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SaturdayNovember 17, 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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Spanish King Juan Carlos To Undergo Hip Surgery

Spanish King Juan Carlos To Undergo Hip Surgery

Photo: King Juan Carlos

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Spain’s King Juan Carlos said here Friday that next week he will undergo surgery on his left hip.

The monarch made the announcement during a dinner he hosted for heads of state who traveled to Cadiz for the 22nd Ibero-American Summit.

“As you can see, I have some problems of movement that have reappeared over the last few days that will oblige me to follow doctors’ recommendations and interrupt my official agenda in order to…be operated on the left hip, which is in a pretty bad way,” Juan Carlos told his guests.

“Though doctors recommended that I head straight for the surgery room, I wanted to postpone it at least until next week so I can be here with all of you, my Ibero-American brothers and sisters, in order to strengthen together this extraordinary assemblage of affinities and affections that is our Ibero-America,” he said.

The king, who has traveled some 70,000 kilometers (44,000 miles) on official trips over the past six months, said that “I haven’t missed any of our meetings in 21 years and I wasn’t going to miss this one, especially since Spain is the host.”

Despite suffering discomfort in his left hip for several days after undergoing two operations on his right hip in April, Juan Carlos is determined to fulfill his Ibero-American commitments next Monday at the Royal Palace, where he will offer a lunch for Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

That will be the king’s last official function before the operation.

Read more by HS News Staff →

‘Dog Whisperer’ Cesar Millan Reveals Suicide Attempt in 2010

‘Dog Whisperer’ Cesar Millan Reveals Suicide Attempt in 2010

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Cesar Millan, famously known as the “Dog Whisperer” from his show of the same name, has opened up about a suicide attempt in 2010, in which he overdosed.

Millan revealed in an upcoming Nat Geo Wild documentary that he tried to take his own life following two life-changing experiences; the death of his dog Daddy and his split with his wife of 16 years.

“It was hard, because I wasn’t expecting it,” Millan explains of his divorce from his wife Illusion to E! News. “I went into a big depression. I lost a lot of weight. And I felt that I lost the most important thing, which was my family.”

Millan has since moved on with Jahira Dar, and says he got over his suicide attempt by focusing on exercising and work.

He said he will soon propose to Dar, after he gets permission from her parents, who he said he knows “they are going to say yes.”

“I think my life has everything, you know, it has comedy has drama has action,” he continued. “I don’t know about the ending yet. I’m just glad I can tell the story.

Hopefully people get inspired, they get motivated. It doesn’t matter where you come from. Really what I would like for people to get out of this is just to not lose hope, no matter what happens. You should never lose hope.”

Extra reports that Cesar Millan: The Real Story will air on Nov. 25.

Read more at Celebrity Cafe →

Transexual Wins Election in Small Cuban Town

Transexual Wins Election in Small Cuban Town

Photo: Jose Agustin Hernandez, aka Adela

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A transexual who lives as a woman in a central Cuban village said her election to local office is the “biggest victory” possible over all the “repudiation” she has suffered in her 48 years.

In local elections this month in the central town of Caibarien, Jose Agustin Hernandez, who now goes by the name Adela, won the post of delegate to the Municipal Assemblies of Popular Power, something unprecedented for a transsexual on the island, according to some Cuban activists.

“My two rivals were officials of that assembly, and I’m just somebody from the street, an openly gay person who has felt like a woman since I was born and who was injected with female hormones three years ago,” Hernandez, who works as an electrocardiogram technician at a hospital, told Efe.

She said her victory in the elections fills her with “pride” and shows that now “there is more acceptance” on the Communist-ruled island.

“This is one more challenge to help overcome the pain I’ve carried inside me for so long and that began with my family rejecting me. I always did what I chose in society - they didn’t want me to dress as a woman, the cops sneered at me, but I kept doing it, and I’ve got people to respect me as I am,” she said.

Her neighbors and voters, she said, are her “family,” and she has a “duty” to them to at least make sure the authorities fix the problems of street lighting and the streets being flooded all the time.

“My community accepts me as I am and that’s my victory, I tell things the way they are and I’m going to seek justice for them,” she said.

Around the neighborhood, where some speak of “him” and others of “her,” most of the locals asked by Efe complained of the authorities’ neglect and believe that Hernandez is the right delegate because she is not afraid to say what she feels.

For now, Hernandez believes that “Cuban society is more advanced” and for that she is thankful for the work of the National Sex Education Center, or Cenesex, directed by Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro.

Read more by HS News Staff →

“Night of the Stars” Draws Thousands of Participants in Mexico

“Night of the Stars” Draws Thousands of Participants in Mexico

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Thousands of Mexicans were taking part Saturday in the 4th “Night of the Stars” being held at a number of sites around the country under the guidance of astronomers who will share their knowledge about the different celestial phenomena.

In Mexico City, residents were invited to take part at the capital’s huge Zocalo plaza and at the Luis Enrique Erro Planetarium of the National Polytechnic Institute, or IPN, where countless telescopes have been installed so they can find and identify stars, planets and galaxies.

The organizers said on their Web site that the program of activities, which began Saturday at noon and was to end Saturday night, includes workshops, conferences and exploring outer space through telescopes.

They said that stargazers can bring their own telescopes if they wish.

“Night of the Stars” began in 2009 in Mexico with the aid of France and has attracted a total of more than 500,000 people to its three previous presentations, which were served by some 15,000 volunteers and provided the public with the use of more than 3,000 telescopes.

According to the organizers, the purpose is to get people familiar with observing the heavens and in that way make science a more deeply rooted part of Mexican culture.

During “Night of the Stars,” participants will be able to increase their knowledge astronomically from the conferences “Astronomers and their Discoveries” with Ana Maria Hidalgo, “Evolution of the Galaxies: Where do they come from and where are they going?” by Isaura Fuentes Carrera, “Traveling to the Frontiers of the Universe” by Hector Osvaldo Castañeda, “Mayan Year” with Ignacio Vega, and “The Mythology of Astronomy through Time” by Wilder Chicana Nuncebay.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Newly Elected Latino Officials Partake in Political Boot Camp

Newly Elected Latino Officials Partake in Political Boot Camp

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The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund will convene more than 60 newly elected Latino state legislators, county and municipal officials, and school board members from across the country for the group’s 9th Biennial NALEO National Institute for Newly Elected Officials in Washington, D.C.

The Institute, held at the Kellogg Conference Hotel at Gallaudet University from November 15-18, 2012, is an intensive training seminar designed to help newly elected Latino officials acquire the tools and information necessary to move their communities forward.

The three-and-a-half day “boot camp” offers a comprehensive introduction to public service, with seminars addressing budgeting, staffing, policymaking, and other key governance issues. Participants will join experts and other elected officials from all levels of government for this unique, non-partisan skills development and training program in the nation’s Capitol.

Attendees include U.S. Rep. Elect Mary Lujan Grisham (D NM-1)—the first Latina to represent her state in the U.S. House of Representatives—and U.S. Rep. Elect Tony Cardenas (D CA-29)—the first Latino U.S. Rep. from Southern Calif.’s San Fernando Valley area.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Vanessa Hudgens Never Wants to Film a Sex Scene with James Franco Again

Vanessa Hudgens Never Wants to Film a Sex Scene with James Franco Again

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In the upcoming film Spring Breakers, former Disney darling Vanessa Hudgens shares a sexy, intimate scene with hunky costar James Franco. But oddly enough, the star says she would “never want to do it again.”

Us Weekly reports that the 23-year-old actress sat down for an interview for the Winter 2012 issue of Glow magazine, where she dished on the racy new role and why she couldn’t handle the steamy sex scene.

“It was very nerve-wracking for me,” Hudgens admitted. “I told my agent that I never want to do it ever again.”

Franco, 34, also revealed his attitude about the sex scene, telling E! in September, “I guess I just try to stay relaxed [and] don’t use any teeth.”

According to Just Jared, Hudgens also dished on cutting her hair and gaining weight for a role in the upcoming film Gimme Shelter.

“With so many actresses who want the exact same role, you’ve got to stand out and be different and not let anybody tell you no,” the star said. “At the end of the day, I’m going to do what I want to do, regardless of whether it may upset someone. But I think that if I’m doing right for myself, then that’s all I really need to care about.”

Read more at The Celebrity Cafe →

IDB to Support Medium-size Companies in Latin America

IDB to Support Medium-size Companies in Latin America

Photo: IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno

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The President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Luis Alberto Moreno, announced that the Bank will provide financing and technical advice to medium-size enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean seeking to establish or expand international operations.

The IDB will provide commercial banks with $70 million for expanding their lines of credit to firms wishing to export or invest abroad, Moreno said.The Bank also will make available $350 million in guarantees through local banks to companies that participate in international bidding for the provision of services.

President Moreno made the announcement on the first day of the XXII Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government.

Small and medium-size enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean are lagging behind other regions of the world when it comes to overseas operations, Moreno said. In Latin America barely one in 10 these companies carry out international activities, compared to one in four in the European Union. The reason is that they lack funding and access to information and services, which constitute barriers to participation in global markets.

The IDB will consolidate tools to help these firms’ efforts to operate overseas through a new platform calledConnectaméricas. The platform, which will provide businesses with information on potential trade partners and investors as well as data on tariffs and other trade rules, will be developed in collaboration with export promotion agencies and major business schools in Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula, said Moreno.

The financial instruments for medium-size companies are part of a suite of options that the IDB makes available to firms of all sizes in the region. The Bank’s Trade Finance Facilitation Program has supported 2,966 trade and investment transactions for companies from 18 countries in the region for a total of $2.6 billion.

On Nov. 19, Moreno was to participate in a conference with more than 100 companies from the Iberian peninsula that will describe IDB partnership opportunities for the private sector in Latin America and the Caribbean. The event will take place at the IDB’s European office in Madrid.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colombians Arrested for Selling Sensitive U.S. Information to Drug Traffickers

Colombians Arrested for Selling Sensitive U.S. Information to Drug Traffickers

Photo: Freddy Mauricio Tellez-Buitrago

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Earlier this week in Bogotá, two Colombian nationals were arrested for obstructing justice by selling sensitive and confidential U.S. law enforcement information to a narcotics trafficker concerning prosecutions in New York. The arrests are the result of an extensive investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Freddy Mauricio Tellez-Buitrago and Adriana Gonzalez-Marquez were arrested today. Tellez-Buitrago is employed as an administrative services assistant at the Office of the Attorney General of Colombia, International Affairs. Gonalez-Marquez, a former prosecutor at the attorney general’s office, is now a Colombian criminal defense attorney. The indictment charging the defendants with obstruction of justice was unsealed today in New York.

The defendants’ arrests resulted from an HSI investigation which revealed that Tellez-Buitrago had specialized access to law enforcement materials, including requests from the U.S. government for the extradition of alleged Colombian drug traffickers. Typically, the Colombian authorities treat such extradition requests as sensitive and confidential until the arrest of the individual whose extradition is sought.

Tellez-Buitrago is charged with accepting bribes from Gonzalez-Marquez in exchange for leaking documents relating to U.S. extradition requests for narcotics traffickers. Gonzalez-Marquez, in turn, allegedly sold the information to a narcotics trafficker in exchange for $30,000.

If convicted, Tellez-Buitrago and Gonzalez-Marquez each face up to 20 years in federal prison.

Read more by HS News Staff →

104 Year Old Brazilian Architect’s Health Deteriorating

104 Year Old Brazilian Architect’s Health Deteriorating

Photo: Oscar Niemeyer and his design

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Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, hospitalized at a medical center since early this month, has suffered a deterioration of his kidney function, medical authorities said Saturday.

The celebrated 104-year-old architect, who was admitted to Rio de Janeiro’s Samaritano Hospital on Nov. 2, is lucid and receiving respiratory physiotherapy according to the latest medical bulletin, which offered no further details about Niemeyer’s renal problem.

According to the director of the medical center, Fernando Gjorup, who signed the bulletin, at present there is no plan for Niemeyer’s release, since his condition requires medical attention.

Doctors monitoring the architect’s health said Friday that the patient had suffered a digestive hemorrhage, which, however, was under control - one more complication on top of his kidney problems.

Niemeyer spent two weeks in hospital in October and was then released, but was soon readmitted due to a relapse.

His wife, Vera Lucia Cabreira Niemeyer, said when he was hospitalized for the second time that the centenarian architect was working on several projects, among which she mentioned a cultural center in Morocco and a library in Algiers.

His family has faith that Niemeyer will be able to celebrate his 105th birthday at home on Dec. 15.

A disciple of Switzerland’s Charles Edouard Jeanneret-Gris, known as Le Corbusier, Niemeyer has been one of the leading exponents of architectural modernism and created the principal government buildings of Brasilia, the capital city he designed together with architect and urban planner Lucio Costa.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Qatar Airways to be Main Sponsor on Barcelona’s Jersey

Qatar Airways to be Main Sponsor on Barcelona’s Jersey

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FC Barcelona’s jerseys will carry the name Qatar Airways starting next July in compliance with a request from the Spanish club’s current main sponsor, Qatar Sports Investments.

The team’s economic vice president, Javier Faus, confirmed the name switch Friday in statements to Barca TV, noting that the shirt sponsorship deal with QSI is worth 171 million euros ($218 million) over five years.

Barcelona’s shirts have featured the Qatar Foundation name since the start of the 2011-2012 season.

“Out of loyalty to that sponsor, just because they asked us, we had the minimal obligation to honor (the request),” Faus said.

He said the airline has had a presence at Barcelona’s international airport since last summer and plans to invest more in that facility.

“We thought that a foreign company that wanted to come to our country under the current economic circumstances deserves our full respect,” Faus said, referring to Spain’s severe economic crisis.

He noted that the contract with QSI allows a logo switch on the jersey starting in the third year of the deal.

FC Barcelona and QSI, meanwhile, agreed to designate the Qatar Foundation at the soccer club’s official human development sponsor.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latinos Aren’t a Sleeping Giant. Latinos are Awake, Standing and Listening.

Latinos Aren’t a Sleeping Giant. Latinos are Awake, Standing and Listening.

Photo: NewsTaco

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By Victor Landa, NewsTaco

There’s a difference between waking up and standing up. And there comes a point where old, tired analogies should be scuttled. Latino politics are at that point; the recent national election emphasized it with several ending exclamation marks.

72% to 75% of the Latino vote went for Barack Obama, depending on which poll you’re reading. And overall consensus seems to be that close to 12 million Latinos went to the polls. So I can understand the easy reach to the “sleeping giant” analogy. But there’s a larger thing happening that get’s understated in the image of an over sized voter, yawning and rubbing the sleep from its eyes.Image

Latinos didn’t wake up this election.

The fact is that the number of registered Latino voters has been growing steadily for several decades and the percentage of Latino participation has been increasing as well. The false image is a result of slippery percentages, because as the real number of participating Latinos has increased, the percentage of the total has been diminishing – but that’s because the community of eligible voters is growing so fast that we’re unable to maintain the percentage above water.
All that to say that Latino voters haven’t suddenly woken up.

If anything, many other-than-Latino politicians have woken up, with a start, and at first glance, because they’ve never given Latino voters a close look, suddenly see a giant where they hadn’t seen one before. So it’s their problem, no one else’s.

Latinos stood up, and that’s different.

Latinos felt compelled to go to the polls and have their voices heard because of the nasty rhetoric coming from the conservative right. They felt empowered to stand in line in some cases for hours at a time in response to the threat and deliberate acts of voter suppression. So if there is a word to describe what Latinos felt this election, something that stood out above other issues and other election, I’d say it was respect, or it’s flip side disrespect.

Latinos felt disrespected.

Not that it’s anything new. But this time the disrespect was more blatant, loud and obvious than ever. So much so that Latinos felt compelled to stand and vote. And now the politicians who missed the call are scrambling to understand what happened, re-wording their past in a contrite assessment of their negligence, as if admitting their mistake erases the blunder.

But it’s going to take much more than that. Because, if they haven’t yet noticed:

Latinos are awake, standing and listening.

This article was first published in NewsTaco.

NewsTaco provides you with innovative and insightful news, critique, analysis and opinion from a Latino perspective in a 24-hour world.

Read more at NewsTaco →

INFOGRAPHIC: A Hispanic Thanksgiving

INFOGRAPHIC: A Hispanic Thanksgiving

Photo: Hispanically Speaking News

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As with many traditional American holidays, Hispanics have added their own touch.  In Hispanic households Pavohcòn, Calabaza en Tacha, and Tostones have found their place on the Thanksgiving dinner table. 

Check out Hispanically Speaking News’ infographic looking at how Thanksgiving has been Hispanicized.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Click to enlarge.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Blog del Narco: PGR offers 5 million pesos for ” El Pollo”- “Chicken” Leader of Knight Templar

Blog del Narco: PGR offers 5 million pesos for ” El Pollo”- “Chicken” Leader of Knight Templar

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The PGR has offered up to 5 million pesos ($380,000 approx) to anyone with information leading to the capture of Pablo Mondragón Peña, “The Chicken”. He is one of the leaders of the Knights Templar and is allegedly responsible for various criminal acts committed against citizens in Michoacán and Guanajuato.

Through an agreement published Thursday in the Official Journal of the Federation (DOF), the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) also offers up to three million pesos for those who provide information enabling the identification and arrest of other members of that criminal organization that acted in complicity with “El Pollo”.

” On July 26, 2012, the Special Unit for Crimes & kidnapping (UEIDS) dependent Attorney Specialized Investigation of Organized Crime (SEIDO) of this Office, initiated an investigation on charges of organized crime, against health and extortion committed against businesses in the states of Michoacan and Guanajuato ” says the document.

”  We have identified the involvement of members of the criminal organization calling itself the Knights Templar, led by Pablo Mondragón Peña “.
“El Pollo” is indicated and accused of working as a drug cartel, drug crimes and extortion, plus the resulting.

” For these reasons, we offer a reward to who provides accurate, effective, efficient and useful information to the location, arrest or detention of Mondragón Pablo Peña, alias ‘the Chicken’, “the PGR.

Read more at Blog del Narco

Read more in Spanish at Blog del Narco

Read more by HS News Staff →

Davis Cup Final: Ferrer Gives Spain 1-0 Lead

Davis Cup Final: Ferrer Gives Spain 1-0 Lead

Photo: Davis Cup Final: Ferrer Gives Spain 1-0 Lead

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David Ferrer got Spain off to a strong start in the Davis Cup final, trouncing Czech Radek Stepanek 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 here Friday in the opening singles match.

Demonstrating the solid baseline play he is known for and blocking out the enthusiastic crowd of 8,000 spectators, the 30-year-old Ferrer took the match in just under three hours.

The veteran Czech, 33, was unable to take advantage of the quick indoor hard court surface at Prague’s O2 Arena, winning a paltry 51 percent of his first-serve points and repeatedly struggling to hold serve.

For the match, Stepanek faced a whopping 25 break points. Although Ferrer’s conversion rate was poor, the five service breaks he earned proved sufficient.

Stepanek, known for his attacking style, tried to pressure the Spaniard with constant net approaches, but he was only able to win 58 percent of those points due to Ferrer’s strong passing shots and defense.

The Czech also committed a total of 46 unforced errors for the match, compared to 30 for Ferrer, and expressed displeasure with the pressure of the balls.

With the win, Ferrer notched his seventh win in 10 matches against Stepanek and ran his career Davis Cup record to 22-4.

Friday’s second singles match will pit Spain’s Nicolas Almagro, the world’s 11th-ranked player, against Czech world No. 6 Tomas Berdych.

Spain is seeking its sixth Davis Cup championship, while the Czechs’ only title in tennis’ premier international team competition came in 1980.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Denver To Begin Bilingual Education Program For Immigrants

Denver To Begin Bilingual Education Program For Immigrants

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Leaders of the Denver Public Schools and the Congress of Hispanic Educators unanimously approved Friday an agreement on modifying a nearly 30-year-old plan for teaching English to immigrant students.

The agreement was hailed as a victory for the CHE, one of the original plaintiffs in the 1974 lawsuit that led to the 1984 consent decree establishing the plan.

After several months of negotiations, the CHE, DPS and Justice Department reached consensus in October on a document to update the programs for English-language learners to keep up with the technological and demographic changes of the last few decades.

The CHE, DPS and Justice Deparment presented Friday their joint proposal to U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch, who has been hearing the case since 1984.

This document establishes new rules for bilingual education classes for 36,000 DPS students who do not speak English.

Nearly 90 percent of those students are Latinos.

“It hasn’t been easy over the years, and it has been adversarial in the past,” CHE board member Martha M. Urioste said. “When you think how long we’ve been doing this, it’s a huge, optimistic victory.”

The new accord mandates that all DPS schools offer bilingual classes, asks for adequate training for teachers and principals for this task, awards rights to parents and establishes a system to monitor students’ progress.

The modifications will take effect in stages over the next three years.

“Today we’re standing on the shoulders of people who fought or a long time to guarantee students’ rights. But unfortunately, the fight continues,” Kathy Escamilla, professor of education at the University of Colorado and a member of CHE, told Efe.

The new agreement guarantees that “the rights of children take precedence over the whims that any new leadership might have,” she said.

Exactly when Judge Matsch will hand down his final verdict on the case is not yet known.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spanish Firm Creating 2,000 Jobs Throughout Latin America

Spanish Firm Creating 2,000 Jobs Throughout Latin America

Photo: Indra Sistemas

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Spain-based technology multinational Indra Sistemas plans to strengthen its commitment to Latin America by hiring between 1,500 and 2,000 local employees in that region in 2013, half of them in Brazil.

Indra’s international director, Emilio Diaz, said Friday on the sidelines of the Ibero-American Summit in Cadiz, Spain, that the IT and defense systems company’s goal is to attract local talent in Latin America to further its growth plans.

He also touted Indra’s expansion in Latin America, which currently accounts for 25 percent of the company’s total sales.

The executive said Indra’s operations in the region are focused on infrastructure modernization, especially of airports, seaports, roads and railways.

Brazil, where Indra is carrying out infrastructure modernization and defense projects, accounts for 40 percent of the company’s business volume and personnel in Latin America and is its second-biggest market after Spain.

In Mexico, Indra’s operations are more oriented to public safety and hydric infrastructure.

Diaz underscored the company’s technology and knowledge transfers to that area of the world, where technological tools are introduced and also exported to other parts of the planet.

Indra is one of the biggest employers in Latin America, providing jobs to 14,000 people, or more than one-third of the company’s global workforce of 40,000 professionals.

The company, whose 2012 fiscal year ended with an increase in Latin America sales of between 8 percent and 9 percent relative to 2011, has seen a 12-fold rise in revenue from its Latin American operations over the past six years.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Many Questioning Organized Crime Prosecutor’s Resignation in Mexico

Many Questioning Organized Crime Prosecutor’s Resignation in Mexico

Photo: Jose Cuitlahuac Salinas

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The government needs to provide a more detailed explanation of the sudden resignation of the head of the organized-crime division of the Attorney General’s Office, the leader of Mexico’s main leftist party said Friday.

The AG’s office announced Thursday that Jose Cuitlahuac Salinas was stepping down for “reasons of a strictly personal nature.”

Salinas spent a year in the post, which plays a key role in the Mexican government’s battle with powerful drug cartels.

“It is worrisome that this departure occurs” just two weeks from the end of President Felipe Calderon’s six-year term, PRD party chairman Jesus Zambrano said Friday.

Complaining of the lack of “sufficient information” about Salinas’ resignation, Zambrano cited “extraofficial” accounts that the now-former deputy attorney general was being investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

The PRD leader did not offer a source for that claim.

Mexican media have suggested Salinas left because of differences with his boss, Attorney General Marisela Morales, over how to handle a number of high-profile cases.

During his tenure, Salinas fired some subordinates on suspicion they were colluding with organized crime and he has spoken of receiving death threats from drug cartels.

One of Salinas’ predecessors at the head of the organized-crime unit, Noe Ramirez Mandujano, was arrested in 2008 and charged with taking $450,000 a month from the Sinaloa drug cartel.

President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto is expected to name a new attorney general when he takes office next month.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Report: Europeans Consuming Less Heroin, Cocaine

Report: Europeans Consuming Less Heroin, Cocaine

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The European Union is observing signs of the stabilization and even a drop in cocaine and heroin consumption, but it warns about the proliferation of new synthetic drugs.

This is the general panorama presented by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction, or EMCDDA, in its annual report for 2012, which was released Thursday in Lisbon.

The study, prepared with national statistics from 2010 provided by the 27 EU member states plus Croatia, Turkey and Norway, notes that heroin and cocaine “continue to account for a large share of the harm, morbidity and mortality associated with drug use in Europe.”

The EMCDDA estimates that 1.4 million Europeans are “problem” consumers of opiates, among which is heroin, a substance that represents 50 percent of all requests for addiction treatment on the continent.

The report says that cocaine consumption reached its apex during 2008-2009 and since then the trend has been down.

The report estimates that about 15.5 million Europeans - out of a total EU population of more than 500 million - have tried cocaine at some time in their lives and 4 million did so during the past year.

Calculations are that 80 million Europeans have tried marijuana at least once in their lives and 23 million have used it within the past year.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Oil Firm Plans to Invest $3 Billion in Southern Argentina

Argentine oil company YPF, under state control after a 51 percent stake was expropriated from Spain’s Repsol, said it plans to invest $3.1 billion over the next five years in the southern province of Santa Cruz.

The company pledged that level of investment after reaching a deal with the provincial government to extend concession periods in some areas.

“The accord guarantees a longer-term horizon with record investment and lasting sources of employment, as well as increased tax revenue for the province,” YPF said in a statement Thursday.

The agreement stipulates that the company’s investment outlay in Santa Cruz, one of Argentina’s leading oil-producing provinces, will exceed “$3.1 billion over the next five years, thereby doubling YPF’s average (annual) investment in the province during the past five years,” the statement said.

“This decision drastically reverses the planned disinvestment by the previous controllers of this company in that province,” YPF said.

The company has been under Argentine government control since Congress voted in May to approve the seizure of a 51 percent stake from Spanish oil major Repsol, whose interest in its former unit has been reduced to 12 percent.

Read more by HS News Staff →



SaturdayNovember 17, 2012