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FridayApril 20, 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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Unnamed Single Mother Wins $8 Million Puerto Rico Lottery on her Birthday

Unnamed Single Mother Wins $8 Million Puerto Rico Lottery on her Birthday

Photo: Unnamed Single Mother Wins $8 Million Puerto Rico Lottery

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A Puerto Rican woman raising two children on her own was the lucky winner of an $8-million prize in the $24-million Electronic Lottery drawing held in San Juan this week.

The woman, whose name is being withheld, said Friday in an interview on WKAQ 580 radio that for the moment she’ll keep her present job, from which she earns around $40,000 a year.

She said that among the whims she will allow herself thanks to the prize will be the purchase of an SUV and a trip with her 16-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son, while making it clear that she will also help her mother out economically.

She would not say where she bought the lucky numbers, though she did say that the choice of numbers was automatic and that she never realized she was the winner until Thursday.

The woman, who won the prize on her birthday, will receive her winnings in the form of payments of around $320,000 each over 20 years.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Meet Richard Carmona, the Candidate Obama Wants to be the Next Arizona Senator

Meet Richard Carmona, the Candidate Obama Wants to be the Next Arizona Senator

Photo: Meet Richard Carmona, the Candidate Obama Wants to be the Next Arizona Senator

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Former U.S. Surgeon General, Richard Carmona, is President Obama’s choice to fill the U.S. Senate seat in Arizona to replace retiring Republican Senator Jon Kyl. So who is this 62-year-old?

At the age of 16, Puerto Rican-blooded Carmona dropped out of high school and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1967 where he earned his GED. He went on to join the U.S. Army Special Forces, become a combat-decorated Vietnam veteran, and begin his career in medicine as a Special Forces medic.

After active duty, he attended Bronx Community College of the City University of New York and graduate with an associate of arts degree in nursing. He would continue his impressive higher education career with a bachelor of science degree (1977) and a medical degree (1979) from the University of California, San Francisco He would return to school and earn a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Arizona in 1998.

Carmona has served in the medical field as a paramedic, registered nurse, and a physician. He also served as law enforcement with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department in south central Arizona, where he earned his way up to deputy sheriff.

One of his biggest career milestones came with President George W. Bush’s nomination of Carmona for Surgeon General in March 2002. A registered Independent, Carmona was praised by both Republicans and Democrats and with a vote of 98-0, was confirmed to the U.S. Senate as the 17th Surgeon General of the United States on July 23, 2002. Carmona served as Surgeon General until July 2006.

Though raised in New York’s Harlem neighborhood, he currently resides in Tucson, Arizona with the mother of his two daughters and two sons, his wife Diana Sanchez.

In November of 2011, Carmona announced he would seek the Democratic Party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate after being personall recruited by President Obama to do so. He is currently the only “Democrat” running for Kyl’s seat and if elected, could become the first Dem to hold the Senate seat since the mid-1990s.

What do you think, does Carmona, a Hispanic Democrat registered as an Independent, has a chance to become an Senator in Arizona?

Read more by HS News Staff →

“UndocuMemes”: Can Immigration Issues, the DREAM Act be Funny?

“UndocuMemes”: Can Immigration Issues, the DREAM Act be Funny?

Photo: "UndocuMemes": Can Immigration Issues, the DREAM Act be Funny?

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Dubbed “UndocuMemes,” memes geared toward those fighting laws pertaining to immigration and the DREAM Act, are quickly gaining popularity.

A project of DreamActivist.org, UndocuMemes are described as “memes about immigration, activism, and being tired of the f*cking bullsh*t.
DreamActivist.org is a multicultural, migrant youth-led, social media hub for the movement to pass the DREAM Act and pursue the enactment of other forms of legislation that aim to mend the broken immigration system.


Check out some of our favorite UndocuMemes below, but to see more go to the UndocuMemes Tumblr or check out the UndocuMemes Facebook page.


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Taco ‘Bout Success: The Taco Bell Takeover (Infographic)

Taco ‘Bout Success: The Taco Bell Takeover (Infographic)

Photo: Taco 'Bout Success: The Taco Bell Takeover (Infographic)

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If you’re like most college students, chances are you’ve indulged in at least one late-night fast food run during your college career. Each year, Americans spend over $110 billion on fast food alone, but the Taco Bell empire has long been a fan favorite.

The first Taco Bell opened in Downey, California on March 21, 1962, taking its name from 23-year-old founder Glen Bell. March of this year marked Taco Bell’s 50th anniversary of serving up tasty burritos, tacos, nachos, and more to hungry late-night diners. In fact, the U.S. is so hungry for Taco Bell, that if you were to take every Taco Bell item served over the course of one year and line them all up end to end, that line would circle the globe over 22 times. Even if you aren’t a regular customer, nearly 168 million people (half of the U.S. population) see a Taco Bell commercial at least once a week. From the infamous slogan “Yo quiero Taco Bell” to the ingenius institution of “Fourthmeal,” Taco Bell has found its way into the culture (and the hearts) of people throughout the U.S. To some, Taco Bell is merely a 1am destination for hungry students, but the truth is that it’s so much more. Over the years, Taco Bell has innovated and updated their menu constantly, from the irresistible and inventive Crunchwrap Supreme to the sensible, guilt-free Drive-thru Diet menu. Most recently, Taco Bell rolled out their newest addition to their much-loved lineup: The Doritos Locos Tacos, a traditional taco encased in a nacho cheese Doritos-shell. Could there possibly be a better duo? The Doritos Locos Tacos warranted a great deal of fanfare, and even received its own twitter hashtag: #doritoslocostacos, much to the delight of Taco Bell’s 175 thousand Twitter followers.

Whether you’re a loyal T-Bell aficionado or you haven’t hit the drive-thru in years, check out the following infographic on the much-loved empire—and don’t be surprised if you suddenly find yourself craving a taco!

Special thanks to Outreach Editor for Hack College, Greg Voakes.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latino Blotter: Machete Attack Leads to Severed Hands of Ex-Girlfriend

Latino Blotter: Machete Attack Leads to Severed Hands of Ex-Girlfriend

Photo: Vergara-Martinez plead guilty to severing his ex-girlfriend's hands with a machete.

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Lawyer for Armando Vergara-Martinez (49) announced that the accused would plead guilty to attempted murder and avoid trial in a machete attack against his ex-girlfriend.

The attack resulted in Maria Del Carmen Gomez (53) two hands being severed.

Although surgeons reattached Gomez’s hands, Gomez still cannot perform basic tasks such as feeding herself. She also expressed concern for her now inability to care for her brother who suffered a stroke.

“What can you do without your hands? Tell me,” stated victim Maria Del Carmen when she recounted the event for the press. According to Gomez, Vergara-Martinez blindsided her while she was in a grocery store parking lot.

After suffering severe head wounds that Vergara-Martinez also gave her and while the victim lost consciousness, he cut off her hands.

By pleading guilty, Vergara-Martinez waived an evidentiary hearing for the March 21st attack. Deputy Public Defender Steven Yeager told a judge that his client also plans to plead guilty to the felony charge in place for him in state court on April 30th.

For his violent machete attack, Vergara-Martinez could face up to 40 years in state prison. Currently, the accused is being held at the Clark County jail with bail set at $150,000.

Gomez hopes that the case will highlight the need for tougher laws and actions in domestic abuse cases, and also serve as a wakeup call for people in dangerous relationships.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Selena Gomez & The Scene Debut NEW Video for “Hit the Lights” (VIDEO)

Selena Gomez & The Scene Debut NEW Video for “Hit the Lights” (VIDEO)

Photo: Selena Gomez & The Scene Debut NEW Video for "Hit the Lights"

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Though Selena Gomez & The Scene released a video for their song “Hit the Lights” back in November, the group released a second video for it.

When she released the first video, Gomez said, “This video is more organic than anything I’ve done before. It’s about being with people you love and enjoying the moment and embracing the moment you’re in your life.”

Titled “Selena Gomez & The Scene – Hit the Lights (Version 2)” the new video depicts Selena and her bandmates out partying and having fun (PG fun, so don’t worry about your kids watching).

When the first video was released last in 2011, Gomez had this to say about the song:

The song ‘Hit the Lights’ is that missed opportunity. The dreams that you wish you would go for and basically the song is just encouraging people to [let] loose and have fun and be young and crazy.”


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LATINO BLOTTER: Woman Steals Jewerly From Kids, Sentenced to 1 Year

LATINO BLOTTER: Woman Steals Jewerly From Kids, Sentenced to 1 Year

Photo: Sandra Lizbeth Contreras-Velasquez stole jewerly from kids, sentenced to 1 year

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For stealing jewelry from young girls, Sandra Lizbeth Contreras-Velasquez was sentenced to a year in jail.

Contreras-Velasquez, 28, admitted to police see had stolen jewelry from students at least six elementary schools in the San Jose area. She reportedly approached the girls outside their schools and claim herself a family friend. Many times she was remove their real gold jewelry and replace it with costume pieces. The thefts

She was arrested in December and charged with 6 counts of grand theft person, but saw the counts reduced to three for pleading no contest.

Thursday, Contreras-Velasquez was sentenced to 1 year in jail, given credit for the 127 days she has already served, and will also be placed on three years’ formal probation once she it released from jail.

Contreras-Velasquez sold the jewelry to gold-buying businesses. None the children’s jewelry was able to be retrieved.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Tragic Double Slaying of Latino Family Announced by 9-Year-Old in School

Tragic Double Slaying of Latino Family Announced by 9-Year-Old in School

Photo: Both Karla Martinez and her father.

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This Monday when a 9-year-old arrived at school in the morning he told his teachers that his father had killed both his mother and older sister that very morning.

The home, which was less than a mile away, was quickly labeled a murder scene when police officers arrived at the guidance of the young boy. There they found the bludgeoned bodies of Ignacia Martinez (38) and Karla Martinez (10), who was also raped. An injured man believed to be the father, and an unharmed 5 year-old boy were also found on the scene.

Appalled at the bloody scene, authorities believe that the nine-year-old was in a state of shock when he arrived promptly at 9 a.m. at Mabel Hoggard Elementary, Las Vegas to report the killing.

According to the police, the five people all belonged to one family.  The man, now identified as Arturo Martinez (39), is an electrician and the father of the family. Martinez was led away from the house and immediately hospitalized in critical condition. Police have yet to gain a statement from Martinez, who is still unable to say what happened. He remains in protective custody at the University Medical Center in Las Vegas due to a severe head injury.

Police spent a third day slowly collecting evidence in the three-bedroom home while pleading for patience from the terror struck community. Police lieutenant on the case, Clinton Nichols said to the press, “We’ve got to stop speculating. It only complicates our efforts…We have just as many questions as you have.”

The bodies bore the clear evidence of an attack with a blunt object. However, no other evidence has suggested the entrance of an intruder in the home, although a neighbor reported hearing gunshots.

The two boys remain in protective custody with the Clark County Department of Family Services.

Read more by HS News Staff →

VOLCANO WATCH: Popocatepetl vs. Tungurahua

VOLCANO WATCH: Popocatepetl vs. Tungurahua

Photo: VOLCANO WATCH: Popocatepetl vs. Tungurahua (seen here)

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Though given the adorable-sounding nickname “El Popo” the Volcán Popocatépetl (Smoking Mountain) in Mexico is one seriously threatening volcano. Still, it is not the only volcano causing worry. In Ecuador, the Tungurahua volcano, known as the “Throat of Fire” is active as well, having had a major eruption in 2010 which caused hundreds of village residents located 80 miles outside of Quito and in the tourist town of Banos to flee in fear for their lives.

As volcanologists continue to monitor both, here is a comparison of the two volcanoes:

Location-
Popocatépetl: 43 miles southeast of Mexico City, Mexico

Tungurahua: Andes of central Ecuador, 87 miles south of the capital Quito, Ecudaor


Elevation-
Popocatépetl: 17,802 feet (5426 meters)

Tungurahua: 16,479 feet (5023 meters)


Active prior to 2012-
Popocatépetl: December 1994–October 1995, 1996-2003, 2004, 2005-(current)

Tungurahua: October 1999-July 2009, January-July 2010, November 2010-(current)


Population near volcano-
Popocatépetl: Puebla pop. 1,400,000

Tungurahua: Tungurahua Province pop. 581,389


Additional information-
Popocatépetl is North America’s 2nd highest volcano and the 2nd highest peak in Mexico. On April 20, 2012, reports stated that a heavy plume of ash was shot into the air along with extremely hot, glowing rock. Spanish-language network Televisa even broadcast images of red material (possibly lava) pouring over from the top of the volcano.

Tungurahua is one of Ecuador’s most active volcanoes. It is one of eight active volcanoes in the country. In 2011, Tungurahua launched magma boulders more than 950 ft in the air.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Stunning 5-Year-Old Niece of Gisele Bundchen Launches Clothing Line in Brazil

Stunning 5-Year-Old Niece of Gisele Bundchen Launches Clothing Line in Brazil

Photo: Duda Bundchen releases her own clothing line.

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The stunning niece of supermodel Gisele Bundchen is in the works to launch her own eco-friendly clothing line in partnership with Brandii Mundi, a Brazilian clothing brand.

The five-year-old beauty has modeled for the label for a year now, and has recently negotiated extending her contract and including her own collection called Duda Bundchen.

Noticing the child’s amazing potential, the company is also placing Duda as the face of its new ad campaign and has included her as a collaborator on the designs.

In a statement to Forbes, Germano Costa, the commercial and marketing director of Brandii Textil, described the child’s role. “ She told us about her preference on prints, cuts, and detail…based on the briefing we came up with a collaborative collection.”

Her mother, sister to Gisele, also stated, “It is important to note that the keyword in all of this is Duda’s happiness.”

Duda’s line is expecting much success in the Brazilian market, as statistics show that 44 percent of parents spend more money when accompanied with their children while shopping.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER:  Guatemalan Native Charged with Having Sex with Neighborhood Poodle

LATINO BLOTTER:  Guatemalan Native Charged with Having Sex with Neighborhood Poodle

Photo: Mug shot of Bella-Sosa.

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In Fort Lauderdale, Florida Jenson Bolla-Sosa was arrested and charged for sexual abuse and bestiality with the neighbor’s poodle,  Mimi.

The 28-year-old was also charged with animal cruelty and evading arrest while entering the patrol car after the owner interrupted the attack.

According to a probable affidavit, Judge John Hurley of Broward County announced witness statements that report Bell-Sosa having sex with the dog. The police also stated that the dog was whimpering in pain as the accused attempted penetrating the dog’s backside.

Assistant Public Defender Terry Conover stated that although the charges are serious and substantial, they couldn’t be compared to abuse of a human being.

The judge disagreed and gave a statement saying, “I think abuse of an animal in certain circumstances can be just as significant and troubling.”

Judge Hurley ordered at $12,500 bond for his bail. Bella-Sosa, a Guatemalan native, is also pending an immigration investigation while in custody.

Mimi is apparently doing well after Bella-Sosa’s arrest said reports. The white poodle mix has retained her sweet temperament and friendly nature after the vicious attack.  At home, she was still wagging her tail at visitors.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Narcos Now Working at U.S. Swap Meets Selling Counterfeit Goods

Mexican Narcos Now Working at U.S. Swap Meets Selling Counterfeit Goods

Photo: Narco at Border Swap Meets

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As the counterfeit merchandise market becomes more lucrative, drug cartels increasingly want a piece of the pie and are charging vendors a tax or quota in order to operate businesses at swap meets and other flea markets near the border. 

In the El Paso – Juarez area, the sale of counterfeit items at swap meets and small shops has become the norm. As a result, federal agents raided the Fox Plaza swap meet on Sunday and confiscated more than an estimated $900,000 of counterfeit or pirated goods.  The raid, conducted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, collected more than 7,000 DVDs, more than 10,000 CDs and more than 1,700 miscellaneous items such as sports jerseys, tennis shoes, handbags, etc.

According to Leticia Zamarripa, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE, said, “It (the sale of ‘pirate’ CDs and DVDs) has become such a lucrative business that our El Paso HSI agents have information that drug cartels are now investing in this type of crime.” 

Allegedly, vendors of these items in the El Paso area are charged a tax or a quota which is then collected by the Barrio Azteca gang.  This is the dominant gang in the region and is known to be allied with the Juárez drug cartel, also known as the Vicente Carrillo Fuentes drug organization. 

The cartels allegedly associated with the items taken during Sunday’s raid at the Fox Plaza are not being named as the investigation is still ongoing. 

A total of 21,308 items were seized that include 10,669 CD’s and close to 2,000 apparel items valued at $648,409.

Read more by HS News Staff →

See What Famous Muralist Jeff Soto, a Chevy Sonic, and a Robotic Paint Gun Can Create (VIDEO)

See What Famous Muralist Jeff Soto, a Chevy Sonic, and a Robotic Paint Gun Can Create (VIDEO)

Photo: See What Famous Muralist Jeff Soto, a Turbocharged Chevy Sonic, and Robotic Paint Gun Can Do (VIDEO)

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As part of the promotional campaign for the new Sonic, Chevrolet has filmed a series of stunts, the latest being a partnership with world-famous muralist Jeff Soto.

Soto is an artist, illustrator and muralist who has exhibited in galleries and museums around the world. The artist’s distinct color palette, subject matter and technique resonate with a growing audience and bridge the gap between pop surrealism and graffiti. Inspired by youthful nostalgia, nature, graffiti, hip-hop and popular culture, his bold representational work is simultaneously accessible and stimulating. In 2002, Soto graduated with distinction from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. In 2008, his work was the subject of an exhibition at Riverside Art Museum. Soto was born and raised in Southern California, where he currently resides with his wife and two daughters. Soto is represented by Jonathan LeVine Gallery in New York City.

Previous stunts involved a wondrous and entertaining music video from the creative minds of the band OK Go and a massive jump by an icon in the skateboarding world, Rob Dyrdek.

This time, “Sonic got in touch with its inner artist.”

Check out what Jeff Soto, a Turbocharged Sonic, and robotic paint gun can create.


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Penlope Cruz Maybe Working with Husband Javier Bardem in “The Counselor”

Penlope Cruz Maybe Working with Husband Javier Bardem in “The Counselor”

Photo: Cruz and Bardem at Work

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Penelope Cruz could star with her husband Javier Bardem in the Ridley Scott drama “The Counselor,” The Hollywood Reporter said Thursday.

Cruz and Bardem have already acted together in “Jamon, jamon” (1992), “Carne tremula” (1997) - where they shared no scenes - and “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (2008), a film that earned Cruz, a Madrid native, the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

The project, in which Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt have already agreed to participate, has a script written by Cormac McCarthy, the author of the novel on which “No Country for Old Men” was based, a film for which Bardem won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

The story, like that of “No Country for Old Men,” is set on the U.S.-Mexican border and revolves around a lawyer (Fassbender) who gets involved in drug trafficking with the help of a pair of friends (Bardem and Pitt) to solve his money problems.

Cruz would play the wife of Fassbender’s character. According to the magazine, no formal offer has yet been made to the actress, but several conversations have taken place and it is expected that Cruz will shortly agree to participate.

Work on “The Counselor” is scheduled to begin in late June.

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Jon Secada Looks Back at His Legacy with “Otra vez”

Jon Secada Looks Back at His Legacy with “Otra vez”

Photo: Jon Secada Looks Back at His Legacy with "Otra vez"

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Twenty years after he began his career as a performer, Jon Secada is returning to the music scene with “Otra vez,” an album on which he offers unreleased compositions and reestablishes his legacy as a bridge between the traditional melodies of the generation of Julio Iglesias and the modern one of the latter’s son Enrique.

On “Otra vez” (Blanco y Negro Music), which is already on store shelves, the Cuban-born artist includes, as a sort of “reminder” for new followers of his career, a remix of the song with which he established his international standing, “Just Another Day” (“Otro dia mas sin verte”).

“It was the first of many (hits),” the 49-year-old Secada said Thursday in an interview with Efe during his promotional visit to Madrid.

About the new album, his 12th, he said that it’s a work “of Latino pop, specifically in Spanish” and fusing all that he likes: pop, rock, R&B and aspects of the Latino genre.

However, it’s just an appetizer for what he will come out with before 2013, a possible tour through Spain and a commemorative album on which he will include more original songs and some of his big hits, as well as a surprising collaboration with Cyndi Lauper.

“At the beginning of the (19)90s, I had the good fortune to be part of a movement with so much history, as crossover was,” recalled Secada about the generation of Latino artists that included Gloria Estefan, Jose Feliciano and Julio Iglesias, among others, who made it big by singing in both English and Spanish.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Deadly Shootings of Undocumented at Border has Authorities on High Alert

Deadly Shootings of Undocumented at Border has Authorities on High Alert

Photo: Border Vigilantes at U.S. Mexico Border

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The recent deadly shooting attack on a group of undocumented immigrants who were traveling in a vehicle near the Arizona border alerted U.S. authorities to the presence of criminal groups in the region.

Two people died in the April 8 incident near the town of Eloy, where the truck transporting between 20 and 30 undocumented migrants was fired upon by a group of men wearing camouflage.

According to information furnished by the Pima County Sheriff’s Office, the bodies of Mexican citizen Gerardo Perez Ruiz and Juan Baltazar Lopez, a Guatemalan national, were found at the scene.

Some of the immigrants who were found in the vicinity said that the attackers shouted at them in Spanish to “stop” before opening fire.

“These criminals who attacked this group are people who have no kind of morals, no conscience regarding the life of another person,” Tony Estrada, sheriff of Arizona’s Santa Cruz County, told Efe on Thursday.

Estrada, who has law enforcement experience with groups of criminals operating along the border, said that these bands devote themselves to stealing drugs or human “merchandise” from other traffickers.

Another possibility is that the immigrants were attacked by a group of border vigilantes, but that has not been able to be ascertained by investigators of the case.

Sheriff Estrada said the gangs that target drug smugglers and human traffickers operate in the most remote parts of the desert, in mountainous areas where there is not much law enforcement oversight.

“The target in this case are humble people; working, struggling people who come from extreme poverty, who want to survive like any other citizen and who become the target of this group of people, whether they be racist vigilantes or criminal groups,” Estrada said.

The sheriff said that the ideal situation is for everyone to be able to cross the border into the United States legally to work, and he says he feels that the only solution is for comprehensive immigration reform.

This is not the first incident of its kind along the Arizona border. In 2007, two similar attacks occurred, both of them with deadly consequences.

In the first of those earlier incidents, three immigrants died during an attack on the truck transporting them to the outskirts of the city of Tucson. In the other, two undocumented immigrants lost their lives when men dressed in black fired on the truck they were riding in.

In the first case, authorities were not able to make any arrests and the motive for the attack continues to be a mystery. In the second, authorities concluded that the armed group was looking to steal drugs without knowing that the truck was transporting undocumented migrants.

Matt Allen, special investigative agent with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement in Arizona, told Efe that the agency - along with local law enforcement - has focused on fighting the activities of these criminal organizations.

Read more by HS News Staff →



FridayApril 20, 2012