Updates on musica y films are long overdue and there are several coming up! One of the first album reviews is Rita Indiana y Los Misterios (I know I’m a bit late), pero thought even if you are/not as late as I am you’d enjoy some of these songs as you prepare for 2011.
Living & Luchando la Vida Latin@
I wanted to like NY State Governor David Paterson. I really did, but his lackluster job was just topped with bitter icing thanks to his signing of a “new” Secure Communities agreement that does nothing more than draw pretty flowers around barbed wire and shackles.
For the past few months, various organizations and politicians have been asking Paterson to pull New York State out of Secure Communities, the program which automatically sends the fingerprints collected by local police departments to I.C.E. What outgoing Governor Paterson did instead was sign a new pact which allegedly adds language, according to the NYT that:
…explains the enforcement priorities of the Department of Homeland Security and clarifying that the agency will focus on deportable immigrants considered a threat to public safety and national security, as well as those who have been convicted of crimes or have illegally re-entered the United States after being deported.
It’s been 3 days since about two feet of snow fell on VivirLatino headquarters and the rest of my beloved NYC, and three 3 days later, I’m shaking my fist at the city and Mayor Bloomberg too.
I’ve seen my share of snowstorms in the big mango, I have been stranded at the airport because of them but this is by far the worse response I have seen by NYC in my 33 years of vida. I don’t know if this can be blamed on budget cuts, poor management or Bloomie just not giving a flying fuck in his third term.
Yesterday afternoon, I watched my vecinos in Corona carry baby strollers over their heads just to get across unplowed streets and a NYC bus (#23) seemed frozen in the same spot it had been since the storm began over the weekend.
While many people on the Northeast coast are digging themselves out of a blizzard this morning, media reports and an FBI investigation indicate that some Latinos in East Haven, Connecticut are digging themselves right on out of the town.
Earlier this month the FBI launched an investigation against the East Haven Police Department because of complaints of racial profiling and criminal activity against Latinos including physical assault.
But Justice Department Civil Rights investigation or not, AP reported yesterday that Latinos are closing up shops that they have invested time and money in because the harassment has gotten so out of control.
Hispanic business owners say police made a practice of parking outside their shops and stopping any Latinos. Some who complained say they faced retaliation.
Luis Rodriguez, an immigrant from Ecuador who owns the Los Amigos Grocery, said he was arrested two months ago and jailed for five days after a woman pointed out to police that his 3-year-old son was unsupervised on the sidewalk outside the store. He said police were out for revenge because his wife had been videotaping them. He was charged with child neglect; the case is still pending.
Meanwhile, his store is up for sale. Ecuadoreans used to travel from as far as Massachusetts for jalapenos, Ecuadorean sodas and other specialty products. But Rodriguez said police have scared customers away by threatening to alert immigration authorities if they ever saw them in town again.
Mala is kind of into that whole navidad thing, complete with cooking, singing, gifting, and drinking (got coquito chilling in the fridge). That said I don’t know how often the updates will be flowing over the next few days. It really is dependent on my kids’ holiday spirit.
That said, regardless of if/how you are celebrating over the next few days, wishing each and every one of you joy, justice and peace.
P.S. : The video below, yes is problematic in a few ways (can you spot the signs of colonialism and apologies in advance to the observant Catholics) but as a recovering Catholic and as a #techputa, I found it amusing nonetheless.
After the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners, Chile was even more lauded as a model democracy in region still portrayed in the media (and U.S. Cables as per Wikileaks) as run by power hungry and perhaps mentally unstable leaders.
What isn’t being covered, except in a few select outlets (namely orgs out of Chile, independent radio here in U.S. and through social media) is how the Chilean government is at this moment terrorizing two Indigenous nations.
VivirLatino has covered a little of what has been happening in the south of Chile regarding the Mapuche community (full disclosure, my elder child is Mapuche). Recently released cables have shown that while former Chilean Michele Bachelet may have been a victim of the U.S. sponsored coup/dictatorship of Pinochet, she had no qualms about reaching out to the U.S. to investigate the Mapuche as “terrorists” when they have been merely defending their lands.
From the L.A. Times:
One leaked cable, dated February 2008, tells of a meeting between U.S. Ambassador Paul Simons and Bachelet’s interior minister, Edmundo Perez Yoma, in which officials discussed the possibility that the Mapuche might be receiving aid from the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, or the FARC guerrilla army in Colombia, or even the ETA, the Basque separatist group in Spain.
The implications are powerful, for if indeed a connection was made (or rather invented) this certainly could place more U.S. anti-terror funds into Chile to suppress the Mapuche nation.
Then people question why I called Bachelet’s socialism “lite”.
That’s what Obama said in a press conference earlier today when pressed as to how he was going to push for comprehensive immigration reform with a GOP led Congress if he couldn’t do it when the Dems were in power.
Obama clearly has down the talking points behind the DREAM Act but he also has the border security first language that allows for the justification of deportations and detentions.
See the video below:
Yesterday President Obama held yet another closed door meeting with some Latino lawmakers on the subject of the future comprehensive immigration reform. To the surprise of no one, out of the meeting came Obama saying that he supported CIR but that the chances of any immigration reform bill coming out in the next two years are slim to none.
The focus instead, according to media reports, will be on keeping anti-immigrant efforts from becoming law such as repealing birthright citizenship.
From the L.A. Times:
Obama told the five Latino lawmakers who met with him in the Oval Office that he would veto certain punitive legislation if need be.
The other commitment Obama made on the issue of immigration? To mention it in the State of the Union Address next month. Followers of VivirLatino will remember how well the President did with covering immigration reform in the last State of the Union Address.
Another struggle that I have been following over the past few days is the continuing violence against the student protesters at the University of Puerto Rico. As I tweeted last week, the way students are engaged in struggle is very Latin American. The way the Puerto Rican government is responding, through the use of riot police, is very imperialist.
Yesterday, more than a dozen students were arrested in what has been described by many on the island as a police riot.
Ed Morales writes :
After peacefully demonstrating in the Natural Sciences building, the police began to isolate certain students and arrest them violently. Preliminary estimates are that 17 were arrested, some injuries, one known in Auxilio Mutuo Hospital. Radio Huelga reports a text from a student who said he was being driven around in a police van and beaten. The students have been denied access to lawyers.
Telemundo Puerto Rico has some videos of the police actions against the students who have been on strike and protesting an $800 increase in fees.
Radio Huelga has live and taped video you can also see, representing the students’ direct perspective.
Image Via / Ed Morales