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SundayOctober 21, 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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Fidel Castro Seen in Public for First Time Since Rumors of His Emminent Death Surfaced

Fidel Castro Seen in Public for First Time Since Rumors of His Emminent Death Surfaced

Photo: Fidel Castro Reappears

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Former Cuban President Fidel Castro met with former Venezuelan Vice President Elias Jaua in Havana and later accompanied him to the Hotel Nacional in his first public appearance in months and amid rumors about his health.

Castro and Jaua met Saturday in the capital, the former Venezuelan vice president told reporters Sunday at the Hotel Nacional.

Jaua showed reporters a photograph of a smiling and healthy looking Castro sitting in a vehicle.

“Commander Fidel was kind enough to meet with us yesterday. We spent five hours talking about agriculture, history, international politics and, well, Fidel is doing really well,” Jaua said.

The former Cuban president accompanied Jaua to the iconic Havana hotel after the meeting and was photographed wearing a hat and a checkered shirt.

Hotel Nacional general manager Antonio Martinez, who appears in the photograph with Castro, told reporters that the Cuban leader was “very happy, with a permanent smile and talking about many things.”

Castro spent a few minutes chatting with hotel workers, Martinez said.

The 86-year-old Castro, who handed over power to his brother, Raul, in 2006, appeared in public after weeks of rumors on social-networking sites about his poor health.

Castro was last seen in public in March, when he met with Pope Benedict XVI in Havana.

The Cuban leader has not published any of his famous “Reflections,” a series of commentaries that he started during the recovery from his 2006 illness, in four months.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Pope Benedict XVI Names 7 Saints, Including Spanish Nun

Pope Benedict XVI Names 7 Saints, Including Spanish Nun

Photo: Mother Maria del Carmen Salles y Barangueras

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Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday proclaimed Spain’s Mother Maria del Carmen Salles y Barangueras and six other people saints of the Roman Catholic Church in a ceremony witnessed by thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square.

Salles y Barangueras, who live from 1848 to 1911, founded the Conceptionists Missionaries, a teaching order.

Salles’s educational work continues to bear fruit among the young through the efforts of her order, whose members, “like her, give everything they do to God,” the pope said.

The other new saints are Marianne Cope (1838-1918), a Franciscan nun who cared for lepers in Hawaii; Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680), the first Native American saint from the United States; and Anna Schaeffer (1882-1925), a German laywoman who was paralyzed in an industrial accident and was devoted to the Sacred Heart.

French Jesuit Jacques Berthieu (1838-1896); secular Filipino martyr Pedro Calungsod (1654-1672); and Italian priest Giovanni Battista Piamarta (1841-1913), who founded the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth, were the other new saints proclaimed by the pope.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico Honors Nobel Laureate Garcia Marquez With Thousands of Posters

Mexico Honors Nobel Laureate Garcia Marquez With Thousands of Posters

Photo: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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Mexico City is celebrating the life and work of Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who has lived in the capital for 50 years, by putting up 40,000 posters in honor of the legendary Colombian writer.

The posters, which contain Garcia Marquez’s words and statements from others about his work, were rolled out for the 12th Zocalo International Book Fair under the sponsorhip of Federal District agencies and the National Culture and Arts Council, or Conaculta.

The posters reproduce excerpts from the Colombian writer’s works, observations about him from people who know him and information about his extraordinary life.

Spanish-born Mexican artist Vicente Rojo designed the posters, which have 10 photographs of “Gabo” on one side, some from when he was young and others showing him now at the age of 85.

Garcia Marquez, the 1982 Nobel literature laureate and a master of magical realism, is best known for “One Hundred Years of Solitude.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Guatemalans Launch Initiative to Create 1.2 Million Jobs

Guatemalans Launch Initiative to Create 1.2 Million Jobs

Photo: President of Guatemala pedaling at the ENADE event (FUNDESA)

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Unemployment is becoming the global challenge of the 21st century. For countries like Guatemala, both unemployment and underemployment are hitting all time highs. This is exacerbating the vicious cycle of poverty, which impacts young people the most, condemning an entire nation to failure.

Guatemala is only generating roughly 20,000 new jobs per year which falls far short of the 140,000 young people who enter the labor market. Their options are few; emigrate to the US, start informal activities like street vending, or fall into the claws of organized crime.

In order to tackle this issue, the Guatemalan Development Foundation (FUNDESA), the private sector’s economic development think tank, together with CACIF ( The Association of Guatemalan Chambers), launched the large scale thought and action initiative “Guatemalans, let’s improve Guatemala”.  The actions and technical proposals to generate a more productive country were presented at the annual celebration of the 9th edition of ENADE (National Business Forum).

The initiative seeks to lay-down a roadmap which incorporates proposals and ideas from different sectors who share the vision of building a more prosperous, caring and safer Guatemala. National and international experts created technically solid proposals, which were enriched through open dialogue with leaders from the business sectors, civil society, government officials and former officials.

Historically, the country grows at a rate of 3.7% annually but population grows at 2.4%, which means it will take over 50 years to double the per capita income. Only by achieving an annual growth rate of 6.34%, would Guatemala reach the Millennium Development Goals by 2021, the most important being, to reduce the country’s overall poverty from 53% to 31.4%.

In order to gain national buy-in, FUNDESA and CACIF presented the initiative in an innovative way which stressed the importance of cooperation. The President of Guatemala, the President of the Supreme Court, along with key private sector, cooperative and labor organization leaders came together as Team Guatemala and pedaled their way to faster employment generation.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Reverend Believes that Latino Faith Voters Could Determine Outcome of Election

Reverend Believes that Latino Faith Voters Could Determine Outcome of Election

Photo: Rev. Samuel Rodriguez

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Recent studies published by Pew and others confirm the potential embedded in the Hispanic faith electorate. The finding from Pew published this past week indicates that Hispanic Evangelicals stand committed to an agenda that transcends traditional ideological parameters.

Accordingly, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, a non-partisan leader who does not endorse candidates but advances what he defines as the Lamb’s Agenda, issued the following statement:

“This election is critical. We want all Latino Christians to exercise their civic responsibility as an act of prophetic witness.

I encourage Latino Faith voters to coalesce around our core values of LIFE, FAMILY, RELIGIOUS LIBERTY, EDUCATION, POVERTY alleviation and IMMIGRATION REFORM.

Our commitment is to reconcile conviction with compassion, truth with love and righteousness with justice. At the end of the day our number one objective is to reconcile Billy Graham’s message with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s march.

In doing so, we advance not the agenda of the Donkey or the Elephant BUT exclusively the agenda of the Lamb.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

STUDY: LatAm Women are Better Educated but Lower Paid

STUDY: LatAm Women are Better Educated but Lower Paid

Photo: Wage gap in Latin America

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Despite recent gains, the wage gap between men and women in Latin America still prevails, according to a new Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) study entitled “New Century, Old Disparities,” which compares surveys of representative households in 18 Latin American and Caribbean countries.

The study was released at the POWER Conference, a high-level meeting of experts including U.N. Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who gathered in Lima, Peru, to explore how to achieve gender equality in the labor markets.

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The study, which also examines wage differences across ethnic minorities of the region, points out that, although the average gender wage gap decreased from 25 percent to 17 percent between 1992 and 2007, the disparity remains quite high and there is still plenty of work to be done.

According to the household surveys, women hold only 33 percent of the better-paid professional jobs in the region, which include those related to architecture, law or engineering. In these professions, the wage gap between men and women is significantly higher: 58 percent on average. These jobs require quantitative skills, and despite women’s progress in education—leading men by half a year of education on average—they tend to focus on careers like psychology, teaching or nursing, where those skills are not developed.

Read more at Inter-American Development Bank →

Ecuador Receives $100M Credit to Improve Housing in Poor Communities

A $100 million credit from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will help more than 16,000 poor households build better and more secure houses in Ecuador.

The program, which was approved by the Board of Executive Directors of the IDB, will prioritize households of the lower two income quintiles, with a preference for those headed by women with three or more children, or with a handicapped person.

Over the past 15 years, the system set up to provide economic help to purchase a home for poor income households – known as the System of Incentives for a Home (SIV, according to its Spanish acronym) – helped bring down the housing deficit from 64 percent of the households to 45 percent today.

Nonetheless, among the poorest the housing deficit still impacts two out of every three households in the country. These Ecuadoreans struggle to save enough to purchase a home or to access a mortgage loan. The problem is especially difficult in rural areas and in households headed by a woman who has to care for many children or a handicapped person.

The idea is for the SIV to help beneficiary buy a better home with a $6,000 in direct economic support. The beneficiaries will need to contribute $300 in savings.

Around 80 percent of the resources will be earmarked for rural areas. The program will be carried out by the Ministry for Urban and Housing Development (MIDUVI, for its Spanish acronym).

The IDB loan will have a 25-year amortization and an interest rate based on LIBOR.

Read more by HS News Staff →

STUDY: Border Violence May Have Negative Effect on Kids’ Mental Health

STUDY: Border Violence May Have Negative Effect on Kids’ Mental Health

Photo: U.S.-Mexico Border

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Violence and poverty harm the mental health of children living near the Texas-Mexico border, a new study shows.

Researchers looked at the mental health of children and teens living in El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, in 2007 and again in 2010. All of the children were Mexican or Mexican-American and lived in homes below the poverty level. None had a history of diagnosed mental illness.

The psychosocial and behavioral scores of the children in El Paso did not change significantly between 2007 and 2010. However, the children in Ciudad Juarez showed significant increases in social problems, rule- breaking and aggression scores over the study period.

The study was scheduled for presentation Friday at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) annual meeting, in New Orleans.

Data and conclusions presented at medical meetings typically are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

While the researchers found an association between living in increasingly violent surroundings and mental health decline, they did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Paraguay, Homeland Security Seize Counterfeit Goods Worth Over $34 Million

Paraguay, Homeland Security Seize Counterfeit Goods Worth Over $34 Million

Photo: Counterfeit watches

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Over the past 15 months, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) has provided extensive training and capacity building to Paraguay’s customs office and other Paraguayan law enforcement partners.

This training has been very successful, as Paraguayan authorities, working closely with the HSI Buenos Aires attaché, are making extensive seizures of counterfeit goods.

Two major recent seizures include:

On Oct. 16, Paraguayan authorities, working collaboratively with HSI, seized counterfeit merchandise with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $34 million. On Oct. 11, Paraguayan authorities received information about counterfeit products being smuggled out of Silvio Pettirossi International Airport in Asunción. A criminal organization was attempting to smuggle these goods out of the country — possibly destined for the United States. Law enforcement discovered multiple high-quality counterfeit brand name watches of Swiss origin. Among the various brands were watches from Patek Philippe, Tissot, Tag Heuer, Bulgari and Hublot. In addition, approximately 12,500 counterfeit Samsung cellular phones were discovered. The products were ultimately seized by law enforcement.

On Sept. 26, Paraguayan Customs, working with HSI, identified and searched a shipment of containers sent to Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, from Uruguay. The three containers and their contents included counterfeit Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo gaming systems. The shipment, with an MSRP of $741,041, was subsequently seized by Paraguayan authorities. This specific case has been presented to the Paraguayan Public Ministry for prosecution.

These seizures are the result of HSI’s Illicit Pathways Attack Strategy (IPAS). Over the last two decades, transnational organized crime (TOC) has transformed in size, scope and impact — posing a significant threat to national and international security. TOC networks are proliferating, striking new and powerful alliances, and engaging in a range of illicit activities as never before. The result is a convergence of threats that have evolved to become more complex, volatile and destabilizing. HSI’s response was the creation of the IPAS to break TOC strongholds.

Read more by HS News Staff →

NILC to Honor Actor Demián Bichir For His Contribution to Immigration Debate

NILC to Honor Actor Demián Bichir For His Contribution to Immigration Debate

Photo: Demián Bichir

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Demián Bichir, an award-winning actor who redefined the immigration debate through his groundbreaking role in A Better Life, will be among this year’s recipients of the National Immigration Law Center‘s Courageous Luminaries award. The organization will recognize Bichir and other luminaries at an awards dinner at the Westin Bonaventure in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday, December 6, 2012.

Bichir received an Academy Award, SAG Award, and Independent Spirit Award nomination for his searing portrayal of an undocumented gardener trying to connect with his estranged teenage son in Chris Weitz’s feature A Better Life. He recently appeared in Oliver Stone’s Savages and Ian Power’s The Runway. He is currently shooting Don Hemmingway starring opposite Jude Law, and stars in the upcoming films Machete Kills for Robert Rodriguez and The Heat for Paul Feig.

Prior to A Better Life, Bichir became known to United States television audiences for his portrayal of Esteban Reyes opposite Mary Louise Parker in the hit Showtime series Weeds.  He also portrayed a young Fidel Castro in Steven Soderbergh’s Che opposite Benicio Del Toro.

Demián will join a distinguished group of honorees, which include Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who last year disclosed that he is undocumented; SABEResPODER, a Spanish language marketing group that serves to inform and empower Latinos; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, a multinational law firm that is deeply committed to pro bono work; and the Pomona Economic Opportunity Center, a grassroots champion for day laborers and workers.

Read more by HS News Staff →

National Hispanic Breast Cancer Awareness Day Makes History

National Hispanic Breast Cancer Awareness Day Makes History

Photo: Breast Cancer Awareness

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The National Breast Cancer Foundation in partnership with the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, also known as the Hispanic Evangelical Association, the nation’s largest Christian Hispanic organization, held the first-ever National Hispanic Breast Cancer Awareness Day (NHBCAD) through churches across America on Sunday, October 7, 2012.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation serves as the Senior Partner of the NHCLC’s Healthy Families Directive — partnering to save women’s lives by providing resources for the Hispanic Community, not only for women but also for the husbands, children, and the Church, which is a critical element.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation has become a stabilizing force in the lives of hundreds of thousands of women who have reached a crossroad in their lives from their encounter with breast cancer.  Through its National Mammography Program, NBCF addresses the growing concern of over 50 million uninsured people in America by providing free mammograms and diagnostic services in all 50 states through its hospital partners.

Charity Navigator, America’s premier charity evaluator, has awarded the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. (NBCF) its highest 4-star rating for eight consecutive years.  The rating is based on NBCF’s ability to responsibly manage its finances and operations.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Image of Captured Bear Being Abused Causes Outrage in Mexico

Image of Captured Bear Being Abused Causes Outrage in Mexico

Photo: Bear mistreatment

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A photograph showing emergency management personnel mistreating a young bear has sparked outrage in Mexico and alarmed environmental authorities, who acknowledge that animal abuse remains a serious problem in some parts of the country.

The head of the Profepa environmental protection agency, Hernando Guerrero, told Efe he was “very upset” over the abuse of the black bear - an endangered species in Mexico - and said prosecutors will seek to punish those responsible, including five suspects already identified, to the fullest extent of the law.

In the photograph, which was uploaded to social media sites, local firefighters and emergency workers with the northern municipality of Zaragoza, Coahuila state, are seen posing for photographs with a bear that had been bound spread-eagled after being caught Wednesday night on the city’s outskirts.

One individual can be seen pulling the bear’s ears.

“The outrage was greater on the social-media sites, but I’m ... very upset,” Guerrero said, adding that the bear was released into its natural habitat - a mountainous area of northern Mexico - after she was found to be in good health.Image

“Luckily she wasn’t harmed any further,” Guerrero said, adding that Profepa will file a criminal complaint with the federal Attorney General’s Office for animal abuse and will impose fines on those responsible.

The Profepa chief said prosecutors would seek the “maximum penalty” of nine years in prison, although the sentence will depend on the judge’s assessment of the level of abuse and harm caused to the bear.

The fines to be handed down by Profepa could total as much as 3 million pesos ($233,000).

Although “we can’t go outside the bounds of the law,” the punishment needs to serve as an effective deterrent against future animal abuse, Guerrero said.

He also said the incident shows that volunteer firefighters and emergency personnel in certain areas of Mexico, especially small towns, are not trained to face these types of situations and lack environmental education.

These workers also need equipment to “sedate the animals and not harm them,” the official added, while noting that in many Mexican regions animal care and control is “professional.”

A petition containing some 33,000 signatures has been delivered to the emergency management office in Zaragoza and Profepa demanding “exemplary punishment” for those who participated in the animal abuse or stood idly by while it occurred.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Museum Pays Tribute to Day of the Dead With Mummy Exhibition

Mexican Museum Pays Tribute to Day of the Dead With Mummy Exhibition

Photo: Day of the Dead exhibition (INAH)

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Large-format photos of 12 bodies mummified 300 years ago and preserved today in the Mexican capital’s El Carmen Museum are being featured on an altar commemorating this year’s Day of the Dead celebration on Nov. 1, the National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, said Saturday.

From this week until Nov. 4, photos of the 12 mummies will adorn the Day of the Dead altar set up in the temporary exhibitions gallery of the museum in the capital neighborhood of San Angel.

The exhibit invites visitors to “contemplate these eminent people in detail: their expressions, the condition of their skin, and the clothing with which they were dressed for death.”

In a communique from INAH, museum director Alfredo Marin Gutierrez said that the identity of these people is not known with any certainty, but one of the legends surrounding them says they were “benefactors of the convent, people who donated money to aid the Carmelite brothers who lived in this building in the 17th century.”

The remains are thought to have been discovered in the convent by Zapatista revolutionaries in 1917.

“When they found nothing of value the revolutionaries went away leaving the bodies abandoned. Years later people in the community entered the place secretly and discovered the mummies, which gradually became famous in this capital neighborhood,” Marin said.

In 1929 the mummies were enclosed in boxes where they have been preserved ever since in good condition, in an area of crypts that will be opened to the public at the end of 2012.

The photo exhibition is made up of 30 sepia-colored photographic copies, 12 of which show three-quarters of each body, while the other 18 show certain details of the mummies.

The rest of the altar of the dead around the photos is decorated with confetti, “bread of the dead,” floral arrangements, candles and cardboard skulls.

Of pre-Columbian origin, the Day of the Dead holiday in Mexico has a human, festive and traditional air which includes offerings to the dead mounted in homes and cemeteries by millions of families.

Read more by HS News Staff →

U.S. Border Patrol Seizes $200,000 Hidden in Mexican’s Car

U.S. Border Patrol Seizes $200,000 Hidden in Mexican’s Car

Photo: $200,000 was seized

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in Nogales, Arizona, seized more than $200,000 hidden in the car of a Mexican citizen about to cross the border into Mexico.

Roberto Federico Martinez was arrested Thursday when he tried to leave the country through the Customs and Border Protection kiosk at Dennis DeConcini Port in Nogales.

CBP agents picked Martinez’s car to carry out a second inspection and in the auto’s gas tank found 21 packages with a total of $229,838 in cash.

Authorities confiscated both the money and the car, while handing over the detainee to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

The Arizona border is one of the chief points of entry and departure for traffickers of undocumented immigrants and drugs between Mexico and the United States.

The federal government has stepped up its efforts to combat the drug cartels, seizing profits obtained illegally by means of inspections at exit kiosks on the border with Mexico.

Read more by HS News Staff →

BMW Announces Plans to Build First LatAm Plant in Brazil

Germany’s BMW company will establish in Brazil what will be its first automotive factory in Latin America, Raimundo Colombo, governor of Santa Catarina state, said Saturday.

The governor told reporters that the official announcement will be made by the company itself next Wednesday, adding that the new factory will create jobs, boost economic activity and give greater “visibility” to this southern Brazilian state.

As reported Saturday in Brasilia, the Brazilian head of state Dilma Rousseff will receive next Monday the company’s vice president, Ian Robertson, who will inform her about the company’s move in detail.

Sources in the automotive sector have calculated that BMW’s investment in Santa Catarina will be somewhere around $1 billion and that the new facilities will directly produce some 1,500 jobs.

They also said that the German company plans to manufacture in Brazil the Series 1, Series 3 and the X1 Sports Activity models, along with some versions of the Mini.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Emergency Called After Swarms of Bees Attack Bogota

Emergency Called After Swarms of Bees Attack Bogota

Photo: Bee sting

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At least 12 people were stung by honeybees after an attempt to remove a hive from the eaves of a home on Bogota’s west side, emergency management officials said.

Area residents told local media that there were even moments of panic when so many of the insects swarmed into a bus that passengers tried to jump out of the vehicle while it was still moving.

The Bogota deputy firefighters chief, Mauricio Ayala, told reporters that the bees apparently became aggressive when some men went to remove honeycombs from the beehive on Friday.

The people undertaking the task were apparently not experts in managing the insects, which were not of the so-call Africanized honeybee variety but rather of the common species that is normally not so aggressive.

The emergency forced authorities to close several roads and care for some of the people at the site, including one woman who fainted.

The director of the emergency center, Luis Beleño, told reporters that five people were taken to nearby medical centers after being stung several times on the face, arms and head.

Read more by HS News Staff →



SundayOctober 21, 2012