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FridayAugust 17, 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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Spanish Matador in Stable Condition After “Worst” Goring This Year

Spanish Matador in Stable Condition After “Worst” Goring This Year

Photo: Fernando Cruz

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Matador Fernando Cruz, badly gored this week at Madrid’s La Ventas bull ring, is sedated in the intensive care unit at Virgen del Mar Hospital “and there are no deadlines for his recovery,” the physician who treated the injured man in the bull ring’s first aid station told Efe on Thursday.

“His condition is stable. He had a very troubled night despite the sedatives, all due to the magnitude of the mishap. And it’s still too soon to guess what’s going to happen in the coming hours,” Dr. Maximo Garcia Padros said.

He described Cruz’s goring on Wednesday as “the worst we have had this year at the Madrid bull ring.”

Cruz’s convalescence “will be lengthy, at least a month, and that’s if all goes well. He will have to spend the first 10 days in the hospital, since his injuries are great. And then he will go home to finish his recovery. But nothing is certain, and to make forecasts we have to wait at least another day or two,” Garcia Padros said.

The matador was gored when he was using the cape in the third fight of the afternoon, a difficult bull that did not give in, when suddenly the animal halted on an attempt to pass by him on the right.

The bull then went directly for him, caught him with its horn and once it had hooked him it shook him on the spike for several seconds.

Cruz was brought to the aid station bleeding copiously and was operated on immediately there.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Lack of Payment, Pension Changes for Honduran Teachers Lead to Protest

Lack of Payment, Pension Changes for Honduran Teachers Lead to Protest

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Thousands of teachers blocked several of Honduras’ main highways on Friday to demand the repeal of a law that alters their pension scheme and to protest the government’s chronic failure to pay them on time.

The protests effectively paralyzed traffic around the country’s major cities for more than two hours, police said.

The mobilization was organized by the Fomh federation of teachers unions in response to the law changing the teachers’ pension system and to the salary arrears, a situation affecting thousands of public school employees.

More protests are planned for next week, teachers union official Joel Espinal told reporters in Tegucigalpa.

The teachers’ grievances don’t justify their abandoning the classrooms, Education Minister Marlon Escoto said, adding that the nation’s more than 2 million students are legally entitled to 200 days of instruction per year.

Escoto announced two weeks ago that the academic year will be extended from Nov. 20 to Dec. 14 to make up for days lost to teacher protests.

Honduran teachers earn an average of $350 a month.

Read more by HS News Staff →

ACLU Criticizes Arizona for Denying Driver’s Licenses to Deferred Action Recipients

ACLU Criticizes Arizona for Denying Driver’s Licenses to Deferred Action Recipients

Photo: Gov. Jan Brewer

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Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s decision to deny driver’s licenses to young undocumented immigrants who qualify for Deferred Action has drawn criticism from the ACLU, which says the move shows a failure to grasp the subtleties of immigration law.

“We think the governor is mistaken with respect to the driver’s licenses. This is an example of why states shouldn’t get involved in immigration law because they don’t have an understanding of the complexity of these types of laws,” Alessandra Soler, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, told Efe Thursday.

Brewer on Wednesday signed a directive ordering state agencies to take immediate measures to prevent Deferred Action applicants from gaining access to Arizona driver’s licenses, identification cards and other public benefits.

Deferred Action, which was announced two months ago by President Barack Obama and took effect on Wednesday, offers qualified undocumented young people the chance to delay deportation for a renewable two-year period.

The program is seen as a temporary substitute for the long-stalled DREAM Act, which would grant permanent residence to successful applicants.

Brewer, a Republican, argues that Arizona law requires that all applicants for a driver’s license show proof of U.S. citizenship or legal status.

But Soler said there is a difference between “legal status” and “legal presence.”

She told Efe that applicants for an Arizona driver’s license must merely show proof of “legal presence” and if those individuals have a work permit issued by the federal government they also have the right to obtain a driver’s license while that permit is valid - two years in the case of a Deferred Action recipient.

“We see the governor has no understanding of federal and state immigration law. We believe that in the directive she signed she is also perpetuating myths to the effect that students will present false documents,” Soler said.

The ACLU of Arizona is analyzing ways to help people who have the right to have a driver’s license, according to that organization’s executive director.

“First we want to see the implications of this executive order, what measures the Motor Vehicle Division will take and we’ll analyze the options,” Soler said.

News that the state would be denying driver’s licenses to “DREAMers” fell like a bucket of cold water on hundreds of young people in Arizona who were preparing to gather paperwork showing proof of eligibility for Deferred Action.

“I can’t believe the governor is going against Arizona residents. There have already been several surveys indicating that 70 percent support the DREAM Act. This is another opportunity for us to stand up,” Dulce Matuz, director of the Arizona Dream Act Coalition, told Efe.

The “DREAMers” gathered Wednesday and Thursday outside the Arizona State Capitol building in Phoenix to protest Brewer’s decision.

“We have to fight and keep protecting the dream,” said Matuz, who in April was named by Time magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential people.

Arizona became ground zero in the national debate over illegal immigration when Gov. Brewer signed the controversial SB 1070 bill into law in the spring of 2010.

The Supreme Court earlier this year struck down three elements of that legislation, but left standing a provision requiring police to verify the immigration status of suspected undocumented migrants stopped in the course of enforcing other laws.

The Obama administration had challenged the controversial measure on the grounds that Arizona was trying to usurp the federal government’s power to enforce the nation’s immigration laws.

SB 1070 has served as a model for other harsh immigration legislation approved in Alabama, Utah, Indiana, South Carolina and Georgia.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spaniard Charged with Negligent Homicide for Cuban Dissident’s Death

Spaniard Charged with Negligent Homicide for Cuban Dissident’s Death

Photo: Ángel Carromero

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Cuban prosecutors are asking for seven years in prison for negligent homicide for the visiting Spaniard who was behind the wheel for the car crash that killed prominent dissident Oswaldo Paya and a colleague, sources closes to the case told Efe.

Angel Carromero, leader of a youth group in Spain’s governing Popular Party, has been in custody since the July 22 accident.

The next step could be setting a date for the court hearing, which probably will be held in the eastern city of Bayamo in late August or early September, the sources said.

The Spaniard, Swedish citizen Jens Aron Modig, Paya and fellow dissident Harold Cepero were on their way from the Cuban capital to the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba in a rented car when the accident happened.

The vehicle, with Carromero at the wheel, ran off the road and crashed near Bayamo, about 800 kilometers (500 miles) east of Havana.

Paya and Cepero died, while Carromero and Modig suffered relatively minor injuries.

Cuban authorities blame the accident on excessive speed and the driver’s failure to heed warning signs about road construction.

Under Cuban law, “the driver of a vehicle who, in breaking traffic laws or regulations, causes the death of a person, will be deprived of freedom from one to 10 years.”

Modig was allowed to leave Cuba on July 30, after appearing before the press in Havana, where he said he did not recall many details of the accident because he was sleeping at the time of the crash.

Meanwhile, Carromero confirmed the official version of the accident in a statement recorded during his arrest and released by Cuban authorities.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Accused Murderers Dragged from Jail by Mob, Burned Alive

Accused Murderers Dragged from Jail by Mob, Burned Alive

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Angry and frustrated over the lack of safety in the area, a Bolivian mob dragged two Brazilians being jailed as murder suspects out of their cells, beat them, and burned them alive.

Just as the mob was angry their area had been plagued by drug traffickers and other criminals, local politicians say they operated under the same lawlessness.

Councilwoman Claudio Rojas told the Associated Press, “It’s barbarous what occurred Tuesday night, but people are tired of so much insecurity. No one is in charge of this town.” Adding, “Criminals do whatever they please.”

The mob was about 400 people strong when the stormed the jail, dragged out the 20-something-year-old suspects, beat them, and savagely lit them on fire in the street.

The two were accused of killing three Bolivians and injuring two others earlier that day. The reason for the shooting had not yet been determined when the mob took things into their own hands.

The incidents took place in San Matias which sits along the Brazil-Bolivia border where police and other law officials are said to be scarce.

The men killed were Rafael Max Dias and Jefferson Castro Lima.

Lynchings have grown more common in recent years, with an estimated 16 since 2009, 13 occurring in the first six months of 2010 alone.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Puerto Rican Arrested for 1980 Murders in U.S.

Puerto Rican Arrested for 1980 Murders in U.S.

Photo: Erasmo Cruz

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A Puerto Rican man wanted for the murders of his girlfriend and her mother 32 years ago in Pennsylvania was arrested in Puerto Rico, police said Thursday.

Erasmo Cruz Cruz allegedly murdered Deborah Patterson, 17, and Nancy Lee Patterson, 41, on Aug. 30, 1980.

The 56-year-old Cruz was arrested Wednesday in the Chorrera section of the Romero neighborhood in Villalba, a city in southern Puerto Rico.

Cruz allegedly threw fire bombs into the Patterson family’s house and then shot Deborah, Nancy and another family member as they ran out to escape from the flames, police said.

The suspect worked for years as a mechanic and received assistance from his family, Puerto Rican police special arrests and extradition unit director Lt. Lemuel Gonzalez said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Accusations of Money Laundering, Tax Evasion Cause Walmex Shares to Fall

Accusations of Money Laundering, Tax Evasion Cause Walmex Shares to Fall

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As allegations of illegal operations within the company persist, Walmart’s Mexico and Central American subsidiary Walmex is seeing stock prices dive.

On Wednesday, Walmex shares fell more than 5 percent. The drop comes after the publication of a letter from U.S. Congressmen Elijah which suggested the Walmart Stores Inc. subsidiary had issues with money laundering and tax evasion.

In a letter to Michael Duke, the CEO of Walmart Stores, the Congressmen write, “We have obtained internal company documents, including internal audit reports, form other sources suggesting that Walmart may have had compliance issues relating not only to brubery, but also to ‘questionable financial behavior’ including tax evasion and money laundering in Mexico.” They added, “Although you have stated on multiple occasions that you intend to cooperate with our investigation, you have failed to provide the documents we requested, and you continue to deny us access to key witnesses.”

Cummings and Waxman , both Democrats, are ranking members of the Oversight and Energy committees of the U.S. House of Representatives.

While Mexican prosecutors have stated they would look into the allegations, no money laundering or tax evasion investigations have been announced. Also, Walmex had released a statement saying it has “no knowledge” or any investigation into the alleged issues by Mexican authorities.

Walmex operates a bank in Mexico and it is suspected of being one of the many used by drug cartels.

Add this to the bribery allegations from this past April and one has to wonder if Walmex employees are knowingly aiding the cartels of Mexico launder an estimated $10 billion each year.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spanish Politicians Outraged as ‘Mayor Robin Hood’ Steals to Feed the Needy

Spanish Politicians Outraged as ‘Mayor Robin Hood’ Steals to Feed the Needy

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“You can’t be Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham. This man is just searching for publicity at the cost of everyone else.”

That was a spokesman for Spain’s Parliament-ruling People’s Party, Alfonso Alonso to Reuters regarding the acts of Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo, the mayor of Marinaleda, Andalusia, Spain.

Last week, Sanchez Gordillo stood outside supermarkets as supporters inside filled their carts with food and walked out without paying. Though he himself has immunity as an elected member of Andalusia’‘s regional parliament, he has stated that he would gladly renounce said immunity to be arrested along with the seven involved in the supermarket robbery.

The supermarket stunt was done for two reasons. One, Sanchez Gordillo knew there were families starving, and two, it served as a message to the Spanish government.

Since 2007, Spain’s poverty levels have risen 15 percent, with roughly 25 percent of workers without jobs. Tens of thousands are without homes due to eviction. In the Andalusia province’s town of Judar, unemployment is even higher at 34 percent, meaning 1 in 3 workers does not have a job.

Sanchez Gordillo is calling on fellow local politicians to ignore the government’s austerity measures and urge them to go after the truly dangerous - the bankers he says are being let off of fraud, the people he partially blames for tanking Spain’s economy.

Spain has one of Europe’s highest budget deficits and the EU has demanded it be reduced in order to keep the debt crisis from spreading, but Sanchez Gordillo believes Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s plans to do so are not in the best interest of the entire country, just that of the banks and the wealthy.

Along a march across Andalusia, Sanchez Gordillo who took off from Judar on Thursday, is calling on mayors o “skip budget payments, top layoffs, cease home evictions, and ignore the central government’s demands for budget cuts.

‘They say I’m dangerous,’ he told Reuters. ‘And the bankers who are let off for fraud? That’s not dangerous? The banks which borrow from the ECB for 1 percent then resell that debt to Spaniards for 6 percent - they’re not dangerous?’

Read more at Reuters →

Report: Immigrants Drive United States’ Small Business Creation

Report: Immigrants Drive United States’ Small Business Creation

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According to a report from a bipartisan group of more than 450 mayors and business leaders from around the country known as the Partnership for a New American Economy, immigrants are increasingly more likely to start small businesses and create jobs.

The report, Open for Business: How Immigrants Are Driving Business Creation in the United States, highlight the significant and growing impact of immigrant entrepreneurs n new business generation and the creation of American jobs.

Among the report’s key findings:

-Immigrants are now more than twice as likely as the native-born to start a business and, in 2011, were responsible for more than one in every four (28 percent) new U.S. businesses, significantly outpacing their share of the population (12.9 percent).

-While immigrant-started businesses tend to be smaller than those started by native-born Americans, they have a large collective impact on the economy. Immigrant-owned businesses now employ one out of every 10 workers in privately-owned companies and contribute more than $775 billion in revenue, $125 billion in payroll and $100 million in income to the U.S. economy.

-While the entrepreneurship rate of native-born Americans has slowly declined over the last 15 years, the entrepreneurship rate of immigrants has climbed by over 50 percent.

The report also examines where immigrant business owners come from, what sectors of the economy they contribute to most, and which states are most affected by their contributions. The report’s in-depth analysis reveals additional evidence of the importance of immigrant entrepreneurs to America’s economic growth in the coming years:

-Over the past 10 years, immigrant business income grew by more than 60 percent, while income from native-owned businesses only grew by 14.4 percent, a rate not sufficient to keep up with inflation.

-Immigrant-owned businesses are more than 60 percent more likely to export than non-immigrant owned businesses, and in recent years, exports accounted for about half the growth in the U.S. economy.

-Immigrants start more than 25 percent of all businesses in seven of the eight-sectors of the economy that the U.S. government expects to grow fastest over the next decade (health care and social assistance companies, professional and business services, construction firms, retail trade, educational services, “other services”, and transportation and utilities.)

The Partnership released this report on August 14 at two forums on “The Economics and Politics of Immigration” in the presidential campaign headquarter cities of Chicago, IL and Boston, MA.

At Chicago’s forum, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a Partnership Co-Chair, stated:

Both parties’ presidential candidates agree that the main issue of the campaign is the economy, and yet neither candidate is talking about one of the most effective and cost-free ways to generate economic growth: immigration reform. It’s time for the two candidates to stop using immigration reform as a wedge issue and start listening to Democratic and Republican business leaders and mayors who agree on common sense reforms that would create jobs across the country.

Read more at Open For Business: How Immigrants Are Driving Small Business Creation In The United States →

What a Guy: When Fan Runs on Field, Messi Greets Him With a Smile and a Handshake (VIDEO)

What a Guy: When Fan Runs on Field, Messi Greets Him With a Smile and a Handshake (VIDEO)

Photo: What a Guy: When Fan Runs on Field, Messi Greets Him With a Smile and a Handshake (VIDEO)

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What can we say? Lionel Messi really is one of the nicest guys in soccer.

During a friendly between Argentina and Germany, a trespassing fan ran onto the pitch, but rather then shake his head and shoo the fan away, the always humble and gracious Messi smiled and shook the man’s hand.

ImageHappy with his ‘prize’, the fan headed back towards the sidelines towards the awaiting, and likely annoyed, security officials. Messi smiled and shook his head in a sort of amused disapproval.  Generally, cameramen are discouraged from showing fans running on the field or doing other distracting types of activities, but that was not the case this time.

Really though, who wouldn’t want to try to shake the hand of arguably the best soccer player of this generation, a three-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner?

Well, at least the one wasn’t naked like many of these guys tend to be when they run on field.

As for the match, which took place in Frankfurt, Germany fell to Messi and the Argentinians 3 to 1.

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Juanes: A Superstar Slows Down, Shifts Gears (VIDEO)

The new release from Juanes marks a departure for the Colombian pop star. The all-acoustic album was recorded in front of a live Miami audience for MTV Unplugged.

Born Juan Esteban Aristizábal Vásquez, Juanes — who appears Friday and Saturday at the Hollywood Bowl with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and conductor Thomas Wilkins — has been one of Latin America’s most popular young musicians for the past two decades. His first four albums topped music charts. He has won a Grammy Award and 17 Latin Grammys.

Juanes has also sung for huge crowds around the world: a concert for peace in Havana, a World Cup kickoff, even a Nobel Peace Prize ceremony. He founded an organization for victims of landmines. He married a beautiful model and actress and they have three gorgeous children. But even with so much going for him, the artist says he recently found himself at a crossroads.

“To be honest, I was feeling a little bit tired, a little bit sick of myself and depressed,” Juanes says. “I was not enjoying the process. So I decided to make a little stop in my career and just rethink everything.”

That was last year. Not long after, MTV’s Spanish-language channel, Tr3s, asked him to do an Unplugged session. Juanes says he embraced it as an opportunity to take a breather and recenter himself.

To help with that process, he turned to one of his heroes, Juan Luis Guerra. In the 1990s, the singer and songwriter was considered the Dominican Republic’s premier poet and musician.

“He’s one of the most incredible musicians from South America,” Juanes says. “He’s like a legend, like another Beatle member. He’s like, wow!”

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Read more at npr →

Latino Vote:  USHCC Launches Initiative to Track Spanish Political-Ad Spending

Latino Vote:  USHCC Launches Initiative to Track Spanish Political-Ad Spending

Photo: Latino Vote 2012

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The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) announced a new initiative to track and analyze Spanish-language political ad spending in 10 top target states leading up to the November elections.

Using comprehensive data on local television advertising from Kantar Media’s CMAG, the Speak Our Language project will both showcase the campaigns with a strong level of commitment to Spanish-language media and highlight those who ignore this demographic with their paid advertising.

CMAG’s research shows that overall, in 2008, an average of just 4.03 percent of all political TV ad spending across 28 top markets went to Spanish-language stations. In 2010, just 3.9 percent went to Spanish-language stations.

At the same time, the percentage of the electorate that is Hispanic continues to grow. In 2008, 40 percent of all new voters were Hispanic. In 2012, the number of registered Hispanic voters is expected to exceed 14 million.


50.5 million: Number of Latinos in the United States (out of 308.7 million people)
16: Percentage of the total U.S. population in 2010 that was Latino.
29: Projected percentage of the U.S. population that will be Latino in 2050.
43: Percent increase since the 2000 census of the Latino population in the United States, according to the 2010 census.
14 million: Projected number of registered Hispanic voters in 2012.
21: Percentage of the population of swing-state Florida is Hispanic.
17: Percentage of potential voters in swing-state Colorado that is Hispanic.


Read more by HS News Staff →

California Community Center Helps Undocumented Navigate Immigration Process

California Community Center Helps Undocumented Navigate Immigration Process

Photo: Pasadena Youth Center

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A community center in Southern California opened in response to the increase in street violence during the 1990s is now helping young undocumented immigrants who want to regularize their status through the federal government’s new Deferred Action program.

“We want the elected officials to expand programs like Deferred Action and convert them into a path toward citizenship,” Stella Murga, the executive director of the Pasadena Youth Center, an organization that prepares young people for a better future through education, told Efe on Thursday.

The center has become a gathering place for hundreds of young people where they can receive information about the requirements to apply for this immigration measure that the Obama administration has implemented to attempt to delay deportations of the undocumented students who would benefit from the DREAM Act, which remains stalled in Congress.

“We had workshops a month ago, in areas of interest and with the aim of having people work together to gather their documents and seek a work permit,” Murga said.

Olivia, a 22-year-old undocumented student who was 3 when her family brought her to the United States, was a participant in those sessions.

“They never asked us if we wanted to come (to this country) and we think that we’re Americans. Now, with Deferred Action, we see an open door that we had thought was closed,” she said.

Murga said she feels this initiative “is better than nothing and is a good start, it takes away from them the burden of being deported. The driver’s license and the work permits make a big difference because they pull them out of the shadows.”

Community associations across Southern California have been inundated with young people who want to inform themselves about this new opportunity.

Now, a process has been initiated that is beginning to change the mentality of Americans about undocumented students and is a first step toward the approval of the DREAM Act, Olivia said.

Long before the DREAM Act and Deferred Action, the activities of the Pasadena Youth Center were begun as a response to the increase in street violence by gangs.

Through regular programs and special events, the center seeks to help the community get what only education can delivery, working with a base of 2,000 middle and high school students who want to go to college.

“Everybody is interested in having students achieve that because it’s the same community that pays the price (of educational failure) in the end,” Murga said.

“Economically, it’s a great burden to have to go to work to help the family, but it’s necessary for people to understand that with a higher education children will be an asset of greater value,” she said.

“Everything depends on the Latino community. Deferred Action was the work of the ‘Dreamers’ (as potential DREAM Act beneficiaries are known), who were the ones who first made their voices heard. The ones who are successful are the ones who never give up,” Murga concluded.

Read more by HS News Staff →

STUDY:  Hispanics Prefer At-Home Activities to Out-of-Home Options

STUDY:  Hispanics Prefer At-Home Activities to Out-of-Home Options

Photo: Latinos Prefer to Stay at Home

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It’s summertime, and entertainment options for the ever-growing US Hispanic population are endless. The latest research from Mintel shows that cost is the primary driver in how Hispanics decide to enjoy their leisure time.

“Due to financial restraints, Hispanics are enjoying more in-home activities rather than spending their discretionary funds on out-of-home paid events,” says Adam Jacobson, multicultural analyst at Mintel. “Watching a movie on TV or reading a book or magazine is taking a front seat to more financially-driven experiences, such as dining out or going to live sporting events.”

Some 36% of Hispanics say they watch a movie on TV more than three times per week. Meanwhile, one-third of respondents would rather curl up with a good book or magazine in Spanish in the same time frame.

Additionally, 40% of Hispanics say they enjoy dining out, but only do so one to three times per month. Some 34% of Hispanics in the US say they will attend a sporting event, and 30% plan to attend a street festival in the next three months.

In addition to eating out, the most common form of out-of-home entertainment among Hispanic adults is a trip to the movies. More than half (53%) of respondents saw a feature film in a theater at least once in the last year and 42% plan to go to the movies in the next three months.

When not out and about town, you can expect to find Hispanics enjoying online entertainment. Spending time on social networking sites, such as Facebook or Myspace, is the most common weekly activity among 77% of Mintel respondents.

Not surprisingly, over a third (36%) of Hispanic adults visit their social networking websites at least 3 times a day and they can do this easily thanks to online access from mobile devices. Sixty-five percent of online Hispanics surveyed say they have a smartphone and 31% have an iPad or similar type of tablet device.

Read more by HS News Staff →

COLOMBIA: President Santos Says Rebels Want Him Killed Using “Whatever Means”

COLOMBIA: President Santos Says Rebels Want Him Killed Using “Whatever Means”

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Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos disclosed a purported internal FARC rebel group message in which a high-ranking guerrilla commander orders his comrades to kill the head of state “by whatever means.”

Santos unveiled the message during a meeting with Nasa Indians on the La Maria reservation in the southwestern province of Cauca, hours after receiving the news from Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon.

The message was sent in the form of an e-mail to a leader of the Northeastern Bloc of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC.

“(Santos) owes us for Alfonso (Cano) and Jorge (Briceño) and other valued comrades. In this effort, we must spare no resources, contacts or accords. The blood of our men demands a forceful and radical response,” the president said in reading aloud one portion of the text.

Cano, the FARC’s top commander, was killed in a military operation in late 2011 that Santos hailed as the biggest blow to the rebel organization in its nearly 50-year history.

Briceño, a.k.a. “Mono Jojoy,” who was killed in an armed forces operation shortly after Santos took office in 2010, was the rebel group’s second-in-command and top military commander.

The text went on to say “war to the death to the oligarchy that today seeks to decapitate the insurgency by removing its commanders. Under these circumstances, ethics authorizes us to ally ourselves with whomever. We have to unleash all dynamics and initiatives.”

The president revealed the content of the message while engaging in a direct dialogue with the more than 12,000 Nasa people in La Maria.

Santos asked forgiveness for the suffering Colombia’s internal armed conflict has caused in Cauca province, where incessant combat between guerrillas and security forces has prompted the Nasa people to declare themselves in peaceful resistance against “all armed actors.”

“I’ve never considered you guerrillas and I respect the dignity of the indigenous peoples,” the president added, alluding to recent generalizations from some sectors of the political right, including former President Alvaro Uribe, concerning Indians’ alleged links with the rebels.

The Nasa walked away from talks with Interior Minister Federico Renjifo on Sunday and demanded a direct dialogue with Santos, saying their demands for autonomy and sovereignty within the scope of the Andean nation’s decades-long armed conflict must be heard at the highest level.

Colombia’s 1991 constitution guarantees autonomy for the nation’s indigenous peoples and gives them the right to exercise control over their officially designated territories.

Intense fighting in Cauca between government forces and the FARC drove more than 2,800 indigenous and mestizo people from their homes in July.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colombia’s Ecopetrol, U.S. Find Oil in Gulf of Mexico

Colombia’s Ecopetrol, U.S. Find Oil in Gulf of Mexico

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Colombia’s Ecopetrol and two U.S. joint venture partners have discovered oil and gas at a deep-water well in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, the Bogota-based firm said Thursday.

The discovery is the second by the venture made up of U.S. firms Apache and Stone Energy and Ecopetrol America, the Colombian state oil company’s U.S. subsidiary, in an area Ecopetrol described as “one of the world’s greatest hydrocarbon prospectivity zones.”

Ecopetrol said in a press release that the find was made at the Parmer Prospect, located in the Green Canyon blocks 823 and 867.

The well was drilled to a depth of 5,760 meters (18,900 feet) and the data indicate a column with signs of gas and condensate and another with signs of crude, the spokesperson said.

The state-owned firm added that Apache, Stone Energy and Ecopetrol America will reprocess 3-D seismic data in the coming months and “determine a comprehensive delimitation and development plan based on the results.”

The Parmer Prospect, in which Ecopetrol has a 30 percent stake and Apache is the operator, is located some 230 kilometers (143 miles) from the Louisiana coast and covers a roughly 46.6-sq.-kilometer (18-sq.-mile) area.

In its press release, Ecopetrol said the find is part of the firm’s “internationalization strategy” and marks a further step in its bid “to attain a production level of 1 million clean barrels of oil equivalent a day by 2015, and 1.3 million clean barrels by 2020.”

In addition to Colombia and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Ecopetrol also has operations in Brazil and Peru.

Read more by HS News Staff →

FridayAugust 17, 2012