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TuesdayMay 6, 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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Pemex’s Gas Production Rises 8 Percent In March

Gasoline production rose to an average of 446,000 barrels per day (bpd) in March, up 8 percent from the same month last year, state-owned oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, said.

The increase in production was the equivalent of 32,000 bpd, Pemex said in a statement.

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REPORT:  Colombian President Target of Cyber-Spy Operation, Emails Hacked

Investigators discovered a clandestine cyber-espionage operation targeting the government’s negotiations with leftist guerrillas, Colombia’s attorney general said Tuesday, adding that the spies apparently intercepted President Juan Manuel Santos’ e-mails.

“The aim of the people who are connected to that criminal enterprise, was to sabotage and interfere with the peace process in Havana,” Eduardo Montealegre told a press conference.

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U.S. and Colombian Authorities Seize 1.5 Tons of Cocaine in the Caribbean

Colombian police and elements of the U.S. Coast Guard and Drug Enforcement Administration seized in international waters more than 1.5 tons of cocaine and arrested four people, authorities here said Tuesday.

The joint operation, dubbed “Republica 88,” was carried out at a spot in the Caribbean known as La Raya, near where the maritime borders of Colombia and Honduras converge, according to a communique issued by the Colombian police.

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Cuba and France Set to Increase Trade Relations

Cuba and France on Monday signed an agreement to increase bilateral trade with a short-term line of credit, Cuban official media said.

The accord was inked by Cuba’s foreign trade and investment minister, Rodrigo Malmierca, and the French secretary of state for foreign trade and tourism, Fleur Pellerin, who traveled to Havana for this week’s FITCUBA 2014 tourism fair.

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Complaints of Abuse by Border Agents Rarely Lead to Action

Complaints of Abuse by Border Agents Rarely Lead to Action

Photo: Border Patrol Agents

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In a new report, the American Immigration Council shines a light on the lack of accountability and transparency which afflicts the U.S. Border Patrol and its parent agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The report, titled No Action Taken: Lack of CBP Accountability in Responding to Complaints of Abuse, analyzes data on the way in which CBP handles complaints about abuse which people have allegedly suffered at the hands of Border Patrol agents. Although it is not possible to determine which of the cases covered by the data had merit and which did not, it is clear that the majority of complaints ended the same way: with “no action taken” against the Border Patrol agents accused of the abuse. Given the Border Patrol’s track record when it comes to abuse, it is highly unlikely that so many of these cases were truly without merit.

The data, which the Immigration Council acquired through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, covers 809 complaints of alleged abuse lodged against Border Patrol agents between January 2009 and January 2012. According to the data provided by CBP, “physical abuse” was the most prevalent reason for a complaint, occurring in 40 percent of all cases, followed by “excessive use of force” (38 percent). Among the 809 formal complaints filed against the agency, 472 (58.3 percent) resulted in “No Action Taken,” while 40 percent of complaints (324) were still being investigated when the Immigration Council received the data in response to the FOIA request. Six complaints resulted in counseling, two led to court proceedings against the perpetrator, two led to an oral reprimand of the accused, and an additional two resulted in a written report. Only one resulted in suspension of the perpetrator of the abuse. In other words, among the 485 complaints in which a formal decision was made, “No Action Taken” represented 97 percent of all outcomes.

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Antonio Bandaras on Hispanic Artists and Their Roles in Hollywood

Antonio Bandaras on Hispanic Artists and Their Roles in Hollywood

Photo: Rescued miners Mario Sepulveda and Luis Ursua, Spanish actor Antonio Banderas and Chilean President Sebastian

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Spanish actor Antonio Banderas said here that he is proud to be a part of the generation of Hispanic artists who managed to open the doors of Hollywood and consolidate themselves in the movie mecca.

Banderas, who was in Bogota to present his new ladies’ fragrance, “Her Golden Secret,” recalled at a press conference his early years in movies and gave details about his most recent film project,” The 33,” about the Chilean miners who were trapped in a collapsed mine for 70 days in 2010.

The 53-year-old actor said that one of the first things he was told when he arrived in the United States was that if he stayed in Hollywood “I was going to be a villain all my life” in terms of the roles that came his way, since “blacks and Hispanics” are (or were) the bad guys in film.

The interesting thing, Banderas added, was that when he starred in the 1998 film “The Mask of Zorro,” the bad guy was blond and “had blue eyes.”

Hispanics who have made a career in movies or in any other professional sphere in the United States “have struggled a lot, have come from countries in conflict, where many difficulties have occurred” with the aim of having their children go to college, Banderas said.

The children of those pioneers “currently are in positions of power (and that) had to be reflected in Hollywood,” he added.

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Blog del Narco: Zetas and Gulf Cartels Continue to Battle over US Routes in Tamaulipas

Blog del Narco: Zetas and Gulf Cartels Continue to Battle over US Routes in Tamaulipas

Photo: Mexican Cartel Map

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Federal security forces killed five gunmen in separate shootouts and arrested 15 others in Tamaulipas, a state in northeastern Mexico, the Tamaulipas Coordination Group, or GCT, said.

“Members of a criminal group attacked Federal Police officers on patrol” in the city of Reynosa, located across the border from McAllen, Texas, shortly after 2:00 p.m. on Monday, the GCT, a joint federal and state agency, said in a statement.

The attack led to a chase that ended at the entrance to a shopping center parking lot, where four armed civilians riding in an automobile without tags “were killed when they tried to get away by firing at the federales,” the GCT said.

Gunmen riding in an SUV opened fire at 11:15 a.m. Monday “on Navy Secretariat troops who were on patrol” in Matamoros, located across the border from Brownsville, Texas, the GCT said.

The gunmen tried to drive away from the marines but lost control and hit a tree, igniting a container of gasoline they were carrying.

Marines killed a gunman who tried to fire at them with a rifle, but the other suspects got away, the GCT said.

Army troops, meanwhile, detained 15 suspected criminals in different operations across the state.

The Gulf and Los Zetas drug cartels have been fighting for control of Tamaulipas and smuggling routes into the United States for years.

The violence has spiked in recent weeks, but federal officials have not taken any additional measures to deal with the situation in the border state.

Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo said recently that there were no plans to name a special commissioner for Tamaulipas as was done in the western state of Michoacan.

Read more at Blog del Narco Here

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Puerto Rico Limits Access to Key Tourist Site- Glowing Bay

Puerto Rico Limits Access to Key Tourist Site- Glowing Bay

Photo: bioluminescent bay on the island of Vieques

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Puerto Rican authorities are limiting visits to a bioluminescent bay on the island of Vieques whose glow has been fading.

The Mosquito Bay park, a major tourist attraction, will be open to visitors just three days a week for at least two months as scientists try to determine the cause of the diminishing luminescence, the Department of Natural Resources said.

While studies are already in progress, no concrete answers have emerged, Mark Martin, of the Vieques Conservation and Historical Trust, told Efe.

“We have data, but we will not offer a theory. This has shown itself to be a very charged issue and we prefer to wait for scientific results,” he said.

The team looking into the mystery includes Martin, personnel from Puerto Rico’s Environmental Quality Board, university professors and experts from the U.S. Geological Survey.

One tour company, East Island Excursions, stopped taking people to Mosquito Bay three months ago, manager Iris Gonzalez said.

“Due to the situation, we are investigating and reading about what happens. Because depending on the results, we will decide when we will return to bringing people (to the bay),” she told Efe.

“Many people want to see that lake,” Gonzalez said, but the glow is currently so faint that it is not worth making the trip.

The decision to restrict access is aimed at protecting “this extraordinary natural resource that is a tourist attraction at the global level,” Natural Resources Secretary Carmen Guerrero said.

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Actress Eva Longoria Kicks Off Latino Victory Project- PAC to Find Future Hispanic Leaders

Actress Eva Longoria Kicks Off Latino Victory Project- PAC  to Find Future Hispanic Leaders

Photo: Eva Longoria at National Press Club

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Actress Eva Longoria on Monday fired the figurative starter pistol for the Latino Victory Project, an initiative that is designed to increase the influence of the Latino community and find future Hispanic leaders in the hopes that one of them will ultimately occupy the White House.

The project was unveiled at an event at the National Press Club in Washington.

The aim of the LVP is to empower those who could be the new generation of Hispanic leaders to ensure that the voice of their community is heard in the halls of power, Longoria told Efe.

“It’s the first organization of its type. There has never been one that focuses on the three aspects to which we’re going to dedicate ourselves, which are: identifying Latino leaders, mobilizing support behind them and developing leaders for the future,” the actress said.

The LVP is the latest political adventure engaged in by the star, who stood out in her role as a fundraiser for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

Longoria has embarked on this project - which will have the slogan “We Are the Future” - with Henry Muñoz III, finance chairman for the Democratic National Committee.

The actress emphasized during her speech at the project’s unveiling that although some 11 million Latinos cast ballots in 2012, another 12 million eligible Hispanic voters stayed at home.

Hispanics hold a mere 28 seats out of the 435 in the U.S. House of Representatives and only three of the 100 members of the Senate are Latino.

One of those lawmakers, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), the twin brother of San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, will be one of the politicians who will receive the support of the Latino Victory PAC (political action committee).

“Latinos don’t have the influence you think they should based on their numbers. And it’s damaging for democracy when a big community like that isn’t voting like it should,” Castro told Efe.

Besides the legislator, others among the first candidates the LVP will support are Amanda Renteria, who aspires to a U.S. House seat in California, and Texas state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, who is running for lieutenant governor of the Lone Star state.

All those candidates belong to the Democratic Party, although the LVP defines itself as non-partisan.

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TuesdayMay 6, 2014