Today in Latin America
Top Story — Late night television star Stephen Colbert plans to testify at a congressional hearing this Friday on immigration.
The host of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” will appear before a House Judiciary subcommittee with United Farm Workers President Arturo S. Rodriguez for a hearing called “Protecting America’s Harvest.” Friday’s hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m.
Colbert partnered with the United Farm Workers Association earlier this year as part of the group’s “Take Our Jobs” campaign and Rodriguez made an appearance on Colbert’s show in July. The “Take Our Jobs” campaign is an effort to fight the notion that undocumented immigrants are taking jobs American citizens want.
The Daily Caller, which reported the story first, quoted one Republican source who said that Colbert would appear “in character.” The site also said that a House Judiciary Committee spokeswoman confirmed Colbert would testify and that the hearing was a “serious issue . . . this is not a TV stunt.”
The appearance will come just days after the DREAM Act amendment, which would provide undocumented youth a chance to attain legal residency, stalled in Senate.
Colbert and fellow satirical anchorman Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” plan to hold marches in Washington D.C. on Oct. 30. Stewart’s is called the “Rally to Restore Sanity,” while Colbert’s is entitled the “March to Keep Fear Alive.”
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- The Senate voted to stall the DREAM Act on Tuesday, which had been inserted as an amendment to the defense appropriations bill. Latin America News Dispatch contributor Raisa Camargo reports from Washington.
- A new book launched last week traces the history of New York City’s Hispanic community. Roque Planas reports.
- Cuban-American composer and bassist Israel “Cachao” López is the subject of Monday’s PBS “American Masters” series. See the video here.
- Molly O’Toole shares some images from her recent 852-mile, 72-hour trip across the Southwest border, from San Diego, California to Arizona and back in this photo essay.
- At a recent talk in Washington, D.C. with Janet Napolitano and Hispanic leaders, hopes for immigration reform faded, while the Obama administration emphasizes advances in security. Raisa Camargo has more.
- The number of undocumented immigrants coming to the United States is on the decline. Read about it at Alison Bowen’s blog, Beyond Borders.
- The extradition of key Colombian paramilitary leaders to the United States is disrupting a historic amnesty program intended to demobilize units and deliver basic information, such as the location of bodies, to victims’ relatives. ProPublica explains in this investigative report.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- A Mexican photographer who documented his country’s drug war and an Argentine reporter who wrote about identifying the victims of Argentina’s military dictatorship were awarded one of Latin America’s most prestigious journalism awards Tuesday.
- Coalición de Derechos Humanos (the Human Rights Coalition), which gathers data on border-crossing fatalities of migrants in Arizona, says the body count of 236 for fiscal 2010, which ends Sept. 30, is second-highest on record. Fiscal 2005 set the record, with 282 bodies recovered.
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed separate Memorandums of Understanding with Honduran President Porfirio Lobo and Salvadoran Foreign Minister Hugo Martínez on Wednesday. The Memorandums expressed the United States’ commitment to the Building Remittance Investment for Development Growth and Entrepreneurship (BRIDGE) Initiative in Honduras and El Salvador.
- Cuban dance legend Alicia Alonso has invited U.S. President Barack Obama and his family to attend an international ballet festival on the island, under U.S. economic embargo for almost five decades.
- Agriculture in Haiti is coming back from the devastating earthquake but production levels remain well below what they were, the United Nations said Wednesday.
- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon assured Honduran President Porfirio Lobo of UN support for his efforts to promote rule of law, human rights, and fight impunity, in a meeting on Wednesday.
- UNICEF is working with authorities in Honduras to curb the mosquito population as an outbreak of dengue fever takes hold in the country.
- Two Honduran diplomats were briefly kidnapped in Mexico this past weekend by a presumed drug gang, prompting Honduras to warn Mexico on Monday that it might close several consulates here if Mexico can’t provide adequate security for diplomats.
- Costa Rica’s economy is expected to post solid growth of 4.5 percent this year and 5 percent in 2011 as it continues to invest in infrastructure and open up the telecommunications industry, the country’s president said on Tuesday.
- Costa Rica officials will hold U.S. citizen and Louisiana native John Stanton Pearson for two months pending extradition on charges related to sexual battery of a juvenile in his home state.
- Panama could become part of a combined Latin American securities exchange to compete for investors, planned integrated exchange, Lima Stock Exchange President Roberto Hoyle said yesterday in a telephone interview from Lima.
- The Panamanian National Assembly started to discuss a new law that would protect people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
- Venezuela’s opposition is certain to make gains in parliamentary elections on Sunday, but probably not enough to wrest legislative control from President Hugo Chávez in the 12th year of his socialist revolution.
- A Colombian drug trafficking suspect will have a detention hearing in Miami after being flown from out of Venezuela to face the charges.
- Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos will meet Friday with U.S. President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, his office said.
- An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.9 was reported near central Peru’s coast.
- Two young French tourists have been missing nearly four weeks in Bolivia’s Beni region in the Amazon bordering Brazil, the French ambassador said Wednesday in launching a public appeal for help finding them.
- Brazil’s state-run energy company Petrobras plans to reveal the price of the world’s largest share offer today, as it hopes to double oil production over the next five years.
- The 33-trapped Chilean miners are expected to be rescued ahead of schedule, according to crews who plan the three narrow escape chutes to free them.
- Argentina filed criminal charges against executives of the country’s two leading newspaper companies, whom allegedly broke a number of laws in 1976 when the companies bought the newsprint paper company Papel Prensa SA.
- The United Kingdom said it respects Uruguay’s rights to withdraw clearance of a Royal Navy ship to access Montevideo’s port on its way to Falkland Islands.
Image: David Shankbone @ Wikicommons.