Friday, August 1, 2008

De Musica Ligera: Potpourri

With the weekend finally upon us why not enjoy some music? There’s no underlying theme to the following songs except that we hope you like them:

Have a great weekend!

Image- Brooklyn Vegan (“Favela funk” group Bonde Do Role)

Sources- YouSendIt

Warrant issued vs. “Maletagate” suspect

Venezuelan prosecutor Daisy López has issued a bench warrant against a businessman accused of covering-up an election scandal in Argentina. López’ order dictates that local authorities and Interpol should try to capture Guido Antonini Wilson who is wanted in Venezuela for questioning. According to one Venezuelan source, he is supposedly in Miami helping federal officials with their case.

Antonini Wilson (image) was caught nearly one year ago trying to smuggle $800,000 in cash from Venezuela for Cristina Kirchner’s presidential campaign. As a result, he is wanted in Argentina on smuggling and money laundering charges.

Meanwhile, the attorney for one of the defendants on trial in Florida over the “Maletagate” scandal has accused the U.S. government of trying to thwart Antonini Wilson’s extradition to Argentina:

“It appears that the government was stonewalling Argentina about its extradition request,'' Edward Shohat, an attorney for Franklin Duran, said at a hearing yesterday in federal court in Miami…

No promises have been made and there has been no wink and no nod'' over the extradition request, Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Mulvihill said at the hearing yesterday.

Unlike the other defendants, Duran has pled innocent of all charges and has been reported as a “key witness” against the alleged conspirators.

The “Maletagate” scandal has been a convoluted affair with lots of finger-pointing and judicial red tape. Rumors constantly surface over what really happened; defendant Carlos Kauffman had even accused Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez of being “involved in the affair.”


Sources (English)- The Latin Americanist,, Bloomberg

Sources (Spanish)-,

New McCain ad attacks Obama on LatAm

Presidential hopeful John McCain issued a new Spanish-language web ad accusing Barack Obama of ignoring Latin America. The ad attacks Obama of not mentioning any Latin America countries during his recent speech in Berlin, Germany:

Much like previous attack ads from the McCain camp (such as this pitiful effort), the above spot makes no mention of his planned policy towards the region or even his recent political trip to Mexico and Colombia. Furthermore, it’s doubtful that today’s ad will significantly reverse his lack of support (according to recent polls) with much of the Latino electorate or in the Americas.

In my view, the ad should’ve emphasized McCain’s plans for Latin America while targeting Obama’s lack of visiting the region. (The latter was mentioned by the McCain camp before and after Obama’s trip to Europe and the Middle East). McCain has an advantage by touting his visit to South America, one that his rival needs to counter. As one columnist noted today (in a view that I concur with):

Voters have a right to know what Obama's views are on Plan Colombia, as well as on other important issues, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico, U.S. policy toward President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and U.S. response to the resistance many Latin American governments have to neoliberal economic policies imposed from Washington…

Sen. John McCain has already gone to Mexico and Colombia, and Obama cannot risk looking indifferent to the roots of tens of millions of Latinos living in the United States.

Sources- The Latin Americanist, Huffington Post, Reuters, The Olympian, Politics on the Hudson,

Brazilian Army to Permanently Occupy Indigenous Territories

Last week Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva signed a decree to permanently station the military on every indigenous reserve along the border.

The question is if the move was made to protect the indigenous communities or to protect Brazil. A recent news reports cites “possible incursions by guerrilla fighters, drug traffickers and others,” as the reason behind the occupation. But another news reports says that the Brazilian government is worried about indigenous nations declaring themselves separate nations.

During a seminar in Rio de Janeiro, General Heleno said the United Nations (UN) Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples gives room for indigenous people to cede from the state and adopt another nationality. That makes it a threat to ‘National Sovereignty.’

One month later, following a ceremony to commemorate the end of WW2, Brazil’s Defense Minister Nelson Jobim stated the military should be deployed because the State’s “territorial sovereignty is at risk,” says another report by Reuters.

“We want to be clear on something fundamental — Indian lands are Brazilian lands,” Jobim said. “There are no nations or Indian peoples, there are Brazilians who are Indians.”
Such a move could be a violation of International and Brazilian law.
Not only is it a violation of international agreements, but according to Claudio Luiz Beirao, a legal consultant to the Catholic Church’s Indigenous rights group, CIMI, it’s also against the law. “The constitution says only Indians can occupy indigenous lands unless Congress passes special legislation,” says Beirao — “and it didn’t.”
Source : The Intelligent Aboriginal News Service, Intercontinental Cry

U.S., Spain to try “self-deportation” plans for immigrants

Starting next week, U.S. immigration authorities will run a pilot “self-deportation” program for illegal immigrants. Entitled Operation Scheduled Departure, the plan would allow undocumented immigrants to turn themselves in without arrest and would give them three months to make arrangements for their families before deportation.

Supporters of the plan, such as Homeland Security officials and some politicos, have argued that it would save public funds and allow illegal immigrants to leave the U.S. “without any harm.” On the other hand, opponents argue that the program is unrealistic and a weak alternative to widespread reform:

“This sounds like a policy straight out of a Saturday Night Live skit, not a serious proposal," said Frank Sharry, executive director of America's Voice, an immigrant advocacy group. "The idea that millions of people are going to knock on the government's door and ask to be deported is pure fantasy. This is not a solution; this is mass deportation on the cheap, and it just won't work."

Across the Atlantic, Spain will initiate its own “program of voluntary return” next month. Under Spain’s plan, the government would offer financial incentives for unemployed immigrants to return to their countries of origin. The flip-side is that they would have to wait at least three years before reapplying to work in Spain.

Though the Spanish program is designed for legal immigrants, it’s expected to be coupled with upcoming stricter measures against undocumented immigrants.

Image- ABC News

Sources- Guardian UK, On Deadline,, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Daily Headlines: August 1, 2008

* Ecuador: Indigenous leaders are planning to meet with politicians in Washington and will denounce “Chevron's desperate attempt to quash” accusations of polluting in the rainforest.

* U.S.: Governor Bill Richardson may have endorsed Barack Obama though that hasn’t stopped him from planning a pair of fundraisers to lower Hillary Clinton’s campaign debts.

* Brazil: Workers at Petrobras oil firm have decided to suspend their strike planned for this Tuesday.

* Bolivia: After two days of occupying Bolivia’s Communications Palace, protestors agreed to leave but will continue to pressure the government to approve a new pension law.

Image- On Deadline (“In this 1995 AP file photo, Ecuadorean women stand near an open oil pit in the Sucumbios province in the Amazon, where Chevron operated.”)

Sources- The Latin Americanist, AHN, Reuters, Xinhua, MarketWatch

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Today’s Video: Habanera

Bizet would be proud:

Sources- YouTube

Mexican Deputy AG quits

The second-in-command at Mexico’s attorney general's office resigned earlier today.

Noe Ramirez Mandujano had served as head of the Office for Special Investigation Into Organized Crime (SIEDO) for 20 months before quitting. It was reported that several factors led to Ramirez Mandujano’s resignation including the “poor results” against organized crime. (For instance, Mexican authorities admitted that money laundering “had shot up” in recent years.)

Violence between drug gangs has become one of the key reasons behind Mexico’s high levels of crime; six people were killed execution-style in one massacre on Thursday. Yet rumored corruption in Mexico’s attorney general's office became a more pressing issue in recent months:

A shake-up in the attorney general's office had been rumored since an alleged high-ranking operative for the Juarez cartel nearly succeeded in escaping from the agency's custody in June…

In April, the alleged leader of a kidnapping gang died in the custody of the (SIEDO). The agency said that Asael Alejandre Roldan committed suicide by hanging himself with his jacket. But a videotape obtained by local media showed Roldan dressed only in a T-shirt and jeans at the time of his arrest, raising suspicions about the circumstances surrounding his death.


Sources (English)- Los Angeles Times, Reuters UK

Sources (Spanish)- El Universal, Excelsior, Milenio,

Banco de Venezuela to be nationalized says Chavez

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez announced plans to nationalize the local arm of Spain’s Banco Santander.

In a televised speech earlier today, Chavez said that the government would attempt to purchase the Banco de Venezuela after Santander’s directors wanted to sell it to a private firm. Chavez neglected to provide too many details as to why he wanted to nationalize Banco de Venezuela except to say that “the government was interested” in buying it.

It was a week ago that Chavez reconciled with Spanish King Juan Carlos yet Chavez anticipates a backlash from across the Atlantic:

"There'll be headlines in the Spanish press, 'Is Chavez harming Spain'... to undo the (diplomatic) relations we've just mended," he said, alluding to his meetings last week in Spain with King Juan Carlos and Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

The meeting closed a diplomatic spat over a verbal squabble between Chavez and the king at a Latin American summit in Santiago in November, during which the king told Chavez to "shut up."

Part of several key sectors have been nationalized in Venezuela under Chavez such as telecom, energy, and oil. Not all of the government's gestures have gone smoothly as was the case with ExxonMobil earlier this year.

Image- BBC News

Sources- The Latin Americanist, Bloomberg, Reuters UK,, Al Jazeera English, AFP

Follow-up: Suspect arrested in transgendered Latina murder

Police in Greely, Colorado nabbed a suspect in the murder of Angie Zapata, an 18-year-old transgender woman. Allen Ray Andrade was arrested after police answered a loud noise complaint and found Zapata's car. According to court documents, Andrade cold-heartedly killed Zapata after finding out that she was transgendered:

In an affidavit, Andrade explains that he started to look at photos in the apartment and questioned Zapata's sex...That night, he questioned Zapata directly, and according to the affidavit, Zapata responded, "I'm all woman."

Andrade told authorities that he grabbed Zapata by the genitals and discovered a penis. He became angry and struck Zapata with his fist before grabbing a fire extinguisher and striking her in the head twice, according to the affidavit.

Andrade explains to police that he believed he "killed it," referring to Zapata but when she was making gurgling noises and when she began to sit up, he hit her with the extinguisher yet again.

Zapata’s sister expressed relief over Andrade’s arrest yet admitted that “he took a part of our heart, he did, when he killed her.” Local prosecutors were unsure if Andrade will be charged with a hate crime though Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck said that the accused will be “pursued aggressively” for the murder.

(Hat tip: Guanabee).

Image- ABC News (“On Thursday, July 17, Angie Zapata, an 18-year old Latina transgender woman, was found murdered in her home in Colorado.”)

Sources- The Latin Americanist, Post Chronicle, Metro, Denver Post, Greely Tribune, Guanabee

Hispanics twice as likely to be searched while driving

The Chicago Tribune has an opinion article today about traffic stops and race in Illinois. It reports that police infrequently ask to search a car during a traffic stop -- about 1 in 100 times -- but when asked, most people consent.

Hispanics are twice as likely as whites to be asked, and blacks are three times as likely, the article reported. However, more drugs and other contraband are found in cars where the owners are white, according to the article.

The American Civil Liberties Union has asked police to end all searches because of the disparity.

What do you think?

Daily Headlines: July 31, 2008

* Paraguay: Pope Benedict gave the green light for ex-bishop Fernando Lugo to serve as Paraguayan president without violating church regulations.

* U.S.: More information has emerged regarding a recent salmonella scare in the U.S.; this time health officials said that the outbreak has been linked to a Mexican farm.

* Chile: Chile and Australia have signed a free trade pact which hopes to increase trade and allows more Chilean students to study in Aussie universities.

* Argentina: Soccer star Lionel Messi looks like he’ll be playing with his country’s Olympic team after FIFA decided in his favor.

Image- Catholic News Agency

Sources- Reuters, AFP, The Latin Americanist, CNN, Xinhua

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Today’s Video: Argentine abortions

The following video clip looks at the risks and factors surrounding illegal abortions in Argentina. According to the report, 400 women die yearly due to back alley abortions, and examines the debate between government and opponents over reproductive rights.

Except under extreme circumstances, abortion is banned in Argentina. Still, over 500,000 illegal abortions are performed in Argentina yearly with those most at risk coming from the lowest social classes.

Sources- Human Rights Watch, YouTube, Guardian UK

Gilberto Gil says “adeus” to ministerial post

Seminal Brazilian singer/songwriter Gilberto Gil quit from his post as culture minister after working for nearly five years. “I felt a big pressure on my artistic work that was accumulating,” Gil said as his third stab at resigning in less than a year was accepted by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva earlier today.

Despite being such a well-known performer, Gil’s musical career has always had a political slant since he helped found the Tropicalismo movement in the 1960's.

During Gil’s time as cultural minister, he promoted treasures such as capoeira and samba while bringing to light “neglected forms of cultural expression” like indigenous painting. At times he faced controversy such as when he backed the free online downloading of music. (Coincidentally, he publicly announced his resignation during “a conference on authorial rights in Rio de Janeiro.”)

Gil will continue to keep performing concerts worldwide and will surely promote unity via music as he did in one recent performance:

(…)"bringing people together"—and all the happy incongruities that old-fashioned ideal implies—has been Gil's tack for over 35 years…

(His) set fixated on themes of communication and interrelation. To start, his band built a spidery funk song from a ringtone (rather than the other way around), a gesture that encapsulated both his ruminative bent and his cheeky sensibility… His occasional corniness, though, makes him a more believably humanistic David Byrne: someone thrilled enough by the way people come together to join in, rather than organize a grant-funded multimedia installation about it.


Sources- AFP, BBC News, Bloomberg, Village Voice, Xinhua, PBS,

Ecuador to U.S. – No vacancy at Manta base

Ecuador’s government will official boot the U.S. military from using the Manta air base when its lease expires net year. Manta has served as the U.S. army’s lone South American military outpost chiefly for counternarcotics operations and has stationed over 300 soldiers.

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has long promised to remove the U.S. military from Manta and the country’s draft constitution even has an article prohibiting “foreign military bases or installations…on Ecuadorian soil. According to Ecuador’s Foreign Ministry, surveillance flights will end in August 2009 and troops will leave three months after that.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said that the U.S. government would respect Ecuador’s decision but warned that the lack of a base would hinder counternarcotics efforts.

Will the U.S. try to find another large base in South America to replace the one at Manta? One senior Air Force official said in January that they would most likely try for “small, temporary, forward operating locations.” Yet that hasn’t stopped speculation that the U.S. military will establish a major outpost in Peru or Colombia.

Image- (“A US military plane lands at the US base airport in Manta, Ecuador, Friday, Dec. 14, 2006.”)

Sources- Al Jazeera English, earthtimes, Press TV, The Latin Americanist, BBC News, UPI,

Disney's Beverly Hills Chihuahua : Teaching Kids Machu Pichu is in Mexico

I could list a million things wrong with the Disney flick Beverly Hills Chihuahua and please feel free to add your own but given that Disney is gearing the film to impressionable young children , stereotypes aside (and carajo there are alot ) couldn't they at least get their geography correct? Watch the images on the trailer and see if you spot the mistake.

If you said, "um wait that's Machu Pichu, in Peru, land of the Incas not the Aztecs" then you win!
But hey to most gringos it's all the same, you know warriors, papis, bad Spanish accents, latin lover stereotypes.

Let the education begin!!!!

Source : Cineencuentro, Global Voices

Daily Headlines: July 30, 2008

* Mexico: Immigration raids and a weakened U.S. construction market are said to be the causes of a “sustained drop” in remittances to Mexico.

* Cuba: Two Cuban baseball players have gone missing and possibly defected while their team was playing in a tournament in Canada.

* Brazil: Health officials expanded an alert over yellow fever after two deaths were confirmed in Sao Paulo in June.

* Guatemala: The country’s attorney general quit yesterday as crime continues to rise.


Sources-, Associated Press, Reuters UK, Bloomberg

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Today’s Video: Arriba charruas!

Monday we missed posting our usual daily video clip; to make up for that, we’re embedding two videos today that look at Uruguay.

The first clip looks at Uruguay’s title in the first ever soccer World Cup held in 1930. Tuesday was the 78th anniversary of that championship which they won in Montevideo over neighbors (and close rivals) Argentina by a score of 4-2:

The most recent episode of “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” aired this past Monday. The famed chef/author traveled to Uruguay with his brother to check out some family history and (naturally) try some of the local delicacies. As you can tell from the brief clip below, Uruguay is all about meat, meat, meat!

Sources-, YouTube, Travel Channel

Brazil: Officials ID body of ballooning priest

Brazilian authoritative declared that a DNA sample taken from a dead body found earlier this month matched that of a missing priest.

On April 20th, Father Adelir Antonio de Carli strapped hundreds of helium-filled balloons to himself and set off from the off from the port city of Paranagua. De Carli planned to stay up in the air for over 19 hours in order to raise funds for a worship center for local truckers. Yet after eight hours in the air he was reported missing and his body was untraced until tugboat workers found the lifeless, floating body at sea.

Despite de Carli’s death, his brother told Brazilian press that his mission was not in vain:

“The flight was rewarding for his project despite his death. He always did things out of generosity to help others and not for himself or his own ego.” [ed. personal translation with help from Babelfish].

Image- CBS News (“This photo shows a cluster of colored party balloons floating in the ocean near Florianopolis, in Brazil's southern state of Santa Catarina on April 22, 2008. Catholic priest Adelir Antonio di Carli used the balloons…”)

Sources (English)- BBC News, Babelfish, Reuters UK, Xinhua

Sources (Portuguese)- Folha Online

U.N.: 1.7 million LatAm AIDS cases

A UNAIDS report released today showed that AIDS fatalities decreased in 2007 as prevention programs have worked in some countries and more drugs have been distributed to keep HIV in check. UNAIDS executive director Peter Piot said that the report represents “the most positive” study on the pandemic by the agency as the number of AIDS deaths worldwide decreased for the second straight year.

Not all was good news in the UNAIDS report; despite praising prevention plans in countries like Chile and Brazil, Latin America had more HIV infections (1.7 million) than any other region except southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, the study found that:

  • 40% of those infected in Latin America come from Brazil
  • Over half of Mexicans infected with HIV got it through unprotected male sex
  • HIV is typically spread through some Central American countries via intercourse with sex workers
  • An estimated two-thirds of AIDS cases in Uruguay came about from unprotected sex

Though the percentage of people worldwide with AIDS has been roughly the same since 2000, Piot warned that “short-term gains should serve as a platform for reinvigorating combination HIV prevention and treatment efforts and not spur complacency.”

The report was publicized in anticipation of the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City which starts next Monday.

Image- Guardian UK (“Drugs to suppress the HIV virus and prevent full-blown Aids have been rolled out in Africa and Asia and 3 million people are now surviving who would have died.”)

Sources (English)- AFP, Bloomberg, Monsters & Critics, Reuters UK, BBC News

Sources (Spanish)- La Nación

Chile: Pinochet daughter to run for office

One of the daughters of the late Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet announced her plans to run for office. Lucia Pinochet Hiriart (image) made her candidacy official earlier this week by running for councilor in “one of the most luxurious neighborhoods of Santiago”.

According to Chile’s La Nación, Pinochet Hiriart decided to launch her candidacy at the last minute:

(During the registration of her candidacy) she admitted doubt “until the end.” Yet became convinced when she viewed “so much enthusiasm in her neighborhood.”

“They told me that I should be a candidate for deputy (in the national legislature) but I prefer that my son Rodrigo run next year.” [ed. personal translation]

Approximately twelve thousand people registered to run for the hundreds of local seats around the country. Parties opposed to President Michelle Bachelet’s administration hope to make significant gains in the local elections.

Pinochet Hiriart and four of her children had been briefly arrested in 2007 on charges of corruption but those charges were eventually dropped.

Image- CBS News

Sources (English)- BBC News, Reuters, The Latin Americanist

Sources (Spanish)- La Nación, El Mercurio

Stars honor Hispanic athletes

Sports and entertainment stars came to Miami last night for the first-ever Spanish-language "Tecate Premios Deportes" (Tecate Sports Awards) broadcast on Univision.

Honorees included Oscar de la Hoya, who received te Golden Eagle Award, Alex Rodriguez, who won Baseball Player of the Year and Mexican soccer player Cuauhtemoc Blanco, who won Athlete of the Year and North American Soccer Player of the Year.

Flex, Diana Reyes and Banda El Recodo all performed at the event.

Awards were based on "statistical excellence," being in a televised professional sport, impact on team and their reputation as a role model for the Hispanic community.

Find out all the winners here.

Source: MarketWatch, Photo: Futbol 91, Blanco

2008 race brings attention, influence

Obviously the 2008 race for president has garnered some interest in other countries, especially after Barack Obama's swing through Europe last week and John McCain's stroll through Latin America a few weeks back.

But how do the citizens of these countries see this race?

The Miami Herald has a three-part story investigating the answer to this question.

The reporters travel from South Florida to the Caribbean, asking everyone along the way for opinions.

Read all three parts here.

Daily Headlines: July 29, 2008

* U.S.: A Justice Department memo revealed that senior aides under ex-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales (image) engaged in “misconduct” by using politics to hire less-qualified prosecutors and immigration judges.

* Latin America: According to the latest Worldwide Cost of Living Survey Sao Paulo, Río de Janeiro, Caracas, and Bogota are among the most expensive cities in Latin America.

* Nicaragua: President Daniel Ortega must decide if he’ll accept or reject a U.S. deal to destroy over 600 missiles in exchange for healthcare aid.

* Puerto Rico: Governor Anibal Acevedo Vila proposed a plan to slash taxes as part of a re-election promise to the electorate.


Sources- AFP,,, Bloomberg, New York Times,

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ex-Haitian strongman convicted

Former Haitian paramilitary leader Emmanuel "Toto" Constant (image) was convicted in a U.S. federal court on Friday. Despite being accused of crimes like torture and murder in the 1990s, Constant was convicted of mortgage fraud after he fled Haiti to the U.S.

He is expected to be sentenced in September and faces a maximum of fifteen years in jail. A previous plea deal arranged between prosecutors and Constant’s attorneys was dropped after his human rights abuses became public:

(…) At the time, prosecutors and the Department of Homeland Security had urged state Supreme Court Justice Abraham Gerges to sentence Constant to time served, about 10 months, to speed his deportation to Haiti.

Instead, the judge ordered Constant to go to trial, saying the murder and torture allegations facing him in his homeland "are heinous, and the court cannot in good conscience consent to the previously negotiated sentence"…

In Haiti, victims of paramilitary violence cheered news of Constant's fraud conviction, saying it bolstered hopes he would next face prosecution on murder and torture charges at home.

"I hope the (Haitian) government was taking notes, so they can be ready," said Mario Joseph, a lawyer for the victims of the 1994 attacks in Raboteau, where soldiers and paramilitaries are believed to have killed an unknown number of Aristide supporters.

Constant’s trial even drew the attention of actor Danny Glover who argued that victims in Haiti deserve for Constant to “stand trial there.”

Image- The Empire Zone

Sources- International Herald Tribune, New York Daily News, The Latin Americanist, WNYC

Region eyes candidates and leans Democratic

As the US presidential race takes an international stage this month, new coverage is emerging on how the citizens of Latin American and Caribbean countries view Senators John McCain and Barack Obama, and their prospective presidencies.

According the Miami Herald this past weekend, "many residents say they like the youth and promise of change of Sen. Barack Obama, the presumed Democratic nominee. But many others say they like Sen. John McCain, the presumed Republican nominee, for his stance in favor of free trade."

A recent Pew Center survey in select countries across the world shows that Obama holds a considerable global edge in support over McCain - as high as 43 points (on average) in Europe. In the two Latin American countries included (Mexico and Brazil), Obama leads by a combined 16 points.

The Pew poll notwithstanding, many contend that Latin America and the Caribbean continues to struggle with entrenched racism and race-based social stratification - in ways often more subtle and complicated than in the US. These reasons, among others, might contribue to the small margin of support for Obama compared to other major world regions.

The Herald's Andres Oppenheimer has assembled a three-part series on how the people in the region see the US presidential race:

Part I - Focus on Obama
Part II - Focus on McCain
Part III - Focus on Caribbean

Sources: Miami Herald, Lz Voz Nueva, New York Times, Pew Center

Daily Headlines: July 28, 2008

* Colombia: FARC guerilla commander Ivan Marquez said that he would reject an offer to free hostages in exchange for asylum abroad.

* U.S.: Hundreds of protestors marched in Iowa yesterday to denounce a May immigration raid leading to the arrests of almost 400 people.

* Bolivia: Nearly half of Bolivians responding to a recent poll would back president Evo Morales in a recall referendum next month.

* Puerto Rico: Previously undefeated pugilist Miguel Cotto lost on Saturday in a hard-fought bout against Mexican Antonio Margarito.

Image- (“One of seven rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, who surrendered to the Army, stands with his face covered at a military base in Cali, Colombia, Monday, June 23, 2008. (AP / Christian Escobar Mora)”)

Sources- Xinhua, Angus Reid Consultants,, The Latin Americanist