Friday, October 5, 2012

Daily Headlines: October 5, 2012 (Updated)

* Venezuela: President Hugo Chavez and rival Henrique Capriles held massive rallies yesterday in order to gather support ahead of Sunday’s anticipated presidential election.

* Cuba: Prominent blogger Yoani Sanchez and her husband were allegedly detained by police while traveling to cover the trial of Spanish politician Angel Carromero.

Update: The Committee to Protect Journalists and the Inter-American Press Association have called on Cuban authorities to immediate release of Sanchez and her companions. 

* Guatemala: At least seven people were killed and over thirty were injured after police “violently removed” protesters from several indigenous communities.
* U.S.: According to new data released today the Latino unemployment rate dropped from 10.2% to 9.9% in August.

Video Source – YouTube via AFP

Online Sources (including Update) - The Guardian, El Universal, Global Voices Online, CNN, Hispanically Speaking News, Committee to Protect Journalists, Inter-American Press Association

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Daily Headlines: October 4, 2012

* U.S.: A new poll found that 60% of Latinos support same sex marriage including nearly half of all respondents who strongly support such unions.

* Honduras: A constitutional court ruling could lead to the beginning of the end of a government-backed plan to construct three “private cities.”

* Chile: Vatican officials are allegedly investigating allegations of child sex abuse by a bishop from the northern city of Iquique.

* Colombia: “Thank God, everything went well and I am recovering satisfactorily,” tweeted President Juan Manuel Santos hours after he underwent a surgery to remove a cancerous prostate.

Video Source – YouTube via user kgbt4tv (Video uploaded in May 2012).

Online Sources- Xinhua, UPI, On Top Magazine, CBS News

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pew Report Highlights Latino Voter Growth

There has been plenty of media hype focused on Wednesday’s U.S. presidential debate between incumbent Barack Obama and rival Mitt Romney.  Tonight’s discussion might appeal to members of several vital voting blocs that could tip the balance in favor of either Obama or Romney.  One of these is Latino voters, which, based on a new study, could play a key role in November’s election.

A Pew Hispanic Center report released this week concluded that the number of eligible Latino voters has reached a record of 23.7 million people this year. Compared to four years year ago the figure represents a 22% increase; thus, Latinos make up about one out of every ten voters in the U.S.

"Among Latino eligible voters, 58% are of Mexican origin, 14% are of Puerto Rican origin, 6% are of Cuban origin and 22% are of Central American, South American or other Hispanic origin," mentioned the report.

However not all was good news according to the Center’s analysis.  Voter registration and participation has lagged in comparison to other racial groups.  One of the possible reasons for this may be that Latinos moving to different states could have affected over registration. The young Latino population has grown but they are “less likely to hold citizenship than other groups.“

Another element that could affect Latino voter involvement are voter ID laws that have been approved in several states over the past few years.  One of these states with the toughest voter ID laws is Pennsylvania though yesterday a local judge halted a measure that opponents alleged would disenfranchise Latino voters.

Daily Headlines: October 3, 2012

* Bolivia: Scientists in Bolivia have reportedly been able to use tree ring samples to more accurately measure rainfall levels in the Amazon basin.

* South America: The U.N.’s economic body for Latin America estimates that the regional economy this year will grow at a slower pace than initially estimated.

* Mexico: U.S. and Mexican immigration officials announced a pilot program that would use air travel to repatriate Mexican nationals.

* Costa Rica: Legislators voted overwhelmingly for a proposal that would make Costa Rica the first Latin American country to ban hunting as a sport.

Video Source – YouTube via user WWFunitedkingdom

Online Sources- UPI, MSNBC, LAHT, Reuters

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Violence Tarnishes Venezuelan Presidential Race

One of the main issues in the Venezuelan presidential election has been the nationwide increase in crime.  Recently, however, politically motivated violence has caught the attention of Venezuelans.

Over the weekend at least three supporters of presidential candidate Henrique Capriles including two opposition politicians were shot and killed while riding in a campaign caravan.

 “We’re going to defeat violence in Venezuela,” Capriles said at a massive campaign rally on Sunday where he also mentioned that the deaths should “never have happened.”

Incumbent president Hugo Chavez vowed that the perpetrators would be brought to justice while Interior Minister Tareck El Aissami claimed that police were investigating the act of violence.

The shooting in Chavez’ home state of Barinas wasn’t the only example of campaign violence to occur over the past few days. The campaign manager of an opposition candidate in AnzoĆ”tegui state denounced alleged that their offices were ransacked in a supposed “act of desperation.”

The video below the page break shows an incident that occurred about two weeks ago in the town of Puerto Cabello.   In what may be seen as an ideal metaphor for Venezuela’s political divisions, Chavez backers and Capriles supporters face off on opposite sides of a highway before violence erupted:

Vigil Held on Carandiru Massacre Anniversary

About one hundred people participated in a vigil commemorating the twentieth anniversary of Brazil's worst instances of prison violence:

A “multi-faith ceremony” was held on Tuesday in Sao Paulo, Brazil in memory of the one hundred eleven inmates of the Carandiru prison that were killed during a riot.  The riot escalated from a fight between gangs and lasted several hours.  Police and security guards who quelled the riot have been accused of brutality including unleashing police dogs and allegedly murdering inmates at point-blank range.

The demonstration included survivors of the massacre as well as activists who decried the impunity of police officers suspected of using excessive force.

“We want this date…to become a date to combat the massacres and violence of the state,” declared Fr. Valdir John Silveira, national coordinator of the Prison Ministry.  “It s also an opportunity to discuss the system of mass incarceration in Brazil,” he added. 

Col. Ubiratan Guimaraes, who commanded the raid, was convicted in 2001 for his role in the incident yet he was killed months after his conviction was overturned in 2006.
Nearly one hundred officers involved in the massacre are expected to stand trial in January 2013 including some who have received promotions through the ranks over the past twenty years.

Daily Headlines: October 2, 2012

* Colombia: President Juan Manuel Santos announced that he would undergo surgery on Wednesday in order to treat a “non-aggressive prostate cancer.”
* Caribbean: A “Border of Lights” commemoration will be held in the Dominican Republic this week in memory of the thousands of Haitians killed in the "parsley massacre" seventy-five years ago.
* Mexico: Remittances to Mexico fell by 11.6% in August according to new central bank figures.

* Cuba: A lawyer for Alan Gross claimed that the imprisoned contractor might have a “potentially life-threatening” cancerous growth on his shoulder.

Video Source – YouTube via user telesurenglish

Online Sources- Reuters, NPR, LAHT

Monday, October 1, 2012

Daily Headlines: October 1, 2012

* U.S.: According to a new study the multiracial population has grown faster than single race individuals, which includes six percent of Hispanic 2010 Census responders who identified themselves as belonging to more than one race.
* Haiti: A ban on the importing, manufacturing, and marketing of non-biodegradable plastic bags and Styrofoam containers will start today.

* Honduras: Soldiers are being deployed on buses with the hope of preventing violence in a country reportedly the world's highest murder rate.
* Panama: U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said that a free trade pact between the U.S. and Panama “will be implemented very soon.”

Video Source – YouTube via user destinationcb

Online Sources- Huffington Post, BBC News, Christian Science Monitor, Reuters