eloy, Arizona

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Arizona authorities are reporting the shooting deaths of two illegal border crossers this weekend in Eagle Ranch near Eloy, Arizona by several individuals dressed in camouflage.

The shootings occurred in an area known for human smuggling from Mexico into the U.S.  The Pima County Sheriff received reports of shots being fired around 10:30 p.m. Sunday night.  Upon investigation they found two undocumented immigrants dead in a truck thought to be carrying 30 immigrants.  Authorities found some of the other immigrants hiding in the nearby desert.

Official reports say:  “It was determined that the border crossers were traveling in a pickup truck in a wash that is commonly used for human smuggling. They were ambushed by an unknown number of subjects in camouflage clothing armed with rifles. Shots were fired at the pickup truck at which time two subjects were fatally struck.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

JUST IN:  Ozzie Guillen Suspended from Miami Marlins for Pro-Castro Comments

JUST IN:  Ozzie Guillen Suspended from Miami Marlins for Pro-Castro Comments

Photo: Ozzie Guillen Suspended 5 Games

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Former White Sox manger and current manager of the Miami Marlins, Ozzie Guillen has been given a five-game suspension for his pro-Fidel Castro comments.

The problems for the Venezuelan Guillen started when he made comments to Time magazine that he admired Fidel Castro for his ability to remain in power.  Specifically, when asked “Who’s the toughest man you know?”  He replied to Time reporter ““He’s a bull ... dictator and everybody’s against him and he still survives, has power. ... I don’t admire his philosophy, I admire him.”

This clearly is not something that set well with the Cuban community of Miami, many of which are exilees from Cuba.  This is Guillen’s first year as manager of the Marlins. 

Since then Guillen has issued different apologies and has tried to clarify his comments.  Nonetheless, the Marlins in a statement said they “acknowledge the seriousness of the comments attributed to Guillen,” and “The pain and suffering caused by Fidel Castro cannot be minimized, especially in a community filled with victims of the dictatorships.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Teen Birth Rate Lowest in History, Latinos Have Highest Rate of Teen Births

Teen Birth Rate Lowest in History, Latinos Have Highest Rate of Teen Births

Photo: Latino Teen Birth Rates Decline

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Today’s report from the national Center for Health Statistics is showing that teen birth rates is the lowest in 70 years, and those low rates apply to all ethnics minorities as well.

The teen birth rate had been dropping and dropped by 9% from 2009 to 2010 to a historic low of 34.3 births per 1,000 teens between the ages of 15-19.  The report also shows decreases in teen birth rates amongst all ethnic minorities with Asians having the lowest teen birth rate at 10.9.  The teen birth rate for whites is now at 23.5 and Latinos had the highest teen birth rate at 56 teen births per 1,000 Hispanics.

“The fact that states with high Hispanic populations still show declines speaks to the more general pattern of increasing contraceptive use and declining teen births,” says Laura Lindberg to USA Today, a senior research associate with the non-profit Guttmacher Institute in New York.

The use of contraceptive amongst teens is one of the driving forces behind the low rates experts say.  In addition other reports show that teens having sex is decreasing which is a 20-year trend.  Mississippi continues to have the highest rate of teen births for any state, while Arizona saw the biggest drop at 29%. 

Teen birth rates recently peaked in 1991 at 61.3 births per 1,000 teens.  And in spite of the record low levels, the U.S. still has one of the highest teen birth rates for an industrialized nation. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

13-Year Old Spanish Royal Accidentally Shoots Himself in Royal Palace

13-Year Old Spanish Royal Accidentally Shoots Himself in Royal Palace

Photo: Accident at Spanish Royal Palace

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A grandson of Spain’s King Juan Carlos was taken to a Madrid clinic after he accidentally shot himself in the right foot with a shotgun at the family residence in Soria, the Royal Palace said.

Felipe Juan Froilan, the son of Princess Elena and Jaime de Marichalar, “has suffered an accident while practicing shooting at the family ranch in Soria,” the Royal Palace said.

The 13-year-old boy was “in the yard of the house, accompanied by his father, when a shotgun went off,” causing “a wound in the right foot,” the Royal Palace said.

The boy received first aid at Soria’s Santa Barbara Hospital and was then taken to Madrid, “where a surgical cleaning of the wound has been done,” the Royal Palace said.

The name of the Madrid clinic where Felipe Juan spent the night was not released by the Royal Palace.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Actress Kate del Castillo Happy Telenovela “La Reina del Sur” Has English Subtitles

Mexican Actress Kate del Castillo Happy Telenovela “La Reina del Sur” Has English Subtitles

Photo: Mexican actress Kate del Castillo Happy Telenovela "La Reina del Sur" Has English Subtitles

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Mexican actress Kate del Castillo hails the use of English subtitles in the telenovela “La Reina del Sur” (Queen of the South).

“Yes, I like it that mun2 has dared to do something like this because a lot of English-speaking people are eager to know what’s happening on ‘La Reina del Sur” and I think it’s very wise,” the actress told Efe on a visit to Miami.

“La Reina del Sur,” based on the best seller by Spanish writer Arturo Perez-Reverte, portrays the life of Teresa Mendoza (Del Castillo), an innocent young girl who finds herself forced to become a powerful woman able to survive in the dangerous world of drug trafficking.

The telenovela in 63 episodes broke viewership records when originally broadcast on Telemundo in 2011.

Now, mun2, which airs programs in both Spanish and English for a young Latino audience, is broadcasting it from Monday to Friday at 10:00 p.m. with English subtitles.

Del Castillo said she is still crazy about the character she plays, whom she sees as a good example “in many ways.”

“I love it that she makes so many mistakes because it does a lot to humanize her. And that she’s so contradictory and I like it that she does things that any other woman would hate,” she said.

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Brazil - U.S. Partnership for 21st Century

Brazil - U.S. Partnership for 21st Century

Photo: U.S. Brazil Relations

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Today Secretary of State Hillary Clinton participated in and delivered opening remarks at the “Brazil-U.S.: Partnership for the 21st Century” conference, alongside Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota.

This conference takes place during Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s visit to the United States and reflects the depth and positive focus of the bilateral relationship. The Partnership for the 21st Century conference is a joint effort to continue to grow commercial, economic, educational, and innovation ties between our two countries.

The event includes panel discussions on business and trade advancements and on education and innovation cooperation, including President Obama’s 100,000 Strong in the Americas goal and President Rousseff’s Science without Borders initiatives.

Various documents and agreements were signed on the margins of the conference. These included an Aviation Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), an MOU on State and Local Cooperation, an MOU on Trilateral Cooperation on Food Security in Haiti and Honduras, an Action Plan on Science and Technology Cooperation, an MOU between Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Brazil’s Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES), and a Fulbright-Science without Borders Scholar and Distinguished Chair agreement between CAPES and the U.S.-Brazil Fulbright Commission to expand research exchanges.

Other interagency agreements related to education, culture, environment, sustainable development, and trade were also signed.

Read more by HS News Staff →



TuesdayApril 10, 2012