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SaturdayDecember 1, 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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Mexican Shelter Takes In Deported Immigrants with HIV

Mexican Shelter Takes In Deported Immigrants with HIV

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Immigrants with HIV virus deported from the United States are finding refuge at the Las Memorias shelter in the Mexican border city of Tijuana, the only one in Baja California state to deal with AIDS patients.

Founded 14 years ago with the idea of helping HIV/AIDS victims with little money and nowhere to live, Las Memorias is currently home to 90 people, about half of them deported from the U.S.

Among its services the shelter provides medicines, transport to health-care centers and informative sessions on the disease.

As its founder, Jose Antonio Granillo, told Efe, the shelter was started because the border area needed a specialized refuge that would not reject people with HIV.

It’s very sad to see how many people are left to die on the streets of Tijuana without having been attended with dignity.”

In the majority of cases, the illness is related to addiction problems, for which the residents at the shelter have to follow a treatment there to overcome their dependences.

“Disinformation is a huge obstacle,” he said. “That’s what keeps us working to raise awareness in the community and in that way, teach new generations.”

Las Memorias has attended 2,250 carriers of the virus and victims of addiction since the day it opened its doors. Most of them have been able to improve and readjust to society, Granillo said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

The Latino Commission on AIDS Reflects on World AIDS Day

The Latino Commission on AIDS Reflects on World AIDS Day

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On the eve of World AIDS Day, the Latino Commission on AIDS reflected on the theme, “Getting to Zero”, which gives us an opportunity to assess where we are and what we need to do to reach an AIDS free generation.

On December 1st we must honor all of those that passed due to AIDS, and celebrate the progress we have made in advancing treatment, challenging stigma and discrimination, promoting prevention to decrease new HIV infections, and empowering those living with HIV and AIDS to live longer and healthier lives.

The Latino Commission on AIDS remains committed to advocate for policies, resources, and community partnerships to move toward an AIDS-free generation, addressing the impact of viral hepatitis and the importance of culturally relevant Medicaid services in all 50 States, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and Washington, DC.

“The Latino Commission will continue to address the health challenges that create barriers for our communities to access HIV testing, treatment and care, especially in the south of the United States where the impact of HIV is invisible and more than ever we need partnerships to overcome so many obstacles. United we can.” Stated Guillermo Chacón, President of the Latino Commission on AIDS

Read more by HS News Staff →

Drunk Driver Kills 3, Injures 8 Who Were Fundraising for Chile Telethon

Drunk Driver Kills 3, Injures 8 Who Were Fundraising for Chile Telethon

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At least three people died and eight were injured Saturday when an apparent drunk driver ran over 12 people competing in an “ultramarathon” in support of the Chilean Telethon.

Popular television host and creator of this event that helps the disabled, Mario Kreustberger, better known as “Don Francisco,” interrupted the broadcast to break the news.

He said that three people died at the scene of the accident while another eight athletes were injured, of whom six were hospitalized in serious condition at different medical centers.

According to police, those suffering the worst injuries were identified as Dulio Renzo de Lapeyra Palma and Mauricio Jorge Sepulveda Mardones, who were taken to the emergency room of Posta Central, the largest public medical center in Santiago, for treatment of bone fractures.

The Chilean Telethon kicked off its charity marathon Friday night with the goal of collecting 22 billion pesos (some $46 million) for children with disabilities, in a 27-hour television broadcast without interruptions.

The project, which began in 1978 and currently has 11 institutes in all parts of Chile with another three under construction, cares for some 26,000 children and adolescents and receives around 3,000 new patients every year.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexico Swears In Enrique Peña Nieto As President

Mexico Swears In Enrique Peña Nieto As President

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Enrique Peña Nieto was inaugurated Saturday as Mexico’s president, returning the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, to power after a 12-year hiatus.

He was sworn in shortly before noon during a joint session of Congress preceded by protests from opposition lawmakers.

Outgoing President Felipe Calderon kissed the presidential sash before handing it over to his successor amid cries by legislators in favor and against Peña Nieto, a telegenic former governor of the central state of Mexico.

Soon after taking office, the new president announced 13 decisions by his government including the creation of a national crime-prevention program that will combat the nation’s incessant violence with comprehensive measures.

“I’m convinced that crime is not defeated by force,” Peña Nieto said in his first address to the nation.

The crime-prevention program ranks No. 1 among his most immediate objectives, which also include a series of legal and administrative reforms to combat poverty while promoting investment and controlling government spending.

“Mexico demands to live in peace,” Peña Nieto said.

In the chamber of the lower house, where the ceremony was held, a large banner was carried by opposition lawmakers with crosses of mourning that said “Imposition accomplished, Mexico in mourning,” referring to the left’s claims that Peña Nieto’s victory in the July election was due to widespread electoral fraud.

Leftist lawmakers carried posters with such slogans as “From a failed state with Calderon to a state sold out under his successor” and “president of violence,” an allusion to the outgoing head of state.

Some 60,000 people were killed in drug-related violence during the six-year presidency of Calderon, who militarized the struggle against Mexico’s violent, well-funded cartels by deploying tens of thousands of army soldiers to drug-war hotspots.

But there were also small signs carried by PRI lawmakers saying “Mexico unites us.”

The ceremony took place after more than an hour’s delay, while outside the legislative chamber, guarded by hundreds of police, there were clashes between protesters and security agents that left at least one person seriously injured.

Despite the initial protests and banners in the legislature, the session differed significantly from the rowdy inauguration of Calderon on Dec. 1, 2006.

On that occasion, Calderon and his predecessor, Vicente Fox, both members of the National Action Party, or PAN, had to enter the government building by side doors, amid attempts by opposition lawmakers to take over the lower house of Congress.

Calderon won the 2006 election by the narrowest margin in Mexican history over leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who was also the runner-up to Peña Nieto.

Lopez Obrador and his leftist PRD party denounced Calderon as a “spurious president” whose ostensible victory was the result of machinations by big business and Fox’s administration.

The PRI, which governed Mexico from 1929 to 2000, lost the 2000 presidential election to the PAN and finished third in 2006.

During its 71-year reign - described by Peruvian Nobel literature laureate Mario Vargas Llosa as the “perfect dictatorship” - the PRI relied mainly on patronage and control of organized labor and the mass media, though it was not above resorting to outright vote-rigging and even violence.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latin Rapper Discusses Immigrants’ Struggles Through Song (VIDEO)

New Latin Pop artist, Immi has brought his own style to the growing Latin rap scene with “Immigrant” (Inmigrante).

With catchy lyrics like, “We traveled through the desert, we came across the sea.  Don’t you forget that your abuelos were once like me.”  It is obvious that he is reaching out to a universal audience.

The song, which is performed in both Spanish and English, has a powerful message aimed at inspiring young people to follow their dreams.

IMMI brings a positive message to the world about the struggles and strife of immigrants starting over, learning to follow their dreams, and never giving up. “With perseverance, anything is possible. This is what America is all about,” says IMMI.

Check out IMMI’s video “Immigrant” (Inmigrante) here:

Read more by HS News Staff →

Seth MacFarlane Is Giving College Students a Chance at the Oscars

Seth MacFarlane Is Giving College Students a Chance at the Oscars

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On Friday, it was announced that the 2013 Academy Awards host Seth MacFarlane will begin a national contest search for college students interested in film. Contest winners will be flown to Los Angeles and given the opportunity to present an Oscar, sort of.

According to Reuters, the Oscar Experience Talent Search will be put on by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and MTV’s college network, MTVu. Entrants must submit a video answering the question, “How will you contribute to the future of movies?”

At least six winners will be flown to Los Angeles. Additionally, each winner will be on stage holding the Oscar. They will then give the award to the celebrity presenter who will then award it to the winner.

“We wanted everyone appearing on that stage to feel a deep commitment to film and its legacy, and most importantly, its future,” 2013 Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron said.

According to the New York Times, applicants can apply at The Oscars Facebook page. The contest runs until January 19. Academy Award nominees will be released on January 15 and the ceremony is set for February 24.

Read more at The Celebrity Cafe →

World AIDS Day Reminder that Systemic Barriers Leave Latinas at Higher Risk

World AIDS Day Reminder that Systemic Barriers Leave Latinas at Higher Risk

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December 1 marks the annual World AIDS Day as organizations across the United States and the world work together toward an AIDS-free generation by raising awareness about the importance of protection and testing.

The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH), the only national organization working on behalf of the reproductive rights of the more than 24 million Latinas in the U.S., is using World AIDS Day as an opportunity to remind Latinas of their increased risk and to draw attention to the systemic barriers that make Latinas more likely to contract HIV/AIDS and prevent them from accessing testing and treatment. Jessica González-Rojas, executive director of NLIRH, issues the following statement:

“HIV/AIDS is a serious threat to the health of Latinas, who are four times more likely than white women to be infected. Systemic barriers, such as poverty, immigration status and lack of insurance, make accessing protection and testing more difficult for Latinas, leading to higher rates of infection. These factors also prevent Latinas from accessing quality, affordable treatment, which contributes to an accelerated advance from HIV to AIDS.

“Because the majority of Latinas contract HIV from having unprotected sex with a man, improved access to protection and to sexual education are both critical to reducing rates of Latina HIV infection. Far too few Latinas have access to the sex education they need to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections. More than half of Puerto Rican and Mexican American women, for example, received no sex education from their parents, and one in four Puerto Rican and two in five Mexican American women reported no sex education in school.

“In order to reach an AIDS-free generation, NLIRH advocates for programs and policies that break down the systemic barriers that harm Latina health. Eliminating these barriers is a critical step to reducing HIV rates for Latinas.”

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazil’s President Vetos Portion of Royalties Bill Pertaining to Existing Contracts

Brazil’s President Vetos Portion of Royalties Bill Pertaining to Existing Contracts

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Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff used her veto power to exclude existing contracts from a bill to more widely distribute oil royalties, officials said.

Rousseff’s veto of Article 3 of the bill, passed by Congress last month, was a victory for oil-producing states, especially Rio de Janeiro and Espirito Santo.

The president, however, left intact clauses that provide broader distribution of oil royalties in the future awarding of oil blocks.

Rio de Janeiro Gov. Sergio Cabral has estimated that his state would have lost nearly 3.4 billion reais (some $1.6 billion) annually as of 2013 if the bill had been left unchanged.

That would have depleted the state’s budget and left it unable to fund infrastructure projects ahead of the Summer Olympics in 2016, he argued.

In addition to vetoing the bill’s most contentious section, Rousseff sent Congress an executive decree requiring all regional and municipal governments to use royalties from future oil production contracts for investments in education.

“This is a decision with great historic significance,” Education Minister Aloizio Mercadante said Friday in a press conference.

Presidential chief of staff Gleisi Hoffman said in the same press conference that Rousseff’s decision upholds the constitution and protects existing contracts, while guaranteeing broader distribution of the country’s oil wealth and bolstering education.

The bill as signed by Rousseff on Friday reduces producing states’ royalty take from future production contracts from 26 percent to 20 percent.

The royalty issue is critical to ensure all of Brazil benefits from the development of fields in the recently discovered pre-salt region, so-named because it is located far below the ocean floor under a shifting layer of salt up to two kilometers (1.2-miles) thick.

Distributed across roughly 160,000 sq. kilometers (62,000 sq. miles), that region is projected to hold tens of billions of barrels of light oil and could potentially transform the South American country into a major exporter of crude and derivatives.

A licensing round for new oil blocks has been on standby pending resolution of the royalty issue.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Chicago Police Discover 350 Pounds of Cannabis Stuffed in Frozen Strawberries

Chicago Police Discover 350 Pounds of Cannabis Stuffed in Frozen Strawberries

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Chicago Police arrested a 41-year-old south suburban man involved in a cannabis trafficking operation that included a rental truck filled with numerous buckets of frozen strawberries concealing cannabis.

Officers discovered the buckets contained a total of 350 pounds of cannabis with an estimated street value of more than $853,000.

Martin Rosas, 41, of the 1200 block of E. 147th St. in south suburban Dolton, Illinois was charged with a felony charge of possessing more than 5000 grams of cannabis.Image

Officers assigned to the Bureau of Organized Crime, Narcotics Division launched an investigation after learning a group of individuals were involved in trafficking narcotics on the Southeast side of the city. The cannabis was planned for distribution to major gang factions in the areas of 80th and St. Lawrence and 83rd and Commercial.

Officers maintained surveillance of the vehicle and identified a rental truck Rosas was using to transport the narcotics. As officers continued surveillance and gathered further information, the officers were informed the cargo was frozen strawberries. Knowing the truck was unrefrigerated and driven to a residential drive way, officers approached Rosas who cooperated with the investigation and a Chicago Police K9 unit detected cannabis.

A large quantity of cannabis was recovered from the vehicle. As the investigation continued, officers recovered an additional supply of cannabis along with a handgun from a Dolton residence. The investigation further led officers to a Southside warehouse, where hundreds of buckets of frozen strawberries were located, many of which contained a quantity of cannabis.Image

In total, the investigation uncovered more than 2,500 pounds of cannabis compressed and secreted in more than 1,000 buckets of frozen strawberries. The recovery has a total estimated street value of 6.8 million dollars.

Rosas is expected to appear in Central Bond Court today. The investigation remains ongoing.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Immigration and the Lame Duck Congress

Immigration and the Lame Duck Congress

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By Victor Landa, NewsTaco

What a difference an election makes. Take, for instance, immigration. Wasn’t it a mere handful of weeks ago that Republicans were staunchly stalwart in their opposition to any and all immigration reform? Now there’s talk of a GOP led immigration bill to be considered by the lame duck Congress.

The Associated Press reports:Image

Republican leaders made it clear after the election that the party was ready to get serious about overhauling the nation’s dysfunctional immigration system, a top priority for Hispanic communities. Taking up what is called the STEM Jobs Act during the lame-duck session could be seen as a first step in that direction.

Not to sound like an “as seen on TV” hawker…but wait, there’s more: what the GOP legislators are looking to do is revive a STEM bill defeated in September, and tweak it by making it more generous than when they scuttled it two months ago. They want to add a provision that

allows the spouses and minor children of people with permanent residence, or green card, to wait in the United States for their own green cards to be granted.

And here’s the kicker: according to a Reuter’s analysis, the immigration reform in the sort term is a long shot, given the President’s divided attention:

However sympathetic Obama might be, he will be preoccupied with fiscal battles well into next year and less likely to engage in the kind of salesmanship analysts believe is essential to sell broad immigration policy changes to the public.

It get’s better. This past Sunday, according to Politico, Sen. John McCain told Fox News that immigration reform is important.

“We have to have a bigger tent. No doubt about it. And obviously we have to do immigration reform,” McCain said on “Fox News Sunday.” “There is no doubt whatsoever that the demographics are not on our side.”

So what’s the bottom line?

I’m looking for Congress to do more in the next two months than they have in the past ten.

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.

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Costa Rica to Boost Innovation with $35 Million Loan

Costa Rica to Boost Innovation with $35 Million Loan

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The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced the approval of a $35 million loan to Costa Rica for a program that will help boost productivity by supporting innovation and human capital formation in strategic sectors.

Although Costa Rica is one of Central America’s most successful economies, productivity growth has been stymied by the low level of investment in innovation on the part of private sector firms. This outcome can be attributed to a scarcity of highly trained people needed to adopt technologies, a paucity of information on technological and managerial best practices, and the limited availability of financing for the early stages of innovation projects.

The program, which will be carried out by the Ministry of Science and Technology, will seek to foster innovation among Costa Rican firms, improve conditions to promote innovative activities in global firms and encourage entrepreneurial projects based on new technologies.

The program will support the advanced training of human resources in strategic areas identified in Costa Rica’s national plan for science, technology and innovation, such as digital technologies, new materials, biotechnology and renewable energies, among others.

By the end of the five-year program, 100 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) should have received technical assistance and quality management services, 85 SMEs should have received co-financing for innovation projects, and 20 technological startups should have received assistance through business accelerators.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colombian Actress Maria Adelaida Puerta Announces New Telenovela About Drug Traffickers

Colombian Actress Maria Adelaida Puerta Announces New Telenovela About Drug Traffickers

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Colombian actress Maria Adelaida Puerta, who captivated international audiences with her role as La Perrys in the action series “El Capo,” returns now as a sophisticated drug trafficker who falls in love with a U.S. agent in a new telenovela.

“‘La Mariposa’ (The Butterfly) is a series about money laundering and at the same time a love story that takes place under some rather odd circumstances,” Puerta told Efe.

Alicia Benitez, better known as The Butterfly, “is a socialite who had the chance to study outside of Colombia,” the actress explained. “She’s a very intelligent woman who, because of her ambitious nature, decided to get into money laundering, thinking that it would be easy and that everything is a game.”

“La Mariposa: Amores que Matan” (The Butterfly: Loves that Kill) is a telenovela in 60 episodes produced by Fox Telecolombia for RCN television and filmed in Colombia, Mexico and Miami.

After being aired for Colombian viewers beginning Dec. 4, it will be transmitted to an international audience from the United States over the MundoFox network.

“Each character is a universe so different from the actor who plays it and is also different from all the other characters in the novela, so it’s quite a challenge to play them,” Puerto said.

Born Nov. 11, 1980 in Medellin, Maria Adelaida Puerta Restrepo began to win fame as a theater actress in her native country.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spanish Prince Promotes Country’s Underlying Strengths While in Mexico

Spanish Prince Promotes Country’s Underlying Strengths While in Mexico

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Spain’s Crown Prince Felipe met here Friday with Mexican notables, intellectuals and opinion leaders in order to learn more about the state of their nation and also to explain the difficulties his own country is going through and the underlying strengths of its economy that will enable it to forge ahead.

The meeting took place at the residence of the Spanish ambassador to Mexico, where the prince traveled to attend the inauguration of Enrique Peña Nieto as the new president.

One of the participants, prominent intellectual Enrique Krauze, confirmed his confidence in the capabilities of the Spanish economy and encouraged Spaniards to look toward Latin America.

“When a person gets depressed, everything looks dark; it’s very important at this difficult time for Spain take stock of what it has both materially and culturally,” he told reporters.

Before the luncheon, the prince was able to speak with representatives of the Spanish community in Mexico.

In the afternoon he was scheduled to meet with outgoing President Felipe Calderon, who afterwards was to give a dinner for foreign eminences visiting Mexico for the inauguration.

Peña Nieto will take office on Saturday, after which the new president will meet with Prince Felipe.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazilian Economy Saw Growth in 3rd Quarter, Below Gov’t Expectations

Brazilian Economy Saw Growth in 3rd Quarter, Below Gov’t Expectations

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Brazil’s economy grew by 0.6 percent in the third quarter compared to the previous three-month period, well below the government’s forecasts, the IBGE statistics agency said Friday.

The country’s gross domestic product rose by 0.9 percent relative to the third quarter of 2011, the agency said.

The Brazilian economy expanded by 0.7 percent in the first nine months of 2012 and 0.9 percent over the 12 months ending in September of this year.

Although Brazil’s economy grew in the third quarter at its fastest rate since last year, the result fell far short of Finance Minister Guido Mantega’s forecast of 1.2 percent GDP growth.

The agricultural sector was the best performer in the quarter, growing 2.5 percent relative to the April-June period, while the industrial sector grew by 1.1 percent and output in the services sector was unchanged.

Domestic consumption rose 0.9 percent and public sector consumption inched up just 0.1 percent, while gross capital formation fell by 2 percent.

The value of Brazil’s exports edged up 0.2 percent and imports declined by 6.5 percent.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mine Explosion Kills 3 in Mexico

Three people were killed and three others injured Friday in an explosion at a mine in the central Mexican municipality of Zacazonapan, authorities told Efe.

The blast occurred at a site where miners extract silver, gold, zinc and copper.

“Apparently they were conducting a detonation with explosives in the mine, a cave-in struck and there are people trapped,” an emergency services official in Mexico state said.

He said injured miners were evacuated by helicopter to a hospital in Toluca, the state capital.

The mine is operated by Tizapa, a subsidiary of Peñoles.

The blast was caused “by human error,” Mexico state Gov. Eruviel Avila said on Twitter, expressing regret over the loss of life.

The state Attorney General’s Office will “carry out investigations in coordination with relevant federal authorities,” the governor said.

Tizapa has yet to provide any information on the incident, though a company spokesman told Efe a statement would be forthcoming.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Mexicans Protest Final Hours of Calderon’s Term with Embroidered Scarves

Mexicans Protest Final Hours of Calderon’s Term with Embroidered Scarves

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Activists will display hundreds of scarves embroidered with blood-colored thread at a memorial here this weekend, a protest that calls attention to the tens of thousands of drug-related deaths during departing Mexican President Felipe Calderon’s six-year term.

“Embroidering is a reflective action in which every time you go back over the name you’re sewing you make it your own and identify with it. It’s an action that humanizes the victim,” Rosa Borras, member of the group Embroidering for Peace, based in the central city of Puebla, told Efe.

Family members of victims and peace activists involved in the movement, launched last year, have sewn hundreds of scarves that tell the stories of drug-war fatalities who fill the newspapers one day and are forgotten the next.

Each scarf contains four or five short phrases that describe who, how and where the individual died.

“Our goal is to give voice and visibility to each victim so they are no longer thought of as a figure and a statistic, so there’s awareness that this is a person who died, who left a family behind,” Borras said.

More than 2,000 scarves will be displayed in a memorial in Mexico City’s Alameda Central park on Saturday, when the conservative Calderon hands over power to Enrique Peña Nieto.

“We want to stage a peaceful, civic, non-partisan demonstration to bid farewell to Calderon with the trail of dead bodies he’s left us with and let Peña know that we’re not going to tolerate six more years of the same,” Borras said.

Mexico has been wracked by a wave of violence that has left some 60,000 dead since December 2006, when Calderon took office and militarized the struggle against the country’s violent, well-funded drug cartels by deploying tens of thousands of army soldiers to drug-war hotspots.

Calderon has come under heavy criticism by international rights groups for using the military to battle drug gangs.

New York-based Human Rights Watch, for example, said in a report last year that “instead of reducing violence, Mexico’s ‘war on drugs’ has resulted in a dramatic increase in killings, torture, and other appalling abuses by security forces, which only make the climate of lawlessness and fear worse in many parts of the country.”

The first collective embroidering session took place in August 2011. Since then dozens of people have gathered in public squares across Mexico to sew scarves with information about drug-war victims reported in the media.

“We know the act of embroidering and demonstrating is not going to change government structures or policies, but it has helped us to forge a lot of ties among ourselves, among citizens. It’s succeeded in rebuilding the social fabric,” Borras said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Colombia, Nicaragua to Discuss Maritime Border Dispute

Colombia, Nicaragua to Discuss Maritime Border Dispute

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Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said here Friday he hopes to speak in the most respectful, civilized way with Nicaraguan counterpart Daniel Ortega about a world court ruling that awarded Managua waters long claimed by Bogota.

“It’s possible I’ll have a meeting with President Ortega tomorrow. And we’re going to discuss all of this in the most prudent, the most discreet way possible,” Santos said in Lima, where he is attending the Summit of the Union of South American Nations.

The Colombian and Nicaraguan leaders plan to meet in Mexico City, where both will be attending Saturday’s inauguration of new Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Santos announced Wednesday that Colombia is pulling out of a pact recognizing the International Court of Justice’s jurisdiction over its territorial disputes, a step in response to the decision setting new maritime borders with Nicaragua.

The Hague-based ICJ ruled on Nov. 19 that seven Caribbean islets belong to Colombia, ending a three-decade-long dispute between the Andean nation and Nicaragua.

The world court had earlier confirmed Bogota’s claim to the larger islands of San Andres, Providencia and Santa Catalina, part of an archipelago that lies 775 kilometers (480 miles) from mainland Colombia and 220 kilometers (140 miles) from the coast of Nicaragua.

While giving the islets to Colombia, the decision also significantly expanded the waters under Nicaraguan control.

The waters conceded to Nicaragua include lucrative fishing grounds and what are thought to be substantial oil deposits.

Besides turning away from the ICJ, Bogota said this week it will not comply with the maritime borders established with Nicaragua before making sure the rights of Colombians will be “well defended.”

“What the Colombian people have to understand very clearly is that we will make every effort to achieve the goal of reestablishing the rights of all Colombians - individual rights, constitutional rights - which this decision violated,” Santos said Friday in Lima.

Read more by HS News Staff →

3 Colombian Cops Suspended After Journalist Dies from Police Beating

3 Colombian Cops Suspended After Journalist Dies from Police Beating

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Three Colombian police officers were suspended Friday in connection with the death of journalist who said he was beaten in custody.

The inspector general of the national police, Gen. Santiago Parra announced the suspensions in Sincelejo, capital of Sucre province, where the incident occurred.

“We don’t come here to judge or to condemn, because they are murky events,” Parra told reporters, adding that his office is taking direct charge of the investigation.

Guillermo Quiroz, who worked for several different radio, television and print outlets in Sucre, was stopped by police on Nov. 20 as he was covering a protest against a foreign energy company.

The officers demanded to see the registration for the reporter’s motorcycle, according to Francisco Barrios, director of Notisabanas television.

Citing problems with the registration documents, the cops impounded the motorcycle and ordered Quiroz to board a police vehicle.

Quiroz re-emerged hours later with severe contusions on his head, arms and back.

“They put me in a vehicle and a policeman hit me and knocked me around while the vehicle was moving,” the 31-year-old Quiroz said from the clinic where he ultimately died seven days after the assault.

A police report released Friday said Quiroz was the aggressor in the confrontation.

Quiroz was laid to rest Thursday in San Pedro amid protests by fellow journalists and area residents that led to clashes with police.

Read more by HS News Staff →

SaturdayDecember 1, 2012