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ThursdayApril 12, 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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Peruvian Helicopter Searching for Kidnap Victims Shot At, 1 Dead

Peruvian Helicopter Searching for Kidnap Victims Shot At, 1 Dead

Photo: Shining Path Guerillas, Peru

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A police officer was killed and three other people wounded Thursday when unknown attackers fired on a helicopter searching for 43 energy company workers kidnapped earlier this week in the jungles of southeastern Peru’s Cuzco region, the Interior Ministry said in a communique.

The top elected official in La Convencion province, Fedia Castro, told RPP radio that the helicopter was downed in the Alto Kepashiato zone.

Defense Minister Alberto Otarola, who traveled to Cuzco on Thursday to oversee the search for the hostages, visited a clinic in the town of Kiteni to check on the status of the wounded survivors, Castro said.

Killed in the attack was Capt. Nancy Flores, the co-pilot of the helicopter, while the pilot, police Maj. Roberto Ramos, gunner Luis Guerrero and a civilian acting as a guide, Elver Huaman, were wounded, according to the government communique.

The chopper was attacked as it was taking off after dropping off some police in Kiteni, Castro told RPP. She said the shots came from a nearby mountain, most likely from members of the group that kidnapped the workers.

The government said Thursday it “does not negotiate with terrorists,” referring to the kidnappers’ demand for $10 million to free the captives.

“The government does not negotiate with terrorists, the government operates within the framework of the law,” Justice Minister Juan Jimenez told the official Andina news agency.

“Work is being done under the command of the Interior Ministry, work by the Defense Ministry, security work in the area to rescue these people alive,” Jimenez said.

Peruvians should have confidence that the security forces will soon be able to return the 43 workers “to their families safe and sound,” President Ollanta Humala said Thursday.

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

All the hostages are employees of Coga and Skanska, which are contractors on the massive Camisea natural gas project.

The government declared a state of emergency Wednesday in La Convencion province and deployed 1,500 soldiers in the area to “isolate” the kidnappers, officials said.

“As soon as the incident occurred, a unified armed forces and National Police command was established” to go after the “narcoterrorists” who kidnapped the gas company contractors, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The command “has taken action in this case since Monday, with the discretion and reserve required in a matter of such a delicate nature,” the ministry said.

Victor Quispe Palomino, known as “Comrade Jose,” commands the Shining Path fighters in the VRAE region, where, according to officials, the rebels have joined forces with drug cartels and producers of illegal coca, the raw material for cocaine.

The government has made the elimination of the Shining Path’s remnants a priority.

The Maoist-inspired Shining Path launched its uprising 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.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Aura Cristina Geithner to be Villain in Mexican Soap Opera “Quererte Asi”

Aura Cristina Geithner to be Villain in Mexican Soap Opera “Quererte Asi”

Photo: Aura Cristina Geithner

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Colombian actress Aura Cristina Geithner will be the villain in TV Azteca’s new soap opera “Quererte asi” - to be launched on April 16 - in which she will star with Mexican actors Francisco Angelini and Maria Jose Madan.

The actors and producers on Wednesday night gave a presentation to the press and explained various aspects of the new show, which tells the story of the conflicts that arise in the romantic relationship between a rich girl and a poor young man.

Local media emphasized the international career of Geithner, who garnered widespread recognition for her role in the TV Azteca soap “Cielo Rojo,” in which she played Mariana.

Geithner said that in the new production she will be a “woman with a lot of money, with power, attractive but cold, calculating, sarcastic, who knows what she wants, but her Achilles heel is her ambition.”

In recent years, the Colombian actress has managed to cement her image as a great actress in her role as the favorite villain after beginning her career as “the good girl, admired and valued.”

“In ‘Secretos de Amor,’ which I recorded in Miami, it gave me satisfaction to play a villain for the first time,” she said.

The actress added that she is very happy to be in Mexico.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Major Mexican Narco Traffickers of Drug Chemicals Cited by U.S. Kingpin Act

Major Mexican Narco Traffickers of Drug Chemicals Cited by U.S. Kingpin Act

Photo: Meth Narcos from Mexico Indicted

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The DEA today announced that the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s designated Ezio Benjamin Figueroa Vasquez and his son, Hassein Eduardo Figueroa Gomez, as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers pursuant to the Kingpin Act for their significant role in international narcotics trafficking, as well as 16 of their companies in Mexico and Panama.

The Kingpin Act prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these individuals and entities, and it freezes any assets the designees may have under U.S. jurisdiction.

Figueroa Vasquez and Figueroa Gomez lead an international precursor chemical trafficking organization responsible for the diversion and importation of multi-ton quantities of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine from Europe and sub-Saharan Africa into Mexico. The organization distributes these precursor materials to major Mexican drug trafficking organizations which manufacture methamphetamine in Mexico for ultimate distribution in the United States.

On November 2, 2011, Figueroa Vasquez and Figueroa Gomez were indicted by a federal grand jury in Virginia.

In September 2011, Mexican authorities arrested Figueroa Vasquez, and he remains in Mexican custody today. The 16 companies designated today in Mexico and Panama range in business activities from real estate and construction to pharmaceutical activity. Among these companies are Mexico City-based pharmaceutical companies Geofarma, S.A. de C.V. and Distribuidora Medica Hitalaria, S.A. de C.V. as well as Guadalajara-based construction and housing development companies Promociones Citadel, S.A. de C.V. and Desarrollo Arquitectonico Fortia, S.A. de C.V.

This initiative is part of a global effort to interdict Mexican drug trafficking organizations’ access to materials needed for the illicit production of methamphetamine.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hispanics Love Social Media, But Are More Reluctant to Share Personal Information

Hispanics Love Social Media, But Are More Reluctant to Share Personal Information

Photo: Hispanics Love Social Media, But Are More Reluctant to Share Personal Information

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Hispanics show a greater enthusiasm than other groups for social media such as Facebook, YouTube and Google+, but are more reluctant to share personal information, according to a study released Thursday.

uSamp, a survey firm based in Encino, California, talked to 650 Hispanics about their views on social media.

“Social media is a natural fit for Latinos. Latinos, by nature, are innovators. Social media allows us to create, recreate and take a shot at building communities around content that we want,” Lance Rios, founder and CEO of Being Latino, Inc., said.

Among the findings: 90 percent of Hispanics are likely to be on Facebook, compared with 81 percent of the general population, and 57 percent of Latinos use YouTube, as opposed to 46 percent of non-Hispanics.

And while 47 percent of Hispanics are likely to be on Google+, the comparable figure for the general population is only 18 percent, uSamp found.

At the same time, Latinos are more careful in what they reveal on social media, with the proportion who are willing to share their names of 65 percent, compared with 87.1 percent of non-Hispanics.

Forty-three percent of Latinos are prepared to post their relationship status, compared with 74 percent of the general population.

Fewer than one in three Hispanics will disclose his or her political affiliation in social media, while 53 percent of non-Latinos are willing to show their political colors.

Half of non-Hispanics are prepared to reveal date of birth, versus only 36 percent of Latinos, uSamp found.

“Culturally we tend to be sensitive to giving personal information so easily. Once trust is gained, Latinos will usually open up,” Rios said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Rio’s Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil Was Home to 3 of 2011’s Most Popular Art Exhibitions

Rio’s Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil Was Home to 3 of 2011’s Most Popular Art Exhibitions

Photo: Rio's Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil Was Home to 3 of 2011's Most Popular Art Exhibitions

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According to Art Newspaper, Rio de Janeiro’s Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (CCBB) was home to three of the 2011’s 10 most-visited exhibitions.

Many in the art world might be surprised to learn that the mind-bending illusionist M.C. Escher exhibit “The Magical World of Escher” at CCBB was the most popular of 2011, bringing in nearly 10,000 visitors each day it was open.

To compare, the impressive showing of “Alexander McQueen” at the Metropolitan Museum in New York still brought in 1,500 fewer people than the CCBB’s “Escher”.

Though it was the Escher exhibit that topped the list, two others kept CCBB, whose admission is free, at the top.

Japanese artist Mariko Mori’s futuristic mix of eastern and western influence in “ONENESS” had visitors standing in awe of her impressive work, and American new media artist Laurie Anderson’s “I IN U—EU EM TU” exhibit of stories, lyrics, and paintings threaded through corridors and along architectural elements connect visitors to different areas with various forms of art, from multi-media performances to “inventions” of sorts.

Take a look at the art that made Rio’s Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil one of the most visited art museums in the world.

M.C. Escher: The Magical World of Escher

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Mariko Mori: ONENESS

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Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Fire Captain Elmer Cuevas Burns Wife’s Clothes, Headbutts Officers

LATINO BLOTTER: Fire Captain Elmer Cuevas Burns Wife’s Clothes, Headbutts Officers

Photo: LATINO BLOTTER: Fire Captain Elmer Cuevas Burns Wife's Clothes, Headbutts Officers

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A Georgia fire captain was arrested earlier this week after allegedly lighting his wife’s clothes on fire and then threatening and attacking officers that arrived on the scene.

Savannah Fire Captain Elmer Cuevas was arrested Tuesday for threatening to shoot his 33-year-old wife and her mother and then setting the wife’s clothes on fire in the backyard of their home.

When police arrived at the home at around 6:15 p.m., Cuevas was had a knife strapped to his belt which the officers convinced him to drop relinquish, but their trouble with the angry fire captain was far from over.

Cuevas managed to get back inside the house after grabbing an officer who tried to block entry. The officers, who had come from two different precincts, tried to coax him back outside, and warned him that if he did not comply, they would fire a stun gun.

He ultimately exited the house but after doing so head-butted two officers, threatened to burn the officers’ patrol cars and kill everyone at the scene.

After the tense situation was neutralized, Cuevas arrested and taken to Chatham County Jail.

The 48-year-old was officially charged with terroristic threats and acts, second-degree arson and two counts of battery on a police officer.

Read more by HS News Staff →

CAINE’S ARCADE: Nine-Year-Old Inspires Filmmaker, Community, World (VIDEO)

CAINE’S ARCADE: Nine-Year-Old Inspires Filmmaker, Community, World (VIDEO)

Photo: CAINE'S ARCADE: Nine-Year-Old Inspires Filmmaker, Community, World

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In East L.A.’s industrial district one little boy is inspiring not only his own father, but thousands across the across the country and even the world.

At just 9 years old, Caine Monroy began creating his own arcade in his father’s autoparts store. Sadly, with the shop getting little foot traffic, Caine was not getting a lot of customers.

ImageHowever, it all changed when filmmaker Nirvan Mullick came looking for a car part at the shop.

“One day, by chance, I walked into Smart Parts Auto looking for a used door handle for my ’96 Corolla,” Mullick writes in a blog promoting Caine’s Arcade. “What I found was an elaborate handmade cardboard arcade manned by a young boy who asked if I would like to play. I asked Caine how it worked and he told me that for $1 I could get two turns, or for $2 I could get a Fun Pass with 500 turns. I got the Fun Pass.”

Check out the inspiring and just plain heartwarming story that helped raise more than $100,000 for the Caines Arcade Scholarship Fund.

Read more at Caine's Arcade by Nirvan Mullick and Interconnected →

Major League Baseball’s Foreign Players Reaches 3rd Highest Level, Dominican Players are Majority

Major League Baseball’s Foreign Players Reaches 3rd Highest Level, Dominican Players are Majority

Photo: Major League Baseball Foreign Players

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The percentage of baseball players in the Major Leagues born outside of the United States rose to its third highest level.  Out of 856 players, 243 were born outside of the U.S.  This year’s 28.4% of foreign players is higher than last year’s which was 27.7% yet falls behind 2005 and 2009’s percentages.  During both of these years, the percentage of foreign players was at 29.2% and 29%.

The Dominican Republic, with 95 players, tops the list of countries with Major League players, even though their number is slightly lower than its highest of 99 in 2007.  Venezuela is listed as second with 66 players which is an increase by four from last year.  The list continues with 15 players from Canada and 13 from Japan.  Cuba and Puerto Rico each had 11, yet this is the lowest total for Puerto Rico since 1995.  Mexico has nine players, while Panamá has seven.  Curacao and Australia both list four players, Nicaragua three, Taiwan two, while Colombia, Italy and South Korea each list one player in the Major Leagues

Kansas City is the team with the most foreign born players.  They list 13 players, while Colorado and the New York Yankees both have twelve players.  The minor leagues show a 46.47% of foreign players which is a decrease from the beginning of last season. 

Read more at The Republic →

Latino-Themed ‘Paranormal Activity’ Film in the Works

Latino-Themed ‘Paranormal Activity’ Film in the Works

Photo: Latino-Themed 'Paranormal Activity' Film in the Works

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Hollywood seems to be taking on more Latino-themed projects and the horror genre is no exception.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, filmmakers are looking to make a Latino-themed version of Paranormal Activity with a Latino cast.

The film, being described as a “cousin” of the Paranormal franchise, will follow a Latino cast and their experiences with a “Catholic –based paranormal mythology.”

Paramount and producers from the second and third Paranormal movies (Jason Blum, Christopher Landon, and Oren Peli) may be able to film and edit the micro-budgeted in just a few months and have the film in theaters by January 2013.

Though the film will have a Latino cast it will not be in Spanish.

The horror genre has long done well in Central and South America, especially where horror meets religion and superstition. Mix that with the fact that U.S. Latinos see movies at a higher rate than non-Latinos and this latest installment in the franchise could increase the three Paranormal films’ more than $575 million gross.

Before the Latino Paranormal however, the fourth film is scheduled to be released this October.

Read more by HS News Staff →

43 Workers Kidnapped asking 10M Ransom-Peruvian Gov’t Says it will Not Negotiate

43 Workers Kidnapped asking 10M Ransom-Peruvian Gov’t Says it will Not Negotiate

Photo: Peruvian President Ollanta Humala with a natural gas plant in the background.

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The government said Thursday it “does not negotiate with terrorists,” referring to the armed group that kidnapped 43 energy company workers earlier this week in the jungles of southeastern Peru’s Cuzco region and is demanding $10 million for their release.

“The government does not negotiate with terrorists, the government operates within the framework of the law,” Justice Minister Juan Jimenez told the official Andina news agency.

“Work is being done under the command of the Interior Ministry, work by the Defense Ministry, security work in the area to rescue these people alive,” Jimenez said.

Assistance will be provided to the hostages’ families, the justice minister said, adding that it was unfortunate that such groups still operated in the Andean country.

The mass abduction took place Monday 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.

All the hostages are employees of Coga and Skanska, which are contractors on the massive Camisea natural gas project.

The government declared a state of emergency Wednesday in La Convencion province, where the mass kidnapping occurred, and deployed 1,500 soldiers in the area to “isolate” the kidnappers, officials said.

“As soon as the incident occurred, a unified armed forces and National Police command was established” to go after the “narcoterrorists” who kidnapped the gas company contractors, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The command “has taken action in this case since Monday, with the discretion and reserve required in a matter of such a delicate nature,” the ministry said.

The armed group that seized the workers is demanding $10 million for their release and an additional $1.2 million a year as a “war fee,” the Correo newspaper reported, posting a copy of the handwritten ransom note on its Web page.

Nine of the workers were captured at a camp, while the rest were seized in the town of Kepashiato, an Interior Ministry source told Efe.

“Initially there were 45 captives and the only ones freed have been a doctor and a nurse who could not advance through the jungle. To them, they (the captors) gave the notes with their demands,” the source said.

Shining Path leader “Comrade Artemio,” who was identified by the government as Florindo Flores Hala, was captured on Feb. 12 in a jungle area in the Upper Huallaga Valley and is being held at the Callao navy base as he awaits trial on terrorism and drug trafficking charges.

“Comrade Freddy,” who took over the leadership of the Shining Path following Comrade Artemio’s arrest, was captured in the Huanuco region a short time later.

Comrade Artemio commanded the Shining Path’s remnants in the Upper Huallaga Valley, while Victor Quispe Palomino, known as “Comrade Jose,” commands the fighters in the VRAE region.

The rebels have joined forces with drug cartels and producers of illegal coca, the raw material for cocaine, officials say.

The government has made the elimination of the Shining Path’s remnants a priority.

The Maoist-inspired Shining Path launched its uprising 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.

The guerrilla group, according to commission estimates, also caused an estimated $25 billion in economic losses.

Shining Path founder Abimael Guzman, known to his fanatic followers as “President Gonzalo,” was captured with his top lieutenants on Sept. 12, 1992, an event that marked the “defeat” of the insurgency.

The guerrilla leader, who was a professor of philosophy at San Cristobal University before initiating his armed struggle in the Andean city of Ayacucho, once predicted that 1 million Peruvians would probably have to die in the ushering-in of the new state envisioned by Shining Path.

The group became notorious for some of its innovations, such as blowing apart with dynamite the bodies of community service workers its members killed, or hanging stray canines from lampposts as warnings to “capitalist dogs.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Registered Sex Offender Watches Child Pornography at Sacramento Starbucks

LATINO BLOTTER: Registered Sex Offender Watches Child Pornography at Sacramento Starbucks

Photo: Registered sex offender, Luis Mendoza, caught watching child porn at Sacramento Starbucks

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A registered sex offender was arrested Monday after employees at a Bay Area Starbucks in California noticed he was watching child pornography.

Most know that looking at child pornography is not just wrong, it’s illegal, so looking at it on your computer in the middle of a Starbucks likely isn’t something that ever crosses your mind.

However, 49-year-old Luis Mendoza did not follow that same train of thought and took out his computer and began looking at child pornography in full view of both Starbucks employees and patrons.

After spotting the illegal images, an employee called the police to their downtown Sacramento coffee shop.

When officers arrived, the man was reportedly no longer viewing the questionable material. He was, however, still arrested and his computer seized.

Mendoza was arrested on suspicion of violating his parole.

Read more by HS News Staff →

New Tampa Bay Rays Stadium – Paid for by Immigration Program

The Tampa Bay Rays would like to replace their current stadium, Tropicana Field, with a new stadium, yet they are lacking the funds to pay for it.  However the answer to their dilemma could come from a surprising source: an immigration program called EB-5

According to Chuck Sykes, co-chairman of the Tampa chamber group, along with 13 other business leaders researching the possibility of a new stadium, the federal immigration program might be the ticket they need to pay for a half billion dollar stadium. 

The program EB-5, provides foreigners the opportunity to invest at least $500,000 towards the creation of at least ten jobs in the United States.  Once the jobs are created, the foreigners earn a green card for themselves and their families.  The money can increase when potential immigrants combine their money into an investment fund.  According to Robert Moreyra, co-founder of Forge Capital Partners, a Tampa investment company, “Theoretically, their combined money could be put toward a real estate development including a Rays ballpark, retail space and housing.”

The program is open to people around the world, however the majority of participants are Chinese.  Last year, 935 people from China won approval for the program.  With a booming economy in China, the number of millionaires has increased and therefore many have money to invest.  Gar Liipincott, solicits foreign investors for his Tampa based investment fund believes, “Chinese people hoping to move to America might welcome the chance to invest in a Rays stadium.”

Yet, some critics remain skeptical of the program and possible new stadium.  According to a recent Bloomberg News report, some investors sometimes will pump money into development projects hoping to get a green card a couple of years later.  Some projects fail and therefore do not create the planned jobs. 

In New York, however, EB-5 is being used to help fund a $4.9 billion retail, housing and arena complex called Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn where the New Jersey Nets will eventually play as the Brooklyn Nets.  While in Oakland, California the mayor has discussed using EB-5 funds to fund a new Oakland Athletics stadium.

According to Lippincott, “We have a very open dialogue with our Chinese marketing arm, and that (a stadium) appears to be very viable.” 

Read more at Tampa Bay Online →

Mexican Actor Julio Aleman Dies at 78 After Battling Lung Cancer

Mexican Actor Julio Aleman Dies at 78 After Battling Lung Cancer

Photo: Telenovela Pioneer Julio Aleman Dies in Mexico

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Mexican actor Julio Aleman died from a respiratory infection after waging a long battle against lung cancer, Televisa CEO Emilio Azcarraga said. He was 78.

Aleman, who starred in such films as “El Tunco Maclovio” and “Los Hermanos de Hierro,” died on Wednesday night at a Mexico City hospital, Azcarraga said in a Twitter posting.

The actor, who was being treated at Mexico City’s National Respiratory Diseases Institute, went from being listed in serious condition to being listed in critical condition during the afternoon on Wednesday, Aleman’s son, Martin Mendez, said.

A wake will be held for Aleman at a Mexico City funeral home, Mexican media outlets reported.

The National Actors Association plans to honor the film star, who appeared in more than 200 movies and an equal number of television productions.

Aleman’s last role was in the soap opera “La Dueña” alongside actress Silvia Pinal. He worked in the stage show “Perfume de Gardenias” until a few weeks ago.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican President Felipe Calderon in Cuba, Meeting with Raul Castro

Mexican President Felipe Calderon in Cuba, Meeting with Raul Castro

Photo: Mexico Calderon in Cuba

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Mexican President Felipe Calderon said on arriving here Wednesday that he wants to bolster his country’s ties with Cuba.

“We propose during this visit to remind the Cuban people of the respect and friendship of the Mexican people and to bring our bilateral relationship to its highest level,” he said at Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport.

Mexico and Cuba, he said, are in “a renewed phase of bilateral relations,” thanks to both governments’ “firm willingness” despite their “natural and distinct points of view on various issues.”

Calderon, who took office in December 2006, is making his first official visit to the Communist-ruled island, from where he will travel on to Haiti and then to Colombia, which is hosting the Summit of the Americas.

The Mexican leader said his government wants to expand bilateral trade and investment with Cuba.

Calderon is to meet later Wednesday with Cuban President Raul Castro and is also scheduled to hold talks with parliament speaker Ricardo Alarcon and other officials.

Though it is not on Calderon’s official agenda, sources in the Havana Archdiocese told Efe that the Mexican president will be received on Thursday by Cardinal Jaime Ortega, Cuba’s Catholic primate.

Calderon’s visit to Cuba is the first by a Mexican president since 2002, when Vicente Fox traveled to the island.

Felipe Calderon was set to come to Cuba in 2009, but canceled those plans after Fidel Castro - Raul’s predecessor and older brother - said Mexican authorities delayed acknowledging that year’s swine-flu outbreak until after a visit to their country by U.S. President Barack Obama.

The Calderon administration began with hopes of repairing ties with Cuba that had become badly frayed during the 2000-2006 government of Fox.

In 2004, Fox withdrew Mexico’s ambassador to Cuba and expelled Cuba’s top diplomat after accusing the island of meddling in his country’s internal affairs.

That episode came two years after Fox asked Fidel Castro - then still Cuba’s leader - to cut short his visit to a U.N. gathering in Monterrey, Mexico to avoid crossing paths with U.S. President George W. Bush.

Read more by HS News Staff →

6.9 Earthquake Rattles Mexico This Morning

6.9 Earthquake Rattles Mexico This Morning

Photo: 6.9 Quake Rattles Mexico this Morning

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A magnitude-6.9 earthquake rocked northwestern Mexico’s Gulf of California region early Thursday, the U.S. Geological Survey, or USGS, said.

The temblor occurred at 12:15 a.m. some 134 kilometers (83 miles) northwest of Guerrero Negro, a city in Baja California Sur state.

The earthquake’s epicenter was 162 kilometers (about 100 miles) from La Doce, a city in Sonora state, and 180 kilometers (112 miles) from Santa Rosalia, a city in Baja California Sur.

There are no reports yet of injuries or damage.

On April 2, a magnitude-6.0 earthquake rocked an area between the southern states of Guerrero and Oaxaca.

The temblor was less powerful than the magnitude-7.4 earthquake that occurred on March 20 and was an aftershock, the Mexican Seismology Institute said.

The March 20 temblor, which killed two people, was followed by dozens of aftershocks on the day it occurred.

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 →

UN Urges Honduras to Stop the Killing of Lawyers, 74 Killed Past 3 Years

Two United Nations independent experts today called on the Government of Honduras to adopt concrete measures to stop the killing of lawyers in the country, stressing that they should be able to carry out their functions without risking their lives.

According to the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR), 74 lawyers have been killed in Honduras in the past three years without the Government responding adequately to the crimes. In recent months, nine lawyers have been assassinated, six of them in the capital, Tegucigalpa.

Independent experts, or special rapporteurs, are appointed by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not United Nations staff, nor are they paid for their work.

The most recent murder occurred in January, when Ricardo Rosales, a lawyer in the city of La Ceiba, was killed after denouncing human rights violations in a local newspaper.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Roselyn Sanchez and Family Grace Cover of First ¡HOLA! Puerto Rico

Roselyn Sanchez and Family Grace Cover of First ¡HOLA! Puerto Rico

Photo: Roselyn Sanchez and Family Grace Cover of First ¡HOLA! Puerto Rico

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Puerto Rican actress and model Roselyn Sanchez, hubby Eric Winter and baby daughter Sebella Rose grace the cover of the first edition of HOLA! Puerto Rico, which went on sale on Wednesday on the Caribbean island.

In the interview accompanying the photo spread, the actress - known for her roles in U.S. television series such as “Without a Trace” and films like “The Game Plan” and “Rush Hour,” said that her maternity was “the most marvelous in the world.”

“I yearned for it for many years and it was work to conceive her, but she came along when she had to come,” Sanchez said after noting that for a long time she was completely focused on her career until her biological alarm clock went off.

HOLA! Puerto Rico will maintain its customary international leading article and will add reporting of local interest that reflects the prestige of the personalities and the pulse of the best social and cultural environment of the Caribbean island.

Spain’s HOLA! launched Hello! in Britain in 1988 and very soon it became quite popular, spurring the rolling out of editions in Russia, Greece, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Turkey, Thailand, Mexico, Malaysia, India, Serbia, Morocco, Indonesia, Argentina, Peru, Bulgaria, Ecuador and now Puerto Rico.

Read more by HS News Staff →

U.S. Deports Brazilian Barb Wire Killer Living in Massachusetts

U.S. Deports Brazilian Barb Wire Killer Living in Massachusetts

Photo: Brazilian Criminal Alien Deported, Jose Rogerio Ferreira de Souza

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A Brazilian national illegally residing in both Somerville and Medford, Mass., who was wanted in his home country for his involvement in a murder, was turned over to Brazilian law enforcement authorities yesterday morning in São Paulo.

He was removed from the United States by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). This individual was originally identified after ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Massachusetts State Police obtained a law enforcement tip that he was residing in the Boston-area.

Jose Rogerio Ferreira de Souza, 20, was arrested on Feb. 22, 2011, in Danvers, Mass. He had remained in custody until his removal today. The delay in his deportation was due to the numerous appeals that Ferreira de Souza had made. His final appeal was dismissed Feb. 17, 2012. He was wanted by the State Civil Police of Minas Gerais for, “armed robbery resulting in death.” While residing in Massachusetts, he used the name, “Mauro Jorge” to disguise his true identity.

According to public records, Ferreira de Souza allegedly participated in the September 2008 robbing and killing of a taxi driver in the city of Téofilo Otoni. Ferreira de Souza and his two accomplices, Valdiney Oesdres Leal de Souza and Pereira da Silva, robbed Heraldo de Souza, 68, and stole his watch and $40. They then tied Heraldo de Souza with barbed wire and beat him with a stick until his death. Heraldo de Souza was discovered three days later.

Leal de Souza was sentenced to 23 years in jail and Pereira da Silva was sentenced to 25 years in jail. Both are serving their prisons sentences in Brazil, and have stated publically that Ferreira de Souza participated with them in the murder.

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ThursdayApril 12, 2012