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WednesdayOctober 10, 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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Brazilian Politician Resigns After Corruption Conviction

Brazilian Politician Resigns After Corruption Conviction

Photo: Jose Genoino

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The former chairman of Brazil’s ruling Workers Party resigned on Wednesday as special adviser to the Defense Ministry after his conviction on corruption charges.

Jose Genoino, who was part of the armed resistance to the 1964-1985 military regime and helped found the Workers Party, or PT, in 1980, announced his resignation at a meeting of the party leadership in Sao Paulo.

A majority of the 10 Supreme Court justices voted to find Genoino guilty of corruption for the payment of bribes to lawmakers during the first two years of the PT’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva 2003-2011 tenure as president.

Convicted along with Genoino was Jose Dirceu, who was Lula’s political right arm for two decades.

“I withdraw from the government with the conscience of the innocent. I am not ashamed of anything. I will continue fighting with all my strength for a better, more just and sovereign Brazil, as I always have done,” Genoino said in his statement.

Dirceu, once seen as the natural successor to Lula, was forced to resign as presidential chief of staff in the summer of 2005 after lawmaker Roberto Jefferson accused the PT of having bribed legislators of other parties to build the congressional majority that the government failed to obtain at the polls in 2002.

The scandal didn’t stop Lula from winning a second four-year term in 2006 and his anointed successor, Dilma Rousseff, prevailed in the 2010 presidential contest.

“My conviction is an attempt to condemn an entire party, but they will fail. The judgment of the population will always favor us because they know who works for the just interests,” Genoino said Wednesday.

The prosecution of 37 people for the vote-buying scheme conceals a systematic campaign of hatred against the PT, he said.

The justices found him guilty based merely on the fact that he was PT chairman at the time of the bribes, Genoino said, brushing aside “an entire life dedicated, at great personal cost, to the cause of democracy and to a political project that is liberating Brazil from inequality and injustice.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Tomb With 1,300 Year Old Remains Discovered in Mexico

Tomb With 1,300 Year Old Remains Discovered in Mexico

Photo: Tomb discovered in Oaxaca (NIAH)

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Mexican archaeologists discovered the tomb of a person who may have led a region in what is now the southern state of Oaxaca approximately 1,300 years ago, the National Institute of Anthropology and History said.

In the Copalita Main Temple site, experts detected a tomb made of stone blocks and measuring 1.8 meters (5.9 feet) tall and one meter wide containing the bones of a possibly male individual between the ages of 20 and 23.

Project leader Raul Matadamas said the tomb dates back to A.D. 700 and is the first to be discovered at the site. Although its cultural affiliation has not yet been determined, the tomb could be associated with groups that were in contact with Zapotec Indians from Oaxaca’s central valleys, he added.

The skeleton was accompanied by an offering, including a thigh bone that may have been used as a walking stick, the project leader said.

“This discovery will help us understand the funerary practices of the civilizations that occupied Copalita, mainly of the governing group, of which we had no information before,” Matadamas said.

The individual, he said, was wearing a necklace with five jade beads and over his rib cage there were remnants of three small bags, which when put on his chest must have contained red paint because some of his ribs are stained that color.

“Around the tomb we also discovered the burial places of 22 other individuals, most notably a female who was face down, the first time such a position has been found at a pre-Columbian site, which perhaps indicates submission to the individual in the tomb,” Matadamas said.

He said four vessels were found on the female skeleton, most remarkably an earthenware dish decorated with an embossed glyph of a an owl amid two snakes, an image found all around the pottery piece and which is associated with the ancient Zapotecs of Oaxaca’s central valleys.

Further exploration in the vicinity of the Main Temple led to the discovery of another 16 skeletal remains. “They correspond to a previous period since, based on the ceramic materials accompanying them, the individuals were buried between A.D. 300 and 700,” Matadamas said.

Copalita was occupied by various cultural groups between 600 B.C. and A.D. 1519, when Spanish chroniclers say the site was abandoned due to an epidemic.

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One Dead After Miami Parking Garage Collapses, One Still Missing

One Dead After Miami Parking Garage Collapses, One Still Missing

Photo: One Dead After Miami Parking Garage Collapses, One Still Missing

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A worker died and another was trapped and in serious condition in the collapse Wednesday of a five-story parking garage under construction at a campus of Miami Dade College.

Nine other people were hurt and two of the roughly 30 workers at the site when the accident happened remain unaccounted for.

Doctors and paramedics are fighting to save the life of one of the workers who remains partially buried in the rubble of the ruined parking garage, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokesperson Griselle Marino told Efe.

“His situation is critical. He’s trapped from the waist down. There’s a lot of dust and rubble,” which is making the rescue efforts difficult,” said Marino, adding that doctors are attending to the man as those efforts proceed trying to keep him alive.

“It has to be a whole strategy how to move the ruins so as not to cause him more harm,” she said.

Meanwhile, another worker in serious condition was transported to the hospital after being pulled out of the rubble, Marino said.

The incident occurred on Wednesday morning when a portion of the parking garage rapidly - and apparently with no warning - fell in on itself.

At the moment of the collapse, there were no students inside the parking garage, only workers.

Images taken from news helicopters overhead and broadcast by WSVN-TV of the garage shows a pile of cement rubble and construction equipment, as well as several workers receiving medical assistance from rescue teams amid the ruins.

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Salma Hayek Reveals How Happiness Has Improved Her Acting

Salma Hayek Reveals How Happiness Has Improved Her Acting

Photo: Salma Hayek and Kevin James

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Mexican-American actress Salma Hayek is channeling the happiness in her personal life into comedies such as “Here Comes the Boom,” scheduled to hit U.S. theaters Friday, and says that at age 46 she has left her “melodramatic” phase behind and now prefers to make people laugh.

“Maybe before it was harder for me to make people laugh. Now it’s the opposite. It’s hard to cry. The truth is I’m very happy to be happy,” the actress, married since 2009 to French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault and mother to their five-year-old daughter, Valentina, told Efe in an interview.

“When I was young, I was much more melodramatic. As an actress, there were times I even enjoyed pain, suffering a little. Well, I didn’t enjoy it, but I had an inclination toward melodrama. I was good at making people cry. Now, when I have a character that suffers, where you have to (do some soul-searching), I can do it no problem, but I prefer making comedies,” Hayek said.

In “Here Comes the Boom,” budget cuts threaten the cancellation of a high school music program until a bored biology teacher, Scott Voss (Kevin James), begins to raise the needed $48,000 by becoming a mixed martial arts fighter.

Hayek plays the role of Bella Flores, the school nurse who becomes Voss’s main source of support.

Hayek also worked with James and another Hollywood star, Adam Sandler, in the 2010 hit buddy comedy “Grown Ups” and has just finished filming the sequel.

“What I most like about them is their ability to improvise,” she said. “I don’t have to learn my lines perfectly because I know they can change. They let me be creative. They listen to me, they ask my opinion and I know they’re my partners during the scenes. That’s great and difficult to find.”

Her character in “Here Comes the Boom” is a far cry from the sexy roles she played in films like “Desperado” and “From Dusk Till Dawn” and even other more recent pictures such as “Americano,” in which she portrays a prostitute and stripper.

“As a nurse at a high school, there’s no reason to be sexy. In fact, if you have that role, you have to be a little careful and” err on the side of modesty, Hayek told Efe.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Opposition Calls For Justice Against Government’s Role in Protesters’ Deaths

Opposition Calls For Justice Against Government’s Role in Protesters’ Deaths

Photo: President Otto Perez Molina

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A Guatemalan opposition party filed a formal criminal complaint Tuesday against President Otto Perez Molina and other top officials for the deaths of eight protesters at the hands of the army.

Last Thursday’s killings in the western province of Totonicapan amounted to extrajudicial executions, Democratic Liberty party lawmaker Edgar Ajcip said.

He said that his party, which assembled witness accounts of the incident, wants the people who ordered troops to the scene held accountable, not just the soldiers who fired the fatal shots.

Hundreds of people mobilized early last Thursday to block the Interamerican highway at six different points in Totonicapan province.

The protest was spurred by Perez Molina’s proposals for constitutional changes, an overhaul of the curriculum for aspiring teachers and a recent hike in electric rates.

Two truckloads of army troops were sent to the spot known as Alaska to assist police trying to clear the highway.

Perez Molina - a retired army general - and his administration insisted for nearly 24 hours after the shootings that the troops at the scene did not fire their weapons, despite widely circulated images of a soldier pointing a rifle at the protesters.

Acknowledging the involvement of troops in the violence, the president said last Friday that the trouble started when a private security guard traveling on a cargo truck fired his gun in an attempt to clear a path through the crowd.

The security guard and the seven soldiers who fired shots were placed at the disposition of prosecutors.

Guatemala’s deputy defense minister, Gen. Edwin Efrain Najera, told a congressional hearing on Monday that the troops used their weapons because they were attacked by the protesters.

“They had to take the shots to defend themselves,” he said.

More than 30 other people were injured in the confrontation, including eight soldiers and around two-dozen civilians who received gunshot wounds.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Archaeologists Find 50 Skulls Believed to be From Those Sacrificed by Aztecs

Archaeologists Find 50 Skulls Believed to be From Those Sacrificed by Aztecs

Photo: Archaeologists Find 50 Skulls Believed to be From Those Sacrificed by Aztecs

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Archaeologists in Mexico recently unearthed what they believe to be an Aztec sacrificial stone, 50 skulls and about 250 jaw bones.

The skulls, which were found in modern day Mexico City, are believed to have been the result of a brutal Aztec ritual during which victims were killed by priests who cut their abdomens open from stomach to throat in order to pull out their still-beating hearts. The victims were sacrificed as offerings to
Mictlantecuhtli, god of death.

The human remains date back more than 500 years and are said to be the largest number of skulls ever found in one offering.

ImageThough 50 skulls were found in different locations. Five of the skulls had holes on both sides and appear to have belonged to a skull rack known as a tzompantli (see drawing).

‘Some of the 45 skulls found on the sacrificial stone were manipulated with the intention of preparing skull-masks that were never finished,’ archaeologist Raul Barrera of Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) told Discovery News.

The majority of the skulls are believed to have been buried between 1440 and 1469, with those with the holes in them likely buried earlier – between 1375 and 1427.

The location of Mexico City was once the site of the capital of the Aztec civilization, Tenochtitland.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Argentine Court Denies Rape Victim the Option of Abortion

Argentine Court Denies Rape Victim the Option of Abortion

Photo: Pro-Choice

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A court order that barred a rape victim Tuesday from having an abortion has sparked a heated controversy in Argentina.

The embattled judicial ruling came in response to a motion by the Pro-Vida (Pro-Life) group to stop the interruption of a 32-year-old woman’s pregnancy.

The operation was to be the first non-punishable abortion performed in a public hospital following the legal reform passed by the Buenos Aires municipal legislature.

Judge Myrian Rustan ordered the suspension of the abortion and said that health authorities should provide “physical and psychiatric assistance to the patient,” Pro-Vida attorney Pedro Andereggen told official news agency Telam.

The decision contradicts an Argentine Supreme Court ruling in March that decriminalizes abortion in case of rape.

Argentine Health Minister Juan Manzur said the case is outside his area of jurisdiction, since the hospital where the procedure was scheduled belongs to the municipality of Buenos Aires. He nonetheless called Rustan’s order “rebellion.”

The controversy moved to the hospital entryway, where activists of anti-abortion groups and feminist organizations were both demonstrating.

“We charge the Buenos Aires municipal government for making public the place where the abortion was going to take place, because that allowed this Catholic Church organization to victimize this woman,” Manuela Castiñeira, of the Las Rojas Women’s Group, told reporters.

After a court case that took five years, the municipal legislature passed an ordinance last week that decriminalized abortion in the case of rape or risk to the mother’s health.

The city’s right-wing mayor, Mauricio Macri, announced his intention to veto the ordinance on grounds that it “exceeds” what the Supreme Court established, but said that the law would remain in effect that allows abortion with judicial authorization.

Argentina’s Penal Code permits abortion in cases of danger to the life and health of the mother, rape or abuse of a disabled woman, though the article has been open to different interpretations by judges and doctors.

Argentina has about 500,000 abortion per year, according to official estimates.

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Study Reveals Positive and Negative Fiscal Effects of Maryland DREAM Act

Study Reveals Positive and Negative Fiscal Effects of Maryland DREAM Act

Photo: Study Reveals Positive and Negative Fiscal Effects of Maryland DREAM Act

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A new study of the proposed Maryland DREAM Act from the Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis & Research found it would have both fiscal costs and benefits to Maryland.

The Maryland DREAM Act allows undocumented immigrants who graduate from Maryland high schools and meet certain additional conditions to pay in-county/in-state tuition at Maryland community colleges and public universities. Specifically, under the DREAM Act, eligible students who begin their higher education at a Maryland public community college pay the in-county tuition rate if they are residents of the service area of the community college that they attend. After completing an associate’s degree, or 60 credits (two years full-time study) at a community college, students can then continue their higher education at a Maryland public university or college at in-state tuition rates.

The DREAM Act is likely to have a variety of economic impacts upon those who take advantage of it, as well as on federal, state and local governments and society as a whole.

- Private costs of the DREAM Act to students include the tuition and fees paid by those who would not have gone to school without the DREAM Act, plus the earnings foregone because these students are in school and not working.

- Private benefits to students from the DREAM Act include the higher post-tax earnings, fringe benefits, better job satisfaction and better health that result from more education.

-  Fiscal benefits of the DREAM Act include the increased income tax revenue, increased sales tax revenue, and increased property tax revenue that occur because more-educated individuals earn higher incomes.

- Because more educated individuals are less likely to commit crimes and be incarcerated, are less likely to receive income support (welfare), and are less likely to receive Medicare or other government health care subsidies, fiscal benefits should also include the reduction in public spending in these areas.

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Comedian Louis CK Announces FX Show ‘Louie’ Going on Hiatus

Comedian Louis CK Announces FX Show ‘Louie’ Going on Hiatus

Photo: Comedian Louis CK Announces FX Show 'Louie' Going on Hiatus

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“I want season four to go somewhere new,” our favorite redheaded Mexican comedian told reporters this week. “I’m looking back to when I did the first season and the time I took to do the show and decide which directions to go in and I want that back again. I want a little breathing room.”

Louis was speaking of his award-winning FX comedy Louie.

FX President and General Manager John Landgraf told The Hollywood Reporter, ‘Louie has continued to raise the bar and recharge his batteries. I don’t think there’s anyone else in business who’s produced, starred, directed and edited all but seven episodes … I’m not surprised he needs a bit of a break.’

Though he is taking a break from the show, Louis is continuing his 22-city stand-up tour, which he says will “probably” be turned into a stand-up.

He has said he saw the first three seasons of the show as a trilogy and with the fourth season, which is now not expected until 2014, he’d like to go “somewhere different”.

I’d like the show to morph and start a new story. I don’t know what that is. I need a little bit of breathing time, and pie and coffee, to figure that out.

.

Louis has been around for years, both as a stand-up comedian and a writer for fellow comedians like Conan O’Brien, Chris Rock and David Letterman, but since his first hour-long special in 2007, he has become a comedic icon for the every-man just trying to get through life while not screwing up his kids.

He was born in Washington D.C. but his family moved to Mexico shortly after his birth. He lived there until he was seven, and his first language was Spanish. To this day, he maintains both Mexican and American citizenship.

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Demian Bichir Joins Cast for FX Pilot ‘The Bridge’

Demian Bichir Joins Cast for FX Pilot ‘The Bridge’

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Demian Bichir has reportedly joined the cast of the FX pilot for The Bridge.

Bichir was nominated for an Academy Award for his moving portrayal of an undocumented father in the U.S. trying to do well by his son in A Better Life.

The Bridge will be helmed by Mexican director Gerardo Naranjo, and is an adaption of Bron/Broen, a Scandinavian series

Deadlineis reporting Bichir is joining Diane Kruger, Annabeth Gish and Ted Levine for the pilot which is set to begin filming in El Paso and Los Angeles later this fall.

This will be Bichir’s second series in the U.S., following his work on Showtime’s Weeds.  In this one he will play Mexican detective Marco Ruiz.

The Bridge follows a pair of detectives, Ruiz (Bicher) and Sonya North (Krueger) who work to find a serial killer operating on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. Not only do the detectives come from different countries, they are very different people. Ruiz is a family man with warmth and the ability to relate and connect with people, while North lacks empathy and is often so blunt she borders on offensive. Ruiz is also said to be one of the last men left uncorrupted on his police force.

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Brazilian Woman Running for City Council Allegedly Traded Cocaine for Votes

Brazilian Woman Running for City Council Allegedly Traded Cocaine for Votes

Photo: Brazilian Woman Running for City Council Allegedly Traded Cocaine for Votes

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Police in Brazil say a woman running for political office was using cocaine to encourage people to vote for her.

Carme Cristina da Silva Lima was running for a city councilor position in the Amazonas city of Itacoatiara.

Early Sunday, election day, police noticed Lima, who was in a vehicle with another person, surrounded by a large group of people. When they went to investigate, the crowd quickly dispersed.

Upon searching the vehicle, officers discovered the election leaflets Lima had been giving out each a small packet of cocaine attached.

The 32-year-old has now been charged with electoral corruption and drug dealing.

Should she be convicted, Lima would be ineligible for public office for at least eight years.

Police chief Daniel Ottoni told a Brazilian website, ‘According to locals, she had been distributing the drugs since early in the morning, on condition that people vote for her.’

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico’s President Calderon Confirms Zeta Leader Lazcano Was Killed

Mexico’s President Calderon Confirms Zeta Leader Lazcano Was Killed

Photo: Killing of Zeta Leader Heriberto Lazcano Confirmed

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Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, the top boss of the Los Zetas drug cartel, was killed in a shootout with marines in Coahuila state, Mexican President Felipe Calderon said Tuesday.

The government has now captured or killed 25 of Mexico’s 37 most dangerous criminals, the president said.

Information provided by the marines corps shows that Lazcano was “killed while resisting the authorities in an operation” in Progreso, a city in northeast Mexico, Calderon said during the inauguration of a prison in Guanajuato.

The Navy Secretariat has not yet confirmed that the man killed in Sunday’s shootout was the Zetas boss, but it said the body fit the description of the drug lord and matched information available about him.

The body, which underwent an autopsy and had other test performed on it, was stolen on Monday from a funeral home in Sabinas by a group of gunmen, Coahuila state officials said.

The marine corps has launched a series of operations in recent weeks that “substantially weakened” several criminal organizations, Calderon said.

Gulf cartel bosses Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sanchez and Mario Cardenas Guillen were captured in northeast Mexico, the president said.

A “considerable number” of Los Zetas regional bosses, including Ivan Velazquez Caballero and Salvador Alfonso Martinez, who was allegedly behind the killings of more than 300 people, have been arrested, Calderon said.

These blows have now been followed by “the killing of the main leader of Los Zetas, Heriberto Lazcano,” Calderon said.

The government “will continue using all the resources at its disposal in defense of Mexican families” and Mexico should continue pursuing the current security strategy, the president said.

The government’s security strategy consists of “taking on the criminals, but at the same time bolstering security and justice institutions, and rebuilding the social fabric,” Calderon said.

“That is not just the route for winning the battle against crime, but for building a secure Mexico and the peace that all we Mexicans ... desire,” Calderon, who will hand over the presidency to Enrique Peña Nieto on Dec. 1, said.

Lazcano, known as “El Lazca,” deserted from the Mexican army in 1999 and formed Los Zetas with three other soldiers, all members of an elite special operations unit.

The shootout that killed Lazcano occurred a day after marines captured Martinez, who allegedly ordered the killings of more than 300 people, including 72 migrants massacred in 2010 in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas.

After several years as the armed wing of the Gulf cartel, Los Zetas, considered Mexico’s most violent criminal organization, went into the drug business on their own account in early 2010 and now control several lucrative territories.

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Latino Vote in Colorado, Florida and Nevada Could Decide Election

Latino Vote in Colorado, Florida and Nevada Could Decide Election

Photo: Latino Vote in Swing States Important

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The closer the presidential election looms, the more the competition between Democrats and Republicans intensifies in three swing states where the Latino vote could hold the key to victory not only statewide, but nationwide as well: Florida, Colorado and Nevada.

Colorado’s likely voters have tipped toward Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in just the past day or two, Nevada is continuing to support incumbent Barack Obama and Florida is presently in a technical tie between the two, according to figures released Tuesday by Real Clear Politics, which averages a range of polls.

A record 23.7 million Latinos are eligible to vote on Nov. 6, 22 percent more than four years ago, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.

“The competition between the two candidates is stronger and stronger and Latinos can make the difference and (determine) the result in many undecided states,” the deputy director of the pro-immigrant group America’s Voice, Lynn Tramonte, told Efe.

Florida is the largest and most volatile of the swing states and calculations are that 19.2 percent of the Sunshine State’s eligible voters are Hispanics.

Since 1988, no candidate has won Florida by more than 6 percentage points. In the last four presidential elections, the state went Republican twice and Democrat the other two times.

The voter surveys now predict a very tight race in 2012.

Obama enjoys extensive support among Hispanics, but he is facing a bad Florida economy and concern over the low level of voter registration among Latinos.

Figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show unemployment in Florida is above the national rate, household incomes are lower than the national median and mortgage foreclosures are the highest in the nation.

Even so, 56 percent of the state’s Latinos say they are certain they will vote for Obama, compared with 27 percent who support Romney, according to a poll released last week by America’s Voice.

“The Latino vote in Florida is changing with the years in favor of the Democrats,” observed Tramonte, who emphasized that the wave of incoming Puerto Ricans and the voting preferences of the new generations of Cuban Americans are both more progressive than those of their elders.

The survey also found a 69 percent to 15 percent advantage for Obama among Hispanics in Nevada, where non-Latinos are about evenly divided between the two candidates.

In this western state, unemployment and the real estate crisis have viciously attacked a number of residents and have set records on the national level.

Hispanics represent 17.3 percent of the electorate in Nevada and 13.4 percent in Colorado.

A tight race between Obama and Romney is what the voter surveys predict in Colorado, where over the past four decades the Democrats won the state only in 1992 and 2008.

Hispanic voters are also important in New Mexico - where Obama won big in 2008 - and in solidly Democratic California, as well as in Texas, which leans Republican.

There is another determining element, however: Hispanic voter registration.

“The most difficult step among Hispanics is to get them to register, but if Latinos register, they always vote at a higher rate than the general population,” Tramonte emphasized.

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Deaths from Diabetes Soaring in Mexico

Deaths from Diabetes Soaring in Mexico

Photo: More Mexicans Dying from Diabetes

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A total of 89,414 people are projected to die this year of diabetes in Mexico, up 92 percent from the year 2000, health activists and experts said.

In a press conference, the director of the consumer-advocacy group The Power of the Consumer, Alejandro Calvillo, presented a study based on research, official data and experts’ figures on this year’s outlook for obesity and diabetes.

The activist said the high mortality rate for diabetes in Mexico is “in large part due to a lack of prevention and medical care policies, as well as poor treatment provided to patients.”

According to the study, one of the goals established in the 2007-2012 National Health Program was to achieve a 20 percent drop in the growth of the death rate due to diabetes mellitus from the level registered in the 1995-2006 period, which was 4.9 percent per year.

That goal meant lowering the annual growth in the death rate to 3.9 percent for the 2007-2012 period. However, according to a report from President Felipe Calderon’s government on Sept. 1, 2010, the number of deaths from diabetes had risen by an average annual rate of 4.1.

“Calderon’s policies have failed and if no progress is made in the next six-year period, the human and financial cost will continue to worsen. The challenge lies in the next administration headed by (President-elect) Enrique Peña Nieto,” Calvillo said.

According to the activist, in the six-year term of outgoing President Felipe Calderon, diabetes was responsible for 482,654 deaths, an increase of 35 percent over the six-year tenure of predecessor Vicente Fox, or 120,626 more deaths.

Mexico currently ranks eighth worldwide in the prevalence of diabetes, although international experts project that by 2025 the country will be in “sixth or seventh place, with 11.9 million Mexicans with diabetes.”

In terms of deaths attributed to the disease, Mexico ranks sixth worldwide and third in the Americas.

According to the study presented Tuesday, diabetes has been the No. 1 cause of death in Mexico since 2000, responsible for 17.2 percent of all deaths. A total of 38 new cases are diagnosed every hour and every two hours five people die from diabetes-related complications.

Calvillo said that despite the seriousness of the problem, the current government has “given in” to pressure from the food and beverage industry and permitted it to self-regulate.

For his part, Dr. Abelardo Avila, of the Salvador Zubiran National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition, said that Mexico is suffering the worst obesity epidemic in the history of humanity, “both because of the accelerated growth (in the problem) and the damage to people’s health and the inability to prevent it and cope with its consequences.”

“Unless the epidemic of obesity, diabetes and other health damages is stamped out with truly effective public actions and policies, we’ll put not only the country’s health but also its very viability at high risk,” he said.

He said the greatest danger at present “is to suppose that the lukewarm actions undertaken to date are serving to improve the situation; there needs to be objective recognition of the seriousness of the damage and the urgency of tackling the problem with all the resources and capacities of the state and civil society.”

According to the study, the total cost of diabetes in Mexico rose from 2.97 billion pesos (some $230 million) in 2003 to 8.84 billion pesos (nearly $684 million) in 2010, an increase of more than 290 percent in seven years.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spaniard Discovers Wife’s Mummified Body After Returning From Prison

A Spaniard returned home after being released from prison and found his wife’s mummified body in her home.

Evidently, it had been more than a year since he had heard from her.

The woman, Angeles Fernandez, died in her home in Ciempozuelos, near Madrid, without anyone noticing or missing her, except her jailed husband, who had complained in September 2011 that he had not heard anything from her for a year.

The local government said Tuesday that a judge had refused on several occasions to allow anyone to enter the home.

The judge denied several requests from the town police and the Civil Guard to enter the home after complaints about a foul odor emanating from it and after the husband reported his wife’s lack of communication.

The Civil Guard reported that the mummified body was found on the bed and apparently bore no signs of violence, although an autopsy will be performed to definitively determine the cause of death.

Several neighbors in the building where the woman lived had complained about bad smells coming from the apartment, but the town administration said that such complaints had been a normal occurrence since the dead woman had moved in.

“The lack of hygiene ... (of) Angeles Fernandez, on the last occasions that she was seen, were evident and so it was not ruled out that these smells were produced by lack of hygiene inside the home,” said the authorities.

With the information provided by neighbors and friends of the woman, a court order to enter the home was requested but the judge denied it.

According to the Ciempozuelas government, the judge argued that the husband - identified as Eduardo R. - had no authorization to enter the home “since he did not have a relationship with his wife,” also saying that he wanted to avoid possible problems “due to his situation of serving a sentence.”

The husband, who was released from prison on furlough last week, went to the home “knocked the door down and found the body,” the municipal administration said.

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Man Arrested at Madrid, Found With Explosives, Bomb Manual, Embassy Addresses

A Spanish man carrying potentially explosive substances and a bomb-making manual was arrested in Madrid, police said Tuesday.

Maps and plans for different sites in the capital were found in the suspect’s possession, police said.

The 48-year-old man, identified only as Alberto R. M., was staying at a downtown Madrid hostel, whose manager notified authorities that he was acting suspiciously.

Officers found documents about explosives and various quantities of potassium nitrate, sulfur and coal powder, with some of the substances mixed in a 1.5-liter bottle.

The establishment was placed under surveillance and officers spotted an individual “who may have his mental faculties altered,” police said.

The substances found and the mixture discovered in the suspect’s room are being analyzed to determine if they could cause an explosion.

The suspect had instructions for making gunpowder and a manual called “Bombs and Homemade Explosives,” as well as plans and notes on different sites in the Madrid area.

The addresses and telephone numbers of the U.S., Chilean, Uruguayan, Paraguayan and Brazilian embassies had been written down by the man.

The suspect has been charged with one count of possessing substances used to make explosives.

The man was arrested just days after police in Palma de Mallorca detained Jose Manuel Morales, a 21-year-old who was allegedly planning a massacre at the University of the Balearic Islands.

Morales spoke of his “complete admiration” for the two teenagers who killed 13 people on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School in the U.S. state of Colorado.

He was arrested with 140 kilos (308 pounds) of explosives and told police that he planned to set off bombs at the university.

Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold gunned down 12 of their classmates and a teacher before turning their guns on themselves at the Colorado high school.http://www.hispanicallyspeakingnews.com/uploads/images/article-images/Man_Arrested_at_Madrid,_Found_With_Explosives_and_Bomb_Manual_.jpg

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Brazil Amping Up Security on Bolivia, Peru Borders with 7,500 Troops

Brazil Amping Up Security on Bolivia, Peru Borders with 7,500 Troops

Photo: Brazilian soldier

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The Brazilian government announced Tuesday the launch of a vast operation along its borders with Bolivia and Peru, in which 7,500 soldiers will carry out combat missions for two weeks against drug trafficking and other criminal activities.

Peruvian and Bolivian authorities were previously notified about the operation and were invited to send observers as part of border cooperation plans that exist with both countries, Defense Minister Celso Amorim said in a statement.

The troops in Operation Agata 6 will have the support of fighter-bombers, combat helicopters, patrol boats and armored cars deployed along the 4,216 kilometers (2,620 miles) of the country’s Amazon region borders with Peru and Bolivia.

Besides carrying out border security duties, the troops will also perform a number of social missions, above all in the field of health care.

The operation is part of a border security plan that the Brazilian government has been developing since last year and will be similar to one carried out in August along the country’s borders with Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay.

According to the defense minister, Operation Agata 6 will be the last one this year, and will be followed in 2013 by “at least another three” of similar dimensions, with “the goal of giving the Brazilian state a presence on its borders.”

Taking part in the operation along with the soldiers will be officials of Brazilian environmental, indigenous affairs and tax agencies, which with armed forces support will investigate possible crimes in their corresponding fields.

In the operation carried out in August on the borders with Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay, Brazilian authorities seized 880 kilos (1,940 pounds) of marijuana, cocaine and other drugs, while also confiscating 11,730 kilos (13 tons) of explosives.

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WednesdayOctober 10, 2012