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SaturdayJune 23, 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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Shakira’s Father Does Not Confirm Pregnancy Rumors

The father of Colombian singer-songwriter Shakira said Friday that the rumored pregnancy of his daughter has never been confirmed, despite the assurances of media outlets in various countries.

“I’ve seen in the press that some media claim to have confirmed the reported pregnancy of my daughter, but that’s absolutely false,” William Mebarak said in a communique from the northern city of Barranquilla, where Shakira was born and raised.

“I wish to repeat exactly what I said in an interview I gave recently, that I hope the good news may come soon because I know it will thrill everybody. I’ve never said anything different from that, nor have I ever confirmed” her pregnancy, Mebarak said.

The latest edition of the Colombian edition of Gente magazine highlighted on its cover that Shakira is six-months pregnant but is waiting “a prudent amount of time” to tell the world she is expecting.

The publication cites “a highly reliable source” and adds to the rumors spread over the past few weeks by various media outlets, against which her representatives have no plans “to make an official announcement in that regard,” Shakira spokesperson Rodrigo Beltran told Efe.

According to Gente, “it was all planned” because motherhood is a priority for the 35-year-old artist, who doesn’t want to wait much longer to have a baby.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Obama Promises to Fight For Hispanic Interests at NALEO Event

Obama Promises to Fight For Hispanic Interests at NALEO Event

Photo: Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel

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President Barack Obama used a speech in Florida Friday before a major Hispanic organization to renew his pledge to fight for Latino interests and to call again on Congress to pass immigration reform.

The Democrat, who is seeking a second term in the Nov. 6 election, received a warm reception at the annual conference of the National Association of Elected and Appointed Officials, or NALEO.

Obama defended the executive order he issued last week suspending the deportation of certain undocumented immigrants 30 and under who were brought to the United States before the age of 16.

“It’s not amnesty ... It’s not a permanent fix. This is a temporary measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while offering some justice to these young people,” the president said, adding that it is up to Congress to produce a long-term solution to the problem.

Obama, whose his administration has deported a record 1.5 million undocumented migrants since January 2009, stressed that “lifting the shadow of deportation” was the right thing to do.

Last week’s announcement suspending deportation for anywhere from 800,000 to 1.4 million undocumented youth has boosted the president’s standing with Hispanics, a key voting bloc in several states.

The executive order represents a temporary substitute for the long-stalled DREAM Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for qualified undocumented young people.

Without mentioning him by name, Obama attacked presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who pitched his own immigration proposals to NALEO on Thursday.

“In his speech, he said that when he makes a promise to you, he’ll keep it. Well, he has promised to veto the DREAM Act, and we should take him at his word,” the president quipped.

“(A)s long as I am president, I will be alongside you, fighting for the country that we together dream of,” Obama vowed.

It was more or less the same promise he made in a 2008 address to NALEO, and the GOP sought to turn those words against Obama by pointing to the setbacks experienced by the Hispanic community during his presidency.

Under Obama, the Romney campaign says, the Hispanic unemployment rate has climbed to 11 percent, about three percentage points above the national average, while an additional 2 million Latinos have fallen below the poverty line.

The candidates’ appearances at the NALEO convention were part of aggressive efforts to court the 12.2 million Hispanics expected to go to the polls in November.

A poll released Friday by Latino Decisions and America’s Voice shows Obama leading Romney by 63 percent to 27 percent among Hispanic registered voters in the swing states of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Virginia.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Argentina to Spend $30 Million to Support Family Farms

Argentina to Spend $30 Million to Support Family Farms

Photo: Argentine farm life

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The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a loan for $30 million to Argentina to finance a program to increase incomes more than 2,000 family farms in the provinces of Chaco and Entre Ríos, of which 14 percent are managed by women heads of houshold.

The Rural Development and Family Farm Program is expected to benefit about 8,000 rural people by increasing producers’ productivity and income.

“This program takes an innovative approach by addressing the problems of access of the relatively most disadvantaged farmers to technology and financial resources,”said César Falconi, IDB project co-team leader. “We expect the program will provide lessons that can be replicated at the national level.”

The program will support the adoption of new technologies and facilitate access to financing. It will provide technical assistance and training in both areas as well as in group management and marketing.

The program’s main objective is family farms support, to be carried out through assistance in the preparation and implementation of business plans.

Read more by HS News Staff →

U.S. Army and LULAC Renew Commitment to Prepare Youth for Academic and Career Success

The U.S. Army has renewed its partnership with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) to continue providing students with the resources and leadership training needed to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace.

As a sponsor at the 83rd Annual LULAC National Convention and Exposition, June 25-30 in Orlando, Fla., Army representatives will highlight the numerous educational and financial resources available to students. In addition, the Army will staff an interactive exhibit booth in the LULAC Expo and Career Fair, where convention attendees can learn more about Army benefits and opportunities.

The Army’s partnership with LULAC also includes continued support of youth development programs such as the LULAC National Education Center’s (LNESC) Washington Youth Leadership Seminar. Through its support of LNESC, the Army provides educational resources and leadership development training to youth at the organization’s 14 locally-based centers across the country. This partnership focuses on creating awareness of pathways to careers in the critical fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). 

According to the PEW Hispanic Center, college enrollment among Hispanics is at an all-time high. Yet, the rate of completion for bachelor degrees within this population still falls behind that of other major ethnic groups. The 2010 Condition of Education report issued by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) notes that Hispanics averaged a 13% rate of completion for bachelor degrees, ranking fourth behind Asian/Pacific Islanders (52%), Whites (38%) and African Americans (19%). This is particularly significant considering that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Hispanics are projected to account for three-quarters of the growth of the nation’s work force by 2020.

The Army’s commitment to improving student academic achievement and enhancing leadership skills is demonstrated through programs such as March2success.com and Army Junior ROTC. These programs help students stay in school, improve test scores and graduation rates which provides a platform for scholarships to students pursuing a college degree.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Jessica Sanchez, the Runner-up on ‘American Idol’ to Appear on ‘Glee’

Jessica Sanchez, the Runner-up on ‘American Idol’ to Appear on ‘Glee’

Photo: Jessica Sanchez to Appear on Glee

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Jessica Sanchez, the runner-up on American Idol’s 11th season, is reportedly up for a role on the Fox series, Glee.

She will appear in a multi-episode arc of the show’s upcoming fourth season. She joins actresses Sarah Jessica Parker and Kate Hudson, both of whom will also be seen on numerous episodes of the show.

Sanchez would appear in the middle of the season.

Glee will move from Tuesdays to Thursdays when the new season begins in September. This will pair it with Idol.

Sanchez, 16, is currently on the Idol summer concert tour. Its recent season concluded with her placing second to Phillip Phillips.

Prior to Idol, Sanchez competed on the first season of America’s Got Talent when she was 11.

Judge Brandy Norwood predicted that Sanchez would be successful after she performed the Celine Dion song, “I Surrender.” Simon Cowell also praised Sanchez as one of the best singers he’s ever heard.

In May, Sanchez sang the national anthem from the west lawn of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. for the PBS National Memorial Day Concert.

She recently confirmed that she is working on her first album, which is set to hit stores in October.

Read more at celebrity cafe →

Prestigious Pura Belpré Award Given to Latino Children’s Writers and Illustrators

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a divison of the American Library Association, and REFORMA (the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, an ALA affiliate, ) will host the annual Celebracion!  To honor the 2012 medal and honor winners of the Pura Belpré Award during the annual conference of the American Library Association. The event will take place on Sunday, June 24, 2012 from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom Center in the Disneyland Hotel.

The Pura Belpré Award was established in 1996 and honors Latino writers and illustrators whose works of art best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience in a book for children. It is named for the first Latina librarian who distinguished herself for her storytelling and outreach work with children and their families while working for the New York Public Library during the first decade of the twentieth century.

This year’s 2012 Pura Belpré Author Award winner is Guadalupe Garcia McCall for Under the Mesquite, published by Lee and Low Books Inc.  García McCall, from San Antonio, Texas, is an English middle school public school teacher who wrote her first-ever published book in emotionally riveting free verse, radiating the authentic voice of fourteen-year-old Lupita, the oldest of eight children who trying to make sense of her life with a terminally ill mother.

Margarita Ingle will receive her second Belpré Author Honor Award for Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck. Henry Holt and Company, LLC, Publishers.  She is the recipient of two previous Belpre Author Awards and a Belpre Honor Award.

Xavier Garza is the author of Maximilian and the Mystery of the Guardian Angel: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller, published by Cinco Puntos Press and will be receiving his first Belpré Honor Author Award. Garza, a native of Rio Grande City, Texas, resides with his family in San Antonio, Texas.

Duncan Tonatiuh will receive his first 2012 Belpré Illustrator Award for his work Diego Rivera: His World and Ours, also written by Tonatiuh and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS.  Tonatiuh divides his time between New York City and San Miguel Allende, Mexico.

Rafael Lopez, the illustrator of seven U.S. postal stamps commissioned by the U.S. Postal System will receive a Belpré Honor Award for his illustrations for The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred written by Samantha R. Vamos and published by Charlesbridge, Inc.

Sara Palacios will be receiving her first Belpré Illustrator Honor Award for her illustrations for Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match /Marisol McDonald no combina, written by Monica Brown and published by Children’s Book Press, an imprint of Lee and Low Books Inc.

Honored authors and illustrators and audience members will be graced by a special children’s performance by the children’s dance Ballet Folkloric Renacimiento from Santa Ana, California.

Authors and illustrators will be available to sign copies of their award-winning books. For more information about the Pura Belpré Awards, please visit the official Pura Belpré Children’s Literature Award website.

Read more by HS News Staff →

INFOGRAPHIC: Who Voted for the DREAM Act

INFOGRAPHIC: Who Voted for the DREAM Act

Photo: Progress 2050

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Progress 2050 released an infographic showing who voted for the DREAM Act in 2010 in the House and Senate after President Barack Obama’s announcement last Friday on a new immigration policy that will allow some undocumented students to receive work authorization and avoid deportation.

Recent conservative commentators have argued, however, that President Obama should have passed the DREAM Act when his party controlled the House and Senate. But the infographic below shows those commentators are rewriting history: The bill was brought up for a vote in 2010 but conservatives filibustered it in the Senate.

Here is who voted for and against the DREAM Act in 2010 in the House and in the Senate.


Read more by HS News Staff →

Man Arrested This Week Not Son of Mexico’s Most Wanted “El Chapo”

Man Arrested This Week Not Son of Mexico’s Most Wanted “El Chapo”

Photo: Felix Beltran Leon, not Chapo's son

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Mexican authorities confirmed that a man arrested earlier this week and initially reported to be the son of fugitive drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzman is in fact another individual.

“After conducting the necessary tests to determine their identities, we found that (the two suspects presented to the media Thursday) are Felix Beltran Leon and Kevin Daniel Beltran Rios, ages 23 and 19, respectively,” the federal Attorney General’s Office said in a statement Friday.

“On June 21, members of the Navy Secretariat presented two people, one of whom was believed to be Jesus Alfredo Guzman Salazar,” Chapo’s son, the AG’s office said.

The men were arrested on charges of “organized crime, possession of firearms for exclusive use of the army, navy and air force, and transactions with illicitly acquired funds,” it added.

Without providing further details on the suspects, the AG’s office said the ongoing investigation will support the allegations against them.

A source with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration had told Efe earlier Friday that the young man initially identified as Chapo’s son was in fact an individual named Felix Beltran Leon.

That detainee “is one of the bosses who sells drugs for Chapo’s son in (the western state of) Jalisco,” the source said on condition of anonymity.

Several hours earlier, a woman identifying herself as Elodia Leon Vega told reporters in Guadalajara, Jalisco’s capital, that her son, Felix Beltran Leon, had been wrongly identified as the drug kingpin’s relative.

“They’re badly confusing him,” she said in the company of her attorney, rejecting any link between her son and Guzman’s family.

Both said the 23-year-old suspect was born in Los Angeles and is the half-brother of the other detainee, Beltran Rios, for whom they provided no details.

Chapo Guzman, head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, tops the list of Mexico’s 37 most-wanted criminals and is on the Forbes list of the world’s richest people.

He was captured in Guatemala in 1993 and extradited to Mexico, where he was convicted and sentenced to prison. But the drug lord escaped from a maximum-security prison in 2001 and remains at large.

Since the jailbreak, Chapo has built his Sinaloa cartel into Mexico’s most powerful criminal organization.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Costa Rica and Colombia Happiest Countries in the World

Costa Rica and Colombia Happiest Countries in the World

Photo: Happy Planet Index

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A new report published today finds the UK is less efficient than Jamaica and most Latin American nations at using environmental resources to create long and happy lives for its citizens.

The Happy Planet Index, compiled by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) ranks countries based on the health and happiness they produce per unit of environmental input, using global data on life expectancy, happiness and environmental sustainability.

Happy Planet Index is the leading global measure of sustainable well-being. The Happy Planet Charter has been endorsed by leading environmentalists, economists, and politicians ahead of next week’s United Nations Earth Summit.

The 2012 Happy Planet Index is topped by Costa Rica, Vietnam and Colombia – the countries that live the longest, happiest, most sustainable lives.

Costa Ricans have higher average life expectancy and well-being than people living in the United States and the country has a per capita Ecological Footprint one third the size of that of the US.

Of the nine countries closest to achieving happy, green lives, eight are in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Spain (62nd) and Greece (83rd) have both shown falls in their populations’ well-being scores during the economic downturn, according to Gallup World Poll data from between 2007 and 2010.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Chile’s LAN Airlines, Brazil’s TAM Merger Creates LATAM Airlines Group

Chile’s LAN Airlines, Brazil’s TAM Merger Creates LATAM Airlines Group

Photo: LAN Airlines and TAM merger

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Chile’s LAN Airlines and Brazil’s TAM announced Friday they have completed the process of creating a single parent company, LATAM Airlines Group, Latin American’s largest air carrier with a market value of more than $12.5 billion.

In the last step in the merger, TAM shareholders exchanged 99.9 percent of their shares for those of LAN (renamed LATAM) at a ratio of 0.9 shares of the merged company for each share of the Brazilian airline.

“The creation of this group of airlines is an opportunity to take South America to the world and to allow us to position ourselves to operate in an increasingly competitive environment due to the continuing consolidation of the global airline industry,” the executive vice president and CEO of LATAM Airlines Group, Enrique Cueto, said.

For his part, TAM Vice President Mauricio Rolim Amaro said “the growth LATAM Airlines Group is expected to generate will allow us to offer flights to new destinations for our customers, create more opportunities for our more than 51,000 employees and greater value for shareholders.”

LATAM will initially offer passengers flights to 150 destinations in 22 countries and cargo flights to 169 cities in 27 countries.

In terms of its corporate structure, Amaro will be the chairman of LATAM’s board of directors, while Cueto will be the merged company’s executive vice president and CEO.

Cueto said the two airlines of the group will maintain their current headquarters in Santiago and Sao Paulo and will continue to operate under their existing brands.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Berta Rojas and Paquito D’Rivera New Album A Day and A Half (VIDEO)

Berta Rojas and Paquito D’Rivera New Album A Day and A Half (VIDEO)

Photo: Berta Rojas and Paquito D’Rivera

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Guitar virtuoso Berta Rojas blends classical music with jazz and folk music from her native Paraguay. Performing duets with the 11-time Grammy winner Cuban-born saxophone great Paquito D’Rivera, Berta shows both prodigious technique and improvisational skills on South American classics included on a new album called Dia Y Medio or A Day and A Half.

“There are jewels of the Latin American music that are featured on this album,” said Rojas in an interview with VOA’s Jazz Beat. “Some of them are compositions by Agustin Barrios Mangore, one of the most important guitarists in Latin America.”

Some of the songs on Dia Y Medio mirror Berta’s nostalgia and deep passion for Paraguayan music, including “Recuerdos de Ypacarai” or “Memories of Ypacaraí.” Ypacaraí is a town on Lake Ypacarai in Central Paraguay. Her playing of classics such as “Las Abejas” (The Bees) in particular, reveals a deep affection for the music of legendary Barrios, and other Latin American artists like Argentina’s Miguel Mario Clavell, who incorporated Paraguay’s native rhythm of Guarania in his music.

Read more by HS News Staff →

A Breakdown of DHS’s Deferred Action for DREAMers

A Breakdown of DHS’s Deferred Action for DREAMers

Photo: Janet Napolitano

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While headlines assess the significance of President Obama’s deferred action announcement last Friday, many are still sorting through the news to get answers to basic questions about who is covered under the new program. Prior to President Obama’s statement that DHS would halt the deportation of immigrant youth who met criteria similar to the DREAM Act, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano released a memo and a set of questions and answers that outline eligibility and a basic timeline for implementing the new directive .

The memo, which builds upon earlier memos on law enforcement priorities and prosecutorial discretion, directs DHS officials to exercise their discretion to grant deferred action to qualified youth.  Deferred action is a form of prosecutorial discretion that allows an individual to remain temporarily in the United States and apply for work authorization.  It does not confer any kind of permanent residence, nor is it an amnesty.  Under this program, deferred action would be granted for two year increments and would be renewable.

According to Napolitano’s memo, people may apply for deferred action if they meet all the following criteria:
came to the U.S. under the age of 16;
are not above the age of 30;
have resided in the U.S. for 5 consecutive years as of the date of the memo;
are currently in school, have graduated from high school, obtained a GED or have been honorably discharged from the armed forces; and
have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanors, multiple misdemeanors or who do not pose a threat to national security or public safety.

Specifically, DHS advised that:

Effective immediately, ICE, CBP, and USCIS agents should not place individuals into removal proceedings who meet the above criteria.

For those already IN immigration proceedings and who have been offered administrative closure under the previous prosecutorial discretion review program, ICE will begin making determinations about deferred action immediately.  For other persons who are in removal proceedings, ICE is directed to implement the program within 60 days
For those NOT in removal proceedings, which is the vast majority of individuals affected by the new announcement, USCIS has been directed to devise a plan within 60 days that allows people 15 and older to affirmatively apply for both deferred action and work authorization (those granted deferred action through ICE will apply to USCIS for work authorization as well).  People with final orders of removal will also apply to USCIS.

HOWEVER, during a White House briefing today, ICE Director John Morton urged qualifying individuals to NOT turn themselves into ICE or CBP.  Rather he advised them to wait for announcement of the formal application process. He also warned that everyone should beware of scam artists and notarios who will try to take advantage of the public. Also today, USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas pledged to actively engage the public in creating a process that is workable and transparent. Similarly, ICE will use its Public Advocate’s office to both screen inquiries and conduct outreach.

The American Immigration Lawyer’s Association (AILA) also advises “individuals who are about to be removed and who believe they can demonstrate that they satisfy the eligibility criteria should immediately contact either the Law Enforcement Support Center’s hotline at 1-855-448-6903 (staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) or the ICE Office of the Public Advocate through the Office’s hotline at 1-888-351-4024 (staffed 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday) or by e-mail at EROPublicAdvocate@ice.dhs.gov.


Read more at immigration impact →

One Week After Deadly Squatters-Police Clash, Paraguayan President is Impeached

One Week After Deadly Squatters-Police Clash, Paraguayan President is Impeached

Photo: Fernando Lugo

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President Fernando Lugo said Friday he accepts the Paraguayan Senate’s decision to oust him after a turbo-charged impeachment process in which the law was “twisted like a fragile branch in the wind.”

“Tonight I leave through the biggest door of the motherland, I leave through the door of the heart of my compatriots,” he said to applause from supporters gathered at the presidential palace.

It is not Fernando Lugo, but “Paraguayan democracy that has been deeply wounded,” he said, while urging his partisans to limit themselves to peaceful protest.

“May the blood of the just never again be spilled because of mean-spirited interests in our country,” Lugo said.

Vice President Federico Franco was sworn-in as Paraguay’s chief of state barely 90 minutes after the vote to remove Lugo.

The next general election is set for April 2013.

Only four of the 43 senators present at Friday’s session voted against finding Lugo guilty of misfeasance for the events of June 15, when seven police and nine squatters were killed in a clash in the northeastern province of Canindeyu.

The opposition-dominated lower house voted overwhelmingly Thursday to impeach Lugo and the Senate adopted a schedule that called for the president’s trial to begin at 12:00 p.m. Friday and a verdict to be rendered before nightfall.

Lugo met at the presidential palace early Friday with Cabinet ministers from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela and with the secretary-general of the Union of South American Nations, or Unasur, Venezuela’s Ali Rodriguez.

Paraguay currently holds the rotating presidency of Unasur, whose member-states decided Thursday to dispatch officials to Asuncion to show solidarity with Lugo in the face of what his allies both at home and abroad described as a coup.

The head of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza, acknowledged Friday that Paraguay’s constitution allows for impeachment, yet he raised concerns about the compressed timetable.

“The question is if the minimum conditions are in place to have a legitimate defense in the face of the speed of the process,” Insulza said during a special session of the OAS council in Washington.

Lugo, a former Catholic bishop, was elected in 2008 at the head of a broad-based coalition in favor of reform in the poor, landlocked South American nation.

His victory marked the end of 60 years of rule by the Colorado Party, including the 1954-1989 dictatorship of Gen. Alfredo Stroessner.

Hopes for significant change under Lugo have gone largely unfilled, due in part to his personal problem.

After finding himself forced to acknowledge fathering children during his years in the church, Lugo endured a months-long battle with cancer.

Another source of frustration has been obstruction and sabotage by Paraguay’s entrenched political establishment.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Activists and Reporters in Mexico May Soon Be Protected by New Gov’t Decrees

Activists and Reporters in Mexico May Soon Be Protected by New Gov’t Decrees

Photo: Activists and Reporters in Mexico May Soon Be Protected by New Gov't Decrees

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The Mexican government handed down two decrees Friday to draw “immediate attention” to the issue of protecting journalists and defenders of human rights amid the increasing violence against them.

“We cannot allow the people dedicated to these activities so indispensable to society to be the victims of fear and violence,” President Felipe Calderon said during a ceremony at his official residence, Los Pinos.

Attending the event were representatives of NGOs and of journalists together with officials from the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and of various institutions in Mexico related to public safety and the administration of justice.

One of the decrees establishes the Law for the Protection of Journalists and Defenders of Human Rights, by which the federal and state governments eliminate jurisdictional divisions in cases of people who are “victims of threats and persecution,” Calderon said.

A fund is also being set up to aid those who need protection.

The second decree ratifies the reform to Article 73 of the Mexican Constitution that makes protecting journalists the exclusive responsibility of the federal government.

Since the year 2000 at least 82 journalists and media workers have been murdered, according to figures of the independent National Human Rights Commission.

What makes this situation even worse is that the immense majority of these crimes go unpunished.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Obama Has Major Lead in Key Electoral States

Obama Has Major Lead in Key Electoral States

Photo: Mitt Romeny and Barack Obama

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President Barack Obama is leading likely Republican opponent Mitt Romney among Hispanic voters in the key electoral states of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Virginia, according to a survey released Friday.

The poll taken by Latino Decisions shows Obama with 53 percent support in Florida among Hispanics against 37 percent for Romney.

In the other states Obama’s lead is even greater: 74 percent against 18 percent in Arizona, 70 percent against 22 percent in Colorado, 69 percent against 20 percent in Nevada, and 59 percent against 28 percent in Virginia.

Averaging the results from all five states shows Obama in front of Romney among Hispanics by 63 percent to 27 percent, according to the survey, which was taken between June 12-21 among 2,000 Latino voters and has a margin of error of plus/minus 2.2 percent.

Part of the Democratic incumbent’s advantage “appears related” to his recent announcement temporarily suspending the deportations of hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants, a measure that will particularly benefit Hispanics, according to Latino Decisions.

The survey also asked Latinos to quantify their level of enthusiasm about the upcoming November elections.

Sixty percent said they were “very enthusiastic” about the vote compared with just 47 percent in November 2011.

Obama was giving a speech Friday in Orlando, Florda, to the annual conference of the influential National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.

Romney spoke at the same forum Thursday, accusing the president of political opportunism in his temporary suspension of deportations and promised a long-term immigration plan.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Drug Traffickers Escape Mexican Prison with Help from Gunmen

Drug Traffickers Escape Mexican Prison with Help from Gunmen

Photo: Two men escaped, one police officer died

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A police officer was killed Thursday when gunmen attacked a lockup in the western Mexican state of Michoacan and freed two suspected drug traffickers, officials said.

The suspects were being held at a regional delegation of the Mexican Attorney General’s Office in Apatzingan.

Armed men burst into the unit shortly after 7:00 a.m. and subdued the only police officer on duty, Javier Hernandez Ramirez, forcing him to open the cells holding suspects Julio Acevedo Cardenas and Joel Contreras Cardenas.

The intruders then killed Hernandez with a shot to the head.

The escape was discovered about 30 minutes later when the district commander of the Michoacan state police arrived at the unit in Apatzingan.

“It seemed strange to the commander to arrive and find the doors open. On looking for his colleague, he found him shot inside a cell,” a source with the AG’s office delegation in Morelia, the state capital, told Efe.

Army troops detained the two suspects on Tuesday in Apatzingan in possession of guns and drugs.

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.

Apatzingan was the scene in January 2004 of an audacious raid by 50 gunmen who stormed the municipal jail and freed 25 prisoners, including several important figures in the Sinaloa and Gulf drug cartels.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colombian V.P. in Medically Induced Coma to Prevent Brain Damage

Colombian V.P. in Medically Induced Coma to Prevent Brain Damage

Photo: Angelino Garzon

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The medical staff treating Colombian Vice President Angelino Garzon for the stroke he suffered earlier this week is keeping him in an induced coma to avert brain damage, the Reina Sofia Clinic said.

Garzon, 65, remains in “stable condition without evidence of deterioration” and doctors believe it “prudent to keep him in a state of cerebral repose in order to continue applying all the strategies of neurological protection that can avert inflammation and bleeding,” the medical bulletin said.

On Thursday the former union leader had been one week in the clinic, where he went to be treated for a prostate infection but suffered a stroke after being hospitalized for several days.

Since Garzon’s condition became public knowledge, people in different sectors have expressed their solidarity with the family and their wishes for his speedy recovery.

This is Garzon’s second serious health problem since being sworn-in as Colombian vice president on Aug. 7, 2010.

A little more than 24 hours after his inauguration he suffered cardiac pain, for which he had to undergo surgery that left him incapacitated for several weeks.

In recent months, Garzon traveled internationally, drumming up support for his ultimately unsuccessful candidacy to be head of the International Labor Organization, which led him to set aside his normal routine of regular medical checkups and a special diet.

Garzon, a respected former union leader, became vice president on the ticket with Juan Manuel Santos after serving as labor minister in the 1998-2002 Andres Pastrana government and ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva during the 2002-2010 presidency of Alvaro Uribe.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spanair Airline Founder Dies, Age 69

Spanair Airline Founder Dies, Age 69

Photo: Gonzalo Pascual

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Gonzalo Pascual, former co-owner of Spanish travel and tourism conglomerate Grupo Marsans, died at his home in Madrid after suffering a heart attack, his associates told Efe on Thursday. He was 69.

Grupo Marsans went bankrupt in 2010, spawning multiple lawsuits against Pascual and co-owner Gerardo Diaz Ferran.

Pascual was in his early 20s when he founded his first company, in 1964, and came to prominence in 1985, when he and Diaz Ferran bought the company then known as Viajes Marsans.

Three years later, Grupo Marsans created Spanair airline.

Another Marsans passenger carrier, Air Comet, acquired Aerolineas Argentinas in 2001, which Pascual and Diaz Ferran later tried to sell to the Argentine government only to see Buenos Aires re-nationalize the originally state-owned airline.

Marsans sold 95 percent of Spanair to Scandinavian Airlines System in 2003 and a subsequent attempt to buy it back failed.

Air Comet suspended operations in December 2009 amid debts of nearly 160 million euros ($201 million), sending Grupo Marsans into a rapid downward spiral.

In June 2010, as Grupo Marsans was approaching bankruptcy, Pascual and Diaz Ferran sold the conglomerate to Posibilitum Business for 600 million euros ($754 million).

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SaturdayJune 23, 2012