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WednesdayApril 11, 2012

Latino Daily News: Bringing You the Latest Hispanic Current Events and News Stories 24/7

To reflect the dynamic interests of our audience, Latino Daily News is an online daily news source and virtual cultural center for and about Latinos. We offer the latest news headlines, as well as innovative and insightful Hispanic current events stories, photos, videos, and commentaries from a Latino perspective, 24/7.

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has Upcoming Diplomatic Trip to Colombia and Brazil

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has Upcoming Diplomatic Trip to Colombia and Brazil

Photo: Hillary Clinton to Visit Colombia and Brazil

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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will travel to Colombia, Brazil, and Belgium from April 13 to April 19. Secretary Clinton will accompany President Obama for the Sixth Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia from April 13-15. There, the U.S. delegation will meet with democratically-elected heads of state and government from throughout the Hemisphere to strengthen ties, expand partnerships, and continue progress in economic growth, social inclusion, and citizen security.

The Secretary will then travel to Brasilia, Brazil April 16-17. On April 16, she will lead the U.S. delegation for the third U.S.-Brazil Global Partnership Dialogue. This Dialogue builds upon the agreements the United States and Brazil reached during President Obama’s visit to Brazil in 2011 and President Rousseff’s visit to the United States on April 9-10, 2012. Issues discussed in the Global Partnership Dialogue range from development and education cooperation to global political and economic issues. The Dialogue provides a forum to transform our agreements into concrete action. The Secretary will also meet with government officials and representative of the private sector.

On April 17, the Secretary will provide opening remarks with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff at the First Annual High-Level Meeting of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). Launched eight months ago by Presidents Obama and Rousseff, OGP will formally welcome 42 new countries into the Partnership as they announce concrete commitments to prevent corruption, promote transparency, and harness new technologies to empower citizens.

Read more by HS News Staff →

CHECK Out Video: Conquista Dora Explains Spain’s Conquest of Mexico

CHECK out the video of Conquista Dora as she explains Spain’s Conquest of Mexico.

Read more by HS News Staff →

“No Longer Empty” Fills New York Mansion With Work of Hispanic Artists

“No Longer Empty” Fills New York Mansion With Work of Hispanic Artists

Photo: This side of Paradise Project

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An exhibition named after F. Scott Fitzgerald’s debut novel “This Side of Paradise” is bringing art, splendor and new life to a New York mansion that once served as a rest home for the formerly wealthy.

“Our mission is to transform the empty spaces with art,” said Jodie Dinapoli, program director of No Longer Empty, a New York-based non-profit arts organization that since 2009 has filled buildings with works of installation art, including the 32 creations distributed throughout the Andrew Freedman Home in The Bronx.

The series of collective and individual installations that make up the exhibition - which opened last week - includes 11 works by Spanish and Latin American artists.

The works have been distributed among 21 rooms, two dance halls and a corridor with peeled-off paint in the 9,000-sq. meter (96,750-sq.-foot) mansion, which Freedman (1860-1915) bequeathed as a private residence and haven for elderly individuals who had lost their fortunes.

In his will, the business mogul and owner of the New York Giants baseball team set aside a part of his fortune for a palace that would allow the erstwhile well-to-do to once again enjoy the luxury they had become accustomed to in their younger years.

“There were a lot of Europeans, including Austrians and Germans, and even a Czarist Russian general. Many of them had been very involved in art and Freedman, who perhaps feared he might one day lose his own fortune, wanted to give them this gift, give them this second life, as if they were wealthy once again,” Dinapoli said.

“They lived in total luxury, with white glove parties, gala dinners, dances ... like on the Titanic,” she added.

The mansion, which opened in 1924, served its initial purpose until the 1980s, when Freedman’s endowment ran out. Although the building was converted to a day-care center and events space, most of the rooms were sealed off and many of the belongings of its former inhabitants were left inside intact.

The 32 artists working at the house as part of the “This Side of Paradise” exhibition were permitted to use those antiques to create their works, including a piano that Ecuadorian Nicky Enright combined with several typewriters to symbolize a sound studio.

Colombian Federico Uribe used pennies, keys, silver spoons, domino pieces and crutches used by the mansion’s residents to create a tapestry brimming with intense colors, presided over by a portrait of Freedman made of cables “because he was a very politically and economically connected man,” Dinapoli said.

Spain’s Abigail Lazcoz has contributed to the exhibition with drawings inspired by the jumble of objects found in the mansions rooms.

Dominican Scherezade Garcia, for her part, inverted the space by moving furniture to the roof in an installation that symbolized the fact “the universe of these elderly persons had come crumbling down ... and they were living upside down in the world,” Dinapoli said

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spanish Singer Pitingo Cancels U.S. Concert Debut Due to Visa Mishap

Spanish Singer Pitingo Cancels U.S. Concert Debut Due to Visa Mishap

Photo: Spanish Singer Pitingo Cancels U.S. Concert Debut Due to Visa Mishap

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The Spanish singer known as Pitingo was forced to cancel his planned U.S. debut in New York last month when he was denied a visa because he shares his real name with someone on the Department of Homeland Security’s no-fly list.

The New York Times revealed the situation in a story in which it denounces the difficulties foreign artists have in traveling to the United States.

It had been scheduled that Pitingo would bring his flamenco fusion to New York for a March 9 performance in the Grand Ballroom at Manhattan Center, but three days before that date and with the tickets already sold his publicist announced the cancellation of the concert due to problems with the visa.

The Times explained that when the artist went to pick up his visa at the U.S. consulate in Madrid, he was told that his name was on the no-fly list.

Pitingo’s real name, Antonio Manuel Alvarez Velez, is the same as that of another person included on that list and the time it took to clear up the confusion made it impossible for the singer to travel to New York on time and he had to cancel the concert, the newspaper said.

The daily said that the cancellation resulted in losses of about $25,000 for the promotors of the concert, adding that Pitingo’s case is one of many that have affected artists all over the world since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“American visa procedures for foreign artists and performers have grown increasingly labyrinthine, expensive and arbitrary, arts presenters and immigration lawyers say, making the system a serious impediment to cultural exchanges with the rest of the world,” according to the Times article.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latina Liar: Jessica Vega Faked Cancer to Get Dream Wedding Paid For (VIDEO)

Latina Liar: Jessica Vega Faked Cancer to Get Dream Wedding Paid For (VIDEO)

Photo: Jessica Vega Cancer Bride

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There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Jessica Vega of New York wed the father of her nearly year-old daughter, Michael O’Connell, last year in May.  Everyone knew this might be the last moments of joy for the couple with the 24-year-old Vega facing terminal myeloid leukemia. 

Friends and family of the couple paid for the wedding, honeymoon and local retailers even donated the beautiful wedding dress to the tune of some $20,000.  Her husband was expecting the worse and it never came so he demanded proof of her illness from her doctors – it never came.

According to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, “By pretending to have a terminal illness, Vega inexcusably took advantage of the community’s hearts and minds, and profited off of their generosity.” “Our office will hold this individual accountable for fleecing the public through lies and deception.” 

According to reports her husband cooperated with the investigation and even after divorcing Vega had another child with her.

O’Connell is now staunchly in her corner and is hoping Vega won’t go to prison so she can take care of the kids. 

Vega has been indicted on multiple counts of fraud and grand larceny and faces 1 to 4 years in prison if convicted.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Minorities More Optimistic Government-Sponsored Healthcare With Benefit Everyone

Minorities More Optimistic Government-Sponsored Healthcare With Benefit Everyone

Photo: Minorities More Optimistic Government-Sponsored Healthcare With Benefit Everyone

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3,892 respondents participated in the 1st March American Pulse conducted 3/12-3/19/2012, utilizing BIGinsight™ and reInvention survey panels. The latest results show that Hispanics, Blacks and Asians are more optimistic about the benefits of a government-sponsored healthcare system while Whites disagree. Further, regardless of race, most Americans agree that preventative healthcare services are “untouchable”.

With the healthcare debate heating up during an election year, some Americans have concerns over the level of care and the degree of coverage that could be offered. Minority groups appear more optimistic of the benefits, while Whites remain skeptical. 71.7% of Blacks somewhat or strongly agree that the Obama Administration’s healthcare plan will benefit the majority of Americans, according to the latest American Pulse™ Survey. A majority of Asians (61.9%) and Hispanics (54.5%) share this opinion while Whites (36.4%) are less likely to expect benefits for all citizens. Further, minorities are more likely than Whites to say that healthcare reform will improve the quality of medical services in the U.S.

Despite the differing opinions over the benefits of the program, most Americans agree that employee benefits should not be controlled by the government. 64.1% of Adults 18+ somewhat/strongly disagree the government has the right to decide what healthcare services companies offer to employees. 68.0% of Whites support this position along with 47.6% of Hispanics, 42.8% of Asians and 40.8% of Blacks. Fewer Americans of each ethnic group believe the government has the right to mandate appropriate healthcare services for organizations.

Whether privatized or government-sponsored, certain medical amenities are necessary for all Americans. When asked which products or services were expendable (“I can live without it”) and which are untouchable (“I CANNOT live without it”), power toothbrushes, contacts and vitamin supplements are health products Americans can do without. However, necessary surgeries, emergency room care, prescribed antibiotics and preventative care are “untouchable” according to the majority:

Expendable (Adults 18+)
Battery-powered or rechargeable toothbrush: 86.6%
Contact lenses: 68.9%
Daily vitamins: 61.0%
Corrective dental procedures (i.e. braces): 59.3%
Contraceptive services: 52.1%
OTC cold medicines: 51.3%
Untouchable (Adults 18+)
Surgery to repair broken bones: 88.1%
Emergency room care: 88.0%
One-time prescribed medications (i.e. antibiotics): 84.3%
Daily prescribed medications: 83.4%
Glasses: 79.9%
Manual toothbrush: 78.3%
Yearly physicals/check ups with a primary care doctor: 75.4%
Yearly eye exams: 68.7%
Yearly cancer screenings: 67.0%
Specialists (allergist, dermatologist, etc.): 64.5%
Visiting the dentist twice a year: 58.0%
Dental X-rays: 56.7%

Read more at American Pulse (BIGinsight) →

LATINO BLOTTER: Drunk Rebecca Silva Breaks into Home and Tries to Breast Feed Stranger’s Baby

LATINO BLOTTER: Drunk Rebecca Silva Breaks into Home and Tries to Breast Feed Stranger’s Baby

Photo: Drunk Rebecca Silva Breaks into Home and Tries to Breast Feed Stranger's Baby

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A woman in eastern South Dakota was reportedly so drunk she broke into a stranger’s home and attempted to breast feed their baby.

Rebecca Silva allegedly broke into the home of Brookings, SD family on Sunday, alerting dogs in the home. The mother awoke when she heard the dogs barking and says she found Silva in her children’s room attempting to breast feed the baby.

However, Silva denies breaking into the home and says she met the mother the night before and was invited in. She claims that the woman even gave her pajamas, a claim the mother denies.

Silva seems to have a bit of evidence on her side, as the door was not locked and there were no signs of forced entry.

The unidentified mother called the police, who arrived to find Silva sleeping next to another child in the room. Silva was taken to the Brookings County Detention Center where she was later released on her own recognizance.

The 24-year-old has been charged with the misdemeanor crime of unlawful occupancy.

Neither child was harmed in incident.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Conservatives Go After Jennifer Lopez for “Orgy” Video, Want Her Banned From TV

Conservatives Go After Jennifer Lopez for “Orgy” Video, Want Her Banned From TV

Photo: Conservatives Go After Jennifer Lopez for "Orgy" Video, Want Her Banned From TV

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A conservative group calling itself The Culture and Media Institute has taken aim at Jennifer Lopez’s regarding her video for “Dance Again” ft. Pitbull.

During American Idol last week J.Lo debuted her new video but one scene in particular outraged conservative who lambasted the Idol judge for portraying an “orgy,” saying the show has responsibility to protect children from such orgy-like depictions.

The CMI is a conservative American organization focused on promoting what it believes to be traditional values in American culture and beliefs and fair treatment of conservatives in the news media. It was founded in October 2006 as a division of the Media Research Center, a group that monitors perceived liberal news media bias.

During a recent interview with Radar Online, Dan Gainor of the CMI said, “Even the supposedly family-friendly TV shows like American Idol are never safe in the hands of Hollywood.”

Gainor takes his outrage a step further saying:

Jennifer Lopez’s skanky new video shows how desperate she is to retain her fame despite her fading relevance.

What do you think, was is inappropriate to show Lopez’s video on American Idol, or is the CMI overacting?


Related Videos

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Tony Romo is a New Dad to Baby Boy

Tony Romo is a New Dad to Baby Boy

Photo: Tony Romo and Candice Crawford new Parents

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Tony Romo and his wife Candice Crawford are celebrating the arrival of their new baby boy, Hawkins Crawford Romo.  The Dallas Cowboy quarterback was congratulated on Twitter by his teammates that broke the news to everyone else.

Romo, 31 and Crawford, 25 wed last year in May and announced the pregnancy in October.  Romo made the pregnancy announcement when he was visiting a local Dallas high school.

Check out the video announcement. 

Romo is a second generation Mexican-American, his grandfather immigrated from Mexico to Texas. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Texas: Lubbock Latinas May Have New Line of Work - The Nude Maid Service

Texas: Lubbock Latinas May Have New Line of Work - The Nude Maid Service

Photo: Lubbock Latinas May Have New Line of Work - The Nude Maid Service

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A new maid service in the predominantly Latino area of Lubbock, Texas may be illegal, no not because a bunch of “illegals” work for the company.

No, the Lubbock Fantasy Maid Service is being questioned due to the nude or nearly nude maids that come to clean your house.

The service has been in business for roughly a month and was started by single mother Melissa Borrett, who says the job has allowed her to be her own boss while making better many than her other jobs.

However, Lubbock Police Sergeant Jonathan Stewart says the business may be illegal because it is sexually oriented business which requires a special permit that the Lubbock Fantasy Maid Service does not have.

Borrett maintains that nothing illegal is going on and that anyone thinking these is a sex-for-money business is mistaken.

She told local NBC affiliate KCBD that there is a strict no touching policy and that nothing illegal is going on.

Should her business be found illegal, Borrett faces a $2,000-a-day fine for not having the proper permits.

To hire the sexified maids, customers pay $100 an hour for one maid and $150 an hour for two maids, and if the customer wants his or her maids to be completely nude, all he/she has to do is ask.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Van Carrying Undocumented Migrants Crashes at Border Check Point Leaving 9 Dead

Van Carrying Undocumented Migrants Crashes at Border Check Point Leaving 9 Dead

Photo: Texas Border Deaths

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Nine Mexican migrants were killed and six others injured when the van they were traveling in crashed after the driver sped away from an immigration checkpoint in South Texas.

Authorities said the death toll from Tuesday night’s accident in Palmview could rise.

The van, built to carry eight people, had been modified to accommodate a driver and 18 passengers, and officials suspect all 19 aboard the vehicle were undocumented.

The van stopped at the Border Patrol checkpoint, but one person jumped out and the vehicle took off before agents could conduct an inspection.

A Border Patrol spokesman said the agents did not mount a pursuit.

The van ran off the road and flipped over several times after traveling a few blocks from the checkpoint.

Three of the six people injured have already been treated and released, police Cmdr. Lenny Sanchez told Efe. Two occupants of the van are in custody and two others fled the scene, he said.

Action 4 News, the local CBS affiliate, cited an eyewitness who said “the bodies started flying in the air and landing everywhere.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Lisa Lampanelli Calls ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ Teammate Dayana Mendoza “Retarded” and “Sp*c”

During a radio interview last week, comedian and Celebrity Apprentice contestant Lisa Lampanelli was not too kind when she spoke of former Miss Universe and fellow Apprentice contestant Dayana Mendoza.

When a listener called in to the Sirius XM 101 radio show and asked Lampanelli, “Why you being so c*nty towards Dayana Mendoza?” the comedian said, “Because she’s f*cking retarded.’

The caller then said Lampanelli simply hates Mendoza because she’s beautiful and Lampanelli is “Miss Piggy.”

After she explained that she thinks her teammates are all stunningly beautiful, she explained that she does not like Mendoza because she “has never had a usable idea on the Apprentice so far. If she does in future weeks that will be great, we’d love to hear them, but as you all heard them last night mopping up afterbirth with an O-Cedar mop is not what they go for.”

She was referring to Mendoza’s idea for their challenge to produce a viral video to promote O-Cedar’s ProMist mop. The Venezuelan beauty oddly suggested that the commercial star a pregnant woman whose water breaks and “before she goes to the hospital she needs to wipe that off.”

While some will agree with Lampanelli in that regard, she is catching flak for what she said afterwards.

Lampanelli took things too far when she said, “I actually would love to see [Dayana] giving birth. She’s a spic! She’s going to do it f***ing soon, anyway…She’ll be knocked up before the end of the week.”

As the outrage over her comments spread, Lampanelli was bombarded with equally insulting comments and even death threats.

Earlier this week however, Mendoza made comments of her own, telling the Huffington Post, “I understand that it’s Lisa’s job to make fun of people for a living,” she said. “If poking fun at me can help her sell tickets to her shows, no problem, I am happy to help her put food on her table. However, when she uses racial slurs, she is not only targeting myself but degrading an entire Hispanic culture.”

Check out Lampanelli’s full radio comments below.


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LATINO BLOTTER:  Husband Douses Wife’s Clothes with Gasoline and Fires Rifle in Closet to Ignite

LATINO BLOTTER:  Husband Douses Wife’s Clothes with Gasoline and Fires Rifle in Closet to Ignite

Photo: Jose Javier Alcantar Douses Wife's Clothes with Gasoline

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We don’t think Jose Javier Alcantar will make it to the Husband of the Year list.  The 32-year-old Harlingen, Texas resident was angry with his wife and doused her clothes with gasoline but he didn’t stop there. 

To make sure the clothes ignited he fired his rifle into the closet where the doused clothes were.  KABOOM.  Alcantar is now charged with two counts of aggravated assault.

The double count is from the fact that Alcantar’s wife and 6-year-old son were at home when he ignited the clothes, endangering both of them.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latino Blotter:  Santos Ramos Arrested When 5-Year-Old Stepson Brings His Heroin to Show & Tell

Latino Blotter:  Santos Ramos Arrested When 5-Year-Old Stepson Brings His Heroin to Show & Tell

Photo: Santos Ramos in Trouble for Heroin Packets for Kids

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35 year-old Santos Ramos of Bridgeport, Connecticut is in trouble once again for his drug dealing except this time it involves his 5 year-old step son. 

The youngster decided to bring his step-dads jacket with 50-heroin filled packets to his ‘show and tell’ for his kindergarten class.  The not-so-bright dad realized that his step-son had taken his jacket and went to the school to retrieve the jacket, which is where he was arrested by police.

Ramos is being held in lieu of $100,000 bond while the 5-year-old is now with child protective services

Read more by HS News Staff →

At Least 75 Die during Holy Week in El Salvador, 49 were Murdered

At Least 75 Die during Holy Week in El Salvador, 49 were Murdered

Photo: El Salvador Violence during Holy Week

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At least 75 people died during Holy Week in El Salvador, 26 of whom drowned or died in other accidents and 49 of whom were murdered, authorities said Tuesday.

In its final report, the Civil Protection Directorate said that the number of people who died in accidents or by drowning during the week before Easter fell from 41 in 2011 to 26 in 2012.

The National Civil Police (PNC) have not updated the murder figure, which as of last Saturday stood at 49, 42 fewer than last year, when there were 91 killings during the same period, PNC assistant director Mauricio Ramirez told reporters on the weekend.

Among the people injured in assorted accidents are more than 200 who were stung by jellyfish, which in recent days have proliferated along El Salvador’s coast due to the heavy concentration of algae, which serves as food for them.

In addition, the Civil Protection Directorate reported nine other deaths and one person who had gone missing in incidents unrelated to the pre-Easter vacation.

A total of 369 traffic and other accidents were registered, while emergency authorities carried out 416 rescue operations, almost all of them along the country’s beaches.

At least 38,419 police, soldiers, emergency workers, doctors and other personnel provided security and aid to vacationers during the week.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Nearly Half of All Brazilians are Overweight

Nearly Half of All Brazilians are Overweight

Photo: Nearly Half of All Brazilians are Overweight

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More than 48 percent of Brazilians are overweight and 15.8 percent are obese, according to a study based on 2011 data that was released Tuesday by the Health Ministry.

The figures testify to a growing problem, since in 2006 overweight people amounted to 42.7 percent of the population while 11.4 percent were obese.

The ministry surveyed 54,144 people in the capitals of Brazil’s 27 states.

People are considered overweight who have a Body Mass Index higher than 25 and obese if they have a BMI above 30.

The proportion of overweight men increased from 47.2 percent in 2006 to 52.6 percent last year. The comparable figures among women were 38.5 percent and 44.7 percent, respectively.

Excess weight increases with age.

While the problem affects 29.4 percent of Brazilians between the ages of 18 and 24, the proportion reaches 63 percent in the 35-45 age group.

“There is a trend toward increased weight and obesity in the country. The time has come to turn the game around so we don’t catch up with countries like the United States, where more than 20 percent of the population is obese,” Health Minister Alexandre Padilha said in presenting the study.

The minister said that among the measures adopted by the government to tackle the problem was an accord signed with the food industry last year to reduce the content of salt and fat in its products.

Padilha cited unhealthy eating habits as one of the factors causing excess weight gain.

Only 20.2 percent of Brazilians consume more than five portions of fruits and vegetables per day as the World Health Organization recommends.

On the more positive side, the proportion of sedentary males in Brazil fell from 16 percent in 2009 to 14.1 percent last year.

The study also showed that the percentage of smokers dropped from 34.8 percent in 1989 to 14.8 percent in 2011.

“The figures show that our ban on smoking in public spaces is contributing effectively to that decline,” Padilha said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

MALDEF Sues Major Grape Grower for Mistreatment of Latino Workers

MALDEF Sues Major Grape Grower for Mistreatment of Latino Workers

Photo: MALDEF Sues Grape Grower for Abusing Latino Workers

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The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund on Tuesday announced a class-action lawsuit against one of the major grape producers in California’s Central Valley for serious violations of labor laws.

MALDEF accuses Castlerock Farming and Transport, Inc. and many of its labor contractors of forcing workers to work extra time without pay, among other offenses.

“Despite years of litigation and advocacy, illegal pay practices in this industry still persist, and MALDEF files suit to let employers know that they risk suit if they choose to violate the law,” MALDEF National Senior Counsel Victor Viramontes said.

Castlerock, according to the suit, has been “systematically mistreating Latino workers.”

“They make us work extra time and don’t pay us for it and we don’t have the obligatory rest breaks and often (we don’t have the time) for lunch,” Israel Lopez, one of the plaintiffs, told Efe.

At the press conference where they were accompanied by the plaintiffs, MALDEF President and General Counsel Thomas A. Saenz, staff attorney Marta Gomez and United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta detailed other illegal and abusive practices against the workers.

They said, for example, that some of the workers had to take trays of grapes to wash at their homes each day, basically working another daily shift with no compensation.

“Castlerock has financially benefited at the expense of its own farm workers. These deplorable policies threaten the hard-earned employment protections that Californians cherish,” Gomez said.

The lawsuit alleges that the plaintiffs “were regularly required to work a 20-30 minute pre-shift, in which they set up equipment and supplies, and attended ‘escuela’ (instructions for the day) without compensation.”

Castlerock and several of its labor contractors are also being sued for not paying workers the California minimum wage.

The suit asks the court to issue a preliminary and permanent order prohibiting the defendants from continuing with the mistreatment of Latino workers.

Also, it asks the firm to pay the back salaries and other benefits that are owed to all Castlerock’s current employees and to those who worked for the company during the past 11 years.

“Many Latino workers, including many in agriculture, are a vulnerable and undervalued sector of our labor force, and MALDEF will fight to ensure that their legal rights are respected,” Martha Gomez said.

Read more by HS News Staff →



WednesdayApril 11, 2012