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MondaySeptember 3, 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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Mexican Police that Shot at U.S. Officials to be Reprimanded

Mexican Police that Shot at U.S. Officials to be Reprimanded

Photo: Shooting of U.S. Embassy Personnel

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The police officers who fired on a U.S. Embassy SUV and wounded two officials from that country will be punished “upon confirmation of the excessive use of force,” the Mexican Public Safety Secretariat said.

“Upon confirmation of the excessive use of force, lack of following operational protocols and complicity in crime in the conduct of public servants, the Federal Police is the first to be interested in punishment in accord with the law,” the secretariat said in a statement.

On Friday, Aug. 24, two U.S. Embassy officials, both of them security experts, were wounded when they were fired upon by Mexican Federal Police as they were traveling in an armored vehicle with diplomatic plates along a road in the central state of Morelos.

The incident occurred along the stretch of road at Tres Marias Huitzilas, just outside the Federal District.

The people responsible for firing on the vehicle were federal law enforcement agents who were investigating the kidnapping of a federal official, the secretariat said.

The U.S. Embassy initially said that the attack had been “an ambush.”

A judge ordered the preventive arrest of the 12 police officers involved on “abuse of authority” and other charges, while the investigation was conducted.

The Federal Police cooperated with the investigation by prosecutors and placed at their disposal the information that is contributing to ascertaining each officer’s responsibilities in the incident, the secretariat said.

“The Federal Police will undertake with determination the necessary corrective actions so that these regrettable events do not occur again,” the secretariat said.

These type of activities and attitudes, which are “contrary to the spirit of the corps and honorability that govern the daily activities of the Federal Police, have not been and will not be tolerated,” the secretariat said.

Officials have maintained ongoing communication with the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City and with the Attorney General’s Office “with the objective of establishing a close collaboration that will facilitate the full clarification of the facts,” the Public Safety Secretariat 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. Mexican Attorney General Marisela Morales also said that the two men had left the country after being wounded and without giving statements to investigators.

The Americans and a Mexican navy official were traveling in a Toyota SUV 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.”

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ICE Official Engulfed in Sex Scandal Resigns (VIDEO)

ICE Official Engulfed in Sex Scandal Resigns (VIDEO)

Photo: Suzanne Barr

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A senior Obama administration political appointee and longtime aide to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano resigned Saturday amid allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior lodged by at least three Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees.

Suzanne Barr, chief of staff to ICE Director John Morton, said in her resignation letter that the allegations against her are “unfounded.” But she said she was stepping down anyway to end distractions within the agency. ICE, a division of the Homeland Security Department, confirmed Barr had resigned.

Barr is accused of sexually inappropriate behavior toward employees. The complaints are related to a sexual discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by a senior ICE agent in May.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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33 Year Old Dies During Mexico City Marathon

33 Year Old Dies During Mexico City Marathon

Photo: Mexico City Marathon

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A 33-year-old man died from a heart attack while trying to complete the Mexico City marathon over the weekend, a source close to race organizers told Efe.

Juan Pablo de la Mora died Sunday while competing in the 42-kilometer (26.2-mile) race.

Mora was one of the 9,000 runners, the majority of them amateurs, who took part in the race.

The runner collapsed at an undetermined point in the race and later died.

The Mexico City marathon takes place at an altitude of 2,240 meters (7,344 feet) above sea level, but the course is almost entirely flat.

The weather was pleasant on Sunday, with temperatures rising later in the day but never reaching extreme conditions.

Kenya’s Peter Nkaya won the men’s race with a time of 2:15:53, while Ethiopia’s Alene Amare was victorious in the women’s race with a time of 2:38:50.

The Mexico City marathon is one of more than 600 races held annually in Mexico and is considered, along with the Torreon, Monterrey and Mazatlan marathons, to be among the top events at this distance in the country.

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We All Have to Pay for Cakes and Sandwiches, but Just a Few are Invited to Party-Chilean Students

We All Have to Pay for Cakes and Sandwiches, but Just a Few are Invited to Party-Chilean Students

Photo: Chile Student Protest

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Chilean university students announced Sunday that in the second week of September they will mobilize again to repeat their demands for improvements in teaching and to reject the government’s education policies.

The new demonstrations were agreed to at a meeting held on the weekend by the Confederation of Students of Chile, or Confech, which represents the country’s university federations. Its main objective is to reject the tax reform pushed forward by the government to finance improvements in the educational system.

That is what Noam Titelman, Confech spokesman and president of the Catholic University Students Federation, or FEUC, told journalists, emphasizing that the government’s reform “does not seek to benefit the middle class or the poorest.”

For the new day of protests, the university students hope once again to have the support of the high school students, professors and social organizations who participated in the protest on Aug. 28.

On that day, some 130,000 people, according to the students - and 50,000, according to the authorities - demonstrated in Santiago for improvements in the educational system.

Since last year, Chilean students have been mobilizing on the high school level to demand that the national government take charge of the administration of elementary and high school education, something that is currently within the purview of the municipalities.

On the university level, they are seeking the end of the profit-making nature of the education offered at many private institutions and a reduction in high educational costs, which must be paid for by taking out loans.

So far, the government has responded with offers of cheaper loans, more scholarships and the tax reform that is being debated in Congress with the aim of collecting up to $1 billion for education, but it has refused to make the structural changes in the system demanded by the students.

Titelman emphasized on Sunday that this is “a tax reform or adjustment that we feel doesn’t at all go in the direction we’ve pushed for.”

“In our country, we have the problem that we all have to pay for the cakes and sandwiches, but just a few are invited to the party,” he added, alluding to a point in the reform that will allow tax breaks on expenses families incur for private education, to which only the wealthiest have access.

Confech also announced for next Tuesday a meeting with professors, high school students and representatives of the National Higher Education Council to ask Education Minister Harald Beyer to respond to their demands with real solutions.

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Questions Remain About the 21-Hr Kidnapping Ordeal of Latin Teen in Nevada

Questions Remain About the 21-Hr Kidnapping Ordeal of Latin Teen in Nevada

Photo: Melissa Duran Kidnapped and Rescued

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The parents of 17-year-old Melissa Duran are happy to have her back safe and sound after a 21-hour kidnapping ordeal in Henderson, Nevada, but many questions remain.

The teen was dragged out of her parent’s home in Henderson early Friday morning after she opened the door to two Latino men that knocked.  The teen’s 11-year-old brother was also home and attempted to stop the men with a bat but was then pushed away with threats of a gun.

Half-an-hour after the bold kidnapping in this quiet residential area, Duran’s parents received a ransom demand for $150,000.  Police are not sure the ransom was the underlying motive for the kidnapping.  Investigators also believe their might be a connection between both men and Duran’s fathers landscaping business – another unanswered question.  Certain family members say the men were fired from the landscaping business.

A neighborhood surveillance camera captured images of the get-away car which was traced to a local apartment complex.  It was there that Duran was found at 4:30 Saturday morning by a SWAT team, blindfolded and bound. 

Alejandro Sanchez-Sanchez, 25, and Cesar Sanchez, 30, were arrested and charged with kidnapping and extortion. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Venezuela Investigating the Cause of Deadly Oil Refinery Blast

Venezuela Investigating the Cause of Deadly Oil Refinery Blast

Photo: Amuay Oil Refinery

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Venezuela’s government has not ruled out any theory in the investigation into the Aug. 25 explosion at the Amuay refinery that killed 42 people, but “there’s no way” that the proper maintenance was neglected, Energy and Mines Minister Rafael Ramirez said Sunday.

“We cannot rule out any hypothesis. We’re working on the basis that we need to clarify ... the origin of this situation,” Ramirez said in an interview with journalist and former Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel on the private Televen channel.

“However, there are things that can be ruled out,” the minister said.

Among those is the version given by several residents in the area affected by the blast, which local media played up, about an alleged gas leak over several days prior to the explosion, Ramirez said.

“That is a complete lie. It’s not possible for this to occur with all the detection mechanisms we have at the refinery,” Ramirez, who is also CEO of state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela, or PDVSA, said.

Regarding the hypothesis that the blast occurred due to negligence, Ramirez said that “there’s no way that we could (not perform) the maintenance at installations as complex as this.”

Between 2007 and 2012, PDVSA invested $6 billion in the maintenance of its refineries and, just in July of this year, $4.3 billion was poured into the Paraguana Refinery Center, or CRP, in the northwestern part of the country where Amuay is located, the minister said.

“We don’t want to avoid any responsibility but, without a doubt, we can’t be naive and here we have to investigate everything,” the minister said in response to a question from Rangel about possible sabotage.

The petroleum industry “is subject to threats and has been attacked on an ongoing basis,” Ramirez said, referring to the fact that the sector was shut down from December 2002 to January 2003.

“It has become a target for the enemies ... of the country, a war objective,” Ramirez said.

The Amuay refinery, one of the three in the Paraguana Refinery Complex, was rocked by an explosion on Saturday, Aug. 25, that killed 42 people and injured 132.

The blast damaged 500 nearby buildings and 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.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Mariachi Music Officially Recognized by UNESCO

Mexican Mariachi Music Officially Recognized by UNESCO

Photo: Mariachi band

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UNESCO has officially awarded recognition to Mexican mariachi music as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity at a ceremony held over the weekend as part of the 19th International Mariachi Meeting in the western Mexican city of Guadalajara.

Eight child musicians between 5 and 10 years old dressed in mariachi attire accepted the honor at a brief ceremony Sunday in the main square of Guadalajara.

The ceremony was a symbolic effort to encourage younger generations to keep the tradition alive, National Culture and Arts Council, or Conaculta, president Consuelo Saizar said.

“We simply ask you to conserve and preserve this legacy and its traditions,” Saizar told the children.

At the initiative of the Jalisco government, mariachi music was added to UNESCO’S Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the unanimous decision of a committee of experts meeting on the island of Bali.

The award established the guidelines for creating a national committee of experts and government officials who will define the strategies to follow in order to safeguard this music and ensure its dissemination around the world.

Also inaugurated were a library, a Mariachi Academy that will give courses, and an audio collection with 140 musical compositions and 50,000 miscellaneous recordings starting in the year 1910.

Jalisco state was also declared a World Heritage Site in 2001 for its agave landscape and ancient industrial facilities of tequila.

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U.S. Border Agents Shot At by Mexican Gunmen on Rio Grande

U.S. Border Agents Shot At by Mexican Gunmen on Rio Grande

Photo: Border Patrol Shot at Rio Grande

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U.S Border Patrol are investigating an incident whereby border agents came under fire by Mexican gunmen near the Texas-Mexico border in Hidalgo last night.

Acting Assistant Border Patrol Chief, Henry Mendiola, spoke to local media confirming the incident that occurred at 9:30 p.m. just east of Hidalgo, a border city located across the Rio Grande from Reynosa, Tamulipas Mexico.

According to Mendiola two agents were on a border patrol boat on the Rio Grande while another two agents were on the river bank when they were fired on.

No injuries were reported in spite of approximately 8-to-12 bullets being fired at the agents.       

According to the Monitor, one vehicle was seen leaving the Mexican side of the Rio Grande. The U.S. has informed Mexican authorities of the incident so they may investigate.

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Democrats to Live-stream Convention in English and Spanish

Democrats to Live-stream Convention in English and Spanish

Photo: Democratic Convention to Stream Live

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As part of our effort to make the 2012 Democratic Convention the most open and accessible convention in history, the DNCC announced today that it will provide voters from across the country a new, innovative and unique opportunity to participate in convention programming – which will include user-generated content and the ability to interact with Convention attendees.

From gavel-to-gavel, the entire Convention will be livestreamed on DemConvention.com/live and through the Democratic National Convention Committee Mobile App, connecting viewers in every corner of the country with Convention delegates and speakers in real time.

The entire program will be streamed in Spanish simultaneously.

Millions of Americans will also be participating in more than 4,000 watch parties organized already in neighborhoods across the country. Some of these watch parties will be highlighted as part of Thursday night’s programming.

These efforts make this year’s convention the first in political history to include comprehensive livestream coverage.Image

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PARALYMPICS: Brazilian Takes Gold, Defeats “Blade Runner” in T44 200m Final (VIDEO)

PARALYMPICS: Brazilian Takes Gold, Defeats “Blade Runner” in T44 200m Final (VIDEO)

Photo: Oscar Pistorius (Left) and Alan Fonteles Oliveira (Right)

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Twenty year old Brazilian Alan Fonteles Oliveira won Gold last night during the T44 200 meters at the London Paralympic Game. 

In an event stacked with many well known Paralympians, one runner had garnered world attention in recent weeks.  South African Oscar Pistorius, a.k.a. “Blade Runner,” who competed in the Olympic games last month, was favored to win seeing as he won Gold at the 2004 and 2008 Paralympic games in the T44 200 meters race.

Pistorius was leading most of the race until Brazil’s Oliveira saw a speed boost in the final 80 meters.  Oliveira took first by less that less than a tenth of a second.

Of course the race is not without controversy.  The South African accused the International Paralympic Committee of creating an unlevel playing field by allowing athletes such as Brazil’s Oliveira to gain an unfair advantage by lengthening their running blades. 

Today, Pistorius released a statement saying “I would never want to detract from another athletes’ moment of triumph and I want to apologise for the timing of my comments after yesterday’s race.”

Pistorius and Oliveira will go head to head again during the 100m and 400m Men’s finals later this week.

Watch Oliveira’s win below:

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Venezuelan Presidential Candidate Reveals Women are his Weakness

Venezuelan Presidential Candidate Reveals Women are his Weakness

Photo: Henrique Capriles

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Venezuelan opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles said that women are his “weakness” and added he was convinced that they will be the ones who win him the presidency next month when he faces off at the ballot box against President Hugo Chavez.

The 40-year-old former governor and attorney interrupted his speech during a rally Saturday in Tocuyito, a city in the central state of Carabobo, to confess that he was “impressed with how beautiful the women are” in that state.

“At times, you stop here and you have some girls in front and you start to look at them and you lose your concentration,” Capriles said.

The opposition candidate has been accused of being “fascist” and “bourgeois” by spokesmen for the government, who have also questioned his sexual orientation.

“How can I get married? It’s very difficult, too difficult,” the opposition candidate said to the shouts of the women in the audience.

“That’s my weakness. I say it to the country right here, my weakness is women,” Capriles said.

The opposition leader said he was convinced that women “are going to make (me) president,” arguing that men know “that the ones who convince you are the women.”

Venezuelans will go to the polls on Oct. 7 to elect their president for 2013-2019, choosing from among seven candidates, including the 58-year-old Chavez, who has been in power since 1999, and Capriles, the former governor of the country’s second-largest state, Miranda.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Soccer Great Diego Maradona Named Sports Ambassador in Dubai

Dubai authorities on Sunday named former Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona Honorary Sports Ambassador, a post in which he will support the development of the sport in the emirate and aid in the search for new athletic talent.

At a press conference at Dubai’s Armani Hotel, Maradona, who in early July was fired as coach of the country’s Al Wasl soccer club, expressed his happiness at the appointment, which - he said - will allow him to bring the culture of sport to local communities and train new champions.

“The Dubai Sports Council and I have discussed some ideas about what must be done to discover new talent within the next generation of local athletes. This is the best incentive to accept this mission,” he said.

The contract enlisting Maradona as sport ambassador was signed by the soccer icon and the general secretary of the Dubai Sports Council, Ahmad al Sherif, with the aim of taking advantage of the Argentine’s experience in developing soccer in the emirate and having the former coach participate in national and international conferences.

Al Sherif said that Maradona has “great talent” and can “motivate the new generation of athletes to shine and achieve greater success.”

“Maradona’s achievements have inspired the world. We’re confident that through his work as sports ambassador he will inspire the new generation of players to get to a higher athletic level,” Al Sherif emphasized.

The Argentine in 2011 signed a $34 million contract to coach Al Wasl for two seasons but, at the end of the first season, he was fired after the squad finished in eighth place in the 12-team league.

The vice president of the club’s administrative council, Mohammed Bin Dojan, said at the time that the decision to fire Maradona was made after a lengthy study and after concluding that better coaches were available for the organization.

On July 12, Maradona told Buenos Aires’ Telefe television channel that he was going to travel to Dubai to arrange remaining in the coaching position or to collect the rest of the money coming to him as per his contract with the club, which does not expire until 2013.

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MondaySeptember 3, 2012