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FridayAugust 31, 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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Telenovelas, Jennifer Lopez Win at Premios Tu Mundo Awards

Telenovelas, Jennifer Lopez Win at Premios Tu Mundo Awards

Photo: "Mi Corazón Insiste" stars

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Telenovelas were the big winners in the first edition of the Premios Tu Mundo (Your World Awards), during an evening full of music celebrating popular Latino culture.

The Hispanic public voted awards for their favorite stars, music and programs during the debut, whose prize-giving ceremony was held at the Jackie Gleason Theater in Miami Beach.

The evening took off with an explosion of energy from reggaeton star Tito El Bambino singing his hit tune “Dame la Ola” (Give Me the Wave) as a dance team dropped from the ceiling to the stage on elastic ropes.

Tops on TV and voted Telenovela of the Year was “Mi Corazon Insiste” (My Heart Insists), which also garnered a number of prizes in other categories.

In the music competitions, “Dutty Love” by Don Omar and Natti Natasha won in the category of Party Starting Song, “Las Cosas Pequeñas” (Little Things) by Prince Royce took the prize for Song that Steals My Heart, while “Follow the Leader” by Wisin & Yandel singing with Jennifer Lopez was voted Best Musical Video.

Among the telenovelas, Tony Dalton in “Flor Salvaje” (Wildflower) was everybody’s Best Bad Boy; Aylin Mujica from “Aurora” and “Corazon Valiente” (Stout Heart) was voted Best Bad Girl.

Jencarlos Canela in “Mi Corazon Insiste” won Favorite Lead Actor, while Maritza Rodriguez from “La Casa de al Lado” (The House Next Door) garnered the award for Favorite Lead Actress.

Best Supporting actress and actor were Wanda D’Isidoro in “Maid in Manhattan” and Gabriel Valenzuela in “La Casa de al Lado,” respectively.

When it came to the movies, Hispanics chose Jennifer Lopez as their Favorite Latino in Hollywood.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Enrique Peña Nieto Officially Named President of Mexico

Enrique Peña Nieto Officially Named President of Mexico

Photo: Enrique Peña Nieto Officially Named President of Mexico

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Mexico’s top electoral court on Friday unanimously validated the victory of Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, candidate Enrique Peña Nieto in the July 1 balloting and confirmed him as president-elect.

“The election is valid,” the president of the TEPJF electoral tribunal, Jose Alejandro Luna Ramos, said, adding that Peña Nieto “meets the eligibility requirements” to be president-elect according to the constitution.

“I’m convinced the July 1, 2012, election was in accordance with the law, with the prevailing democratic system,” another justice, Flavio Galvan, said in his opinion.

The ruling came a day after that same court had dismissed a challenge filed by the leftist Progressive Movement coalition, whose candidate, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, finished second in the balloting.

The judges found Thursday that insufficient evidence was submitted of biased and unequal coverage by the news media - particularly No. 1 TV broadcaster Televisa - in favor of Peña Nieto.

They also dismissed evidence of deliberate distortion in pre-election voter-preference surveys, use of illegal funding and excessive campaign spending, vote buying and coercion, improper intervention in the election by state governors and other public officials and irregularities on election day.

The court said it was not sufficient for the coalition - led by the Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD - to level generic accusations but rather it needed to spell out “clearly and precisely the circumstances of time, manner and place” in which the alleged abuses occurred.

The PRI’s Peña Nieto won the presidential election with 38.21 percent of the vote, while Progressive Movement candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took second place with 31.59 percent, according to the final official results released by the Federal Electoral Institute, or IFE.

But the Progressive Movement said that victory was tainted, alleging that the PRI used several front companies to purchase debit cards and then handed them out to millions of prospective voters to secure support for Peña Nieto.

Lopez Obrador’s team said that through that chicanery the PRI exceeded campaign spending limits many times over.

The governing National Action Party, or PAN, whose candidate, Josefina Vazquez Mota, finished a distant third in the presidential election, also joined with Lopez Obrador in demanding an investigation of the PRI’s finances.

National Action, however, did not formally contest the election results.

The non-partisan Yo soy 132 student movement also has held a series of protests and other events to block the “imposition” of Peña Nieto as president.

After the TEPJF’s ruling, hundreds of people protested Thursday night outside the courthouse in Mexico City, hurling security barriers and chanting slogans denouncing the PRI and Peña Nieto.

The demonstrators, who also held up signs reading “We Demand this Dirty Election Be Annulled” and “Peña Is Not President,” did not spar with anti-riot police deployed nearby.

In statements to the media, Lopez Obrador’s campaign manager, Ricardo Monreal, slammed the court’s ruling.

He said the justices were a group of “frauds in robes and caps who are going to bury the constitution and go down as the most despicable group of puppets in the history of the nation’s democracy.”

Lopez Obrador, meanwhile, said early Friday that he did not accept the court’s decision and called for “peaceful” civil disobedience.

He called for a demonstration on Sept. 9 in the Zocalo, Mexico City’s massive main square, to define the left’s next steps in the defense of “citizens’ individual and social rights.”

PRI Chairman Pedro Joaquin Coldwell, for his part, said after the the court dismissed Progressive Movement’s challenge that Lopez Obrador and his supporters should “leave behind the political confrontations inherent in every electoral contest.”

Acceptance of the outcome of definitive judicial rulings is the foundation of “justice, social harmony and peace,” Coldwell said Friday.

The final confirmation of the PRI’s victory means that party will return to power in December after a 12-year absence.

The PRI, which governed Mexico from 1929 to 2000, lost the 2000 presidential election to the PAN and finished third in 2006.

During its 71-year reign - described by Peruvian Nobel literature laureate Mario Vargas Llosa as the “perfect dictatorship” - the PRI relied mainly on patronage and control of organized labor and the mass media, though it was not above resorting to outright vote-rigging and even violence.

Lopez Obrador also came in second in the previous presidential balloting in 2006, losing by the narrowest margin in Mexican history - a mere 0.56 percent of the 41 million ballots cast - to the PAN’s Felipe Calderon.

The leftist candidate also said that contest was marred by fraud and declared himself to be Mexico’s “legitimate president,” organizing a series of marches over several weeks in Mexico City’s Paseo de la Reforma, one of the capital’s main thoroughfares.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hispanic NASA Mission Director Shares his Story, Advice

Hispanic NASA Mission Director Shares his Story, Advice

Photo: Arthur Amador

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Inspired by the arrival at the planet Mars of the first Viking probe in 1976, Arthur Amador decided to pursue his studies with the aim of working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where today he is the only Hispanic on the team of mission directors for the Mars rover Curiosity.

“I’m in charge of a flight team that consists of ... (50) engineers with many specialties,” Amador, one of the five mission managers who each day decides which tasks the rover will perform on the Martian surface, told Efe.

Among Curiosity’s objectives are to determine whether the basic chemical components for life exist on Mars, detect any traces of biological processes and verify the composition of the minerals on and below the planet’s surface.

Born on April 11, 1958, in Los Angeles, Arthur Victor Amador is the son of Arturo Julian Amador and Laura Fernandez, two Cuban immigrants who came to the California metropolis to live in 1954.

“I remember I was in high school when I became fascinated to learn that the first probe, Viking, was on the surface of Mars and then I saw the photos it sent in the newspapers, (and they were) surprising,” he said.

Graduating with a computer science degree from California State University, Los Angeles, in 1986, Amador began working at JPL the following year.

“One of my university professors worked on two projects at JPL and he brought me along to supervise the work. That’s how my relationship with NASA started. After I graduated, I filled out an employment application and they hired me,” Amador said.

“I began working on the computer programs for the Galileo project that in 1989 was sent on a mission to study the planet Jupiter and its moon system,” he said.

Amador worked on the team that programmed the first two Mars robots - Spirit and Opportunity - which were sent to the Red Planet in 2003 to explore the surface.

During the Martian nights at Curiosity’s location, Amador directs the programming of the rover’s tasks for the next day.

“In the morning on Mars, when the Sun comes up, the vehicle prepares to receive instructions, a communication from Earth,” Amador said.

“And here, from Earth, from one of the buildings here (at JPL), we send it those instructions, which are the instructions for that sol, that Martian day,” he added.

“My advice to Latinos who want to work for NASA is to let your passion for sciences, mathematics (and) engineering guide you,” Amador said.

“You can do what you set forth to do if you let yourself be guided by your passion and never give up,” he concluded.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Marines Apprehend Jalisco Nueva Generacion Cartel Boss

Mexican Marines Apprehend Jalisco Nueva Generacion Cartel Boss

Photo: Jose Javier Ramirez Chavez (Cortesía)

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A suspected Jalisco Nueva Generacion drug cartel boss in Ciudad Guzman, a city in the western Mexican state of Jalisco, has been captured by marines, the Mexican Navy Secretariat said Thursday.

Jose Javier Ramirez Chavez, who was arrested on Wednesday, is a close associate of the cartel’s top boss, Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, the secretariat said.

Ramirez Chavez is suspected of being “the boss for drug sales for the Jalisco Nueva Generacion Cartel in Ciudad Guzman,” the secretariat said in a statement.

Marines seized two rifles, one of which had a grenade launcher, and a kilo of what appears to be the synthetic drug “crystal” from the suspect.

Four cartel members arrested last Sunday took their orders from Ramirez Chavez, the secretariat said.

The cartel boss was turned over to the Siedo organized crime unit of the federal Attorney General’s Office.

At least six suspected Jalisco Nueva Generacion drug cartel members died in a shootout with police in Tonaya, a city in Jalisco, last weekend.

Cartel enforcers blocked 28 roads in Jalisco after the shootout, the Federal Police said.

Gunmen used vehicles to block streets across the Guadalajara metropolitan area and in nearby cities, setting 35 vehicles on fire, Jalisco Government Secretary Victor Manuel Gonzalez said.

The Jalisco Nueva Generacion organization was created following the death of Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel, a top Sinaloa drug cartel boss killed by the army in 2010.

Jalisco Nueva Generacion has been fighting Los Zetas, considered Mexico’s most violent drug cartel, for control of smuggling routes into the United States.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazilian Team Creates Solar House for ‘Solar Decathlon Europe 2012’

Brazilian Team Creates Solar House for ‘Solar Decathlon Europe 2012’

Photo: Brazilian Team Creates Solar House for Solar Decathlon Europe 2012

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Friday marked the start of construction work on the solar houses taking part in the Solar Decathlon Europe international competition in Madrid, Spain. Five hundred university students make up the19 teams who reached the final stage. They will have only 13 days in which to build their full-scale houses that consume as few natural resources as possible and produce minimum waste products during their life cycle.

It would seem a team of young Brazilian students is drawing inspiration from their home country by following the Tupi-Guarani people in harnessing the power of the sun. The team from Brazil is the only country from the southern hemisphere participating in the competition

When complete, the Ekó House will use solar power to automate systems to maximize energy efficiency.

The concept of the house takes its inspiration from the Brazilian culture diversity and plurality. The Indian heritage is taken as a starting point, a matrix of this cultural mosaic that unites our national identity. Hence the name “Ekó”, original from the Tupi-Guarani language, which means “living” or “way of living”.

We seek the dialog between different ways of building and living, a closer relationship between public and private, between built and natural environment. Using both high-technologies and traditional techniques.

This is the second edition of the Solar Decathlon Europe. It was organized by the Ministry of Public Works, Madrid City Council, and the Polytechnic University of Madrid, through the Higher Technical School of Architecture of Madrid.

To take a closer look at the home, click here. (This site is available in English and Portuguese)


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Two Men Lynched in Dominican Republic Over Stolen Cell Phones

Two Men Lynched in Dominican Republic Over Stolen Cell Phones

Photo: Lynching Dominican Republic

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Two male residents in Santiago, Dominican Republic were reportedly lynched for stealing three cell phones and RD $10,000 ($250 USD). 

Listin Diario is reporting that six men attempted to rob the residence of Norbeto Filpo in Guyacanal in the Dominican Republic.  Reportedly the men were known to the community as trouble makers and had committed other robberies.  Several residents chased the men down and caught two of them.  These two men, identified as Ruben Almonte and Richard Perez Capellan, were beaten and then shot to death before the police arrived.

No residents have been arrested thus far for the lynchings. 

“Peoples Justice” remains an issue throughout Latin America.  In Guatemala since 2004 lynchings are up by 500%.  This past May mobs stormed a jail in Bolivia and lynched a murder suspect, this was the second lynching in just three days.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Advocacy Group Fights Deportation of Hispanics in North Carolina

Advocacy Group Fights Deportation of Hispanics in North Carolina

Photo: Latin American Coalition

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Hispanics in North Carolina have formed a support group for families whose members are facing deportation.

The group consists of about 40 people who meet at least once a week at the headquarters of the Latin American Coalition in Charlotte, where 11,480 immigrants have been deported since 2006 under the 287(g) program, which makes members of participating local law enforcement agencies responsible for immigration enforcement.

Familias Unidas (United Families) is made up of fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, Latinos, Americans and it was started after a demonstration in May to support Gabino Sanchez, a Mexican living in South Carolina who was facing deportation but received a postponement in part due to the intervention of U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.)

“In this community, we’re facing an epidemic every day. We have families who are suffering because of the deportation of parents and children. We have to unite and mutually support one another to prevent more children from becoming orphans,” Jess George, the director of LAC, a pro-immigrant group, said on Wednesday.

George asked the people gathered there to show up on Sept. 4 at the Immigration Court in Charlotte to provide support for Isaide Serrano, a mother of five, at her last hearing before a judge who will decide on her future in the United States.

Serrano, who is pregnant, said that a year ago a police officer arrested her when she had gone out to get food for her children and she wound up in jail for not having a driver’s license, even though she told the officer that she was nursing her 9-month-old baby.

“My day is approaching and I need ... the people’s support,” the Mexican woman said. “I’ve been in the country for 20 years. I don’t have a criminal record, I just lack papers. I don’t owe anyone anything, and I want to stay so that my children get a good education,” she emphasized.

Another case of family separation is that of Claudia Valle, whose husband spent 40 days in jail after being arrested for a minor traffic infraction and got out upon posting bail of $6,000 but now is in the process of being deported.

“My son was very depressed and afraid during those days because he didn’t know if his father would come home,” said the mother of three.

Marisela Prieto told the group that her 8-year-old daughter cannot even look at the police because she is afraid they will return to take her father, Jose Luis Serrano, who was arrested for not having a driver’s license.

“Our children suffer a lot when they arrest one of us and start the deportation (process). Participating in the group has been like therapy and thinking that our family is not the only one that’s suffering,” Prieto said.

Although Familias Unidas has neither a leader nor any particular experience or expertise in the matter, its members feel that getting together regularly and staying united will be better than fighting separately, and they are scheduling more demonstrations of support for families who are facing deportation.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Peru Volunteers Set Up Facebook Pages to Get Stray Animals Off the Streets, Into Homes

Peru Volunteers Set Up Facebook Pages to Get Stray Animals Off the Streets, Into Homes

Photo: Peru Volunteers Set Up Facebook Pages to Get Stray Animals Off the Streets, Into Homes

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With few or no formal animal shelters in Peru, it is no wonder a number of dogs and cats re constantly strutting down the streets of some Peruvian towns.

ImageNot wanting to see these domesticated animals die because they had no home to go to, a number of people have created Facebook groups listing stray cats and dogs who are up for adoption after being taken off the streets.

For those interesting in adopting one of these animals in need of permanent homes, take a look at this facebook pages:

-Mascotas en adopcion Lima - Peru
-¿Me adoptas?
-Mis Patitas
-EL DULCE HOGAR DE MOLLY
-RED ANIMALISTA

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Inmate Attempts to Escape New Mexico Prison with Popsicle Stick

LATINO BLOTTER: Inmate Attempts to Escape New Mexico Prison with Popsicle Stick

Photo: LATINO BLOTTER: Inmate Attempts to Escape New Mexico Prison with Popsicle Stick

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A prisoner at New Mexico’s Lea County jail has been transferred to a maximum security prison in Santa Fe o after he managed to escape his cell.

While it’s likely most prison inmates long to escape their daily confirms, it is unlikely they dream of getting out only to go back in, but that’s exactly what 31-year-old Carlos Garcia did.

After spending roughly five months using a popsicle stick and a razor blade to break a bar on his cell window, Garcia was able to get out through the small opening.

However, once he was out, he decided he better go back in, and using a bed sheet, he pulled himself back into his second-story cell.

As for how he managed to get out, investigators say that as he made progress on the bar, Garcia used plastic, additional popsicle sticks, and newspaper to hide the breaking bar.

In 2005, Garcia was convicted of murdering two men in 2000. He was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences and an additional 55 years for charges of armed robbery, arson, and kidnapping.

Authorities are now looking at a number of prisons throughout the state to ensure no other inmates are trying something similar.

Officer Mike Stone of the Hobbs Police Department, told CBS News, ‘In the 14 years that I’ve been here, we’ve never had an incident like that here.’

Read more by HS News Staff →

Fashion World is Welcoming Back Esteban Cortazar’s Design Line

Fashion protégé, Esteban Cortazar, will be re-launching his design line during New York Fashion Week, starting September 6, with online retailer Net-A-Porter.

The Colombian-born, Miami-raised designer started his career doing design sketches for Todd Oldham when he was just 13-years-old.  At the ripe age of 22, Cortazar created a fashion line under his own name.

Cortazar, 28, is the former head designer for Emanuel Ungaro who made a name for himself outside of fashion thanks to Lindsay Lohan.  Cortazar famously refused to work with Lohan back in 2009, when she was hired as an ‘Artistic Director’.  Many in the industry saw the hiring as a publicity stunt by Ungaro.  Since then Cortazar has been consulting and working with other fashion houses, now he will relaunch his own designs.

Cortazar’s fashion house will be headquartered in Paris.  Net-A-Porter describes the fashion as “Elegantly feminine with a touch of attitude, expect a fresh approach to layering, tailoring and asymmetry, alongside a selection of achingly cool eveningwear.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Contemporary Spanish Artist, Maria Gonzalez, Invited to Venice Biennale Architecture 2012

Contemporary Spanish Artist, Maria Gonzalez, Invited to Venice Biennale Architecture 2012

Photo: Contemporary Spanish Artist, Maria Gonzalez, Invited to Venice Biennale Architecture 2012

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Spanish artist Marisa González is one of the few artists invited to participate in the Venice Biennale Architecture.

The Venice Biennale is a major contemporary art exhibition that takes place once every two years in Venice, Italy. The famed Venice Film Festival is part of the Biennale as well and the architecture exhibition is held every seven years.

The director and curator of the Biennale is David Chipperfield and the subject is “Common Ground.”

In the Giardini Central Pavilion, one room will be dedicated to Norman Foster’s HSBC Bank building, which was built in Hong Kong in the early eighties and since then has become a center for various social activities taking place in the city. The room comprises a model and original drawings by Norman Foster, Andreas Gursky’s photograph “Hong Kong Bank” and videos by González.

That building is part of the work of González’s photograph and video project “Female Open Space Invaders” and “Ellas Flipinas”.

González says:

In Hong Kong, China, 120,000 Filipina women work as domestic helpers. On their only day off, Sunday, they invade the down town Financial District, where they transform and occupy the streets. They all go down town to join their friends and relatives, at the streets, bridges, parks, plazas, shopping centre, and also the HSBC Hong Kong Bank. They mainly rest, eat, play cards, talk, shop, dance, bank. It is a meeting point, it’s territory where they transport their own habits, culture, and traditions once a week.

They are women that have sacrificed their personal life to give their own family, their children, a better life and education. In some cases they suffer racism, and exploitation.

The 13th International Architecture Exhibition, Common Ground, opens from August 29th to November 25th, 2012 in The Giardini and Arselane in Venice, Italy.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Check Out These Incredible Large-Scale Works of Art

Check Out These Incredible Large-Scale Works of Art

Photo: Check Out These Incredible Large-Scale Works of Art

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Bored Panda readers have collected images of 30 of the world’s best large scale street art, and making the list were a number of works in Spain and Mexico.

Which is your favorite? Think they missed a great one? Let us know!


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More Latin Flavor to the Democratic Convention – Marc Anthony to Sing National Anthem

More Latin Flavor to the Democratic Convention – Marc Anthony to Sing National Anthem

Photo: Marc Anthony to Sing National Anthem at DNC

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The 2012 Democratic National Convention (DNC) has announced that Marc Anthony will be singing the national anthem adding more Latin flavor to the upcoming convention.

The convention being held in Charlotte, North Carolina will kick off on September 4, with the Puerto Rican singer doing the vocal honors on Thursday, September 6, when the President accepts the party’s nomination . 

Anthony is a long-time Obama supporter and fundraiser.  Most recently Anthony has been urging Latinos to vote for Obama in a 30-second video.

Anthony will join the growing list of Latino politicians and entertainers joining the Democrats in North Carolina next week. 

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was chosen to lead the DNC and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro will give a keynote speech on opening night.  This will be the first time a Latino gives a key address at the convention.  Eva Longoria is also expected to make an appearance since she is one of the President’s campaign co-chairs.

Following the President’s acceptance speech, the invitation-only late-night celebration, the Super-O-Rama Concert, will be hosted by Jessica Alba and her husband Cash Warren.  Listed performers for the night include Cuban-American rapper Pitbull.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico’s Top Court Confirms Enrique Peña Nieto Presidential Victory

Mexico’s Top Court Confirms Enrique Peña Nieto Presidential Victory

Photo: Enrique Peñ Nieto Confirmed as Mexico's Next President

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Mexico’s top electoral court unanimously struck down a leftist coalition’s bid to invalidate the July 1 presidential election, a ruling that clears the way for Enrique Peña Nieto to be sworn in as the country’s next head of state.

The TEPJF electoral tribunal’s seven justices presented separate arguments Thursday against the legal challenge brought by the Progressive Movement coalition against the victory by the candidate of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI.

They said insufficient evidence was submitted of biased and unequal coverage by the news media - particularly No. 1 broadcaster Televisa - in favor of Peña Nieto.

They also dismissed evidence of deliberate distortion in pre-election voter-preference surveys, use of illegal funding and excessive campaign spending, vote buying and coercion, improper intervention in the election by state governors and other public officials and irregularities on election day.

The election should not be invalidated because, after a review of the evidence, it was found that “constitutional principles were observed,” Justice Salvador Nava said, adding that the July 1 election was free and authentic.

“Mexico has a legitimate president, elected by the people: Enrique Peña Nieto,” Nava said.

In its general considerations, the court said it was not sufficient for the coalition - led by the Party of the Democratic Revolution, or PRD - to level generic accusations but rather it needed to spell out “clearly and precisely the circumstances of time, manner and place” in which the alleged abuses occurred.

PRI candidate Peña Nieto won the presidential election with 38.21 percent of the vote, while Progressive Movement candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took second place with 31.59 percent, according to the final official results released by the Federal Electoral Institute, or IFE.

But the Progressive Movement said that victory was tainted, alleging that the PRI used several front companies to purchase debit cards and then handed them out to millions of prospective voters to secure support for Peña Nieto.

Lopez Obrador’s team said that through that chicanery the PRI exceeded campaign spending limits many times over.

The governing National Action Party, or PAN, whose candidate, Josefina Vazquez Mota, finished a distant third in the presidential election, also joined with Lopez Obrador in demanding an investigation of the PRI’s finances.

National Action, however, did not formally contest the election results.

The non-partisan Yo soy 132 student movement also held a series of protests and other events to block the “imposition” of Peña Nieto as president.

After the TEPJF’s ruling, hundreds of people protested Thursday night outside the courthouse in Mexico City, hurling security barriers and chanting slogans denouncing the PRI and Peña Nieto.

The demonstrators, who also held up signs reading “We Demand this Dirty Election Be Annulled” and “Peña Is Not President,” did not spar with anti-riot police deployed nearby.

In statements to the media, Lopez Obrador’s campaign manager, Ricardo Monreal, slammed the court’s ruling.

He said the justices were a group of “frauds in robes and caps who are going to bury the constitution and go down as the most despicable group of puppets in the history of the nation’s democracy.”

Lopez Obrador, meanwhile, said early Friday that he did not accept the court’s decision and called for “peaceful” civil disobedience.

He called for a demonstration on Sept. 9 in the Zocalo, Mexico City’s massive main square, to define the left’s next steps in the defense of “citizens’ individual and social rights.”

Following Thursday’s ruling, the tribunal is now widely expected to confirm Peña Nieto as president-elect by September 6 at the latest.

Final confirmation of its victory will return the PRI to power after a 12-year absence.

The PRI, which governed Mexico from 1929 to 2000, lost the 2000 presidential election to the PAN and finished third in 2006.

During its 71-year reign - described by Peruvian Nobel literature laureate Mario Vargas Llosa as the “perfect dictatorship” - the PRI relied mainly on patronage and control of organized labor and the mass media, though it was not above resorting to outright vote-rigging and even violence.

Lopez Obrador also came in second in the previous presidential balloting in 2006, losing by the narrowest margin in Mexican history - a mere 0.56 percent of the 41 million ballots cast - to the PAN’s Felipe Calderon.

He also said that contest was marred by fraud and declared himself to be Mexico’s “legitimate president,” organizing a series of marches over several weeks in Mexico City’s Paseo de la Reforma, one of the capital’s main thoroughfares.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Venezuelan Infant Reported Kidnapped Found Dead on Family Property

A 6-month-old baby girl whose mother said she had been kidnapped was found dead in a water tank in the yard of the family’s home in a town on the Colombian border, the Venezuelan Attorney General’s Office said Thursday.

The body of the child was found on Wednesday night in a water tank at the parents’ residence in Pregonero, a rural town in Tachira state, and “it showed signs of violence,” said the AG’s office in a communique.

The find came after the police had taken a statement from the women that morning that the child had been kidnapped by “several people who entered the home, tied her up, beat her and later took (the baby).”

Regional prosecutor Olga Utrera is coordinating the activities of police investigators “to learn the truth in the case and ... to determine the corresponding criminal responsibilities,” the statement said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colombian Teens Kidnapped in March Found Dead

Two teenagers kidnapped in March were found dead in a rural area of the southwestern Colombian province of Nariño, police said Thursday.

The bodies were discovered outside the town of Mallama, the provincial police commander, Col. Hugo Diaz, told Efe by telephone.

He identified the victims as Robert Solis Mena, 17, and Dario Javier Benavides Hernandez, 18, and said they were killed even though their families paid a ransom of 12 million pesos ($6,500).

“They (the captors) killed them because they didn’t want to be recognized,” the colonel said.

One of the alleged kidnappers is in custody and three other suspects are being sought in connection with the case, including a Colombian citizen now serving time in a prison in neighboring Ecuador.

Diaz said that kidnappings for ransom are fairly uncommon in Nariño, a Pacific coast province crawling with leftist rebels and former right-wing militiamen turned drug traffickers.

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Police Press Agent Murdered in Honduras, Investigators Looking for Gunmen

Police Press Agent Murdered in Honduras, Investigators Looking for Gunmen

Photo: Julio Cesar Casaleno's wake

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A police press affairs officer was gunned down in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, transit police spokesman Kemel Ordoñez said.

Julio Cesar Casaleno, who held a law degree and worked in the transit police department’s press office, was murdered in Tegucigalpa’s Cerro Grande section.

Casaleno was heading to a store two blocks from his house when he was attacked by two unidentified gunmen, National Police spokesman Hector Ivan Mejia told reporters, citing eyewitness accounts.

Investigators are looking for those involved in the killing and will find “the criminals’ whereabouts,” Mejia said.

Casaleno hosted a transit police television program on Maya TV, the press reported.

Honduras had a homicide rate of 86.5 per 100,000 people in 2011, the National Human Rights Commission said.

At least 102 police officers have been murdered in the Central American country in the past 20 months, Human Rights Commissioner Ramon Custodio said.

The perpetrators have not been found by investigators in 90 percent of the cases, Custodio said.

There is “a high level of impunity in the majority of the crimes committed against members of the police” in Honduras, the human rights commissioner said.

“This violent act committed against a police officer just reflects the general situation of lack of security in Honduras,” Custodio said, referring to Casaleno’s murder.

The National Police, which has been undergoing a process of vetting and removing officers since November 2011, “has an obligation to investigate this crime until it finds those responsible and bring them to justice,” Custodio said.

The police agency is being cleaned up because officers and officials were implicated in numerous crimes, including drug trafficking and auto theft.

More than 5,500 police officers and officials have been charged with crimes, including murders, drug trafficking, extortion and kidnappings, in the past 13 years.

Read more by HS News Staff →



FridayAugust 31, 2012