Friday, May 11, 2012

Today’s Video: Seeking Justice on Mexico's Mothers Day

Mother's love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved.
---German psychologist and philosopher Erich Fromm

On May 10th, the date that is observed as Mother’s Day in Mexico, several thousand protesters from around the country gathered in Mexico City. As seen in the below video, participants in the “March for National Dignity” sought to call attention to victims of the country’s violence such as mothers whose children have “disappeared”:

Among the stories of personal anguish found in the march was that of twin sisters Mitzi and Nitza Alvarado according to Mexican daily Vanguardia.

Daily Headlines: May 11, 2012

* Haiti: A 19-year-old Haitian man testified at a closed-door judicial hearing against six former U.N. peacekeepers from Uruguay accused of sexually assaulting him last year.

* Chile: The Chilean legislature overwhelmingly backed an anti-discrimination law that had been stalled for years but was fast-tracked after the March murder of gay teen Daniel Zamudio.

* Mexico: An American Civil Liberties Union report urged U.S. authorities to investigate complaints of abuse by Border Patrol agents against migrants and Mexican residents.

* Puerto Rico: According to a poll published this week a slim majority of Puerto Ricans back the island’s current commonwealth status.

Video Source – YouTube via Al Jazeera English

Online Sources- News24, Huffington Post, The Latin Americanist, MSNBC, Fox News Latino

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Today’s Video: Potty Mouth

A politician from the Colombian department of Antioquia has come under fire over his use of offensive colloquialisms.

As mentioned in Colombia Reports, provincial legislator Rodrigo Mesa used silly language to describe his opposition to a program aiding the neighboring province of Choco. “The money you will invest in Choco is like adding perfume to a turd,” said the politico as seen in the following video:

“When you go to a party at someone's home, the first thing is to clean the house so when guests arrive they find an organized home. But if they find some shitty, dirty diapers everywhere they are going to criticize," added Mesa in reference to the country’s poorest department and whose residents are mostly people of African descent.

Daily Headlines: May 10, 2012

* Argentina: The Senate overwhelmingly backed a "dignified death" law that has raised questions and concerns over issues of health and bioethics.

* Latin America: Honduran radio reporter Alfredo Villatoro was kidnapped after reportedly receiving numerous death threats, while the Colombian government rejected the FARC’s conditions for the possible release of French journalist Romeo Langlois.

* U.S.: Will President Barack Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage have a major effect on Latino voters or will it get buried under other topics like immigration and the economy?

* Mexico: Authorities believe that the Zetas drug gang may have been behind the beheading deaths of fifteen people whose corpses were found in Guadalajara.

Video Source – YouTube via TVPublicaArgentina (Among those interviewed in this clip from Argentine TV is Selva Herbon, a vocal supporter of the "dignified death" law and mother of a three-year-old child in a vegetative state).

Online Sources- The Guardian, BBC News, Huffington Post, Fox News Latino, MSNBC

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Today’s Video: In Limbo

Last month we looked at a pair of Cuban actors who defected during a layover in Miami and after they starred in a film on immigrating to the U.S. In the latest case of life imitating art, a man has been stuck in a Venezuelan airport similar to the protagonist played by Tom Hanks in “The Terminal.

Members of the Argentine rock band Los Pericos found a Sri Lankan man who claimed to have been living in Maiquetia International Airport for the past four months. As seen in the following video via the YouTube page of Los Pericos, the man has been unable to return to his homeland due to Sri Lanka’s armed conflict and he has been unable to receive a visa from Venezuelan authorities:

Daily Headlines: May 9, 2012

* Venezuela: In the latest troubles to hit the Venezuela prison system, “heavy gunfire” was reported yesterday at a facility where inmates began rioting eleven days ago.

* Haiti:
Will a push to “rebrand” Haiti as a major tourist destination fail or succeed?

* Peru: Scientists believe that a warming of coastal waters may have led to the recent deaths of over 4000 sea birds that have washed up on Peruvian beaches.

* Uruguay: According to the latest FIFA monthly rankings Uruguay continues as Latin America’s highest-ranked team and third in the world.

Video Source – YouTube via YoSoiTV (Amateur footage allegedly showing gunfire breaking out on Tuesday in the La Planta prison in Caracas)

Online Sources- TSN, Miami Herald, The Guardian, BBC News

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Today’s Video: Going for Goal

Women’s soccer may be viewed as secondary to their male counterparts throughout Latin America. Yet in recent years women have made great strides to become more involved in “the beautiful game.” Virginia Tovar of Mexico, for instance, enjoyed a thirteen-year career as a pro soccer referee despite the occasional insults from fans and players. The Brazilian women’s national team has emerged as one of the world’s top squads though sides from Argentina and Colombia have gradually gained regional prominence.

In a unique example of female inclusion in Latin American soccer, Nelfi Ibanez Guerra of Bolivia is using her experience and training in order to try to lead a Peruvian club into the Andean country’s first division:

The road for women in soccer has been bumpy; for example, the widely successful Santos women’s team of Brazil ceased operations months ago reportedly in order to pay for the salary of star male player Neymar. But that road continues without a dead end in sight for women who wish to participate in one of the world’s most popular sports.

Video Source – YouTube via AFP

Online Sources – ReVista: Harvard Review of Latin America, Mujer Futbol,,

Daily Headlines: May 8, 2012

* Colombia: A statement from the FARC guerrillas demanded “a broad-ranging debate about freedom of information” as a possible condition for the release of kidnapped French journalist Romeo Langlois.

* Chile: President Sebastián Piñera’s approval ratings reached a new low of 26% according to survey results released yesterday.

* U.S.: Authorities have not named any suspects in the death of a Guatemalan-born stable worker who was killed at Churchill Downs on the same day that the Kentucky Derby was held.

* Venezuela: President Hugo Chavez broke his week-long silence and said that he was “fulfilling (his) duties as head of state” despite multiple trips to Cuba for medical treatment.

Video Source – YouTube via teleSUR (On Sunday a FARC commander claimed that the rebels detained French journalist Romeo Langlois as a “prisoner of war.”)

Online Sources- Reuters, The Latin Americanist, Santiago Times, CNN, MSNBC

Monday, May 7, 2012

World Watch: Austerity or Not?

* Europe: Voters in countries like Greece and France are apparently disillusioned over the push for austerity while dozens of protesters were arrested during the presidential inauguration of Vladimir Putin.

* Malawi: Stores are reportedly running out of “staple foods such as sugar, cooking oil and bread” due to a consumer “panic” over the devaluation of the country’s currency.

* U.S.: Intelligence officials supposedly thwarted a plot by Al Qaeda's Yemen-based affiliate to destroy a U.S.-bound plane around the one-year anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden.

* Israel: The country's Supreme Court turned down an appeal for the release of two Palestinian prisoners who have been on a hunger strike for more than two months.

Video Source– YouTube via EUX TV

Online Sources – USA TODAY, CNN, BBC News, Huffington Post, Reuters

Today’s Video: RIP MCA

Adam "MCA" Yauch, one of the members of the hip-hop trio the Beastie Boys, died last week after a lengthy battle with cancer.

In remembrance of Yauch we're highlighting the following music video of the Beastie Boys performing with famed Latino rap group Cypress Hill:

Online Source - The A.V. Club

Video Source - YouTube via Turbob1no

Daily Headlines: May 7, 2012

* Mexico: The top four candidates for president “traded barbs” and accusations during Sunday night’s televised debate.

* Latin America: Has greater political participation of indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples led to policy changes improving these communities?

* Brazil: The future of the Brazilian economy “looks less bright than before,” warned European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht in a speech earlier today.

* Peru: At least fourteen people in a rehab center died after a fire swept through the clinic on Saturday.

Video Source – YouTube via Al Jazeera English

Online Sources- BBC News, Americas Quarterly, BusinessWeek, Voice of America