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SaturdaySeptember 15, 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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Mexico Claims Mangos Contaminated With Salmonella Did Not Come From Them

Mexico’s government has denied that mangos exported to the United States and Canada were contaminated with salmonella, and said that the bacteria strain detected in those countries “is different from any strain found in Mexico.”

United States and Canadian health authorities - the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency - issued separate alerts in August about the Mexican fruit exported by the Agricola Daniella mango company because of its suspected contamination with Salmonella Braenderup.

“Following exhaustive work by the health and epidemiological agencies, the installations of the Mexican company showed no contamination with the strain causing an outbreak in the neighboring countries to the north,” Mexico’s Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food Secretariat said in a statement.

It said that taking part in these phytosanitary investigations to corroborate the findings of Canadian and U.S. authorities were federal agencies in charge of health protection and preventing epidemiological risks.

The secretariat said that in the results, “no contamination with the strain that caused an outbreak in the neighboring countries to the north was found in the installations of the Mexican company.”

It added that as part of the investigation it made a thorough inspection of the production and packing areas of the Agricola Daniella packaging plant looking for traces of the Salmonella Braenderup strain, during which 14 double samples were taken and “in none of them was any evidence of the bacteria found.”

In conclusion, the communique said, “the studies carried out by Mexican authorities show that no information exists that would allow the outbreak in the United States and Canada to be associated with any Mexican product.”

Nonetheless, the secretariat said that Mexican authorities are waiting for their counterparts in the neighboring countries to the north “to present scientific evidence for their statements and are ready to continue collaborating with the investigation in progress.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Indian Leader Murdered While Waiting for Bus in Colombia

Indian Leader Murdered While Waiting for Bus in Colombia

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The mayor of an Indian reserve in the conflicted southwestern Colombian province of Cauca was gunned down while waiting for a bus to take him to a meeting with his community, government officials said.

A communique from the Interior Ministry condemned Friday’s death of the Indian Jaime Mestizo Pito, mayor of the Huellas reserve in the Caloto municipality.

The native, the document said, was shot twice as he waited for a public transport bus.

“After the attack, the indigenous leader was taken to the Valle del Lili Clinic in Cali, the capital of the neighboring province of Valle del Cauca, where he died this afternoon after twice undergoing surgery,” the communique said.

The ministry added that it had no information about possible threats against the Indian leader.

A total of 118 Indians were killed last year in Colombia, a country with 102 indigenous ethnic groups, compared with at least 34 this year, with the Nasa Indians of the southwestern province of Cauca accounting for the largest number of fatalities.

On Aug. 30, the Colombian administration and Indians of the country’s southwest region opened their first negotiating table in Popayan, capital of Cauca, the region from which the Nasa people demand the departure of Colombian security forces and illegal armed groups.

“Land and Territory” is the name given to the committee with which the parties opened negotiations and whose agenda was agreed on Aug. 15 during a visit to the region of President Juan Manuel Santos, who was met by some 15,000 natives.

Santos then traveled to La Maria, the emblematic Nasa reserve in the Piendamo municipality, to deal with the growing protest of Cauca Indians against the presence of the military, police and guerrillas on their ancestral lands.

That negotiating table and another three, which have been meeting successively, will soon deliver to President Santos a progress report on subjects negotiated, to try and find a definitive solution to the violence scourging the region.

The move is being led by the Association of Indigenous Town Councils of North Cauca, or Acin, a union of Nasa authorities representing an ethnicity of about 100,000 distributed in a dozen towns of northern Cauca, a region that in its southern part is home to the Guambiano Indians.

In July, Acin declared its people in “permanent resistance” in order to force the withdrawal of security forces and rebels from their territory.

Though the government has dismissed the possibility of ordering security forces out of the area, the indigenous demand was included in the negotiating agenda of the second working committee dedicated to “human rights, armed conflict and peace.”

The 1991 Colombian Constitution promises autonomy to the nation’s 102 indigenous ethnic groups.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Obama’s Hispanic Heritage Month Proclamation Praises Contributions of Latino Community

Obama’s Hispanic Heritage Month Proclamation Praises Contributions of Latino Community

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U.S. President Barack Obama issued a proclamation for National Hispanic Heritage Month in which he said that Hispanics “have shaped and strengthened the fabric of our Union.”

In the annual proclamation, released by the White House, the United States president said that Hispanics in the U.S. have “led movements that pushed our country closer to realizing the democratic ideals of America’s founding documents.”

They have also “served courageously as members of our Armed Forces to defend those ideals at home and abroad,” Obama said.

The president said that Hispanics, who constitute the fastest growing minority in America, “have enriched every aspect of our national identity with traditions that stretch across centuries and reflect the many ancestries that comprise the Hispanic community.”

“This month, we celebrate this rich heritage and reflect on the invaluable contributions Hispanics have made to America,” Obama said in reference to the annual celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is observed with official and community events across the nation from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

“During National Hispanic Heritage Month, as we celebrate the successes of the Hispanic community, let us reaffirm our commitment to extending that promise (of achieving success) to all Americans,” said the president, who is seeking the support of Hispanic voters to secure his reelection this coming November.

Obama noted that Hispanics have left their mark “from laboratories and industry to board rooms and classrooms,” and have also served “as leaders throughout the public sector, working at the highest levels of our government and serving on our highest courts.”

“As we celebrate these hard-fought achievements, we must also remember there is more work to be done to widen the circle of opportunity for the Hispanic community and keep the American dream within reach for all who seek it,” he said

In that sense, Obama pointed to the achievements of his administration in improving conditions for the Hispanic community through job creation, making sure that Hispanics are represented on the federal workforce, and improving the educational system.

He also recalled that the Department of Homeland Security has suspended the deportation of undocumented youths “so they can continue contributing to our society, and we remain steadfast in our pursuit of meaningful legislative immigration reform.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Juanes Explores Inca Fortress Before Concert in Peru

Juanes Explores Inca Fortress Before Concert in Peru

Photo: Juanes at Sacsayhuaman (Andina)

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Colombian singer Juanes visited the Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman on the outskirts of Cuzco hours before giving a concert in Lima, Peru.

Juanes arrived at noon Friday in Sacsayhuaman, where every June 24 the Incan Festival of the Sun is celebrated, and from there went up the hillside to the statue of the White Christ to enjoy the splendid view of the city, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire.

The artist was recognized by his fans and had his picture taken with some young people during his tourist visit there.

Juanes performed at Cuzco’s beer garden on Friday night and on Saturday will give a concert in the city of Arequipa in southern Peru as part of his tour.

Read more by HS News Staff →

New Photo ID Laws Will Impact Voter Turnout Among Young Minorities

New Photo ID Laws Will Impact Voter Turnout Among Young Minorities

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Election turnout among young people of color, including African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans, may drop by nearly 700,000 voters in states with new photo ID laws, a decline potentially impacting presidential contests in the battleground states of Florida and Pennsylvania, according to a report released today by the Black Youth Project.

Completed by Cathy Cohen, a University of Chicago political science professor, and Jon C. Rogowski, an assistant political science professor at Washington University, the report found that turnout among young minority voters in states with new restrictive ID laws could fall below 2004 and 2008 levels. The projections include Blacks, Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Over the last two years, more than two-thirds of the nation’s 50 states have sought to increase restrictions on the kinds of identification that citizens must show before being allowed to vote, according to the report. As a result, nine states now have laws requiring citizens to show government-issued photo identification before casting a ballot. Eight other states enacted similar measures, but offer a limited set of alternatives for those without IDs.  Only two of these laws were enacted prior to the 2008 election.

Some of the photo ID proposals have been defeated or denied. For instance, the U.S. Department of Justice invoked the Voting Rights Act and refused to grant clearance to laws passed in South Carolina and Texas, and the Wisconsin law was declared unconstitutional earlier this year.  Legal action is ongoing in other states, including Pennsylvania, with civil rights and social justice organizations offering strong opposition to the measures that are likely to restrict voting.

Rogowski said the new laws may impact the presidential contest, as well as at least 16 competitive House races across the country where photo identification requirements will likely disproportionately impact minority voters.

In Florida, a crucial battleground state in the presidential race, voters are required to show photo identification or some other form of ID that displays a signature. More than 100,000 youths of color in the state could be demobilized by these new voting requirements – far more votes than separated George W. Bush and Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election.

Meanwhile, the report estimated that if Pennsylvania’s photo identification law is upheld by the State Supreme Court, 37,000 to 44,000 young people of color may stay home or be denied the right to vote, significantly influencing the state’s presidential contest.

While these laws are likely to disproportionately demobilize all youth of color, they may have more severe consequences for young blacks. Citing data from the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, the report said that 11 percent of American citizens don’t have government-issued photo identification such as a driver’s license, state ID card, military ID or a passport. But only nine percent of whites lacked photo identification, compared with 16 percent of Latinos and 25 percent of blacks.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Gutierrez Responds to Reports of STEM Visa Bill Moving in the House

Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL-4) issued the following statement reacting to the news that Republicans, including Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (TX), hope to have a vote next week on a bill increasing visas for STEM graduates, those who receive degrees in science, technology, engineering or math at U.S. universities.  The Republican proposal, as Rep. Gutierrez understands it, would reduce or eliminate other legal immigration programs in order to increase STEM visas.  Rep. Gutierrez is one of the Congress’ most visible supporters of legal immigration and immigration reform and is the Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Task Force on Immigration. Rep. Gutierrez statement:

I would like to negotiate on increasing STEM visas, by as much as 50,000, as well as family visas and I have been talking to Republicans, including Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith, to see if we can reach a deal.  I hope we can.

I would like to improve the STEM visa program without doing damage to other parts of our legal immigration system.  The President has made this a priority and I am prepared to support a clean STEM increase because it will help our economy and create jobs.  Republicans are only willing to increase legal immigration for immigrants they want by eliminating legal immigration for immigrants they don’t want.

STEM visas have a lot of merit and we should increase them.  I am almost always willing to support legal immigration.  Republicans almost always oppose immigration, even when it is legal, which has hurt them.

Read more by HS News Staff →

President Obama Interview With Jose Diaz Balart of Telemundo -On Immigration

President Obama Interview With Jose Diaz Balart of Telemundo -On Immigration

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This week, President Obama sat down to talk to Telemundo’s Jose Diaz-Balart.  They talked about everything from Libya to jobs to Latino families–but the last question was about immigration.  In response to a question about how he planned to pursue comprehensive immigration reform during a second term in office, President Obama predicted that Republicans after the election might reconsider the paths they took and decide to move in “a smarter direction”–”if nothing else, for their own political self-interest.”

Here’s the full question and response below:

Jose Diaz Balart: Last question on immigration. A lot of the questions that I asked people to submit on Twitter and Facebook were about immigration reform and a record number of deportations under your administration. Some are asking, if you were not able to get comprehensive immigration reform in the first two years of your administration when you had the House and the Senate, how could you promise or how could you do that in the second term if you have a divided House? A divided Congress?

Pres. Obama: Well, I think a lot of this is going to depend on the response of Republicans to this election and what they see in terms of Latino turnout. You know, it’s very interesting. George Bush, he and I disagreed on a lot, but he and I agreed on the need for comprehensive immigration reform. Partly because he had seen the importance of the Latino vote and the contribution of Latinos in his home state of Texas. John McCain, I disagreed with him on a lot of issues, but he agreed on comprehensive immigration reform. There is a tradition within the Republican Party to do the right thing on this issue. And it’s only been since I was elected and we saw the Senate Republicans and now the House Republicans, suddenly resist.

Well, I think that the Latino community recognizes that. When you look at the steps we’ve taken to not only open up to DREAMers the possibility of deferred action, and the good news is we’ve not only seen not only a great response of people applying, but we’re processing those applications as promised in a timely fashion. And that’s making a big difference in a lot of people’s lives. But when you also look at the shift that we’ve taken in terms of enforcement, saying let’s focus on those who are engaging in criminal activity, not people who are just doing their work and raising families and our a part of our communities, we’ve done what we can do administratively.

I predict that after the election, there are going to be Republicans who once again recognize, “You know what? We took the wrong path here. We need to move in a smarter direction.” If nothing else, for their own political self-interest. I hope they do it because they recognize that this is a nation of law and a nation of immigrants, and if that we give people an opportunity to get right with the law, pay a fine, pay their taxes, learn English, be good law-abiding citizens, that giving them the opportunity to be legal in this country and pursue their dreams, that that’s ultimately going to be good for America.

Read the transcript of the full interview here. Pres Obama and Telemundo’s Jose Diaz-Balart

Read more by HS News Staff →

IDB Loan Will Provide 500,000 With Cleaner Drinking Water in Argentina

IDB Loan Will Provide 500,000 With Cleaner Drinking Water in Argentina

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A $500 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will help finance a program to provide 516,000 people in northern Argentina access to improved wastewater treatment services.

The program aims to improve the coverage and efficiency of drinking water and sanitation services in areas of Argentina’s Norte Grande region where such services are inadequate or nonexistent. Projects will also improve the operational and financial management of service providers and strengthen provincial entities operating in the sector.

Through the project, 86,165 households will receive access to sanitation services and 14,400 households will be provided with new or improved access to potable water.

The loan will finance works to expand drinking water and sanitation coverage through the rehabilitation, expansion and optimization of the water collection systems as well as to provide systems for water treatment and distribution, sewage treatment and disposal, and storm water drainage.

Under another component of the program, investments will be made to increase the sustainability of water and sanitation service providers and to strengthen regulatory institutions.

The Norte Grande region, which includes the provinces of Jujuy, Catamarca, Santiago del Estero, Tucumán, Chaco, Corrientes, Formosa, Misiones and Salta, is home to 20.6 percent of Argentina’s population. Compared with other regions of the country, it is relatively a poorer area.

The loan is for 24 years, with a 6.5-year grace period and a variable interest rate based on Libor. The Argentine government will provide $55 million in counterpart funding for the program.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Arizona Immigration Agent Arrested for Harboring Undocumented Migrants

Arizona Immigration Agent Arrested for Harboring Undocumented Migrants

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An employee of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was arrested on charges she allowed her Arizona home to be used as a hideout for undocumented immigrants smuggled across the border from Mexico, authorities said.

Stella Peterson, 51, was detained Aug. 31 after three migrants were found inside her home in the border town of Douglas, ICE spokeswoman Amber Cargile told Efe.

The ICE employee’s son, Anthony Peterson, was also arrested.

Peterson performed clerical and administrative tasks for ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations unit in Douglas, the spokeswoman said.

ICE is cooperating with the investigation and Peterson will remain on administrative leave pending the outcome of the probe, Cargile said.

Stella Peterson joined ICE’s precursor, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, in July 1991.

She admitted knowing that her son used the house to harbor undocumented immigrants, according to court documents.

The three migrants found in Peterson’s home told authorities that after paying smugglers between $2,000 and $3,000 each to be brought into the United States, they gave Anthony Peterson $100 for transporting them from the desert to the safe house.

Read more by HS News Staff →

¡Felicidades! Costa Rica on Your 191st Year of Independence

¡Felicidades! Costa Rica on Your 191st Year of Independence

Photo: Costa Rica Celebrates 191st Year of Independence

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Today, all of Costa Rica is celebrating and rejoicing its 191-year old independence from Spain.  The Spanish arrived in the 1500’s and stayed for nearly 300 years as it colonized the region, enslaved native populations and decimated the country with smallpox. 

On September 15, 2821 after the Spaniards were defeated in Mexico’s War of Independence, Guatemala declared independence for all of Central America including Costa Rica.  At 6pm this evening Costa Rican will lite homemade lanterns and sing the National Anthem throughout the country.

Costa Rica was the first Central American country to begin exporting coffee helping to develop the first middle class in the region.  Another first for the country is the election of its first female President Laura Chinchilla. The country also has bragging rights as having the highest life satisfaction anywhere in the world and being one of the greenest countries in the world. 

The country has lived in relative peace since its declaration of independence abolishing its army in 1949 and living in the words of Jose Maria Zeledon Brenes: “Vivian siempre el trabajo y la paz.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Celebrate Mexican Independence Day With This Bandera Cocktail Recipe

Mexican Independence Day is not Cinco de Mayo as some believe, but a true celebration of Mexican heritage that reaches here in the United States, this year falling on Sunday, September 16th.

As popular as the margarita is in America (#1 cocktail in the U.S.), Mexico has different favorites such as the Bandera.

Bandera

1 oz. Jose Cuervo Tradicional Silver
1 oz. Viuda de Sanchez Sangrita
1 oz. Stirrings Clarified Key Lime Juice

Serving
Serve each in a separate shot glass.  Enjoy sipping in order - Tequila, Sangrita, Lime.

Read more by HS News Staff →

¡Felicidades! Nicaragua on Your 191st Year of Independence

¡Felicidades! Nicaragua on Your 191st Year of Independence

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Today, all of Nicaragua is celebrating and rejoicing its 191-year old independence from Spain.  The Spanish arrived in the 1500’s and stayed for nearly 300 years as it colonized the region, enslaved native populations and decimated the island with smallpox.  Independence came in 1821 when Nicaragua declared itself independent from Spain as did four other Central American countries. 

Nicaragua the largest Central American country in terms of land mass has a proud history of struggle and success.  After years of military regimes, coups and wars the country is looking to become an eco-tourist center with its abundant natural beauty as the back drop.  Today the Act of Independence of Central America is read in all state schools honoring the battle of San Jacinto with the Festival Nacional de Bandas Ritimicas as the highlight of independence day events. 

The President and Secretary of State John Kerry sent their congratulations to the people of Nicaragua:

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of Nicaragua as you celebrate 191 years of independence this September 15.

This is an opportunity for Nicaraguans young and old to rejoice in the proud heritage of the “land of lakes and volcanoes.” The people of the United States and Nicaragua are united through our close personal and economic ties, our rich cultural traditions, and our shared aspirations for a secure, democratic, and prosperous future.

As you celebrate with family and friends, know that we remain steadfast partners with the Nicaraguan people, and wish you heartfelt ¡Felicidades!

Read more by HS News Staff →

¡Felicidades! Honduras on Your 191st Year of Independence

¡Felicidades! Honduras on Your 191st Year of Independence

Photo: 191st Year of Independence of Honduras

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Today, all of Honduras is celebrating and rejoicing its 190-year old independence from Spain.  The Spanish arrived in the 1500’s and stayed for nearly 300 years as it colonized the region, enslaved native populations and decimated the island with smallpox. Independence came in 1821 when Honduras declared itself independent from Spain as did four other Central American countries. 

All of the countries schools and colleges are closed today so that everyone can celebrate in a three day celebration of independence. 

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent their regards to the people of Hondruas: 

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of Honduras as you celebrate the 191st anniversary of your independence this September 15.  As Hondurans young and old rejoice in your proud culture and heritage, and as you enjoy the great procession of school parades that define Honduran Independence Day, I hope you have the chance to reflect on the significant progress the Honduran people have made in building a democratic future and expanding opportunity for all members of society.  Together, our two countries are partnering to tackle challenges and build new opportunities for generations to come.  The American people stand with you as you work to construct a more secure and prosperous future for Honduras.

Please accept my heartfelt “¡Felicitaciones!” to Hondurans around the world.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Nicaragua Partners With TACA Airlines To Promote Tourism on Expedia

Nicaragua Partners With TACA Airlines To Promote Tourism on Expedia

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The Nicaraguan Tourism Board has launched a partnership with TACA, a leading airline in Latin America, to drive travel bookings to Nicaragua on Expedia.com, the world’s leading online travel company.

Visitors who go to Expedia.com can save up to 33% on flight and hotel packages, book hotel deals at popular Nicaraguan beach resorts such as Pelican Eyes, Morgan’s Rock and Punta Teonoste, and book tours that explore the country’s beautiful colonial cities, lakes, volcanoes and pristine natural reserves. In addition, they can book discounted flights to Nicaragua on TACA, which provides convenient and reasonably priced service from major North American cities, including daily non-stop service from Miami.

In 2011, Nicaragua welcomed one million tourists, many more than in previous years.  During 2012’s first semester, the number of tourists increased an 11.5% over the same period in 2011. With this fall campaign on Expedia.com, both the Nicaraguan Tourism Board and TACA aim to increase those numbers even further.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Poll Finds That Negative Media Portrayals Are Fueling Stereotypes About Immigrants and Latinos

Poll Finds That Negative Media Portrayals Are Fueling Stereotypes About  Immigrants  and Latinos

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The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) released a national poll showing that media portrayals of Latinos and immigrants are fueling rampant negative stereotypes among the general population that are diminishing perceptions of these groups throughout the United States.  NHMC has filed letters with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), sharing this new poll data and renewing unanswered requests that NHMC made back in 2009 for the agencies to study the impacts of hate speech in media.

At a press conference in Washington, D.C., Alex Nogales, President and CEO of NHMC, presented the poll findings alongside Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and fellow civil rights activists from the NAACP, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA).

“Today we stand together with our allies from the African American and LGBT communities against hate speech in media, and to advocate for more positive portrayals of people of color and LGBT people in media,” Nogales said. “We unite behind this issue as this new poll data shows the propensity of media images - negative or positive - to impact people’s opinions about our communities.”

NHMC, through a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, commissioned the highly-respected polling firm, Latino Decisions, to conduct the research. The two-part poll included a national phone survey with a sample size of 900 non-Latino respondents and an interactive online experiment of 3,000 non-Latino respondents. The overall margin of error for the national telephone poll is +/- 3.3% and for the online media bias experiment is +/- 1.8%. During the phone survey, respondents were asked a series of more than ninety questions about their news and entertainment habits and their opinions about Latinos and immigrants. For the online portion, respondents were exposed to positive and negative short video clips, print articles, and audio clips. Immediately after exposure to the stimuli, respondents were asked their opinions about Latinos and immigrants.

For instance, after viewing just one minute of media content, poll respondents changed the way they view Latinos. When asked if Latinos were intelligent, those who consumed negative news and entertainment pieces were much more likely to rate Latinos as unintelligent, while those who consumed positive pieces were much more likely to rate Latinos as intelligent.

Moreover, Nogales called it “disturbing” that the poll found there is a common misperception that Latinos and undocumented immigrants are one in the same, with 17% of survey respondents actually believing that the majority of U.S. Latinos are undocumented.

“The media is doing a disservice with coverage that is misleading the public about Latinos who live in the U.S. It is producing attitudes among non-Latinos that contribute to hate speech and hate crimes. We must demand that the media do a better job with its coverage.” 

The poll also found that:
People exposed to negative entertainment or news narratives about Latinos and/or immigrants hold the most unfavorable and hostile views about both groups.

Negative portrayals of Latinos and immigrants are pervasive in news and entertainment media. Consequently, non-Latinos commonly believe that many media-promoted negative stereotypes about these groups are true.

Conservative talk radio and Fox News audiences are less likely to be personally familiar with Latinos yet more likely to hold anti-immigrant and anti-Latino views. Without direct experience with Latinos, media takes on a larger role in establishing these opinions and attitudes.

Even those most disposed to positive opinions about Latinos have less favorable opinions when exposed to negative entertainment or news narratives.
In discussing those in this country without documentation, the term commonly employed by some media outlets, “illegal aliens,” elicits much more negatives feelings than the term “undocumented immigrants.”
Non-Latinos report seeing Latinos in stereotypically negative or subordinate roles (gardeners, maids, dropouts, and criminals) in television and film.
Furthermore, the poll found that the general public relies heavily on television for news and information, with 66 percent watching major network and cable newscasts and only 30 percent trusting Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks or online-only news sources.

Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) was unable to attend the press conference, but issued the following statement in support of NHMC’s work: “We get calls in my office from angry and outraged talk radio listeners several times a week filled with misconceptions and negative stereotypes. The reality is that when you strip away the anger, underneath there is a lot of consensus among Democrats, Republicans, and independents on the immigration issue and how to get things back on a legal footing.  Solutions are within reach.  Talk radio is an obstacle to reforming immigration but not an insurmountable one.”

A copy of the full poll results is available at www.nhmc.org/reports.

 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Eva Longoria Confirms Relationship with NFL Star Mark Sanchez

Eva Longoria Confirms Relationship with NFL Star Mark Sanchez

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On Thursday night’s Extra, actress Eva Longoria revealed to host Mario Lopez that she has a new beau in her life.

CNN reports that Lopez had to pry the information out of the Latin beauty by bringing up the New York Post article that suggested Longoria and NFL player Mark Sanchez were out celebrating.

When the Desperate Housewives star didn’t answer right away, Lopez continued with, “People speculate that there’s more to it. So you know, why don’t you just tell everyone that, you know, you’re just friends or whatever.”

To which Longoria laughingly replied, “You’re an a***ole. No, Mark and I are, you know, fine. We’re happy. Just dating.”

According to E! News, Eva split from boyfriend Eduardo Cruz in June after beginning a romance in February of 2011, just months after the brunette beauty filed for divorce from NBA player Tony Parker.

Sanchez has been reportedly associated with Hayden Panettiere, Jamie-Lynn Sigler and sexy Sports Illustrated model Kate Upton.

Read more at The Celebrity Cafe →

¡Felicidades! El Salvador on Your 191st Year of Independence

¡Felicidades! El Salvador on Your 191st Year of Independence

Photo: El Salvador Celebrates 191st Anniversary of Independence

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Today, all of El Salvador is celebrating and rejoicing its 190-year old independence from Spain.  The Spanish arrived in the 1500’s and stayed for nearly 300 years as it colonized the region, enslaved native populations and decimated the island with smallpox.  The fight for independence started in 1811 with numerous uprisings against Spanish rule and concluded in 1821 when El Salvador declared itself independent from Spain as did four other Central American countries. 

El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America with a proud history of struggle and success.  After numerous military regimes, coups and a civil war in 1980 the country is moving forward with economic reforms and democratically held elections. 

Today the country’s estimated 7 million residents start to celebrate early and at 7:00 am students and their teachers march all around the capital city singing folk songs and dancing traditional dances.  Independence heroes such as Father Jose Matias Delgado and Manuel Jose Arce are honored with patriotic parades and festivities.

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton send their regards to the people of El Salvador:

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of El Salvador as you celebrate your independence this September 15.

This is a time for Salvadorans across the globe to rejoice in your proud heritage and vibrant culture. With more than two and a half million Salvadorans living in the United States, the rich tapestry of Salvadoran culture is woven closely into American society. This year, on the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Chapultepec Accords, we can also reflect on the progress your nation has made in consolidating democracy and building a more secure and prosperous future.

The United States and El Salvador share a commitment to realizing your country’s aspirations of inclusive economic growth, safe and resilient communities, and expanded opportunities, particularly for young people. The American people stand with you as partners and friends as you build a brighter future for generations of Salvadorans to come.

Read more by HS News Staff →

¡Felicidades! Guatemala on Your 191st Year of Independence

¡Felicidades! Guatemala on Your 191st Year of Independence

Photo: Guatemala Celebrates 191st Year of Independence

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Today, all of Guatemala is celebrating and rejoicing its 191-year old independence from Spain.  The Spanish arrived in the 1500’s and stayed for nearly 300 years as it colonized the region, enslaved native populations and decimated the island with smallpox.  Thirty-two years after Columbus come to the Americas, Guatemala’s population went from 800,000 to 100,000.  Independence came in 1821 when Guatemala declared itself independent from Spain as did four other Central American countries. 

Guatemala, once the site of the Mayan civilization, has endured and preserved through military dictatorships and protracted civil wars where many died and many others suffered human rights abuses.  Its indigenous groups are beginning to play a leading part in shaping the destiny of the country and one of its most notable indigenous citizens, Rigoberta Menchu won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992. 

Today the country’s estimated 13 million residents will celebrate its independence with many Mayan traditions.  The whole country embraces this day with dances, fireworks and parades and in the city of Quetzaltenango you can find the largest independence day celebration. 

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent their congratulatory remarks to the people of Guatemala:

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to the people of Guatemala as you celebrate your independence this September 15. We join with you as you commemorate the founding of “the land of eternal spring.”

Our two nations are bound by our diversity, rich history, cultural traditions, and warm ties of family and friends. We share a commitment to important values like the respect for human rights and human dignity, democratic governance, and equal opportunity for all our citizens. We take particular inspiration in the story of María Dolores Bedoya, the hero of Guatemalan Independence, who also reminds us of the profound role women – and all members of society – play in building a better future.

Let us take this opportunity to renew the deep bonds of our friendship as we work together to build a safer, more prosperous and democratic future for all our people.

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Aaron Diaz and Lola Ponce Celebrate Their Success, Pregnancy in New York

Aaron Diaz and Lola Ponce Celebrate Their Success, Pregnancy in New York

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Actors and singers Aaron Diaz and Lola Ponce exude happiness these days in New York in expectation of their first baby and professional success with their new projects.

Ponce, currently recording her next disc, told Efe she feels “incredible” in her pregnancy, now in its third month.

“I feel incredible, it’s perfect, thank God. It’s magic,” said the Argentine actress, who was the fictional sister of Diaz in the telenovela “El Talisman.”

Ponce and her partner are in New York to attend the Fashion Week show of Mexican designer Ricardo Seco.

“I’m going to have a baby and a new disc,” she said joyfully, while Diaz told Efe that, like every first-time dad, he’s getting ready for this new stage “step by step, day by day, minute by minute.”

The actor, a member of the cast of the new Univision melodrama “Rosario,” said that as yet his partner hasn’t had the cravings that many women have during pregnancy.

“Up to now I’ve been lucky, because there’s been nothing serious to make me get up in the middle of the night,” Diaz laughed.

Diaz and Ponce said they had fun posing for photos to accompany Seco’s new collection.

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Along Arizona Border, Fewer Undocumented Immigrants Being Arrested

Along Arizona Border, Fewer Undocumented Immigrants Being Arrested

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Arrests of undocumented immigrants continue to decline on the Arizona border, while some criticize the federal government for its attempts to justify the millions of dollars still being spent on border security.

“We’re seeing fewer arrests of immigrants, but almost the same amount of deaths and an equal number of the undocumented being criminalized, even though migration has crashed completely,” Isabel Garcia, attorney and director of the Arizona Human Rights Coalition, told Efe on Friday.

According to statistics of the U.S. Border Patrol Tucson Sector, since Oct. 1, 2011, up to Aug. 31, 2012, some 112,470 undocumented were arrested on the Arizona border, compared with 116,460 in the same period last year.

At the end of the 1990s, when the federal government stepped up security in California, undocumented immigrants changed their entry route into the U.S. to the Arizona desert.

During fiscal year 2000, the Border Patrol reported a record 1.6 million arrests on the southern border, of whom 616,000 were in the Tucson Sector.

The arrest of the undocumented has gradually decreased in Arizona until it reached a decline of more than 80 percent.

“We know that immigration has stopped almost completely. But the federal government keeps trying to justify to the public why it’s spending so much money, not only on the border, but also on courts and detention centers,” Garcia said.

“The big lie is being discovered - all this huge budget that has been spent and continues to be spent is for nothing, it is to make families suffer and keep the public thinking that the undocumented are evil and criminals,” the activist said.

She said that private companies have made a lucrative business out of operating detention centers for undocumented immigrants.

The budget for the Border Patrol was increased from $1 billion in 2000 to $3.5 billion in 2011.

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Argentina and Chevron Sign Hydrocarbon Development Deal

Argentine state-run oil firm YPF and U.S. supermajor Chevron Corp. on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding to “explore non-conventional hydrocarbon development opportunities” in the massive Vaca Muerta shale formation, YPF said in a statement Friday.

The MOU calls for exploring opportunities to develop shale oil and gas reserves in Vaca Muerta, located in the western Argentine province of Neuquen, and studying the potential for applying improved recovery techniques, YPF added.

The Argentine government expropriated a controlling stake in originally state-owned YPF earlier this year from Spain’s Repsol, which maintains a 12 percent interest.

Prior to the stake seizure, Repsol had come under criticism by Argentine authorities for inadequate investment in oil and gas exploration by YPF.

Repsol Chairman and CEO Antonio Brufau, for his part, said in the wake of the expropriation that the recent discovery of Vaca Muerta was undoubtedly behind the move.

The MOU, signed Friday by YPF CEO Miguel Galuccio and the president of Chevron’s Latin American and African operations, Ali Moshiri, was the result of negotiations that began on Aug. 24.

The accord establishes the companies’ “interest in evaluating the development of a shale cluster,” and “sharing research and development for eventual joint projects,” YPF said.

Galuccio hailed the agreement with a partner of Chevron’s stature and said efforts will be made to achieve synergies between the two companies. He also said he is convinced the accord will be “just the first step in a long and significant relationship.”

According to YPF, 37 wells have been perforated, 27 have been completed and 10 are pending completion in Vaca Muerta, while 26 more wells are scheduled to be perforated in 2012.

These types of agreements are key planks in YPF’s $37.2 billion 2013-2017 investment plan, which is aimed at boosting oil and gas production by 32 percent over that five-year period, YPF said.

YPF posted 2.1 billion pesos ($458.4 million) in net income in the first half of 2012, down 10.1 percent from the same period of 2011.

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Chile Receives 3 Bids to Develop Lithium Reserves

Chile Receives 3 Bids to Develop Lithium Reserves

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Chile’s government said Friday that three companies have submitted bids to develop lithium reserves in the country’s northern region.

One of the bidders was Posco Consortium, made up of South Korean firms Posco and Daewoo International Corporation, Japan’s Mitsui and Santiago-based Li3 Energy.

The other two were the Chilean firms Sociedad Legal Minera NX UNO de Peine, controlled by Grupo Errazuriz; and Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile.

SQM is the world’s leading lithium producer and one of only two companies - along with Rockwood Holdings - that mine lithium in the Andean nation, the world’s largest producer of the metal.

“We’ve steadily reached each goal we’ve set for ourselves in opening the lithium market. In the coming days, we’ll know the winner of the CEOL (Special Lithium Operation Contract),” Deputy Mining Secretary Pablo Wagner said at a press conference.

That winner “will help us inject more competition and innovation into this sector. This is a unique moment for Chile. It’s an opportunity we can’t miss,” he said.

A total of 66 companies had acquired the auction conditions, Wagner said, adding that the three bidders met the government’s requirements.

“All of the companies were rated and positively evaluated. The only decision in awarding (the contract) is the best economic offer,” the deputy secretary said.

The economic characteristics of each bid and the winner of the concession will be unveiled on Sept. 24.

The winner of the bid process will sign a 20-year CEOL with the government covering exploration and production of that mineral in Chile’s Atacama Desert.

President Sebastian Piñera’s conservative administration opted for that type of contract because, although Chile’s 1973 Mining Code defines lithium as a “strategic” mineral for which regular mining concessions cannot be awarded, the country’s constitution allows special contracts to be signed to exploit those reserves.

Through the CEOLs, the government plans to collect $350 million per project via a 7 percent sales royalty.

Chile’s opposition and experts have questioned the government’s move to open lithium mining to foreign investment, saying it is a resource that should be developed by the state.

Global demand for lithium - a key component in batteries for mobile devices and electric/hybrid vehicles - has tripled over the past 10 years, while Chile’s Cochilco state copper commission says the price of lithium carbonate on world markets has risen from $2,000 per ton in 2001 to around $6,000 per ton at present.

Chile holds the planet’s second-largest lithium reserves, trailing only neighboring Bolivia.

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4 Mexican Taxi Drivers, Passerby Killed in Monterrey

4 Mexican Taxi Drivers, Passerby Killed in Monterrey

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Four taxi drivers and a female passerby were killed in two separate attacks by suspected organized crime elements in Monterrey, state authorities said.

The Nuevo Leon state investigations agency, or AEI, confirmed the five deaths to Efe and said the assailants still have not been identified.

The first incident occurred at 4:15 p.m. Thursday in the Independencia neighborhood on Monterrey’s south side, where men armed with rifles fired at close range at three taxi drivers waiting at a taxi stand.

A woman identified only as “Vicky” was a few meters (yards) away and was struck and killed by a stray bullet.

Police were dispatched to the crime scene to gather evidence and launch their investigation.

Anxious parents tried to remove their children from an elementary school located near the site of the attack, but police prevented them due to safety concerns.

Numerous clashes have occurred in the Independencia neighborhood involving rival gangs, which are also the target of recruitment efforts by organized crime syndicates.

The AEI later reported a similar attack on another taxi stand located at a shopping center in the La Estanzuela neighborhood, where an armed commando fired from a vehicle at another taxi driver.

State police and army soldiers arrived at the scene to cordon off the area and gather evidence, the AEI said.

Taxi drivers suspected as serving as lookouts for drug cartels are frequently targeted by rival gangs.

Home to many of Mexico’s industrial giants, Monterrey long seemed immune to the drug war that has claimed some 60,000 lives nationwide since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon took office and militarized the struggle against the nation’s well-funded drug cartels.

But the metropolis and its suburbs have been battered by a wave of drug-related violence since March 2010.

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Bomb Destroys Radio Studio in Northern Brazil

Bomb Destroys Radio Studio in Northern Brazil

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Two unknown assailants detonated a bomb that destroyed the studios of Radio Farol in the northeastern Brazilian city of Uniao dos Palmares, officials said.

The radio station belongs to regional lawmaker João Henrique Caldas, who confirmed to local media that the studios were completely demolished by Thursday’s explosion, which left no dead or injured.

“It’s too soon to think that this is related to politics,” said the lawmaker, who in his public life it totally opposed to the mayor of Uniao dos Palmares, Areski Freitas, whom he accuses of corruption.

Caldas said, however, that the attack occurred after Radio Farol aired some recordings this Wednesday, in which someone supposedly the mayor is engaged in negotiations with a view to the Oct. 7 municipal elections, which he believes could be evidence of corruption.

Images from the radio station’s security cameras indicate that the bomb was planted by two unknown persons who entered the premises early Thursday.

Witnesses cited by the local press said the two men sped away on a motorcycle, while police noted that no clues have yet been found to identify the perpetrators nor their possible motives.

The radio workers union in the state of Alagoas, where Uniao dos Palmares is located, issued a communique expressing its “most vehement repudiation” of the attack and expressed its “condemnation of all acts of terrorism.”

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SaturdaySeptember 15, 2012