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SundayJune 10, 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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Guatemala’s Fuego Volcano Erupts

Guatemala’s Fuego Volcano Erupts

Photo: Guatemala's Fuego Volcano Erupts

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The Fuego volcano, located about 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of this capital, on Sunday spewed a column of ash up to a kilometer (about 3,300 feet) high, a government agency reported.

The National Vulcanology Institute said in a communique that the volcano, which rises 3,763 meters (12,230 feet) above sea level, on Sunday erupted effusively, according to seismic recordings and the images received from a camera at the observatory at Panimache.

The volcano’s activity presently consists of emissions of red hot lava being hurled from the crater to a height of some 500 meters (1,625 feet), the agency said.

The institute went on to say that three rivers of lava were emerging from the crater and moving down the sides of the mountain.

In addition, two emissions of ash rising from 800 to 1,000 meters (about 2,600 feet to 3,300 feet) were blowing southeast.

The vulcanology institute warned that although the eruption presently consists of an effusion of lava, the possibility exists that in the coming hours the volcano’s activity will increase to a pyroclastic flow of the kind experienced on May 19 and May 25.

A pyroclastic flow is a fast-moving current of superheated gas, which can reach temperatures of about 1,000 C (1,830 F), and rock, which reaches speeds moving away from a volcano of up to 700 km/h (450 mph). The flow normally hugs the ground and travels downhill, or spreads laterally under gravity, and is quite devastating to virtually anything in its path.

The agency recommended to the Conred disaster organization to maintain an orange preventive alert near the mountain until the volcanic activity lessens.

Civilian air traffic is being warned to take precautions because the ash cloud extends up to 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from the volcano.

The Fuego volcano, whose name in the Kakchikel Indian language is “Chi Cag” (where the fire is), is one of the most impressive fire mountains in Central America and has been in a constant state of activity.

So far, civil protection authorities do not think that the eruption represents a danger for nearby towns, but it is recommending that residents in the region be on alert to take whatever measures Conred may announce.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Chavez Denies Heath Rumors, Says Medical Tests Are All Good

Chavez Denies Heath Rumors, Says Medical Tests Are All Good

Photo: Hugo Chavez

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President Hugo Chavez, who is running for reelection and was operated on a year ago Sunday in Havana for a pelvic abscess, said that his most recent medical exams came out “absolutely fine.”

“In the last few days, here, in Venezuela, I did the computerized axial tomography (test), I did the magnetic resonance (test) and I don’t know what (else) ... and it all came out absolutely fine after the operation and the radiation therapy,” Chavez told reporters at the Miraflores presidential palace on Saturday.

“I feel very good,” the 57-year-old president said.

Chavez underwent surgery on June 10, 2011, initially for a pelvic abscess in Cuba, the first of three occasions when he was operated on for a cancerous tumor and from which he is still recovering. The government has said only that the cancer was located in the pelvic area.

Chavez made his remarks with four months left to go before the presidential election. According to the latest polls, he is out in front in the voter opinion surveys despite the fact that concerns about his health have been dominating the news, along with his trips to Cuba for chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

It has been almost a year since Chavez, in a brief speech last June 30 from Cuba, announced to his countrymen that he was suffering from cancer.

The uncertainty that prevailed after that announcement and the wave of rumors concerning his health - however - apparently have not affected his hopes of being reelected and the hopes of his supporters for his recovery, and in fact recent voter surveys indicate that Chavez is leading his opposition rival Henrique Capriles by a margin that has been oscillating between 5 and 30 percentage points.

Over the past 12 months, Chavez’s cancer has not given him much of a break. In late February, he announced that doctors had detected a recurrence of the cancer that in October he had said had been completely cured, and he then began radiation therapy.

During this time, Chavez has turned to the religious sector seeking help and strength to battle the disease from saints, shamans and other religious figures, and a number of indigenous, African and Catholic ceremonies have been held to support him in his requests for good health.

Certain things have changed in Venezuela during the course of the past year. For instance, the government has eliminated the word “death” from the propaganda slogan “Fatherland, socialism or death,” replacing the slogan with “Independence and socialist fatherland. We will live and we will overcome.”

Catholic Masses and other Christian ceremonies have been held for his recovery, not only in Venezuela but in other nations such as Cuba, the United States and the Dominican Republic.

Chavez’s appearances before the media, which before his illness has been quite frequent, were substantially reduced in number this past year but in the meantime he has often turned to the Twitter social network - where he has 3 million followers - to communicate upbeat messages to the public.

In recent weeks, the president has presided at two large meetings of the Council of Ministers on television, the most recent one lasting four hours, and he has continued to telephone in to the press conferences held by the leaders of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela, or PSUV.

On Monday, Chavez will officially announce his candidacy for president for the Oct. 7 election, a day after Capriles.

“Let Caracas overflow, it’s going to be a day of celebration. It’s the candidacy of the fatherland,” he said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

8 Cubans Escape From Immigration Detention Center in Mexico

8 Cubans Escape From Immigration Detention Center in Mexico

Photo: The Detention Center was located in Acayucan

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A bulletin has been issued for eight Cuban migrants who escaped from an immigration detention camp in the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz, the National Migration Institute, or INM, said.

The eight Cubans, “whose immigration status is still to be determined,” escaped from the facility in Acayucan early Friday, the INM said.

“Once the escape was detected, a complaint was filed with federal prosecutors and the corresponding investigation was opened,” the INM said.

Local police and federal law enforcement authorities have been notified of the escape, the INM said.

The regional INM director and the head of the immigration detention camp in Acayucan, a city in the southern part of Veracruz state, were ordered to Mexico City to explain how the escape happened, officials said.

Migrants from different countries take a route through the Gulf state of Veracruz on their way to the United States.

Cubans enter Mexico illegally in an effort to make their way to the United States.

Mexico and Cuba signed an immigration agreement in October 2008 aimed at guaranteeing a legal, orderly and safe migration flow.

The pact calls for Havana to take back all illegal Cuban immigrants detained by Mexican authorities.

Previously, the island’s government took back illegal emigrants detained on the high seas, but it refused to accept Cubans detained on Mexican soil while en route to the United States.

Under Washington’s “wet foot, dry foot” policy, Cubans who reach U.S. soil are permitted to remain and become legal residents, while the vast majority of those intercepted at sea are sent back to the island.

Havana says the U.S. policy encourages Cubans to undertake risky voyages to Florida and, in recent years, to Mexico’s Caribbean coast.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Argentine Rocker Charly Garcia Raced to Hospital Mid-concert

Argentine Rocker Charly Garcia Raced to Hospital Mid-concert

Photo: Charly Garcia

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Argentine rocker Charly Garcia was admitted early Sunday to a hospital in Cordoba, a city in central Argentina, after suffering health problems at a concert he was giving.

The 60-year-old musician fainted onstage at Cordoba’s Superdomo Orfeo, where he was giving a recital on Saturday evening, and he was given first aid in his dressing room, the government news agency Telam reported Sunday.

His band told the public that Garcia had suffered a bout of low blood pressure and that he would shortly return to the stage, but after about 40 minutes of first aid he was taken to the Modelo Cardiology Institute in Cordoba, located 800 kilometers (about 500 miles) north of Buenos Aires.

The artist’s blood pressure was actually spiking upward when he entered the hospital, the director of the medical center, Jose Sala, said.

Garcia is “stable, fine, lucid and is cooperating with the doctors,” Sala told the Todo Noticias television channel, which broadcasts from Buenos Aires.

The musician could be released on Monday if the various tests performed on him by the medical personnel are positive, Sala said.

“I love Cordoba very much,” Charly said on Friday, when he was named an illustrious citizen of that city.

The rocker returned to the stage in 2009 after undergoing treatment to break his addiction to drugs.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Fishing Village With Massacre History Is Threatened by Militia Group

Fishing Village With Massacre History Is Threatened by Militia Group

Photo: Bocas de Aracataca

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A militia group threatened to kill 31 families that returned to a fishing village on the north coast of Colombia that was the scene of a massacre 12 years ago, a non-governmental organization said.

The threats were made in pamphlets left Friday in the yards of two houses in Bocas de Aracataca, a village in the Caribbean province of Magdalena, by the Los Paisas militia group, the Jose Alvear Restrepo Legal Aid Society, or CCAJAR, said in a statement.

This is the second time that the residents of Bocas de Aracataca have been threatened since May 25, the CCAJAR said.

Los Paisas “announced a new massacre in the next few hours, as well as the murders of the (village) leaders and the displacement of the 31 families that returned to this village in the Cienaga Grande de Santa Marta,” the CCAJAR said.

Alcides Gonzalez, the only resident to stay in the village after militiamen massacred 11 people in February 2000, was among those threatened with death.

The massacre, which was committed by members of the defunct United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC, militia federation, prompted 1,500 people from 150 families to flee from the fishing village.

The death threats were made against the 31 families that decided to return to Bocas de Aracataca, which is in an area where militiamen killed 39 other people in an attack on fishermen in December 2000.

Los Paisas is one of a number of groups founded by veterans of the AUC.

Los Paisas and the other AUC successor groups, such as Los Rastrojos and Nueva Generacion, are responsible for a good deal of the criminal activity in Colombia, officials say.

The AUC, accused of committing numerous human rights violations, demobilized more than 31,000 of its fighters between the end of 2003 and mid-2006 as part of the peace process with former President Alvaro Uribe’s administration.

The group was made up of numerous rural defense cooperatives formed more than 20 years ago to battle leftist rebels.

Many of the militias, however, degenerated into death squads and carried out massacres of peasants suspected of having rebel sympathies, along with slayings of journalists and union members accused of favoring the leftist insurgents.

Under the terms of the 2005 Peace and Justice Law, pushed through Congress by the Uribe administration to regulate the militiamen’s reinsertion into society, former AUC members faced a maximum of eight years in prison if convicted of any of the scores of massacres of suspected rebel sympathizers attributed to the rightists over the years.

Colombia’s Constitutional Court upheld the law in 2006 but conditioned the sentence reductions on full disclosure and confession of crimes and reparations to victims.

On May 13, 2008, the Colombian government extradited 14 former AUC chiefs to the United States.

The former AUC commanders were wanted in the United States on drug, money laundering and other charges.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Sofia Vergara’s New Hispanic-centric Social Media Platform Partners With Univision

Sofia Vergara’s New Hispanic-centric Social Media Platform Partners With Univision

Photo: Nuevo Mall

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Nuevo Mall, the first Hispanic celebrity and lifestyle destination that connects stars and fans with brands in an unparalleled cross platform experience, announced a strategic partnership with Univision Communications Inc., the leading media company serving Hispanic America.

Nuevo Mall is set to launch first on the web and mobile in the fall of 2012 featuring a deep roster of the nation’s top Hispanic stars, including Sofia Vergara, Raul de Molina, Cristian de la Fuente, Danna Garcia, Chiquinquira Delgado, Giselle Blondet, Ricardo Montaner and Fernando Fiore, among others.

“We are thrilled to enter into this partnership with Nuevo Mall, a new digital experience that will allow audiences to get even closer to Univision’s beloved personalities, as well as the products they love best,” said Rick Alessandri, senior vice president, Business Development, Univision. “Our partnership with Nuevo Mall builds on our corporate strategy to connect to Hispanic America.”

“Univision is a perfect partner for Nuevo Mall,” said co-founder Sofia Vergara. “We hope fans and advertisers enjoy this unique opportunity to celebrate our community with the trends, products and experiences that unite us all. Our fans are part of our familia and we are thrilled to invite them over to our Nuevo Mall home.”

Nuevo Mall’s mission is to super serve fans with experiences, recommendations and insider tips straight from their favorite stars. “We plan to offer a best-in-class experience, created by our stars, made exclusively for the fans and brands they love”, says Luis Balaguer, Chairman of Nuevo Mall and Founder CEO of LatinWE.

The Nuevo Mall team features a star roster of executive and creative talent, including Nancy Overfield-Delmar, President of LatinWE Licensing; Michael Wolfson, co-founder of The Knot and former AOL Chief Creative, and digital advertising agency veteran Taylor Noguera.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Euro Cup 2012: Spain 1-1 Italy (VIDEO)

Euro Cup 2012: Spain 1-1 Italy (VIDEO)

Photo: Spain vs Italy

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Italy and Spain showed to be even matches in the opening game of Group C at the EuroCup.

Spain, who were the 2008 European Champions, is hoping the be the first nation to win back-to- back.

Italian forward Mario Balotelli, who ruined a major opportunity to score, was replaced by substitute Antonio Di Natale in the 56th minute.  Five minutes in to playing, Di Natale scored.  Unfortunately, Italy’s celebrations were well cut short by Spanish Center Forward Cesc Fabregas.

In the 64th minute Fabregas scored, saving the reputation of the reigning World and European champions.

With the score leveled at 1-1, both team eagerly fought but to no avail.

This Thursday Spain will take on Ireland and Italy will face Croatia.

Watch the highlights below.


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Hispanic Leadership Network Condemns Obama Strategist’s Offensive Remarks to Hispanics

Hispanic Leadership Network Condemns Obama Strategist’s Offensive Remarks to Hispanics

Photo: Senator Marco Rubio

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Members of the Hispanic Leadership Network’s National Advisory Committee are calling out Obama chief strategist David Axelrod for his offensive comments recently made on Univision.

Axelrod said on Al Punto, “I think it would be an insult to the Hispanic community to choose Senator Rubio if he thinks that that is somehow - if Governor Romney thinks that’s sort of a get-out-of-jail-free card for all of the things and the positions that he’s taken.”

Seven members of HLN’s National Advisory Committee issued the following statement in response, including Governor Jeb Bush, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart; Carlos Gutierrez, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce; Rosario Marin, former U.S. Treasurer; Jovita Carranza, former U.S. Deputy SBA Administrator; Mario Rodriguez, Chairman of Hispanic 100; and Massey Villarreal, CEO Precision Task Group, Inc. 

“The Obama campaign’s claim is offensive to Hispanics. A Hispanic has never been nominated to a major presidential ticket. The nomination of one would be an honor, not an insult. Senator Rubio is a public servant and a rising star in U.S. politics. As such, he deserves respect – even if one disagrees with his political ideology.

“What is clear is that the policies of this Administration have not been working for Hispanic Americans. The Administration broke its promise to Hispanics to deliver comprehensive immigration reform and Obama’s economic policies have led to 11% Hispanic unemployment. What is truly insulting is this Administration’s record in the Hispanic community.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Wind Energy Projects to Create 10,000 Jobs in Argentina

Wind Energy Projects to Create 10,000 Jobs in Argentina

Photo: Wind turbine in Argentina

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The government is working with the private sector to develop wind energy projects in Argentina under a plan that could create 10,000 jobs and produce 1,000 MW of electricity within eight years, the Industry Ministry said.

Wind farm developers, other companies involved in the sector and financial institutions have been asked to work on the development of the plan, the ministry said in a statement.

The wind energy industry has announced plans in recent months to invest $335 million in projects in Argentina, the ministry said.

The Industrial Projects and Capital Goods Engineering Association has created the “Argentine wind cluster,” which brings together companies dedicated to developing wind energy projects, the ministry said.

The companies involved in the project expect to substitute imports valued at $1.75 billion annually, developing 500 domestic suppliers for the industry, the ministry said.

“Argentine industry has the capacity to supply between 70 percent and 80 percent of the necessary inputs demanded by the domestic market,” Sica Metalurgica Argentina executive Jorge Simonutti said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latinos Families Encouraged to Discover Nature via New Public Service Ad

Latinos Families Encouraged to Discover Nature via New Public Service Ad

Photo: Ad Council and the U.S. Forest Service

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In an effort to motivate Hispanic families to get outside more often and reconnect with nature, the Ad Council and the U.S. Forest Service have launched the Descubre el Bosque public service advertising campaign, an extension of their popular English-language Discover the Forest campaign started in 2009.

The aim of this campaign is to increase Hispanic visits to the Nation’s forests and grasslands, as well as to help them develop a love of nature and an understanding of their role in protecting it.

Latinos make up 23 percent of the under-18 population in the United States yet only 5.8 percent of youth who participate in outdoor recreation are Hispanic, according to The Outdoor Foundation report. This is of startling concern because time in nature brings many physical, emotional and mental benefits to children.

The Spanish-language public service ads, produced pro bono by Totality, target parents and guardians of tweens (children ages 8-12) and feature TV, radio and outdoor material that showcase how nature can provide the ultimate escape from the stress of our daily lives.  Following three Latino families, each of whom works hard to balance schoolwork, jobs, family time and more, the ads reinforce that these forested destinations are ideal sites for family enjoyment and are often much closer than people perceive. 

The Ad Council has partnered with the U.S. Forest Service since 2009 on the Discover the Forest campaign encouraging families to unplug and reconnect by getting outdoors and enjoying the wonders of nature.

This is the first year the campaign has produced Spanish-language PSA materials.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spain Seeks Bailout that Could Hit $125 Billion

Spain Seeks Bailout that Could Hit $125 Billion

Photo: Spanish Seek Bailout

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Spain has now become the latest and largest country seeking a European bailout that could hit the $125 billion mark.

The requested bailout would allow Spain to stabilize its economy and more importantly calm the eurozone monetary system.  The bailout request comes on the heels of the Portugal, Irish and Greek bailouts however it is important to note that the Spanish economy is five times larger than Greece’s. 

The massive aid is expecting to go the country’s banks for recapitalization and does not appear to come with any austerity conditions.  Spain had already put in place severe austerity measures on its citizens.  The continuing European recession, prolonged unemployment and financial crisis further weakened the Spanish economy.

The request for the bailout is to be decided by the 17 countries that make up the eurozone.  The new Prime Minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, did not appear to appreciate the severity of his country’s financial position, vowing only 10 days ago to not seek a bailout.

Last week Spain’s credit rating by Fitch was downgraded to BBB, only two levels above non-investment grade. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Marc Anthony Says “The President has Our Back”

Marc Anthony Says “The President has Our Back”

Photo: Marc Anthony

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Check out the new video Latinos for Obama, better known as ‘latinos.barackobama.com’, has put out with none other than Marc Anthony.  He urges Latino voters and says:

“Hi, my name is Marc Anthony. Latinos are a force that can and will help decide this election. And it’s a good thing that we’ve got so much to say, right? We have jobs, the economy, education. President Obama is on our side on all of them. We just have to make sure that he gets four more years to make more progress. The president has our back. So it’s time to let him know that you’ve got his.”

Watch the video below.


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U.S. Supports Mexican Activist’s Peace Caravan

U.S. Supports Mexican Activist’s Peace Caravan

Photo: MPJD's peace caravan

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Mexican poet-turned-activist Javier Sicilia has received the U.S. government’s backing for his planned month-long peace caravan in that country aimed at drawing attention to drug-related violence and communicating his anti-drug war message.

Sicilia, who heads the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, or MPJD, was received here Friday by U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Earl Anthony Wayne and spoke to him about his plans for the caravan, which is scheduled to begin on Aug. 12 in San Diego and cover several southern U.S. states before making its way to Chicago and New York and ending in Washington in mid-September.

The United States has a long history of supporting freedom of expression, including peaceful expressions of protest and dissent, Wayne said in a U.S. Embassy press release.

He added that he appreciated the “courtesy” of MPJD leaders in sharing their points of view and plans.

The statement said the goal of the caravan will be to create awareness about drug violence, weapons trafficking and trans-border issues such as migration and money laundering.

U.S. activists, including representatives of the San Francisco-based human rights advocacy group Global Exchange, will take part in the peace caravan.

The 56-year-old Sicilia, who formed his movement after his son was murdered last year by suspected drug-gang members, says the United States shares the blame for the tens of thousands of drug-related deaths in Mexico over the past five-and-a-half years, citing the high demand for illegal drugs there and the north-to-south flow of weapons to Mexican drug cartels.

He wants the United States to stop providing aid to Mexico under the Merida Initiative, a U.S.-funded regional plan to battle drug cartels and other transnational criminal networks.

The activist also supports legalizing narcotics and insists that drugs should be treated as a public-health problem not as a national security issue, a stance that President Barack Obama does not share.

This summer’s caravan will be the first outside Mexico and the third since MPJD was founded last year.

The most recent one took place last September in southern Mexico and was aimed at raising awareness of the pain suffered by victims of violence, including large numbers of Central American migrants who are preyed upon by drug traffickers and corrupt officials.

Sicilia’s group, made up of relatives of victims of violence, also is demanding an end to Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s strategy of deploying tens of thousands of army soldiers and federal police to drug-war flashpoints, saying it has only made the country less safe.

Since Calderon took office in late 2006, organized crime-related violence in Mexico has left more than 50,000 dead, 10,000 missing and 120,000 displaced from their homes.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Missing Helicopter Found in Andes, 14 Killed

Missing Helicopter Found in Andes, 14 Killed

Photo: Andes Mountains

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Peruvian police on Saturday found the wreckage of a helicopter missing for four days in the Andes mountains and said there was no sign of survivors, officials told Efe.

A National Police search-and-rescue team found the chopper carrying two crewmen and 12 tourists, including eight Koreans, on the side of a 5,000-meter-tall (16,400-foot-tall) mountain, a spokesperson for the police station in the small southeastern town of Urcos, where the operation was being coordinated, told Efe.

In the first reports from the remote crash site, authorities “have not confirmed any survivors, as apparently everyone regrettably died,” the spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, Cesar Guevara, a local government official in Urcos, told RPP radio that police reported the discovery of some bodies but that he could not yet provide a full official report.

The helicopter was carrying eight Koreans, a Dutchman, a Swede, a Czech and three Peruvians, including the pilot and co-pilot.

It disappeared late Wednesday afternoon while flying from the southeastern jungle region of Madre de Dios to the neighboring region of Cuzco.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Drug Lab Explosion Kills 1, Injures 3 in Mexico

Drug Lab Explosion Kills 1, Injures 3 in Mexico

Photo: The explosion forced an evacuation of daycare facility

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One person was killed and three others were seriously injured in a blast at a suspected clandestine drug laboratory in the northwestern Mexican city of Culiacan, military spokespersons said.

Four people were doing welding work inside the warehouse when an ammonia tank explosion caused the roof and walls of the building to cave in, they said.

A man identified as Juan Ramon Beltran Beltran was killed in Friday’s explosion and the injured suffered severe burns, the spokespersons said.

Military personnel found flasks, lab reactors and chemical products at the scene, leading them to suspect a synthetic drug lab was housed inside, the commander of the 9th Military Zone, Gen. Marco Antonio Covarrubias, said.

A sign on the building’s facade said the warehouse sold construction material.

A representative of the federal Attorney General’s Office arrived at the scene at the general’s request to begin the investigation.

The blast forced the evacuation of a nearby daycare facility but the 246 children and 52 employees at that establishment were unharmed, a municipal emergency management official said.

The area was cordoned off while the investigation continues.

Culiacan is the capital and largest city of Sinaloa state, the birthplace of the first generation of high-profile Mexican drug traffickers, including Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the fugitive boss of the Sinaloa cartel and - according to Forbes magazine - one of the world’s richest people.

Turf wars among rival drug cartels and conflict between the criminals and the security forces have claimed more than 50,000 lives in Mexico since December 2006, when newly inaugurated President Felipe Calderon militarized the struggle against the traffickers.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Over 1 Million Cubans Suffering From Water-Supply Issues

Over 1 Million Cubans Suffering From Water-Supply Issues

Photo: Cuban water supply

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More than 1,159,000 Cubans are currently suffering the effects of water-supply problems on the island, a state television news report said.

Havana, the nation’s capital and a city of more than 2 million, has been the hardest hit, accounting for more than 808,000 of those affected, Friday’s report said.

It said work to repair pipes to prevent leaks and improve service quality is concentrated in 11 cities on the Communist-ruled island.

The task is “very complex” because “difficulties have accumulated for years,” the report said, citing water sector officials.

It noted that between 50-58 percent of the water distributed nationwide via pipes does not reach its destination and that that system accounts for 90 percent of water distribution on the island.

The report also urged “rational use” of water supplies by consumers as the island copes with the effects of climate change and and frequent droughts in recent years.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Zetas’ Money Launderer Apprehended by Mexican Soldiers

Zetas’ Money Launderer Apprehended by Mexican Soldiers

Photo: Money Laundering

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Mexican soldiers detained a suspected money launderer for the Los Zetas drug cartel in the Gulf Coast states of Veracruz and Tabasco, the Navy Secretariat said.

The secretariat said in a statement that the suspect, who identified himself as Fernando Herrera Zurita, was detained at a checkpoint on the Veracruz-Xalapa federal highway on Thursday, when military personnel instructed the driver of an SUV without a front license plate to stop.

In a routine inspection of the vehicle, they found a handgun, four fragmentation hand grenades, 73 bags of a green herb (apparently marijuana), a grenade launcher and hundreds of rounds of unspent ammunition, the secretariat said.

The soldiers also found communications gear and forged identity documents.

The suspect, who was turned over to the Siedo organized crime unit of the federal Attorney General’s Office in Mexico City, admitted to coordinating weapons and drug shipments from Guatemala to the northeastern Mexican states of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon.

Los Zetas, a group founded by deserters from a U.S.-trained special forces unit, started out as the armed wing of the Gulf cartel, but the two criminal organizations had a falling out in 2010 and the Zetas went into the drug business on their own account, gaining control of several lucrative territories.

The cartel - Mexico’s largest in terms of geographical presence at the end of last year, according to security consulting firm Stratfor - has had a firm foothold for years in Guatemala, where in 2011 Zetas gunmen massacred 27 farmworkers at a ranch owned by a rival drug trafficker.

A multi-front conflict pitting rival drug cartels against each other and the security forces has claimed more than 50,000 lives in Mexico since December 2006, when newly inaugurated President Felipe Calderon gave the armed forces the leading role in the struggle with organized crime.

Read more by HS News Staff →



SundayJune 10, 2012