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ThursdayMay 1, 2014

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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Mine Collapse in Colombia Kills 3, Traps 30

At least three people were killed and between 20 and 30 others trapped when an illegal gold mine collapsed in Santander de Quilichao, a city in the southwestern Colombian province of Cauca, officials said Thursday.

The collapse occurred Wednesday night in the rural district of San Antonio, Cauca Gov. Temistocles Ortega told RCN La Radio.

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REPORT:  Murder Rate for Hispanics Twice that of White Population

The homicide victimization rate for Hispanics, most of whom are killed with firearms, is more than twice as high as the murder rate for whites in the United States, a gun-control advocacy organization said in a study released Thursday.

Homicide is the second-leading cause of death for Hispanics aged 15 to 24, while for whites in that age range it is the fourth-most likely cause and for blacks it is the primary cause, the Washington-based Violence Policy Center said.

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Panama Authorities Break Up Money Laundering Ring, Seize Thousands in Cash

The Panamanian police seized $167,170 in cash and a 9 mm pistol from four people arrested on suspicion of money laundering, authorities said Thursday.

The arrests were made early Wednesday morning in the capital’s northern Las Cumbres sector, according to a communique released by the DIJ investigative agency.

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Mexico Passes Bill To Try Soldiers in Civilian Court

Mexico Passes Bill To Try Soldiers in Civilian Court

Photo: Mexican Soldiers

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Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies has approved changes to the military code of justice, unanimously passing a bill that requires soldiers implicated in crimes against civilians to be tried in civilian courts.

The bill, passed unanimously by the Senate last week, is part of steps taken by Mexico to comply with a 2009 Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruling.

Once President Enrique Peña Nieto signs the bill into law, cases involving alleged crimes by soldiers against civilians will no longer be under military jurisdiction.

These changes are “reforms that guarantee human rights and comply with new international criteria regarding military jurisdiction,” lawmaker Ricardo Mejia, deputy coordinator of the center-left Citizens’ Movement party, said.

Military police will conduct investigations under the direction of civilian prosecutors and be required to offer assistance to victims and protection to witnesses.

They also will be tasked with arresting military suspects and immediately turning them over to civilian prosecutors.

In cases of alleged crimes against military discipline, the military police officers will be authorized to conduct personal inspections of the detainee and collect items in his or her possession.

Armed forces members who have committed crimes against civilians may be held in pre-trial detention in military lockups when military authorities deem it necessary to protect their rights.

In such cases, military authorities will cooperate with the civilian courts to ensure the accused appears before the judicial authorities when summoned.

Mexico’s Supreme Court limited military jurisdiction in July 2011, but that ruling did not set a binding legal precedent in the country’s justice system.

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Brazil Invites Investors to Bid on 4G Expansion

Brazil’s government wants to get foreign companies to bid in the next wireless 4G auction in an effort to increase competition, Communications Minister Paulo Bernardo Silva said.

The auction of 700 MHz spectrum is scheduled for August and the government expects it will generate between $3.15 billion and $3.6 billion, Silva said.

The minister said he planned to travel to the United States, Europe and possibly Asia in June to drum up interest in the auction on the part of international telecom companies.

Bidders will not be required to offer 4G service in less profitable rural areas in this round, creating more interest among foreign telecom firms, Silva said.

The government wants to increase competition to improve service and bring down prices, the communications minister said.

Brazilian wireless providers are in the process of rolling out 2.5 GHz 4G service, with the 12 cities hosting World Cup matches in June and July receiving the faster connections first.

Coverage, under the terms of the 2012 auction, will be expanded over the next two years, with all cities having more than 100,000 residents getting the faster service by the end of 2016.

Large telecom companies Vivo, the Brazilian subsidiary of Spain’s Telefonica; Tim, the wireless unit of Telecom Italia; Claro, a unit of Mexico’s America Movil; Oi SA, a Portugal Telecom subsidiary; and Nextel dominated the bidding two years ago.

Companies bidding in August will have to make an additional payment to compensate television broadcasters, who currently use the 700 MHz spectrum.

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Blog del Narco: Knights Templar CFO Discovered Dead in Funeral Home Under Alias

Blog del Narco: Knights Templar CFO Discovered Dead in Funeral Home Under Alias

Photo: Samer Jose Servin

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The top financial manager for the Caballeros Templarios drug cartel has died from natural causes, Mexican authorities said.

Soldiers seized a body believed to be that of Samer Jose Servin from a funeral home in Morelia, capital of the western state of Michoacan, the Agency for Criminal Investigation, or AIC, said in a statement.

Examinations confirmed that the dead man was indeed Servin, the AIC said, describing the deceased as the “principal financial operator” of a criminal organization in Michoacan.

While the Mexican government has stopped referring to criminal outfits by name in official statements, media accounts link Servin to the Templarios.

Servin’s family tried to conceal his death, using a false name at the funeral home, according to the AIC.

Servin, who suffered from diabetes and kidney disease, died of heart failure, press reports said.

Four years ago, Mexican authorities offered a reward of 10 million pesos ($760,000) for information leading to the arrest of Servin as the “financial leader and money launderer” of La Familia Michoacana, a precursor of the Templarios cartel.

Mexico’s government deployed soldiers and police in Michoacan on Jan. 13 in an effort to end the wave of drug-related violence in the state almost a year after communities and businesspeople began organizing militias to battle the Templarios.

Federal security forces killed the Templarios cartel’s two top leaders, Nazario Moreno Gonzalez and Enrique Plancarte Solis, in February and March, respectively.

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Mexico Increasing In Popularity as Destination for Spanish Seeking Surrogates

Mexico Increasing In Popularity as Destination for Spanish Seeking Surrogates

Photo: Mexico Surrogacy

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Every year, around 800 Spanish couples who see surrogacy as their only reproductive option must go abroad because Spain does not permit the practice, experts said here Thursday at a conference organized by the law firm Subrogalia.

Only a few countries have legislation regulating surrogacy and establishing that legal paternity resides with the couple who hire the surrogate, specialists in the field told Efe.

Spanish couples pay anywhere from 50,000 to 200,000 euros ($70,000-$277,000) for the process.

The No. 1 surrogacy destination for Spanish couples is Ukraine, where some clinics offer unlimited implantation procedures for a fixed fee, but Mexico is becoming more popular, as Ukrainian law bars surrogacy clinics from serving single people and gay or lesbian couples.

“Four years ago, the United States was the top destination and represented around 80 percent of all Spanish couples,” Subrogalia president Diego Sanchez said, adding that the proportion has since fallen to 15 percent.

“If we could go to a closer country to hire surrogate mothers, then we would,” he said.

While Britain, Greece and Cyprus permit surrogacy, the practice is limited to residents and the prospective parents may not pay the surrogate, the attorney said.

Adoption is difficult in Spain, Sanchez said, noting that “more than 15,000 couples are officially registered on the waiting list to adopt 80-100 children a year.”

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Direct TV to Offer New Reality Channel ¡Hola! TV

The lifestyles and reality channel ¡Hola! TV, which is owned by Spanish network Atresmedia and Hola magazine, begins broadcasting in the United States on Thursday after reaching an agreement with DirecTV.

Serving the U.S. market has been a goal since the channel launched in September 2013, ¡Hola! TV chief Ignacio Sanz said.

Expanding into the United States was “complicated” because it is “a much more mature market, competitive and tough,” Sanz told Efe.

The solid ratings posted by the channel during its first six months on the air in Latin America, where it was one of the top 10 channels viewed on DirecTV’s entertainment tier, helped seal the deal.

“DirecTV was able to see the channel’s qualities, the value and offerings we bring, and they have been the first to launch the channel in the United States,” Sanz said.

¡Hola! TV arrived in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela in late 2013, thanks to an alliance between Hola magazine, known for its coverage of celebrities, and Atresmedia.

The channel enters a market that already features popular English-language celebrity networks E! and TMZ TV, but executives said they planned to compete with “very different” programming.

¡Hola! TV avoids “yellow journalism,” reporting “rumors” and “making celebrities look ridiculous,” Sanz said.

“The channel tends to be more feminine than masculine, with women 18 to 45, who in the advertising world are the most desired audience, where tendencies start being formed, the consumption habits, and where there is the most buying power,” Sanz said.

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ThursdayMay 1, 2014