Today in Latin America
Top Story — A political ad drive in the state of Nevada has stirred up controversy with Latino voters by claiming that the best way to achieve immigration reform is to not vote.
The “Don’t Vote campaign is sponsored by an organization misnamed Latinos for Reform and is lead by former Republican party official and conservative hardliner Robert de Posada. The campaign hopes to persuade Latinos into staying home on election day by blaming the Democratic party for failing to pass immigration reform.
The aim in Nevada is allegedly to hinder Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s chances of winning Nevada’s tightly contested race with Sharron Angle, the Republican candidate. Angle is currently running an ad campaign that features people with backpacks depicted as illegally entering the country along a border fence and claims that Reid is the “best friend” of illegal immigrants.
A spokesman for Angle said that the “Don’t Vote” ad was not associated with her campaign and she wants all registered voters to go to the polls on Nov. 2, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The Spanish language television station Univision will not run the ad, saying that the station prides itself on promoting civic engagement and encourages Hispanics to vote.
The ad has also drawn heavy criticism from Democrats, with President Barack Obama denouncing the commercial.
“I think it is terrible,” Obama said Tuesday during a roundtable with reporters from Spanish-language outlets, according to the Wall Street Journal. “It is a cynical political ploy to try to drive Latino votes to benefit a Republican candidate in Nevada who would never vote for immigration reform.”
De Posoda said that he does support Angle but that Reid needed to pay for betraying Hispanics two years ago.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
- With it the nation’s toughest state immigration law, Arizona has taken center stage in the national debate about immigration as the midterm elections approach. Molly O’Toole reports from Arizona in a three-part series.
- The threat to freedom of the press posed by Mexico’s drug cartels begs a bilateral response, a panel of journalists and press freedom groups said in New York Tuesday. Andrew O’Reilly has more.
- Protesters demand restraints on federal involvement in immigration enforcement in New York City jails, reports Alison Bowen in Beyond Borders.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Republican lawmakers in 15 states Tuesday announced a nationwide effort to change the way the 14th Amendment is interpreted and stop granting citizenship to babies born in the USA to undocumented immigrants.
- The International Women’s Media Foundation honored the courage of Colombian Claudia Duque and the lifetime achievement of Mexican Alma Guillermoprieto.
- A 20-year-old criminology student is the new police chief of a Mexican border town, Guadalupe Distrito Bravo, in the bloody crosshairs of the drug cartels.
- The Drug Enforcement Administration says officers arrested 29 people and seized $1.4 million in Colorado Springs from an operation accused of smuggling drugs from Mexico.
- Police in Mexico have found a woman’s head in a bag next to her body in Ciudad Juárez – at least the fourth beheading in northern Mexico since last week, justice officials say.
- After 18 tropical cyclones in the Atlantic and Caribbean Basins this season (of tropical depression strength and stronger) -16 of which were named – the tropics are not done yet.
- Health officials in rural Haiti are investigating a possible disease outbreak that could be responsible for dozens of deaths and a surge in hospital patients, UN aid workers said Wednesday.
- A film about Cuba’s disenchanted youths, filmed largely during singer Juanes’ controversial concert on the island last year, debuts debuts in Miami this weekend.
- A woman in Palm Beach, Florida, was sentenced to seven years in prison for forcing two of her Honduran sisters into the sex trade in Palm Beach County nightclubs.
- Colombia has announced that the country supports Honduras’ requested intervention in a maritime border dispute between Colombia and Nicaragua.
- Every 88 minutes a person dies a victim of extreme violence in Honduras, where the homicide rate soared in recent months, reported on Tuesday the National Human Rights Commissioner.
- The United States and Nicaragua extended an agreement to protect the archaeological heritage of Nicaragua on Wednesday.
- The U.S. multinational Del Monte, a large scale producer of bananas, pineapples and melons in Costa Rica, announced the closure of three melon farms, letting go more than two thousand workers, local media report.
- Panamanian lawmakers repealed controversial labor legislation on Wednesday, blunting the pro-business agenda of President Ricardo Martinelli.
- Colombian police have created the first counter-nuclear arms unit in the region dealing with leftist rebels.
- The presidents of Iran and Venezuela have promised to deepen their “strategic alliance” against U.S. imperialism.
- Lucio Gutierrez, the former president of Ecuador, warned Wednesday of the need for dialogue and national reconciliation to avoid a repeat of last month’s scenes of chaos, which began with police protests against proposed changes to their benefits package.
- Peruvian soccer players say opponents drugged them.
- The latest Brazilian election polls show that front-running presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff has increased her lead over rival José Serra since earlier numbers showed the gap between the two was shrinking.
- A Brazilian crime reporter was shot to death outside his home in the northeastern state of Rio Grande do Norte on Monday, just one day after another journalist was murdered in São Paulo state.
- Five of the rescued Chilean miners pledged to marry their long-time companions in a ceremony Tuesday.
Image: Molly O’Toole