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SaturdayMay 26, 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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Female Prison Official Killed in Venezuela

Female Prison Official Killed in Venezuela

Photo: Andean Region Penitentiary Center (CPRA)

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An official of the Andean Region Penitentiary Center, or CPRA, in the western Venezuelan state of Merida, died after being shot six times by two men who intercepted her as she was on her way home, the daily Panorama said.

“The shooting victim was identified by the CICPC investigative police as Roxanne Paola Molina Avila, 40, an attorney and head of CPRA human resources,” the daily’s online edition said Friday, adding that the victim was driving her own car.

After the shooting, Molina was taken to the University of the Andes Hospital in the city of Merida, where she died eight hours later.

Efe tried unsuccessfully to contact spokespersons of the Penitentiary Service Ministry for an official account of what happened.

The director of the non-governmental Venezuelan Prisons Observatory, or OVP, Humberto Prado, told Efe that he has requested “an immediate, exhaustive and impartial investigation by the Attorney General’s Office” into this murder and those of other prison officials, which, he said, have never been solved.

Earlier this week, the Venezuelan government announced a ban on bringing food into two of the nation’s prisons and ratified the suspension of overnight stays by visitors following the crisis at a Caracas jail that took an official toll of one person killed, though local media said there were nine.

The government has admitted it has “a grave problem” of weapons and many other items being smuggled into jail cells, but said it is attempting to restructure the prison system.

According to the OVP, during 2011 at least 560 people were killed and 1,457 wounded in violent incidents in the country’s 35 jails, which together have a 360-percent overcrowding rate.

Read more by HS News Staff →

5 Women Including 3 Minors Raped By Guatemalan Gang

5 Women Including 3 Minors Raped By Guatemalan Gang

Photo: The attack occurred in Palin, Guatemala

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Five women, three of them minors, were raped by a gang of armed men who assaulted a farm near the town of Palin, some 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of the Guatemalan capital, emergency management officials said.

The spokesman for Volunteer Firefighters, Mario Cuque, told reporters Friday that the women were taken “seriously injured and badly shaken” to the Escuintla National Hospital for medical attention.

According to the official report, armed men forced their way Thursday into the house on the Santa Maria farm in the municipality of Escuintla, where they made off with the belongings of the people who live there and raped the women.

“They shut the five women in a room and abused them sexually,” Cuque said.

The victims ages 13, 14, 17, 18 and 53, whose identities were not revealed, were initially treated at the crime scene by the emergency management team.

Security forces are investigating the incident, he said.

On Tuesday, Guatemalan Interior Deputy Minister Julio Rivera told reporters that security forces are tracking a gang of “serial rapists” that operates in a busy area on the Guatemalan capital’s west side, to which they attribute at least 18 attacks over the past few months.

The criminal gang assaults women they catch driving their cars alone and after raping them, they steal everything they have.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Expanding Hispanic Population to Play Major Role in Texas Elections

Expanding Hispanic Population to Play Major Role in Texas Elections

Photo: Border issues are a hot topic in the 2012 elections

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While Latino organizations point to Texas as a state where election results will be determined by Hispanics, the two Democrats vying to represent El Paso in Congress say that what they believe most important are border issues, apart from any ethnic differences.

“At a state level you can’t neglect the Hispanic community, which is growing, but in border cities we absolutely must deal with border issues because they concern Hispanics and they are the majority,” said Beto O’Rourke, who is challenging incumbent Rep. Silvestre Reyes in the May 29 Democratic primary.

O’Rourke, a former El Paso city councilman, said that the Hispanic community on the border is looking for representatives who get involved in border issues, but added that this is what the region’s Anglo and African American communities also want.

Reyes told Efe that border questions are Hispanic issues, but the U.S. Congress passes binational and transnational measures.

“We congressmen from El Paso have to deal with binational and economic issues related to developing relations with Mexico, which is an important trade partner for the state of Texas,” he said.

Reyes said that in the rest of Texas and across the country “the picture is not the same as on the border,” since elsewhere the Hispanic community is not in the majority, but it does carry some weight and presidential candidates will have to “earn its backing by dealing with the issues that affect their lives.”

“At a state level the Hispanic community hopes to hear what will be done about immigration reform and about improving education and health-care services in their communities,” he said.

The National Association of Latino Elected Officials Fund, the biggest organization promoting the participation of Latinos in the U.S. political process, released Wednesday its report for 2012, which states that close to one out of every four Texas voters is Latino.

Between 2000 and 2010 the population of Texas grew by 20.6 percent, from 20.9 million to 25.1 million, while the Hispanic population expanded by 41.8 percent, from 6.7 million to 9.5 million.

The Latino vote in Texas during the presidential election increased from 1.3 million in 2000 to 1.7 million in 2008, a jump of 31 percent.

There are currently 12.76 million registered voters in Texas, of whom 23.6 percent are Hispanics.

O’Rourke said that the ethnic group to which a candidate belongs is not a vital to winning the Hispanic vote and explained that despite not being Latino, he has won the ethnicity’s backing previously and hopes to continue to win it in the upcoming primary elections.

Reyes said the Hispanic community appreciates his struggles as a congressman to improve education and provide adequate health-care services, as well as to assure a free flow of travelers and trade across the border.

“I believe my experience has taught me how to get the help we need to facilitate the flow of traffic at international border crossings, not only from my 15 years as a congressman, but also from the time I worked for immigration agencies in the United States,” the former Border Patrol agent said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Six Cartel Gunmen Arrested with Large Collection of Firearms in Mexico

Six Cartel Gunmen Arrested with Large Collection of Firearms in Mexico

Photo: A grenade launcher was confiscated

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Soldiers arrested six drug-cartel enforcers and seized an arms cache in the western state of Michoacan, Mexican authorities said Friday.

Troops assigned to the 21st Military Zone were on patrol in the pre-dawn hours when they encountered the gunmen traveling in an SUV through a wooded area, the Attorney General’s Office said in a statement.

The gunmen opened fire on the soldiers, wounding one of them, but were significantly outnumbered and finally forced to surrender.

Inside the SUV, the troops found 24 assault rifles, two handguns, a grenade-launcher, three grenades and 5,700 rounds of ammunition, the AG’s office said.

The gunmen were also in possession of uniforms similar to those worn by the army.

The AG’s office said the men in custody worked for La Familia Michoacana, until March 2011 the dominant drug-trafficking organization in Michoacan.

Since then, however, La Familia has been locked in a bitter fight with a splinter group that calls itself Los Caballeros Templarios (Knights Templar).

Possessing more than 270 kilometers (168 miles) of Pacific coastline, Michoacan also has forests and mountain areas that provide perfect cover for drug production and smuggling.

Illegal drugs are smuggled from Central America into Michoacan and then later moved into the United States.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Wilmer Valderrama Being Sued By Neighbor For “Too Much Noise”

Wilmer Valderrama Being Sued By Neighbor For “Too Much Noise”

Photo: Wilmer Valderrama

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Of all the neighbors in the world to live by, Wilmer Valderrama isn’t one person’s first choice, reports state.

E! News reports that Valderrama’s neighbor, Baruch Eichenbaum, is suing the former That ‘70s Show actor for allegedly making “too much noise.” The suit states that there is too much “partying, vehicle traffic and barking dogs” going on at his neighbor’s house per a suit filed on May 22.

Eichenbaum states that he has, on several occasions, called the police, written letters requesting that the noise be kept to a minimum, as well as called and spoken personally to the actor’s staff, “but the frequent loud and disturbing noise has continued.”

Along with the noise, Eichenbaum also states that while renovations were being made to Valderrama’s guest house, his own yard and garage was damaged by water. He is suing Valderrama for mental, physical and nervous pain and suffering. He is seeking unspecified monetary damages and a “permanent injunction” which will limit the actor and his staff from creating a significant amount of noise.

Valderrama recently completed work on The Girl Is In Trouble and can be seen in episodes of the TV series, Awake.

Read more about Wilmer Valderrama’s neighbor troubles here

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Woman Supports Family By Selling Metal Recyclables in Chicago

Mexican Woman Supports Family By Selling Metal Recyclables in Chicago

Photo: Recycled mattress springs

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Mexican immigrant Erika Lopez is known as “the iron lady” because for two years she has scoured the streets of Chicago in search of discarded metal objects, mattresses and all kinds of recyclable material that she later sells to support her four daughters and jobless husband.

Every day between 6:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Erika drives her pickup along a route of possible suppliers, where besides scrap metal she picks up donations of clothes in good condition and such items as bicycles and toys that she later sells individually from her garage.

“At 6:00 in the morning is when I find the most scrap metal - before my competition gets there,” she told Efe.

“Everything made of iron gets picked up,“she said. “Refrigerators, washing machines, stoves, chairs, fans…”

Sometimes good luck knocks at her door - just this week a neighbor called to offer her some scrap metal and several motors that earned her $700.

Almost triple what she earned weekly working for a temp agency, which required her to be there at 5:30 a.m. to be ready to head out at 7:30 a.m. for the place she would work that day, usually a factory.

“Besides paying less money, temp work kept me from being with my daughters or looking after the house better. I also had to pay $25 a day for a babysitter,” she said.

Erika’s day is exhausting, however. She leaves her kids with her brother at 6:00 a.m. and goes out to collect metals, returns at 8:30 a.m. to take them to school and continues on her rounds until 2:00 p.m.

“I come back to do the housework, make dinner and go out again for awhile, then I pick up the girls at school and take them to taekwondo until 6:30 p.m. Soon after that we’re all at home,” she said.

Collecting and selling scrap metal is hard work and often this Acapulco native ends the day “worn out and needing a massage,” but she prefers this job to any other because “it gives me independence.”

Erika Lopez, 37, has a 20-year-old son who has returned to Mexico. The rest of the family is made up of four U.S.-born girls ranging in age from 6 to 13, and her husband, an unemployed construction worker.

After living in Chicago for 13 years, things got complicated when her husband lost his job and Erika shouldered the responsibility of supporting the family.

When she found that temp work was not for her, she turned to collecting metal, preferably aluminum, copper and bronze, which she sells to different scrap yards around the city.

On every trip she loads her Toyota pickup with the equivalent of $200-$300 worth of recyclable goods, which she stacks in the yard of her house to separate by categories before taking them to the buyers.

“In three days I can collect about a ton, depending on my luck. Sometimes I find nothing, other times I load up the truck in no time,” she said.

This hardworking immigrant has few alternatives because she knows that if she looks for a better line of work “they’ll ask for my papers and I speak little or no English.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

701 Pound of Pot Found in Gas Tank of Bus Carrying 22 Passengers

701 Pound of Pot Found in Gas Tank of Bus Carrying 22 Passengers

Photo: Marijuana packages in gas tank compartment in commercial bus - CBP

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the San Ysidro port of entry Tuesday morning discovered 701 pounds of marijuana in the gas tank of a commercial bus.

At about 7 a.m., a 37-year-old male Mexican citizen, driving a 1994 Prevo commercial bus entered the port for inspection with 22 passengers. A canine team was screening vehicles in the area when the detector dog alerted to the right side of the buses undercarriage.

CBP officers conducted an intensive inspection of the bus and found a specially-built, hidden compartment in the gas tank. They removed 177 packages from the compartment containing marijuana worth an estimated $350,000.

The driver, a resident Tijuana, Mexico, was arrested and booked for the attempted illegal importation of narcotics

More information about the CBP drug bust can be found here

Read more by HS News Staff →

Jessica Sanchez Hopes to Follow in Beyonce’s Footsteps

Jessica Sanchez Hopes to Follow in Beyonce’s Footsteps

Photo: Jessica Sanchez

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Jessica Sanchez, the 16-year-old runner-up in the latest season of “American Idol”, told Efe on Friday that she wants of model her career on what Beyonce has done, and that she doesn’t rule out singing in Spanish in the future.

“Mostly I want to have more control over the way I do my own music, without having to worry every week about impressing the same group of three judges,” the California native said.

“The style I want to explore is urban, with something of pop. Right now I need a little help writing the lyrics and the music, and I want to continue growing because I want to dedicate my whole life to music,” Sanchez said.

With regard to Wednesday night’s “Idol” finale, Sanchez said that aside from not being crowned the winner, she has already achieved more success than she ever thought possible.

“I have fans getting in touch with me from really faraway countries besides the Philippines and Mexico,” she said, referring to the respective homelands of her mother and father.

The singer said that for now her priorities are recording discs and going on tour, though she also has other goals in the future beyond what she has already achieved.

“Despite the fact that I don’t want to be exactly like her, Beyonce is the model I want to follow in developing my career. I like what she has done as a person, her modesty and the way she puts together her performances,” Sanchez said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

State Department Announces Basketball Envoy Program to Venezuela

State Department Announces Basketball Envoy Program to Venezuela

Photo: Greivis Vasquez

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The U.S. State Department and the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced that they will send Nykesha Sales, a six-time Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) All-Star, to Venezuela May 28 - June 1. Sales will join Greivis Vasquez, a Venezuelan-born player with NBA’s New Orleans Hornets, to participate in a U.S. government exchange program that brings people together for greater understanding through sports.

Vasquez, who is a native of Caracas, and Sales will conduct basketball clinics with youth from underserved areas, touring to Politdeportivo de Baruta; Vargas, and Aragua States. This will be the second tour to Venezuela with the Department of State for Vasquez, who was part of the first Sports Envoy program to Caracas in June of 2011.

Sports diplomacy builds on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s vision of “smart power,” says the State Department, embracing the full range of diplomatic tools, including sports, to bring individuals together to foster greater understanding.

In partnership with SportsUnited, NBA and WNBA players and coaches have visited over 40 countries since 2004.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Celebrate Memorial Day With This Chiles Capones Recipe

Celebrate Memorial Day With This Chiles Capones Recipe

Photo: Chiles Capones

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Another form of chile relleno, this snack from Puebla, Mexico can be rustic fare for casual parties.  Most of the work can be done ahead of time, leaving only the frying of the chiles for the last minute.  Although following the procedures in this recipe should result in virtually no-heat chiles, jalapenos can vary.

Memorial Day Weekend is here, V&V Supremo; one of the nation’s oldest family-run Hispanic food business, wants to share some authentic recipes to celebrate !a la Mexicana!

Chiles Capones


6 Large jalapeños
2 Tbsp. chopped epazote (optional, or use herb of your choice)
6 Corn tortillas
Corn oil


    1. Make an opening in each chile by slicing the top third off, leave stem on. Scrape out seeds and veins.
    2. Bring 2 cups of water to boil with ½ tbsp. salt and 2 tbsp. vinegar, add chiles and cover, cook for 2 minutes, remove chiles and dry on paper towels.
    3. Mix V&V SUPREMO® QUESO FRESCO or V&V SUPREMO® QUESO *RANCHERITO® cheese with epazote, and stuff into chiles.
    4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in frying pan, add chiles with cheese side up, fry for 3 minutes.
    5. Place each chile in a hot tortilla, and top with some V&V SUPREMO® CREMA SUPREMO® or CREMA V&V SUPREMO® *RANCHERITO® sour cream. Eat as a taco.

Yields 6 servings

Read more by HS News Staff →

Rush Limbaugh Goes “ Off The Rails ”  About Race (VIDEO)

Rush Limbaugh Goes “ Off The Rails ”  About Race (VIDEO)

Photo: Rush Limbaugh

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While many are welcoming the recent news that minority babies are, for the first time, constituting a majority of the nation’s newborns—a rather predictable segment of America is not so receptive to the change.

“It is clear that this, and other similar stories like this, are meant to serve as a warning to Republicans and conservatives,” hatemonger Rush Limbaugh said during a rant about the story.  He continued:

And the warning is: You are on the wrong side of history. And you are on the wrong side of demographics. You better do what the coming majority wants right now, or you’re gonna suffer the consequences. There is an implied threat in this story. You’re getting older. You’re white and you’re dying off. Pretty soon you’re gonna find out what it’s been like to not be you.

That’s the implication of the story.  You’ve been the majority for all these decades, all these generations, but your time is coming when you’re gonna be the minorities and there’s gonna be people with majority power over you. So you better learn right. You better change your ways. You better get with the program so that everybody likes you.

Um, what?

While we’re not surprised that an intolerant bigot who makes money by calling people sluts and demonizing immigrants is unexcited about the prospect of a future where fewer people might tolerate these antics, Rush is leaping to conclusions a bit here.  If the US population and its corresponding demographic power is a pie, Rush is watching it be re-divided and assuming that if one group wins, another loses.  In reality, when a nation becomes more diverse and more people are brought in to participate, the pie grows and everyone wins.

As CNN contributor and columnist Ruben Navarrette puts it, when Limbaugh “talks about race and ethnicity, he tends to go off the rails and he did in this particular case.”  Navarrette continued:

What needs to change is this kind of thinking. It’s total nonsense. In nearly 25 years of writing about politics, race and ethnicity, I’ve never heard any member of a minority group talk about how they’re looking forward to “payback” once they’re in the majority. Not one.

What I do hear quite a bit is that people of color believe in the greatness of this country, and they want to help write the next chapter in ways that benefit them and their families. They want a seat at the table, not because they feel entitled but because they feel they have something unique and valuable to offer. And they don’t want to get even; they just want to get ahead.

What’s wrong with that? Nothing.

In fact, it’s in keeping with some of this country’s greatest traditions. Have no fear. The face of America is changing. But its heart and soul never will.

Watch the CNN clip about the whole spat below:



Read more at americas voice online →

After 10 Years in Prison for Alllegedly Assaulting a Nurse, Roberto Anel Diaz Morales Exonerated

After 10 Years in Prison for Alllegedly Assaulting a Nurse, Roberto Anel Diaz Morales Exonerated

Photo: After 10 Years in Prison for Alllegedly Assaulting a Nurse, Roberto Anel Diaz Morales Exonerated

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Roberto Anel Diaz Morales, sentenced in 2001 to 172 years in prison for taking part in a fatal assault on a young nurse, was freed after the Puerto Rican Supreme Court overturned his conviction.

Diaz Morales spent the last 10 years of his life fighting to prove his innocence in the case of nurse Kenia Rosario, who was raped, tortured and burned by four individuals including her ex-boyfriend, a former prison guard.

Rosario later died of her injuries.

The agony Diaz Morales went through ended May 9 when the Puerto Rican Supreme Court issued an order for his release after reviewing the errors committed in his trial.

“We have reasonable doubt and our duty is to pardon,” Judge Fiol Matta said to justify his release.

Diaz Morales’ story goes back to 2001 when he was studying accounting at the University of Turabo.

On Oct. 28, five days after the assault on Rosario, Diaz Morales bought a cell phone from Irving Daniel Carrasquillo, a heroin addict implicated in the crime.

The phone Diaz Morales bought had belonged to Rosario, although, he said, the addict who sold it to him for $5 told him it belonged to one of his sisters.

Police traced the telephone and when they called the number, Diaz Morales answered.

Though the cops, according to Diaz Morales, told him they knew he was not implicated in the crime, they asked him to identify the person who had sold him the cell phone.

But Diaz Morales was unable to do so when they showed him a photo of Carrasquillo, saying that he didn’t particularly notice the face of the person who sold him the phone, which led to his implication in the crime. He was helped, however, by the testimony of another of the suspects, also a drug addict.

After several appeals by Diaz Morales’ defense attorneys, the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico finally reviewed the case and determined his innocence.

Read more by HS News Staff →

UN Urges Peru To Implement Emergency Protection Measures for Machu Picchu

UN Urges Peru To Implement Emergency Protection Measures for Machu Picchu

Photo: Machu Picchu in Peru

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A Unesco mission asked Peruvian authorities to take emergency measures to protect the archaeological site of Machu Picchu, and in particular to keep the neighboring village of Aguas Calientes from spreading any further.

The mission of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which evaluated over the past few days the Inca citadel’s state of preservation, also suggested that emergency measures be adopted to stabilize the site’s buffer zone.

The head of Unesco for Latin America and the Caribbean, Nuria Sanz of Spain, told the official Andina news agency that the purpose of her visit was to “collaborate” with Peruvian authorities to find the best solution for preserving Machu Picchu.

“We have to create a dynamic that permits strict control and regulation, respect for the site, respect for the authorities because of the efforts they are making, respect for the tourists and the services related to their visits,” she said.

Sanz also said she recommended to the Peruvian government that an international panel of consultants and technicians be set up to design and execute plans for the preservation of Machu Picchu.

The famous Inca citadel was declared a World Heritage Site in 1983, but in recent years Unesco has presented a series of concerns about the accessibility of the site, the handling of trash left by tourists and the ancient stronghold’s management by local authorities.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Pablo Azar Pleads for Improved Living Conditions for Diego the Lion

Pablo Azar Pleads for Improved Living Conditions for Diego the Lion

Photo: Diego the Lion at the Zacango Zoo

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After viewing video footage and photos of Diego, the suffering young lion confined alone to a barren enclosure in Mexico’s Zacango Zoo, Mexico City–born El Talismán star Pablo Azar has fired off a letter on PETA’s behalf to local and national wildlife officials to ask them to expedite Diego’s relocation to a U.S. sanctuary that is standing by to accept him. There, he would be afforded room to roam and get to enjoy the company of other big cats.

“As a proud native of Mexico and someone who cherishes my home country, I was saddened to learn from my friends at PETA that a young lion named Diego is . . . held captive in a chain-link and cement cage,” writes Azar. “Diego’s life has no enrichment, and he paces back and forth in his tiny space, making it clear that he is losing his mind in this unnatural situation.” Concludes Azar, “Please do the compassionate thing and see to it that Diego is transported to the United States as soon as possible so that he does not have to suffer another day.”

Azar joins a growing list of celebrities—including Kate del Castillo, Eva Mendes, Penélope Cruz, Wilmer Valderrama, and Natalia Villaveces—who have teamed up with PETA to promote compassion for animals.

Read Pablo Azar’s letter to Mexican wildlife officials (in Spanish) here

Read more by HS News Staff →

Rousseff Vetoes Portions of Brazil’s Controversial Environmental Bill

Rousseff Vetoes Portions of Brazil’s Controversial Environmental Bill

Photo: Deforestation in Brazil is a global concern

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President Dilma Rousseff vetoed 12 of the 84 articles of a widely criticized land-use bill, including an amnesty for people who contributed to deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon region, the government said Friday.

The head of state also blocked a provision that would reduce the size of forested buffer zones around rivers from 30 meters (100 feet) on either side to 15 meters.

The vetoes were announced at a joint press conference by the ministers of environment, Izabella Teixeira; agriculture, Jorge Mendes Ribeiro; and rural development, Gilberto Jose Vargas.

Rousseff blocked the 12 articles in the interest of conservation and sustainable agricultural production, the ministers said.

Congress can override the president’s vetoes.

Domestic and international environmental groups had urged Rousseff to block the entire bill, with Greenpeace mounting a months-long campaign under the banner, “Veto It, Dilma.”

Opponents of the revised Forest Code say it will open the door to more agri-business activity in areas that have already suffered serious environmental degradation, especially in Amazonia.

One of the most controversial sections of the bill would provide broad amnesty from fines to large farmers who cleared more trees than legally permitted and are currently growing crops in those degraded areas.

Environmentalists’ latest attempt to lobby Rousseff took place Thursday, when the Avazz group delivered to the presidential palace a petition bearing 2 million signatures urging the president to veto the entire bill.

Around 1.7 million of the signatures came from abroad, notably France and Germany, Avazz spokesman Pedro Abramovay told reporters, stressing “the global concern” about the fate of Amazonia if the new Forest Code becomes law.

The bill has also drawn criticism from a group representing Brazil’s federal judges, who said it could lead to an “avalanche of lawsuits” because of constitutional inconsistencies in the text.

Consea, a presidential council on food security, likewise urged Rousseff to veto the bill, warning the new Forest Code would have a “grave impact on the nutritional security of the Brazilian population.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

2,500-year-old Altar Unearthed By Mexican Archaeologists

2,500-year-old Altar Unearthed By Mexican Archaeologists

Photo: The altar found in Mexico - INAH

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An altar and a stela estimated to date from as early as 800 B.C. were found at the Chalcatzingo archaeological site in the central state of Morelos, Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, or INAH, said.

The altar is rectangular and covered with engravings representing rain

A few meters (yards) away from the altar was an unfinished stela standing 1.7 meters (5 feet 6 inches) tall.

The pieces are thought to have been made between 800 and 500 B.C., about the same age as another altar and a relief depicting three cats that archaeologists from INAH’s Morelos Center found at Chalcatzingo less than a year ago.

The latest discoveries came during excavations of a residential area that appears to date from the Late Classical period of the Olmec culture, A.D. 700-900, archaeologist Carolina Meza said.

She said the difference in age between the new pieces and their surroundings can be explained by an Olmec practice of repurposing and - in some cases - decommissioning architectonic elements.

The altar and stela from the Preclassical period would have been buried inside buildings to strip them of their original significance in Olmec rites, she said.

The latest finds bring to 44 the number of altars, stelas and reliefs discovered at Chalcatzingo, INAH said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Two Puerto Rican Men Found Dead in Taxi

Two Puerto Rican Men Found Dead in Taxi

Photo: The taxi was located in the San Juan neighborhood of Hato Rey

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Two men were found dead in the wee hours of Friday inside a taxi in the San Juan neighborhood of Hato Rey, the Puerto Rico Police Department said.

The bodies bore multiple bullet wounds, the PRPD said in a short statement.

San Juan’s acting police chief, Maj. William Ruiz, said investigators found no bullet holes in the abandoned taxi and that one of the vehicle’s doors was left open.

The double-murder brings to 353 the number of killings reported in Puerto Rico so far this year, 99 fewer than at the same point in 2011, when the island experienced a record 1,000-plus homicides.

Read more by HS News Staff →

SaturdayMay 26, 2012