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MondayJuly 16, 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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Bus Accident in Parana, Brazil Leaves 10 Dead and Many Injured

Bus Accident in Parana, Brazil Leaves 10 Dead and Many Injured

Photo: Bus Accident in Brazil

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The death toll from the bus accident in the southern Brazilian state of Parana has risen to at least 10, with 26 other people injured, the highway patrol said.

The bus went off a highway Monday after hitting a truck and plunged into a ravine near Pirai do Sul, a city in Parana.

The bus was traveling from Belem, a city in Para state, to Curitiba, the capital of Parana.

The bus was carrying 52 passengers, who rented the vehicle to take them to an information technology conference that starts on Tuesday in Curitiba, media reports said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Facebook Video Leads to Teen Suspects’ Arrest in Beating Death of Mexican Immigrant

Facebook Video Leads to Teen Suspects’ Arrest in Beating Death of Mexican Immigrant

Photo: Teen Murder Suspects Nicholas Ayala and Anthony Malcolm

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A Chicago judge has denied bail for three local teens charged in last week’s beating death of a disabled Mexican immigrant that was captured on video and posted on Facebook.

Malik Jones, 16, Nicholas Ayala, 17 and Anthony Malcolm,18, are each charged with first-degree murder and robbery in the brutal slaying of 62-year-old Delfino Mora, who is originally from Michoacan, Mexico.

Last Tuesday morning, Mora was found bleeding and unconscious in an alley in the Rogers Park neighborhood.  The following day he succumbed to his injuries and died according to the Chicago Tribune from blunt head trauma.  Mora was in the alley collecting scrap metals, he was robbed of $60.

Police report that Mora was approached by Jones accompanied by the other suspects with the intent of robbery.  The victim was punched and hit his head when he fell.  Ayala and Malcolm are also accused of video taping the entire incident on cell phone cameras and posting the incident on Facebook. 

In a tragic twist of fate, Mora’s youngest son Emanuel, saw the Facebook posting and identified his father as the victim on the video.  When police reviewed the video they identified the suspects and arrested them, recognizing Jones as a gang member. 

Mora worked in construction until a work accident fifteen-years-ago left him disabled and unable to work.  Mora will be buried in his native Mexico accompanied by his six sons and six daughters ranging in age from 17-to-40 years-old. 

All three teen suspects are being charged as adults and will return to court on August 3rd.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Court Documents Reveal Sexual Molestation Accusations Against George Zimmerman

Court Documents Reveal Sexual Molestation Accusations Against George Zimmerman

Photo: Sexual Molestation Accusation against George Zimmerman

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The most recent court documents released to the public on the murder trial of George Zimmerman have uncovered sexual misconduct charges from a childhood friend against Zimmerman when he was younger. 

According to the New York Times, the alleged abuse started when Zimmerman was eight and the female, known as Witness 9, was 6 years old.  The sexual misconduct continued until their teen years and ceased when the girl was 16 years-old and her parents became involved.  The sexual molestation involved forced kissing, groping and vaginal penetration with his hands. 

The unidentified witness, a resident of Orlando, was interviewed by authorities investigating the February 26th shooting of African-American teen, Trayvon Martin, by neighborhood watchman Zimmerman.  The woman’s parent decided not to pursue charges feeling the case would not be prosecuted.

This same witness also accuses Zimmerman of being biased against black people especially if “they don’t act like white” documents reveal.  Zimmerman whose mother is Latino is facing second-degree murder charges for the shooting of Martin; he is claiming self-defense.

Zimmerman’s attorney’s have been fighting the release of court documents because they feel their client will not be able to get a fair trial and the information will unfairly portrait Zimmerman. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

One of America’s Most Wanted Captured Working in Cancun Airport after 24-Years Eluding Authorities

One of America’s Most Wanted Captured Working in Cancun Airport after 24-Years Eluding Authorities

Photo: Most Wanted Vincent Walters Captured in Cancun

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U.S. Marshals 15 Most Wanted fugitive Vincent Legrend Walters, age 45, has been captured in Cancun, Mexico, after nearly 24 years on the run.

An investigation by U.S. Marshals revealed that Walters was using the alias of Oscar Rivera and working at the Cancun International Airport. Marshals Service investigators also learned that Walters had boasted to people that he was a fugitive from San Diego and wanted in the U.S.

Working closely with Mexican law enforcement authorities, Walters was located and apprehended last Friday morning.

Walters will be transported to Mexico City where he will face extradition proceedings to bring him back to San Diego, where he will face murder and drug charges. He is wanted in San Diego for the kidnapping and murder of Kristine Reyes, who was killed in September 1988. Walters was also indicted by a federal grand jury in 1989 on conspiracy to manufacture, possess and distribute crystal methamphetamine, carrying firearms during a drug trafficking crime and possession of unregistered firearms and explosives.
Walters was snared by an undercover Drug Enforcement Agency operation in 1988 after allegedly purchasing $20,000 worth of chemicals to make methamphetamine and negotiating an additional $200,000 deal with the undercover agents. When one of his associates became paranoid holding onto the finished methamphetamine, he handed it off to a local drug dealer, who in turn gave it to his friend Jay Bareno.

Wanting their drugs back, Walters tracked down the local dealer, who no longer had the drugs, and kidnapped him, along with his friend and his friend’s girlfriend to trade them to Bareno for the drugs. Bareno agreed to exchange the drugs for the hostages. After returning the drugs, two of the hostages were released, but Christina Reyes died when she was gagged with a chemically saturated rag that killed her almost instantaneously.

Martin Walters, Vincent’s brother, was caught soon after the crime and has since been convicted of Reyes’ kidnapping and murder.

He is serving 25 years to life in prison.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazil’s Olympic Soccer Team Heading into Games with “More Confidence”

Brazil’s Olympic Soccer Team Heading into Games with “More Confidence”

Photo: Brazil's Olympic Soccer Coach Heads into Games with "More Confidence"

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The coach of Brazil’s Olympic soccer team said he leaves for the 2012 Summer Games in London with “much more confidence” than he had for the 2011 Copa America and already has a firm starting lineup.

“When you start organizing, the whole project starts to take shape and you have a more objective idea of the team’s capabilities. We could see that in the final friendly matches and now we have to nail it down in the home stretch,” Mario Menezes told a press conference.

The coach said he likes living with the pressure of the job and getting results.

The Brazilian national squad has set as its goal winning the country’s first-ever Olympic gold in soccer.

Menezes said that the starting lineup he will field on Friday against Britain in the squad’s only pre-Olympic friendly will be the same he used in training this week: Rafael Cabral; Rafael Pereira, Juan, Thiago Silva, Marcelo; Sandro, Romulo, Oscar; Neymar, Hulk and Leandro Damião.

The Brazilian team will arrive in London on Tuesday morning and will debut in the Olympics against Egypt on July 26 in Cardiff.

Three days later the South Americans will play Belarus in Manchester and will close the first round against New Zealand on Aug. 1 in Newcastle.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Charlie Sheen Show has Promised at LEAST $1 Million Donation to USO

Charlie Sheen Show has Promised at LEAST $1 Million Donation to USO

Photo: Charlie Sheen Show has Promised at LEAST $1 Million Donation to USO

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Charlie Sheen has a new show and a new image.

Long known as a bit of a wild card, Sheen (born Carlos Irwin Estévez) appears to have gotten it together, and is using his recent success to help U.S. troops and their families.

Monday, Sheen announced he would be donating 1 percent of his FX series’ profits, with a minimum of $1 million, to the USO (United Service Organization).

Should Anger Management prove successful, the USO, which provides services and programs for U.S. troops and their families, could receive more. The donation will be used to create an entertainment facility in Bethesda, Maryland for those in the military who have been seriously injured.

Sheen will reportedly present the first $250,000 of the donation in a ceremony some time this week.

In a statement, Sheen said, “ It’s an honor for me to be able to give back to these men and women of the military who have done so much for all of us … They put their lives on the line for us every day, and I’m just happy that my work on ‘Anger Management’ can bring a little bit of relief to the troops and their families.”

This is a welcome side of Sheen, but not the first sign of a philanthropic change.

Last week, Sheen reportedly spoke with American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, and entertained the idea of being a judge (Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler are both leaving). He stated he would be up for the job on two conditions:

1) FX allows him to take the position
2) American Idol makes a substantial donation to charity.

Sheen told TMZ, “If the numbers move the needle and ‘Idol’ matches 20 percent of my weekly salary for Autism Speaks, [the diabetes charity] JDRF, and the Boys and Girls Club ... then the hell with it. As we say, pour the smoke.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

MALDEF Sues Owner of Red Lobster & Olive Garden for Wage and Other Employment Violations

MALDEF Sues Owner of Red Lobster & Olive Garden for Wage and Other Employment Violations

Photo: Darden Restaurants & Capital Grille Sued by MALDEF

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Workers at California Capital Grille restaurants were deprived of wages and rest breaks according to a complaint filed today by the Mexican-American Legal and Education Fund (MALDEF) against Darden Restaurants, owner of Capital Grille, Red Lobster, and Olive Garden. 

This litigation is part of the campaign for “Dignity at Darden,” a national movement led by the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, demanding the world’s largest full service restaurant group address the claims of their employees, ranging from legal violations such as wage and hour violations to abuses such as being overworked and having to work while sick.

Victor Viramontes, MALDEF National Senior Counsel, said, “The Capital Grille cannot force their workers to work off the clock or keep their workers from taking legally mandated breaks.  We applaud the workers’ bravery by coming forward and seeking to end these illegal conditions for themselves and others.”  The restaurant’s practices, the MALDEF lawsuit charged, violated state labor laws. MALDEF seeks to recover for its clients all unpaid minimum wages and unpaid overtime compensation.

These Los Angeles employees are part of a group of more than 70 workers nationally who have come forward to join the campaign with some of them filing complaints of wage violations in lawsuits being litigated across the country against the Capital Grille. 

Originally filed in Chicago in Federal District Court with state class claims for New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Maryland, and Chicago workers, the lawsuit was severed into five separate jurisdictions after the judge and parties agreed that this was the best course of action due to the growing size and complexity of the various state claims. Thus, today the lawsuit has be severed and will be litigated in regional US District Courts in Los Angeles, New York City, and Chicago (Maryland & Miami is currently pending).

Click here to view all three of the full complaints filed today against the restaurant chain owner.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

More Hispanic, Minority Elderly Going in to Nursing Homes

More Hispanic, Minority Elderly Going in to Nursing Homes

Photo: More Hispanic, Minority Elderly Going in to Nursing Homes

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In the last decade, minorities have poured into nursing homes at a time when whites have left in even greater numbers, according to a new Brown University study that suggests a racial disparity in elder care options in the United States.

At first blush the analysis, published July 7 in the journal Health Affairs, suggests that elderly blacks, Hispanics, and Asians are gaining greater access to nursing home care. But the growing proportion of minorities in nursing homes is coming about partly because they do not have the same access to more desirable forms of care as wealthier whites do, said the study’s lead author Zhanlian Feng, assistant professor of community health in the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

“Seemingly, we are closing the gap in terms of minority access to nursing home beds, but I don’t think that is something to celebrate,” Feng said. “They are really the last resort. Most elders would rather stay in their homes, or some place like home, but not a nursing home unless they have to.”

ImageThe new analysis shows that between 1999 and 2008 the nation’s nursing home population shrank by 6.1 percent to just over 1.2 million people. In that time period the number of whites in nursing homes decreased by 10.2 percent nationwide, while the number of blacks rose 10.8 percent, the number of Hispanics rose by 54.9 percent and the number of Asians rose by 54.1 percent. The study also looked at nursing home population changes in the top 10 metropolitan areas for each minority.

Prior research has shown that the nursing homes in predominately minority areas are often of lower quality and are more likely to close, while assisted living facilities are more likely to be built in areas where residents have high incomes. The result, reflected in the figures in the new Health Affairs paper, is a disparity that plays out not only economically and geographically, but also racially, Feng said.

“We know those alternatives are not equally available, accessible, or affordable to everybody, certainly not to many minority elders,” he said.

As policymakers look to “rebalance” elder care from nursing homes to other forms of care, for instance with shifts in Medicaid funding to support home and community-based services, they should account for these disparities, Feng said. As it is, whites are clearly more likely to be using more desirable alternatives; more concerted efforts may be required to promote minority elders’ use of them too, he said.

“Rebalancing is a recognition of most people’s preferences for long-term care,” Feng said. “For that effort to be successful you have to consider who is using what.”

To determine the figures, Feng and his co-authors used the federally mandated Minimum Data Set, which tracks the population of nursing home users and assesses their care needs on a routine basis, because they receive substantial Medicare and Medicaid funding. Similar data is not available for other kinds of elder care, which is predominantly paid for with private insurance dollars.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Fashion Designer Takes Inspiration from Mexico and the Mayans

Fashion Designer Takes Inspiration from Mexico and the Mayans

Photo: Fashion Designer Takes Inspiration from Mexico and the Mayans

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“Maybe the Mayans are right and the world will end this year, but at least we can have cute clothes,” joked designer Lena Hoschek at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Berlin this month.

For her Spring/Summer 2013 collection, Hoschek had her models strutting down the runway in Mexican/Mayan-inspired, vibrantly-colored skirts and dresses. The models’ faces were also painted like Calaveras de azúcar (sugar skulls) often seen during Mexico’s celebration of Dia de los Muertos.

While the models’ make-up was drop dead gorgeous, Fashion News Live called Hoschek’s collection “anything but dead.” Adding, “The boldness of the patterns, the fabrics, and the fit and shape of the pieces make the woman wearing them look wundabare und sehr sexy.”

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“Mitt Romney Is a F**king Latino and He Won’t Admit It” Says George Lopez (VIDEO)

“Mitt Romney Is a F**king Latino and He Won’t Admit It” Says George Lopez (VIDEO)

Photo: George Lopez HBO Special

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Mexican-American comedian George Lopez is urging Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney to “come out of the closet”.  No silly not that closet the ‘I’m not Latino ’ closet.

The comedian spared no vitriol on his HBO special for some of his favorite people to hate that include Romney and America’s toughest Sheriff Joe Arpaio.  Check out this zinger:

“If you want our vote puto, come out of the closet. Get a hair net and lean back and say ole…His father, his grandfather went to Mexico to create a Mormon colony. That don’t sit good with Mexicans when you want six wives to get twelve kids. F—king Latinos can have one wife and get twelve kids. Don’t f—king cheat.”

After calling Arizonza’s Sheriff Joe a ‘fat ass’ and ‘puto’ for countless times, Arpaio challenged Lopez to meet in person. “Get some guts, come down here and meet me face to face. Let’s see how you act then,” Arpaio said to ABC News.

Lopez, of course, did not spare President Obama while acknowledging that he is a ‘Latino’ because everyone wants to see his birth certificate, just like the undocumented Mexicans in this country. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

New and Critically Acclaimed Filmmaker Gerado Naranjo Working on New Political Thriller

New and Critically Acclaimed Filmmaker Gerado Naranjo Working on New Political Thriller

Photo: New and Critically Acclaimed Filmmaker Gerado Naranjo Working on New Political Thriller

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Highly praised new filmmaker Gerardo Naranjo is now working on a film adaption called A Man Must Die.

After his critically acclaimed Miss Bala, the Mexican director said he was receiving a number of offers, but was not seeing the kid of thing he really wanted. He recently told Indiewire the offers he was getting were not “very interesting”. Adding, “I think the scripts we’ve been getting are a little bit, you know, brainless action. I would love to make like a ‘Mad Max’, but I would also like to have the emotion in there.”

It seems Naranjo took it upon himself to find something worth getting excited about. A Man Must Die’s script was written by Naranjo. The political thriller will be produced by Pablo Cruz. Naranjo reached a deal with Focus Features recently and the script’s details have yet to surface.

ImageNaranjo has only stated it’s “an international thriller that deals with the FBi, CIA, and a dictatorship outside the U.S. – the FBI has one version, the CIA has one version, and the dictatorship had one version.”

Up first, however, is the 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment project, The Mountain Between Us starring Michael Fassbender. The Mountain Between Us tells the story of a man and woman whose flight is canceled and as strangers agree to charter a plane. During the flight, the pilot suffers a heart attack, and the plane crashes into a snowy mountain. Fassbender is to play passenger Ben, a doctor. He, along with the female passenger, Ashley the writer, who is about to get married, begin a journey of both survival and love.

Earlier this year, Naranjo won audiences over with Miss Bala, which was recently submitted for contention for Mexico’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. The movie follows a teen girl who heads to Tijuana to compete in the Miss Baja California beauty pageant, but ends up an innocent victim caught up in Mexico’s drug war.

Read more at Deadline →

Former President Fernando Collor de Melo Practiced Black Magic While Governing Brazil Says Ex-Wife

Former President Fernando Collor de Melo Practiced Black Magic While Governing Brazil Says Ex-Wife

Photo: Former Brazil Pres Fernando Collor de Melo and Black magic

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Rosane Collor, ex-wife of former President Fernando Collor de Melo, said in a television interview that the former head of state practiced black magic rituals while governing Brazil from 1990 to 1992.

“They (Collor de Melo and the group of advisers closest to him) performed black magic rituals but not with my participation, because in some things I did participate, but mostly I refused to take part,” the former first lady told Globo television’s “Fantastico” program.

The former first lady, who was married to the ex-president for 22 years until their separation in 2005, confirmed the revelation about black magic rituals made in 1992 to Veja magazine by Pedro Collor de Melo, the former head of state’s brother who died of brain cancer in 1994.

“There were doings in cemeteries, very powerful rituals, and with animals it was a complete slaughter of the chickens, oxen, cattle and other animals that were sacrificed. When I met Fernando he was already frequenting such scenes and after we were married he practiced” those acts, the former first lady said.

The rituals were led by a witch named Maria Cecilia, now an evangelical pastor like Rosane herself, who appeared beside Collor de Melo in several photos at the time he was head of state.

Maria Cecilia recommended to Collor de Melo, who currently holds a seat in the Senate and is allied to President Dilma Rousseff, that white clothing be used and an altar for black magic be installed in the Casa da Dinda, the family’s private home in Brasilia, the former first lady said.

When Maria Cecilia became a pastor and launched a disc of evangelical music, she told Epoca magazine about the rituals practiced by the ex-president, but a reported telephone threat by Collor de Melo stopped Rosane from accompanying the new cleric in the launch of her album and from confirming her revelations.

Collor de Melo was president of Brazil between March 1990 and December 1992, when he resigned amid a huge corruption scandal that cost him all his political rights until 2006, when he was pardoned and was later elected senator from his native state of Alagoas, an office he still holds.

While confirming the black magic stories, Rosane denied that her ex-husband had anything to do with the assassination of the man who was his chief adviser and treasurer during the 1989 presidential campaign, PC Farias, who died in strange circumstances in 1993 when he was out of prison on bail.

“I consider myself a living archive and if something happens to me, the one responsible will be Fernando Collor de Melo,” the former first lady said, adding that her ex-husband is afraid of the book she is writing in which she promises to divulge all the details of the rituals and the obscure relations with PC Farias, among other secrets.

“Fernando was the great love of my life, but also my great disappointment,” the former first lady, who was only 26 when Collor de Melo took office, said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

U.S. and Mexico Meet for Binational Summit on Human Trafficking

U.S. and Mexico Meet for Binational Summit on Human Trafficking

Photo: U.S. and Mexico Meet for Binational Summit on Human Trafficking

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More than 100 representatives from the government and private sectors, including high-level law enforcement representatives from the U.S. and Mexico, convened in Los Angeles Thursday for a binational summit to strategize on ways to enhance existing efforts to combat human trafficking in both countries.

The daylong conference, organized by U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Mexican Consul General in Los Angeles, focused on ways the U.S. and Mexico can work more closely together to detect trafficking activity and prosecute suspected perpetrators. Featured speakers included Nelly Montealegre Diaz, who oversees the Mexican Attorney General’s special prosecutions unit involving crimes of violence against women and human trafficking.

“For everyone at this week’s meeting, combating human trafficking is a top priority, but despite that, we believe a significant number of trafficking cases continue to go undetected,” said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge for HSI Los Angeles. “The goal of the summit was to share ideas on further steps we can take together to bolster efforts to prevent this reprehensible crime.”

“No human being deserves to be trafficked, abused or exploited,” said David Figueroa, the consul general of Mexico in Los Angeles. “We must not allow our borders to be barriers in the ongoing effort to combat this problem. Our shared goal is to achieve a society free of human trafficking and human smuggling.”

Topics covered during the conference included an overview of current human trafficking investigative strategies in both the U.S. and Mexico. Representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles and the Mexican Attorney General’s Office discussed case prosecutions. Other speakers detailed the current services available to assist trafficking victims and the vital role such support plays in these cases.

Conference organizers say the meeting was very productive. Participants agreed to look for ways to expand the existing information sharing between the two countries on human trafficking cases. Beyond that, the discussions resulted in a renewed commitment by both countries to seek new and innovative ways to collaborate on human trafficking enforcement efforts.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Dad’s Drunken Night Out at Bar with His 4-Year-old Gets Him Arrested

LATINO BLOTTER: Dad’s Drunken Night Out at Bar with His 4-Year-old Gets Him Arrested

Photo: Blotter Walter Antonio Flores Public Intoxication with 4-Year-old

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Walter Antonio Flores, 38, has been charged with child abuse after taking his 4-year-old son to a bar and getting drunk.

Flores, a native of Nicaragua, currently residing in Raleigh, North Carolina, only walked a few blocks to the local watering hole Sadlack’s Heroes with the four-year-old and proceeded to get drunk. 

Police issued an arrest warrant when he was observed publicly intoxicated at the bar around 7:00 p.m. Saturday night.  Specifically the arrest warrant states he was “intoxicated in public and drinking at bar with his 4-year-old son.” 

As a result of the public intoxication and child abuse charges, Flores underwent an immigration status check which reportedly he passed.  Flores did had a 2004 conviction for assaulting a woman. 

Flores was taken to the Wake County jail and received a $1,000 bond. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Homeland Secretary Napolitano Visits Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico

Homeland Secretary Napolitano Visits Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico

Photo: Secretary Napolitano in Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico

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Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Acting Commissioner David V. Aguilar and Assistant Secretary for International Affairs Alan Bersin traveled to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and San Juan, Puerto Rico today.

In Santo Domingo, they met with President Leonel Fernandez and Dominican Republic officials to discuss law enforcement cooperation and ongoing efforts to combat illicit trafficking. Secretary Napolitano signed a Joint Statement of Intent on Aviation Security, a Joint Statement on Combating Trafficking in Persons, and a Joint Statement on Global Supply Chain Security with Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos Morales Troncoso and Minister of the Armed Forces Lieutenant General Jaoquin Virgilio Perez. Secretary Napolitano also met with Attorney General Radhames Jiménez and other law enforcement and military leaders.

The U.S. is providing almost $20 million dollars to the Dominican Republic over several years to assist with security enhancements. In addition, CBP operates the Container Security Initiative in a number of Caribbean countries, including the Dominican Republic, to prescreen U.S.-bound shipping containers to detect and interdict dangerous cargo including radiological and nuclear materials.

While in San Juan, Puerto Rico, they met with Governor Luis Fortuño, Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi and Puerto Rico Police Department Superintendent Héctor Pesquera to underscore the department’s commitment to collaborating with local law enforcement in the region. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

CHECK OUT:  Mexico City’s Green Transportation Revolution (VIDEO)

CHECK OUT:  Mexico City’s Green Transportation Revolution (VIDEO)

Photo: Mexico City Electric Taxis - Photo from Mexico City Government

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Check out the Global Post video on Mexico City’s green transportation revolution.  Everything from bicycles to electric taxis are taking over one of the busiest and most polluted cities in the world.  The Mexican government is committed to reducing the impact of 2 million daily visitors to the capital city.  Check out the video where you see the newest buses, bicycles and taxis taking over your ride into Mexico City.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Anonymous Tip Leads to Arrest of Mexico City Airport Shooting Suspect

Anonymous Tip Leads to Arrest of Mexico City Airport Shooting Suspect

Photo: Mexico City Airport Shooting Suspected arrested

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Felipe Lugo de Leon, one of the Federal Police officers wanted in connection with the shooting at the Mexico City airport last month that left three fellow officers dead, was arrested on Sunday, the Public Safety Secretariat said.

De Leon, known as “El Bogard,” was arrested outside an apartment building in southern Mexico City thanks to an anonymous tip, the secretariat said.

The Federal Police is still looking for officers Daniel Cruz Garcia and Zeferino Morales Franco, who also allegedly took part in the killings.

The shooting in Terminal 2 occurred during an operation to arrest three officers being investigated for having links to drug traffickers and the officers killed were going to make the arrests, the Federal Police said.

The three fugitive officers were involved with a ring that smuggled drugs from Peru into Mexico, officials said.

The slain officers were investigating the smuggling operation, which involved an arriving passenger throwing the drugs into a trash can and an airport worker later removing the drugs, the secretariat said.

The chief of the Federal Police station at the airport received an alert on June 25 that drugs were coming in from Peru and asked the shift supervisor to watch all passengers arriving from the South American country.

“The surveillance was designed to identify the routine of a public servant that coincided with the mechanics of the operation that had been identified. A federal officer was among those spotted going to the trash can, so the Federal Police shift supervisor at the airport was alerted and proceeded to make the interception in the food court,” the secretariat said.

The officers sent to make the arrest radioed back a few minutes later that they had the suspect in custody, the secretariat said.

A search of the suspect presumably turned up drugs, the secretariat said.

Radio contact was lost and the Federal Police chief at the airport went to the scene, finding two officers dead and one wounded, the secretariat said. The wounded officer died later.

Authorities were offering a reward of 5 million pesos (about $376,000) for information leading to the arrest of the officers.

The tipster will get the reward, but his identity will be kept secret, the secretariat said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

PARADOX:  Bolivia Has Less Coca Plantations but Producing More Cocaine

PARADOX:  Bolivia Has Less Coca Plantations but Producing More Cocaine

Photo: Bolivia has Fewer Cocoa Plantations but Producing More Cocaine

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The U.S. government confirmed that Bolivia has fewer coca plantations but it is producing more cocaine because drug traffickers are using a more “efficient” process known as the “Colombian method,” according to an interview published Sunday in the daily Pagina Siete.

“That is the paradox in Bolivia. There are fewer coca plantations in the past three years, but there’s more production of cocaine,” said the outgoing chief of the U.S. diplomatic mission in La Paz, charge d’affaires John Creamer, whose new post will be U.S. consul in Rio de Janeiro.

Creamer assumed leadership of the diplomatic legation in 2008 when Bolivian President Evo Morales expelled then-Ambassador Philip Goldberg, claiming that the envoy was conspiring against him.

The charge d’affaires emphasized that authorities destroyed coca cultivation - which is the basis for cocaine production - in 2009, 2010 and particularly in 2011, but at the same time, he said, drug traffickers have been found to be producing more cocaine using the Colombian method.

“They ... can obtain more cocaine with lesser quantities of coca leaves,” Creamer said, emphasizing that Bolivia’s challenge consists of maintaining its efforts to eradicate coca plantations and improving its ability to attack drug traffickers.

He also pointed to the problem of “resowing” coca plantations, which is preventing the government from achieving a definitive victory in this area.

Since Morales came to power in 2006, coca cultivation in Bolivia has increased from 25,400 hectares to 31,000 hectares (63,500 acres to 77,500 acres), according to the latest U.N. figures, which are from 2010.

Bolivia’s anti-drug law allows the legal cultivation of just 12,000 hectares (30,000 acres) of coca for traditional purposes.

Creamer also said that the United States will not support the new reservation in the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs proposed by Bolivia to the U.N. supporting “the chewing of coca leaf” because Washington believes that it places the integrity of the international anti-drug treaty in jeopardy.

Bolivia last year denounced and withdrew from the treaty but then it requested that it be modified to include the chewing of coca leaf, a request that may only be rejected if a third (63) of the 191 U.N. signatories agree.

Creamer acknowledged that he feels it will be “difficult” for that number of countries to oppose the return of Bolivia as a member of the treaty.

He also said that the anti-drug division at the U.S. Embassy will not leave Bolivia as La Paz has been saying but it will reduce its cooperation with local authorities given the decision by the government to “nationalize” the anti-drug fight.

Ninety-five percent of the cocaine seized in the United States comes from Colombia and less than 1 percent from Bolivia, which - nevertheless - supplies 60 percent of the Brazilian market, according to figures cited by Creamer.

Read more by HS News Staff →



MondayJuly 16, 2012