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WednesdayJune 27, 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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Mexico’s War on Drugs Looking For Greater International Cooperation

Mexico’s War on Drugs Looking For Greater International Cooperation

Photo: Mexico's war on drugs

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Mexico wants to expand international cooperation in the war on drugs to create “new strategies and lines of action,” Mexican Deputy Attorney General for Judicial and International Affairs Alejandro Ramos told Efe.

“Mexico’s biggest concern is promoting international cooperation at a higher level of effectiveness,” Ramos said Monday at the international anti-drug meeting in Lima.

Drug trafficking is a problem that affects all countries and Mexico is promoting a global approach because distinctions should not be made among consumers, producers and transit areas, Ramos said.

“What Mexico is pushing for in the hemisphere is to move from having meetings of a political nature to taking action to create a center to coordinate sensitive intelligence about criminal organizations that can be shared in a secure manner,” the deputy AG said.

Countries with drug cartels operating in their territories are not the only ones responsible for waging the war on drugs, Ramos said.

“Nationalizing the cartels is to ignore the fact that the problem involves all countries in different spheres and ways. The countries where the money is laundered are also part of the same phenomenon,” the deputy AG said.

The declaration to be signed at the meeting’s conclusion on Tuesday will acknowledge in its main points the “need to increase and strengthen international cooperation to admit common, shared and differentiated responsibility among countries in fighting drugs,” Ramos said.

Peruvian President Ollanta Humala opened the two-day international drug conference, which drew high-level officials from 61 countries and 16 organizations.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Argentine Bus Crash Kills 12, Injures 48

Argentine Bus Crash Kills 12, Injures 48

Photo: Wreckage from the accident

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The death toll from the accident involving a truck and two buses in the southern Argentine province of Chubut is officially at 12, with the majority of the victims members of the border patrol, police spokesmen said.

Early reports from the official Telam news agency put the death toll at 14 based on information provided by provincial prosecutors.

The accident killed nine border patrol officers and the drivers of the three vehicles, the government of Chubut said.

The border patrol officers were aboard one of the buses involved in the accident Tuesday on Highway 3 near Puerto Madryn, a popular Patagonian tourist destination located about 1,300 kilometers (808 miles) south of Buenos Aires.

Of the 48 people injured in the accident, 14 are being treated at hospitals and clinics in Puerto Madryn, the provincial government said.

Chubut Gov. Martin Buzzi has declared three days of mourning over the accident, whose cause is being investigated.

President Cristina Fernandez declared a period of national mourning during a ceremony at which she read the names of the dead officers.

The accident “is a tragedy that puts all Argentines in mourning,” Fernandez said.

The border patrol officers had been deployed in the past few days to deal with the protests at the Cerro Dragon oil complex operated by Pan American Energy, Argentina’s second-largest oil producer, which is owned by British, Chinese and Argentine interests.

Officials are negotiating with the protesters.

Fernandez criticized the decision by judicial officials to send the officers to the oil facility instead of using provincial officers.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mayoral Candidate Kidnapped in Mexico

Mayoral Candidate Kidnapped in Mexico

Photo: Marcelo Avila

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A candidate for mayor of the southern Mexican town of Apaxtla de Castrejon was dragged from his home by three armed intruders, his party said Tuesday.

Marcelo Avila was abducted Monday afternoon, the Guerrero state branch of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, said in a statement.

Apaxtla, a town of roughly 7,000, lies in an area of Guerrero torn by conflict among rival drug cartels.

The PRI state committee demanded an investigation of Avila’s kidnapping and denounced a climate of violence in Guerrero as Mexicans prepare to go to the polls on Sunday.

Last week, an adviser to the mayor of Coyuca de Benitez, Guerrero, was abducted. In that instance, however, the captors demanded a ransom.

Nearly 80 million Mexicans will be eligible to vote for a new president, 628 legislators and thousands of other officials in the July 1 general elections.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Obama Well in the Lead Among Hispanic Voters, Romney Falls Further Behind

Obama Well in the Lead Among Hispanic Voters, Romney Falls Further Behind

Photo: Obama Well in the Lead Among Hispanic Voters, Romney Falls Further Behind

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President Barack Obama has expanded his already substantial advantage over likely Republican rival Mitt Romney, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll released Wednesday shows.

The Democratic incumbent leads the former Massachusetts governor by a margin of 66 percent to 26 percent in the survey, which was conducted June 20-24 among 300 Hispanic adults and has a margin of error of 5.66 percent.

Obama was ahead of Romney by 61 percent to 27 percent last month.

The president’s job approval among Latinos rose four percentage points to 65 percent in the latest survey, compared with a rating of only 47 percent among the population as a whole.

Asked about the candidates’ likability, Romney was viewed positively by 21 percent of Hispanics, while 67 percent said they had a positive impression of Obama.

Unsurprisingly, the survey found that 87 percent of Hispanics support the president’s recent decision to suspend deportations of qualified undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.

And despite the sluggish recovery, 62 percent of Latinos said they approve of Obama’s management of the U.S. economy, up from 54 percent last month.

Only 42 percent of people in general express support for the Democrat’s economic policies.

The poll is not all good news for Obama, as Latino voters are less enthusiastic about this year’s presidential contest than they were in 2008.

Though 80 percent of Hispanics were “very interested” in the election four years ago, only 66 percent describe themselves that way now, while 76 percent of Latinos say they will almost certainly cast ballots in November.

Conversely, among groups seen as likely to vote for Romney, including registered Republicans, Tea Party partisans and people who backed GOP nominee John McCain in 2008, the number of people expressing high interest in the election ranged from 80 percent to 89 percent.

Hispanics, who traditionally favor Democrats, are the country’s largest minority and their votes could determine the election outcome in several swing states, notably Florida.

Obama picked up nearly two-thirds of the Latino vote in 2008.

Both Romney and the president spoke last week at the annual convention of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, an influential nonpartisan organization.

The GOP hopeful used the occasion to tout his plan for immigration reform and to attack Obama on the economy, pointing to Hispanic unemployment of 11 percent, significantly above the overall jobless rate of 8.2 percent.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Report: Untreated Mental Illness Lowers Life Expectancy by 25 Years in Latinos

Report: Untreated Mental Illness Lowers Life Expectancy by 25 Years in Latinos

Photo: The stigma of mental illness must be eliminated

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Latinos living in California suffer great disparities in the services they receive for the prevention and treatment of mental illnesses, a new report said.

Community-Defined Solutions for Latino Mental Health Care Disparities, prepared by the Center for Reducing Health Disparities at the University of California, Davis, identified depression, anxiety disorders, and alcohol and drug abuse as the commonest problems in the Hispanic community.

“Untreated mental illnesses among Latinos lower their life expectancy by about 25 years,” the principal author of the study, Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, director of the UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities and director of the Community Engagement program at the UC Davis Clinical and Translational Science Center, told Efe.

The expert said that, though some mental health problems become apparent at younger ages than other chronic illnesses, “very few Latinos get the right treatment at the right time.”

The study used information gathered at community forums in 13 cities and two high schools.

The forums were held in San Diego, Arcadia, Carson, Los Angeles and Solvang in Southern California; Fresno, Sacramento, Camino and Stockton in the central region; Oakland and San Jose in the Bay Area; Salinas on the central coast and Chico in the northern part of Sacramento Valley.

The team also met with close to 90 students at Huntington Park and Tracy high schools and from California State University, Dominguez Hills, to try and identify the chief mental health problems in educational centers and evaluate the services offered.

One of the principal obstacles found among the more than 550 participants in the study was the element of shame surrounding mental illness that keeps many Hispanics from seeking mental health services.

“The stigma factor is one of the main obstacles to treating these problems,” Aguilar-Gaxiola said, adding that the sense of shame can be instigated by society, the media or the patients themselves, and that the solution is to do a better job of educating people on the subject.

“There’s no doubt that the solution to the problem, both for adults and young people, lies in educating them so they understand that these problems are illnesses that, like diabetes or any other, can be treated and that we can all have some kind of psychological disorder,” he said.

“My mother receives mental health care services but she is still in denial,” a participant said at one of the community forums, adding that his parent never wanted to “speak clearly” about her plight, even to the professional treating her.

Some of the solutions proposed in the forums were to establish student mental health programs that would allow an early diagnosis of potential problems, as well as educating students and their families on the subject.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazil’s Fashion Network/Sharing Site Coming to U.S. - Pinterest, Look Out!

Brazil’s Fashion Network/Sharing Site Coming to U.S. - Pinterest, Look Out!

Photo: Brazil's Fashion Network/Sharing Site Coming to U.S. - Pinterest, Look Out!

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With more than one million users the social network brings the possibility of creating looks and discussing fashion trends to American fashionistas.

With more than a million users, the fashion social network Fashion.me arrives in the United States to provide Fashionistas greater facility in discussing and generating fashion trends.

With investment from Intel Capital, Fashion.me is positioned as a niche Social Network that intends to be the main place for fashion discussions.

“Fashion is a large topic, complex and specific that needs its own environment for discussion. Horizontal social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest talk about everything and aren’t able to reach the necessary depth of information about a specific topic. For this reason we have niche social networks like LinkedIn. We now have Fashion.me as a Fashion Social Network, open to everyone that wants to interact with this universe – from fashionistas, designers, bloggers, publications and application developers,” according to Flavio Pripas, founder of Fashion.me.

Fashion.me founders, Flavio Pripas and Renato Steinberg, were named by Fast Company as one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business 2012”, in the 54th position.

“Fashion.me is an opportunity to disrupt the worldwide fashion market, promoting a larger interaction between fashionistas. As with other large niche social networks, Fashion.me came to become the reference in the Fashion vertical” says Pripas.


So what do you think? Will you stick with posting your preferred fashion on Pinterest or will you check out (and likely love) Fashion.me?

Read more by HS News Staff →

Check Out Pitbull and Shakira’s “Get It Started” (LISTEN)

Check Out Pitbull and Shakira’s “Get It Started” (LISTEN)

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In May, Cuban-American rapper Pitbull and Colombian singer Shakira announced they were working on a song together.

Produced by RedOne and Afrojack, “Get it Started” was recently leaked. This is Pitbull and Shakira’s second project together, having previously joined forces on “Rabiosa”.

Check out the song below.


Related Videos

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Telenovela Star Prepares to Drop Second Album

Telenovela Star Prepares to Drop Second Album

Photo: Luis Manuel Avila

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Luis Manuel Avila, the malicious Onesimo Garza in Univision’s comic telenovela “Por Ella Soy Eva” (For Her I’m Eve) is not only a versatile actor but also an artist at ease in other fields like music.

For example, the actor also performs in the regional Mexican duo Los Luises, together with singer and comedian Luis Antonio.

Avila, who is preparing to launch the duo’s second album in August, believes his current success has a lot to do with the way he is now concentrating on his musical career.

“Right now there are a billion groups, most of them excellent. What makes us different is that we aim to entertain the whole family,” he said in an interview with Efe, contrasting Los Luises’ approach with that of other bands that sing about the Mexican underworld.

Avila was born in Mexico City and launched his artistic career as a stage actor.

But it has been his participation in successful telenovelas like “Camaleones” (Chameleons) and “El Triunfo del Amor” (The Triumph of Love) that made him one of the best-known actors in the medium.

“In ‘Por Ella Soy Eva,’” Avila notes, “I’m the bad guy, but a very funny bad guy, because he’s so bad he’s comical. As an actor you have to know how to handle the transitions, to go from comedy to downright evil without losing believability.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Dallas Mother Attempts to Sell Baby in Classified Ad for $4,500

LATINO BLOTTER: Dallas Mother Attempts to Sell Baby in Classified Ad for $4,500

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A Texas woman has been arrested after she attempted to sell her infant son in a classified ad.

Megan Heichelbeck had decided she wanted to adopt a child, but when she saw a classified ad for a four-month-old African American and Hispanic child she was shocked. Heichelbeck said she had initially decided to adopt the infant but had second thoughts and decided to call police.

The four-month-old was not simply being put up for adoption, he was being sold.

Along with the description of the baby, the Dallas mother who placed the ad asked for $4,000 for the child, along with a message saying, “I can no longer care for him the way he needs to be. We are living in a women’s shelter now.”

Police later discovered she had placed another ad for a four-month-old, but this time asked for $6,500.

According to the police report, the unidentified mother was arrested after the manager of her flat entered her home to collect rent and found the baby alone in his crib.

When the mother returned to her home, she was taken into custody on charges of child abandonment with intent to return.

The child was taken to Child Protective Services.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Air Force Sexual Assault Investigations Expand to Four Bases in Two States

Air Force Sexual Assault Investigations Expand to Four Bases in Two States

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Last summer, Air Force Staff Sgt. Luis Walker was removed from his job at Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio, Texas and charged with having illicit sexual contact with 10 women and allegedly raping one of them.

As he awaits his trail on July 16, Walker is joined in being the subject of a sex scandal, as it appears more instructors at Lackland have been involved in sexual misconduct with female recruits. After initially admitting to having illicit contact with just one women, Staff Sgt. Peter Vega-Maldonado recently admitted in a hearing he had in fact had contact with 10 women. For his actions, Vega-Maldonado was given a brief jail sentence in return for being a prosecution witness.

The Pentagon has ordered a comprehensive review of the entire Air Force community even beyond Lackland.

Walker, who was officially charged with sexually assaulting or raping recruits between October 2010 and January 2011, has pled not guilty and faces a court martial.

The Air Force and specifically Lackland, is being completely transparent, with Lackland’s Col. Glenn Palmer stating, “I want the public to know what’s going on. I don’t want the possibility of someone saying, ‘Well look - they’re trying to cover it up.’”

Lackland is one of the nation’s busiest military training centers.

Wednesday, sexual assault victims lobbied members of Congress, seeking support for the Stop Act, which would put the reigns of sexual assault investigations into the hands of an independent military unit and out of commanders’ hands

Currently, investigators are looking into allegations at four Air Force bases in two states, involving multiple military instructors, and resulting in 35 being removed from their posts so far.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazilian Inmates Able to Write Book Reports to Shorten Prison Sentences

Brazilian Inmates Able to Write Book Reports to Shorten Prison Sentences

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Inmates in a number of Brazilian prisons will now be able to shorten their sentences by improving their minds.

Four federal prisons in Brazil are now offering inmates the opportunity to shorten their sentences by as many as 48 days per year by reading books and writing reports.

Officials say the inmates will be allowed to put four books and reports towards sentence shortening each week. The reports cannot just be slopped together and handing in, however. Each book report must “make correct use of paragraphs, be free of corrections, use margins and legible joined-in writing.”

Eligibility for the program, known as “Redemption Through Reading”, will be determined by a special panel.

Inmates will be able to choose from a selection of the classics as well as books of literature, science, and philosophy.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Allegations Against Travolta Continue: Cruise Worker Fabian Zanzi Sues For Sexual Assault

Allegations Against Travolta Continue: Cruise Worker Fabian Zanzi Sues For Sexual Assault

Photo: Cruise Worker Fabian Zanzi Sues For Sexual Assault

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John Travolta is now being sued by a man who says he sexually assaulted him on a cruise ship.

Fabian Zanzi was working on a Royal Caribbean cruise in 2009 when, according to the lawsuit, Travolta exposed himself and propositioned him for sex.

Zanzi claims the Grease star ordered food and asked that Zanzi bring it to his room. When he arrived, Zanzi claims Travolta asked for a neck massage, stripped, and pulled Zanzi in close to him.

The actor then allegedly told the cruise worker, “Take me, I will take care of you, please.” Zanzi claims that when he resisted Travolta offered him $12,000 to keep quiet about the encounter.

In a statement given to Gossip Cop, Travolta’s lawyer called Zanzi’s lawsuit “ludicrous” and the claims “inane”.

The lawsuit’s ridiculous claims are completely contradicted by what Mr. Zanzi told his employer back in 2009 when he was being disciplined for his own violations of company policy.  In his handwritten report three years ago, the only physical contact he claimed occurred was allegedly touching my client’s neck.  The inappropriate conduct he alleges in his lawsuit is absent from his written report he submitted at the time.  That glaring omission speaks volumes.  Also calling his credibility into question is his dubious allegation that his employer supposedly restrained him in a room on the cruise ship for five days, yet after that supposedly occurred, Mr. Zanzi continued to work for Royal Caribbean for years, on multiple ships.  Now, after waiting three years, and after getting paid to tell his story to the media, Mr. Zanzi has filed this absurd lawsuit.
We are confident that my client will prevail on the merits and that he will be completely vindicated in court.

Zanzi’s claims are only the latest to come out against Travolta. Massage therapist John Trusedule filed a sexual battery suit earlier this year only to withdraw it, some say in exchange for six-figures of hush money. Even before Truesdale filed his lawsuit, another masseur claimed Travolta grabbed him during the massage before asking the masseur to “perform a sexual act on him.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican President Calderon Signs Decree to Protect Human Right Workers and Journalists

Mexican President Calderon Signs Decree to Protect Human Right Workers and Journalists

Photo: President Felipe Calderon Signing Decree to Protect Journalists

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Mexican President Felipe Calderón in one of his last acts in office issued decrees to protect ‘Human Rights Defenders’ and Journalists

In his message, the President began by acknowledging those who dedicate their lives denouncing human rights violations and the work of reporters and journalists killed in Mexico.  He noted that the media has been instrumental in building the “system of freedoms we enjoy today in Mexico.”

Some of the major aspects of the Law include:
 
• Establish cooperation between the Government and states to implement safety measures.
• An Emergency Measure of Protection, to provide temporary relocation and evacuation of journalists and activists threatened and detailed security measures for them. In additional they will be given safety equipment like security cameras in their homes and offices.

Finally, the President called on the three levels of government, public authorities and society as a whole to continue joining efforts in order to make Mexico a safe country for journalists and human rights defenders.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Interested in Buying a Picasso?  U.S. Marshalls Selling Seized Major Works of Art

Interested in Buying a Picasso?  U.S. Marshalls Selling Seized Major Works of Art

Photo: Linocut by Pablo Picasso Available from U.S. Marshalls

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The U.S. Marshals Service is conducting online auctions to sell 245 works of art by Chagall, Matisse, Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec and other old masters as well as pieces by more recent famous artists.

The items are up for auction at www.txauction.com until July 2.

The pieces of art were seized from several federal court cases and are now forfeited to the government. Three of the cases involved Marc Dreier out of the Southern District of New York, Justin French out of the Eastern District of Virginia, and Shawn Merriman out of the District of Colorado. Proceeds generated from the auctions will be used to compensate the victims of the cases.

Dreier, 62, of New York was convicted in 2009 for fraud and money laundering $400 million and is serving time in a Minnesota federal prison with a release date scheduled in 2026. French, 41, of Richmond, Va., was convicted in 2011 for stealing millions from federal and state tax credit programs intended to rehabilitate historic buildings. He is incarcerated at a federal prison in West Virginia, with a scheduled release date in 2025. Merriman, 49, of Aurora, Colo., was convicted in 2010 for a mail fraud Ponzi scheme that defrauded 67 investors of millions of dollars. He is serving time in a federal prison in South Dakota with a scheduled release date in 2020.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Costa Rica to Invest $250 Million to Upgrades Its Electricity Supply to Growing Demand

Costa Rica to Invest $250 Million to Upgrades Its Electricity Supply to Growing Demand

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The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved $250 million in financing to strengthen the development of Costa Rica Upgrades Electrical electricity sector to help meet the country’s growing electricity demand, increase competitiveness, and raise living standards.

Costa Rica’s installed electricity capacity in 2011 was 2,650 MW, of which 77 percent was from renewable sources. Although the present installed capacity meets current demand of 1,545 MG, the country’s electric energy expansion plan foresees 5.1 average annual increases in demand. The plan proposes to meet these increases between 2012 and 2024 by adding 1,714 MW of installed capacity, of which 98 percent will be from renewable sources.

Nearly $98 million of the Bank’s financing will co-finance the Reventazón Hydroelectric Project (PHR), which will go online in 2016. The PHR will have an installed capacity of 305 MW, which includes a 13.5 MW mini generating plant at the base of the dam, and an annual production of 1,407 GWh.

The remaining IDB resources will be directed at strengthening ICE’s electric generation, transmission, and distribution capacity.

The program will help to improve the quality of energy supplied throughout the country’s distribution system, electricity coverage in rural areas, and efficiency in consumption.

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Ion de Sosa’s “True Love” Wins International Prize at 2nd Lima Independent Film Festival

Ion de Sosa’s “True Love” Wins International Prize at 2nd Lima Independent Film Festival

Photo: Spanish Film "True Love" Wins International Prize at 2nd Lima Independent Film Festival

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The Spanish film “True Love” by Ion de Sosa, and the Peruvian movie “Demo” by Miguel Vargas, won the top prizes in the international and national competitions, respectively, of the 2nd Lima Independent Film Festival.

“True Love” took the prize for Best International Film against 16 movies from Ibero-American countries including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Spain, Mexico, Peru and Portugal, organizers told Efe.

The jury also awarded an honorary mention to “El Epitafio No Me Importa” (The Epitaph Doesn’t Matter to Me) by Peru’s Alberto Angulo.

In the national competition, first prize went to “Demo” by Miguel Vargas, with a special mention going to “En el 93” (In ‘93) by Carlos Benvenuto.

“El Ordenador” (The Computer) by Omar Forero won the Peruvian Cinematographic Press Association prize for Best National Film of the festival.

The 2nd Lima Independent Film Festival took place June 16-24 in five theaters in Lima and three more in other cities of Peru.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Bodies of Missing Indians Discovered in Colombia

Bodies of Missing Indians Discovered in Colombia

Photo: Zaragoza, Colombia

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Members of the Senu Indian community in the northwestern Colombian province of Antioquia found the bodies of three of their neighbors who went missing a year ago, the tribal government told Efe on Monday.

The remains of 46-year-old Jorge Mejia Estrada and his two teenage sons were discovered Monday, Senu counselor Aida Suarez said by telephone.

Their bodies were found near the village of Zaragoza, where five indigenous people were slain in late June 2011 by Los Rastrojos, a gang of former right-wing paramilitaries turned drug traffickers.

The criminals killed a Senu deputy governor and two of his children, along with two other Indians.

Those killings prompted 60 area families to flee amid an ongoing struggle between Los Rastrojos and the rival Aguilas Negras - also made up of former militiamen - for control of coca fields in the region.

Read more by HS News Staff →



WednesdayJune 27, 2012