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TuesdayDecember 11, 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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Latin American Economy Expected to See More Growth in 2013

Latin American Economy Expected to See More Growth in 2013

Photo: Latin America

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The Latin American economy will close out 2012 with growth of 3.1 percent, down from 4.3 percent last year, but it will experience a rebound next year to 3.8 percent, the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean said Tuesday.

Santiago-based ECLAC said that the predicted 3.1 percent for this year is greater than the expected world growth of 2.2 percent.

The figure for 2012 shows that the economic crisis has had a negative impact but not a dramatic one in the region, which during the year maintained a certain capacity for resilience in confronting external shocks, ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Barcena said.

The rise in 2013 will occur mainly due to the recovery of countries like Argentina and Brazil and the maintenance of the dynamism of domestic demand in several countries, it said.

The document said, however, that prospects for Latin America will continue to depend to a great extent on the evolution of the world economy in 2013, when the most probable thing is that Europe will maintain its slow rate of growth, including recession in some countries.

In the United States and China, a somewhat more positive scenario is predicted, ECLAC said.

In 2012, the main impact of the global crisis in the region was reflected in trade, with growth of only 1.6 percent in the value of exports, compared with 22.3 percent in 2011.

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The Best Christmas Gift For Some Kids is an End to Deportations

The Best Christmas Gift For Some Kids is an End to Deportations

Photo: The Best Christmas Gift For Some Kids is an End to Deportations

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By Maria Peña

Many children in the United States are preparing the lists of presents they want from Santa, but Eliza Morales and Anthony Hoz-Peña have just one wish: an end to deportations and the separation of families.

Morales, 19, and Hoz-Peña, 12, will be among dozens of children and teenagers who on Wednesday will deliver to Congress some 10,000 letters asking, as a Christmas gift, for the United States to stop the suffering of the immigrant community.

While the majority of kids in the United States spend their childhoods playing with toys, being outside and taking care of their schoolwork, Morales and Hoz-Peña have had to suffer the absence of a parent because immigration authorities have deported or detained them.

Morales was born in Los Angeles and her mother was deported in 2008 after she was picked up when she went to get Eliza at school. Eliza did not know anything about what had happened to her mother until she called from Tijuana, Mexico.

“There is no feeling that compares with what I felt that night worse than death. I felt completely alone and empty,” says Eliza in one of the letters that will be delivered on Wednesday.

Hoz-Peña was born in Florida and in his letter he describes the fear and the sadness that he felt when his siblings told him that his father was transferred to a jail nine months ago.

“I miss his kiss before going to school, eating together or going out for a walk as a family. It’s not fair that you, the congressmen, can see your children daily and I only see my father every 15 days, if I’m lucky enough to be able to see him because the jail is very far away, in another county,” the boy says.

The stories of these young people are not isolated cases: according to a report released in March by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 46,686 undocumented parents with at least one U.S.-born child were deported in the first half of 2011.

A study by the Applied Research Center entitled “Shattered Families,” found that more than 5,000 U.S.-born children of immigrants have been living in foster care since their parents were deported.

The report predicted that 15,000 other youngsters will suffer the same tragedy over the next five years if no change is made to the government’s deportation policy.

According to the Center, about 5.5 million children born in the United States have at least one parent who is undocumented.

For Mariana Viturro, assistant director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, these cases show the urgency of achieving comprehensive immigration reform in 2013.

“The options for children born in the U.S. to undocumented parents are few. If they don’t have a relative who takes care of them or a legal guardian, they end up in foster care, and that causes them very serious trauma,” Viturro told Efe.

The family is a sacred element in U.S. society - at least that is what politicians say in an election season - and, this Christmas, Congress should pay attention to the demand of the young people who in these 10,000 letters are asking for the unification of their families.

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HSBC “We Accept Responsibility” for Washing Nearly $1Billion in Narco Money

HSBC “We Accept Responsibility” for Washing Nearly $1Billion in Narco Money

Photo: HSBC Accepts Responsibility for Laundering Narco Money

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DEA, FBI and other federal officials announced today that HSBC Holdings plc – a United Kingdom corporation headquartered in London – and HSBC Bank USA have agreed to forfeit $1.256 billion and enter into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department. 

A four-count felony criminal information was filed today in federal court against HSBC with willfully failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program.  HSBC has waived federal indictment, agreed to the filing of the information, and has accepted responsibility for its criminal conduct and that of its employees.  In addition, the HSBC Group violated U.S. laws by illegally conducting transactions on behalf of customers in Cuba, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Burma – all countries that were subject to sanctions enforced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) at the time of the transactions.

Records show that between 2006-10 Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel run by Chapo Guzman and Colombia’s Norte del Valle cartel laundered at least $881 million in drug proceeds through the U.S. financial system via HSBC. 

“We accept responsibility for our past mistakes. We have said we are profoundly sorry for them, and we do so again,” said HSBC.
       
“Today’s historic agreement, which imposes the largest penalty in any BSA prosecution to date, makes it clear that all corporate citizens, no matter how large, must be held accountable for their actions,” said Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney.

“Cartels and criminal organization are fueled by money and profits,” said ICE Director John Morton.  “

In addition to forfeiting $1.256 billion as part of its deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with the Department of Justice, HSBC has also agreed to pay $665 million in civil penalties.

       

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Salma Hayek, Silvio Horta Working on ABC Comedy About Cuban-American Family

Salma Hayek, Silvio Horta Working on ABC Comedy About Cuban-American Family

Photo: Salma Hayek and Silvio Horta are reportedly working on a comedy for ABC Studios.

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Salma Hayek and Silvio Horta are reportedly working on a comedy for ABC Studios.

The show would revolve around a Cuban-American family as they are shocked to learn the family’s patriarch had a child with the housekeeper more than 25 years earlier. The family struggles as the mother fights to protect her children and keep her family’s secret.

The show will be called Bastards and is the brainchild of Ventanarosa, Hayek’s production company with Jose Tamez. They pair will also team up with Mark Gordon of Mark Gordon Productions.

Bastards was written by Horta, who was behind the successful telenovelas that became Ugly Betty.

Born in Miami, Horta is of Cuban decent and has his own production company as well, Silent H Productions. In 2007, he accepted the Golden Globe for Best Comedy Series for Ugly Betty.

Last season, Horta wrote and executive produced a comedic drama for Fox. That show also revolved around a Latino family, but it did not even get as far as the pilot.

Horta is reportedly in the process of writing the script for Bastards’ pilot, which Hayek and those over at Ventanarosa are working on getting the pilot for The Cisco Kid ready for CBS.

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Homeland Security Takes Down Human Smuggling Ring Run By Mexican Nationals Living Here Illegally

Homeland Security Takes Down Human Smuggling Ring Run By Mexican Nationals Living Here Illegally

Photo: Calixto-Moran brothers sentenced for Human Trafficking

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It began with a routine traffic stop in Tampa, Fla. On Feb. 4, just after 5 p.m., Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies pulled over 21-year-old Kathleen Roberson. Not only did she not have a valid driver’s license, but she was also transporting five illegal aliens in her Kia Sorrento.

Roberson and one of her passengers, Jessica Roland, were transporters for a much larger human smuggling organization that operated out of Arizona and Alabama. The organization transported illegal aliens to final destinations throughout the United States.

The sheriff’s office and the U.S. Border Patrol notified U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) about the incident. Two days later, HSI initiated an investigation to determine whom Roberson and Roland were working for.

Further investigation led HSI to the organization’s leadership, including brothers Jose Bartolo Calixto-Moran and Pedro Calixto-Moran, and Pedro’s girlfriend Marilu Ramirez-Bartolo. The brothers and Ramirez-Bartolo were all Mexican citizens illegally residing in the United States.

As a result of HSI’s investigation, on December 5, 2012 the court sentenced Pedro Calixto-Moran to 71 months in prison, Jose Calixto-Moran to 41 months in prison and Ramirez-Bartolo to 27 months in prison for their roles in the human smuggling organization. Roberto Jimenez-Delgado was also sentenced to 33 months in prison for transporting illegal aliens. Roberson and Roland cooperated with the investigation, and as a result, were sentenced to time served.

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WATCH: Filmed in Costa Rica, Will & Jaden Smith Star in ‘After Earth’  (VIDEO)

WATCH: Filmed in Costa Rica, Will & Jaden Smith Star in ‘After Earth’  (VIDEO)

Photo: Filmed in Costa Rica, Will & Jaden Smith Star in 'After Earth'

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Earlier this year, we reported Will Smith and his son Jaden were filming M. Night Shyamalan’s science fiction thriller After Earth in Costa Rica. Now, we finally get to see the trailer for the upcoming film, and we have to say—It looks amazing.

One thousand years after cataclysmic events forced humanity’s escape from Earth, Nova Prime has become mankind’s new home. Legendary General Cypher Raige (Will Smith) returns from an extended tour of duty to his estranged family, ready to be a father to his 13-year-old son, Kitai (Jaden Smith). When an asteroid storm damages Cypher and Kitai’s craft, they crash-land on a now unfamiliar and dangerous Earth. As his father lies dying in the cockpit, Kitai must trek across the hostile terrain to recover their rescue beacon. His whole life, Kitai has wanted nothing more than to be a soldier like his father. Today, he gets his chance..

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This film also stars Zoe Kravitz, who despite being the daughter of famous singer-actor Lenny Kravitz and Cosby kid, Lisa Bonet, has proven she has the talent to make it in Hollywood on her own talent.

After Earth is set to open in June 2013.


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LATINO BLOTTER: Hector Celaya, 31, Kills Family on Indian Reservation

LATINO BLOTTER: Hector Celaya, 31, Kills Family on Indian Reservation

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Workers on the a California Indian reservation had to dig a tragic number of graves this week after a man killed numerous members of his own family, including his daughters.

Five people are dead after 31-year-old Hector Celaya went on a shooting spree in Tule River Indian Reservation before being shot in a shootout with police.

On Saturday, Celaya killed his 8-year-old daughter, two on his uncles, and his mother. He also shot his 6-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter.

The 6- and 5-year-old, Andrew and Linea Celaya, remained in critical and serious condition at Community Medical Center in Fresno, Calif. on Tuesday.

Fellow reservation residents have said they will hold candlelight vigils for the rest of the week.

The investigation is ongoing and police say they have no motive for the shooting spree.

In the end, shooter Hector Celaya; his mother, Irene Celaya; her brothers Francisco and Bernie Moreno; and 8-year-old Alyssa Celaya were killed.

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ACLU Says “U.S. Courts Have Denied Recourse” in Jose Padilla Case

ACLU Says “U.S. Courts Have Denied Recourse” in Jose Padilla Case

Photo: ACLU Says "U.S. Courts Have Denied Recourse" in Jose Padilla Case

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The American Civil Liberties Union and Yale Law School’s Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic today filed a petition against the United States with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IAHCR) for the unlawful detention and torture of José Padilla, a U.S. citizen, whom the United States detained and interrogated for four years.

The petition was filed by Padilla’s mother, Estela Lebron, on her own and on her son’s behalf. Padilla and Lebron had previously filed federal lawsuits – since dismissed – against current and former government officials for their roles in Padilla’s torture and other abuse.

The petition is an international complaint asking the IACHR, which is an independent human rights body of the Organization of American States, to conduct a full investigation into the human rights violations suffered by Padilla; to find that his mistreatment violated the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man; and to recommend that the United States publicly acknowledge the violations and apologize for its unlawful conduct.

“The U.S. justice system denied a day in court to a U.S. citizen who was arrested and then tortured on U.S. soil by his own government,” said Steven Watt, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Human Rights Program. “The U.S. has historically been a leader in ensuring access to justice for human rights violations around the world, but it has effectively closed the courtroom door to all victims and survivors of the Bush administration’s torture regime. Denied redress in U.S. courts, torture survivors like Padilla are now left with no choice but to turn to international justice.”

In 2002, President Bush declared Padilla an “enemy combatant” and ordered him to be placed in military custody. U.S. officials seized Padilla from a civilian jail in New York and secretly transported him to the Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, S.C., where they held him for 43 months without charge. Interrogators subjected Padilla to torture and other egregious forms of abuse, including forcing him into stress positions for hours on end, punching him, depriving him of sleep and threatening him with further torture, “extraordinary rendition” and death.

“For more than a decade, Estela Lebron has lived with the terrible knowledge that her own government tortured her son, but there has never been any official acknowledgement, let alone an apology,” said Alaina Varvaloucas, a student with Yale’s Lowenstein Clinic who worked on preparing the petition. “The pain and indignity of that betrayal continue to this day.”

For the first 21 months of his captivity, Padilla was held incommunicado, without access to lawyers and his family.

“No human being deserves what happened to our family, and I will continue to work for my son and for justice as long as I’m breathing. As a mother, I want to be sure this never happens to anyone else,” said Lebron. “This petition may be my last chance.”

Today’s petition filed with the IACHR is available at:
www.aclu.org/files/assets/iachr_padilla_petition.pdf

Information on the dismissed federal lawsuit against U.S. officials is available at:
www.aclu.org/national-security/padilla-v-rumsfeld

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UPDATE: Billboard of Millionaire Looking for Latina Love Taken Down

UPDATE: Billboard of Millionaire Looking for Latina Love Taken Down

Photo: Billboard of Millionaire Looking for Latina Love Taken Down

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UPDATE

Millionaire Marc Paskin had a setback in his search for a Hispanic girlfriend this weekend when unknown persons destroyed the billboard he had rented in San Diego’s Barrio Logan, a largely Latino neighborhood.

The advertisement, put up Friday by the California real estate mogul, was vandalized the same day and completely destroyed over the weekend.

The damage was apparently due to the ill feeling caused within the Latino community by the conspicuous ad placed by the businessman, who appeared on the ABC television program “Secret Millionaire.”

Paskin, 63, paid close to $4,000 for the billboard, which read “All I want for Christmas is a Latina Girlfriend” and included an e-mail address so that anyone interested could get in touch with him.

On Friday some unknown persons ripped off the part of the ad showing the e-mail address, and over the weekend the ad was completely destroyed, leaving only the blank billboard.

The millionaire had previously made news for having handed out $125,000 in $10 bills in a Detroit neighborhood and for having paid a year’s rent for a woman who lost her family in a violent crime.

Paskin has not announced whether he will replace the billboard, but in a statement to the media said that before the damage was done he received thousands of e-mails in response.

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Bruno Mars Sings Songs from ‘The Little Mermaid’  (VIDEO)

Bruno Mars Sings Songs from ‘The Little Mermaid’  (VIDEO)

Photo: Bruno Mars Sings Songs from 'The Little Mermaid'

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By now, nearly everyone knows what a talent Bruno Mara, aka Peter Hernandez, is. We’ve heard his sing like Michael Jackson and Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, but wait ‘til you hear his latest impersonation.

During his recent performance on BBC’s “Live Lounge,’ the crooner cutie performed what he called “the best song ever written.”

So what song causes him to “choke up” every time she tries to sing it?

This loveable guy just loves “Part of Your World” from Disney’s The Little Mermaid. He and his band continue on the theme afterwards as well, singing “Under the Sea.”

And in case you want more of Mars, his album Unorthodox Jukebox is now available on iTunes.


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STUDY:  Regular Exercise Prolongs Life, Except for Latinos Where No Benefits Were Found

STUDY:  Regular Exercise Prolongs Life, Except for Latinos Where No Benefits Were Found

Photo: Benefits of More Exercise Dont Apply to Latinos

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A new study suggests that physically active people are likely to live several years longer than inactive people.  But Hispanics, for reasons that aren’t clear, didn’t get any gain from being more active.

The findings don’t say anything about whether those extra years are good ones, and the limits of the research don’t prove that activity may guarantee longer life spans.

Still, the Canadian study adds more evidence that being active pays dividends in the long run.

The biggest effect came in black women. Those who reported getting at least two and a half hours of moderate activity a week were anticipated to live nearly six extra years. And white men who were active at age 20 were expected to live an extra two and a half years compared to their couch-potato counterparts.

Hispanics appeared to gain nothing in terms of life span from physical activity, although that could be because the surveys weren’t properly designed to ask questions appropriate to their culture, study author Ian Janssen said.

Janssen, an associate professor who studies physical activity at Queen’s University in Ontario, said the findings offer evidence that could convince the inactive to get up and start moving.

In the new study, researchers examined American health statistics from 1990 to 2006, including death rates and surveys about physical activity, and extrapolated them. They reported their findings online Dec. 11 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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U.S. & Mexico Investigating Cause of Jenni Rivera’s Plane “Abrupt Descent” before Crash

U.S. & Mexico Investigating Cause of Jenni Rivera’s Plane “Abrupt Descent” before Crash

Photo: Jenni Rivera Plane Crash Under Investigation

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Mexican and U.S. aviation experts are investigating the cause of the plane crash that killed Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera and six other people over the weekend, officials said.

The private plane carrying popular Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera and six companions experienced an “abrupt descent” before crashing in northern Mexico, killing everyone aboard, officials said Monday.

The aircraft “arrived at 28,700 feet and from there an abrupt descent to 9,000 occurs, which is where it crashes,” the head of the DGAC civil aviation agency, Alejandro Argudin, told Radio Formula.

He said that at present authorities do not know the cause of the accident, which occurred very early Sunday morning after the Learjet 25 took off from the northern city of Monterrey en route for Toluca, near the Mexican capital.

There was no emergency radio call before the U.S.-registered aircraft made in 1969 dropped off the radar 14 minutes after taking off, Argudin said.

On Sunday, the wreckage of the completely destroyed plane were found on a ranch in a remote mountainous part of Nuevo Leon state, the capital of which is Monterrey.

In “10 or 15 days” authorities will have an initial estimate of the cause of the crash, the DGAC director said.

Argudin said that Mexican authorities have “requested the help of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. National Transportation and Safety Board so they may participate in the development of the investigation.”

The jet was not built with a black box, but one may have been installed later, Argudin said.

In Monterrey, where Rivera gave what turned out to be her last concert, on Monday there were collective signs of grief, among them the creation of a temporary shrine of sorts with candles and flowers.

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Bruce Springsteen Rocks Mexico City

Bruce Springsteen performed some of his greatest hits for about 12,000 fans in Mexico City’s Palacio de los Deportes.

Springsteen, known as “The Boss,” thrilled the audience Monday night with his performance of “The River,” which drew the most ovations during the concert, one of the stops on the Wrecking Ball Tour.

The singer performed a string of his oldies and spoke a few words in Spanish, drawing cheers from the audience.

Springsteen high-fived with people in the front row and climbed off the stage, walking through the crowd and landing in their arms at one point.

The Boss, who was backed up by his E Street Band, kept the audience on its feet for most of the concert.

Springsteen also performed, among other songs, “My City of Ruins,” “The Promised Land” and “Hungry Heart.”

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AZ Schools in Danger of Closing Due to Budget Cuts

AZ Schools in Danger of Closing Due to Budget Cuts

Photo: AZ Schools in Danger of Closing Due to Budget Cuts

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The Tucson Unified School District, the largest in southern Arizona, is thinking about closing 14 schools because of budget cuts.

The TUSD faces a deficit of $17 million, largely due to cuts approved by the state legislature and a considerable drop in the number of students.

“This is a very tough decision we have to take, but unfortunately we have no choice,” school board member Adelita Grijalva told Efe.

She acknowledged that one factor in the decline in the number of students has been the passing of state laws against illegal immigration like SB 1070, which spurred many immigrant families to leave the state.

“Since Law SB 1071 was passed, we lost approximately 4,000 students,” Grijalva said.

Fewer students mean a smaller budget for schools.

During the 2012 school year, the TUSD had slightly more than 51,000 students, of whom 62 percent were Hispanics.

Schools being considered for closure include Menlo Park Elementary, where 92 percent of the students are of Hispanic origin, as are 85 percent of the kids at Manzo Elementary.

Grijalva said the district is considering certain aspects of the schools to be shuttered, such as making use of their academic resources, the available vacancies and the possibility of consolidation.

But for people like Ann-Eve Pedersen, president of the Arizona Education Parent Network, the main problem is the downsized budget affecting all of Arizona’s school districts.

“During the 2008-2013 period, the state of Arizona slashed the education budget by 21 percent, the highest percentage in the country,” Pedersen said at a school board meeting in Tucson.

At the meeting attended by more than 800 parents, students, teachers and members of the community, representatives of all the threatened schools had the chance to express their opinions.

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Guatemala Experiences Severe Drop in Temperature, 2 Dead Thus Far

Guatemala Experiences Severe Drop in Temperature, 2 Dead Thus Far

Photo: Quetzaltenango, Guatemala Severe Cold Front

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A sharp drop in temperatures has caused two deaths in the western Guatemalan province of Quetzaltenango, first responders said Monday.

Oscar de Jesus Elias was found dead of hypothermia on a street outside the town of Olintepeque, fire rescue said.

The other fatality, identified only as a homeless woman, was discovered in Quetzaltenango city.

Parts of western Guatemala experienced temperatures as low as minus 7 C (19 F), the National Institute of Meteorology said, while many residents woke up Monday to find frost on their homes and vehicles.

Guatemalan weather forecasters predict the country will be affected by at least a dozen cold fronts between now and the end of next March.

The Conred emergency response agency announced that it has established shelters to provide homeless people with a refuge from the cold.

More than 500 people have flocked to the shelters over the last few days, Conred said Monday.

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Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain Artifacts Sold at Auction

Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain Artifacts Sold at Auction

Photo: Queen Victoria Eugenia, Spain

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The collection of objects and memorabilia belonging to Queen Victoria Eugenia, grandmother of Spain’s King Juan Carlos, was sold at auction here Monday for 157,000 Swiss francs ($168,000).

Different buyers, either at the Hotel des Ventes auction house or bidding by telephone through intermediaries, divided up the collection that until now had been in the family’s possession and whose various elements have an unmistakeable sentimental and historical value.

These objects made up part of the decorations and belongings of the Villa Fontaine, the small palace in Geneva where Victoria Eugenia lived until her death in 1969.

It was at this palace where, among other things, she organized the marriage proposal of the future King Juan Carlos to Sofia at the nearby Hotel Beau Rivage in September 1961.

The total amount paid for the collection was far from the 2.3 million euros (nearly $3 million) paid last October at another auction for a bracelet of pearls and diamonds that also belonged to the queen.

Among the items sold Monday was a lace fan with her monogram, decorated with diamonds, rubies and emeralds, that Spain’s queen carried during several of her public appearances between 1906 and 1931, and which is seen in a number of her official photos.

Significant for its symbolic value is the Order of St. Olga and St. Sophia, a Greek decoration that Victoria Eugenia wore to the wedding of Juan Carlos and Sofia in 1962, which was knocked down at the auction for 2,900 Swiss francs ($4,500).

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TuesdayDecember 11, 2012