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SaturdayAugust 25, 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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Young Spanish Professionals Look to Mexico for Opportunity, Prosperity

Many qualified Spaniards in search of a better future are setting their sights on Mexico, whose economic prospects remain positive despite the global slowdown.

Engineers, graduates in business administration, journalists, sound technicians and advertising professionals are leaving Spain in search of job opportunities not currently available in their homeland, whereas Mexico offers them a promising future.

In the first half of this year some 1,031 Spaniards obtained Mexican work permits, the document known as FM3, about 34.6 percent more than during the same period last year, according to figures of the National Migration Institute.

Mexico’s OCC employment Web site notes that in all of 2011 a total of 514 job applications from Spaniards were added to its database, while in 2012 there were already 674 by the month of July.

In the opinion of OCC public relations director Fernando Calderon, the Mexican labor market offers a lot of opportunities in a country where a dynamic private business sector continues to spur the country’s economic growth.

The Mexican economy grew 4.3 percent in the first half of 2012 over the same period last year, though a slight slowdown is forecast in the second six-month period to close the year with an approximately 4 percent increase.

Unemployment in Mexico dropped to 4.8 percent of the workforce in the second quarter of the year compared with 5.2 percent in the same period in 2011, while in Spain the jobless rate stands at 24.6 percent overall and an astronomical 53 percent among people under the age of 25.

Spain’s unemployment rate ballooned in the wake of the bursting of a massive property bubble and the global recession.

Although the country is mired in its second recession in three years, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s administration has adopted a series of austerity measures in recent months in a bid to meet a European Union-mandated budget deficit target.

At first many Spaniards consider moving to Mexico not worth their while because of the unfavorable euro-peso exchange rate, but in view of Spain’s lack of jobs “it’s better to have than not have,” Calderon said.

The sectors where Spaniards chiefly look for work are in advertising and communications, followed by engineering and management.

It took just 15 days for Rodrigo Gil, 24, a sound specialist from Valladolid, to find work in one of the most important companies in the sector.

“There are very few people studying that subject here but there’s a lot of work - in Spain it’s just the opposite,” said Gil, who last September decided to pack his bags and head for Mexico after three months without a job.

According to figures of Spain’s National Statistics Institute for the year 2011, some 86,658 Spaniards live in Mexico, a number that falls short of the real amount since many citizens fail to register at their consulates.

Unlike in other countries where more restrictions apply, when Spaniards come to Mexico they are granted a tourist visa good for six months and can immediately start looking for work and applying for the corresponding permit.

“When I got to Spain I never though there would be so many people without jobs…nor so many well qualified Spaniards looking for work no matter what it paid,” Natalia Acevedo, a 34-year-old Argentine-Spaniard, told Efe.

Faced with the crisis in Argentina, she returned 10 years ago to Spain to study for her master’s degree and get a job, until last November when she received an offer from a Catalan company to move its digital marketing business to Mexico, a country where it was easy to fit in and where there are 4,500 Spanish companies.

Luis Uranga, director of UR Global, a Spanish company that helps companies seeking to move their businesses to Mexico or Brazil, is convinced that leaving Spain is the only way to survive for many companies that are having a rough time.

“The way ahead (for companies moving to Mexico and Brazil) is more difficult than it was a few years ago, because there is more competition and they have less money, so it’s harder for them…they have to work more but in general they’re all doing well,” Uranga said in an interview with Efe.

While before the crisis some 12 Spanish firms were founded per year in the two countries, Brazil and Mexico, today there are 30, above all small and medium-sized businesses.

“Yes, coming is definitely the way to keep from going” out of business and without a job, Uranga said, referring both to companies and young people who, full of ambition, see few possibilities at the moment in Spain.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Rescues 58 Haitians Adrift Off of Mexico

Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Rescues 58 Haitians Adrift Off of Mexico

Photo: Allure of the Seas (Royal Caribbean)

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Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas rescued a group of 58 Haitians found adrift in a makeshift wooden vessel in the Caribbean, Mexican authorities said.

The Cozumel port captain’s office said Friday that the group of 47 adult men, four boys and seven women was detected in international waters the day before.

According to the report, the cruise ship - currently the world’s largest - had set off from Jamaica Thursday and the small boat was spotted near George Town, Cayman Islands.

In compliance with international law, the Haitians were turned over Friday morning to Mexican authorities on the island of Cozumel, where the cruise ship had anchored after traversing the Caribbean.

The Haitians were received by officials and medical personnel with the National Migration Institute, the Cozumel port captain’s office and the Mexican navy, who verified that they were in good health.

Mexican authorities said the Haitians were sent to the immigration station in Chetumal, capital of the southeastern state of Quintana Roo, for processing.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Questions Still Surround Shooting Involving U.S. Embassy Personnel, Mexican Police

Questions Still Surround Shooting Involving U.S. Embassy Personnel, Mexican Police

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Two officials at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico were wounded Friday when federal police shot at their vehicle in the central state of Morelos, Mexican authorities said.

The wounds are not life-threatening, the federal Public Safety Office and the navy department said in a joint statement, adding that a Mexican naval officer traveling with the two Americans suffered “slight contusions” in the early morning incident.

The vehicle, a Toyota SUV, had diplomatic plates.

Police were engaged in anti-crime operations at the time of the shooting, the statement said.

The Americans and the Mexican officer were traveling on a stretch of unpaved road en route to a navy installation at El Capulin mountain when they encountered “a vehicle whose occupants brandished guns,” the statement said.

The driver of the Toyota “maneuvered to get away and re-enter the highway, the moment in which the occupants of the aggressor vehicle opened fire on the diplomatic vehicle.”

Soon, according to the statement, “three other vehicles joined the pursuit and fired gunshots at the U.S. Embassy vehicle.”

The Mexican officer inside the Toyota made a call for help to his colleagues at the El Capulin base, who arrived after the shooting stopped.

Other military and police personnel also rushed to the scene.

The two U.S. officials were taken under police escort to a hospital in Cuernavaca, roughly 85 kilometers (53 miles) south of Mexico City.

The cops who shot at the embassy vehicle are being questioned by prosecutors, the Mexican government said.

Mexican officials are in “permanent communication” with the U.S. Embassy to provide all needed assistance to the wounded men, the Public Safety Office and the navy department said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Tropical Storm Isaac Passes Over Haiti en Route to Cuba, U.S.

Tropical Storm Isaac Passes Over Haiti en Route to Cuba, U.S.

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A temporarily weakened Tropical Storm Isaac has left behind Haiti and is forecast to batter Cuba on Saturday before entering the warm waters of the Florida Straits and likely gaining hurricane strength.

In its 8:00 a.m. public advisory, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center said the center of Isaac was located 93 miles east-southeast of Guantanamo, Cuba, and was moving to the northwest at around 14 miles per hour.

After dousing highly vulnerable Haiti with rain early Saturday, Isaac’s maximum sustained winds decreased to 95 kilometers (60 miles) per hour, but it is expected to strengthen after making its way over eastern and central Cuba and become a hurricane on Sunday.

There were no immediate reports of fatalities in Haiti, but that destitute Caribbean country is highly vulnerable to flooding and has suffered high deaths tolls in the past from tropical storms.

In 2008, Tropical Storm Hanna left more than 100 dead and hundreds of thousands in need of assistance after hovering over northern Haiti for several days.

According to the NHC, the center of Isaac will move near or over eastern Cuba Saturday and move near the north coast of Cuba on Saturday night before approaching the Florida Keys on Sunday.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Dominican Republic, Haiti and the Cuban provinces of Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Villa Clara, Camaguey, Las Tunas, Granma, Holguin, Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo.

The Florida Keys and the southernmost portion of Florida’s west coast are under a hurricane warning.

Read more by HS News Staff →

ABC Family to Air Jennifer Lopez New Show ’ The Fosters’

ABC Family to Air Jennifer Lopez New Show ’ The Fosters’

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It’s been a few months since Jennifer Lopez announced her exit from American Idol after a two-year stint. But prepare for the Latin beauty’s return to television – as a producer!

ABC Family announced Lopez signed on as executive producer for the new family drama, The Fosters, which begins filming soon. The show will capture the ups and downs of a lesbian couple raising a family of foster and biological children of different cultural backgrounds.

According to a report, the show’s creators, Bradley Bredeweg and Peter Paige, have yet to reveal any casting details.

The ex Idol judge is working on several other TV-related projects as well. According to an additional report, Lopez is in the process of developing two television series, titled Taming Ben Taylor and Sweet Little 15, through her company Nuyorican.

Aside from the small screen, Lopez’s music career is taking the world by storm. She is currently on the road touring, with boyfriend and backup dancer Casper Smart, and her latest album LOVE? was an iTunes top seller.

The 43-year-old is estranged from husband Marc Anthony after a seven-year marriage. The couple, who filmed their dance show Q’Viva! post-split, has 4-year-old twins, Max and Emme, together.

Read more at The Celebrity Cafe →

Department of Justice Helps Reform Mexican Justice System

Department of Justice Helps Reform Mexican Justice System

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Recently the Phase I training of Project Diamante in Mexico City was completed.  Project Diamante is a comprehensive, capacity-building effort developed by professionals of the Department of Justice to reform and modernize Mexico’s criminal justice system.

Since 2009, the Department of Justice has provided major technical assistance to Mexico through the Criminal Division’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development and Training (OPDAT) and the International Criminal Investigative Training Program (ICITAP) as Mexico strives to strengthen local efforts in the investigation of complex crimes.

As part of these programs, DOJ experts, including from the Criminal Division’s Office of Enforcement Operations and Office of International Affairs, have instructed their Mexican counterparts in a variety of critical areas, including criminal procedure code reform, forensic training, drafting of witness protection legislation, investigative techniques, extradition and mutual legal assistance, organizational development, human trafficking, and intellectual property rights violations.

In addition, since February 2012, experienced instructors have been training hundreds of Mexican prosecutors, investigators, and forensic experts for Project Diamante.  This collaboration represents a truly historic effort bringing together American and Mexican officials to assist the Latin American nation as it continues its planned transition from an inquisitorial criminal justice system to one that is more open and adversarial.

Project Diamante’s curriculum aims to lay a solid foundation for building – and maintaining – more robust legal institutions by increasing transparency and improving key skills among members of Mexico’s law enforcement community.

As Phase I ends, the U.S. looks forward to the next phases of this ambitious program, which are designed to institutionalize the training and thereby ensure that future generations of Mexican law enforcement receive this vital foundation.  In Phases II and III, Mexico will move toward institutionalizing Project Diamante training in its academies so that its next generation of prosecutors, investigators and forensic experts receives the same training and has the same essential foundation for their important work.

Read more by HS News Staff →

HS News Introduces NEW 1.4 Million Job- Trabajos Section, Over 27,000 Bilingual Jobs!

HS News Introduces NEW 1.4 Million Job- Trabajos Section, Over 27,000 Bilingual Jobs!

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HS News Proudly Introduces our NEW Jobs Trabajos Section! Search our national Database by Job, By City or Both!
Come see over 27,000 Jobs were Employers are seeking Bilingual Candidates!Image

Read more by HS News Staff →

Research Shows Large Health Gaps Among Black, Latino, White Fifth Grade Students

Research Shows Large Health Gaps Among Black, Latino, White Fifth Grade Students

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Substantial racial and ethnic disparities were found for a broad set of harmful health-related issues in a new study of 5th graders from various regions of the U.S. conducted by Boston Children’s Hospital and a consortium of research institutions.

Black and Latino children were more likely than white children to report everything from witnessing violence to engaging in less exercise to riding in cars without wearing seatbelts. 

At the same time, the study found that children of all races and ethnicities did better on these health indicators if they had more highly-educated parents with higher income or had the advantages of attending certain schools.

Although white children were more likely to have these advantages than black or Latino children, when children with similar advantages were compared, racial and ethnic differences for most health indicators were smaller or even absent.

The study is the most ambitious effort to date to investigate the potential drivers of racial and ethnic health disparities among preadolescents. Results emphasize the key role that schools and family income and education may play in health disparities. 

The researchers examined 16 important health-related measures. Some key disparities included:

    Latino children were two times more likely than white children to see a threat or injury with a gun.
    Rates of obesity were nearly twice as high among black and Latino children, who also reported less vigorous exercise than white children.
    Black and Latino children were much more likely to report worse overall state of health.
    Black and Latino children were significantly more likely to experience discrimination (because of a wide variety of characteristics, like race and ethnicity, weight, and income).
    Black and Latino children were less likely than white children to wear a seatbelt or a bike helmet.

The study suggests that these disparities, which have been much more extensively studied in adolescents, have already begun at younger ages and that interventions and policies may need to start earlier than adolescence to help reduce racial and ethnic differences in child health.  These behaviors, experiences, and outcomes can have serious, long-term effects, so that improving them may improve adult health as well.  For instance, unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death in children and adolescents, and patterns of not using seatbelts or bike helmets set as children may persist as they grow older. 

Victimization by peers and obesity during childhood could also have psychological and physical health consequences later in adolescence and adulthood.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Nicaragua Apprehends Mexicans With $7 Million in Cash in Fake News Trucks

Nicaragua Apprehends Mexicans With $7 Million in Cash in Fake News Trucks

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At least $7 million in cash was found in the vehicles of 18 people pretending to be news crews from Mexico’s Televisa television covering a drug trial in Managua linked to the 2011 killing of folk singer Facundo Cabral, Nicaraguan police said Friday.

The money was tucked away in six vans painted with the Televisa logo, police chief Aminta Granera told a press conference here.

The vans were seized Monday at checkpoint on Nicaragua’s border with Honduras border and later brought to police headquarters in Managua.

One of the 18 people arrested appears to be a municipal police officer from the Mexican city of Durango, Granera said.

The trial of members of an alleged international drug ring got under way on Wednesday.

Nicaraguan prosecutors say the accused smuggled Colombian drugs via Costa Rica to Guatemala, for ultimate delivery to traffickers in neighboring Mexico.

The 24 defendants facing drug trafficking, money laundering and racketeering charges include Nicaraguan promoter Henry Fariña, thought to have been the real target of the July 9, 2011, attack in Guatemala that resulted in the death of Argentina’s Facundo Cabral, a folk music icon.

The alleged ringleader is Costa Rican citizen Alejandro Jimenez, now awaiting trial in Guatemala for the death of Cabral.

Fariña was driving Cabral - who had given a concert in Guatemala City the previous night - to La Aurora International Airport when they came under attack on a street on the Guatemalan capital’s south side.

The Nicaraguan businessman told Guatemalan prosecutors that Jimenez was behind the attack, saying the Costa Rican had threatened to kill him for refusing to sell the Elite chain of adult nightclubs in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

Authorities in Guatemala, however, said the attack was spurred by the theft of a drug consignment.

Fariña, who says he fears for his life, laundered roughly $9 million in drug money between 2005 and last year, according to the Nicaraguan indictment.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazilian Arrested Trying to Smuggle 27 Snakes onto Plane in Florida

A man was arrested at a U.S. airport for trying to smuggle 27 snakes hidden in two stereo speakers in his luggage onto a plane to Brazil, but which were detected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents.

The Brazilian Mateus Dal Maso tried to take the snakes, including seven boas, as contraband on a flight to Brazil, after buying them at the National Reptile Breeders Expo in Daytona Beach on Florida’s east coast, the daily Orlando Sentinel said in its online edition.

The incident occurred Wednesday at Orlando International Airport when customs agents detected the reptiles in the man’s luggage during an X-ray scan.

Dal Maso had wrapped the snakes with nylon stockings and hid them in the speakers inside his luggage, but when customs agents asked him what he had in his suitcase, he denied there was anything but the sound equipment.

He later had to admit transporting hidden reptiles worth an estimated $10,000 when the agents took him to a separate area of the airport terminal from which his flight was to take off for Sao Paulo, according to the daily.

Officials said the man had one ball python, seven boas and 19 corn snakes.

The passenger was “found guilty of exporting illegal merchandise, served two days in the Orange County Jail and fined $6,000,” the newspaper said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

5 Ways DACA Renews the Conversation on Immigration Reform

5 Ways DACA Renews the Conversation on Immigration Reform

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There’s no doubt that recent implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative is the biggest thing to happen in immigration law in many years. While most of the attention is currently focused on how to make it work, how to apply and how to work out the kinks, it’s important to take a macro view at the ways this program can actually renew the entire conversation on immigration reform.

1.) Reports since the DACA initiative began suggest that many young people are willing to come forward and apply despite concerns about the durability of the program.  In other words, even if the White House were to change hands, DREAMers are willing to bet on the significant, bi-partisan support their cause has gotten this far.  Whether 2013 ushers in a second Obama administration or a new Romney administration, the need to thoughtfully address the plight of more than a million young people is on the table and unavoidable now.

2.) Some have called the DACA initiative a test run for any future large scale immigration program, as it has required the government to quickly implement new policies, manage resources, design forms and provide training.  The ease or difficulty of implementing this new program will provide real and practical information about how quickly the agency can respond to changes. And facts actually do help shape legislative policy.

3.) When the sky doesn’t fall, when social services aren’t overrun, when young people with deferred action become teachers and doctors and engineers, when they proudly put in forty hour work weeks, no matter what their profession, we will have that much more hard evidence that having the legal right to work in this country makes a difference for the individual, the economy, and the community.  This evidence not only benefits the arguments for legalization but for the broader debate over STEM, and expanding employment based green cards and looking at new ways to find the workers we need.  DACA is a social experiment in the making.

4.) DACA will also raise questions about what young people with deferred action may be unable to do without a green card or citizenship.  It can open a debate on civic engagement, the importance of voting and citizenship, and even whether a community’s social structure is defined by the relative temporary or permanent nature of its population.

5.) Similarly, researchers are likely to study with great interest the emotional and personal impact of deferred action, both for those who receive it and those who do not.  Thus, DACA is likely to add to our understanding of the broader social issues of legal status.

Questions like these need to be asked and answered. We have needed the space to discuss them rationally for many years.  So what’s doubly exciting about DACA is that in addition to the benefits it will provide to individual young people, it gives us a new opening for a civil conversation.

Read more at Immigration impact →

Enrique Iglesias: “Finally Found You” First Listen Here

Enrique Iglesias: “Finally Found You” First Listen Here

Photo: Enrique Iglesias's "Finally Found You"

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Enrique Iglesias dropped his new single, “Finally Found You” on Youtube.  The song features Boston rapper Sammy Adams and has a distinct club feel that channels Avicii or David Guetta.  This song has the potential to be a big hit this fall. 

The song will be available for purchase on iTunes on September 25th but you can catch it here in the meantime.

The Latin singer’s official Youtube page also posted this message, “Leave a comment below and one lucky fan will get a phone call from Enrique to talk about the new song!”  Try your luck by leaving a comment here.

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Read more by HS News Staff →

Prepare for Tropical Storm Isaac with These Helpful Tips

Prepare for Tropical Storm Isaac with These Helpful Tips

Photo: Tropical Storm Isaac (BBC)

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Tropical Storm Isaac is churning in the Caribbean Sea, and the storm is currently tracking south of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. We will have a better idea if and where it might hit the United States mainland in the next 12 to 24 hours.

If you live in an area that is in the current path of the storm or in coastal regions that could be affected, the Federal Emergency Management Agency advises you to listen to your local news to monitor weather updates and warnings and follow the instructions of local officials.

FEMA offers the following tips to prepare for tropical storms:

    Tropical weather systems can bring heavy rains, flash flooding, and high winds, so if you haven’t already, visit Ready.gov for tips on creating your family emergency plan and getting an emergency kit.
    Rains from tropical storms can cause flooding. A mere six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes only two feet of rushing water to carry away most vehicles. This includes pickups and SUVs.
    High winds from tropical storms can cause power outages. The Consumer Product Safety Commission and U.S. Fire Administration urge consumers to use portable generators outdoors. Never use portable generators indoors or in garages. The exhaust from generators contains high levels of carbon monoxide that can quickly incapacitate and kill.
    Everyone should also familiarize themselves with the terms that are used to identify a severe weather hazard. A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within 36 hours. If local officials give the order to shelter in place, take action immediately; and if the order from local officials is to evacuate, leave immediately. Monitor local radio and television news outlets or listen to NOAA Weather Radio for the latest developments.

Visit Ready.gov, hurricanes for more information on how to prepare for a tropical storm and check the National Hurricane Center to find the projected path of the storm.

Read more at USA.gov →

¡Felicidades! Uruguay on Your 187th Year of Independence

¡Felicidades! Uruguay on Your 187th Year of Independence

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Today, all of Uruguay is celebrating and rejoicing its 187-year old independence from Spain. The Spanish arrived in 1516 and stayed for close to 300 years as it colonized the region and enslaved native populations.  The fight for independence started in 1811 when national hero Jose Gervasio Artigas launched a revolution for freedom that was marked by the key Battle of Las Piedras.  The country declared itself independent from Spain on 1825 some 14 years later.

Uruguay enjoys acclaim as one of the top 100 country’s with the highest quality of life in the world and being one of the least corrupt in South America.  The country was once known as Oriental Republic of Uruguay and is home to 3.5 million plus people that will be celebrating today with fireworks, parades and concerts that will take place throughout the country.

The Obama Administration and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent their regards and praise to the country on this day:

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of Uruguay as you celebrate the 187th anniversary of your independence this August 25th.

Uruguay’s significant contributions to advancing peace and human rights have served as a beacon for individuals and countries the world over. We value your continued support of peacekeeping missions all across the globe – no country contributes more proportionately than Uruguay. We also commend Uruguay’s commitment to transparency and rule of law.

As you celebrate this special day, know that the United States stands with you. We look forward to strengthening the ties between our countries, and to expanding our cooperation in educational exchanges and other fields as we work together toward a more peaceful and prosperous world.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Workers Arrested in Raid in Ohio May Face Deportation Leaving US Born Children

Workers Arrested in Raid in Ohio May Face Deportation Leaving US Born Children

Photo: Michael Chritton Akron Beacon Journal

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More than 250 people rallied this week in front of the Summit County Courthouse to protest last week’s raid of area Mariachi Locos restaurants and the arrest of 35 cooks, dishwashers and servers alleged to be in the country illegally. HOLA, a grassroots Hispanic organization from Northeast Ohio, organized the effort to draw attention to the fact many of those facing possible deportation have U.S.-born children.

The raid by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is separating families and “ripping apart the bonds between children and their parents,” HOLA spokeswoman Veronica Dahlberg said.

Dozens of children were among those gathered, some holding signs asking for their fathers to be released. Miguel Castro, owner of six Mariachi Locos restaurants in Summit and Stark counties and the Plaza Maya in Tallmadge, launched his chain in Akron 12 years ago and said immigration officials have never bothered him before. He said he was stunned when agents arrived at all of his restaurants Aug. 16 and immediately began handcuffing all of his employees. Some were released after a few minutes of questioning. Others were arrested and released after posting a $5,000 bond, Castro and Dahlberg said.

Others are still incarcerated, not able to make bail, they said. “I don’t know why they did this,” Castro said.

He said he also was handcuffed and was asked about his hiring practices. Castro said he told agents his application form does not inquire about a respondent’s citizenship status. When they are hired, they are required to show a Social Security card and a green card.

Castro said the handcuffs were taken off after about 20 minutes. He said he has not been charged with any crimes. Three Mariachi Locos restaurants — in Stow and in Akron’s Chapel Hill and Merriman Valley neighborhoods — since have reopened, but Castro said he doesn’t have the staff or the confidence to reopen others.

“We are afraid this will happen again,” Castro said.

Guadalupe Ramos attended the rally, holding 2-week-old Nataly in one arm and hanging onto 5-year-old Yoselin with her free hand. Both girls were born in Akron. She acknowledged her husband, Juan Jose Ramos, is not a legal citizen. She fears what will happen if he is deported. “I’m by myself now. I have rent to pay and bills to pay, but he is my supporter,” Guadalupe Ramos said. She said Juan Ramos wasn’t scheduled to work the day of the raids, but picked up an extra shift “because he is a hard worker. He did it for his family.” She said she has the $5,000 bond to release her husband, but authorities won’t accept it because of another pending immigration case.

Yoselin, wearing a head scarf in the colors of the American flag, pleaded for her father’s release on a hand-decorated Tshirt that read: “Please Don’t Deport My Daddy.”

For an hour, rally supporters heard from a couple of dozen speakers: family members whose breadwinners have been deported after raids of other Northeast Ohio businesses, organizations trying to raise awareness of the plight of
separated families and clergy members who support the Latino community. They also chanted to get the attention of motorists as well as pedestrians in the area of the courthouse and Akron City Hall. “Arrest criminals, not working families!” “Let freedom ring!” “Border Patrol, use common sense!” “We are God’s children!”

Dahlberg shared with the crowd a federal report that showed in the first six months of 2011, the U.S. deported 47,000 parents who left U.S.-born children behind. More recent data was not available, she said, but she suspects another 100,000 parents could be separated from their children this year. She asked the crowd to keep fighting for a change in policy. “Don’t come here for one hour and then you’re done,” she said. “Register to vote. Keep working to make change.” The Akron Beacon Journal requested information about last week’s restaurant raid from the Cleveland office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The request was not filled by the end of the business day.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Retired Colombian General Sentenced For Killing Peasant Leader in 1997

Retired Colombian General Sentenced For Killing Peasant Leader in 1997

Photo: General Rito Alejo del Rio

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Retired Colombian Gen. Rito Alejo del Rio was convicted Friday and sentenced to nearly 26 years in prison for the 1997 murder of a peasant leader in a joint army-paramilitary operation.

A judge found Del Rio to be “co-responsible” for the killing of peasant Marino Lopez Mena during Operation Genesis, launched by the army’s 17th Brigade in the conflictive northwestern region of Uraba.

Several paramilitary commanders had implicated Del Rio in the slaying.

Lopez Mena, a black peasant leader, was killed and dismembered in February 1997, in Bijao - one of 23 communities located in the Cacarica River basin - by men from the Elmer Cardenas Bloc of the now-defunct AUC federation of rightist militias.

Demobilized members of that bloc, including its former commander Freddy Rendon Herrera, confessed to the murder and testified to the complicity of the then-military chief of that region.

Del Rio was regarded in some sectors as the “pacifier” of Uraba, but his offensives were marked by killings of innocent civilians and forced displacements of entire communities.

According to prosecutors, “a macabre alliance” was formed between the AUC and the army in that region against leftist guerrillas “without regard for the civilian population.”

Del Rio has been held at a military facility in Bogota since his arrest in September 2008.

More than 31,000 AUC fighters demobilized between 2003 and 2006 as part of a peace process that included a promise of lenient treatment for paramilitaries who made full confessions and offered some form of restitution to victims.

Colombian prosecutors have linked the AUC to more than 20,000 murders.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican-born Doctor Fighting for Mental Health Services for Calif. Latinos

Mexican-born Doctor Fighting for Mental Health Services for Calif. Latinos

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Mexican-born Dr. Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola has become a staunch champion of mental health services for Latinos in California.

“I always loved reading and when my parents bought us the encyclopedia “El Tesoro de la Juventud” (The Treasure of Childhood), I would lie on the floor reading about voyages, geography, history…it was like traveling in my mind, in my imagination,” he tells Efe.

And the habit of reading gave him the ability to dream big and to know that “I could do anything if I tried hard enough and was really determined.”

And so he follows a maxim of Latino civil rights leader and labor organizer Cesar Chavez that has inspired him: “In order to have a great dream come true, you must first have a great ability to dream.”

“But then what is challenging, what is difficult is to keep on trying no matter how often you fail,” he says.

Aguilar-Gaxiola graduated from medical school in Guadalajara and began practicing his profession. “I had two jobs,” he recalls. “One was in Mexico’s Health Department where I saw patients at one of the clinics, and the other was with an agency that dealt with the prevention and treatment of addictions.”

In that agency he and a psychiatrist co-founded the first clinic for the prevention and treatment of addictions in Mexico.

“We had 12 beds that were constantly occupied. People came from all over the country.”

From that experience he learned that “if we don’t involve the family in those rehab treatments we don’t make any real progress.”

ImageHe later earned a PhD from Vanderbilt University in Nashville and practiced at San Francisco General Hospital.

There he had the chance to co-found a clinic for treating depression and where he worked with its Latino patients.

In 1987 he returned to Mexico and practiced medicine for several years in Guadalajara.

“After being trained intensively for six years I had a culture shock when I went back to an environment where things were done in a very different way,” he recalls.

Frustrated with how things worked in Mexico, he finally decided to accept an invitation from a Hispanic colleague, Dr. Alexander Gonzalez, to teach at California State University, Fresno.

There he took part in researching the mental health of immigrants compared with that of second- and third-generation Hispanics.

Aguilar-Gaxiola was recently named by state Senate President Pro-Tem Darrell Steinberg to co-chair a task force to investigate the equitable distribution of autism services to diverse communities in California.

Based on his personal and professional experience, Aguilar-Gaxiola believes the preservation and strengthening of Latino family values is of vital importance.

“In my family I had the blessing that my parents were very hardworking - without much education - but with a lot of integrity, honesty and compassion, and with a work ethic that they indelibly stamped on my character,” he said.

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Brazilian Condom Manufacturer Recalls 620,000 Condoms

Brazilian Condom Manufacturer Recalls 620,000 Condoms

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The Brazilian condom manufacturer Olla is recalling 620,000 condoms from the market because of a possible defect in quality control that could compromise their security.

“The recall is a preventive measure since a possible lapse in quality has been identified that could make the product unfit for use,” Olla, one of the biggest condom manufacturers in the country, said in a communique.

The manufacturer said that the items with possible defects belong to five different lots of lubricated condoms that were distributed in promotional packs of eight for the price of six.

“Should any product from these lots be located, Olla tells consumers not to use it, to keep it in its packaging and contact our customer service in order to return it and receive a product replacement at no cost,” the communique said.

Olla acknowledged having become aware of the problem after an increase in the number of customer complaints.

Recalls, a requirement of Brazilian authorities in cases of manufacturing problems that is increasingly common for automobiles, is unprecedented for condoms.

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Bus Plunges 980 Feet into Ravine, Killing 12 in Ecuador

Twelve people were killed Friday when a public bus plunged into a ravine in the southwestern province of El Oro, Ecuadorian media said.

The vehicle fell some 300 meters (984 feet) after running off the road, witnesses told television stations.

The accident took place around 6:00 a.m., the witnesses said.

While Ecuador’s National Police has yet to release an official report on the crash, media accounts said that at least eight of the survivors were injured.

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Archaeologists Discover 850 Year Old Human Remains in Central Mexico

Mexican specialists found 15 graves with entire human skeletons estimated at more than 850 years old at an archaeological site in the central state of Queretaro, the National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, said.

The experts made the discovery in the archaeological area of Tancama in the Sierra Gorda mountains of Queretaro while reinforcing a structure called Building 17 of the Huastec complex.

Jorge Alberto Quiroz, head of the dig at Tancama, said that the skeletons were taken to the Comparative Archaeological Collections Department of INAH in Mexico City.

There Dr. Cristina Garcia Pura will do the cleaning and the palaeopathological and taxonomic analyses of the bones to determine the number of complete skeletons as well as the age, sex and possible diseases of the individuals.

While waiting for the analyses that will allow the remains to be dated with precision, Quiroz said that finding them inside the ruins of the building could possibly mean that they were buried there around 1150 A.D. when Tancama had been abandoned for at least two centuries.

“Perhaps (the remains) show that the buildings were repurposed and that people already settled elsewhere returned to this city to bury their dead in some of the buildings. This hypothesis would have to be confirmed by research,” Quiroz said.

For her part, Garcia Pura noted that added to the skeletal remains just discovered are 64 skulls of individuals less than 18 years of age, mostly males, found in the same pre-Columbian building in 2001.

Finding them together with ceramic pieces of the Black Zaquil type as offerings means that these skulls go back to the time when the city was at its peak, between 500 and 700 A.D.

“Discoveries like this tend to be sacrificial offerings, since during that period in Mesoamerica, the feet, hands and skull were considered the most important parts of the body - and so were often included in burials as offerings to the gods,” the expert said.

The pre-Columbian settlement of Tancama prospered between 250 and 800 A.D., though it was at its height between 500 and 750 A.D.

The Huastec culture, characterized by a language of Mayan origin from which the current Huastec tongue is derived, developed across a vast region of Mexico that included the states of Veracruz, San Luis Potosi, Hidalgo, Tamaulipas, Queretaro and Puebla.

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EB-5 Visa Program for Foreign Investors, Businessmen Set to Expire in September

EB-5 Visa Program for Foreign Investors, Businessmen Set to Expire in September

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Congress should extend the EB-5 visa program for foreign investors as a way to spur the economy, now that the country is facing the danger of another recession, experts consulted by Efe said Thursday.

“This program helps create jobs here and has had great bipartisan support in the past. It’s like an economic stimulus plan without costing U.S. taxpayers anything…. It’s something where everyone wins, both our country and the foreign investors,” said Peter D. Joseph, executive director of the Association to Invest In the USA, or IIUSA, based in Chicago.

“We live in a hyperconnected world, where capital and human resources flow across borders, and this program responds to that macroeconomic reality. The United States is facing a slow economic recovery and Europe is already in crisis,” he added.

Created in 1990, the EB-5 program expires on Sept. 30 and, to date, only the Senate has approved a new extension for another three years.

Although implementing the program would not entail any cost, it is not clear if the House of Representatives will approve it when lawmakers return to resume the legislative session next month.

According to IIUSA, the program will help to create about 40,000 jobs over the next two years. The consensus of economists is that, with an unemployment rate of 8.3 percent, the United States needs to create around 300,000 jobs a month to establish a trend toward economic recovery.

“This program was not a magic pill for economic recovery, it’s not going to solve all the economic problems we have, but it’s essential (to have it) in our toolbox and must be on the table,” Joseph argued.

Meanwhile, immigration attorney Randy Sidlosca, with the Arnstein and Lehr law firm, said that the program is very popular among investors in Latin America, above all in Venezuela and Mexico, who are seeking a safe haven for their investments.

“From Latin American, the majority of those who are requesting these visas are Venezuelans, although there are also Mexicans. In Fiscal Year 2012, the five main countries were China, South Korea, Taiwan, Iran and Venezuela,” Sidlosca said.

“We have many investors from Mexico who are requesting these visas, unfortunately to leave the country because of the issue of public safety,” he said. “In the case of Venezuela, the majority are asking (for the visas) because of the political issue, because they’re seeking opportunities here in the U.S.”

Sidlosca said he was confident that the approval of the extension will not run into any obstacles in Congress because, although it is an election year, “this is something that has to do with the creation of jobs.”

The EB-5 program, which sets an annual limit of 10,000 permanent residence cards, requires a foreigner to invest a minimum of $500,000 and help to create at least 10 full-time jobs, among other requirements.

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SaturdayAugust 25, 2012