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ThursdayJune 28, 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 Looking into Claims of Airport Director’s Link to Drug Cartels

Mexico Looking into Claims of Airport Director’s Link to Drug Cartels

Photo: Hector Velazquez Corona

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The Mexican government has asked the United States for information about the alleged links between the director of the Mexico City airport and drug traffickers, Attorney General Marisela Morales said.

Hector Velazquez Corona, director of Mexico City’s Benito Juarez International Airport, “has links to employees of different drug cartels and facilitates their operations,” the El Universal newspaper reported Tuesday, citing U.S. Justice Department documents.

The Mexican government has requested the documents from the United States, but “as of this time” it has not received “anything with regard” to the airport director, Morales said.

The “U.S. agencies indicated that they do not have anything at this time,” the attorney general said.

The Mexican government nevertheless plans to “investigate everything necessary,” the AG said.

“We are going to exhaust all of the lines and people that come out of the investigation,” Morales said.

Two Federal Police officers under investigation for drug trafficking killed three fellow officers who were about to arrest them at the airport earlier this week.

The shooting occurred around 8:50 a.m. on Monday in the airport’s Terminal 2, leaving two officers dead at the scene. The third officer died while being treated at a hospital.

The two officers were being investigated for their alleged links “to the activities of a drug trafficking network,” the Public Safety Secretariat said.

“The two officers under investigation opened fire to avoid arrest when they spotted the Federal Police’s Investigations Unit, killing three federal officers,” the secretariat said.

“Broad lines of investigation” have been developed in the shooting case, Morales said.

The attorney general, however, declined to comment further on the case because the investigation is ongoing.

Velazquez Corona is not being investigated, but he may be called to give a statement as part of the investigation of a network that smuggles drugs through the airport, Attorney General’s Office sources told Efe.

Mexico City’s Benito Juarez International Airport is the country’s largest airport, handling more than 25 million passengers annually.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Dissatisfied by Brazil-Mexico Agreement, Argentina Suspends Auto-trade Accord

Dissatisfied by Brazil-Mexico Agreement, Argentina Suspends Auto-trade Accord

Photo: Members of the Mercosur trade bloc

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Argentina announced Tuesday a three-year suspension of the automotive portion of a 2002 economic accord with Mexico, citing the impact on the Argentine auto sector of a side agreement Mexico City signed in March with Brazil.

The Argentine government said the protocol limiting exports of Mexican vehicles to Brazil “constitutes a grave violation” of the ACE 55 pact between Mexico and the Mercosur trade bloc, comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

ACE 55 mandates that any change in terms must be approved by all signatories, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez said in her executive order suspending the automotive part of the accord.

The Brazil-Mexico side agreement represents “a threat of serious, imminent and irreparable damage to Argentine automotive product manufacturers,” the order said.

Argentina posted a deficit of around $1 billion last year in automobiles and automotive parts with Mexico, up from $380 million in 2010.

Buenos Aires’ initial reaction to the March deal between Mexico City and Brasilia was to seek a similar arrangement. But Mexico flatly refused to consider any modification to the automotive clauses of ACE 55.

The move by Buenos Aires to suspend the auto clauses comes as the Mexican government is preparing to accuse Argentina before the World Trade Organization of erecting barriers to imports from Mexico.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexicans Living in the U.S. Find Absentee Voting Process Daunting

Mexicans Living in the U.S. Find Absentee Voting Process Daunting

Photo: Voting in Mexico

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The number of Mexicans living in the United States who will be able cast ballots in their homeland’s July 1 presidential election has been sharply limited by a cumbersome registration process, community leaders here say.

“The promise to facilitate the vote for Mexicans in the exterior is a right unfulfilled,” Juan Jose Gutierrez, coordinator of the National Regeneration Movement of Mexicans Abroad, told Efe.

“To be able to vote, they ask us for the voter’s credential,” he said. “And to get that document we have to go to Mexico to apply and that means the millions of undocumented (immigrants) who cannot travel are excluded.”

Even many Mexicans who are legal U.S. residents cannot afford the cost of a trip home to obtain a voter’s registration, Gutierrez said.

He said that of the estimated 12 million Mexicans in the United States who are eligible to cast absentee ballots in their country’s election, only around 60,000 have registered.

Mexicans will go to the polls next Sunday to elect a new president and Congress and choose among candidates for thousands of state and local offices.

“These presidential elections have generated enthusiasm and the Mexicans in the U.S. who have (residence) documents, knowing that it’s impossible to contribute with a great number votes by mail, will go visit their families this weekend in Mexico, and so they can vote on Sunday,” Gutierrez said.

“Others of us who live near the border are organizing caravans to cross the line to the closest cities, such as Mexicali and Tijuana, and be able to vote there,” he added.

Mario Cardenas, president of the Council of Mexican Federations in North America, offered similar criticism of the absentee voting process.

“Many of our people leave their voter’s registration behind when they cross the border and from here there is no way they can retrieve or renew that credential,” he said.

“Participation in Mexico’s democracy by Mexicans abroad is limited by the political myopia of the Mexican authorities,” he concluded.

Mexico’s consul-general in Los Angeles, David Figueroa, said expats are taking part in the 2012 electoral process in greater numbers than years ago, when absentee voting was first established.

“Around 59,000 people have registered to vote from abroad and as of now some 35,000 envelopes with ballots have already reached the Federal Electoral Institute of Mexico,” he said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Juanes to perform in Lima Peru in September, visit Machu Picchu

Juanes to perform in Lima  Peru in September, visit  Machu Picchu

Photo: Juanes to Play Lima Peru

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Colombian singer-songwriter Juanes will give three concerts in Peru in September and also visit the famed Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, organizers of the Movistar Musica 2012 tour said.

The pop star known for hits such as “Fijate bien” and “Me enamora” will perform in Lima on Sept. 12 at the National University of San Marcos’ stadium.

He will then give two more shows - on Sept. 14 and 15 - at the beer gardens of the southern cities of Cuzco and Arequipa.

“During his stay in Peru, Juanes will take the chance to visit the citadel of Machu Picchu and enjoy Peru’s gastronomy,” organizers said in a press release.

Juanes, one of Latin America’s most recognizable pop stars, has won 17 Latin Grammy Awards and one Grammy Award.

He recently released his first live album, titled Juanes MTV Unplugged.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spain Defeats Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal and Advances to Euro 2012 Finals to Defend Title

Spain Defeats Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal and Advances to Euro 2012 Finals to Defend Title

Photo: Spain Defeats Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal and Advances to Euro 2012 Finals to Defend Title

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Spain’s national soccer team is one step closer to the unprecedented feat of winning three major competitions in four years after beating Portugal on penalties here Wednesday in the semifinal of the 2012 European Championship.

As he did in the Euro quarters four years ago, midfielder Cesc Fabregas delivered the decisive blow for Spain in the 4-2 shootout.

The Spanish squad, which followed its Euro 2008 triumph by winning the 2010 World Cup, will face Germany or Italy in Sunday’s final at Olympic stadium in Kiev.

Wednesday’s match before 48,000 fans at Donbass arena in Donetsk began with spirited play, but settled down into a defensive struggle for most of the 90 minutes of regulation.

While the two 15-minute overtime periods brought more action, neither team was able to score, forcing the penalty shootout.

Before play got under way, Spanish captain Iker Casillas and Portuguese counterpart Cristiano Ronaldo read a statement condemning racism.

Several Euro 2012 matches have been marred by racist insults from the stands directed at black players.

Read more by HS News Staff →

CA State Senator Alex Padilla Named New President of NALEO

CA State Senator Alex Padilla Named New President of NALEO

Photo: State Senator Alex Padilla

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The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) announced the election of its new president, California State Senator Alex Padilla, officers and board members. The president and board leadership were elected at the organization’s board of directors meeting on June 24 in Orlando, FL, following the group’s 29th Annual Conference.

The NALEO Board of Directors unanimously elected California State Senator Alex Padilla to serve as president of the organization. Other board officers elected during the meeting include City of Aventura (FL) Commissioner Luz Urbaez-Weinberg as vice president; Gila (AZ) Regional Partnership Council member Fernando Shipley as treasurer; and Edinburg (TX) School Board Member Robert Pena as secretary.

The board also elected two new members during its meeting in Orlando. Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez, a member of the Board of Education of the Azusa Unified School District (CA), will serve a single three-year term on the NALEO Board of Directors. Trustee for the Village of Freeport (NY) Carmen Pineyro will also join the board for a three-year term.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Human Rights Pleads For Mexico to Fully Investigate the Murder of Trans Youth

Human Rights Pleads For Mexico to Fully Investigate the Murder of Trans Youth

Photo: Octavio Hernández Villanueva was only 16 years old

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The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) condemns the murder of Octavio Hernández Villanueva, a trans youth who was 16 years old, in the city of Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico.

According to the information received, on June 20, 2012, the body was found in a remote area, near the roadway to Tepic. The information available further indicates that the body was found wearing women’s clothes, presenting abrasions and a knife wound on the neck. Civil society organizations expressed their concern on the possibility that authorities may be less meticulous in the investigation if the consider that this is a crime of passion, as has ocurred in similar situations in the past.

The IACHR reminds the State of its obligation to investigate such acts on its own initiative and to punish those responsible. The Inter-American Commission urges the State to conduct an investigation that takes into account whether this murder was committed because of the gender expression, gender identity or sexual orientation of the victim. In addition, the IACHR reiterates that the State has an obligation of special protection regarding children and adolescents, who because of their age are in a special situation of vulnerability.

The Commission continues to receive information on killings, torture, arbitrary arrests, and other forms of violence and exclusion against lesbians, gays, and trans, bisexual, and intersex persons. In addition, the Commission notes that very frequently, problems exist in the investigation of those crimes, which involve, in part, failures to open lines of investigation into whether the crime was committed by reason of the victim’s gender identity or sexual orientation. The ineffectiveness of the state response fosters high rates of impunity, which in turn lead to the chronic repetition of such crimes, leaving the victims and their families defenseless.

The IACHR urges the State to take action to prevent and respond to these human rights abuses and to ensure that LGTBI people can effectively enjoy their right to a life free from discrimination and violence, including the adoption of policies and public campaigns and the amendments necessary to bring laws into line with the inter-American instruments on human rights.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colombian Navy and DEA Seize Submarine Used to Traffic Drugs

Colombian Navy and DEA Seize Submarine Used to Traffic Drugs

Photo: Colombian Navy and DEA Seize Submarine Used to Traffic Drugs

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On Monday, the Colombian Navy, with help from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently seized a semi-submersible craft believed to have been used by the Rastrojos drug gang.

The 2-engine craft, worth in the ballpark of $1 million, was found in a jungle river near Mosquera, Nariño, Colombia. It is 20 meters long, can carry roughly eight tons of cocaine as well as four passengers.

On Wednesday, a semi-submersible vessel capable of transporting between 10 and 15 tons of drugs was found under construction in the Gulf of Guayaquil, the Ecuadorian navy said.

The sub is related to a similar vessel that was scuttled by its crew to avoid capture in January, the navy said.

The semi-submersible, which is 15 meters (49 feet) long by four meters (13 feet) wide, was 70 percent complete.

The vessel has four compartments, including one in the bow for ballast, a large storage area, an engine room and a fuel bunker.

“The apparatus was located in a strategic sector of the Gulf, allowing it, once completed, to easily enter the open sea without being detected,” the navy said in a statement.

The vessel was hidden in dense vegetation and covered with mud to make it difficult to detect by air or sea, the navy said.

The sub was found around midnight Monday on a small island between the Verde and Escalante islands during a joint operation conducted by the navy, coast guard, marine corps and Guayaquil port authority.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Teen Lesbian Couple Shot in Portland, Texas Park – One Dies

Teen Lesbian Couple Shot in Portland, Texas Park – One Dies

Photo: Lesbian Teen Couple Shot, One Dies

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Two teenagers who were allegedly dating each other were found shot in the head in Violet Andrews Park in Portland, Texas this past weekend.  Although still under investigation, this violent crime has caused many to wonder if the girls’ sexual orientation had anything to do with the shootings.

“This particular case, it does have some of the earmarks of a targeted attack,” said Portland Police Chief Randy Wright.  Yet, murders are rare in this town of 16,000, which is located just north of Corpus Christi.  The last occurred two years ago according to Wright. 

Both victims were shot late Friday night or possibly early Saturday morning however they were not found until about 9am Saturday.  Mollie Judith Olgin, 19, did not survive the shootings; however the other victim, Mary Christine Chapa, 18, is reportedly in stable condition and improving. 

According to witnesses a dark colored vehicle was spotted leaving the scene.  Yet, this along with shell casings left at the scene are the few clues detectives will use to piece this mystery together.  Police are waiting until Chapa’s condition improves before she is questioned about the attack. 

Family and friends, shocked and devastated, are trying to determine what could have caused such a horrific crime.  Samantha Garrett, Olgin’s roommate told local news KTLA, “I’ve been trying to think of anybody I know that would try and hurt them for any reason – especially them being a couple, and not one person has ever come to mind.”

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Popular Atlanta Drag Performer Shot During Botched Robbery

Popular Atlanta Drag Performer Shot During Botched Robbery

Photo: Popular Atlanta Drag Performer Shot During Botched Robbery

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A popular drag queen in the Atlanta, GA area was recently shot and killed in her apartment.

Police say 28-year-old drag performer Noxy Cassandra – born Roberto Calderon-Guzman – was killed by Christopher Williams as he attempted to rob the apartment.

Noxy was found in her apartment on Friday around 12:30 a.m.. She had been shot with a small caliber handgun and was pronounced dead at Northside Hospital.

Dunwood Police say Williams, 20, has a history of preying on people who advertise their services online. He is also a suspect in the June 20th robbery of a transgendered sex worker in DeKalb County and is currently being held in the county jail there.

Sgt. Mike Carlson released a statement asking additional victims to come forward, saying, “We want to know if there are more victims out there that didn’t want to report being robbed or are too scared. We are just glad to get [Williams] off the street.”

Williams was identified with help from witnesses who helped describe him to police and also informed them Williams had called Noxy on a cell phone. The phone, it turns out, was stolen from the victim of the June 20 robbery.

Noxy Cassandra was a popular drag performer in the area.

Williams has been charged with murder and one count of Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Picasso Pottery Sells for $12 M, 4 Times the Expected Price

Picasso Pottery Sells for $12 M, 4 Times the Expected Price

Photo: Picasso's "Grande Vase aux Danseurs"

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The 543 pieces of Picasso’s Madoura Collection of pottery were sold for a total 8 million pounds ($12.4 million) - four times more than estimated - in a two-day auction at Christie’s of London.

The works up for sale were in universally perfect condition, many of them intact since the day they were made, and all found takers.

The ceramics came from the same town where Picasso learned the technique and designed this collection between 1947 and 1971 - the southeastern French town of Vallauris, a pilgrimage site for artisans and ceramists of that period.

The collection auctioned off included a wide variety of plates, bowls, vases and jugs, whose principal motifs were the owl and the goat, two of the Spanish artist’s favorite pets during his stay in Vallauris.

The big star of the sale was the “grande vase aux danseurs,” dated 1950 and knocked down for 735,650 pounds ($1.1 million), 10 times more than expected and setting a world record for a Picasso ceramic.

Up to now the Madoura Collection belonged to Alain Ramie, a friend of the artist and son of the owners of the Madoura Pottery, Georges and Suzanne Ramie, who introduced Picasso to this art form.

“Picasso was a master of all media with which he worked, and ceramics was no exception,” Alan Ramie said.

While designing these works at the Vallauris workshop, Picasso was visited by such celebrities as Brigitte Bardot, Gary Cooper, Jean Cocteau and Richard Attenborough.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Ailing Venezuelan President Chavez Wants to Build History-Themed Amusement Park

Ailing Venezuelan President Chavez Wants to Build History-Themed Amusement Park

Photo: Ailing Venezuelan President Chavez Wants to Build History-Themed Amusement Park

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is apparently looking to build an amusement park at the sight of the final battle during the fight for independence from Spain near Campo de Carabobo.

The Tourism Ministry recently announced it was in its first phase of the project of turning the historic site, which will be along the Ruta del Libertador, into a theme park.

This theme park is just the latest on a list of interesting choices from the seemingly paranoid president, who many believe has turned his government into a propaganda machine writer Gustavo Hernandez Acevedo describes as always trying “to push the narrative of a permanent struggle for independence into all walks of life.”

Chavez’s government has used a number of historical figures to put his stamp on action figures, B movies, and even satellites.

In November 2011, Ecuador’s Tourism Ministry announced an initial investment of $25,000 for the Ruta del Libertador, which highlights Simon Bolivar and other historic heroes’ paths during the birth of new republican states in the area. The path was created to promote tourism to both Venezuela and Ecuador.

Read more by HS News Staff →

33 Pound Tumor Removed from 2 Year Old in Mexico

33 Pound Tumor Removed from 2 Year Old in Mexico

Photo: Wikipedia Photo

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In Mexico City, Doctors successfully removed a benign tumor weighing a shocking 33 pounds from a 2 year old Durango boy, Jesús Gabriel.  The surgery took place on June 14th at La Raza Medical Center in Mexico City.  It took doctors a total of ten hours to remove the tumor which stretched from the boy’s armpit all the way to his hip. 

According to Dr. Gustavo Hernandez reported by Fox News, the director of pediatrics at La Raza hospital, the boy weighed less than the tumor before surgery at only 26 pounds.  The tumor, which was first detected while his mother, María Edelia Fernandez, was 29 weeks pregnant, has been with little Jesús since birth.  According to Fernandez, Jesús was a normal boy before his surgery.  He did not let the tumor stop him from enjoying things that toddlers enjoy, however it was clear to doctors that the tumor was creating a dangerous malnutrition taking all the boy’s much needed daily nutrients. 

During the long surgery, a total of eight surgeons were present, four anesthesiologists, while eight nurses also attended to the boy.  According to Hernandez, he is in good condition and is improving daily.  The operation, according to the doctor, also marked the first time a tumor larger than the patient was removed in México. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Lawyer Jose Baez says Police Should Have Known Tot-Mom Casey Anthony was Living in “Fantasy World”

Lawyer Jose Baez says Police Should Have Known Tot-Mom Casey Anthony was Living in “Fantasy World”

Photo: Lawyer Jose Baez says Cops Should've Known Casey Anthony was Nuts

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Many around the world were glued to the news as they watched Casey Anthony stand trial for allegedly killing her two-year-old daughter, Caylee Marie. As the trial went on, many got to know her lawyer, Jose Baez. When Anthony was not convicted of murder in 2011, many were shocked and Baez became a sort of celebrity.

Now, Baez has released a tell-all book about his experiences during the Casey Anthony trial and writes that investigators should have known his client had “serious mental health issues.”

ImageAccording to the Associated Press, Baez’s book, Presumed Guilty, Casey Anthony: The Inside Story, reads detectives investigating Anthony should have identified that she was living in “a fantasy world,” especially after she took them to Universal Studios where she pretended to work.

Baez writes:

[They] should have stopped and realized, ‘Wait a minute, we’re not dealing with someone who is playing with a full deck.

Presumed Guilty, Casey Anthony: The Inside Story will be available in bookstores on July 3, one year after Casey Anthony was found not-guilty of murdering her daughter.

In May, Baez told People, “Casey will not financially benefit from this book in any way, shape or form. This is my story, not hers.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cuban Cigars Popular in China

Cuban Cigars Popular in China

Photo: Cuban Cigar Popular in China

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After opening seven years ago in the middle of Beijing’s financial district, Cigar Legends offers the largest selection of foreign cigars available in the city.  Eric Li, the manager of the upscale cigar bar knows the elite smoke only the best.

“We’re a popular spot for CEOs.  Our customers come here for business meetings just as much as for socializing.  Cigar smoking is a way of life and a sign of success,” explains Li.

In Cigar Legend’s stockroom, only the best cigars line its shelves, the majority Cuban and Dominican descent.  Popular names such as Montechristo, Cohibo and Macanudo can be found at this location.  Surprisingly China has become the world’s third largest market for Cuban cigars after Spain and France.  The sales growth so far this year has also surpassed that of the two hard hit European countries. 

According to a Cohiba executive, Javier Terres, “The Chinese are quite heavy smokers and much more interested in luxury products.  The best seller there is the Cohiba, our most expensive cigar.”

Read more at Smart Planet →

Meet Marko Manriquez’s Burritob0t and Help ‘Kickstart’ This Mexican Food-Making Machine

Meet Marko Manriquez’s Burritob0t and Help ‘Kickstart’ This Mexican Food-Making Machine

Photo: Meet Marko Manriquez’s Burritob0t and Help ‘Kickstart’ This Mexican Food-Making Machine

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Earlier this year, Marko Manriquez introduced the Burritob0t, a machine that streamlines and computerizes the burrito making process in a very unique way.

ImageManriquez is described as “a maker, interactive designer, and foodie of all things deliciously weird.” He created the Burritob0t as a graduate student at NYU-ITP, where he graduated in 2012. He is also a co-founder of Fabricators Guild, a digital fabrication shop, research lab, and design studio located in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Burritob0t is a 3D printer that prepares edible burritos within minutes.

Burritob0t invites critical questions about the food we regularly consume, particularly in regards to fast food (labor practices, environmental consequences, nutritional value).  Mexican fast food is emblematic of the assembly line: it is mass-produced in an era of modern consumables, appropriating a false authenticity.  Burritob0t, in turn, aims to encourage dialogue about how and where our food is grown, methods of production, environmental impact, cultural appropriation, and, perhaps most importantly: what our food means to us.

Next month, the Burritob0t project will begin fundraising on Kickstarter.com, a website that allows inventors/creators to pitch their idea to potential “everyman” investors and raise money to get the project off the ground.

Check out the Burritob0t in action below.

Burritob0t.net prototype - Kickstarter rough cut from Marko Manriquez on Vimeo.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: California Father Suspected of Killing Son, Daughter, Himself

LATINO BLOTTER: California Father Suspected of Killing Son, Daughter, Himself

Photo: LATINO BLOTTER: California Father Suspected of Killing Son, Daughter, Himself

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Police suspect two children were killed by their father in a motel room Tuesday.

A maintenance man working at National City’s Paradise Motel was approached by a woman looking for her children at around 9 a.m. The worried mother said she had received a phone call from the father of her children saying he was going to commit suicide. She asked the maintenance worker, Fernando Ayon, if he had seen a man two children, a teenaged boy and a younger girl.

Ayon said the mother told him she did not call the authorities because she did not want to frighten the children, however, she ultimately made the call, asking for an urgent welfare check at the motel.

At around 10 p.m., the bodies of 39-year-old Maurillo Jaimes Soto, his 16-year-old son, Marco “Tony” Jaimes, and 11-year-old daughter, Maria Angelica Jaimes, were found in one of the motel’s rooms.

Police believe Soto killed his children while they slept before turning the gun on himself. The children were found in bed, and a gun was found next to Soto on the floor.

Investigators say they do not know the motive for the apparent double murder-suicide and a note was not left.

No one in the area reported hearing gun shots coming from the room and the bodies had been in the room less than 24 hours.

Tony was going to be a junior at Mission Bay High School once school resumed in August, while Maria would have entered seventh grade at Pacific Beach Middle School.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latinos Praise U.S. Supreme Court Upholding Constitutionality of Health Care Reform

Latinos Praise U.S. Supreme Court Upholding Constitutionality of Health Care Reform

Photo: Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Healthcare Act

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Today the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote, upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to the relief and praise of many Latinos.  The mandate provision was also upheld but the Court struck down the Medicaid expansion provision.

The requirement that most Americans have health insurance under ‘Obamacare’ will be well received by the estimated 30 million uninsured Americans, many of which are Latinos.  This historic overhaul of the U.S. health care system will now go into effect in 2014. 

In essence the Court struck down arguments that ‘Obamacare’ was too far reaching in mandating that most Americans have health insurance and be penalized if they didn’t.  Five justices ruled in favor of the health care overhaul:  Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor and Chief Justice John Roberts. 

The importance of the decision for Latinos cannot be overstated.  The positive reaction was swift from Latino organizations. “Latinas have historically faced a disproportionate number of barriers to basic health care, and we can now envision a future where those barriers begin to crumble,” said National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, executive director Jessica González-Rojas. “Everyone has a fundamental right to quality, affordable health care. Today’s Supreme Court decision is an important step toward making that right a reality.”

Congressmen Luis Gutierrez noted “For Latino families, for Chicago families, and for all families, the extension of coverage to young adults, the eventual extension of coverage to people who cannot afford care, and the security that will be built into our health care system are life changing and tremendously helpful.”

Since taking effect the ACA has already helped more than 736,000 young Latino/as retain health coverage under their parents’ plans un they reach the age of 26.  More than 3 million Latino children (one out of every six) are uninsured, while Latino children are almost twice as likely as White children to have an unmet medical need because of cost.

Meanwhile, Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney vowed to “repeal Obamacare on my first day in office” if elected, while Senator Marco Rubio on CNN saw this as a “loss for America”  and noted “American people don’t like it.” 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of The American People-statement by Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL).

Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of The American People-statement by Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL).

Photo: Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez

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Today, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, the landmark health care reform bill passed in 2010.  The following is a statement by Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL).

When I retire, I will be buying insurance from a health care exchange just like everyone else and I am proud to live in a country that allows working class families, blue collar workers and former Congressmen to share health care risks and health rewards and equal opportunity for life saving coverage.

For Latino families, for Chicago families, and for all families, the extension of coverage to young adults, the eventual extension of coverage to people who cannot afford care, and the security that will be built into our health care system are life changing and tremendously helpful.

This will literally help people live who before this law, if they were sick and couldn’t afford care or couldn’t switch health policies, were sentenced to death or poverty or both.

Today’s ruling makes a definitive statement about how dearly we hold the values of equality and opportunity in the United States.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Big Papi, David Ortiz, One Homerun Away From 400

Big Papi, David Ortiz, One Homerun Away From 400

Photo: David Ortiz Close to 400 MLB

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David Ortiz has been red hot all season for the Boston Red Sox.  It showed when the Toronto Blue Jays walked Big Papi close to 400 in his first three at-bats. 

They made a mistake pitching to him in his fourth at-bat.  Blue Jays relievers Jesse Chavez threw a first pitch change up for a strike.  It was the first strike Ortiz had seen all day.  The next pitch Ortiz crushed it into the right field seats.  This wasn’t just any other homerun, this homerun put Big Papi one shy of 400 for his career.  It was Big Papi’s 21st of the season, it also tied him on the all-time homerun list with Andres Galarraga and Al Kaline. He is just behind Duke Snider (407), who is 48th on the all-time list. 

After last season when many writers, fans and even players thought he was done, Ortiz took the offseason and worked hard to get into better shape.  He came into the season 30 pounds lighter.  With the Red Sox win over the Blue Jays 10-4, they are now tied for third place with the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East.  They sit 6.5 games behind the New York Yankees. 

Written by HS News Sports writer:  Tim Horodyski

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Weekly Unemployment – Latino Perspective

Weekly Unemployment – Latino Perspective

Photo: Latino Unemployment Rate

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In the week ending June 23, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 386,000, a decrease of 6,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 392,000. The 4-week moving average was 386,750, a decrease of 750 from the previous week’s revised average of 387,500.

The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending June 9 was 5,890,091, an increase of 71,724 from the previous week.

The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending June 9 were in Alaska (4.2), Puerto Rico (3.8), Pennsylvania (3.6), California (3.4), New Jersey (3.3), Connecticut (3.2), Illinois (3.1), Oregon (3.1), Nevada (2.9), Rhode Island (2.9), and the Virgin Islands (2.9).

As of May, 2012 the Latino unemployment rate was 11% up from April, 2012 when it was 10.3%. 

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First Gay Pride Parade Held in Matamoros, Hopes for Bi-National Gay Pride Celebrations

First Gay Pride Parade Held in Matamoros, Hopes for Bi-National Gay Pride Celebrations

Photo: Gay Pride ini Matamoros, Facebook Photo: 'Matamoros se Viste'

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In the northern state of Tamaulipas, México, the town of Matamoros held its first ever Gay Pride Parade Sunday afternoon.  The parade, scheduled one day after a gay pride parade in Monterey and a week after one in Mexico City, brought 800-1,000 spectators to Matamoros

“This is the first parade in Matamoros…it’s the first in Tamaulipas,” said event organizer Dagoberto Robles.  He continued to report that all participants, coming from several cities in northeastern Mexico, were well treated. 

He hopes to expand next year’s event by including more participants from the Rio Grande Valley and Texas. 

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PRI Candidate Peña Nieto Still Leading Mexico’s Presidential Race

PRI Candidate Peña Nieto Still Leading Mexico’s Presidential Race

Photo: PRI Candidate Peña Nieto Still Leading Mexico's Presidential Race

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Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, candidate Enrique Peña Nieto has reached the end of the campaign with a comfortable lead over his rivals in all the polls published in Mexico on Wednesday, the last day that poll results can be released before next weekend’s presidential election.

Peña Nieto has a lead over leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador that ranges from 10 percentage points in the Reforma newspaper’s poll to 18.6 percentage points in the GEA/ISA poll published by the daily Milenio.

The PRI candidate drew the support of 41 percent of likely voters, excluding undecided voters and voters who did not wish to express a preference, while Lopez Obrador, candidate of the leftist Progressive Movement coalition, got only 31 percent support in the Reforma poll.

Peña Nieto’s support slipped by one percentage point in the past week, while Lopez Obrador saw his support rise by one percentage point.

The Reforma poll of 1,616 voters was conducted June 21-24 and has a margin of error of 2.7 percentage points.

Josefina Vazquez Mota, candidate of the governing National Action Party, or PAN, is in third place, with 24 percent support, while Gabriel Quadri, of the New Alliance Party, or PANAL, drew the support of 4 percent of likely voters.

The poll excludes the 19 percent of respondents who described themselves as undecided or did not wish to express a preference, Reforma said.

Peña Nieto has the support of 46.7 percent of likely voters in the GEA/ISA poll published by the daily Milenio, giving him a lead of nearly 20 points over Lopez Obrador, who got the backing of 28.1 percent of likely voters.

The GEA/ISA poll of 1,152 people was conducted June 24-26.

The PRI candidate got 44 percent support to Lopez Obrador’s 28 percent in the BGC poll published by the Excelsior newspaper.

The BGC poll of 1,200 people was conducted June 22-24 and has a margin of error of 2.9 percent.

A Buendia & Laredo poll of 2,000 people conducted June 22-24 and published Wednesday in the El Universal newspaper gave Peña Nieto a lead of 17.1 percentage points over Lopez Obrador, a former Mexico City mayor.

Peña Nieto got the support of 45 percent of likely voters to Lopez Obrador’s 27.9 percent in the Buendia & Laredo poll, which has a margin of error of 2.5 percent.

The 90-day presidential campaign, which officially started on March 30, ends on Wednesday night.

The election law reforms enacted in 2007 and 2008 cut the length of the official campaign period in half.

Mexico will hold its presidential election next Sunday, selecting a successor to President Felipe Calderon.

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

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Missing Venezuelan Politicians Die in Car Accident

Missing Venezuelan Politicians Die in Car Accident

Photo: Orlando Espinoza and Lisbeth Parra

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Two Venezuelan state legislators missing since last weekend were found dead inside a car at the bottom of a ravine after an apparent accident, the Attorney General’s Office said Wednesday.

Orlando Espinoza and Lisbeth Parra likely ran off the road and crashed Sunday night while driving back to the central state of Aragua after an excursion to Caracas, the AG’s office said.

The Aragua lawmakers had traveled to the capital to appear on a television news program where they raised concerns about the Venezuelan electoral system ahead of the Oct. 7 general elections.

They were first reported missing by officials of their party, the opposition Accion Democratica, who suggested the pair had been kidnapped.

The leader of the AD bloc in the National Assembly, Edgar Zambrano, told Efe that any abduction would have been the work of common criminals, as neither Espinoza nor Parra was an “emblematic” figure of the kind to inspire a politically motivated attack.

Interior Minister Tareck El Aissami went on Twitter to criticize AD officials for manipulating “this regrettable event” by publicly speculating on the fate of the missing lawmakers.

Surging crime has become a major issue in the election campaign as leftist President Hugo Chavez, in power since 1999, seeks another six-year term.

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ThursdayJune 28, 2012