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SaturdayJuly 7, 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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Was A Mexican Journalist Wrongfully Imprisoned Over Custody Battle?

Was A Mexican Journalist Wrongfully Imprisoned Over Custody Battle?

Photo: Sanjuana Martinez

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Award-winning Mexican journalist Sanjuana Martinez has been released after being jailed for 24 hours by the judge handling her battle for custody of her children, the reporter’s attorney said.

Martinez’s husband, Spanish Judge Carlos Castresana, filed suit against Martinez to gain custody of their children, a case pending procedural issues and which could be moved to another court at the journalist’s request.

“She’s at home peacefully now with her kids,” Martinez’s attorney, Queeny Rose Osorio, told Efe.

The attorney said the journalist was arrested at around 2:00 p.m. Thursday and was let out of jail Friday at about 2:30 p.m.

The order for her release was handed down by a federal civil tribunal different from the court hearing the custody case, the attorney said.

Osorio indicated Thursday that Sanjuana Martinez’s arrest might be linked to a report written by the journalist in 2008 about a raid on a shelter for women who had been victims of violence.

The raid was ordered by Judge Luz Maria Guerrero Delgado, the same jurist trying the case for custody of the journalist’s children. The organization that owns the shelter reacted by suing the judge for abuse of power.

The investigative journalist’s arrest was ordered due to her refusal to comply with Judge Guerrero’s order to hand over her children, sources familiar with the case said.

Checking the facts with Judge Guerrero has proved impossible, since Efe’s repeated phone calls to her since Thursday to ask about the state of the case and the situation of the journalist have gone unanswered.

Martinez had asked another court to take up the case. “The procedure is being looked into. Another kind of action will be taken,” the journalist’s attorney said, adding that the judge’s actions entail some “pretty serious responsibilities.”

Paris-based press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders, known by the French initials RSF, demanded Thursday the freeing of Sanjuana Martinez, who was arrested in the northern industrial city of Monterrey.

Martinez is a contributor to the daily La Jornada as well as to Proceso magazine, and is “noted for her campaigns on behalf of abused women and children,” the RSF said.

“Does anyone seriously believe that three police officers were justified in marching Sanjuana Martinez off to jail like a common felon on the basis of civil proceedings that were in no way criminal in nature?” RSF asked rhetorically.

RSF also said that “the pretext is so implausible and misleading that it could be seen at best as personal revenge by the judge who ordered it, with whom the journalist is in serious dispute, or at worst as a desire to punish Sanjuana Martinez for her views and the stands she has taken.”

Sanjuana Martinez, 49, was awarded Mexico’s National Journalism Prize in 2006 and Spain’s Ortega y Gasset Prize in 2008.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Wisin & Yandel’s New Album Aims to Attract Wider Audience

Puerto Rican reggaeton duo Wisin & Yandel presented in Los Angeles their new disc “Lideres” (Leaders), which includes performances with Jennifer Lopez, Chris Brown and T-Pain, and which, they say, makes them feel “more universal than ever.”

“It’s a disc for the world,” Wisin told Efe. “Jennifer gives us an international touch, and so does Chris who is very hot. We brought together the leaders for this disc and used European producers to give it a different sound,” he said.

“We made this music to reach a wider audience…it’s a really great disc, well worked and recorded with a lot of love,” Yandel said about the content of the record, their ninth studio album. “We feel more universal than ever,” he said.

“It’s not easy to get these artists together on one disc,” Wisin said about the names who took part in the project, including Franco El Gorila, O’Neill and Alberto Stylee.

“The work speaks for itself. This is what makes Wisin & Yandel keep growing. That they are here with us,” he said, “tells us there’s a lot more we can do.”

If in the past the duo worked with artists like 50 Cent, Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin, now it’s the turn of Jennifer Lopez, with whom they launched the first single, “Follow the Leader,” a big hit on dance floors and whose music video was shot by the Dominican Jessy Terrero in the Mexican resort city of Acapulco.

“The truth is that we thought it would be a hit just with the combination” of singing with J.Lo, “but then we put it together with a great video and the chemistry worked really powerfully with her. The combo is a big draw with the Latino audience,” Yandel said.

The duo is obviously proud both of the album, which went on sale July 3 and is already No. 1 on iTunes in countries like Mexico, Venezuela, Bolivia, Guatemala, Ecuador, Dominican Republic and Colombia, and of the first single “Follow the Leader,” which is way up on the charts in a number of countries.

This Saturday the duo shoots the video of their second single, “Algo Me Gusta de Ti” (There’s Something I Like About You), in Los Angeles, together with Chris Brown and T-Pain.

Read more by HS News Staff →

6-year-old Girl Miraculously Survives 18-story Fall

6-year-old Girl Miraculously Survives 18-story Fall

Photo: The accident happened in Medellin

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A 6-year-old Colombian girl survived a fall from the 18th floor of a building in the northwestern Colombian city of Medellin, doctors who treated her said, adding that the child is in “grave” but “stable” condition.

The head of the medical division of El Rosario Clinic, Carlos Sanchez, told reporters that the little girl “is in very delicate condition with multisystemic injuries, but remains stable within her grave condition.”

The incident occurred at a high-rise apartment building in Medellin’s upscale El Poblado neighborhood.

She is estimated to have plunged from a height of some 45 meters (148 feet) with nothing to break her fall.

Sanchez said that the minor has been given “artificial respiration” and that she suffered a cardiorespiratory arrest, from which she managed to emerge, and has undergone several surgeries.

He said that the medical team of specialists is doing everything they can to keep the child alive.

He said that one reason the little girl survived is that her bones are still forming and for that reason “her body is more flexible” and has a greater ability to recover than an adult patient would.

Authorities have launched an investigation to find out exactly how the accident occurred.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Chayanne and Marc Anthony to Reunite in Argentina

Chayanne and Marc Anthony to Reunite in Argentina

Photo: Marc Anthony and Chayanne

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Latin pop stars Chayanne and Marc Anthony will perform together in concert at Velez Stadium in Buenos Aires on Oct. 20.

The show featuring the two singers of Puerto Rican descent will be part of their Gigantes tour that kicks off Sept. 26 in Guatemala City and from there will take them around much of Latin America for about a month.

Chayanne and Marc Anthony have confirmed concerts up to now in San Jose, Lima, Quito, Caracas and Santiago.

The two vocalists have performed in the Argentine capital many times on their own, but this will be their first time doing a show there together, according to the offical news agency Telam.

The 2 1/2 hour concert has been a hit with fans in the United States.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Pamplona Bull Run Sees 6 Victims in First Run

Pamplona Bull Run Sees 6 Victims in First Run

Photo: Running with the bulls in Pamplona

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Six runners, one of them gored in the leg, were taken to hospitals Saturday after the first running of the bulls at the San Fermin festival, celebrated in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona.

According to officials at the Navarre Hospital Complex, one runner who had been gored in the leg and another five with bruises were admitted to different medical centers.

All were quickly released except a 73-year-old man who was gored in the left leg. The wound was 25 centimeters (10 inches) long but did not affect the vascular-nervous system, according to a medical report issued by the regional government of Navarre.

Meanwhile, medical centers released a young Japanese man, 21, and an Australian, 26, as well as three injured Spaniards, all of whom were treated for contusions.

The first running of the bulls in the 2012 San Fermin festival, with bulls from the Dolores Aguirre estate, was fast and dangerous over streets left slippery by the rain, with a huge crowd taking part because this year it took place on a Saturday.

With or without rain, the run to the bullring is always dangerous because some people take part in the event after all-night drinking binges, which makes them reckless and more likely to get too close to animals that weigh in excess of 500 kilos (1,100 pounds).

The running of the bulls is monitored by experts who control the route and try to prevent accidents, but, inevitably, runners fall, suffer cuts and bruises, and are occasionally gored by the animals.

The festival, begun about 400 years ago, was popularized by Ernest Hemingway in his 1926 novel “The Sun Also Rises.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Obstacles Will Not Stop U.S.-Colombian Gymnast From Competing in the Olympics

Obstacles Will Not Stop U.S.-Colombian Gymnast From Competing in the Olympics

Photo: Jessica Gil Ortiz

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Gymnast Jessica Gil had to overcome some serious obstacles to qualify for the Olympic Games in London.

Gil, who has dual U.S.-Colombian citizenship, is a member of Colombia’s Olympic squad.

“I had an accident in the (2009) Gymnastics World Championships when I fell on my head. The hardest part was overcoming that and forging ahead because I felt so bad. I had reached a level to be among the top three, and when I couldn’t finish the competition I was really depressed,” she said in an interview with Efe.

The Miami-born athlete suffered the accident while competing in floor exercise and tried to do a leap but fell with the full weight of her body on her neck and head.

A month later she was able to overcome her gloom and took part in the Bolivarian Games, where she came in third.

“Thank God nothing really bad happened to me in that accident. They gave me some tests and didn’t find anything bad,” the 21-year-old Gil said.

A later operation to have her appendix removed was “complicated with peritonitis. I had reached the point where I could have died from the infection, but I recovered my strength thanks to my eagerness to continue, to be the best.”

Those obstacles were behind her when they told her at the Olympic qualifying round in London that she had classified for Colombia in 17th place out of the 35 best gymnasts in the world and out of a total 200 who tried out.

“We had to wait until the qualifiers for the last discipline were finished to be told the results - and when they were announced I jumped for joy, I started crying. I called my mom, my dad, I called everyone and I was so happy,” she told Efe.

This will be the first time she will compete in the Olympic Games, about which the athlete said “I still don’t believe it - it’s the dream I’ve struggled for all my life. I’ve been doing gymnastics since the age of 2.”

Gil spends several hours a day training in a Miami gym with a view to the London Olympics that start July 27, where she will compete in all the gymnastic disciplines. She hopes to reach the final in floor exercise.

“I’m very good at floor, I hope to reach the final. I did it in the world championships of 2009,” said the gymnast who suspended her studies in business administration to train for the Olympics.

She said she’s competing for Colombia - her parents are from Medellin - after failing to qualify for the U.S. gymnastics team.

“They didn’t choose me but the trainer told me I was good and asked me why I didn’t try out for Colombia. I did and I’ve been national champion from 2006 until now,” she said.

She said that “in Colombia they’re very happy to have me represent them, they expect the best from me and I hope to do the best for my country, because I feel that it’s also my country.”

The athlete was guided to take part in the sport by her mother, who was also a gymnast, and was a member and trainer of the Colombian national team.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Nobel Laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez Suffering from Dementia

Nobel Laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez Suffering from Dementia

Photo: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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Colombian Nobel Prize-winning novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez suffers from senile dementia but still maintains his good sense of humor, joy and enthusiasm, his brother said here Friday.

In remarks to participants in a cultural expedition at Cartagena’s Inquisition Museum, Jaime Garcia Marquez said that “from a physical standpoint he’s doing well, although he now has some memory lapses” aggravated by his long recovery from lymphatic cancer, first diagnosed in 1999.

“Dementia runs in our family and he’s now suffering the ravages prematurely due to the cancer that put him almost on the verge of death. Chemotherapy saved his life, but it also destroyed many neurons, many defenses and cells and accelerated the process,” he said.

But Jaime Garcia Marquez said it was still possible to converse with the 85-year-old master of magical realism and author of “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” fondly known as “Gabo,” who is still filled “with tremendous joy and enthusiasm, as he always has been. Always full of humor.”

“When we speak to him, we are very concerned about his health but deeply happy in the end because he’s still with us,” he added.

The brother of the 1982 Nobel literature laureate said he has tried to keep news about Gabo’s health a secret, not because there is anything people should not know “but because it’s his life and he’s always tried to protect it.”

“The fact is there are lots of comments. Some are true but they’re always filled with morbid (details). Sometimes you get the sense they’d rather he were dead, as if his death were some great news,” he said.

Jaime Garcia Marquez, who heads the Ibero-American New Journalism Foundation, founded by Gabo in 1994 in Cartagena, said it is regrettable that his brother is not in condition to write the second part of his autobiography, “Vivir para contarla” (Living to Tell the Tale), nor any other work.

“Unfortunately, I don’t think that’ll be possible, but I hope I’m wrong,” he said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Airport Shooting in Mexico Began Over Drug Dispute

Airport Shooting in Mexico Began Over Drug Dispute

Photo: Scene of the shootout

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A June 25 shootout at Mexico City’s capital’s airport that left three police officers dead began with an argument among cops over a packet of cocaine, a leading Mexican newspaper said Friday.

The official account maintains that three Federal Police officers under investigation for drug trafficking killed three fellow officers who were about to arrest them at Benito Juarez International Airport.

Reforma, however, cites several unnamed witnesses who said the shooting arose from a dispute among six police officers over a packet of cocaine left behind by a traveler.

Sources in airport security had told Efe earlier that five or six cops, including several off-duty officers in plainclothes, were together at a coffee shop in the terminal shortly before the gunfight broke out.

The police arguing about the drugs went to the airport’s food court, described as a “blind spot for the security cameras”, where the shooting started.

Two officers, Josue Adan Matadamas Cota and Enrique de Jesus Pacheco - who was at the airport on his day off - died in the food court.

“Apparently, some uniformed officers tried to escape by elevator and were confronted by Fidel Rojas Martinez, who was wounded and later died,” Reforma said.

At least 10 cops were involved in the shooting, the newspaper said, contradicting authorities’ statement that only six officers took part.

The head of the Federal Police division of Regional Security, Luis Cardenas Palomino, called Reforma’s story a “disgrace” and said authorities had no evidence or testimony pointing to “any argument” among the officers.

The three suspected dirty cops the government blames for the killings remain at large.

Authorities have presented security videos that appear to support the official account of the events of June 25.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Creator of the Daiquiri, Hemingway’s Favorite Cuban Bar Turns 195

Creator of the Daiquiri, Hemingway’s Favorite Cuban Bar Turns 195

Photo: El Floridita

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Iconic Cuban fish restaurant and cocktail bar El Floridita, famed for its daiquiris and known as Ernest Hemingway’s favorite hangout in Havana, marked its 195th anniversary on Friday.

Located in Old Havana on the corner of Obispo and Monserrate streets, El Floridita bills itself as the “cradle of the daiquiri,” a cocktail consisting of white rum, lime juice and shaved ice that hundreds of tourists sample every day during their visit to one of this capital’s must-see attractions.

Floridita is more than a bar,” manager Andres Arencibia told Efe Friday, recalling that the establishment opened its doors in 1817 with the name La PiƱa de Plata and has served numerous celebrities and dignitaries from the worlds of politics, literature, art, music and cinema over its 195-year history.

Hollywood stars Errol Flynn, Ava Gardner and Gary Cooper were among the illustrious customers of the establishment, which in 1953 was named one of the world’s seven most famous bars and in 1992 received the American Academy of Restaurant & Hospitality Sciences’ Best of the Best Five Star Diamond award for its daiquiris and seafood.

But the figure most associated with El Floridita undoubtedly was Hemingway, who stopped by the bar nearly every day during his long stays in Cuba over a 20-year period.

One of El Floridita’s best-loved frozen daiquiris, the “Papa Hemingway,” is named after the 1954 Nobel literature laureate. Served without sugar, it contains grapefruit juice, maraschino liqueur, lime juice and a double portion of rum.

“My daiquiri in El Floridita,” the famed American author (1899-1961) was fond of saying. His presence can still be felt thanks to a life-sized bronze statue at the wall-end of the bar that provides a popular photo opportunity for tourists.

Read more by HS News Staff →

19 Days After Suffering a Stroke Colombian V.P. Leaves Hospital

19 Days After Suffering a Stroke Colombian V.P. Leaves Hospital

Photo: Vice President Angelino Garzon

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Colombian Vice President Angelino Garzon was released from hospital Friday, 19 days after suffering a stroke, Bogota’s Reina Sofia Clinic said in a statement.

Garzon was taken home by aides, family members and a bodyguard who traveled in three armored cars escorted by a police patrol.

The vice president “continues to progress satisfactorily” and was deemed fit to leave “under a program of home hospitalization” and comprehensive rehabilitation, clinic director Andres Caballero said.

“Under doctors’ recommendation, visits will continue to be restricted,” the communique said.

Garzon was admitted to the clinic on June 14 apparently suffering from a prostate infection, but after several days there he suffered a stroke that affected several vital functions and for which he underwent an emergency operation.

On June 19 he was placed in the intensive care unit, where he was kept in an induced coma for a week until he awakened and his state of health began to make some progress. He was moved to a room last Sunday.

Garzon, a respected former union leader, became vice president as the running mate of Juan Manuel Santos after having served as labor minister in the 1998-2002 government of Andres Pastrana and as ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva during the 2002-2010 tenure of President Alvaro Uribe.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Olympics: U.S. Taekwondo Champ Steven Lopez Aims for Third Gold Medal

Olympics: U.S. Taekwondo Champ Steven Lopez Aims for Third Gold Medal

Photo: Steven Lopez winning the gold at the Athens olympics

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U.S. taekwondo champion Steven Lopez said Friday in New York that he will put his whole heart into winning another medal for the United States in the London Olympic Games.

“I have a lot of faith in God, I believe in myself and I have the support of my family, I believe that I’ve done everything right to win and I’m going to fight with all my heart,” the 33-year-old athlete of Nicaraguan origin told Efe.

Lopez, who spoke Friday to a group of children about the importance of healthy eating and of the sport to which he has dedicated 27 years, said that his parents Julio and Ondina are his source of inspiration.

He recalled that they emigrated from Nicaragua in 1972 “with nothing, without knowing the language and in search of opportunities.”

He said his parents always advised him “to be the best person I could be.”

“They’re my motivation to become the best representative of this country that has given so much to me and my family,” the athlete said.

Lopez, who was born in New York but grew up and lives in Texas with his brother Jean, trainer of the U.S. taekwondo team, said that he likes to spend time with children “and do something to motivate them.”

The athlete, winner of Olympic gold in 2000 - when taekwondo was accepted as an Olympic sport for the first time - and at the 2004 games in Athens, told the youngsters that from the time he was a kid he wanted to compete in these games and that his dad taught him that to achieve his wish, he had to begin with discipline.

The 2012 U.S. taekwondo team is made up of two men and two women, one of them his sister Diana, winner of a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, who in a week’s time will leave for Croatia to continue her training.

The Lopez family also includes Mark, who has also won medals for the United States in this sport but this time will not accompany his siblings to London.

Steve, Diana and Mark made history in 2005 when they were the first siblings in any sport to win world titles at the same time, in the World Taekwondo Championship in Madrid.

In 2008, they competed in the Beijing Olympics.

“That was a dream for me and I thank God and my parents for their sacrifice. I’m proud to have done it,” Lopez said, adding that he is ready and “eager” to take on this new challenge, which he is getting ready for with a training program “very intense, two or three times a day, to be better.”

“It’s great to reach this point and give thanks to God for the chance” to be in a fourth Olympic Games, Lopez said, adding that right now he doesn’t know if there will be a fifth.

“I feel well, physically and mentally, and I think that’s what is most important. I don’t know if I’ll get to Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Right now I’m concentrating on London. I don’t know if I’ll continue as an athlete or a trainer,” he said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazilian Police to Learn Spanish Before World Cup, Olympics

Brazilian Police to Learn Spanish Before World Cup, Olympics

Photo: 2014 World Cup logo

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Spain’s Cervantes Institute will teach Spanish to 40,000 police officers in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais as the South American nation gears up to host the 2014 soccer World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

This is the first time the Minas Gerais state police force has turned to a foreign institution in order to take language instruction for its officers to a new level, the Cervantes Institute said Friday in a statement.

The training will be provided by the Cervantes center in Belo Horizonte, capital of Minas Gerais.

This agreement follows those signed previously by the Cervantes Institute in Minas Gerais with universities, associations and foundations, and will serve to promote cultural and technical exchanges between Spanish police and their counterparts in that Brazilian state.

In recent years, the Cervantes Institute in Belo Horizonte has worked with a number of organizations in Minas Gerais, including the Culture, Education, Tourism, Science and Technology Departments, and the state’s special office for World Cup preparations.

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‘Lonesome George,’ the Tortoise, To Become Part of Ecuadorian Cultural Heritage

‘Lonesome George,’ the Tortoise, To Become Part of Ecuadorian Cultural Heritage

Photo: Lonesome George

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Ecuador initiated the process this week to declare Lonesome George, the last tortoise of its species that died in June of natural causes in the Galapagos Islands, as part of the nation’s cultural heritage, the Coordinating Ministry of National and Cultural Heritage said.

“Lonesome George symbolizes the conservation of the natural heritage of the Galapagos Islands and of the planet, while also being part of Ecuador’s collective memory and cultural identity,” the ministry said.

The ministry also said it has begun gathering data with the aid of a number of scientists, since the century-old tortoise is of “interest to science and the natural history of the Galapagos and the world.”

The creature’s exact age when it expired is unknown but “is estimated at more than 100 years.”

Meanwhile the deputy coordinating minister of national and cultural heritage, Juan Carlos Coellar, presented a plaque on July 4 to the authorities of Galapagos National Park and Government Council in commemoration of Solitary George during a solemn session that also celebrated the creation of the national park.

In his speech, Coellar said that “this is not just to commemorate Lonesome George but also in recognition of the vast biodiversity of the islands, and I invite all citizens to continue the preservation of this fragile ecosystem.”

The giant chelonian’s body will be embalmed and exhibited at an information center dedicated exclusively to land tortoises, the MCP said.

The center has yet to be constructed and will be named after its stellar specimen, the tortoise from La Pinta Island that was the last of the Chelonoidis abingdoni species and for 40 years was a symbol of the Galapagos.

Lonesome George was kept at the Charles Darwin Research Station’s tortoise breeding center on the island of Santa Cruz.

The Galapagos Islands, located in the Pacific Ocean some 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) west of the Ecuadorian mainland, served as a natural laboratory that inspired English scientist Charles Darwin to develop his theory about evolution, natural selection and the origin of species.

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10 Children Rescued from Guerillas in Peru

10 Children Rescued from Guerillas in Peru

Photo: The operation occurred in southern Peru

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Police rescued 10 minors who had been forcibly recruited by a guerrilla group in a conflictive region of southern Peru, President Ollanta Humala said Friday.

“Ten children have been recovered. There are no casualties. The operation was carried out with great care to avoid the spilling of blood,” he told Canal N television.

The cops also captured 11 guerrillas, the president said.

A remnant of the Shining Path rebel group that operates in the Valley of the Apurimac and Ene rivers, or VRAE, snatches kids and tries to mould them into “little pioneers” of the movement, according to media accounts.

“They have been abducting children of the rural population for training and to cover their backs through this extortion and to assure themselves of the forced collaboration (of the residents),” Humala said of the guerrillas.

The rescue mission was carried out Thursday in the Junin region and the freed youngsters were taken to the city of Mazamari, where the president said he planned to meet with them.

The VRAE, which comprises a vast expanse of jungle across the regions of Junin, Ayacucho, Cuzco and Apurimac, is a major center of coca growing and cocaine production.

Peruvian authorities say the Shining Path units in the VRAE are working as hired guns for drug traffickers.

Read more by HS News Staff →

SaturdayJuly 7, 2012