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ThursdayJuly 5, 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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Auto Production Falls 9.4 Percent in Brazil

Auto Production Falls 9.4 Percent in Brazil

Photo: Automobile production in Brazil

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Brazil produced 1.55 million motor vehicles in the first six months of the year, a fall of 9.4 percent from the same period in 2011, the Anfavea industry association said Thursday.

Vehicle sales fell 1.2 percent compared with last year, to 1.71 million units.

The figures for output and sales could have been even worse if the Brazilian government had not introduced in May a package of tax cuts and credit-easing measures aimed at stimulating the economy, Anfavea said.

Vehicle exports declined 12.2 percent by volume compared with the first half of 2011, to 223,154 units, though they increased by 4.3 percent in value to $6.3 billion.

The Brazilian auto sector turned out 280,768 vehicles in June, down 7.6 percent from the same month in 2011, while sales climbed by 22.9 percent to 352,000 units.

Brazil is the world’s fifth-leading producer of cars and trucks.

Read more by HS News Staff →

5 Deaths Linked to Gold Mining Protests in Peru

5 Deaths Linked to Gold Mining Protests in Peru

Photo: Mining protestors in Peru

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A man wounded two days ago during protests against a massive mining project in northwestern Peru died Thursday, bringing the death toll from the disturbances to five.

Jose Antonio Sanchez Huaman, 29, had been in a coma since he was shot Tuesday in the city of Celendin, a spokesman for the Cajamarca regional health department told Canal N television.

Cajamarca President Gregorio Santos, a leader of opposition to the Conga gold mine project, went on Twitter to announce Sanchez’s death and to blame the national government for the fatalities.

“The victims of the government of OH (Peruvian President Ollanta Humala) are five,” Santos said.

Tuesday’s clash in Celendin left three people dead and a score of others wounded, while another person was killed the following day amid protests in the town of Bambamarca.

Humala gave the green light for the controversial Conga project in April, but only on condition the mine operators meet conditions aimed at mitigating its environmental impact.

Humala said the Minera Yanacocha consortium - led by Colorado-based Newmont Mining - will have to ensure the availability and quality of water supplies in the area surrounding Conga.

Activists in Cajamarca said the conditions laid down by Lima are not sufficient to avert irreparable environmental damage.

Plans for the $4.8 billion project include draining four alpine lakes to develop subsoil gold deposits and replacing them with artificial reservoirs, a process that is scheduled to get under way soon.

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Emotional Julio Iglesias Sings Favorites in Barcelona

Emotional Julio Iglesias Sings Favorites in Barcelona

Photo: Julio Iglesias

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Julio Iglesias aimed directly at the hearts of his fans and found the target with an emotional concert in which he performed many of his greatest hits and encouraged Spaniards to trust in the country’s ability to overcome its current economic woes.

Wearing a white shirt and jacket, the 68-year-old heartthrob raised the passions of the audience, especially when he took off his jacket and his fans were unable to restrain their shouts of “guapo” and “te quiero” (“handsome” and “I love you”).

Both women and men in the audience sang along almost the entire time with Iglesias, and the performer held the microphone out to the crowd a number of times whereupon the fans repeatedly proved that they knew the lyrics to all the songs.

In fact, Iglesias’ musical tour that arrived in Spain on Wednesday night is designed to promote “1,” a double CD on which he has once again recorded the most popular numbers from his lengthy career.

The Spanish crooner stirred the audience with his music but also with his words, speaking a number of times directly to the public.

He became emotional when he spoke about his daughter Chabeli before performing “De niña a mujer” and when he recalled his father before singing “Un canto a Galicia.”

But his family was not the only subject he talked about onstage, although his wife and his five children were in the audience, also referring to his love for Spain and to his concern about the country’s economic situation.

“It’s not fair for a country as beautiful as this one, with such wealth and talent, to be suffering so much. I believe in the future of this country,” he said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazilian Soccer Player Sentenced to Over 3 Years For Torching his House

Brazilian Soccer Player Sentenced to Over 3 Years For Torching his House

Photo: Breno Vinicius Rodrigues Borges

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Brazil’s Breno Vinicius Rodrigues Borges, a former player for Baynern Munich, was sentenced Wednesday to three years and nine months of jail for intentionally burning down his house in Germany.

A Munich court found that Breno set fire to his rented villa in the exclusive neighborhood of Grunewald on the night of Sept. 19-20 and ordered that he immediately be sent to prison to begin serving his sentence.

The 22-year-old soccer player broke his silence shortly bfore the end of the trail to ask the judges for clemency.

“I want to apologize for what happened that night” both to Bayern Municg and to the owner of the villa, which was completely destroyed, Breno said.

The soccer player extended his apology to his family and his children “for whom I have not been a good example. I’m a person who believes in God and I’m grateful to him for having protected my family.”

The court found that the player set fire to the building, which since that time has been razed due to the extensive damage it suffered, because of the frustration he felt over a knee injury.

Despite the fact that he had been drinking alcohol at the time of the incident, the judges found that the player acted in a premeditated manner in setting fire to the villa his family had abandoned shortly before and which at the time of the fire was unoccupied.

The player’s defense team had asked the court to pardon Breno and, if the judges decided to punish him, not to pass a sentence longer than two years in prison upon him so that he would not have to spend time behind bars.

“He has nothing besides his family and soccer,” said his lawyer, Werner Leiner, who asked the judges for “a chance for Breno,” while the prosecution had requested a prison sentence exceeding five-and-a-half years.

Breno began his professional career in 2007 playing for FC Sao Paulo, and he was transferred in 2008 to Bayern Munich, with which he signed a four-year contract which just expired and has not been renewed.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latino Father-and-Son Duo Charged with Shooting Immigration Agent Near Border

Latino Father-and-Son Duo Charged with Shooting Immigration Agent Near Border

Photo: Immigrant Agent Shot Hargill, Texas

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Today, Pedro Alvarado, 41, and Arnoldo Alvarado, 18, have been arrested and charged with the assault of a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agent.  The Hargill, Texas men are currently in custody and expected to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter Orsmby.

Both are charged with assault of a federal officer and knowingly using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

On July 3, 2012, HSI special agents were conducting surveillance of a narcotics transaction believed to be occurring near Hargill. While parked in his official vehicle an HSI agent was allegedly approached by another vehicle from which shots were fired.  According to the complaint the agent’s car was pursued and was continuously fired at.

The agent then lost control of his vehicle, at which time additional agents arrived and discovered the agent had been shot one time in the back.

HSI special agents then conducted a search at a residence in Hargill and encountered Pedro Alvarado and his son, Arnoldo Alvarado, who were then taken into federal custody for further questioning. A third person, a minor, was also identified in relation to the crime and was turned over to state authorities.

The father-son- duo if found guilty can face up to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000. The Alvarados also face a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison as well as a $250,000 fine for using and carrying a firearm.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spanish Art Feud Being Fueled by Poor Economy, “The Lock” to be Sold

Baroness Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, age 69, is selling John Constable’s painting “The Lock” because she is apparently suffering “liquidity” problems brought on by Spain’s economic crisis.

It is expected to raise up to £25 million and the piece is housed in Madrid’s Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.
However, the proposed sale is causing an uproar with Spanish art fanatics and has even ignited a bitter family feud.

One of the museum board members even resigned to protest the sale.  Sir Norman Rosenthal said that the Baroness, a former Miss Spain, has no understanding of either art history or art appreciation. 

The Baroness countered her critics with the following statement to El Pais: 
“It’s very painful for me, (to sell the painting) but there was no other way out. I need the money, I really need it. I have no liquidity. Keeping the collection here is costly to me, and I get nothing in return.”

The Baroness, known as Tita, is the fifth wife and widow of Swiss industrialist Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, who amassed a huge private art collection before his death in 2002, at age 81. Francesca Von Habsburg, age 52, Tita’s step-daughter and the only daughter of the late-Baron has dismissed the claims of her stepmothers need of money.

Read more by HS News Staff →

More Mysterious Stone Spheres Discovered in Costa Rica

More Mysterious Stone Spheres Discovered in Costa Rica

Photo: Los Bolas of Costa Rica

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More ‘Los Bolas’ as they are known in Costa Rica have been discovered during construction excavation on a banana plantation.

These stone spheres are just the latest discovery, there are over three hundred of these spheres in Costa Rica.  The balls, which are perfectly formed, range in size from a few inches in diameter to over six feet in diameter.

The ones found recently, in the province of Puntarenas in the Osa fifth canton,  will be protected and shipped to the National Museum located in San Jose.  There they will be analyzed and aged.  Inside Costa Rica is reporting that pre-Colombian pottery and tools were also discovered at the same location where the spheres were found. 

The petrospheres have been attributed to a Pre-Colombian indigenous culture of Costa Rica that existed between 700 CE and 1530 CE.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Lifeguard Tomas Lopez Confused After Being Fired for Saving Man’s Life

Tomas Lopez, a lifeguard at Hallandale Beach, Florida, was fired on Monday for saving a downing mans life.  He knows why he was fired but just doesn’t understand it.

Lopez was fired because in going to aid the man yelling for help, he left “his” beach area unattended, therefore breaking a company rule.

Jeff Ellis and Associates, based in Orlando, fired Lopez because he left his south Florida beach section that the company is paid to patrol.

The Sun Sentinel reported that Lopez was on duty at that station when a beachgoer asked for help. Lopez ran to assist the man struggling in the water.  By the time Lopez arrived, witnesses had pulled the man onto the beach.

Then Lopez and an off-duty nurse helped the distressed man until paramedics arrived and took over. The man was taken to the hospital and survived.

Then Lopez was fired shortly after the rescue while two coworkers of his have quit in protest.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Pedaling Your Way to Freedom in Brazil

Pedaling Your Way to Freedom in Brazil

Photo: Jornal Nacional - Santa Rita do Sapucai

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Inmates in one of Brazil’s prison can now pedal their way to freedom all while helping save the environment.

Prisoners at the Santa Rita do Sapucia prison can ride electricity-generating stationery bikes to charge batteries that are used in nearby communities to power everything from streetlights to light bulbs.  For every 16 hours a prisoner rides on a prison bike they get one day off their prison sentence.

The prison program, created by Judge Jose Henrique Mallmann, is not mandatory but is very popular.  Brazil has another popular prison program that allows inmates to reduce their sentence by reading books and writing reports.  The “Redemption Through Reading” program allows a prisoner to reduce his/her sentence by as many as 48 days per years by reading four books each week.

Allegedly Judge Mallmann, got the idea from none other than “America’s Toughest Sheriff” Joe Arpaio.  He has a prison exercise plan where inmates pedal for TV privileges. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa Single Again, Relationship with Former Miss USA ends After Three Years

Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio R. Villaraigosa, and television reporter and former Miss USA, Lu Parker, have ended their relationship after three years.

Juliette Harris of It Girl Public Relations confirmed that the former Miss USA ended her relationship with Villaraigosa as of May 25.

Parker, the special assignment reporter at KTLA (Channel 5), started dating Villaraigosa in 2009 and moved into Mayor’s official home, the Getty House, shortly thereafter.

The couple attended numerous high-profile events in Los Angeles including the Oscars and the Emmys and were often photographed at key city events.

The Mayor and his ex-wife, Corina, divorced in 2007 after 20 years of marriage. Villaraigosa and Parker started dating after his affair with Mirthala Salinas, another television reporter, came to an end.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spanish F1 Driver Maria De Villota Loses Eye After Test Crash

Spanish F1 Driver Maria De Villota Loses Eye After Test Crash

Photo: Maria De Villota Hurt in Crash

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Maria de Villota, of the Formula One team Marussia, has lost her right eye in a crash at a test event on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old driver, one of only two female drivers ever contracted to an F1 team, sustained her injuries at a British airfield after running into a stationary truck.

She was then rushed to the Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in the English county of Cambridgeshire, where she underwent surgery for “serious head and facial injuries.”

Tuesday was the first time De Villota had been behind the wheel of her MR01 car; Marussia officials are investigating the accident.

“However, it is with great sadness that I must report that, due to the injuries she sustained, Maria has lost her right eye,” stated the principal of the F1 team, John Booth to CNN.

“Maria’s care and the well-being of her family remain our priority at this time. Her family are at the hospital, and we are doing everything possible to support them.”

Marussia, based in the UK, recruited De Villota in March having driven in the Euroseries 300, the Spanish Formula Three, and the Daytona 24 Hours.

The De Villota family of Madrid, is in shock and rushed to their daughters side immediately. Maria’s father, Emilio de Villota is a former F1 driver who raced from 1976 to 1982.

Read more by HS News Staff →

JUST IN:  George Zimmerman’s Bond Set at $1 Million

JUST IN:  George Zimmerman’s Bond Set at $1 Million

Photo: George Zimmerman Has New Bond

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Florida Judge Kenneth Lester has set a new bond at $1 Million, for George Zimmerman in the shooting death of teen Trayvon Martin.  This same judge had revoked Zimmerman’s original bond of $150,000 after discovering Zimmerman and his wife had deceived the court on how much money they had access to.

Last month George Zimmerman’s wife, Shellie Zimmerman was arrested and charged with perjury in the case involving her husband and the killing that occurred on February 26th.

Zimmerman’s wife testified during his original bond hearing that the couple had limited funds, while failing to disclose that more than $200,000 had been donated to Zimmerman through a website.  It was discovered that Shellie transferred more than $74,000 from her husband’s bank account to hers.

Prosecutors argued that both Zimmermans conspired to lie about the money.  Zimmerman also failed to disclose the fact that he had a second passport, which he did not surrender to the court at his first hearing.

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Secure Communities Deporting People With No Criminal Record, Immigration Advocates Charge

Secure Communities Deporting People With No Criminal Record, Immigration Advocates Charge

Photo: Controversy with Secure Communities Program

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Today, immigration advocates released emails from the FBI and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) that show that ICE’s Secure Communities deportation program is sweeping in individuals who have never been criminally arrested.

The emails—which were obtained as a result of Freedom of Information Act and litigation brought by the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the Cardozo Immigration Justice Clinic—show that people who are unable to satisfactorily identify themselves at drivers’ license checkpoints, but are not suspected of any criminal conduct, are nonetheless processed for deportation through Secure Communities.

According to the emails, in May 2011, the state of California attempted to obtain assurance from ICE and the FBI that “the [Secure Communities] Program will only affect persons who are arrested for a crime, and not those who may simply be stopped at a drivers’ license checkpoint.” Instead of providing the requested assurance, the FBI apparently informed California that even prints for individuals who had been arrested for identification purposes only would have their immigration status checked through Secure Communities.

The emails were originally disclosed in heavily redacted form in August 2011. Less redacted versions were disclosed in June 2012. This is the first time they have been publicly released.

Click here to see the emails in their original form. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Tortured Bodies Found on Mexican Highway in Guerrero

Tortured Bodies Found on Mexican Highway in Guerrero

Photo: Narcos in Guerrero, Mexico

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The bodies of five people who appear to have been tortured were found on a highway in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero, while the bodies of two police officers were discovered inside their patrol car in another part of the state, prosecutors said.

The five bodies were found Wednesday under a bridge on the Siglo XXI highway in the Costa Grande region, with the victims ranging in age from 25 to 35, the Guerrero Attorney General’s Office said in a statement.

The victims, who were found after police received an anonymous tip, had been beaten, blindfolded and shot in the head, the AG’s office said.

Several messages were left with the bodies by the presumed killers, the AG’s office said.

The bodies of two state police officers, meanwhile, were found in the city of Taxco de Alarcon.

Officers Agustin Barrera Gutierrez and Jose Manuel Ruiz Guillen were assigned to a unit in the city, the AG’s office said.

Guerrero Gov. Angel Aguirre Rivero launched a security operation last year with the support of the federal government to improve security in the southern state.

“Operation Safe Guerrero” was launched on Oct. 6, 2011, in an effort to reduce the soaring crime rate in the state.

The wave of drug-related violence in the state has been blamed on a turf war between rival cartels.

President Felipe Calderon declared war on Mexico’s drug cartels shortly after taking office in December 2006.

Calderon has deployed tens of thousands of soldiers and Federal Police officers across the country to combat drug cartels and other criminal organizations.

The use of the armed forces to fight drug traffickers, however, has failed to stem the violence.

Unofficial tallies put the death toll from Mexico’s drug war at more than 50,000.

Read more by HS News Staff →

More Than Half of Mexican Presidential Ballots to be Recounted

More Than Half of Mexican Presidential Ballots to be Recounted

Photo: Protesting electoral fraud

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More than half of the ballots cast in last weekend’s presidential election will be recounted, a much higher percentage than initial estimates, Mexican elections officials said Wednesday.

Some 54.5 percent of the elections packages, which were received from 78,012 polling places, “will be opened and recounted under full security,” Federal Electoral Institute, or IFE, executive secretary Edmundo Jacobo said.

The figure exceeds the initial estimate released Tuesday by the IFE of 45,000 to 50,000 packages, representing one-third of the ballots cast at the nearly 143,000 polling places established for the general elections.

Recounts can be done for a number of reasons, including when there is a difference equal to or less than 1 percent separating the winner and the second-place finisher, when there are errors on ballots or when the number of void ballots is greater than the difference between the victor and the candidate who came in second.

The announcement came a few hours after the IFE began the official count of the ballots from Sunday’s general elections.

Some 61.3 percent of the ballots cast in federal Senate elections and 60.3 percent of the ballots for races for the lower house of Congress will be recounted, Jacobo said.

The vote count for the presidential election is expected to be completed at 9:10 a.m. on Thursday, the IFE official said.

The count, however, will be subject to challenge by the political parties, with the final decision being made by electoral courts.

The IFE agreed early Wednesday to change its interpretation of the law to expand the number of ballots subject to recount.

Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, candidate Enrique Peña Nieto won the presidency based on the preliminary figures released on Monday by the IFE.

Peña Nieto garnered 38.14 percent of the vote, while leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took second place with 31.64 percent, according to the final preliminary results.

Lopez Obrador, a former Mexico City mayor who was the standard-bearer of a leftist coalition led by the Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD, said in a press conference Monday that he would not accept “fraudulent results.”

Lopez Obrador lost the 2006 presidential election to Felipe Calderon, of the National Action Party, or PAN, by 0.56 percent and has never recognized the results, claiming victory in that contest.

Peña Nieto remained in the lead on Wednesday as the official count was conducted, garnering 39.12 percent of the vote, to Lopez Obrador’s 30.28 percent, with 34.5 percent of the ballots counted, the IFE said in its 1:31 p.m. bulletin.

Read more by HS News Staff →

¡Felicidades! Venezuela on Your 201st Year of Independence

¡Felicidades! Venezuela on Your 201st Year of Independence

Photo: Flag of Venezuela

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Today, all of Venezuela is celebrating and rejoicing its 202-year old independence from Spain.  Christopher Columbus sailed along the eastern coast of Venezuela on his third voyage in 1498, the only one of his four voyages to reach the South American mainland.  The Spanish arrived in the 1500’s in full force and stayed for nearly 300 years as it colonized the region, converted natives to Christianity and enslaved native populations while pillaging the country’s gold mines. 

Venezuela started it fight for independence in 1797 getting inspiration from the French Revolution.  The Venezuelan War of Independence lasted from 1811-1823 led by Venezuelan freedom fighter Simon Bolivar.  The country’s congress declared the country independent on July 5, 1811 nonetheless Spain kept trying to maintain its control over the country until the final Battle of Lake Maracaibo in 1823. 

The country will celebrate with parades, music concerts and cultural exhibitions and toast the return of its ailing and left leaning President Hugo Chavez. 

President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry sent the following congratulatory remarks: 

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Venezuela as you commemorate the day that Venezuela declared its independence 202 years ago.

Venezuela and the United States have much in common. For example, revolutionary leader General Francisco de Miranda also played a part in our own struggle for independence, participating in the Battle of Pensacola in 1781. His contribution is forever memorialized in a monument that stands in the heart of Philadelphia, the original capital of the United States. When a devastating earthquake struck Venezuela in 1812 the United States sent the Venezuelan people the first humanitarian assistance it ever provided to a foreign country. These two examples demonstrate that Venezuela and the United States have shared ties of friendship and common values since the birth of our two nations, and the ties between our people endure.

I wish Venezuelans everywhere health, happiness, and hope on the anniversary of your independence.



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Obama Grants 25 Immigrant Armed Forces Members U.S. Citizenship

Obama Grants 25 Immigrant Armed Forces Members U.S. Citizenship

Photo: Pete Souza

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U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday said that “immigration makes America stronger” while presiding over a ceremony welcoming some two dozen U.S. service members as newly-sworn American citizens.

About a dozen of the new citizens are Hispanics originally from Bolivia, Honduras, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador and Colombia.

“Immigration makes us more prosperous. Immigration positions America to lead in the 21st century,” said Obama before an audience made up of the relatives of the naturalized Americans at the White House.

He added that no other nation renews itself as regularly and constantly as the United States thanks to the arrival of immigrants.

One of new citizens, Guatemalan Carlos Alberto Navichoque, told about his journey from being an illegal immigrant almost 16 years ago to receiving U.S. citizenship after serving in Iraq as a transport operator in 2010.

“We entered by Tijuana (Mexico), it was very dangerous, but it was worth it. Today has been an emotional day, with a lot of nervousness. I’m proud to be part of this nation and to serve in the U.S. Army,” Navichoque told Efe.

However, he also said he wanted to send a message of hope to immigrants who come to the United States.

“We’re going through tough times all the time, but we should never lose faith,” he emphasized.

Obama emphasized that July 4, Independence Day, is an appropriate time to hold such a ceremony, at which 25 members of the armed forces obtained their U.S. citizenship papers.

“Unless you are one of the first Americans, a native American, we are all descended from folks who came from somewhere else,” the president said. “The story of immigrants in America isn’t a story of them. It’s a story of us.”

Silvano Carcamo, born in Honduras, was visibly emotional at the ceremony, where he was accompanied by his wife and son.

“It’s incredible. I want to leave a good legacy to my son. I fought for the country, I want him to value citizenship more,” Carcamo - a Navy medic who recently returned from Afghanistan - told Efe after the ceremony.

Obama was accompanied at the ceremony by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Alejandro Mayorkas.

Napolitano emphasized that the freedoms we enjoy are the consequence of the sacrifices made by people like the newly sworn-in citizens.

Obama presided at similar citizenship ceremonies at the White House in May 2009 and April 2010.

The naturalization process requires a person to have lived legally in the United States for at least five years and to be able to speak, read and write English, to have knowledge of how the government works and the country’s history and to comply with moral principles.

Read more by HS News Staff →

ThursdayJuly 5, 2012