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SundayMay 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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Latin Music Stars Come Out for St. Jude’s Gala in Miami

Latin Music Stars Come Out for St. Jude’s Gala in Miami

Photo: Latino Stars Come Out for St. Jude

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Singers Juan Luis Guerra, David Bisbal and Juanes performed in Miami at the 10th annual fundraising gala for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Dominican singer-songwriter Guerra was honored Saturday night during the gala for St. Jude, one of the leading pediatric cancer research and treatment centers in the United States, receiving a plaque from Juanes and model Daisy Fuentes.

Guerra praised St. Jude, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and thanked all those who support his foundation in the Dominican Republic.

The foundation “helps burned children” and elderly people “who do not stop being children at an advanced age,” Guerra said.

Juanes, for his part, said he was extremely impressed by St. Jude’s work, noting that the hospital helps Hispanic families and people in Latin America.

“Fortunately, there are places like St. Jude that help you, not just at the medical level, but financially, because there are many families that do not have a way of paying for these programs,” Juanes said.

David Bisbal said he wanted to help the cause, performing “Almeria” at the gala, which cost $400 per person to attend.

Singers like Juanes and Juan Luis Guerra always “try to associate music with charitable events and benefits,” Bisbal told Efe.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Bolivian Government Agrees To Suspend Decree, Ending Doctors’ Strike

Bolivian Government Agrees To Suspend Decree, Ending Doctors’ Strike

Photo: Government signs an accord with the doctors

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The Bolivian government signed an accord Saturday with the Medical Association to end a strike in the sector that has gone on for 53 days in protest against a decree, not yet applied, that would lengthen the work day from six to eight hours.

Government Minister Carlos Romero and the president of the Medical Association, Alfonso Barrios, signed the accord that ratifies a previous government decision to suspend the application of the decree that the doctors reject.

But since the mere suspension of the decree does not satisfy the doctors, they plan to bring their case before national and international tribunals.

According to the agreement, their complaint could be presented in court or to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, or IACHR, of the Organization of American States, to see if the decree is compatible with international regulations.

The doctors, with the backing of hospital workers and students of the faculties of medicine, demanded that Morales revoke the regulation that sparked the conflict in late March, but that goal was not achieved.

Barrios said that 90 percent of medical associations accepted the agreement and that the remainder, including the one in La Paz, the biggest in the country, respected the majority decision.

The accord also says that the government will annul the lawsuits brought against doctors and students who caused disturbances in recent weeks, and will not dock their salaries for days not worked as long as they make them up during their vacations.

Romero said that the government is satisfied that the strike has ended, a conflict which, in his opinion, has shown the need for a more extensive debate on the state of health care in Bolivia, a topic to be addressed at a meeting in June.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Chavez Confesses to Lesser Workload In Wake Of Health Issues

Chavez Confesses to Lesser Workload In Wake Of Health Issues

Photo: Hugo Chavez

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez broke his weeklong silence to say that “unfortunately” he will not continue being that “runaway” horse that never slept, and said he now works only eight hours a day and sometimes less.

“I must accept it and here I am accepting it and I confess it to the country: unfortunately I will not continue to be that runaway horse out there,” Chavez told state-run VTV television Friday with reference to the repose doctors ordered and that, he said, kept him shut away all week.

The socialist president said he continues to recover from the last cycle of radiation therapy, that he is currently working only eight hours a day or less and that he is resting and keeping to a diet, doctors’ recommendations that he is “strictly” following.

Chavez underwent radiation therapy after having a cancerous tumor removed last February, a reoccurrence of the cancer he suffered almost a year ago.

“I’ve spent this week shut away here, working but strictly following doctors’ orders to recover as quickly as possible from the normal effects of radiation therapy, and I’m gradually getting better,” he said.

He said that he asked God to give him “the strength of a buffalo rather than that of a horse” to sustain his health and “get well once and for all.”

In the interview, the president expressed his satisfaction at this week’s announcement that the economy grew at a 5.6 percent clip in the first quarter.

Less than five months until Venezuela’s presidential elections, opposition candidate Henrique Capriles is slipping in the polls and now trails Chavez by a significant margin.

Analysts say the reasons for his lackluster showing in the polls include the fact that his campaign still lacks a mass presence in the country and because voters’ attention is largely focused on Chavez’s health issues.

Nonetheless, the same analysts say that there is still time in the 4 1/2 months remaining for Capriles to gain sufficient voter preference to win the election, though he must climb at least 17 percentage points to overtake Chavez.

Read more by HS News Staff →

New Film ‘For Greater Glory’ Features Martyrdom of Knights of Columbus Priest

New Film ‘For Greater Glory’ Features Martyrdom of Knights of Columbus Priest

Photo: For Greater Glory starring Eva Longoria, Andy Garcia, Oscar Isaac, and Peter O'Toole

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When the Mexican government of Plutarco Elias Calles began persecuting the Catholic Church in the 1920s, priests were not immune. In fact, they became targets of the regime.

One of the hundreds of priests killed during that time for simply carrying out his priestly ministry was Father Jose Maria Robles Hurtado. His martyrdom in 1926 at the hands of Mexican troops is depicted in the film For Greater Glory being released nationwide June 1.

The film sets the story of his martyrdom in the broader context of the persecution of the Church in Mexico at that time.

During that same time period, the Knights of Columbus in Mexico was instrumental in founding the League of the Defense of Religious Liberty in Mexico, which organized economic boycotts and petition drives in response to the persecution. When a civil war broke out between the government and Catholics, the Knights of Columbus worked to bring about peace. Standing in solidarity with the persecuted Catholics in Mexico, the Knights raised funds for humanitarian relief of those displaced and for the education of the American public about the horrific facts of the persecution. A delegation of the Knights of Columbus even met with President Calvin Coolidge in 1926 to discuss ways in which the U.S. government could influence the Mexican government to end the persecution.

The K of C did this in the face of attempts by the Calles regime in Mexico to eliminate the organization, and despite strong support for Calles in the United States from powerful groups including the Ku Klux Klan.

In the end, the pressure brought by the Knights of Columbus and others to end the conflict, stop the persecution and restore peace had an effect and, in 1929, the U.S. government helped broker an agreement between the Mexican government and the Catholic Church, which ended the worst of the persecution.

“For many years, this period of history has been all but forgotten on both sides of the border,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “This year, with the release of For Greater Glory, the story of the struggle for religious freedom in Mexico will begin to be told. With religious freedom now an important issue of discussion here in the United States, every American who values faith and freedom should see this film. As we watch it, we should rejoice that we live in a country where we settle debates over religious liberty with ballots not bullets and in courtrooms rather than on battlefields. Seeing how Catholic Mexico remains today, this film also serves as a timely reminder that — from the earliest days of the Church’s history to the present era — persecution does not stifle the faith, but emboldens it.”

The relics of Father Jose Maria Robles — and those of five other Knights of Columbus priest martyrs canonized by Pope John Paul II — are currently at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles as part of a nationwide tour throughout the United States.

The Knights of Columbus is active throughout the United States and Mexico — as well as worldwide in Asia, Europe, and throughout North America. There are more than 1.8 million members of the Knights of Columbus worldwide.

The trailer of For Greater Glory can be seen below:


Related Videos

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MALDEF to Sue California Car Washes for Unlawful Labor Practices

MALDEF to Sue California Car Washes for Unlawful Labor Practices

Photo: MALDEF to announce lawsuit against car washes in California

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MALDEF will hold a press conference on Monday May 21, 2012 to announce details of a class action lawsuit against multiple southern California car washes. The car washes have maintained unlawful labor policies and practices resulting in thousands of hours of free labor at each car wash and a work environment depriving workers of their right to be paid, MALDEF is alleging.

Workers were also forbade legally required meal breaks and rest breaks without compensation; and consistently provided inaccurate statements of work.

The CLEAN Carwash Campaign, a coalition of nonprofit organizations dedicated to ensuring that car washes are held accountable for their routine labor violations, investigated these violations.

According to UCLA’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment,  these employers are depriving low-wage workers of an estimated $26 million in wages every week. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Could Hispanic Women Represent New Healthcare Marketing Target? Survey Says Yes

Could Hispanic Women Represent New Healthcare Marketing Target? Survey Says Yes

Photo: Latinas represent a rapidly growing Hispanic demographic

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A new national survey commissioned by Cultur Health shows healthcare marketers should target insured Hispanic women ages 25-35.  These young Latinas, representing a rapidly growing Hispanic demographic, are key healthcare gatekeepers – managing their own health needs and frequently those of their families, parents, grandparents and other relatives as well. 

Key survey findings:

    Latinas rely heavily on family contacts and community word-of-mouth for healthcare information and product recommendations; healthcare providers a close second
    This age group prefers English-language healthcare information
    Vast majority have health insurance through employer or spouse, increasing their purchasing power for healthcare products, services

Cultur Health survey findings

The survey, which was administered by ORC International on behalf of Cultur Health, was conducted online among a sample of 501 Hispanic women who are between the ages of 25 and 35 and are employed full time.  Key findings related to this population’s healthcare utilization and attitudes include the following:

La comunidad (the community)

Survey findings identified which resources Latinas most commonly turn to for healthcare information and recommendations.  When asked where they first go for help with a healthcare concern, the majority named a “doctor” (59 percent); however, over 30 percent named other sources, including a relative, spouse, friend or pharmacist.

Similarly, personal connections play a large role in purchasing decisions.  When asked who influences their decisions to buy consumer or over-the-counter healthcare products, respondents’ most frequent response was “friends, family and neighbors” (64 percent), followed by “pharmacist” (52 percent).  Conversely, only 21 percent cited “advertising.”

“Reliance on social networks is a hallmark of Latin culture, with family members, neighbors and local figures of authority influencing even the most important healthcare decisions,” said Roberto Ramos, the vox collective’s president and CEO.  “Cultur Health programs use these networks to deliver messages through trusted influencers and in familiar environments.”

Health insurance and Latinas

The vast majority of women surveyed (89 percent) reported that they pay for healthcare expenses through either their own employee insurance, or their spouse/partner’s.  “Our survey results should send a strong message to marketers,” said Lake.  “Increasingly, younger Hispanics are insured, and companies that target them will be well positioned now and in the future.”  Indeed, a key finding of the 2010 Census was that the Hispanic population skews much younger than the white population.

English… or Espanol?

A key survey finding revealed that among the younger generation of Latinas, Spanish-language healthcare content is no longer required.  The majority of respondents (76 percent) said that they prefer consuming this information in English, and even “culturally relevant English content” was preferred by more respondents (13 percent) than Spanish-language content (3 percent); additionally, 9 percent reported that the language didn’t matter.

Furthermore, when asked whether the news media influence their purchasing decisions for healthcare products, more than twice as many respondents (15 percent) said that they are influenced by English-language news outlets (newspapers, magazines, TV/radio stations and websites) than Spanish-language news outlets (5 percent).

“Language is only one part of a culture,” explained Ramos.  “The younger, acculturated Latinos who handle their family’s health needs now consume health information in English, and then ‘translate’ it for their older, Spanish-speaking relatives.  Healthcare communication programs need to speak to both generations, through both the message and the medium.” 

La prevencion (prevention)

Survey results also show that Latinas take disease prevention seriously, with 64 percent of respondents reporting that they take a vitamin, multivitamin and/or food supplement daily.

Read more by HS News Staff →

More Latin Americans Have Wanderlust

More Latin Americans Have Wanderlust

Photo: There have been increased numbers of Latin American tourists

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Countries like Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia and especially Brazil are being watched attentively by the World Tourism Organization, or UNWTO, because of the “interesting growth” in the number of international tourists coming from those countries, an organization official said here Saturday.

The UNWTO director for the Americas, Carlos Vogeler, said that in the specific case of Brazil, the South American nation shows a considerable hike in the number of tourists traveling from that country.

“The Brazilian market has practically doubled its capacity as a source of tourists in recent years, and to a lesser degree the same phenomenon can be seen in Argentina, Chile and Peru,” Vogeler said in an interview on the Riviera Maya, where he attended the meeting of the World Travel and Tourism Council, or WTTC.

As for Mexico, he said that besides already setting a standard for other countries on the continent, it does so at a global level as well. “Mexico has undoubtedly set an excellent standard at a global level in the application of a government policy that helps strengthen and promote tourism,” he said.

“Mexico has a government policy very much oriented to the development of tourism. As international observers, we see it as a policy capable of setting an example for many other countries with ambitious goals,” the official of the United Nations tourism organization said.

He added that Mexico is the first country that, from the presidency of the G20, “has incorporated tourism as a subject on the work schedule - these are real policies that aren’t just words on paper.”

The UNWTO regional director recalled that world tourism projections predict 1 billion international tourists by the end of this year, 1.4 billion in 2020 and 1.8 billion by 2030.

He said that the Asia-Pacific region led by China will maintain its tourist leadership in the coming decades, both in the number of tourists traveling from countries in that region and the number of foreigners it welcomes - without forgetting domestic tourism, for which some very imposing figures are also expected.

Friday saw the closure of the WTTC’s 1st Regional Summit of the Americas, which for two days brought together more than 500 heads of international companies of the sector to propose and analyze strategies for boosting world tourism.

Read more by HS News Staff →

UN Urges Central America to Fight Organized Crime in the Region

UN Urges Central America to Fight Organized Crime in the Region

Photo: Assembly's debate on Central America - UN

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Senior United Nations officials drew the world’s attention to threats posed by transnational organized crime and drug trafficking in Central America and called for concerted global efforts to combat the scourge, which they said is spreading to other continents.

The overall objective behind the debate is to highlight the Central American Governments’ individual and collective fight against transitional organised crime, its focus in the framework of UN policies and actions, as well as the importance of cooperation with and support of the donor community. In June last year, the region’s Heads of State adopted a so-called Central American Regional Security Strategy.

In his opening remarks, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pointed out that countries in the region – especially in the northern triangle of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – face rising levels of violence fuelled by transnational organized crime and drug trafficking.

He highlighted the fact that Central America has become the region with the highest homicide rates in the world – 39 murders per 100,000 citizens in Guatemala, 72 per 100,000 in El Salvador, and 86 per 100,000 in Honduras.

He also noted that the narcotics problem was not confined to Central America, pointing out that the region is a “bridge” to North America, and that the Americas are, in general, a “staging post” to Europe, through trafficking routes in West and Central Africa.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican National Charged with Robbing Four Banks in Sante Fe, New Mexico

Mexican National Charged with Robbing Four Banks in Sante Fe, New Mexico

Photo: Sanchez-Ramos' mugshot and surveillance footage stills

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Friday morning, Jaime Jesus Sanchez-Ramos, 22, a Mexican national, was arraigned on a federal indictment charging him with four counts of bank robbery in New Mexico. Sanchez-Ramos entered a not guilty plea to the indictment. Sanchez-Ramos has been in federal custody since his arrest on April 10, 2012 and remains detained pending trial.

The indictment charges Sanchez-Ramos with robbing the following four banks in Santa Fe, New Mexico, earlier this year: (1) the Century Bank located on January 26, 2012; (2) the New Mexico Bank and Trust located on February 15, 2012; (3) the Bank of Albuquerque on March 16, 2012; and (4) the U.S. Bank on April 2, 2012.

The maximum penalty for a conviction on each of the four offenses if 20 years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

Court records reflect that Sanchez-Ramos was arrested following the April 2, 2012 bank robbery of the U.S. Bank. After that robbery, the Santa Fe Police Department received a report that an employee of a home improvement store had retrieved evidence of the bank robbery, including a large amount of currency still bundled with U.S. Bank wrappers after observing a man put something into a trash can that was in the store’s parking lot.

Armed with photographs taken by the store’s surveillance camera and a tip received by the FBI, officers were able to identify Sanchez-Ramos as the man who allegedly robbed the U.S. Bank on April 2, 2012.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Social Security Releases Illinois’s Top Baby Names of 2011

Social Security Releases Illinois’s Top Baby Names of 2011

Photo: The top baby names of 2011

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The Social Security Administration today announced the most popular baby names in Illinois for 2011.  Alexander and Sophia topped the list. 

Earlier this week the federal government’s top official for baby names, announced Sophia and Jacob were the most popular baby names in the U.S.  How does Illinois compare to the rest of the country?  Check out Social Security’s website to see the top baby names for 2011.


The top five boys and girls names for 2011 in Illinois were:

Boys:
1)  Alexander
2)  Michael
3)  Jacob
4)  Noah
5)  Daniel

Girls:
1)  Sophia
2)  Olivia
3)  Isabella
4)  Emma
5)  Emily  

Read more by HS News Staff →

Nicaragua Set to Launch Rent-to-Own Housing Program

Nicaragua Set to Launch Rent-to-Own Housing Program

Photo: Nicaragua

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The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a $10 million loan to Banco de Finanzas S.A. (BDF), a leading commercial bank in Nicaragua, to finance a pilot housing project that will pave the way for low-income families working in the informal sector to get access to mortgage financing.

The program is expected to extend mortgage loans to an estimated 500 low-income Nicaraguan families.

The project, the first of its kind financed by the IDB in the region, seeks to address one of the biggest obstacles facing millions of low-income Latin American families that today struggle to improve their housing conditions: lack of access to financing because they can’t document their income. Clients in the program will rent the selected property for a 24-month period in which a portion of the monthly rental fee will be kept in a savings account that will later constitute the down payment on the home.

The completion of timely monthly rental payments during the 24-month period will create a solid client credit information and payment track record, allowing BDF to better access risks and make a decision on the mortgage loan.

The housing sector in Nicaragua, as well as in the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean, is dominated by informality. Informal housing units are self-constructed and progressively built, most without proper land titles or access to public utilities. It is estimated that 20,000 homes are built annually in Nicaragua, with only 3,000 produced and financed through the formal market.

Read more about Nicaragua’s rent-to-own housing program here

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mario Gutierrez and I’ll Have Another,  One Race Away from Making History After Winning Preakness

Mario Gutierrez and I’ll Have Another,  One Race Away from Making History After Winning Preakness

Photo: Jockey Mario Gutierrez and I'll Have Another Win Preakness

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In less then a month we will know if ‘I’ll Have Another’ and Mexican jockey Mario Gutierrez will ride into horse racing history.  Yesterday ‘I’ll Have Another’ won the 137th Preakness after winning the Kentucky Derby last month.

The third and final race of the Triple Crown is the Belmont race held in New York which is the longest race at 1.5 miles. 

If ‘I’ll Have Another’ rides to victory with jockey Mario Gutierrez it will be the first horse to win the Triple Crown since 1978 when Affirmed won it.  It will then join the company of the greatest horses that include Secretariat and Seattle Slew.

Once again the ever modest Gutierrez told ESPN, “It’s not me, it’s him.  It’s all about the horse.”

Gutierrez, 25,  from Vera Cruz, Mexico was the first jockey to win the Kentucky Derby on his first try since 2004.  He was discovered by owner J. Paul Reddam after winning 91 races as a novice in Canada and has been jockeying since age 14 starting out in Mexico City.

Gutierrez is now a local hero in Vancouver where he belongs to Canada’s Reddam Racing group.  Fans follow him everywhere and there are ‘Go Mario Go’ t-shirts and buttons. 

If Gutierrez rides ‘I’ll Have Another’ into the history books at Belmont on June 9th, he will have risen from relative obscurity to becoming a legend here and in Mexico, in less than one year.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Barrick Gold Hopes To Begin Production At Pascua Lama in 2013

Barrick Gold Hopes To Begin Production At Pascua Lama in 2013

Photo: Barrick Gold's construction site at Pascua Lama

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Canada’s Barrick Gold expects to finish earthworks construction this year at the Pascua Lama open-pit gold and silver mine project on the Argentine-Chilean border with a view to inaugurating production in 2013, an Argentine government official said.

Mining Secretary Jorge Mayoral analyzed the progress of the project Friday with Barrick executives, his portfolio said in a statement.

“During production, starting in 2013, nearly 7,000 direct and indirect jobs will be created,” the statement said, adding that average annual production from Pascua Lama is expected to come in at 800,000 ounces of gold and 35 million ounces of silver in the first full five years of operation.

Pascua Lama, the world’s first bi-national mining project, straddles a border area that encompasses parts of the western Argentine province of San Juan and of Chile’s Atacama region and is located at an elevation of 3,800-5,200 meters (12,500-17,000 feet).

The project has received strong bi-national government support, although it has been staunchly opposed by environmental groups.

But Barrick, the world’s largest gold producer, insists that its activities will not affect ice fields and glaciers in the vicinity of the mine.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Prehistoric Mammoth Remains Found in Mexico

Prehistoric Mammoth Remains Found in Mexico

Photo: Mammoth remains found in Mexico

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Well-preserved skeletal remains of a mammoth that lived between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago have been discovered in the central Mexican state of Queretaro, the National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, said.

INAH said in a communique Friday that the remains, notable among which are two large tusks plus a skull fragment and two other as yet unidentified pieces, were found in the municipality of Huimilpan in an area eroded by flood waters that uncovered the bones.

The document said that following a report from municipal authorities, INAH specialists went to the site to verify the discovery, evaluate the fossils’ state of preservation and proceed with their recovery.

The fossils will later be taken to the INAH Center-Queretaro, where their accumulated dampness must be dried out, after which a special treatment will be applied to harden them to their original density. Once stabilized, their restoration can begin.

Experts in charge of the excavation and recovery tasks said the remains are in a good state of preservation, and added that the tusks measure approximately 1.8 meters (5 feet 11 inches) long.

As for the antiquity of the skeletal remains, physical anthropologist Israel Lara Barajas said that this type of fauna inhabited the area between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago, something corroborated by discoveries in the area over the last 20 years of other fossils from the Pleistocene era.

Lara Barajas stressed how important it is that people report such finds to INAH so that the fossils can be recovered “in situ” and because it contributes to the protection and preservation of the nation’s archaeological and paleontological heritage.

“It is very important to establish contact with the communities, forge an alliance with the people and the authorities, and respond as quickly as possible to reported discoveries of archaeological remains, because in that way we become guardians of our cultural heritage,” the specialist said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Fourth High-Ranking Mexican Official Detained For Possibly Aiding Cartels

Fourth High-Ranking Mexican Official Detained For Possibly Aiding Cartels

Photo: Lt. Col. Silvio Isidro de Jesus Hernandez Soto was detained

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Retired Mexican army Lt. Col. Silvio Isidro de Jesus Hernandez Soto has been detained for questioning, becoming the fourth high-ranking retired or active-duty military officer to be taken into custody in recent days.

Personnel from the Military Prosecutor’s Office arrested Hernandez Soto Friday pursuant to a warrant issued May 7 by the federal Attorney General’s Office, the Defense Secretariat said.

It added that Hernandez Soto had been released from active duty on Nov. 30, 2002, at his own request and under honorable conditions.

The secretariat did not indicate the cause of this latest detention, but it said it brought a close to a series of four arrest orders issued by the AG’s office for military personnel.

Retired Gen. Ricardo Escorcia Vargas was arrested Thursday just hours after a judged ordered two military brass - retired Gen. Tomas Angeles Dauahare and Brig. Gen. Roberto Dawe Gonzalez - to be held under a measure known as “arraigo” (preventative detention) for 40 days to allow investigators more time to probe their possible ties to drug cartels.

“Arraigo” is a controversial instrument under which Mexican authorities can hold people linked to serious crimes for up to 80 days without formal charges.

Angeles Dauahare and Dawe Gonzalez were arrested Tuesday and questioned by the AG’s office as part of an investigation that dates back to 2010.

Angeles Dauahare was appointed deputy defense secretary in December 2006 by newly inaugurated President Felipe Calderon, who gave Mexico’s armed forces the leading role in battling drug traffickers.

Once touted as a potential future defense chief, Angeles Dauahare was abruptly replaced as deputy secretary in 2008 - with no official explanation - and retired from the army later that year.

Until his arrest this week, Dawe Gonzalez commanded an elite unit assigned to the 20th Military Zone, headquartered in the western state of Colima.

Angeles Dauahare is suspected of having accepted bribes in exchange for providing protection to the Beltran Leyva drug cartel.

His attorney, Alejandro Ortega, said his client denied the accusations made by two protected witnesses and exercised his right not to provide further statements.

Calderon’s strategy of militarizing the struggle with the cartels has been accompanied by an explosion of violence and the drug war death toll stands at more than 50,000 as the rightist president approaches the end of his six-year term.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Uruguayan Oscar Winner for Best Original Song is Commended For His Acting Debut

Uruguayan Oscar Winner for Best Original Song is Commended For His Acting Debut

Photo: Jorge Drexler

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Argentine director Daniel Burman praised the work of Jorge Drexler in his film “La Suerte en Tus Manos” (All In), which he said was so good he quite forgot that the Uruguayan singer-songwriter had never acted before.

“Drexler showed up for the first day (of shooting) with three pages of the script completely memorized, all with the right nuances, without any excuses and ready to go,” the filmmaker said Saturday in an interview with Efe.

“I never remembered that he wasn’t an actor,” he said about the musician’s mastery of his role as a professional poker player who looks up a former girlfriend after breaking up with his wife.

“La Suerte en Tus Manos” premiered in Argentina last March 29 and was presented in late April at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival and at the Malaga Film Festival in Spain.

The Uruguayan artist, winner of a best original song Oscar for the track “Al Otro Lado del Rio” (On the Other Side of the River) that he created for the 2004 Ernest “Che” Guevara biopic “The Motorcycle Diaries,” is “not just an actor or a musician,” but “a person with a great sense of empathy,” Burman said.

Drexler, who co-produced that film starring Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal, “is capable of establishing a perfect link with another actor, and that’s basic for making a movie,” the filmmaker said.

Burman, whose comedy-dramas have drawn comparisons to the films of Woody Allen, is best-known for pictures such as “Derecho de Familia” (Family Law) and “El Abrazo Partido” (Lost Embrace).

Read more by HS News Staff →

Body of Kidnapped Journalist Found in Mexico

Body of Kidnapped Journalist Found in Mexico

Photo: Avila Garcia's body was found in the state of Sonora

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Mexican authorities found the dead body of kidnapped journalist Marco Antonio Avila Garcia on a road in the northwestern state of Sonora, officials told Efe.

The body was found around 4:00 p.m. Friday with “signs of torture and with a narco-message” left alongside,” sources with the Sonora state Attorney General’s Office said without providing further details.

Avila Garcia, 39, was at a carwash in the city of Ciudad Obregon a little after 4:00 p.m. Thursday when he was grabbed by at least three masked assailants toting assault rifles, his newspaper, El Regional de Sonora, said earlier Friday.

The independent National Human Rights Commission, or CNDH, Mexico’s equivalent of an ombud’s office, announced Friday in a statement after the body was found that it was launching its own investigation and will contact the slain man’s family and his employer for information.

It also demanded that authorities launch a thorough and immediate probe to ensure the crime does not go unpunished.

The Mexican chapter of Article 19, a London-based freedom of expression watchdog, said the killing brings to five the number of journalists murdered this year in Mexico and demanded authorities thoroughly investigate the crime and provide protection to the slain reporter’s family and colleagues.

Attacks on the press have intensified in Mexico in recent weeks with the killings of three photographers and an investigative reporter in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz and a shooting attack on the offices of El Mañana daily in the border city of Nuevo Laredo.

Rene Orta Salgado, a former journalist, was found dead Sunday in the trunk of his car in Cuernavaca, a resort town near the Mexican capital.

Mexico, where nearly 80 journalists have been murdered and several others have disappeared since 2000, is considered the world’s second most dangerous country for members of the media.

Read more by HS News Staff →



SundayMay 20, 2012