Friday, September 21, 2007

Follow-up: Fujimori to be extradited

Chile’s Supreme Court announced this morning that ex-Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori will be extradited on seven counts of corruption and human rights abuses. The ruling cannot be appealed; hence, the Peruvian government will try to get Fujimori extradited as soon as possible.

Human rights groups praised the verdict and the possibility of a lengthy jail term for the former Peruvian leader:

"There is nothing comparable to this in modern history," said Jose Miguel Vivanco of Human Rights Watch, who noted that former heads of state have typically argued that they are above the law or successfully petitioned for political asylum to prevent prosecution for human rights crimes.

"In this case a local [Chilean] court used domestic law to grant the extradition of a former head of state for human rights abuses," said Mr. Vivanco, clearly exuberant. "This is unprecedented."

As we mentioned yesterday, Peru’s president Alan Garcia and family members of victims have been eager for this verdict. Also, a vast majority of Peruvians wanted Fujimori extradited.

Sources- Reuters UK, Bloomberg, Voice of America, Associated Press, The Latin Americanist

Image- Living in Peru

Brazil: Controversy over film before its release

A feature film that claims to depict the true stories of one of Brazil’s elite police units has become a hit and garnered controversy despite not being officially released.

“Tropa de Elite” (“Elite Squad”) was directed by Jose Padilha who was also behind the lens of the critically acclaimed documentary “Bus 174.” In “Tropa de Elite” Padilha tries to blame many different groups- from corrupt cops to inept social groups- for exacerbating the problems in the favelas. It is this mentality of a “game with no winners” that has placed Padilha on the hot seat:

“My hope is that people will watch this and say, 'Hell, we have to change these rules.' We hope to generate a debate," Padilha told Reuters before the premiere….Padilha wants them to see that something is wrong with the system, where underpaid officers "must choose between becoming corrupt, neglectful or going to war.”

The controversy will not go away anytime soon since thousands of illegal copies of “Tropa de Elite” have been sold. In an odd twist, a judge denied a request by officers to block the official premiere after she viewed a pirated copy of the movie.

Sources- The Latin Americanist, Reuters, Associated Press

Image- (Scene from “Tropa de Elite”)

News briefs on religion

* Peruvian president Alan Garcia warned the Vatican of not interfering in Peruvian affairs. "I do not like it when the Venezuelan or Argentine governments interfere in (Peruvian) politics, and it is also not right for the Vatican to interfere," said. The president as he also criticized Catholic priests who publicly give their political perspectives.

* Leaders of the U.S. Episcopal Church risks alienating traditional members of its congregation should it decide to open more privileges for homosexuality, according to Reuters. The 2003 consecration of the Church’s first gay bishop “riled defenders of traditional Christianity in African, Asian and Latin American congregations that now account for half of the world's Anglican followers” according to the article.

* In response to increasing immigration from Latin America to the U.S., churches have adapted by actively seeking clergy from south of the border. And it’s more than just having a priest speaking in Spanish:

“I was an immigrant myself,” said Pastor Hector Llanes, a native of El Salvador who leads a Baptist church in Phoenix. “I have a great deal of sympathy for immigrants, and even though there are cultural differences between Mexicans, Central Americans and South Americans, there is a way in which we feel part of the same community.

“We talk about the same things — the customs, the food, soccer,” he added. “It’s just a natural bond.”

* Paraguayan ex-Catholic bishop Fernando Lugo fell to second place in the latest poll for the country’s presidency. Lino Oviedo holds a slim 4% lead over Lugo whose candidacy has been criticized by the Vatican.

Sources-, Reuters, Angus Reid Consultants, Canadian Press

Image- MSNBC

Blind Guatemalan stuns Brit actress with poem

According to several gossip articles, British actress Siena Miller was taken aback by a poem handed to her by a blind Guatemalan man. Though none of the articles explain what she was doing in Guatemala at the time, they all affirm that she was awestruck when the man handed her a copy of the classic poem “Desiderata.” So much so that some of the poem’s lines have been allegedly engraved on an amulet the actress now wears.

The poem is eight stanzas long and includes the following lines:

“You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should."

Sources- Times of India, DNA,, Wikipedia,

Image- (January 2007 photo of Sienna Miller)

Investigators examining dead Haitian migrants

U.S. investigators are heading to the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) to look into the deaths of three Haitian migrants. TCI government officials said that the three Haitians died of dehydration after a detention center received about 250 Haitian migrants over the weekend. Pathologists from the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner's Office were en route to the Turks and Caicos Islands since the island’s government has a contract with the South Florida medical examiner's office.

According to a U.N. officer who previously visited the detention facility, she is not surprised at the deaths since the center was nearly five times over capacity when the three migrants died:

“Grainne O'Hara, a senior protection officer for the United Nations refugee agency who visited the facility last month, said migrants are held in two small rooms with beds but no air conditioning, usually for up to 48 hours. She estimated the facility was designed to hold about 50 people.

"There's no question there are capacity problems in that center," O'Hara said in a telephone interview from Miami. "The risk remains because this is the only facility they have. It can happen again anytime."”

Sources- International Herald Tribune,, Hardbeatnews,


Daily Headlines: September 21, 2007

* While most attention on Alan Greenspan’s memoirs focused on his criticism of the U.S. intervention in Iraq, the novel also blasts Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and his “economic populism.”

* A bad case of crabs may delay expansion of the Panama Canal. (Double entendre not intended).

* One of the greatest interviews of the 20th-century according to Guardian UKHerbert Matthews’ 1957 interview of soon-to-be Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

* Signals have been received from a satellite jointly worked on by Brazil and China.

* Puerto Rican racehorse Doña Chepa reached a milestone by recording its 125th straight loss on Wednesday.

Image- MercoPress

Sources-, AFP, Xinhua, Monsters & Critics, Associated Press, Guardian UK

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Video of the Day: Spanish government ad on immigration

Below is a report from CNN+ on an ad campaign in Senegal by Spain’s government in order to deter illegal immigration. The commercials’’ approach is to convince northern Africans from undergoing the often-deadly twelve day voyage to the Canary Islands.

The ad campaign also aims to emphasize the Spanish government’s renewed diplomatic approach to illegal immigration. Since 2005, Spain has signed cooperation and repatriation agreements with several African countries.

(Video link):

Sources- Typically Spanish, Reuters Africa, Guardian UK, YouTube

Fujimori verdict to be announced on Friday

Chile’s Supreme Court will announce their verdict tomorrow on the extradition case of ex-Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori. A Court spokesman told local media earlier today that the decision will be delayed while the Court “finalizes details over how the verdict will be presented.”

If Fujimori does get extradited to Peru he will face charges of corruption and human rights violations during his time in power. The verdict has been postponed several times; thus drawing the ire of Peruvian president Alan Garcia and family members of victims killed during Fujimori’s decade-long rule.

According to a recent poll 75% of Peruvians want Fujimori to be extradited back for trial.

Image- BBC News

Sources (English)- People’s Daily Online, Voice of America, Angus Reid Consultants, Living in Peru, The Latin Americanist

Source (Spanish)- La Republica

“Virtual” border fence plagued by tech glitches

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is none too happy over the technical problems have delayed the usage of a “virtual fence” that is planned for the U.S.’ borders. Despite paying about $15 million for the pilot program, DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff said the department will not pay anymore until prime contractor Boeing fixes the problem.

The pilot program was announced in November, supposed to start in June, and entails placing nine 98-foot towers equipped with radar, sensors and state-of-the-art cameras (image) along Arizona’s border with Mexico. The aim of which is mainly to combat illegal immigration and drug smuggling.

Plans are for 1800 towers to be placed along the U.S.’ twin borders with Canada and Mexico (assuming that the pilot program will be successful).

Sources- Associated Press, Corruption Chronicles, The Latin Americanist,

Image- Lens Culture

U.S. and Cuba trade war of words over embargo

U.S. and Cuban officials have increased the rhetoric on the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba in light of a U.N. General Assembly vote on the issue next month.

Cuban Foreign Minster Felipe Perez Roque claimed on Tuesday that the embargo has cost the island $89 billion since the blockade was instituted in 1962. In comments he made to the local media, Perez Roque added that in the past year alone Cuba spent an additional $3 billion in extra trade costs by dealing without the U.S.

On the other hand, U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez praised the embargo and called it "an absolute and resounding" success. Gutierrez- who is a Cuban exile- used the Cuban Missile crisis as an example to justify the embargo:

“Think about in 1962 when they had nuclear weapons in Cuba, they wanted to keep that weapon. They wanted to use that weapon if necessary.

So think about what would have happened if that regime would have had more resources. History doesn't credit us for what doesn't happen. You never get credit for what you prevented.”

In the meantime, Democratic presidential hopeful and Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd called for a complete end to the embargo. Dodd’s remarks go farther than those made by Barack Obama several weeks ago; the Illinois lawmaker advocated easing travel and trade restrictions to Cuba.

Sources- People’s Daily Online, Voice of America, Washington Times, Reuters, FOX News, The Latin Americanist


Daily Headlines: September 20, 2007

* Protests took place all over Argentina on Tuesday (image) calling for police to investigate the disappearance of a witness to a “Dirty War”-related trial.

* Worries over the increased chances of a tropical storm led Shell to evacuate most of its workers from the Gulf of Mexico.

* Four troops and a civilian were not sentenced to the death penalty due to the May death of a solider during a failed plane hijacking in Havana, Cuba.

* Follow-up: A spokesman for El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico wouldn't “accept or deny” rumors that, much like “Chespirito”, they provided entertainment at private parties for ex-drug capo Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela.

Sources (English)- International Herald Tribune, Reuters, Reuters UK, CNN, The Latin Americanist

Source (Spanish)- El Diario/La Prensa

Image- BBC News

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Quote of the Day: I’d hate the strain of the pain again

"I woke up because the pain was unbearable."

--Carlos Camejo recalls how he gathered his wits moments before he was to be examined for an autopsy. The 33-year-old Venezuelan man had been declared dead after being seriously injured in an auto accident.

Sources- AHN, ABC News

Image- PRESS TV (“Carlos Camejo showing the autopsy document.”)

Follow-up: Columbia U. won’t invite Minutemen founder back

Minutemen founder Jim Gilchrest will not be invited back to speak at Columbia University. According to a post in Gothamist a tentative invitation was offered to Gilchrist by professor David Eisenbach, but the school’s Columbia Political Union (CPU) opted against issuing a formal invitation:

“The CPU was apparently interested in re-inviting Gilchrist with the hope of having Karina Garcia, the leader of the group who charged the stage last year, also speak at the event. According to Garcia, she told Eisenbach she was not interested in speaking with Gilchrist, but the CPU voted to invite him with the understanding that she would be participating. When it became clear that Garcia would not be speaking, the CPU decided to rescind its invitation to Gilchrist.”

Gilchrist replied to the rescinded invite by assuming that a return appearance would have "redeemed the Columbia University student body's reputation of being comprised of a...caveman mentality."

The change in plans occurred one day after it was reported that Gilchrist would be interested in speaking again at Columbia. His previous appearance in October 2006 was remembered by a melee involving students and Minutemen as he was trying to give a speech.

Sources- Gothamist, The Latin Americanist, New York Post

Image- Columbia University (View of Columbia University’s library)

Ex-Mex prez bashes Bush in book

Former Mexican president Vicente Fox’s upcoming autobiography attacks the attitude and policies of U.S. President George W. Bush. According to several reports Fox’s book pulls no punches on someone who had been portrayed as friends while both where in office:

· On Bush’s attitude – He’s stubborn and "the cockiest guy I have ever met in my life."
· On U.S. foreign policy – Can the U.S. can afford "invading every nation with which it does not agree?"
· On Bush’s stab at multilingualism – His Spanish is at "grade-school level".
· On U.S. immigration policy (via an interview with the Chicago Tribune) – “Walls don't work. Walls didn't work in China. Walls didn't work in Berlin. President Reagan went (to Berlin) and said ‘Tear down this wall.’ And now the United States is building a wall.”

Aside from harshly criticizing Bush, Fox’s book also condemned Hugo Chavez by calling him “a dictator” who has “increased poverty” in the name of “21st-century socialism.”

In a speech earlier this month, Fox called for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and emphasized the need for immigration reform.

Sources (English)- CBS News, Chicago Tribune, AHN, The Latin Americanist, San Jose Mercury News

Sources (Spanish)- El Universal

Image- BBC News (George W. Bush and Vicente Fox during supposedly friendlier times in 2001)

Chespirito denies drug dealer rumors

Mexican comic actor Roberto Gomez Bolaños- best known for his roles as “El Chavo del Ocho” (image) and “El Chapulin Colorado”- denied allegations that he has links to drug traffickers. According to a statement issued yesterday by Gomez Bolaños:

“I have never been had any relations with drug traffickers. Nor have I been friends with any ‘narco’. Nor have I participated in any transactions with that criminal industry, be they direct or indirect.”

The actor responded to remarks made by the son of former Colombian drug capo Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela. Fernando Rodriguez Mondragon asserted in an upcoming book that Gomez Bolaños and other artists (e.g. Mexican musician Juan Gabriel, Cuban singer Albita) provided entertainment during parties hosted by the former Cartel de Cali head.

The actor went on to tell the Associated Press that he has worked in “millions of places” including weddings where he “didn’t even know who was getting hitched.”

Source (English)- Wikipedia

Sources (Spanish)- El Diario/La Prensa, El Tiempo, Milenio


Daily Headlines: September 19, 2007

* Hugo Chavez’ ultimatum to Venezuelan private schools: accept the new curriculum or the government takes over.

* Rumor du jour - Is Jennifer Lopez pregnant?

* Mexican drug capo Francisco Javier Arellano Felix pleaded guilty in a U.S. court as part of a plea deal that would have him avoid the death penalty.

* Over 600 Peruvian villagers are mysteriously ill from a noxious smell caused by a meteorite that crashed over the weekend.

* The Falklands and Bolivia’s desire for a coast are just a two of several border disputes across the Americas.

Sources- Associated Press, Dlisted, MSNBC, International Herald Tribune, The Latin Americanist, Los Angeles Times

Image- BBC News

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Quote of the Day: Controversy over Latinos and “The War”

"Earlier this year, Hispanic groups, aided by the Hispanic Congressional Caucus, put pressure on Burns and PBS to include some stories of Latinos in the film, which was already finished, after six years of work…To be excluded was to be written out of history, they insisted. Burns eventually added twenty-eight minutes to the film, which, however, do not add much; the scenes—the extra material throws a Native American veteran into the mix, as well as two Hispanics—feel tacked-on, because they are. Burns had originally said that reediting the film “would be destructive, like trying to graft an arm onto your child.” It turns out that not reediting the film was also like grafting an arm onto your child.”

--Nancy Franklin reviewed the upcoming documentary series “The War” which focuses on World War II. Her critique in The New Yorker acknowledged the tedious amount of work acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns put into making the series, yet ultimately she believed that the series was “too much of a not good enough thing.”

(Hat tip:

Sources- The New Yorker,

Image- MSNBC (“Hispanics such as these men were among the American soldiers who landed on Cebu island in the Philippines near the end of World War II.”)

Colombia: Judge approves Chiquita plea deal

A U.S. court agreed yesterday to a plea deal involving Chiquita Brands’ funding of Colombian paramilitary and guerilla groups. The arrangement- which had been reached earlier this year- obligates the banana firm to create an ethics commission as well as pay a $25 million fine for hiring illegal rebel factions as “protection” for nearly a decade.

In addition, the Justice Department issue a memo last week absolving ten Chiquita executives involved in the payoffs “based solely on the merits and the evidence” against them.

The Colombian media has greeted the court’s decision with anger; a headline in El Tiempo notes that the fine against Chiquita "is four times less than the one against McLaren’s Formula 1 racing team”, while political commentator Juan Gossain asks if the fine is “the historic price for our dignity?”

The Colombian government is not too pleased with the plea deal as Foreign Minister Fernando Araujo said:

“From our perspective the U.S. justice system has specific parameters that we respect, yet a doubting public opinion views that such an important case does not lead to the conviction of at least one person.”

Sources (English)- International Herald Tribune, Reuters, BBC News

Sources (Spanish)- El Tiempo, RCN

Image- RCN

The “beautiful game” marred by violence

Several ugly incidents occurred during soccer games in the Americas this weekend:

* A young boy was killed after being hit by a stray firework rocket during the Emelec-Barcelona match in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Eleven-year-old Carlos Cedeno died from massive blood loss after being struck in the chest by the Bengal rocket.

Despite the increased security presence at matches between the two rivals, local media reports say that police did not conduct body searches of the roughly 60,000 fans who packed the Estadio Monumental. Meanwhile, nobody has taken the blame for the tragedy as police, Ecuador’s national soccer board, and local soccer officials point the finger at one another.

* Two people died in a gunfight before the Cruzeiro-Atletico Mineiro derby in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Cruzeiro won the match 4-3, but not before tempers flared when Atletico’s Coelho elbowed Cruzeiro striker Kerlon for performing his “seal dribble” (video link):

Sources (English)- Bangkok Post, International Herald Tribune, People’s Daily Online, The Offside, YouTube

Sources (Spanish)- El Comercio, El Universo

Daily Headlines: September 18, 2007

* Rest in peace Generoso Jimenez; the legendary Cuban jazz trombonist died on Saturday at the age of 90.

* The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said that key U.S. anti-drug operations will be moved outside of Ecuador should that country’s government end its lease to the Manta air base.

* Speculation over dry weather in Brazil has led to the largest rise in the price of coffee since January 2006.

* Follow-up #1: Peruvian president Alan Garcia has enjoyed a spike in popularity since last month’s deadly earthquakes.

* Follow-up #2: The Dominican Republic's drug czar rejected a Department of State report deeming the Caribbean nation as one of the world’s worst drug trafficking countries.

Sources- Reuters Canada, Reuters, Bloomberg, The Latin Americanist, Dominican Today

Image- Montreal Gazette (2005 image of Generoso Jimenez at the Latin Grammy Awards)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Minutemen founder may return to Columbia U.

Jim Gilchrest- the founder of the controversial anti-immigrant Minutemen Project- claimed that he might lecture again at Columbia University. Though he did not provide many details, Gilchrist told the university’s newspaper that he would accept an invitation to speak again though “nothing is completely solid at this point.”

Gilchrist’s previous visit to Columbia last October was interrupted not by the peaceful protest on campus but by a fracas on stage between protestors and Minutemen supporters (image). Some students were reprimanded in March for participating in the fight though Minutemen spokesmen were upset over what the viewed as a light punishment.

The university’s College Republican organization invited Gilchrist to the ill-fated October event. Yet one member of the group would not want Gilchrist back for a return engagement:

“There was an interesting reaction from College Republican director of operation Lauren Steinberg (class of 2009): ‘Personally, I really hope he's not coming. I mean, it was a fun time last year, but I don't need it to happen again.’”

Image- NYC Indymedia

Sources- Columbia Spectator, Gothamist, The Latin Americanist

Caribbean sugar producers clash with E.U.

Representatives of the ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) bloc have called on the E.U. to continue a decades-old sugar agreement during future E.U. discussions. ACP countries want the E.U. to uphold the “Sugar Protocol” which was signed in 1975 and stipulates that E.U. states guarantee to buy and import agreed quantities of sugar at certain prices.

As David Jessop wrote in the Jamaica Gleaner, Caribbean countries worry that the E.U.’s proposed changes would hurt the region’s sugar industry:

“What seems to be little understood in Brussels is that the (E.U.) approach has the practical effect of undercutting existing commercial arrangements and the short- to medium-term assurances that those that extend finance to the industry require.

Producers in the Anglophone Caribbean also suggest that while they are comfortable with the decision to afford the Dominican Republic a 100,000 ton quota in the short term, the probability is that once there is duty-free and quota-free access to the EU market at lower prices, Santo Domingo's access may challenge the viability of sugar production in some parts of the region.”

However, the increased demand for ethanol production may offset any changes in trade for sugar-producing states:

“Developing countries that were expected not to survive in the open market are now optimistic once again. An example comes from Jamaica, where the depressing phrase "sugar is dead" is gradually disappearing from the vocabulary of globalization. What is more, the Jamaican government now even sees a "promising future" in the production of sugarcane-based ethanol and its potential to revitalize agriculture in this Caribbean nation.”

Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Jamaica are some of the Caribbean states in the ACP group.

Sources- Reuters Africa,, Jamaica Gleaner, biopact, Wikipedia

Image- biopact

Mexico: Bombed pipeline back in service

Mexico’s state-run oil company PEMEX finished fixing a vital pipeline that had been damaged by a guerilla group last week. The natural gas pipeline was one of six gas and oil ducts attacked by the “People’s Revolutionary Army” (EPR) as an act of “self-defense against (government) aggression.”

Who is the EPR? As we mentioned in a post two months ago, they were a low key rebel faction, and according to a 1998 interview with an EPR spokesman:

“We’ve been compared to the Shining Path... We’re not provocateurs. We’ve been working for 20 years with people who are dying of hunger. Aguas Blancas accelerated the process. The social base asked what could be done and we answered the call. Socialism isn’t on the agenda and armed struggle can’t bring about change on its own. All forms of democratic, peaceful and parliamentary struggle are necessary. But, given the situation, we also need armed pressure.”

Sources- International Herald Tribune, Yahoo! News, The Latin Americanist, Le Monde Diplomatique

Image- (Flag of the People’s Revolutionary Army)

U.S. waives Bolivia drug sanctions

The Bush administration cannot seem to make up their mind on whether Bolivia should be praised or admonished in its counter narcotics efforts.

Six months ago, the Department of State issued a report on Latin American and the “war on drugs”, and saved its strongest language to criticize Venezuela and Bolivia. Regarding the Andean government led by ex-coca farmer Evo Morales:

“Over the past year, Bolivia experienced an erosion of previous successes…While Bolivia met its eradication goal by destroying 5,000 hectares of coca in 2006, this represents the lowest amount of eradication in ten years. Moreover, President Morales announced a plan to increase legal coca cultivation…which would be in violation of international agreements if implemented. Bolivia's interdiction and seizure efforts did improve all around, but this may be due, in part, to increased cultivation and trafficking.”

Yet according to the Associated Press a separate report to be released today by the Department of State will waive drug sanctions against Bolivia. According to Reuters, the report cited two reasons as to why Bolivia will go unpunished despite the harsh language in the earlier study:

“First, Bolivia met a U.S. target of eradicating at least 5,000 hectares (12,360 acres) of coca crop. Second, U.S. officials believe placing it on the list could undercut counter-narcotics cooperation.”

Both Department of State accounts continue to reprimand Venezuela’s anti-drug policy by “failing to take steps to curb the transit of narcotics through its soil to the United States and Europe.” For that matter, Venezuela will be one of two countries in he world that will face drug sanctions from the U.S.

Sources- The Latin Americanist, Department of State, White House, Voice of America, Reuters, Associated Press

Image- BBC News (Bolivian coca farmers)

Daily Headlines: September 17, 2007

* The manager for Shakira revealed that the Colombian singer had attended a history course at UCLA that ended last week.

* Sources revealed that Michael Mukasey- a retired judge and current advisor to Rudy Giuliani’s presidential bid- will be chosen to replace Alberto Gonzales as U.S. Attorney General.

* Venezuela’s Ambassador to Cuba announced that Hugo Chavez will travel to the island in December.

* La Oroya, Peru was deemed one of the world’s ten most polluted places according to a report from a U.S.-based environmental group.

*Eighteen people died in a bus crash in western Mexico on Saturday.

Sources- BBC News, AHN, PRESS TV, Voice of America,

Image- ABC News

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Video of the Day: Viva Mexico! (and Central America too)

Today millions of Mexicans are celebrating their country's Independence. It was on this day in 1810 that Father Miguel Hidalgo proclaimed the "Grito de Dolores"calling for the overthrow of Spanish rule. Last night, president Felipe Calderon oversaw the traditional start of Independence Day from the Zocalo while a pacific anti-government protest took place nearby.

The video below is concert footage of a mariachi orchestra singing the timeless classic "Viva Mexico!" Despite being associated as a very patriotic song, note that its lyrics also proclaim "Viva America" (video link):

Coincidentally, today is also the Independence Day celebrations for several Central American countries who declared their freedom from Spain in 1821.