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TuesdayOctober 23, 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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Indian Community Arms Themselves Against Mexican Drug Gang

Indian Community Arms Themselves Against Mexican Drug Gang

Photo: Santa Maria Urapicho community

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Santa Maria Urapicho, a Purepecha Indian community in western Mexico, has armed itself and is on alert to deal with threats from suspected members of the Los Caballeros Templarios drug gang, an Indian leader told Efe.

Gunmen operating in the area accuse the Indians of killing drug boss Mauricio Cuitlahuac Hernandez on Aug. 14 near Urapicho, which is in Michoacan state.

Los Caballeros Templarios is trying to gain control of Santa Maria Urapicho in light of the failure of the federal, state and municipal governments to take action, an Indian leader told Efe on condition of anonymity.

“Our people have never allowed such as situation and now we are on the defensive to be on guard and avoid having anyone in this town harmed,” the Indian leader said.

The residents of the community, which is in the city of Paracho, have armed themselves with pistols and rifles, controlled access to the town and set up barricades.

The Purepechas have quit their jobs in other communities to strengthen the defenses of Urapicho and prevent attacks by Los Caballeros Templarios, which is involved in illegal logging in the area.

“We are waiting for organizations in other places to take an interest in our problems, in our situation, they could give us a hand in whatever form possible,” the Indian leader said.

Urapicho has less than 2,000 residents, who earn a living off the lumber industry and farming.

Read more by HS News Staff →

JUST IN:  Strong Earthquake Hits Costa Rica

JUST IN:  Strong Earthquake Hits Costa Rica

Photo: Costa Rica Struck by 6.6 Earthquake

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A 6.6 magnitude earthquake has struck the northeastern Pacific region of Costa Rica at 6:45 p.m the U.S. Geological Survey is reporting.

The epicenter of this strong earthquake is 6 miles northeast of Hojancha in the Guanacaste province.  This quake is also 6 miles away from Nicoya where on September 5th an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale occurred.  Just this weekend on Sunday, October 21, a 4.4 earthquake struck 4 miles from Nicoya.

Local media in Costa Rica is reporting aftershocks being felt throughout the country including strong shaking in the capital city of San Jose. 

No reports thus far of fatalities or major damages.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Alfonso “Piloto” Nieves Ruiz Becomes Successful Artist in Chicago

Alfonso “Piloto” Nieves Ruiz  Becomes Successful Artist in Chicago

Photo: Alfonso "Piloto" Nieves Ruiz Art

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When Alfonso “Piloto” Nieves Ruiz emigrated from Mexico in 1997, his great ambition was to be an American football player, but an accident banished him from the gridiron and turned him to sculpture, a calling that has made him a popular artist in Chicago.

Piloto’s sculptures were one of the main attractions of the recent Pilsen Open Studios 2012, which exhibited the works of 106 Latino artists in Chicago.

Dozens of galleries, homes and workshops of the mainly Hispanic Pilsen neighborhood kept alive the tradition of exhibits and art education that over two days attracts thousands of people.

At Piloto’s exhibit, the work that the sculptor himself classifies as “very grotesque art” divides people.

“There are those who leave as soon as they see it, and those to stay to study the details,” the self-taught artist told Efe.

“I use clay as my principal material, as a symbol of the earth and the fact that everything and everyone comes from it. I combine it with the trash I collect and in that way I try to show the mental trash and spiritual disconnect we’re exposed to every day,” he said.

At 37, Piloto manages to support himself with his sculptures and by teaching art, after years of struggling like most immigrants who come to this country.

“We immigrated out of necessity, like birds and butterflies, and now that I’m on this side I have the chance to practice my art,” Piloto said.

He played American football in Mexico “and when I came to Chicago I thought that was my game, but I was injured jumping over a fence…during a heavy metal concert, not playing.”

With the dream of a sports career behind him, the realities of life led him to work as a cook, a waiter and in construction.

Finally in 2001 a teacher at the center where he was studying English convinced him to go back to his childhood interest in art, when he made sculptures out of scraps of bread and modeling clay.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexican Icon Vicente Fernandez to Have a Biopsy of Lump on Liver

Mexican Icon Vicente Fernandez to Have a Biopsy of Lump on Liver

Photo: Mexican Icon Vicente Fernandez to Have a Biopsy of Lump on Liver

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Mexican singer Vicente Fernandez was to undergo a procedure on Tuesday at a Houston hospital to extract tissue samples for a biopsy of a small lump discovered on his liver.

The news was announced by Fernandez himself on Monday in Chicago, where he attended a ceremony naming a street after him.

In a statement to reporters after the ceremony he said that during a routine medical checkup, a 2-centimeter (3/4-inch) lump was discovered on his liver “that shouldn’t be there.”

Though he said he wasn’t afraid, the 72-year-old “King of the Ranchera” asked his fans to pray for him so that “it will all come out beautifully.”

“I’m a person who is always ready to accept what God wishes, and I hope this comes out as everything in my life has, and that God helps me and that people continue to feel love for me,” he said.

According to a close associate of Fernandez cited Tuesday in the Texas Spanish-language daily La Voz, the singer will be operated Tuesday afternoon at a Houston hospital and for now has suspended the concerts he had scheduled in the Lone Star State as part of his farewell tour.

According to La Voz, on Wednesday the singer and his doctors will review how he is doing and will decide if he can perform in Texas or not.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Disney Ethnically Cleanses Its Princess Sofia –She’s No Longer Latina

Disney Ethnically Cleanses Its Princess Sofia –She’s No Longer Latina

Photo: Disney's Princess Sofia Not Latina

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I recently wrote about the first Latina princess in Disney’s money-making princess franchise, called Princess Sofia.  No sooner had I suggested they get rid of the Latina label before her November debut, Disney waved their magic wand and ethnically cleansed Sofia. 

She’s no longer Latina. 

The vain part of me (which if you know me is the majority of me) would like to take credit for bringing Disney to its knees. 

It wasn’t me. 

Many others wrote about Princess Sofia and complained about her minimal Latino credentials and why she was an affront to some in the Latino community.  It is not a position I shared but rather I did not like the Latina-label because it appeared as an afterthought just meant to garner viewers for the ‘Sofia the First’ movie.

Disney, a.k.a the toy-selling mafia, can snuff out a controversy like no one else.  So on their Facebook page they basically repackaged the character and presented her as a mix of different backgrounds, a cultural mutt if you will.

Specifically they noted:  “All our characters come from fantasy lands that may reflect elements of various cultures and ethnicities but none are meant to specifically represent those real world cultures.”

Disney informed us the animated cable movie incorporates a lot of cultural elements from Asian to Spanish to Scandinavian.  The now former-Latina Sofia’s mother, Miranda, however comes from Gladiz “which was inspired from Spain”.  Nonetheless according to Disney, Sofia is not even Spanish – much like Romney is not Mexican though he was born to a father born in Mexico. 

This makes as much sense as Disney’s ‘WALL-E’ movie.

The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) met with Disney to voice their opposition to the character which they viewed as not very identifiable to Latinos.  Senior Vice President, Nancy Kanter informed them Sofia “is in fact not a Latina character” and that the TV producer misspoke when he identified her as such.  Furthermore, NHMC was excited to share the news that Disney “has an exciting project in early development that does have a Latina as the heroine of the show.”

How early in development do we think this project is - like the inks not dry on the drawings?  Early like, I just made this up in my head while your sitting in my office bitching me out about cultural insensitivity? 

Disney’s Kanter, eager to close the Latina chapter of Princess Sofia’s life said “I am eager for you and your children to meet Sofia and experience her world together!”

No thanks.  Sofia sounds boring even for the 2-7 year-olds the movie targets and Disney sounds placating. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazil Newspapers Say ‘Good-bye’ to Google News

Brazil Newspapers Say ‘Good-bye’ to Google News

Photo: Brazil Newspapers Say 'Good-bye' to Google News

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Brazil’s main newspapers that account for about 90 percent of the country’s circulation have abandoned Google News, banning the search engine section from using their headlines.

The papers say Google News was not paying for their content and was no longer boosting traffic to their websites, and was in fact driving traffic away.

In an interview with the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, Carlos Fernando Lindenberg Neto, the president of Brazil’s National Association of Newspapers (ANJ) said:

Google News benefits commercially from [our] quality content and is unwilling to discuss a remuneration model for the production of these materials.

We concluded (…) that staying in Google News was not helping us grow our digital audiences. On the contrary, by providing the first few lines of our stories to Internet users, the service reduces the changes that they will look at the entire story in our web sites.

Under the ANJ’s recommendation, the news sites under the ANJ have begun opting out of the Google News service, saying that the search engine’s “presence in the Brazilian market is small. We believe (the loss of traffic) is an acceptable price to protect our content and brands.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

TRAGEDY: Father Killed, Wife Wounded Shielding Children from Gunfire, 1 Child Dies

TRAGEDY: Father Killed, Wife Wounded Shielding Children from Gunfire, 1 Child Dies

Photo: Desmond Moses believed to have opened fire on Lamas/Jimenez family - Father, 2-year-old killed

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Police believe Desmond John Moses was the man responsible for tragedy that befell the Lamas/Jimenez family over the weekend.

Police say Moses, 55, and the family had lived in different units on the same Inglewood, California property before Moses was evicted.

On Saturday, Moses reportedly set fire to his house, walked to the family’s home, and with his face covered in a painter’s mask, opened fire.

Trying to protect three of his children, 30-year-old Filimon Lamas used his body to shield them from the bullets. In the end, Lamas gave his life to protect the children, ages 6,7, and 8. Lamas’ wife, 28-year-old Gloria Jimenez was shot in both legs while she attempted to cover their 4-year-old son. Despite her injuries, Jimenez managed to stumble to the street before collapsing with the youngest child in her arms. Unfortunately, the boy was shot in the head and later died. The couple’s oldest child was the only one to escape injury.

The couple’s only girl, the 7-year-old was shot in the chest, while the 6-year-old boy was shot in the pelvis. Both children are said to be in critical but stable condition. Jimenez is also said to be in stable condition.

Following the shooting, police began looking for Moses. A body was found burned inside the home that did not belong to the Lamas/Jimenez family. Police believe the body, which was dressed in body armor and holding a handgun, is that of Moses though it has not been confirmed.

Autopsy results are pending, and police have given few details regarding the case though say Moses and the family had some sort of dispute. Moses had also attempted to start other fires. He was suspected of being a hoarder, and was told he had to be out of his home by the end of the month.

Read more by HS News Staff →

JUST IN:  Ozzie Guillen Ousted from Miami Marlins

JUST IN:  Ozzie Guillen Ousted from Miami Marlins

Photo: Ozzie Guillen Out at Miami Marlins

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The always outspoken manager of the Miami Marlins, Ozzie Guillen has been ousted with no replacement named at this time. 

The Venezuelan firebrand was never one to pass up an opportunity to put his foot in his mouth.  That being said he has always been respected on the baseball field except for this year’s dismal showing.  The team ended the baseball season in last place with a 69-93 record.

Guillen, 48, has been very vocal about the poor treatment he perceives Latino’s get in major league baseball.  His most recent run-of-the-mouth came earlier this year when he was suspended for his pro-Fidel Castro comments.  The former White Sox manager received a five-game suspension by the Marlins. 

Guillen leaves the Marlins with three years remaining on his contract, valued at $7.5 million. 

Guillen was born in Ocumare del Tuy, Venezuela and played professional baseball for the White Sox, Orioles, Braves and Tampa’s Bay Devil Rays.  In 2005 he made baseball history by becoming the first Latino manager to ever win a World Series.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LATINO BLOTTER: Man Convicted of Dragging AZ Student with Car During Robbery

LATINO BLOTTER: Man Convicted of Dragging AZ Student with Car During Robbery

Photo: LATINO BLOTTER: Man Convicted of Dragging AZ Student with Car During Robbery

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Jose Luis Marquez has been convicted of murdering a college student when he dragged her behind his vehicle during an attempted robbery, according to an Arizona jury.

Marquez, 22, was convicted in a Tempe courtroom of first-degree murder and robbery in the death of Kyleigh Sousa, a 21-year-old college student.

On May 26, 2010, Marquez attempted to steal Sousa’s purse outside an IHOP restaurant but her arms became tangled in the purse’s straps. With her arms trapped, Sousa was unable to flee. Marquez drove away in a rented Dodge Charger and dragged Sousa along the asphalt for about 30 feet before her arms were freed.

Sousa was put on life support until her family could fly in from New Jersey. She died from her severe injuries, which included head trauma.

Sousa was a student at Arizona State University who had transferred from Hawaii Pacific University. Her family describes her as generous and kind.

Marquez was arrested 6 months after the incident and the case went to trial after prosecutors rejected a plea deal from Marquez’s lawyer.

He now faces a possible sentence of “natural death in prison for causing a person’s death while committing of fleeing a felony offense.” In August, the Arizona law was amended to eliminate the possibility of early release.

He faces sentencing on December 14.

Since her death, Sousa’s family has set up the Kyleigh Sousa Foundation, which serves to help families of crime victims.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mark Consuelos, Kelly Ripa Working on New Comedy for ABC

Mark Consuelos, Kelly Ripa Working on New Comedy for ABC

Photo: Mark Consuelos, Kelly Ripa Working on New Comedy for ABC

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Mark Consuelos and wife Kelly Ripa are nearly set to executive produce a new ABC comedy to star Consuelos.

According to Deadline, the script for the new series is being finalized and is based on an idea from Kapital Entertainment’s Aaron Kaplan. Peter Murrieta has signed on to write the proposed project and executive producer with Ripa and Consuelos.

The show would be a half-hour revolving around Consuelos’ character, a handyman from Queens who finds himself in the Upper West Side along with his son.

This is the second show ABC and ABC Studios has developed a show starring Consuelos. In 2010, Consuelos was the star of Port Love which was bought by the network. The work place comedy was about the cast and crew of a popular TV series, whose real life was possibly more dramatic than the show they worked on. Port Love never progressed.

Consuelos was born in Zaragoza, Spain, but grew up in Illinois and Florida. In 1995, he joined All My Children, where he met Ripa. The two eloped in 1996 and have three children together.

Read more by HS News Staff →

New York Boy Swallows Toy Part, Whistles for Weeks

New York Boy Swallows Toy Part, Whistles for Weeks

Photo: New York Boy Swallows Toy Part, Whistles for Weeks

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The adults in Hector Flores, Jr.’s life were both confused and annoyed when the 7-year-old began whistling at everything.

The New York boy’s second grade teacher accused him of being disrupted during class, and intentionally whistling at inappropriate times.

While out with his mother, Hector caught her attention with the whistling, and realizing it appeared to be something of which he was not in control, she took him to Bronx Lebanon Hospital.

However, doctors claimed the whistling, which sometimes sounded like a squeak, was a psychological issue. They also claimed Hector had a stomach issue and “had a lot of fecal matter” according to his father, Hector Flores, Sr. The boy was sent home with some pills, but his parents knew something else was going on.

Hector’s father decided to prove that something strange was happening to his son, so he recorded a video of his son squeaking/whistling and returned to the doctor.

Each time Hector laughed the sound could easily be heard. Realizing the situation was more serious that initially handled, doctors ordered an endoscopy operation.

The endoscopy revealed Hector had the squeaky whistle from a rubber duck stuck in his lung.

It is believed the boy swallowed the toy part during a pool party about a month prior and about two weeks after it moved and gave the boy a squeaky whistle.

The piece was removed from Hector’s lung and he is believed to be recovering. The hospital has not given any details, but says the incident is still under investigation.

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East Haven, CT to Resolve Allegations of Latino Racial Profiling

East Haven, CT to Resolve Allegations of Latino Racial Profiling

Photo: East Haven Settles Discrimination Allegations

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The Justice Department today announced that the town of East Haven, Conn., memorialized its intention to enter into a settlement agreement to resolve the department’s civil investigation of allegations that the East Haven Police Department (EHPD) engaged in a pattern or practice of unlawful discrimination against Latinos on account of their race, color or national origin. 

Joseph Maturo Jr., the mayor of East Haven, outlined in a letter broad institutional changes in EHPD’s policies and practices.  The proposed agreement builds on reforms initiated by the town and is intended to strengthen the community’s trust in EHPD. 

In September 2009, the Justice Department opened a pattern or practice investigation into allegations that EHPD officers engaged in discriminatory traffic enforcement, use of excessive force, and unconstitutional searches and seizures in violation of the Constitution and federal anti-discrimination laws.

In December 2011, the department completed its investigation and issued a letter finding reasonable cause to believe that EHPD engaged in a pattern or practice of unlawful discrimination against Latinos and other misconduct.

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Romney Campaign Blames ‘Communication’ Problem for Poor Showing Amongst Latino Voters

Romney Campaign Blames ‘Communication’ Problem for Poor Showing Amongst Latino Voters

Photo: Romney's Lagging Latino Vote

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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign denied Monday that extremist elements of the GOP have driven away Hispanics and said the only reason he was trailing in that segment was due to a “communication” problem.

The latest polls show a towering lead for President Barack Obama among Hispanic voters, with 70 percent of voter preference compared with 25 percent for Romney.

The difference shows that Hispanic voters “are not well informed” and are responding to a “very effective” ad campaign that has distorted the image of the Republican hopeful, former ambassador Otto Reich, spokesman for the Romney campaign in Latin America, told Efe here on Monday.

“We’re not communicating (with those voters) as we should,” he said.

The man who served as the State Department’s top official for Latin America under President George W. Bush said that Democrats have managed to attract supporters by offering them “social programs.”

Reich said Latinos tend to become Republicans the longer they have been in the United States.

“Second- and third-generation Hispanics are more Republican,” Reich said, who denied that his party has anything against immigrants.

“I’m an immigrant and I feel very comfortable being a Republican,” said the Cuban-born former diplomat, who criticized Obama for not fulfilling his promise to pass comprehensive immigration reform during his first year in the White House.

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1,000 People Evacuated after Thieves Rupture Gas Pipeline in Mexico

1,000 People Evacuated after Thieves Rupture Gas Pipeline in Mexico

Photo: Fire at Mexico pipeline, Tepeji del Rio

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More than 1,000 people were evacuated from their homes as a precaution after would-be thieves ruptured a pipeline in the central Mexican town of Tepeji del Rio, authorities said Monday.

The leak also forced the closure of a 30-kilometer (19-mile) stretch of the Mexico City-Queretero highway, the deputy emergency services chief in Hidalgo state, Miguel Garcia-Conde Alvarez, told Efe.

The liquefied petroleum gas pipeline belongs to Petroleos Mexicanos, the state oil monopoly.

“We have around 1,100 people preventatively evacuated,” Garcia-Conde said, adding that it will be up to Pemex to decide when residents can return to their homes.

The Pemex and government technicians dealing with the problem are equipped with explosimeters to gauge the risk of a blast and have tried using water to dissipate the cloud of gas, the official said, pointing out that LP gas is “heavier than air.”

The leak was caused by thieves who tried to siphon fuel from the pipeline, Pemex said in a short statement.

Pemex estimates annual losses from fuel theft at around $500 million.

The federal highway administration said it hoped to reopen the heavily traveled Mexico City-Queretero expressway by Monday evening.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazilian Government Purchases High-tech Oceanography Research Vessel

Brazilian Government Purchases High-tech Oceanography Research Vessel

Photo: Brazilian Government Purchases High-tech Oceanography Research Vessel

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The Brazilian government announced Monday that it will invest 162 million reais ($81 million) in the purchase of a high-tech oceanography research vessel.

The ship, which will join the Brazilian fleet in 2013, “will be among the world’s five best research platforms,” according to a communique from the Science and Technology Ministry.

The acquisition will be possible thanks to an accord that contemplates financial contributions from the ministry, the navy, state-controlled oil company Petrobras and mining giant Vale, the communique said.

“The new oceanographic research vessel will be equipped with the most advanced technology for undersea experimentation,” according to the Science and Technology Ministry.

The ship is intended to expand the nation’s existing infrastructure for marine studies and increase knowledge of territorial waters while training human resources in a field that Brazil considers of strategic importance.

Brazil’s interest in the Atlantic Ocean got a significant boost when Petrobras discovered oil reserves in very deep waters that could make the country one of the world’s biggest exporters of crude.

The priority of the studies “will be to create an inventory of mineral resources and carry out bioprospecting in waters under Brazilian jurisdiction.”

Brazil currently has four vessels that can be used for oceanographic and polar studies.

Three of these ships are operated by the navy, while the fourth was recently acquired by the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest academic institution.

Read more by HS News Staff →



TuesdayOctober 23, 2012