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MondayJune 11, 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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U.S. and Central America Working to Protect Labor Rights of Immigrants Working Here

U.S. and Central America Working to Protect Labor Rights of Immigrants Working Here

Photo: Immigrant Rights Secured

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The Labor Department on Monday signed cooperation agreements with Ecuador, Honduras, Peru and The Philippines to make known and protect the labor rights of immigrants from those countries who are working in the United States.

The agreements “protect every person who works here, independently of their immigration status,” Labor Secretary Hilda Solis told Efe after signing the accords with the countries’ respective ambassadors.

Starting now, there will be more government information campaigns mounted to explain what rights employees have and the consulates will become offices that will provide advice to citizens of those countries about problems in the workplace.

The basic element of the accords, Solis said, is confidentiality. “All the information that comes to us is confidential and we’re not going to share that information with the other federal agencies.”

“We have bilingual people, who speak Spanish, to provide information about these rights and we have investigators who can handle these complaints,” she said.

Ecuadorian Ambassador to Washington Nathalie Cely said she believes that the bilateral accord she signed will allow “bearing witness to cases of injustice among the workers, because the Ecuadorian knows that, when he is in the consulate, he’s on his territory and has his (rights) protected.”

“In the past, there was a lot of fear, especially among immigrants in an irregular situation. It’s created a lot of injustice and labor exploitation and we must call it by that name,” the ambassador said.

Peru’s envoy, Harold Forsyth, told Efe that up to now Peruvian workers have only been able to “badly defend their rights if they don’t know the rights provided to them by law.”

Forsyth said that the accord contributes to spreading knowledge of workers’ rights, but also to “the active training of the general consulates in the country so that they are in better condition to aid their countrymen in labor terms.”

The Honduran ambassador, Jorge Ramon Hernandez Alcerro, said that the great advance with the signing of the accords is that “the U.S. and Honduran governments are together ... in protecting the dignity of Honduran workers here.”

Immigrant workers will be able to learn in detail about things such as salaries, medical protection, visas, agricultural labor, the rights of young people and the fact that lie detectors are prohibited, among other things.

The agreements are similar to those reached earlier between the Labor Department and Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic, and it is expected that new accords will be signed with still more embassies.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Soccer Player Alex de Avila Killed in Colombia

Soccer Player Alex de Avila Killed in Colombia

Photo: Alex de Avila

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A professional soccer player died and one of his teammates was wounded in an attack by gunmen in a town near the Caribbean city of Barranquilla, Colombian authorities said.

In the shooting Alex de Avila, defensive midfielder for the second-division club Autonomous University of the Caribbean, was killed while forward Herly Alcazar suffered gunshot wounds, according to a report issued by the Barranquilla Metropolitan Police.

A man riding as a passenger on a motorcycle attacked the soccer players, who were talking at a bar in Puerto Colombia, a town near Barranquilla.

De Avila died on the spot, while Alcazar was admitted to a clinic that, according to reporters, reported that his prognosis is guarded.

Police gave no information on the possible motives of the attack, but local media said that the incident was apparently related to an argument between the soccer players and a man sitting at another table in the bar.

The shooting took place hours after the Autonomous University beat Tulua 1-0.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Chicago Hunger Strike Continues Over Undocumented Being Denied Transplants

Chicago Hunger Strike Continues Over Undocumented Being Denied Transplants

Photo: Chicago Hunger Strike Continues Over Undocumented Being Denied Transplants

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A woman in the group of five Latinos who are on a hunger strike here to demand organ transplants for undocumented immigrants lacking health insurance was treated by paramedics on Monday but later rejoined the protest begun nine days ago.

Catalina Arroyo, 53, was treated by paramedics on Monday morning at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Anglican Mission, where the hunger strike is being conducted, and she was taken by ambulance to a hospital after she complained of severe abdominal pains.

She was stabilized at the hospital and doctors determined that she had a very low potassium level, something that could put her health at risk, “but she decided to return to the church,” Hilda Burgos, another member of the hunger strikers, told Efe.

She said that Lorenzo Arroyo, another hunger striker and Catalina’s nephew, had also shown signs of having health complications.

The group is rounded out by the Rev. Jose Landaverde, the 43-year-old pastor of the mission in Chicago’s largely Mexican Little Village neighborhood, and Sonia Lopez, 47.

According to the organizers of the hunger strike, the protest is aimed at saving the lives of brothers Lorenzo and Elfego Arroyo, and of Jorge Mariscal, who need kidney transplants but have not been treated at two Chicago hospitals because they lack immigration documents.

Burgos said that so far there has been no response from authorities at Loyola University Medical Center and the University of Illinois Chicago Medical Center, “but nobody wants to (quit the hunger strike). We’re going to continue until the bitter end.”

The next step in the protest will be taken on Wednesday when “a march for life” to UIC will be staged along with an automobile caravan that will arrive at Loyola on Friday.

Burgos emphasized as good news the plan for the hunger strikers to be visited by the medical chief of Rush Hospital, the only medical center in Chicago that performs transplants on undocumented immigrants at a cost of between $100,000 and $200,000.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Treasury Targets Operatives of Sinaloa Cartel - ‘El Chapo’ Guzman’s Family

Treasury Targets Operatives of Sinaloa Cartel - ‘El Chapo’ Guzman’s Family

Photo: One of 'El Chapo's wives (left), son (center), El Chapo (right)

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Sanctions directed against a Son and Wife of Chapo Guzman Loera

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) last week announced the designation of two key Sinaloa Cartel operatives, Maria Alejandrina Salazar Hernandez and Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar, a wife and son of drug lord Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman Loera, respectively.  Today’s action, pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act), prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these two individuals, and also freezes any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction.

“Today marks the sixth time in the past year that OFAC has targeted and exposed operatives of the Chapo Guzman organization,” said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin.  “This action builds on Treasury’s aggressive efforts, alongside its law enforcement partners, to target individuals who facilitate Chapo Guzman’s drug trafficking operations and to pursue the eventual dismantlement of his organization, which is culpable in untold violence.”

OFAC is designating Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar and Maria Alejandrina Salazar Hernandez for their roles in the operations of Guzman Loera’s drug trafficking organization and the Sinaloa Cartel.  Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar, along with his father Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman Loera, was indicted on multiple drug trafficking charges in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in August 2009.  Maria Alejandrina Salazar Hernandez provides material support to the drug trafficking activities of her husband Guzman Loera and the Sinaloa Cartel.

Guzman Loera and the Sinaloa Cartel were identified by the President as significant foreign narcotics traffickers pursuant to the Kingpin Act in 2001 and 2009, respectively.

Today’s action would not have been possible without the key support of the Drug Enforcement Administration as well as that of the ICE Homeland Security Investigations directorate.

Internationally, OFAC has designated more than 1,100 businesses and individuals linked to 97 drug kingpins since June 2000.  Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1.075 million per violation to more severe criminal penalties.  Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $5 million. Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million.  Other individuals could face up to 10 years in prison and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Asst. Principals Fined $25k Each for Stealing Theme Park Tickets Meant for Students

LATINO BLOTTER: Asst. Principals Fined $25k Each for Stealing Theme Park Tickets Meant for Students

Photo: Asst. Principals Fined $25k Each for Stealing Theme Park Tickets Meant for Students

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Two assistant principals at a New York school have each been find $25,000 of keeping complimentary theme park tickets meant for their students.

Assistant Principals Richard Gilberto and Derric Borrero of Staten Island’s IS 24 reportedly kept $20,000 worth of tickets intended for the school’s students.

Normally, each ticket to Six Flag Great Adventure theme park is $64.19, but 370 tickets were donated to the school and stamped “complimentary”. Though the park made it clear the tickets were for the students, last year, Gilberto gave the tickets to school staff as a reward for their service. Gilberto also gave 75 tickets to Borrero, who gave at least 8 to family members visiting from Puerto Rico.

Looking to make a profit, Borrero gave 25 of the tickets to his brother, who turned around and sold them for $30 each on eBay. An undercover officer posed as a buyer and was told by the brother that he had access to the tickets every year, leading investigators to believe this is a yearly occurrence.

Each year, the school’s 8th graders take a trip the park as an end-of-the-year celebration, but have to pay for the tickets themselves. The complimentary tickets were meant given to the Gilberto, with the park saying they were for the students who purchased tickets for the trip. The park was attempting to give the students a free ticket to be used at a future date.

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott called the penalties “one of, if not the largest, fines issued against individuals in a conflict-of-interest case.” Adding, “I took this very seriously.”

Post Borrero and Gilberto are said to make six figures a year.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hispanics in the U.S. More Likely to Die While Waiting for a Heart Transplant

Hispanics in the U.S. More Likely to Die While Waiting for a Heart Transplant

Photo: Hispanics in the U.S. More Likely to Die While Waiting for a Heart Transplant

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A recent study headed by Dr. Tajinder P. Singh of Boston Children’s Hospital found Hispanics on the waiting list for a heart transplant in the U.S. are more likely to die than white patients.

The study, titled Racial and Ethnic Differences in Wait-List Outcomes in Patients Listed for Heart Transplantation in the United States, which was published in the journal Circulation, investigated the racial/ethnic differences in wait-list outcomes among patients waiting for heart transplants in the U.S.

Dr. Singh and his team of researchers compared wait-list and post-transplant in-hospital mortality rates among white, black and Hispanic patients 18 and older between July 2006 and September 2010.

Of 10,377 patients analyzed, 71 percent were white, 21 percent were black and 8 percent were Hispanic. Overall, 10.5 percent of white, 11.6 percent of black and 13.4 percent of Hispanic candidates died on the wait-list or became too sick to transplant within 1-yr of listing.

When the researchers adjusted for baseline risk factors, it was determined Hispanic heart transplant patients were at higher risk of dying while on the wait list compared to white patients but not black patients.

The cause for the disparities was unclear, though it was also revealed that black and Hispanic patients tended to be sicker by the time they were put on the list.

It was also discovered blacks are at a higher risk of death after heart transplant surgery, but not at a higher risk of dying while still on the wait list.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Neighbor Records Anthony Sanchez Allegedly Abusing His Stepson (VIDEO)

LATINO BLOTTER: Neighbor Records Anthony Sanchez Allegedly Abusing His Stepson (VIDEO)

Photo: Neighbor Records Anthony Sanchez Allegedly Abusing His Stepson

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A California water agency director was not only arrested for allegedly abusing his child, he is now also without a job.

Imperial Irrigation District Director Anthony Sanchez was caught on video whipping his step-son with a belt not long after beginning a game of catch with the boy.

Sanchez, 34, was recorded by neighbor Oscar Lopez, who was so outraged he could no longer just watch as Sanchez whipped with the child with the belt. Lopez eventually yells out the window at Sanchez and tells him to knock it off.

ImageSanchez tells his neighbor to stay out of how he raises his child, to which Lopez tells him there has to be a better way to teach a child to play catch than to hit him.

The video shows Sanchez apparently getting angry with the child during a game of catch and when the boy drops the ball, Sanchez marches across the yard and begins hitting him. At one point, the boy is knocked to the ground, after which he stands up and waits to catch the baseball Sanchez is throwing. When he drops the ball however, he is whipped again.

The video was uploaded to YouTube and authorities were notified.

Because of Lopez’s video, Sanchez was arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse on $100,000 bond. He has also resigned from his position at the water agency.

He reportedly posted bond on Friday night.


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Smog, Air Pollution in Chile Remains at Dangerous Levels

Smog, Air Pollution in Chile Remains at Dangerous Levels

Photo: Smog in Chile Remains at Dangerous Levels

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A recent study has found that smog and other pollution in Chile have resulted in more than four thousand deaths each year.

According to the official State of the Environment Report 2011, which was released last week, 30 Chilean cities have ambient fine particulate matter higher than the set limit, which can lead to a number of health issues.

Dean of the University of Chile medical school, Cecilia Sepúlveda, says, “We are facing a very alarming situation and solutions are urgently needed.”

Staff at the main public health emergency care hospital in Santiago agree with Sepúlveda and held a strike last week to the lack of country-wide solutions to the smog and pollution.

Sepúlveda suggests an alert system that indicates when smog and air pollution levels are high, so officials can in turn temporarily order vehicles off the streets, shut down certain factories, and suspend schools’ physical education. If the pollution level “alarms” were to go off, families would be advised to keep the elderly and young children indoors.

IPS News reports that since 1992, 12 decrees to combat the problem have been issued and nine anti-smog plans are currently in operation. However, there is no alert or warning system to inform residents of smog/air pollution levels each day.

It would seem however, that the best thing to improve air quality would be o first increase awareness. Many who live in Chile do not realize that smells like wood smoke are actually an indication the air quality is likely not good, as the abundance of ovens burning wood in homes pollutes the air.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spanish Pride: Nadal Wins Record 7th French Open

Spanish Pride: Nadal Wins Record 7th French Open

Photo: Rafael Nadal Wins 7th French Open

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Spain’s Rafael Nadal defeated Serbia’s Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 on Monday in the rain-delayed final of the French Open, clinching a record 7th title at Roland Garros.

Nadal, who has now won 11 Grand Slam titles, broke his tie with Swedish great Bjorn Borg of six French championships each.

The Spaniard has two Wimbledon titles, one U.S. Open title and an Australian Open championship to go along with his seven French Open titles.

“I had already lost three Grand Slam finals against him so it was important to win mentally,” Nadal said. “The mental part is also more important on clay and my game naturally adapts very well to this surface ... Novak plays fantastic and is having a great season. But you can’t be perfect all the time.”

Nadal has now won as many majors as Borg and Rod Laver, trails Roy Emerson by one and Pete Sampras by three, and is five Grand Slam titles behind Swiss great and long-time rival Roger Federer.

“This has perhaps been my best clay-court season,” Nadal said after the match, which had been postponed on Sunday due to the heavy rains in the French capital.

The players took up their rackets Monday with Nadal leading 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 1-2 and Djokovic on serve, up a break.

The Spaniard had just ended an eight-game losing streak and was not happy when play was stopped for the second time on Sunday.

The first rain delay had come with Nadal leading 6-4, 5-3 and lasted 25 minutes.

The 26-year-old Nadal, who celebrated his birthday during the tournament, picked up where he had left off, breaking Djokovic in the 9th game and taking the second set 6-3.

Play was suspended again after three hours and tournament officials decided to resume the match on Monday.

“It is a privilege to play here against the best in the world,” Nadal said after the match.

Roland Garros is “possibly the best tournament in the world,” Nadal said.

The French Open “is a special tournament,” Nadal said, joking that even though he now has seven trophies “there is always room at home for a trophy like this one.”

Djokovic, for his part, congratulated Rafa and said he expected to see him “next year” as he continues his bid for the only Grand Slam title he has not won.

The Serb, who will retain the No. 1 ranking, was trying to become just the third man in tennis history to hold all four Grand Slam titles simultaneously.

“I could easily have lost the match in fourth round or even more against (France’s Jo-Wilfried) Tsonga, but I managed to come to the finals for the first time in my career. I should be happy about that, of course. I will be and I am, but in this moment I am disappointed about this loss,” Djokovic said.

Nadal has now surpassed Borg as the all-time men’s champion and tied American Chris Evert, who won the French Open in 1974, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985 and 1986, for most titles among all players.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Texas Mother of 6 Dies After Being Accidentally Run Over by Daughter

Texas Mother of 6 Dies After Being Accidentally Run Over by Daughter

Photo: Texas Mother of 6 Dies After Being Run Over by Daughter

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A Wednesday night car accident has left 6 children without a mother.

Cherie Rangel, 30, reportedly asked one of her children to help her move her vehicle forward up the driveway of a house they were viewing. The child accidentally hit the gas pedal however, and ran Rangel over.

Wednesday, Rangel and her children arrived at a Jacinto City, TX home to view it. The mother had four of the six children get out of the car, while two, one 11 years old, remained inside. To allow a realtor to park behind her in the driveway, Rangel realized her SUV would have to be moved closer to the house.

Sgt. Dennis Walker to San Antonio’s KHOU:

So the mom started the van, placed the vehicle in drive, and as she stands outside the vehicle with the door open, she guides the vehicle slowly, let it coast on its own free will forward and tells her 11-year-old daughter—that’s sitting in the middle seat—‘when I tell you to, step on the brake.’

ImageRangel then told her daughter to step on the brake.

The girl steps on the biggest pedal that she sees—which is the gas—and that floored the vehicle, and when the vehicle took off at a high speed, it threw the mom backward underneath the back wheel, which drug her from the tree area all the way up into the house, in the den area.

The children watched helplessly as their mother died at the scene, with one child receiving minor injuries when she fell out of the vehicle.

Neighbors and those nearby lifted the vehicle off the mother and the children were taken to family members’ homes.

A medical examiner arrived a pronounced Rangel dead on the scene.

The family is now trying to figure out how to pay for the funeral and care for the children, which include an 11-month-old baby.

Rangel was a housewife who had just picked up a side job to help support the family. She was looking at the house as a possibility for her family, which she was hoping to move out of an apartment.

As for the children, Rangel’s sister-in-law says, “The kids were crying… They’re confused. They blame each other for what’s going on.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cuba to Boost Alternative Energy Production to Protect Its ‘Sovereignty’

Cuba to Boost Alternative Energy Production to Protect Its ‘Sovereignty’

Photo: Cuba to Boost Green Energy

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Cuba is intending to increase its renewable energy production by 12 percent over the next eight years in a governmental push for “energy security and sovereignty,” an article posted on the official Cubadebate Web site said.

“If today only 3.8 percent of the energy generated in the nation is obtained from renewable sources, in the next eight years we aspire to get to 16.5 percent,” Cubadebate said, citing official energy industry figures.

The island will try to attain this objective using mainly forest biomass and sugar cane, as well as solar, wind and hydraulic energy.

The sugar industry will be “the main support” for the plan and by 2013 the potential exists to increase energy production from biomass by 10 percent, Cubadebate said.

Over the next year, authorities are forecasting building a wind energy park to generate 50 megawatts in eastern Cuba, while the government is studying the idea of installing eight new such parks throughout the country by 2020 with a total potential power output of 280 MW.

Also, Cuba intends to generate more than 100 MW using hydraulic sources, which currently produce 64 MW at one hydroelectric plant and 162 other small installations, Cubadebate said.

Work is proceeding on the construction of a photovoltaic park to produce 1 peak MW that will begin operation in December and it is projected that others will be built in 2013 with a total peak capacity of 10 MW.

The country’s acknowledged solar energy potential exceeds 2,000 MW, but currently the island only has small photovoltaic installations that are connected to the National Electric System and provide only isolated service, Cubadebate said.

Other options will be the development of sources such as biogas, forest biomass and wind turbines on farms.

“The incipient use of hydraulic and wind sources” in 2011 allowed Cuba to save 31,150 tons of fuel and to generate electricity while at the same time cutting its CO2 output by more than 100,000 tons, a figure that represents a 20 percent reduction in Cuban emissions compared to 1990, Cubadebate said.

Cuba, which obtains 96 percent of its electricity from fossil fuels, is also heavily involved in the search for oil in its waters of the Gulf of Mexico, where the Spanish energy firm Repsol just reported drilling a dry well.

In 2011, the island produced some four million tons of petroleum and natural gas destined mainly for electricity generation, but domestically-produced fuel covers only 50 percent of the country’s consumption.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Venezuelan Hernan Perez Makes Brief MLB Debut this Weekend

Venezuelan Hernan Perez Makes Brief MLB Debut this Weekend

Photo: Venezuelan Hernan Perez Makes MLB Debut

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The 21-year-old Hernan Perez got the call to the Major Leagues around 9:15 a.m. on Saturday from the Detroit Tigers.  He must have thought it was a dream because he was only in Class A.  It was no dream.  Perez found himself at Great American Ball Park latter in that afternoon, when the Tigers played the Cincinnati Reds.  He knew this would be a one game stint in the Major Leagues because the Tigers would activate Johnny Peralta from the paternity list. So he figured he wouldn’t see any action, so he would just sit back and soak up the atmosphere. 

Perze told mlb.com, “For me, my first big league game, I saw Justin Verlander pitch, Jose Valverde closing, Prince Fielder homer. I’ll never forget it,” Perez said. In the ninth inning of Sunday’s 7-6 victory, Perez beat out an infield single to third for his first Major League hit.  Tiger’s would send him back to the minors after the game to make room for Peralta’s return to the club Tuesday.

Venezuelan born, Perez is 6’0”, 160 LBS he was signed by the Tigers as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2007 and plays second base.

Written by HS News Sports Writer:  Tim Horodyski

 

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Mexico and Spain Feud Over Tourist Restrictions

Mexico and Spain Feud Over Tourist Restrictions

Photo: Spain and Mexico Feud Over Tourism

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The Mexican government will not impose restrictions on Spanish tourists in response to the measures Madrid has applied to Mexicans, Foreign Relations Secretary Patricia Espinosa said.

Before this month is out, a Mexican delegation will travel to Spain to discuss the matter of restrictions on Mexicans at Spanish airports, Espinosa said in a press conference on Saturday.

“We’re talking with other ministries to send a mission to Spain with the tentative idea that there could be the presence of authorities of this country at airports in Spain to help Mexican tourists when flights arrive from Mexico,” Espinosa said.

Mexico had expressed its concern regarding Spain’s refusal to grant entry to Mexican tourists because they did not comply with the requirement to have an invitation or a hotel reservation, Espinosa said.

Mexico respects the immigration policy of any country, but in different contacts with Spain it has discussed the matter, in particular during the sessions of the 10th Mexico-Spain Binational Commission in Madrid, Espinosa said.

The foreign relations secretary said that in her meetings with Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo it was agreed to respect Mexicans’ rights and to treat Mexicans appropriately when they travel to Spain.

“What we’re agreeing to for right now is to respect the rights of Mexicans who travel to Spain and for there to be a meeting of immigration authorities from both countries,” Espinosa said.

There are sectors of Spanish society that are asking Madrid to provide dignified treatment for Mexican visitors corresponding to the treatment Mexico has always given Spaniards, Espinosa said.

Mexico is not imposing any restrictions on tourism since that would go against its program to make itself into one of the world’s five main tourist destinations, Espinosa said.

“It seems to us that it would really be contrary to the principle of increasing tourism to adopt measures of that type. It seems to us that that type of measure does not resolve problems and creates another kind of negative consequences,” the foreign relations secretary said.

Read more by HS News Staff →



MondayJune 11, 2012