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SaturdayDecember 8, 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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4 Tortured Bodies Hung From Bridge in Northern Mexico

Mexican police on Friday found four bodies hanging from a bridge in the northern city of Saltillo, Coahuila state’s security spokesman told Efe.

The four bodies bearing signs of tortute and wrapped in bandages had been hung from the El Sarape bridge, which links Saltillo’s east side with the city center, Sergio Sibeles said.

Personnel from the military and various police forces were dispatched to the scene.

After the arrival of forensics personnel from the Coahuila state Attorney General’s Office, the bodies were taken to a coroner’s office for an autopsy.

A threatening message believed to have been left by an organized crime gang was found at the scene, local media reported. Its content was not revealed.

Authorities, meanwhile, posted messages on social-networking sites urging local residents to stay away from the area during the crime-scene investigation.

Saltillo has been the scene of turf battles in recent years pitting the Los Zetas, Gulf and Sinaloa cartels. Army soldiers and federal police have been deployed to the city in an effort to stanch the violence.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Dept. of State Honors Colombian’s Commitment to Her Community

Dept. of State Honors Colombian’s Commitment to Her Community

Photo: Nathaly Rivera Victoria

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The U.S. Department of State selected Ms. Nathaly Rivera Victoria of Colombia as December’s International Exchange Alumni Member of the Month.

Throughout December, Ms. Victoria’s leadership in organizing her peers in civic engagement will be recognized on the International Exchange Alumni website, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ official website for the more than one million Department-sponsored exchange alumni worldwide.

Ms. Victoria is an alumna of the 2008 Youth Ambassadors Program. She applied for the program to share her Colombian culture with others and also learn about other cultures. She came away from the program energized to encourage volunteerism in her own community and quickly got to work.

In the summer of 2008, Ms. Victoria mobilized the support of a women’s organization and the mayor of her community to raise awareness among hundreds of local residents about the environmental impacts of careless waste disposal. She later implemented a similar campaign for students at her local high school.

In 2009, Ms. Victoria worked with a fellow alumnus to co-found the Youth Colombian Leaders, an organization that unites young leaders to increase youth participation in community service and confront Colombia’s major social problems.

Ms. Victoria is currently working with alumni around the globe to develop an International Youth Ambassador Network by supporting the creation of a national Youth Ambassadors network in Colombia. This initiative, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and Partners of the Americas, will allow Ms. Victoria and fellow Youth Ambassador alumni to leverage their network and expertise as they continue to make a difference in the world.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Female Fox News Host Says Women of Violence Should ‘Make Better Decisions’ (VIDEO)

Female Fox News Host Says Women of Violence Should ‘Make Better Decisions’ (VIDEO)

Photo: Dana Perino

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Dana Perino appeared on Fox News the week where she suggested that female victims of violence should “make better decisions” to escape harm.

According to the Huffington Post, the issue was discussed following the murder-suicide of Kansas City Chief’s linebacker Jovan Belcher, who shot his girlfriend numerous times before taking his own life at the Chiefs practice facility.
Belcher and his 22-year-old girlfriend, Kassandra Perkins, endured months of problems, police reports state, notes the Huffington Post.

The Fox News team argued NBC sports columnist, Bob Costas point, which argued for better gun control, during Wednesday’s edition, stating that if Perkins was armed she would have been able to protect herself.

Perino reportedly interjected, “I think it skirts the issue. Women are victims of violence all the time.”

Perino’s co-host Greg Gutfeld agreed that the women in domestic violence cases should have guns as well to which Perino replied, “Well, maybe, or make better decisions.”

Check out the video of the discussion below:

Read more at The Celebrity Cafe →

Former Diplomat’s Son Murdered in Honduras

Former Diplomat’s Son Murdered in Honduras

Photo: Carlos Sosa Coello

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A son of Honduras’ former ambassador to the Organization of American States, Carlos Sosa Coello, was fatally shot Friday, his father said.

“We Hondurans experience this scourge every day,” the diplomat told reporters, confirming that Carlos Alejandro Sosa Chavez, 32, was murdered.

Sosa Chavez, who leaves behind a wife and a 6-month-old daughter, was found dead on a street near El Trapiche, a residential area in Tegucigalpa.

The victim and his family were due to leave soon for a vacation in France, Sosa Coello said.

Honduras’s 2011 homicide rate of 92 murders per 100,000 people was one of the highest in the world, U.N. experts said in a recent report.

About 18 violent deaths occur in the Central American country daily, according to figures compiled by the National Police and human rights groups.

Read more by HS News Staff →

CBP Locates $50,000 Stashed in Laundry Detergent at Entry Point

CBP Locates $50,000 Stashed in Laundry Detergent at Entry Point

Photo: Smuggled money in laundry detergent

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and Border Patrol agents conducting southbound operations at the El Paso port of entry seized $52,072 in unreported currency on December 3. The cash was hidden in a box of laundry detergent.

The seizure was made at the Bridge of the Americas international crossing at approximately 5:00 a.m. when a 1996 Chevrolet Lumina attempted to leave the U.S. for Mexico. CBP officers and Border Patrol agents conducting southbound inspections stopped the vehicle and initiated an exam. During the search, they located a box of laundry detergent which appeared to have been tampered with. They opened the box and found five vacuum sealed plastic bags of currency hidden inside.

CBP officers took custody of the driver, 36-year-old Edgar Lopez Chavez, a citizen of Mexico residing in Aurora. Colorado. He was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations special agents to face federal prosecution. He is currently being held without bond at the El Paso County jail.

Individuals are permitted to carry any amount of currency or monetary instruments into or out of the U.S. However, if the quantity is $10,000 or higher, they must formally report the currency to CBP. Failure to report may result in seizure of the currency and/or arrest. An individual may petition for the return of currency seized by CBP officers, but the petitioner must prove that the source and intended use of the currency was legitimate.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Latinos Siding With White House Against Fiscal Cliff

Latinos Siding With White House Against Fiscal Cliff

Photo: Capitol building

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The White House is warning African-Americans and Hispanics that they face disproportionate harm from tax hikes, spending cuts and an end to extended unemployment benefits if a deal isn’t struck to avoid the fiscal cliff.

At a closed White House meeting Thursday, the administration briefed more than 100 black leaders on potential stakes for their communities, some of which still are experiencing the worst effects of the recession.

The meetings came a day after White House officials conducted a similar briefing in a conference call with the National Council of La Raza, the nation’s largest Hispanic advocacy group.

The briefings are part of President Obama’s aggressive campaign to turn up public pressure on Republican lawmakers to accept the centerpiece of his plan to avoid the “fiscal cliff” - tax increases for individuals earning more than $200,000 and families earning more than $250,000.

While Obama spoke by telephone on Wednesday with House Speaker John Boehner, negotiations between the sides have been going on largely through public posturing. On Thursday, Obama also took his public relations battle with Boehner to suburban Virginia to meet with what the White House called a middle-class family on the impact of the fiscal cliff.

If no agreement is reached by Dec. 31, a series of income tax cuts would expire across the board - raising rates on most Americans. They would be coupled with severe spending cuts across government programs, the end of the so-called holiday on part of the payroll tax withheld for Social Security, and an expiration of some unemployment benefits.

Read more by HS News Staff →

INFOGRAPHIC: The Calderon Administration

INFOGRAPHIC: The Calderon Administration

Photo: Hispanically Speaking News

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Felipe Calderon was in office December 1, 2006 - November 30, 2012.  During this period Mexico, and the world, dealt with various events ranging from the financial crisis to swine flu.

Hispanically Speaking News has created an infographic briefly covering some of the positive and negative statistics that are a result of the Calderon administration.

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Read more by HS News Staff →

Can Latinos Change Utah From Red to Blue?

Can Latinos Change Utah From Red to Blue?

Photo: NewsTaco

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By Victor Landa, NewsTaco

It’s known as the reddest of the red states. And a recent article in the Ogden Standard-Examiner reiterated the fact:

In a state considered among the reddest in the United States, the increasing number of Hispanic voters in Utah could eventually begin to soften some of that red influence.

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According to the U.S., Census 9% of the population in Utah is Latino, or about 200,000 people. In places like Ogden, where Latinos are concentrated, the number jumps to 30%.  Most of the voters in that slice of the population tend to favor the Democratic Party, and Utah politicos are starting to pay attention. It’s something Utah Democrats aren’t taking for granted, according to the Standard-Examiner story:

(State Democratic Chairman Jim) Dabakis claims Hispanics in Utah may be increasingly Democratic in inclination, but they aren’t comfortable with the assumption. He said state Democrats will hire a full time Hispanic community organizer in the near future to get Hispanics increasingly involved in local issues.

The statistic that everyone is looking at is this, mirrored in Utah as it is across the country:

50,000 Hispanic teens turn 18 every month in the U.S. … the largest percentage of Hispanics in the Beehive State is younger than 18, so the trend toward more voters of Latin descent in Utah will continue to rise.

Already, in the reddest of red states, there is a trend.

…there are historical highlights for Hispanics in Utah from the last election. Robles was re-elected as assistant Democratic Whip in the Senate, and in the House, Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck, D-Salt Lake, was elected as assistant Democratic Whip — the first Latina to ever serve in a leadership position in the House.

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 →

El Salvador to Launch Youth Violence Prevention Program

El Salvador to Launch Youth Violence Prevention Program

Photo: Youth violence in El Salvador

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El Salvador will implement a new social youth violence prevention project, which combines work training, institutional strengthening and jail rehabilitation programs, among other actions, thanks to a $45 million loan approved today by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

In a joint effort by the central government and the municipalities of the San Salvador metropolitan area, the project seeks to generate more opportunities for the nearly one in four Salvadoran youths between the ages of 15 and 24 who do not work or study. For the prison population, the program focus is on helping young people between the ages of 18 and 35 be rehabilitated and find opportunities to reenter society.

El Salvador suffers from one of the highest crime rates in the Americas, with a homicide rate of 71 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2011. A truce among gans in 2012 made the murder rate drop. The country’s challenge is to ensure that this decline is sustainable over time. According to victim surveys, one third of Salvadorans report having suffered from a crime in the past year. Crime is a top concern for the Salvadoran population.

The municipalities play a key role in crime prevention. The project will support 30 municipalities that put together and implement prevention plans. Among other initiatives, the program will finance a new crime information system and will upgrade public plazas and parks. Around 10,000 youths will benefit from communal programs that include sports, art, and training in the prevention of intra-family violence, among other.

The program will train new tutor-guides for the so-called “farm-jails” and to help in the process of social reinsertion and rehabilitation. Finally, a pilot project will test out-of-jail conditional liberty options through the use electronic bracelets.

The project´s projected reductions in crime and violence rates – even under very conservative assumptions – could generate a benefit of 2.5 dollars for every dollar invested.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazilian Architect Oscar Niemeyer Laid to Rest Song and Prayer

Brazilian Architect Oscar Niemeyer Laid to Rest Song and Prayer

Photo: Brazilian Architect Oscar Niemeyer Laid to Rest Song and Prayer

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Acclaimed Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, who died this week just 10 days shy of his 105th birthday, was laid to rest Friday in his native Rio de Janeiro amid cheers, prayers and song.

Niemeyer was buried in Sao Joao Batista Cemetery in the Botafogo neighborhood after an ecumenical religious ceremony in his memory - though he was an avowed atheist - at Rio city hall.

The Banda de Ipanema, a Carnival orchestra sponsored by the architect, played “Carinhoso” (Affectionate) as the funeral cortege entered the cemetery.

As the casket was lowered into the grave, some of those present applauded while his family prayed and Niemeyer’s Communist Party colleagues sang snatches of “The Internationale.”

After the burial, the Banda de Ipanema played “Cidade Maravilhosa” (Wonderful City), the anthem of Rio de Janeiro.

Niemeyer died Wednesday at a Rio hospital, but his remains were flown to Brasilia to lie in state at the presidential palace before returning to his hometown for interment.

Despite his advanced age, Niemeyer, winner of Spain’s prestigious Prince of Asturias Prize for the Arts in 1989, remained professionally active up until what turned out to be his final illness.

The architect, who a half century ago designed the main buildings of Brasilia, the nation’s futuristic capital city, became known for the flowing curves of his reinforced concrete structures.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hispanic Youth Use “Magic Kites” to Reveal The Effects of Deportation on Families

Hispanic Youth Use “Magic Kites” to Reveal The Effects of Deportation on Families

Photo: "Magic Kites" (Levine Museum of the New South)

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Hispanic children and teens in North Carolina with parents or relatives in the process of deportation are creating “magic kites” with bits of their dear ones’ clothing to tell their stories.

“Flying” on the walls of the Levine Museum of the New South are 13 kites that express the kind of drama that thousands of Latino households are going through.

As a Mexican immigrant and mother, artist Rosalia Torres-Weiner told Efe on Friday that she started the project because she believes it essential to document and let the world know what is happening to immigrant families.

She got the young participants together at a Catholic church in Charlotte, where they used painting, drawing and collage to create their works of art.

The choice of kites was partly done “to rescue the Mexican tradition” of flying them, while also representing for these repressed children the “setting of their imaginations and feelings free to fly,” the artist said.

The children also wrote brief stories about why those deportees were so important in their lives and what happened to them.

“We have to tell what’s happening with the deportations that occur daily here in Charlotte and other cities around the country. I do it with art. We must raise awareness in people about this social problem,” Torres-Weiner said.

The latest figures from Immigration and Customs Enforcement indicate that an average of 33,299 immigrants are deported every month, and for each of them, 3.5 people are affected.

One of them is Emmanuel Hernandez, 7, separated in January from his father, who left Charlotte voluntarily after fighting against deportation for two years.

The boy drew a picture of his mother crying and wrote on his kite that he wanted to use “Superman’s cape to fly away” and find his father because he missed all the times they played soccer together.

His mother, Raquel Barajas, told Efe that, because of the family breaking up, Emmanuel became more rebellious and his grades have suffered.

“But when he was making his kite, he was happy. I think that expressing his thoughts and feelings about what happened served as a kind of therapy. Now we have a better relationship, he’s more affectionate with me,” Barajas said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

LatAm Activists Facing Greater Intimidation, Says Amnesty International

LatAm Activists Facing Greater Intimidation, Says Amnesty International

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Amnesty International said in a report released Friday that human rights activists throughout the Americas face “escalating levels” of intimidation and violence.

The study, titled “Transforming Pain into Hope: Human Rights Defenders in the Americas,” is based on nearly 300 cases in which “state security forces, paramilitary groups and organized crime” threatened, harassed, attacked and killed activists in more than a dozen countries, mainly between January 2010 and September 2012.

“Human rights defenders are systematically harassed, attacked and subjected to unfounded criminal charges in almost every country in the Americas to prevent them from speaking out for the rights of the most marginalized,” Nancy Tapias-Torrado, AI’s Americas researcher on the situation of human rights defenders, said.

“Throughout the Americas, human rights defenders have been publicly condemned as ‘illegal,’ ‘illegitimate,’ ‘unscrupulous’ or even ‘immoral,’ AI said.

The London-based rights group noted that activists have been accused of being “criminals, corrupt, liars, troublemakers or subversives; of defending criminals; and of supporting guerrilla groups,” adding that “such public criticisms have been voiced by government officials as well as non-state actors.”

“Men and women who work to protect human rights are also targeted as they are seen by powerful political and economic interests as an obstacle to major development projects,” Tapias-Torrado said.

Among the people habitually targeted for attack, according to AI, are those who work “on issues related to land and natural resources; the rights of women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people; abuses against migrants; as well as those working to ensure justice for human rights abuses, plus journalists, bloggers and trade unionists.”

Nearly half of the cases documented by Amnesty occurred in the context of land disputes in Brazil, Colombia, Honduras and other countries. Several of them were related to “large-scale development projects led by private companies.”

In only four of the nearly 300 cases were convictions obtained against those directly responsible.

In countries such as Cuba and Mexico, human rights defenders “have suffered judicial harassment, have been detained on the basis of flawed evidence or have had spurious charges hanging over them for years because arrest warrants are issued then not acted on,” the report said.

Tapias-Torrado mentioned the case of a Colombian human rights defender, Jackeline Rojas Castañeda, who was attacked at her home in the city of Barrancabermeja by two armed assailants.

The activist was tied up, gagged and sprayed with paint by the attackers, who demanded she tell them where they could find her son and her husband, a trade union leader.

When Rojas tried to report the attack, staff at the Attorney General’s Office initially did not believe her story.

“When authorities fail to protect those who work to defend everyone’s human rights and fail to investigate attacks against them, they send a signal that those attacks are tolerated,” Tapias-Torrado said.

“Governments must guarantee that human rights defenders enjoy comprehensive protection, which includes as a minimum recognizing the importance and legitimacy of their work, the full investigation of abuses they face and the provision of effective protection measures,” the AI researcher said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spain, Red Cross Rescue 41Migrants in Strait of Gibraltar

Spain, Red Cross Rescue 41Migrants in Strait of Gibraltar

Photo: Red Cross assisting immigrants in Spain

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Spain’s Maritime Rescue and Red Cross saved 41 immigrants Friday who were sailing on six inflatable toy rafts in the Strait of Gibraltar.

The first small craft to be intercepted was carrying seven sub-Saharan immigrants and the second had four, all adult males, Red Cross officials said.

The next two rafts each had seven people aboard, while a fifth craft had eight, all adult sub-Saharan men.

The sixth raft to be rescued carried another eight sub-Saharan immigrants, six men and two women, who showed slight indications of hypothermia, seasickness and vomiting.

Friday’s 41 immigrants raise to 161 the total of those rescued off the southern coasts since Dec. 1, when another group was found sailing precariously on small toy rafts in hopes of reaching Spain.

Read more by HS News Staff →

DEA’s Undercover Drug Operation Seizes $168 Million From Mexican Traffickers

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said that thanks to an undercover investigation launched more than two years ago, authorities have seized $186 million in cash and other assets from Mexican drug traffickers.

In a communique, the DEA said that “Project Below the Beltway” had the Sinaloa and Juarez drug cartels in its sights, along with violent street gangs linked to those outfits.

The investigation, carried out in 79 cities in the U.S. and abroad since May 2010, also resulted in the arrest of 3,780 people and the confiscation of 6,100 kilos (6 3/4 tons) of cocaine, 4,668 kilos (5 tons) of methamphetamine, 735 kilos (1,600 pounds) of heroin, and 158,584 kilos (175 tons) of marijuana, the statement said.

“The Sinaloa and Juarez Cartels are responsible for bringing multi-ton quantities of narcotics, including cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana from Mexico into the United States,” the DEA said.

They are also charged with money laundering millions of dollars gained in the illegal drug trade.

Those in custody face charges of drug trafficking, money laundering, violation of bans on the use of firearms and other crimes.

“These international organized crime regimes operate without borders and our ongoing investigations in the U.S. and overseas will continue to target its members wherever they operate,” DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Hugo Chavez Jets Back to Venezuela After Treatment in Cuba

Hugo Chavez Jets Back to Venezuela After Treatment in Cuba

Photo: Hugo Chavez

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez returned to his country after nine days of treatment in Cuba as part of his process of recovery from cancer, which has had him in the operating room three times since June 2011.

“I’m happy to be back again,” Chavez said upon arrival at Maiquetia airport near Caracas at around 2:30 a.m. Friday in a conversation with ministers and collaborators who went to greet him, an occasion broadcast on state television channel VTV.

Looking swollen and wearing the military academy exercise togs he normally puts on during his treatments, Chavez said he was feeling “in good spirits” in his first words to the public since Nov. 15.

“It’s been two months since our victory in October, but yesterday we complete 14 years since our victory on Dec. 6 of ‘98, and we’re eight days from our next victory,” he said, the latter being a reference to the upcoming regional elections on Dec.16.

On the airport runway, Chavez, who arrived with his daughters, spoke with some of his Cabinet and leaders of the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela, or PSUV, to whom he said that he has been “reading reports” and watching the progress of the regional campaign, in which he sees “a great deal of motivation.”

The president also mentioned a conversation he had with Cuban leader Fidel Castro, in which they talked about poetry.

Chavez arrived in Cuba on Nov. 27 to undergo a new treatment of hyperbaric oxygenation and physical therapy, as he explained at the time in a letter, six months after having finished radiation therapy.

The Venezuelan president has been operated three times since June of last year, when a cancer was detected in his pelvic region, whose exact location and seriousness have never been officially revealed.

Read more by HS News Staff →



SaturdayDecember 8, 2012