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WednesdayNovember 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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Brazilian Insurance Group Acquires Portuguese Hospitals

Brazilian Insurance Group Acquires Portuguese Hospitals

Photo: Amil Participacoes SA

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Amil Participacoes SA, Brazil’s largest health insurer, has announced the acquisition of Hospitais Privados de Portugal, or HPP, for 85.6 million euros ($109.7 million).

Amil said in a regulatory filing Wednesday that it agreed to purchase a 100 percent stake in HPP from its controller, a subsidiary of Portuguese state-owned bank Caixa Geral de Depositos.

The Brazilian company said the acquisition includes HPP’s debt and that it could pay an additional 6 million euros ($7.7 million) if certain unspecified targets are met.

According to the filing, the deal still requires regulatory approval in Portugal.

Amil said HPP is a key player in Portugal’s health sector.

Founded in 1998, the group directly owns six hospitals and also operates the Cascais Hospital, a public-private partnership.

The transaction was announced nearly six weeks after UnitedHealth Group, Inc., the leading health insurer in the United States, announced the acquisition of 90 percent of Amil for roughly $4.9 billion.

That deal calls for Amil’s founder, Edson de Godoy Bueno, to retain 10 percent of the company for at least five years and to remain the chairman and CEO of the Brazilian firm.

Bueno is also to acquire $470 million worth of shares of UHG, making him the U.S. giant’s largest shareholder, with an entitlement to a seat on the board.

Besides providing prepaid health services to 5 million policyholders, Amil owns and operates 50 hospitals.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Scientists Discover Tortoises With Genes Similar to Ecuador’s “Lonesome George”

Scientists Discover Tortoises With Genes Similar to Ecuador’s “Lonesome George”

Photo: Lonesome George

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Lonesome George, the last tortoise of his species, is not gone forever, since his genes survive in 17 tortoises living in a volcano in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuadorian officials said on Wednesday.

Lonesome George died June 24 of natural causes after living more than a century without scientists being able to get him to breed with females of similar species.

That fact seemed to sound the death knell for the species of giant Pinta Island tortoises known as Chelonoidis abingdonii, but Galapagos National Park authorities revealed on Wednesday that nine females, three males and five young tortoises living in the Wolf volcano on Isabela Island share George’s genes.

The park and Yale University scientists who made the discovery feel that it is possible that there are more hybrid specimens and even purebred individuals from Lonesome George’s species somewhere in the archipelago.

“The discovery marks the first step toward the recovery of the ... species, through a program of reproduction and raising in captivity, an option that is being evaluated,” the park directorship said.

Plans are now under way for a series of expeditions to the site to capture the 17 individuals and seek other hybrids and possible purebred specimens.

Scientists speculate that the arrival of tortoises to that island on the slopes of Wolf volcano could have occurred at the beginning of the 19th century.

At that time, crews on whaling vessels collected tortoises in various spots around the archipelago for food, but they threw some still living ones overboard when they did not need them any longer.

Lonesome George was a symbol of the Galapagos Islands and of the efforts to preserve its great biodiversity.

The Galapagos Islands, located in the Pacific Ocean some 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) west of the Ecuadorian mainland, served as a natural laboratory that inspired English scientist Charles Darwin to develop his theory about evolution, natural selection and the origin of species.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Placido Domingo Named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador

Placido Domingo Named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador

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Spanish opera singer and conductor Placido Domingo on Wednesday became the new goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Domingo is being honored for his exceptional career and for “his efforts to bring classical music to the entire world,” UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said in a ceremony at the body’s Paris headquarters.

“Although time is passing, this type of recognition moves me greatly,” the singer told Efe, confessing his desire to begin collaborating with UNESCO, which he said is an institution “that works on so many fronts,” as soon as possible.

This is the second tribute the Spaniard has received in a little more than a week, after being honored with the prestigious ring of honor by the Vienna Opera last Wednesday, and it is one more on a virtually endless list of awards he has been given.

Bokova praised Domingo’s “inestimable support for young opera musicians through the Operalia competition, and his dedication to the values and ideals of UNESCO.”

During his acceptance speech, in which - perhaps because of nerves - he spoke in a mixture of Spanish, French and English, the artist insisted on the importance of classical music to educate new generations.

“My dream is for classical music to be learned in all schools,” the 71-year-old singer said.

In its quest for new talent, Wednesday’s ceremony was followed by a benefit concert and a gala dinner at the UNESCO’s headquarters where sopranos Micaela Oesta and Angel Blue, both of whom are participating in its Operalia competition, performed.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Justice Dept. to Investigate Latino Students, Families Facing Discrimination in Louisiana

Justice Dept. to Investigate Latino Students, Families Facing Discrimination in Louisiana

Photo: (Jen Sablon-Taylor)

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The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) welcomed an announcement by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education that they will investigate two additional components of an SPLC civil rights complaint that describes widespread discrimination against Latino students and their families in Louisiana’s Jefferson Parish Public School System (JPPSS).

In a Nov. 13 letter announcing the investigation, U.S Attorney Paul D. Castillo said the departments would expand their investigation to examine: “(1) whether the District provides national origin-minority parents who have limited proficiency in English with information provided to other parents in a language they understand; and, (2) whether the District failed to take prompt and effective action to respond to harassing conduct creating a hostile environment for Latino students based on national origin, of which JPPSS knew or should have known.”

The investigation will be led by the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights – the primary federal agencies charged with ensuring equal protection under the law for all people within the United States.

Last month, the departments announced a joint investigation into the JPPSS’s policies and practices regarding the documentation needed for student registration, enrollment and graduation.

The SPLC complaint, filed in August on behalf of 16 Latino students and their families, outlines how the district created a hostile environment by allowing employees to harass Latino students about their citizenship status. The complaint also describes the district’s failure to provide Spanish-speaking parents with limited English proficiency access to information regarding school activities and adequate translation and interpretation services.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Illinois Politicians Support Plan for Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented

Illinois Politicians Support Plan for Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented

Photo: Illinois Politicians Support Plan for Driver's Licenses for Undocumented

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Some of the main politicians in Illinois, including Gov. Pat Quinn and Senate President John Cullerton, on Tuesday publicly expressed their support for a bill to issue driver’s licenses to some 250,000 undocumented immigrants.

“This is a safety issue that impacts every driver in Illinois and we should join together to take swift action to save lives,” Quinn said during a press conference at Chicago’s Roosevelt High School.

Quinn called the bill that fellow Democrat Cullerton will present in the coming weeks “responsible legislation.”

In place of a traditional driver’s license, undocumented people would receive the temporary license that has been granted since 2005 to foreigners who are living legally in Illinois but who do not have a Social Security Number.

Quinn also emphasized the economic benefits the bill would bring the state.

“Making sure all motorists, regardless of their background, are licensed and insured will drive economic growth and ease the financial burden on all Illinois motorists,” he said.

Also participating in the public event on Tuesday were Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and several prominent Illinois Republicans, including former Gov. Jim Edgar, who described the proposal as “morally fair, economically sound and politically smart.”

According to information released by the Highway Safety Coalition, undocumented immigrants who drive without a license and insurance in Illinois are involved in about 80,000 accidents a year at a cost of $660 million.

In Washington and New Mexico, where similar laws have been approved, traffic accidents caused by undocumented immigrants have been reduced.

Lawrence Benito, the executive director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, said that bipartisan support exists to push the initiative in the state legislature.

This is an “opportunity” the Republicans have to move closer to the Latino and immigrant community with a bill that “shows a lot of good faith,” he said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Puerto Rican Sentenced to 5 Years For His Role 1983 Robbery

Puerto Rican Sentenced to 5 Years For His Role 1983 Robbery

Photo: Norberto Gonzalez-Claudio (FBI)

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The United States Attorneys for the District of Connecticut and the District of Puerto Rico announced that Norberto Gonzalez-Claudio, 67, was sentenced by Senior United States District Judge Alfred V. Covello in Hartford to 60 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for his involvement in a 1983 armored truck robbery of approximately $7 million in West Hartford, Connecticut, and for his illegal possession of a machine gun at the time of his arrest in May 2011.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Gonzalez-Claudio conspired with others to rob approximately $7 million in cash from the Wells Fargo Armored Service Corporation in West Hartford and to transport the stolen money to Mexico. In pleading guilty, Gonzalez-Claudio acknowledged that he and other co-conspirators approved and authorized the robbery, which occurred on September 12, 1983.

During previous trials of several co-defendants, the government introduced evidence that the robbery was perpetrated to fund the activities of Los Macheteros, a clandestine organization that seeks Puerto Rican independence.

Gonzalez-Claudio, who had been a fugitive for more than 25 years, was arrested in Cayey, Puerto Rico, on May 10, 2011. He has been detained since his arrest.

On June 15, 2012, Gonzalez-Claudio pleaded guilty to count 12 of a superseding indictment, which charged him with foreign transportation of stolen money, and count 16, which charged him with conspiracy to rob federally insured bank funds, to commit theft from interstate shipment, and to transport stolen money in interstate and foreign commerce. He also pleaded guilty to a separate count of illegal possession of a machine gun, which was found in his residence following his arrest.

Gonzalez-Claudio was sentenced to 60 months of imprisonment on the Wells Fargo robbery charges and a concurrent 37-month prison term on the machine gun charge. He also was ordered to pay $7.1 million in restitution.

The government has not recovered any of the Wells Fargo robbery proceeds.

Of the 19 defendants charged in this case, one fugitive, Victor Manuel Gerena, is still being sought. Gerena is alleged to have carried out the armed robbery in West Hartford. The FBI is offering a reward of up to $1 million for information leading directly to Gerena’s arrest.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colombian Designer Juan Carlos Obando Preparing to Launch New Jewelry Line at Barney’s NY

Colombian Designer Juan Carlos Obando Preparing to Launch New Jewelry Line at Barney’s NY

Photo: Colombian Designer Juan Carlos Obando Preparing to Launch New Jewelry Line at Barney's NY

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Los Angeles-based fashion designer Juan Carlos Obando will soon be launching his new jewelry collection at Barney’s New York.

Just in time for the holiday season, the Colombian-born designer’s collection of both men and women’s jewelry will be available for $80 -250 wholesale.

Though launching at Barney’s New York, according to WWD, Obando’s 22 pieces will later become available at A+R boutiques in Los Angeles, Alchemist in Miami and Moda Operandi online.

Obando already has a number of fans in Hollywood, including model-heiress Lydia Hearst-Shaw and singer-actress Mandy Moore, with many more having sported his jewelry and clothing.

Obando is a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and has seen support from global brands MAC Cosmetics and Swarovski.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Peru to Build World’s Tallest Museum in Mining Region of Pasco

Peru to Build World’s Tallest Museum in Mining Region of Pasco

Photo: Peru Working to Make World's Tallest Museum in Mining Region of Pasco

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Though the title of world’s tallest museum is held by the Mole Antonelliana in Turin, Italy, Peru is looking to build the world’s highest museum.

A new museum being built in Peru’s Pasco region will stand 4,380 meters (14370 feet) above sea level when completed.

The building, which will be located in Cerro de Pasco, the region’s capital, and will be home to a museum highlighting the area’s mining history.

Cerro de Pasco is one of the highest cities in the world and was once one of the richest silver producing areas during the early 17th century until the Spanish exhausted the silver.

The mines of Cerro de Pasco were a major source of William Randolph Hearst and his family’s wealth. Though the media mogul was know to frequently lambast magnates such as JP Morgan and the Vanderbilts in public, in private he entered into partnership with them in lucrative ventures like the mines of Cerro de Pasco.

Read more by HS News Staff →

‘The Voice’ Season 3: Bryan Keith Eliminated, Christina Performs New Song (VIDEO)

‘The Voice’ Season 3: Bryan Keith Eliminated, Christina Performs New Song (VIDEO)

Photo: 'The Voice' Season 3: Bryan Keith Eliminated, Christina Performs New Song

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On Tuesday night two singers went home on NBC’s The Voice.

With each elimination getting more and more tough, as nothing but great singers remain, Tuesday night’s elimination was a tough one.

In the end, the Egyptian-born powerhouse Sylvia Yacoub, and Latin crooner Bryan Keith were sent home.

During his audition we learned Bryan was looking to prove himself and make it on his own, without using his father’s connections in the business. Bryan’s father is Grammy Award-winning Ray de la Paz of the Spanish Harlem Orchestra.

Bryan had become an early favorite, with his raspy voice and determined mindset winning over the judges and the audience, but it was not meant to be, as voters failed to keep him in the competition.

Melanie Martinez, 16, of Team Adam is now the only Latina/o left in the competition.

The final eight:

-Dez Duron (Team Xtina)
-Terry McDermott (Team Blake)
-Cassadee Pope (Team Blake)
-Melanie Martinez (Team Adam)
-Amanda Brown (Team Adam)
-Trevin Hunte (Team CeeLo)
-Nicholas David (Team CeeLo)
-Cody Belew (Team CeeLo)

*Note that only person remains from Christina’s team*

Ahead of the eliminations, judge Christina Aguilera debuted a song off her new album Lotus, singing with contestants Sylvia Yacoub and Dez Duron. Check out “Let There Be Love” below.


Related Videos

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Famed Boxer Hector “Macho” Camacho Shot in the Face, On Life Support

Famed Boxer Hector “Macho” Camacho Shot in the Face, On Life Support

Photo: Famed Boxer Hecor "Macho" Camacho Shot in the Face

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On Tuesday, boxer Hector “Macho” Camacho was shot in the face while in Puerto Rico.

The shooting occurred in the city of Bayamon and though doctors initially expected the 50-year-old boxer to survive his wounds, his condition reportedly took a turn for the worse when he went into cardiac arrest.

Camacho was rushed to the trauma center in San Juan where is was revealed the bullet entered on the right side of his jaw, exited his head, and became lodged in his shoulder. The bullet managed to fracture two vertebrae, but doctors believed he would survive, adding that he may be paralyzed.

Since those initial reports from doctors, however, Camacho’s condition has worsened as he remains in critical condition and on life support. Doctors have stated his brain activity is very low.

According to the Associated Press, a friend with him at the time of the shooting was killed, though his name has not been released.

His friend and former manager ismael Leandry had told reporters doctors are waiting for Camcho’s mother to arrive to determine whether to take him off life support.

The suspects reportedly began shooting as the passed the Ford Mustang Camacho and his friend were in. Police later found the shooters’ van in Jardines de Cataño. One suspect was arrested.

Camcho had a history of drug and alcohol issues which often interfered with his boxing career. His last title bout was in 1997 against Oscar de la Hoya, and his last fight at all was in 2009. He had been fighting to get back in the ring, and his rep says they had been working to get him a fight in 2013.

In recent years, Camacho’s personal life was drawing a lot of attention, as his wife twice filed domestic abuse complaints against him. Several years ago she also filed for divorce. Camacho was to face a trial in Orange County for allegedly abusing his teenage son in 2011.

Camcho’s boxing record sits at 79-5-3.

Read more by HS News Staff →

500 Pounds of Pot Found on Texas School Bus Transporting H.S. Basketball Team

500 Pounds of Pot Found on Texas School Bus Transporting H.S. Basketball Team

Photo: Drugs Found Van Horn, Eagles School Bus

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The parents of students at the local high school in Van Horn, Texas are worried drug smugglers are using local school buses to transport illegal drugs after 500 pounds of pot was found recently.

The 500 pounds of pot in four duffel bags were discovered on the high school bus that was transporting junior varsity basketball players to an away game.  The boys and girls basketball teams were en route to the border city of Presidio, Texas that stands across the Rio Grande from Chihuahua, Mexico.

The school bus clearly marked with the ‘Van Horn Eagles’ log passed inspection at a highway checkpoint that is common in the area due to its proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border – nothing was discovered.  When the school bus driver stopped for snacks he discovered four unidentified black bags in the bus storage compartment.  Authorities were called immediately.

KHOU Houston is reporting, many residents fear that narcos working on either side of the border were behind this extreme trafficking incident.  They also fear this will not be the last incident.

Read more by HS News Staff →

U.S. Government Issues Thanksgiving Travel Warning for Mexico

U.S. Government Issues Thanksgiving Travel Warning for Mexico

Photo: Travel Warning to Mexico for Thanksgiving

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Yesterday, the U.S. Department of State issued a Thanksgiving Travel Warning about the security situation in Mexico. 

Gun battles between rival drug cartels or with Mexican authorities have taken place in towns and cities in many parts of Mexico, especially in the border region.  Though, resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see the levels of drug-related violence and crime reported in the border region and in areas along major trafficking routes.

In addition, the State Department assured tourists that there is no evidence that criminal organizations have targeted U.S. visitors and residents based on their nationality.

Effective July 15, 2010, the U.S. consulate in Mexico imposed restrictions on U.S. government employees’ travel. U.S. government employees and their families are not permitted to drive for personal reasons from the U.S.-Mexico border to or from the interior of Mexico or Central America. 

The number of U.S. citizens reported to the Department of State as murdered under all circumstances in Mexico was 113 in 2011 and 32 in the first six months of 2012.  Whereas 47,515 Mexicans have been killed in drug related violence between 2006 through 2011.

Read more by HS News Staff →

NYPD Reveal Gilbert Valle, The Cannibal Cop, Plans for Thanksgiving Dinner

NYPD Reveal Gilbert Valle, The Cannibal Cop, Plans for Thanksgiving Dinner

Photo: Latino Blotter: Cannibal Cop Gilberto Valle

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The former New York policeman once deemed quiet by his neighbors and outed as a wanna-be sadistic killer had ‘cooked’ an evil plot to cook and dine on unsuspecting females for Thanksgiving.

28-year-old Gilbert Valle of Forest Hills, Queens was charged last month with planning to kidnap, torture and cook women as many as 100 women, including his girlfriend.  During his preliminary hearing it was disclosed that Valle had a Thanksgiving dinner plan that included human sacrifice and cannibalism. 

New York prosecutors disclosed Valle’s Thanksgiving ‘girl meat’ plan during a bail hearing Tuesday.  During an online chat, Valle allegedly wanted to kidnap a woman and prepare ‘girl meat’ to celebrate the holiday.  Valle planned on kidnapping a woman from the database of women he kept.

The wannabe cannibal was arrested after an FBI investigation sparked by his estranged wife, Kathleen Cooke Mangan. Mangan is the mother of Valle’s daughter, and reported left him and the state after finding “weird stuff” on his computer. After her find in September, Mangan contacted authorities that then began an investigation with cooperation from the NYPD.

Authorities do not believe Valle ever carried out any aspect of his plan and no women are believed to have been harmed.  He was denied bail on Tuesday and will face his charges on January 22, 2013. 

Read more by HS News Staff →

Widow of Argentine Governor Carlos Soria Sentenced to 18 Years for his Murder

Widow of Argentine Governor Carlos Soria Sentenced to 18 Years for his Murder

Photo: Susana Freydozm, widow of Argentine Governor Carlos Soria, sentenced to 18 years for his murder

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The widow of Argentine politician Carlos Soria was sentenced Tuesday to 18 years in prison for murdering her husband.

Susana Freydoz was found guilty of aggravated homicide, the Judicial information Center reported.

During the trial, which began last month, the prosecution had requested life in prison for the accused.

Soria was governor of the southern province of Rio Negro.

The 61-year-old politician died in the early hours of Jan. 1 “from a single shot” to the left side of his face in the bedroom of his ranch in a rural area outside General Roca.

Police found the governor’s .38-caliber revolver, which was used to fire the fatal shot.

At trial, prosecutor Laura Perez said Freydoz’s actions were the result of the deterioration of a marriage in which husband and wife regularly engaged in violent verbal arguments and she put the murder within the context of the wife’s obsessive jealousy.

Rio Negro, which is in Patagonia and borders Chile, is now being governed by Alberto Weretilneck, who had served as lieutenant governor and belongs to the center-left Broad Front, an ally of Argentina’s governing Peronist Party.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Michelle Obama Recognizes Art Education Programs in Hispanic Schools

Michelle Obama Recognizes Art Education Programs in Hispanic Schools

Photo: Recipients of the Award with Michelle Obama

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U.S. first lady Michelle Obama honored the work of a dozen projects promoting the development of art and the humanities in education, notably the Paso Nuevo/New Step bilingual school of theater, and a program for preserving mariachi music.

Trumpets and guitars were played with youthful power by a group of students in the Mariachi Master Apprentice Program of San Fernando, California, founded by the Grammy-winning band Los Camperos.

This initiative was one of those honored with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, presented by the first lady in the White House East Room.

Mrs. Obama, honorary chair of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, expressed her gratitude for the work of artists, instructors and educators working with tightened budgets so these programs can continue helping new generations of young people acquire skills that “aren’t just valuable in the studio or in the theater, but they are critical in the classroom and will be in the workplace.”

“You are pushing and inspiring our kids,” she said. “You’re revealing their boundless promise, and teaching them to believe in themselves.”

The first lady also noted during her speech the power of art to transform youths and urged the young people at the reception to do everything possible so that others can have the same opportunities they have enjoyed.

Ready to do just that was Estefanny Espinosa, 18, daughter of Mexican immigrants, who said that “it’s incredible how little kids see us as an example and start learning culture that, if they didn’t, they wouldn’t learn any other way.”

Speaking on behalf of the prizewinners, 15-year-old Starr Arroyo of the New York Urban Debate League said that this initiative has given her the confidence to speak and “dream big” like her heroines, including fellow Bronx-native Sonia Sotomayor, who became the first Hispanic justice of the Supreme Court.

She also pointed to another Hispanic project, Paso Nuevo/Next Step, in which youths 12-18 learn acting techniques like the use of voice and movement, develop their creativity within an atmosphere of collaboration, and strengthen their self-esteem.

Read more by HS News Staff →

A Look at Immigrant Detention Facilities: Abuses and Proposed Reform

A Look at Immigrant Detention Facilities: Abuses and Proposed Reform

Photo: Immigration detention center

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by Seth Garfinkel

Last week, Detention Watch Network (DWN) launched its “Expose and Close” campaign, an initiative designed to reveal the egregious human rights violations taking place in immigrant detention facilities throughout the United States and to advocate for reform.

As part of this campaign, DWN, in collaboration with human rights advocates, community organizers, legal service providers, and faith groups, released ten reports highlighting the inhumane living conditions at some of the country’s worst detention centers. The reports detail accounts of physical and psychological abuse, including sexual abuse, inadequate medical care, and prolonged solitary confinement.

The reports also reveal how the detention system obstructs noncitizens’ access to legal assistance.  For example, at Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia – the largest detention facility in the country – detainees encounter restricted access to the law library, limited access to a shared phone, and a lack of private space to hold legal meetings.

Making matters worse, all attorney-client meetings are “no-contact,” meaning that detainees are physically separated from their attorneys by a plexiglass wall, thereby impeding communication and delaying the processing of legal paperwork.

While the reports showcase the most abysmal abuses at some of the worst facilities, unfortunately, the conditions and abuses are not unique to these ten detention centers. Through the Expose and Close campaign, DWN calls on the government to take the following actions:

    Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) should immediately close the ten facilities exposed by these reports.
    ICE should take immediate steps to remedy the problems identified in these reports at its remaining facilities, including elimination of the practice of solitary confinement, and improvements to medical care, nutrition, recreation, visitation, and access to legal services.
    President Obama must call for immediate reforms to protect the safety and human rights of those in immigration custody, including enforceable detention standards, and meaningful independent oversight to the Department of Homeland Security.

Read more at Immigration Impact →

Inmates Stand Down After Taking 8 Prison Guards Hostage in Guatemala

Inmates Stand Down After Taking 8 Prison Guards Hostage in Guatemala

Photo: Guatemala

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Inmates at a maximum-security prison outside this capital who took eight guards hostage ended their rebellion on Tuesday and freed the last of the captives, Guatemala’s interior minister said.

“The five guards were liberated after several hours of dialogue and without the use of force,” Mauricio Lopez told reporters.

The inmates released three hostages Monday night.

“There was no negotiation with the rebels, instead they were persuaded to abandon the action,” the minister said.

Once all the guards were safe, he said, authorities restored order in Fraijanes II prison - “fortunately without using violence” - and began the process of transferring the 156 inmates to other facilities to allow repairs of the damage resulting from the rebellion.

Officials had given the mutinous inmates until 6:00 a.m. Tuesday to release the remaining captives.

The inmates rioted to press their demands for better food and expanded family visits. Lopez pledged to look into the inmates’ grievances and said the participants in the uprising will not face reprisals.

Convicts serving time at Fraijanes II include Daniel Perez, an operative of Mexico’s Los Zetas drug cartel implicated in several massacres in Guatemala.

Read more by HS News Staff →



WednesdayNovember 21, 2012