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ThursdayAugust 30, 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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Gas Station Fire Seriously Injures 26 in Cuba

Gas Station Fire Seriously Injures 26 in Cuba

Photo: Gas station fire in Cuba

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A huge fire at a gas station in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba injured 32 people, including 26 who were listed in serious or very serious condition, state media reported.

The fire started Tuesday night when “a state truck collided with one of the gasoline pumps” at the service station in Santiago, located about 950 kilometers (590 miles) east of Havana.

The crash caused a fuel spill, with experts concluding that spark from a nearby motorcycle may have ignited the gasoline, state television said.

The injured were taken to Juan Bruno Zayas General Hospital in Santiago de Cuba.

The fire was put out before it could spread further, state media reported.

The gasoline station was nearly completely burned, images broadcast on state television showed.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Attorney General Says 42 Died, 132 Injured in Venezuelan Refinery Blast

Attorney General Says 42 Died, 132 Injured in Venezuelan Refinery Blast

Photo: Oil blast in Venezuela

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The explosion at Venezuela’s Amuay refinery last weekend killed 42 people, wounded 132 others and left eight people missing, Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz said.

We have “42 dead victims, of whom 41 have been identified,” whose bodies have been released to relatives, Ortega Diaz told Venezolana de Television, or VTV.

Prosecutors have received “reports of eight people missing” in the explosion and fire at the energy complex, the AG said.

“Of the 132 injured people, only 20 remain hospitalized because the rest had only slight injuries,” Ortega Diaz said.

The Amuay refinery, one of the three in the Paraguana Refinery Complex, or CRP, was rocked by an explosion last Saturday that started a fire and damaged about 500 nearby buildings.

The blast started a fire that burned for four days and affected nine fuel tanks at the facility.

Eighteen National Guard members died in the accident at the complex, which has a base and housing for guardsmen, Vice President Elias Jaua said over the weekend.

The investigation being conducted by the Attorney General’s Office, the CICPC criminal investigations agency, the Sebin police intelligence agency and Petroleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA, specialists will “take the time needed,” Ortega Diaz said.

The attorney general refused to speculate about the cause of the blast, saying that to do so would be “irresponsible” on her part.

The investigation will be “impartial, objective and impeccable,” and it will “determine the truth,” the AG said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Puerto Rican Actress Roselyn Sanchez Raises Funds and Awareness for Cancer

Puerto Rican Actress Roselyn Sanchez Raises Funds and Awareness for Cancer

Photo: Puerto Rican Actress Roselyn Sanchez

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Puerto Rican actress Roselyn Sanchez on Thursday visited a group of children suffering from cancer at the San Jorge Hospital in San Juan and symbolically gave them a medal for participating in an upcoming triathlon to raise money to fight the disease.

Sanchez is the sponsor of the San Jorge Foundation, which organizes the annual Triathlon for Life.

“Here we’re winners because I’m seeing them once more, meeting new patients and listening to their stories. It’s difficult to speak with the parents of the kids, but you have to move forward,” Sanchez told Efe.

Among the children was one 3-year-old girl who, despite her illness, kept smiling the entire time the actress was chatting with her.

Sanchez said that she had to move away from the little girl because she needed to cry for a while when she thought of her 8-month-old daughter - Sebella Rose, whom she had with her husband, actor Eric Winter - in that situation.

“I can’t explain the feeling to you. It was from the fiber of a mother’s being. All these mothers had a healthy child, but suddenly they find something. In that girl, I saw my daughter and I asked God to take care of her for me,” she said.

The third edition of the Roselyn Sanchez Triathlon for Life will be held Sept. 9 in the eastern Puerto Rican city of Rio Grande.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazilian Gov’t Says Country is Holding Up During Global Crisis

Brazilian Gov’t Says Country is Holding Up During Global Crisis

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Brazil’s finance minister said Thursday that Latin America’s largest economy is holding up well amid the “worst year” of the global economic crisis and that its solid foundation will enable it to achieve growth of nearly 4 percent this year.

“In terms of seriousness, what’s happening in 2012 is worse than what happened in 2009,” Guido Mantega said during a meeting with government officials and private-sector representatives.

Mantega reiterated his criticism of the most highly developed countries for what he describes as their inadequate response to the global turmoil, which he acknowledged is “already contaminating” the main emerging economies.

“Now this situation is even affecting the most dynamic emerging economies like India and China,” Mantega said, although he insisted Brazil was resisting the impact of the global slowdown.

The minister said “there’s an annual acceleration (in Brazil) that can be seen in the growth of gross domestic product,” which he estimated expanded around 0.6 percent in the second quarter.

Mantega said the latest GDP figures, to be officially released Friday, will show the Brazilian economy could expand 4 percent this year, well above market forecasts of roughly 2 percent growth.

He said Brazil’s economy will pick up steam in the final two quarters thanks to government stimulus measures, including tax-cut extensions for automakers and other sectors.

The minister once again criticized private banks and said economic performance continues to be dragged down by interest rates, which remain high even though the Central Bank has lowered its benchmark Selic rate steadily since last August and cut it to 7.5 percent on Wednesday.

Mantega called the current level “historic” and “almost civilized,” recalling that the same rate stood at 12.5 percent a year ago.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, for her part, said Thursday that in the coming weeks she will announce new measures to reduce electricity costs and an ambition concession plan for airports and ports, part of her administration’s bid to spur growth amid the global slowdown.

Other stimulus measures, including tax cuts for domestic industries hardest hit by the global crisis and a $65 billion concessions plan for roads and railways, were unveiled in recent weeks.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Wounded Embassy Personnel Return to the U.S. After Shooting in Mexico

Wounded Embassy Personnel Return to the U.S. After Shooting in Mexico

Photo: Scene of the shooting

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Two U.S. officials wounded last week when assailants thought to be Mexican federal police opened fire on their vehicle have left the country without giving statements to investigators, Mexico’s attorney general said.

“They must first be in the appropriate conditions to be able to do it. It will be done at the right time, once they are in shape for it,” Marisela Morales told reporters, adding that the U.S. government is fully cooperating with the probe.

The safety and health of the two men is the primary consideration, she said.

Neither the U.S. or Mexican government has provided any details about the wounded Americans, but The New York Times reported that both men are CIA officers.

Though 12 federal cops are being held in connection with last Friday’s incident in the central state of Morelos, the Mexican attorney general said she would not discuss possible suspects “so as not to obstruct the investigation.”

“It will be with scientific evidence that we will solve this very sensitive case,” she said.

Morales also declined to comment on the U.S. government’s description of the events as an ambush, saying only that “there are various lines of investigation.”

Federal police were engaged in anti-crime operations at the time of the assault on the U.S. Embassy vehicle, a Toyota SUV with diplomatic plates, the Mexican government said last Friday in a statement.

The Americans and a Mexican navy official 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.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Woman Struck by Lightning, Boy Drowns in Severe Rains in El Salvador

Woman Struck by Lightning, Boy Drowns in Severe Rains in El Salvador

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A 26-year-old woman was killed by lightning and a 3-year-old boy drowned due to the severe thunderstorms that hit El Salvador in the past few days, officials said.

Marta Alicia Tadeo died when she was struck by lightning on Tuesday outside her house in a rural area near Nahuizalco, a city in the western province of Sonsonate, police and emergency management office spokesmen said.

Bryan Alvarado, meanwhile, drowned after falling into a rain-filled ravine in Chinameca, a city in the eastern province of San Miguel, officials told reporters.

The heavy rains that have pounded El Salvador over the past few days are normal for this time of year, officials said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico City’s Museo Tamayo Reopens with New Artwork

Mexico City’s Museo Tamayo Reopens with New Artwork

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The Museo Tamayo recently announced its reopening after a major renovation and expansion of its building and facilities. The expansion project, designed by Teodoro Gonzalez de Leon, one of the architects of the original building, designed over 30 years ago, is the product of a public-private initiative among non-profit and government institutions. To mark its reopening on August 26, the Tamayo Museum presented seven original exhibitions and projects organized by its curatorial team and guest curators—ranging from a significant historical exhibition of work by the museum’s founder, Rufino Tamayo, to a site-dependant commission by Pierre Huyghe.

Several of the exhibitions presented feature works from the museum’s permanent collection, providing contemporary perspectives that offer new readings of the works from the museum’s holdings:

Pierre Huyghe: El día del ojo is a site-specific intervention into the museum’s “sculpture patio.”  The project is part of a larger body of work and research undertaken by the artist related to his experiences in Mexico. Huyghe brings together his diverse interests in nature, culture, and rituals and intersects them with history, fantasy, and oblivion, in order to weave a narrative that takes him back to his first visit to Mexico in 1987, and his subsequent expedition to Naica.

The project consists of three interconnected elements: an architectural intervention in the form of a fish pond; an exhibition of sculpture from the museum’s collection reflecting the artist’s reminiscence of his first visit to the Museo Tamayo in the 1980s; and a publication that suggests a visual narrative of Huyghe’s process towards the completion of the project.
Project curated by Sofía Hernández Chong-Cuy, guest curator.

Ryan Gander, Boing, boing, squirt  looks into para-possible exhibition making, revealing the artist’s associative methodologies through presenting a series of objects that produce situations with the objective of displaying how new meanings can be drawn from coincidental and sometimes spastic cultural collisions. As visible from the titles of the works, the project looks at exhibition making as an exercise for the artist; almost assisting and explaining to the visitor the ambition and intent in the construction of each work and the narratives that they may produce. The exhibition in constructed around the artwork The Corridor (1976) by George Segal, from the museum’s collection, which is to be shown within the installation. 

Michael Stevenson, New Math  is the result of the artist’s research that intertwines obscure relations between history, economy, politics and mathematics in order to create fictions. Stevenson’s project for the Museo Tamayo intersects the improbable connection between Mohammad Rezā Pahlavī, Iran’s last Shāh, and José de Jesús Martínez, Chuchu, mathematician, philosopher, poet, pilot, professor, bodyguard, and right hand of General Omar Torrijos.
Project curated by Magnolia de la Garza, Associate Curator, Museo Tamayo.

Tamayo/Trayectos  is a retrospective exhibition that shows the diverse ways in which Rufino Tamayo approached various classical art historical genres such as landscape, still life, portrait, female nude and genre scenes, as well as his incursion into the Indigenist and Surrealist movements.

The exhibition is comprised of 47 works from various museum and private collections, including loans from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Berkeley Art Museum.
Exhibition curated by Juan Carlos Pereda, Tamayo Curator, and Adriana Domínguez, Assistant Curator, Museo Tamayo.

Tomorrow was already here is an exhibition that examines the historiographic turn in contemporary art through the works of artists who revisit past visions of the future. The Cold War becomes a setting for the predictive imaginaries of the period, focused on space exploration and architectural utopias. Selections of works from the collection contextualize the thematic axes of the exhibition and function as time capsules that present different iterations of the modern.

Artists in the exhibition: Julieta Aranda, Carol Bove, Fernando Bryce, Gerard Byrne, Johan Grimonprez, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Július Koller, David Maljkovic, Dorit Margreiter, Rita McBride, Steve McQueen, Matthias Müller, The Otolith Group, Pedro Reyes, Jane and Louise Wilson, and works from the collection by Kenneth Armitage, Martha Boto, Sérgio de Camargo, Adolph Gottlieb, Barbara Hepworth, Julio Le Parc, Matta, Henry Moore, Ben Nicholson, Victor Pasmore, Giò Pomodoro, Earl Reiback, Jesús Soto, Simon Starling, and Victor Vasarely.
Exhibition curated by Julieta González, Senior Curator, Museo Tamayo.

First Act takes as its point of departure the moment in which the museum’s ”curtain” re-opens at its re-inauguration ceremony. Primer Acto (First Act) uses this event’s social and political aspect to problematize the museum’s function in relation to the spectator, the artwork, space and critique. By employing rhetorical elements of the history of painting and theatrical representation—such as the mirror and the curtain—it attempts to demonstrate the link between expectations raised before any act or exhibition and what we see actually reflected on these stages. Also, various works critique and question the institution as a system that wields power over the public by defining a specific understanding and approach to art.

Artists in the exhibition: Mark Benson, Stefan Brüggemann, Andre Cadere, Mariana Castillo-Deball, Tacita Dean, Thomas Demand, Ceal Floyer, Lucio Fontana, Andrea Fraser, Douglas Gordon, Jonathan Hernández, Adad Hannah, Fritzia Irizar, Adriana Lara, Natalia Martínez, Nils Nova, Goran Petercol, Wilfredo Prieto, Ana Roldán, SUPERFLEX and Pablo Vargas Lugo.
Exhibition curated by Andrea Torreblanca, Associate Curator, Museo Tamayo.

Reading Room

Architectural commission: Gustavo Lipkau
Modulario is a space where the public may consult complementary information about the exhibitions and projects on view at the Tamayo Museum, through curatorial and artist’s material, books, documents, videos, and other sources.
This first edition of the Modulario has been entrusted to Mexican architect Gustavo Lipkau.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Arrest Warrant Issued for Former Mexican Governor Charged with Drug Trafficking

Arrest Warrant Issued for Former Mexican Governor Charged with Drug Trafficking

Photo: Tomas Yarrington

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Mexican authorities are looking for the former governor of the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, Tomas Yarrington, with the help of Interpol, Attorney General Marisela Morales said Wednesday.

So far “we have no information about where he could be, but the order (for his arrest on drug trafficking charges) is already in effect,” Morales told reporters.

Mexican media on Wednesday reported that a federal judge in the western state of Jalisco had ordered Yarrington’s arrest, and this was confirmed by Morales.

Morales said that Yarrington, who governed Tamaulipas from 1999 to 2004, is charged with “fomenting drug trafficking and drug consumption.”

She went on to say that the evidence gathered by the federal AG’s office was obtained in Mexico and in the United States and is enough to allow authorities to “take criminal action.”

After saying that there has been an “exchange of information with different institutions, both in Mexico as well as abroad, in the United States” in the case, Morales said that her country had asked Interpol to help in arresting Yarrington, who up until May belonged to the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, which is set to return to power in December.

The PRI suspended Yarrington’s rights and privileges as a member of the party until his legal situation can be clarified after exhorting him to cooperate “fully with the appropriate authorities with an eye toward clearing up” the matter.

U.S. federal prosecutors on May 22 filed forfeiture cases involving two properties in Texas they allege Yarrington purchased via front men using bribes from drug cartels.

The suits accused him of participating in a money-laundering network that in 2006 allegedly bought real estate through third parties in the United States.

After that legal action, Mexican media said that the illicit funds for those operations could have come from the Gulf drug cartel.

The arrest warrant for Yarrington is the first to be signed in Mexico for a former state government since April 6, 1999, when the federal AG’s office requested the capture of the former governor of Quintana Roo, Mario Villanueva Madrid, also on drug trafficking charges.

Arrested in 2001, Villanueva was extradited in May 2010 to the United States to face charges for those crimes, which stated that the Mexican politician was considered to be “a key figure in the international trade of illicit narcotics.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Angel Delgado Robs Bank, Attempts to Flee on Bicycle

LATINO BLOTTER: Angel Delgado Robs Bank, Attempts to Flee on Bicycle

Photo: LATINO BLOTTER: Angel Delgado Robs Bank, Attempts to Flee on Bicycle

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Reminder: When robbing bank, procure quick getaway vehicle.

Angel Delgado has learned that the hard way after he attempted to flee a bank robbery scene on a bicycle.

The 29-year-old was caught relatively easily by Medford Police in New York after he gave a threatening note to a bank teller at a Chase bank.

At around 9:20 a.m. Tuesday morning, Delgado handed the teller a note demanding money and threatening the use of a weapon. Though the teller complied, Delgado did not get very far with his money, as police arrested within two miles of the branch location. When he realized he had been spotted, he ditched the bike and took off on foot. He was caught in a section of nearby woods.

He was arrested in Bellport and charged with first degree robbery. Delgado is being held at the Seventh Precinct and was scheduled to be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on Wednesday.

It is unclear how much money he managed to steal or whether it was recovered.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazil Notary Allows Civil Union Between Three People, Upsets Many

Brazil Notary Allows Civil Union Between Three People, Upsets Many

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Religious groups in Brazil are livid over a Public Notary accepting a civil union between two women and man in Sao Paolo.

Notary Claudia do Nascimento Domingues has come under fire for granting a civil union to three people more than three months ago.

While those opposed believe the partnership to be illegal, Domingues maintains there is nothing in the law to prevent the civil union.

The union serves to protect the rights of three consenting adults should they separate or pass away. The trio has yet to speak with the media, but are said to share bank accounts, bills, and other expenses. They have lived together in Rio de Janeiro for three years.

Domingues points to this civil union and says families like these are just another example of how the idea of family has changed.

The President of the Institute of Lawyers’ Commission for the Rights of the Family, Regina Tavares da Silva does not see it that way, however.

Da Silva told BBC News the union is not only “totally illegal” but “absurd” as well.

“[This civil union is] something completely unacceptable which goes against Brazilian values and morals,” da Silva said.

While most of the “Western World” sees this kind of union as polygamy or “plural marriage” and has laws against it, Brazil has no such laws for or against it, seemingly making this perfectly legal.

The Roman Catholic Church, which is the predominant religion in Brazil, does not recognize three-person marriages.

It appears that for now, while there may be objections to the arrangement, no law has been broken.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spain’s Fernando Vicente Creates Amazing Artwork

Spain’s Fernando Vicente Creates Amazing Artwork

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Spanish artist Fernando Vicente was born in Madrid where he started working as illustrator and painter during the 1980s. His beautiful artwork is mainly painted or created using a mix of paint and photo. His illustration work can be seen in dozens of publications, including, Cosmopolitan and Letras Libre.

He specializes in fine arts and caricatures. Check out some of his celebrity pieces below, and be sure to take a look at more of his work here.



Read more by HS News Staff →

Police Looking for Missing Corpus Christi Girl, Cameron Hernandez, 12

Police Looking for Missing Corpus Christi Girl, Cameron Hernandez, 12

Photo: Police Looking for Missing Corpus Christi Girl, Cameron Hernandez, 12

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Texas authorities are looking for any clues to the whereabouts of a young girl who went missing earlier this week.

The mother of 12-year-old Cameron “CJ” Hernandez is pleading for anyone with information regarding her daughter to come forward.

Cameron was last seen around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night when she left to go jogging in their Corpus Christi apartment complex.

The girl and her mother recently moved from Harlingen in the Rio Grande Valley to Corpus Christi, where the mother says her daughter knew almost no one.

She is enrolled in 6th grade at Corpus Christi’s Tom Brown Middle School.

Cameron was last seen on the 4100 block of Brett Street wearing a white tank top, silver basketball shorts, and black Nike running shoes. She was also using a Camelback water carrier with a camouflage pattern.

She is described as a Hispanic female, about 5 feet 1 inch tall, weighs approximately 100 pounds. Cameron has naturally brown hair, but it is currently dyed red. She has brown eyes.

Currently police do not believe Cameron had any reason to run away. Anyone with information is urged to call Corpus Christi police detectives at (361) 886-2670 – ask for Sean McFarland or James Lerma.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Arizona’s Sheriff Arpaio Believes Government Should Honor Him, Not Question His Tactics

Arizona’s Sheriff Arpaio Believes Government Should Honor Him, Not Question His Tactics

Photo: Joe Arpaio

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The sheriff of Arizona’s Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio, said Wednesday in Tampa that the Obama administration should give him a “medal” for apprehending undocumented immigrants rather than investigating him for his methods.

“I should be getting a medal. The president should invite me to the White House ... and thank me for helping the government fight illegal immigration and the drug cartels,” Arpaio told members of the foreign press covering the Republican National Convention.

“(The president and I) would go out on the patio, get ourselves some beers, play a little basketball and talk, but that’s not going to happen,” he said ironically.

Arpaio, who has supported the presidential candidacy of Republican Mitt Romney, said that if the former Massachusetts governor wins the presidency in November, Congress should work with him to legislatively solve the problem of illegal immigration.

Romney “is an honorable man” and if he wins the presidency solving the problem “won’t be easy ... (but) I hope that they let him work (on it),” he said.

When asked by Efe about the Republican platform approved on Tuesday which takes a “hard line” against undocumented immigrants, Arpaio repeated his stance that the first mission of the United States is “to enforce its laws” and that those who violate them should go to jail.

Arpaio defended the arrest and deportation of undocumented foreigners as a deterrent to illegal immigration: “I oppose a (border) wall, but once you jump it, you should go to jail. That would be a big deterrent.”

“I’m not drinking anything. I know how to handle the problem on the border,” said Arpaio, who is the target of a Justice Department investigation into his controversial tactics of arresting and deporting undocumented migrants.

According to Arpaio, who is considered a “hero” among anti-immigrant groups all around the country, “the irony is that I’ve devoted my whole life to fighting drug trafficking and the problem of immigration, and now the Justice Department is after me.”

Arpaio said that illegal immigration in the United States “is a difficult matter to resolve” but in his judgment the solution lies in strengthening the border, enforcing the laws and working jointly with Mexico.

“It’s a two-way street. It requires mutual cooperation,” he emphasized.

Illegal immigration has been one of the main issues in this electoral cycle and Hispanic voters are a key bloc in several swing states.

To win the presidency, the consensus is that a candidate needs to get at least 40 percent of the Hispanic vote. According to the latest surveys, President Barack Obama has a wide lead over Romney among Hispanics.

Arpaio does not have any direct role during the Republican National convention, where on Thursday Romney will officially accept the party’s presidential nomination.

The 80-year-old Arpaio, who has been sheriff - an elected position - of Maricopa County since 1992, is awaiting the verdict of a federal court in Phoenix, after a lawsuit brought against him by the federal government accusing him of “illegal discriminatory practices used by (law enforcement) against Latinos.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Romney Supports Statehood for Puerto Rico

Would a Mitt Romney presidential win help pave the way for Puerto Rican statehood? Luis Fortuno thinks so. On Wednesday (August 29), the island commonwealth’s Republican governor said Romney has assured him of it.

“I must tell you something,” Fortuno told The Daily Caller.  “He [Romney] looked me straight in the eye and he told me that he was convinced that Puerto Ricans had contributed to the nation for so long, yet we were not partaking fully in the responsibilities and benefits of our citizenship, and that it was about time that we decide what we want to do, and should that be statehood that he would provide the leadership necessary to move that forward.”

That sentiment — that Congress should grant statehood, if the people want it — is consistent with the GOP platform and Romney’s past statements.

“It was Ronald Reagan who very famously in our party said that it was important for people of Puerto Rico to have a choice to become a state,” Romney said last March, according to the Washington Post. “And if the people of Puerto Rico choose that path, I would be happy to help lead that effort in Washington.”

President Obama, although he has been less vocal on the issue, also supports self-determination for Puerto Rico.

Read more at Jim Malewitz for Pew Stateline →

PEMEX Finds Large Oil Reserve in Gulf of Mexico

PEMEX Finds Large Oil Reserve in Gulf of Mexico

Photo: PEMEX Offshore Oil Discovery

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Mexican state-owned oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, has made a large deep-water light crude discovery in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, President Felipe Calderon said Wednesday.

Calderon did not quantify how much the Trion 1 exploration well might produce but Pemex sources say they expect to certify 350 million barrels of crude from the find and that total reserves at deposits in Mexico’s Perdido Fold Belt - where the discovery was made - could amount to as much as 10 billion barrels.

The oil discovery - which was made with the Bicentenario rig and is the first in Mexico’s deep-water region - is an “important achievement” that “further strengthens” Pemex, Calderon said in a ceremony at the Los Pinos presidential residence.

“It is moreover estimated that this deposit could belong to one of the most important deep-water zones in the Gulf of Mexico. That entire zone, this oil system (Perdido), could have the potential to produce ... from 4-10 billion barrels of crude oil,” the president said.

Pemex expects to certify new 3P (proved, probable and possible) reserves of as much as 250-400 million barrels of crude, “probably more,” from the find announced Wednesday, Calderon said.

“So we get an idea, if these parameters are confirmed, the figure ... would be equivalent to a third of Petroleos Mexicanos’s annual petroleum production” of just under 1 billion barrels, the president said.

Natural gas had been discovered during work in that offshore region over the past six years, but not oil. The crude discovered is also of high quality, making it easier to refine and more profitable than the heavier varieties that make up the bulk of Mexico’s current proved reserves.

Pemex workers “are showing there’s no frontier too far or too deep that we can’t reach,” Calderon said.

He added that Pemex’s reserve replacement ratio (the amount of proved reserves added to a company’s reserve base during the year relative to the amount of oil and gas produced) was less than 50 percent when he took office in 2006, but will be higher than 100 percent when he steps down in December.

The president said that Pemex has doubled its investment outlay during his administration.

For his part, Pemex CEO Juan Jose Suarez Coppel said in a radio interview Wednesday that Trion 1 is located 39 kilometers (25 miles) south of the countries’ maritime boundary and therefore is not shared by the United States.

The executive said it will take “at least five or six years” to produce the first barrel of crude from the Perdido area but that “underwater robots” will now begin to be prepared for that task.

Suarez Coppel said the find lies at a water depth of 2,500 meters (8,200 feet) and a total depth of 4,500 meters, making it one of the 10 deepest in the Gulf of Mexico.

Mexico’s oil output totaled almost 3.4 million barrels per day in 2004, but has since fallen due to a sharp decline in production at shallow offshore Cantarell, formerly Mexico’s most productive field, and many years of insufficient investment.

The government, however, said last year that Pemex had succeeded in halting a steady annual decline in its reserves dating back to 1979.

A recent oil sector overhaul in Mexico gave the oil monopoly - created when the country’s oil industry was nationalized in 1938 - more freedom to undertake projects with private firms, which are to be hired under incentive-based service contracts.

Experts say the domestic energy industry’s future is in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The state oil monopoly, however, lags far behind U.S. oil majors in its ability to develop that challenging region, a problem blamed by many analysts on the company’s highly regulated operations and the fact that it accounts for nearly a third of the Treasury’s revenues, leaving little money to invest in new technologies.

Pemex, the world’s fourth-largest crude producer at 2.5 million barrels per day, is one of the few oil firms worldwide that handles all aspects of the productive chain, from exploration to distribution and the marketing of end products.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Guatemalan Prosecutor Selvin Mendez Rios Seriously Injured in Attack

Guatemalan Prosecutor Selvin Mendez Rios Seriously Injured in Attack

Photo: Guatemalan Prosecutor Selvin Mendez Rios Seriously Injured in Attack

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Guatemalan prosecutor Selvin Mendez Rios was serious wounded in an attack in the western province of Quetzaltenango and is in “critical condition” in a hospital, officials said on Wednesday.

A spokesman for the National Civil Police told reporters that the 42-year-old Mendez Rios, the chief prosecutor in the southwestern province of Retalhuleu, was fired upon on Tuesday night when he was traveling from the city of Quetzaltenango to his office.

“He has several wounds. The most serious is a (bullet) wound in his face,” the sources said.

Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz, in remarks to local media, condemned the attack on Mendez Rios and urged prosecutors not to let themselves be intimidated by the threats and attacks of organized crime.

The security forces are trying to determine the perpetrators and the motive for the attack on Mendez Rios, who was investigating several important cases in his jurisdiction.

Judicial officials in Guatemala, most of who lack any type of personal protection, are constantly the victims of threats and attacks by organized criminal groups.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Televisa Denies Any Connection to Drug Suspects Arrested in Nicaragua

Televisa Denies Any Connection to Drug Suspects Arrested in Nicaragua

Photo: The fake journalists

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Mexican media giant Televisa said in a statement released Wednesday that none of the 18 suspects arrested last week in Nicaragua in possession of a big cash haul and disguised as news journalists has ever worked at the company and also denied any link to the vehicles seized from them.

Latin America’s biggest TV broadcaster said it has already issued a formal statement to Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office denying any ties to the detainees, adding that that document will be forwarded to the Nicaraguan authorities.

The 18 suspects were arrested on Aug. 20 in Nicaragua in possession of $9.2 million in cash at a checkpoint near the border with Honduras. Traces of cocaine were found on the bills.

The suspects had hid the money inside six news vans bearing the Televisa logo that they were driving at the time of their arrest, police spokesman Fernando Borge told Efe earlier this week.

Arraigned Saturday on charges of money laundering and racketeering, the 18 suspects are being held without bail.

The group tried to enter Nicaragua from Honduras en route to Costa Rica, Nicaraguan prosecutors said.

In its statement, the media company said it may file a complaint against the suspects for allegedly trying to pass themselves off as Televisa employees and/or their vehicles as Televisa property.

“From the moment these actions came to light, the company has cooperated with Mexican authorities in their investigation,” Televisa added.

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

The phony journalists were intercepted shortly before the beginning of a high-profile trial in Managua of 24 people accused of smuggling Colombian drugs via Costa Rica to Guatemala, for ultimate delivery to traffickers in neighboring Mexico.

The defendants 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.

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ThursdayAugust 30, 2012