1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to secondary content



SaturdayMay 11, 2013

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.

Read More


Journalist Gunned Down in Colombia

Journalist Gunned Down in Colombia

Photo: Alberto Lazaro Del Valle

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Colombian journalist Alberto Lazaro Del Valle died after being shot in the southwestern city of Cali, officials said.

Authorities said the motive for Friday night’s homicide would have nothing to do with his profession as a radio announcer and disc jockey, according to the latest investigations into the killing of the director of Cali’s Radio Planeta.

“The gentleman had not accused anyone, he had received no threats, but he did have some problems of getting along with some people - two weeks ago they threw rocks and things at him,” the commander of the Cali Metropolitan Police, Gen. Fabio Castañeda, told the local press on Saturday.

“We, the National Police and Cali city hall, are offering a reward for any information leading to the capture of those who perpetrated this homicide,” the official said.

Police are continuing their investigations to find and arrest those guilty of gunning down the journalist.

Preliminary reports by the authorities indicate that two individuals accosted him as he was leaving work on the city’s north side and shot him seven times as he was getting into his SUV. The killers then escaped in a taxi.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Maduro Blames Venezuela’s Biggest Food Company for Scarcities

Maduro Blames Venezuela’s Biggest Food Company for Scarcities

Photo: P.A.N. cornflour (Polar)

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused Polar, the country’s biggest food corporation, of reducing production and hoarding products to cause scarcities in the country, and spoke of economic “sabotage” against his presidency.

“We have many indications that Polar has been…reducing production and hiding products to cause scarcities in the consumer market,” Maduro said during a event obligatorily broadcast on all radio stations and television channels.

The president has summoned the owner of the company, Lorenzo Mendoza, to a meeting this Tuesday with all his management team to explain to the government “why you are reducing production, why are you causing a scarcity of products.”

Polar produces some of the basic ingredients of the Venezuelan diet, such as the P.A.N. brand of cornflour, the essential ingredient of the famous Venezuelan arepas.

After a devaluation of the bolivar in February and the elimination of an alternative system that allowed the private sector to obtain dollars, companies complain that it is increasingly difficult to obtain currency to finance imports, food being one of the most important categories.

The local press published this week photos of long lines of people at supermarkets in the central part of the country, waiting to get food products like the indispensable cornflour.

Read more by HS News Staff →

6,000 Harley-Davidsons Celebrate 110th Anniversary in Mexico City

6,000 Harley-Davidsons Celebrate 110th Anniversary in Mexico City

Photo: Harley Davidson celebration in Mexico City (Merith Tamayo)

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

More than 6,000 motorcycles, mostly Harley-Davidsons, roared Saturday through several downtown streets of the Mexican capital to celebrate the 110th anniversary of the founding of the legendary firm, which for some created an entire way of life.

“Whoever has a Harley is a person who loves freedom, traveling, rolling, feeling free riding a bike,” Mauricio Cuevas, one of the organizers of the event, told Efe.

Gathering at dawn in the Zocalo, the main square of the Mexican capital, were hundreds of motorcycles that then paraded down a number of downtown streets until arriving at the Rodriguez Brothers Autodrome, where they engaged in a series of activities.

“It’s a way of life to be able to come together as bikers, to celebrate, to enjoy, that’s one of our maxims, to be able to roll, riding all over the country and abroad,” Cuevas said, adding that other motorcycle brands were invited to the event as well, though 80 percent of those that turned up were of the legendary brand out of Milwaukee.

Most bikers who took part in the event wore the typical black leather jackets or vests embroidered with eagles, American flags or skulls.

At age 73, Edgar de Hoyos continues to take part in these events, 50 years after getting on a motorcycle for the first time, and said that’s what has kept him young.

“It gives me more vitality, more youth, feeling that it’s not over yet, that I can still roll with a bunch of kids,” he told Efe.

For Rafael Tenorio, riding a Harley is synonymous with “going out with your pals, enjoying the day, forgetting about work…it’s the feeling of letting off steam, relieving the pressure, enjoying the scenery and your friends,” he said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Former Dictator Vows to Appeal Genocide Verdict in Guatemala

Former Dictator Vows to Appeal Genocide Verdict in Guatemala

Photo: Efrain Rios Montt

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Guatemalan ex-strongman Efrain Rios Montt has vowed to appeal his 80-year sentence for genocide and crimes against humanity, insisting he is innocent and that the trial was an “international political show.”

“It’s an international political show that will affect the heart and soul of the Guatemalan people, but we’re at peace because we never spilled or stained our hands with the blood of our brothers,” Rios Montt told journalists after Friday’s verdict was handed down and before being taken to a military barracks that serves as a prison.

Rios Montt, 86, and his co-defendant, retired Gen. Jose Rodriguez Sanchez, were accused in the deaths of 1,771 Ixil Indians between March 1982 and August 1983 as part of a counter-insurgency campaign.

Rodriguez, who served as intelligence director under Rios Montt, was acquitted.

“They tried me and convicted me of genocide. The court found it convenient to see me as a genocidal killer,” but there are no legal grounds for the verdict, he said.

“They didn’t respect the evidence nor due process,” he said in reference to the three-judge panel, adding that his defense team will seek to have the verdict overturned.

This is the first time any Guatemalan ruler has been called to account for the massacres and atrocities of the country’s 1960-1996 civil war.

Rios Montt presided over the bloodiest phase of a conflict that claimed more than 200,000 lives. Most of the dead were Indian peasants slaughtered by the army and its paramilitary allies.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Brazilian Judge Halts Privatization of Maracana Stadium

Brazilian Judge Halts Privatization of Maracana Stadium

Photo: Maracana stadium

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

A Brazilian judge has suspended the decision to grant a concession for the Maracana stadium to a private consortium headed by Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht, judiciary officials said.

Rio de Janeiro state Judge Gisele de Faria on Friday granted a request for an injunction filed by the autonomous Public Prosecutor’s Office of Brazil, or MP, which argued that the Rio state government should not be allowed to sign any concession-related contract until Brazil’s courts can rule on the lawfulness of the process.

Consorcio Maracana S.A. won the rights to manage that iconic and newly renovated Rio de Janeiro stadium - built for the 1950 World Cup - for 35 years starting June 2, when an international soccer friendly between Brazil and England is scheduled to be played, the Rio state government announced Thursday.

The concession could be extended for another 35 years.

Odebrecht holds a 90 percent stake in the consortium, while IMX, the sports and entertainment unit of Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista’s EBX Group, and Los Angeles-based Anschutz Entertainment Group have 5 percent each.

The judge accepted the MP’s argument that the process lacked transparency, considering that IMX carried out the study that determined the concession model.

The lawsuit challenges the state government’s authority to grant a private consortium the authority to manage sport-related facilities in the vicinity of Maracana.

That challenge stems from bid specifications requiring the concessionaire to carry out a series of infrastructure projects with an estimated cost of 594 million reais (some $297 million), including a parking lot, an amusement area and two sports museums: one dedicated to soccer and another to the Olympic movement.

To that end, the state government’s conditions authorized the winning bidder to demolish several nearby buildings, including a school, a running track and two Olympic-sized swimming pools.

The Rio state government has invested nearly 1.12 billion reais (some $560 million) to meet FIFA’s requirements for the stadium, which will host seven matches of next year’s World Cup, including the final, and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games.

The final and two other matches of the FIFA Confederations Cup tournament, to be held in Brazil from June 15-30, also are scheduled to be played at the Maracana.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Homicides Linked to Organized Crime Down 18 Percent in Mexico

Mexican authorities said organized crime-related homicides fell by 18 percent in the first five months of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration, relative to the final five months of his predecessor’s six-year term.

Based on preliminary figures from a security report released Friday, 5,296 homicides attributed to organized crime gangs occurred between December 2012 and April 2013 in Mexico, compared with 6,432 between July-November 2012, when Felipe Calderon was in office.

Homicides were down 14.4 percent relative to the December 2011-April 2012 period, when 6,187 organized crime-related murders were committed.

Mexican authorities define “organized crime” as the activities of drug cartels and gangs dedicated to kidnapping, extortion and other crimes.

The preliminary data was compiled by the federal Attorney General’s Office’s National Center for Analysis, Planning and Intelligence Against Organized Crime, in coordination with the National Public Safety System’s National Information Center.

The statistics showed that 218 police and soldiers were killed in the first five months of Peña Nieto’s administration, down from 244 in the July-November 2012 period.

The war on drugs launched by Calderon, who was inaugurated in 2006, left about 70,000 people dead - or an average of 32 per day - in Mexico, officials say.

Calderon, of the conservative National Action Party, or PAN, deployed thousands of soldiers and Federal Police officers across the country to fight drug cartels.

Peña Nieto, of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, has continued the strategy implemented by Calderon of taking on the cartels, but he has also called for bolstering intelligence capabilities and attacking criminal organizations’ entire structures, not just kingpins.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Luxury Watch Designed by Messi Raises $85,000 At Charity Auction

Luxury Watch Designed by Messi Raises $85,000 At Charity Auction

Photo: Lionel Messi's watch (Sotheby's)

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

An exclusive Audemars Piguet watch designed with the assistance of soccer star Leo Messi was knocked down at auction Saturday for 65,500 euros ($85,000), all of which will go to the foundation created by the soccer star to aid underprivileged children in Argentina, Mexico and Spain.

This particular wristwatch is No. 10 - in honor of the number on the soccer forward’s jersey - of the Royal Oak Chronograph Leo Messi model, a limited edition of only 100 pieces.

The luxury watch came up a little short of what Sotheby’s had predicted - the auction house expected it to sell for somewhat more than 70,000 euros ($91,000).

However, a representative of the firm considered expectations fulfilled “because we really couldn’t have an estimated amount in mind since the watch was being sold for charitable purposes.”

In less than five minutes with no more than five people attempting to take home the exclusive 41-millimeter timepiece, the platinum No.10 Royal Oak Chronograph Leo Messi went to the highest bidder.

The funds taken in at the auction will go to the restoration of a public children’s hospital in the Argentine city of Rosario, the soccer player’s hometown.

The new owner of the luxury watch will be given the chance to meet Messi personally in Barcelona after a soccer match, as was explained at the auction.

Leo Messi at age 25 has already become a legend of the sport, being the first player in history to win soccer’s Ballon d’Or four years in a row.

Read more by HS News Staff →

The Latino Vote: Good News & Work To Do

The Latino Vote: Good News & Work To Do

Photo: NewsTaco

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

By Victor Landa, NewsTaco

At first glance, yeah, Latino voters are “punching below their weight,” as a Pew press release succinctly put it. The Latino voter turn-out rate in the past presidential election was a paltry 48% – to quote Pew again – ,”far below that of whites (64.1%) or blacks (66.2%).”

And if that were the simple malady then the logical prescription would be more gym time and a change of diet to add some bulk. But there’s more to it than that. Image

Lets switch metaphors, abruptly, and reach for the proverbial glass to see if it’s half-empty or half-full.

First, turn away from percentages and look at real numbers. A record 11.2 million Latinos voted in 2012, an increase of 1.2 million over the 2008 presidential election.

Now, get a little closer to the glass and look at this: every month, according to Voto Latino, 50 thousand Latinos turn 18 years of age. Do the math, that’s 2.4 million new eligible Latino voters between 2008 and 2012. Hold that thought, and consider this:

    According to Census Bureau data the number of eligible Latinos who chose not to vote in 2012 was 2.3 million.
    24% of the U.S. population under 18 years of age is Latino.
    According to the Census Bureau report, the turnout rate among 18- to 24-year-olds fell to 41.2% in 2012 from 48.5% in 2008.

Now step back and look at the glass again.

The problem isn’t that it’s half-anything. The problem is that the glass is the wrong size. The Latinos that didn’t bother to vote are young, so they belong in two bins and their voter behavior responds more to their youth than to their ethnicity. With time, as the 50 thousand a month accumulate birthdays, and jobs and families they’ll see the value in casting a vote and the 1.2 million voter participation increase that we saw between 2008 and 2012 will increase even more and astonish people.

It’s going to take a while – time at the gym, carbo-loading. And when it happens the headlines will yell about the incredible jump in voters. But between you and me, we know they’ve been here all along. And we know it’ll take work to get them all registered and plugged-in.

The first wave should be primed and ready by 2016…

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 →

Scientists say Carbon Dioxide Levels Above Feared Milestone

Scientists say Carbon Dioxide Levels Above Feared Milestone

Photo: Carbon dioxide

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere have reached a level not seen in the Earth’s recent history, according to a reading reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a U.S. federal agency.

“That increase is not a surprise to scientists,” Pieter Tans, a senior researcher with the Global Monitoring Division of NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, was quoted as saying in a NOAA news release.

“The evidence is conclusive that the strong growth of global CO2 emissions from the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas is driving the acceleration.”

The reading was made at the world’s oldest continuous carbon-dioxide observatory, which is located atop Hawaii’s massive Mauna Loa volcano and has been in operation since 1958.

NOAA found that on Thursday the daily mean concentration of carbon dioxide at Mauna Loa was 400.03 parts per million.

“There’s no stopping CO2 from reaching 400 (parts per million),” Ralph Keeling, a geochemist at the University of California at San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography, was quoted as saying in Friday’s release.

“That’s now a done deal. But what happens from here on still matters to climate, and it’s still under our control. It mainly comes down to how much we continue to rely on fossil fuels for energy.”

NOAA said that, “once emitted, CO2 added to the atmosphere and oceans remains for thousands of years. Thus, climate changes forced by CO2 depend primarily on cumulative emissions, making it progressively more and more difficult to avoid further substantial climate change.”

Scientists have determined that prior to the 19th-century Industrial Revolution, average global carbon-dioxide levels stood at 280 parts per million.

The rate of increase in carbon-dioxide levels has accelerated since continuous analysis at Mauna Loa began: from 0.7 parts per million annually in the late 1950s to 2.1 ppm per year over the past decade.

“Today’s rate of increase is more than 100 times faster than the increase that occurred when the last ice age ended” around 12,000 years ago, the news release said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Cuban Spy Rene Gonzalez Renounces US Citizenship

Cuban Spy Rene Gonzalez Renounces US Citizenship

Photo: Cuban Spy Rene Gonzalez Renounces US Citizenship

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Rene Gonzalez, currently on probation after spending 13 years behind bars in the United States for espionage, received on Friday formal certification of his renunciation of U.S. citizenship.

“The (U.S.) Interests Section (in Havana) gave me the certificate of loss of United States citizenship,” Gonzalez told a press conference in the Cuban capital.

“If defendant voluntarily renounces his United States citizenship ... (he) shall serve the remainder of his supervised-release term in Cuba on a non-reporting basis, and shall not return to the United States,” U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard ruled last week.

Gonzalez, a Chicago native, approached federal authorities early in 2012 with the offer to abandon his U.S. citizenship in exchange for their allowing him to return to Cuba, where his wife and daughters live.

Prosecutors recently dropped their objections and Lenard agreed to the proposal.

With Lenard’s permission, the 56-year-old Cuban intelligence officer traveled to Cuba late last month to attend his father’s funeral. The judge had allowed him to fly to Havana in March 2012 to spend two weeks with his gravely ill brother.

“Both we and the gentlemen of the U.S. Interests Section act with diligence, cooperated. They were very professional, very amiable, and the process culminated long before what the judge had asked, which was May 16,” Gonzalez said Friday.

Rene Gonzalez and four colleagues - Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez - were arrested in 1998 and convicted three years later by a federal jury in Miami.

The Cuban Five have always insisted they were spying on Miami’s Cuban exile community, not the U.S. government.

Cuba says the men were sent to Florida in the wake of several terror bombings in Havana allegedly masterminded by anti-Castro militant Luis Posada Carriles, a former CIA operative.

The other four spies remain in prison and one of them, Hernandez, is serving two life sentences for Cuba’s downing of two small aircraft belonging to Miami-based exile group Brothers to the Rescue, which resulted in four deaths.

U.S. government subcontractor Alan Gross, arrested in Cuba in December 2009 with communications gear he said he planned to distribute among the island’s Jewish community, is now at a military hospital in Havana serving a 15-year sentence for subversion.

The Cuban government has hinted that it would release Gross in exchange for the return of the four spies.

Washington, however, dismisses talk of a possible swap and insists that Cuba free Gross immediately and without conditions.

Read more by HS News Staff →

WATCH the Full Video for Mariah Carey and Miguel’s “#Beautiful” (VIDEO)

WATCH the Full Video for Mariah Carey and Miguel’s “#Beautiful” (VIDEO)

Photo: Mariah Carey and Miguel - "#Beautiful"

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

After multiple teasers, the full video for Mariah Carey and Miguel’s song “#Beautiful” was finally released this week.

Check out the video below.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Guatemalan Ex-Dictator Receives 80-Year Sentence

Guatemalan Ex-Dictator Receives 80-Year Sentence

Photo: Efrain Rios Montt

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Guatemalan former strongman Efrain Rios Montt was convicted Friday of genocide and crimes against humanity and sentenced to 80 years in prison.

His co-defendant, retired Gen. Jose Rodriguez Sanchez, was acquitted.

The court revoked Rios Montt’s house arrest and ordered him taken to prison.

Rios Montt, 86, and the 67-year-old Rodriguez were accused in the deaths of 1,771 Ixil Indians between March 1982 and August 1983 as part of a counter-insurgency campaign.

This is the first time any Guatemalan ruler has been called to account for the massacres and atrocities of the country’s 1960-1996 civil war.

Rios Montt presided over the bloodiest phase of a conflict that claimed more than 200,000 lives. Most of the dead were Indian peasants slaughtered by the army and its paramilitary allies.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Puerto Rican Rapper Yandel Leaves Hospital After Kidney Stones

Yandel, one-half of the Puerto Rican reggaeton duo Wisin & Yandel, was back home Friday after being released from a hospital in Orlando, Florida, where he was treated for kidney stones, his agent told Efe.

“Yandel is back home in Orlando recovering from a case of kidney stones and afterwards the doctors will decide if they should operate or not,” the artist’s agent Jennifer Nieman said.

Due to his medical condition, Wisin & Yandel rescheduled their planned weekend shows in Philadelphia, Massachusetts and Connecticut for later this month.

Wisin said in a communique that he was sorry to postpone the concerts, but said they will find dates to make up those performances in the future.

“Thank God Yandel is recovering and both of us will be there with all our energy to give the best of ourselves,” Wisin said.

The last time Wisin & Yandel performed in public was at the April 25 Billboard Latin Music Awards gala in Miami.

Rumors have gone the rounds, however, that the duo could be separating, after Yandel recorded without Wisin the song “Yo Soy de Aqui” together with Don Omar, Daddy Yankee and Arcangel.

“We’ve said a thousand times that it’s not true. They’re not going to break up, nor are they separated. They have concerts together until the end of the year,” Nieman said.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spain Seized 40,000 Homes in 2012

Spain Seized 40,000 Homes in 2012

Photo: Evictions

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Banks seized a total of 39,167 homes in Spain in 2012 as a result of foreclosure proceedings, according to a central bank survey of lenders published Friday.

The Banco de España study showed that in 83 percent of the cases the homes were primary dwellings.

The survey also revealed that more than half of the homes were turned over voluntarily by families. Of them, roughly 75 percent were handed over under the so-called “dacion en pago” procedure, whereby the lender fully discharges the borrower of the debt.

Banks seized the homes by court order in the other cases, with police intervention required on some occasions.

Evictions have sparked a grassroots movement in Spain in support of victims, and initiatives such as the Platform of People Affected by Mortgages are aimed at preventing home seizures via direct citizen action.

The central bank also said that as of Dec. 31, 2012, the number of outstanding mortgages came in at 6.77 million, meaning that the seized homes represented 0.58 percent of that total.

The survey also showed that 85 percent of mortgage agreements that resulted in court-ordered evictions were signed in 2007 or earlier, meaning prior to the collapse of a long-building real-estate bubble.

This marks the first time Banco de España has published data on seized homes, which was gathered via surveys of banks that manage more than 85 percent of Spanish mortgages.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Spaniard Adventurer Attempts Motorcycle Trip from Shanghai to Lisbon

Spaniard Adventurer Attempts Motorcycle Trip from Shanghai to Lisbon

Photo: Ricard Tomas (Claus Possberg)

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Spanish adventurer Ricard Tomas, together with a Brazilian and five Chinese, will try to be the first to motorcycle from this Chinese metropolis by the Pacific Ocean to Lisbon on the Atlantic.

Tomas, who is leading the expedition that left Friday from the door of the Cervantes Institute in Shanghai, told Efe that, by going on this adventure, he’ll have the “dream come true” that he had when he came to China 20 years ago, which was to return to Spain some day on a motorcycle.

As a symbol of the terrestrial unity between the two oceans, the seven bikers filled a bottle of water from the Pacific several days ago on the coast at Nanhui, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Shanghai.

That bottle of water, which looks muddy due to the high density of sediment poured into the sea at the nearby mouth of the Yangtze River, will be with the bikers all the way to Lisbon, where they hope to pour it symbolically into the Atlantic Ocean in the latter half of July.

“This trip is full of symbolisms, from the bottle of water, to uniting the oceans by crossing all Eurasia by land, and also the idea of leaving from the Cervantes Institute, the perfect cultural symbol of Spain around the world and of course in Shanghai,” Tomas said.

“You’ve always got the feeling that you’ve forgotten something, but the moment you kick-start the motorcycle all the doubts you had disappear…and some others will begin to take over,” he said as he prepared to begin the trek that will take him and his companions 18,218 kilometers (11,320 miles).

At first Tomas was going to travel alone, but after posting his plan on the Internet, people began wanting to accompany him, to the point that he finally had to make a selection. After assembling a team of four Chinese men and a Chinese woman ranging in age from 30 to 59, in April he added the Brazilian Konrad Heilmann.

Read more by HS News Staff →

Puerto Rico to Cut Off Water to Non-payers

Puerto Rico to Cut Off Water to Non-payers

Photo: Puerto Rico's water and sewer

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Puerto Rico’s heavily indebted state-owned water and sewer authority announced that it is cutting off service to customers who don’t pay their bills, including the municipal government of Arecibo.

AAA chief executive Alberto Lazaro and Arecibo Mayor Carlos Molina engaged in a war of words in the media Friday after the authority terminated water service to city hall.

AAA, which has debts of $340 million, took action after the Arecibo administration rejected a plan to pay off the $1.5 million it owes the water authority.

Several other municipalities that are heavily in arrears on their water bills have accepted payment plans, AAA customer service director Gustavo Marin said.

In August, the AAA will begin cutting off non-paying residential customers in Puerto Rico’s public housing complexes, Lazaro said.

Residents of public housing currently pay a fixed monthly rate of $19.76, regardless of how much water they use.

The AAA plans to boost water rates by an average of $20 a month.

Several scheduled rate hikes were postponed during the 2009-2013 administration of Gov. Luis Fortuño and the state Development Bank assumed part of the AAA’s debt, effectively postponing the crisis.

Besides its high indebtedness, the AAA is plagued by extensive loss of water due to deficiencies in the system.

Read more by HS News Staff →



SaturdayMay 11, 2013