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TuesdayNovember 13, 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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Madrid Councilman May Be Charged For His Role in Halloween Stampede

Madrid Councilman May Be Charged For His Role in Halloween Stampede

Photo: Mourning the stampede's victims

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The judge investigating the tragedy that occurred at a Halloween party at the Madrid Arena where four girls were crushed by a surging crowd has subpoenaed a city councilman for questioning as a possible defendant.

According to court sources, Pedro Calvo, in his capacity as president of the municipal Madrid Espacios y Congresos company, is the person responsible for contracting with municipal locations for holding events like the Halloween party.

Shortly after the incident, municipal sources told Efe that Calvo presented his resignation from all his posts to capital Mayor Ana Botella.

The judge also subpoenaed businessman Miguel Angel Flores, the manager of event organizer Diviertt, and the representative of security firm Kontrol 34.

The magistrate on Tuesday conducted an inspection in the Madrid Arena pavilion, where the deadly event occurred in the wee hours of Nov. 1.

A police report based on images from security cameras revealed that the number of people attending the party significantly exceeded the venue’s allowed capacity of 10,000.

At a certain point, in one of the access passageways a human stampede started, and it was there that the four teenage girls were crushed and a child of 2 - who is still hospitalized - was seriously injured.

Calvo’s is the first resignation by a political official amid the controversy over the tragedy.

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Manuel “Sureshot” Marulanda Companion Claims FARC Guerrillas Rape and Torture Female Insurgents

Manuel “Sureshot” Marulanda Companion Claims FARC Guerrillas Rape and Torture Female Insurgents

Photo: FARC Troops

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The woman who was the companion of FARC guerrilla commander Manuel “Sureshot” Marulanda at the time of his death in March 2008 said the Colombian army regularly rapes and tortures captured female insurgents.

“When the female comrades end up as prisoners, normally they are raped, they are tortured, and sometimes their breasts are cut off,” Sandra Ramirez said in an interview published Tuesday by leftist Germany daily Junge Welt.

“We are war booty for them,” she said.

Colombian soldiers are afraid of facing female guerrillas in battle, according to Ramirez, one of the negotiators who is to represent the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, in impending talks with the government.

“They are afraid because we confront them face to face and we show them we can be very tough in combat. That’s why they vent all their fear, all their anger and all their impotence when they capture a female comrade,” she told the newspaper.

Ramirez also dismissed claims in the Colombian media that the men of the FARC sexually exploit the women in the ranks.

“That’s a lie,” she said. “We freely decide when we want to get together with a comrade if we like him. Here, people fall in love and separate and have disappointments just as everywhere else in the world.”

Marulanda, who founded the FARC in 1964, was about two months shy of 78 when died of a heart attack at a rebel stronghold in the jungle.

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Brazilian Soccer Great Pele Recovering From Hip Surgery

Brazilian Soccer Great Pele Recovering From Hip Surgery

Photo: Soccer Great Pele Recovering From Hip Surgery

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Retired soccer great Pele remains hospitalized here in Brazil’s largest city three days after undergoing hip surgery, doctors said Tuesday.

Surgeons performed an arthroplasty procedure on the right hip of the 72-year-old Edson Arantes do Nascimento, Sao Paulo’s Albert Einstein Hospital said in a statement.

The man widely regarded as the greatest soccer player ever is in “good health” and recovering from the operation, according to the statement.

Pele’s doctors have not offered a time-frame for when he will be discharged, a hospital spokesman told Efe.

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Fish Tale Betrayal: Fishermen Have 300-lb Mystery Fish Stolen (VIDEO)

Fish Tale Betrayal: Fishermen Have 300-lb Mystery Fish Stolen (VIDEO)

Photo: Fish Tale Betrayal: Fishermen Have 300-lb Mystery Fish Stolen

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A video taken in Cabo San Lucas by fishermen aboard the Dr. Pescado II fishing boat on November 1st is undeniable proof that another boat not only stole a rare fish from them, but also lied about it and posed for pictures with their amazing catch before cutting it up and eating it.

It had been more than 20 years since anyone had seen the impressively huge species of fish known as louvar or Luvarus Imperialis, so when the fishermen aboard the Pescado II saw it what would later be identified as a louvar circling on top of the water less than four miles from the Lighthouse off Cabo they were eager to catch the massive fish.

After snatching the 300lb fish, the fishermen decided they wanted to stay out in the water to continue fishing. Not wanted the louvar to spoil in the hot sun, the Pescado II radioed a nearby boat that was heading back to shore.

Those aboard the Marina II agreed to take the fish back to shore and put it on ice for those aboard the Pescado II, an agreement angler Joe Estrada said can be heard on a video captured during the trip.

Estrada was in Cabo, having come down from San Antonio and chartered the Pescado II.

The Marina II took the huge fish back to land and the anglers on Pescado II continued to fish.

Hours later, however, when they arrived back on shore, Estrada and the others discovered their massive fish had not only been claimed by the Marina II and its Capt. Josue Moreno.

Not only had Morena and his fishermen taken credit for the catch, they also posed for photos with it and cut it up, sharing filets with those on the piers.

When the Pescado II returned, they found their fish had been chopped up and was completely gone, leaving nothing for them.

Both the Pescado II and the Marina II work under the greater Pisces Sportfishing Fleet. The company had posted the photos of the fish and Morena standing next to it on their Facebook page before learning the truth about the rare fish find. On November 5th, the company says it learned of the lie and posted a correction.

The video below and a correction were made on the Facebook page.

Moreno posted the following on the company’s page:

My friends and I wanted you to know that we are extremely gracious for your efforts in correcting the story on our behalf. We had the trip of a life time, and you posting the true story made it better. After the loss of the fish, it was gratifying to know the truth did prevail. You were inconvenience and pursued the righteous course of action. For that we will be grateful and respected. Obviously you are a get it done kind of person.

Thank you,

Joe (Moreno)


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Ecuador Ambassador to U.S. in Chicago This Week

Ecuador Ambassador to U.S. in Chicago This Week

Photo: Ecuador Ambassador Cely Suarez in Chicago

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Her Excellency Nathalie Cely Suarez, Ambassador of the Republic of Ecuador to the U.S. will be in Chicago, and is being hosted by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Ecuador was catapulted onto the global stage this summer following the decision to grant asylum at the country’s embassy in London to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. While this situation captured the world’s attention, Ecuador has been quietly enjoying a period of political, economic, and social development.

Rafael Correa is the longest-serving president since 1979, the country’s per capita income more than tripled in the last decade, and the poverty rate has been significantly reduced. Ecuador’s GDP grew by over 7% in 2011 and the economic forecast is positive. Such advances make Ecuador an attractive foreign investment destination, and illustrate the dynamism of Latin America.

Join The Chicago Council and Ambassador Nathalie Cely Suárez for a discussion on the U.S.-Ecuador relationship and the growing investment opportunities in Latin America.  Click here if you are interested in attending. 

This program, on Thursday, November 15, 2012, is preceded by a complimentary wine and cheese reception. The reception is generously supported by PRO ECUADOR.

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Yale University Returns Final Machu Picchu Artifacts to Peru

In 1911, archaeologist Hiram Bingham brought the Peruvian citadel of Machu Picchu international attention.

Bingham and his team went on to take a number of artifacts from the site to the United States, a move the Peruvians claimed was only intended to be temporary.

More than 45,000 pieces were taken to the U.S., including metal pieces, ceramics, and bone fragments.

In 2010, a deal for the artifacts, which resided at Yale University, was made and both sides agreed they would be returned to Peru.

Last year, the first shipments were flown to Cusco, Peru with the last of the remaining artifacts, 127 boxes, arriving on Sunday.

The latest pieces with soon be transferred to “Casa Concha,” where the first two shipments are housed.

Sitting 8,200 feet above seas level, the citadel of Machu Picchu was built by the Incas in the 15th century and now Peru’s most popular tourist attraction, bringing in more than 1 million visitors each year.

Read more by HS News Staff →

SPAIN: Woman Selling “Non-Vital” Organs to Pay her Rent

SPAIN: Woman Selling “Non-Vital” Organs to Pay her Rent

Photo: SPAIN: Woman Selling "Non-Vital" Organs to Pay her Rent

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A Spanish mother is going to extremes to provide a home for herself and her daughter.

A disabled Valencia resident recently gave an interview to El Mundo and disclosed that in order to stay financially afloat, she was planning to auction off a number of her non-vital organs.

The 44-year-old mother said she faces eviction because the 426 Euros she gets in dole dollars – she has severe back pain which makes it hard to find a job – is not enough to pay all of her bills. She has been certified “66 percent disabled” and though she has been offered a low rent home by Valencia City Hall, the 400-Euro rent is still more than she can afford.

The woman and her 22-year-old daughter, who is attending university, have been in financial trouble since the woman ended an abusive relationship three years ago. During their 15-year relationship, she says she was beaten regularly and called the police many times. In the end, however, the man was found not-guilty. The man who beat her is also her landlord, and has said he will evict her the moment she fails to pay rent.

The daughter receives a bit of money following the death of her father a number of years ago, but even that it not enough to keep them afloat.

Believing her body parts are all she has, the cash-strapped mother spoke with a female doctor and posted an ad on an unnamed site offering “the only thing she can raise money from.”

On the not-so-proverbial chopping block, are a number of “non-vital” organs.

She tells El Mundo:

I just need to do what I can for my daughter - her life is what’s most important. I don’t care about my own any more.

I started off trying to sell a kidney, but now I’m not just selling that, I’m also selling my corneas, one of my lungs and a piece of my liver.

If caught, the single mother faces 12 years in jail for illegal organ trafficking.

Read more at El Mundo →

Celebrate What it Truly Means to be ‘Hecho en Mexico’ (VIDEO)

Celebrate What it Truly Means to be ‘Hecho en Mexico’ (VIDEO)

Photo: Celebrate What it Truly Means to be 'Hecho en Mexico'

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From Diego Luna and Alejandro Fernandez, to Carla Morrison and Chavela Vargas, director Duncan Bridgeman weaves a cinematic tapestry composed of original songs and insights from the most iconic artists and performers of contemporary Mexico. With striking visuals, the movie captures the rich diversity of Mexican geography, art, music, and culture. It is a rare look at the country’s real identity, and an unparalleled celebration of what it truly means to be “Hecho en Mexico.”

This documentary on some of contemporary Mexico’s most iconic artists and performers opens in the U.S. on November 30.


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Actress Joanna Garcia and MLB’s Nick Swisher Expecting Baby in Spring

Actress Joanna Garcia and MLB’s Nick Swisher Expecting Baby in Spring

Photo: Actress Joanna Garcia and MLB's Nick Swisher Expecting Baby in Spring

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Actress Joanna Garcia has announced that she and her beau are expecting their first child.

Garcia, whose first major role was as pregnant teen Cheyenne Hart Montgomery on the CW comedy Reba (2001-2007), has been married to Nick Swisher since 2010.

Swisher is a professional baseball player and recently declined a $13.3 million one-year qualifying offer from the Yankees. He is currently a free agent.

“Baby Swisher” is expected to arrive in the Spring.

On Tuesday, Garcia and Swisher each tweeted the baby news.

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Lucia Aldana Crowned Miss Colombia, Set to Compete for Miss Universe

Lucia Aldana Crowned Miss Colombia, Set to Compete for Miss Universe

Photo: Lucia Aldana, Miss Colombia

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Lucia Aldana, a student of communications and journalism from the southwestern province of Valle del Cauca, was elected Colombia’s new beauty queen at the Caribbean city of Cartagena.

The 20-year-old beauty, who competed in the National Beauty Contest together with 24 other candidates, will represent her country in the Miss Universe 2013 pageant.

The new Miss Colombia, the 60th in the history of the national competition, was one of public’s favorites to win the scepter and crown.

Press and pundits noted that Aldana was on her way to taking the title from the very outset of the contest by the way she won people’s affection.

The choice of the college girl showed how the country can be unified “through beauty,” the president of the National Beauty Contest, Raimundo Angulo, told Efe.

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Lonely Plant Names Dominican Republic ‘Best in Travel for 2013’

Lonely Plant Names Dominican Republic ‘Best in Travel for 2013’

Photo: Traveling to Dominican Republic

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Lonely Planet, a leading travel publisher, has named Dominican Republic as one of its Top 10 Countries for 2013 in its annually published Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2013. Lonely Planet draws upon the input of its staff, authors and online community for recommendations for the book, with the final list being decided upon by an in-house panel of experts.

Lonely Planet’s top ten countries are chosen based on their diverse activities, exciting adventures, rich culture, off-the-beaten-track credibility or overall X-factor. Dominican Republic and the other nine countries are destinations Lonely Planet thinks travelers should go to due to something special going on that year, recent development, a lot of buzz, or that they are up-and-coming and therefore should be visited before the crowds set in.

“We are thrilled to be recognized by Lonely Planet as a ‘Best in Travel 2013′ destination. This recognition of our magnificent island nation’s pristine nature, unparalleled culture and gastronomy underscores and affirms the growing awareness of the magical beauty and culture found only in Dominican Republic,” said Magaly Toribio, Marketing Advisor for the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism.

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Paraguay Gives “Kiss” Band Lots of Love

Paraguay Gives “Kiss” Band Lots of Love

Photo: Kiss Band in Paraguay

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The American rock band Kiss thrilled 30,000 fans in the Paraguayan capital of Asuncion with songs and a show that went back over the group’s 40 years as an international rock sensation.

Vocalist and guitarist Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons on bass, Tommy Thayer playing guitar and drummer Eric Singer opened the show at 10:00 p.m. with their classic “Detroit Rock City” at the Jockey Club on the outskirts of the Paraguayan capital.

With the words “Buenas noches, Paraguay, tonight will really be a night that rocks!” Paul Stanley introduced a true apotheosis of a concert that attracted an audience of all ages including kiddies and thousands who had painted themselves with those well-known Kiss faces.

With “Detroit Rock City” the group set off the musical fireworks that made the Paraguayan “Kiss Army” go crazy from the first chords, with Paul Stanley doing his typical dance and Gene Simmons sticking out his tongue.

Then came “Shout it out loud,” “Calling Dr. Love,” “Hotter Than Hell,” “I Love It Loud,” Black Diamond,” “Lick It Up” and “I Was Made for Loving You,” along with “Hell” and “Halleluja” from their latest disc “Monster”. Eighteen numbers in an almost two-hour show that drove the Paraguayan public wild.

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Mexico’s Once-Fabled Resort Town of Acapulco is BROKE

Mexico’s Once-Fabled Resort Town of Acapulco is BROKE

Photo: Acapulco is Broke

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The world famous Mexican Pacific resort city of Acapulco is broke and unable to deal with a debt load that is expected to hit 2.14 billion pesos ($162.1 million) by Dec. 31, a figure that is larger than the annual budget, municipal officials said.

“We need the federal government to invest in Acapulco so we can get out of this. Otherwise, we are not going to get out of it,” Mayor Luis Walton said in a press conference.

The resort city’s government and the state government lack the financial resources to rescue the municipal government, the mayor said Monday.

The government of former mayor Manuel Añorve, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, is responsible for Acapulco’s problems, Walton, who took office just over a month ago, said.

“This is an economic disaster ... today, when we have plenty of problems, we have to deal with the financial problems, which is really regrettable,” the mayor said.

Acapulco, one of Mexico’s most famous tourist destinations, has been plagued by drug-related violence in recent years.

The Guerrero state government launched a security operation last year with the support of the federal government to step up security in areas frequented by foreign and domestic tourists.

“Operation Safe Guerrero” was launched on Oct. 6, 2011, in an effort to reduce the soaring crime rate in the state.

Acapulco, a favorite among Mexican and foreign tourists for decades, has lost business to other destinations due to the violence.

President Felipe Calderon made an appearance in the Pacific resort city in May to officially launch a new crime-fighting plan.

The goal of the “Todos por Acapulco” program, which is based on an initiative implemented in the violent border city of Ciudad Juarez, is to end drug-related violence and promote development in the resort city.

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Spanish Business Says Officials Not Doing Enough to Find Son Kidnapped in Mexico

Spanish Business Says Officials Not Doing Enough to Find Son Kidnapped in Mexico

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A Spanish businessman living in Mexico whose adult son was kidnapped nine months ago said authorities have not done enough to rescue him.

“I located him three times and in none of (those cases) did they launch operations,” Jose Luis Crespo de las Casas told Efe.

The native of the Canary Islands has lived in Mexico for 33 years running his natural fertilizer firm.

“At first, the police thought to pursue the case quietly, but I exploded and I’m going everywhere because I have no news of him,” the businessman said.

Jose Luis Crespo Llabres, 36, was kidnapped on Feb. 4 in Tepic, a town in the western state of Nayarit.

The last time that Crespo de las Casas had direct information about his son was four days later, when his abductors put him on the telephone and the father was able to confirm that he was alive.

Before that, Crespo de las Casas paid part of the ransom the kidnappers were demanding.

“They called me and told me to look out the front door of my house. I looked out and there was the ear of my son,” said the Spaniard.

At the time of the kidnapping, the businessman decided not to report the crime, but when the criminals sent him his son’s ear he went to an army commander in Tepic and also to the Nayarit state Attorney General’s Office, who recommended that he deliver part of the ransom money.

The kidnappers demanded 8 million pesos ($605,000), “a laughable amount” if they were taking into account the businessman’s economic capabilities, and he said he wound up paying the equivalent of $40,800, which he placed beside a highway at a spot the criminals indicated.

After that, they called him by telephone and told him that they had counted the money and they told him he could pick up his son at another location.

“I went to find him and they didn’t show up. I was there for more than three hours until the police came and told me to leave,” said the Spaniard, who - tired of what he says is the fact that there has been no official word about his son, not even from the Spanish Embassy in Mexico - decided to go to the media with information about the case.

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Spain Economic Minister:  Economic Reforms Producing “Positive Signs”

Spain Economic Minister:  Economic Reforms Producing “Positive Signs”

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Spain’s efforts to trim its budget deficit and put its financial house in order are producing “positive signs,” the Iberian nation’s economy minister said here Monday in an appearance before the European Parliament.

Luis de Guindos expressed his confidence Monday in the way Spain is headed now, despite the European Commission’s forecast that the Spanish government will run a deficit equal to 8 percent of GDP this year and 6 percent in 2013, well above Madrid’s projections of 6.5 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively.

“We’re aware that economic forecasts for Spain by international organizations are below our expectations, but those forecasts are not carved in stone,” he told Euro lawmakers.

In Spain, he said, we’re already seeing positive signs that our efforts at correcting the deficit will start producing effects in the medium term,” and pointed to the excellent prospects for Spanish exports.

He did stress, however, that the broader euro zona crisis comes on top of Spain’s own congenital economic woes.

Spain is living up to its commitments…and suffering from being the breakwater of the euro zone,” De Guindos said, adding that “the sooner the crisis of the euro’s credibility is resolved, the sooner Spain will be back on the road to growth.”

After his appearance at the European Parliament, the minister quickly departed for a gathering of euro zone finance officials to discuss the situation in Greece.

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TuesdayNovember 13, 2012