HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO MIS AMERICANOS: CHECK OUT THE SEVEN CITIES WITH THE HOTTEST FIESTAS ACROSS THE COUNTRY

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

From margaritas to Mariachi and everything in between, here’s a rundown of the biggest fiestas taking place across the country.

(1) Los Angeles, California

The Fiesta Broadwayis known as “the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the world. The monster street fair, which covers more than 24 square blocks of downtown Los Angeles, draws crowds of more than half a million people. This year the fiesta happened on April 27th – 29th.

(2) Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado

Cinco de Mayo – Denver

The Mile High City is home to “Cinco in the Park,” a two-day festival hosted by Denver’s Civic Park Center that typically attracts more than 400,000 visitors and features over 350 food and retail vendors.
Look out for three stages of live entertainment, a Navy flight simulator, and the highly-anticipated annual Green Chili-Bowl Cookoff when the party — now entering its 25th year  anniversary kicks off— kicks off with a parade on Saturday, May 5th at 10am.

(3) Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Cinco de Mayo – Arizona

This year, the 19th annual Cinco de Mayo Phoenix festival willtake place May 5th and May 6th.  The big bash draws in more than 150,000 enthusiastic attendees.
Look forward to the endless mix of live music, batting cages, and party-goers chomping down on one and half pound turkey legs.

(4) St. Paul, Minnesota

St. Paul, Minnesota

Cinco de Mayo – Minnesota

The “Spiciest Celebration” in Minnesota takes place in St.Paul’s District del Sol, which opens its streets to more than 100,000 attendees each year.
The party begins on Friday, May 4th at 4 p.m. and keeps raging through Saturday night. What should you expect? Six blocks of traditional latin food, music, and dance, a lowrider car show, and a “people’s choice” salsa tasting contest!

(5) Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois

Cinco de Mayo – Chicago

This year, Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood — the heart of the city’s Mexican community — will host its second annual Cinco de Mayo festival from Friday, May 4 to Sunday, May 6.
The three-day celebration is said “to be one of the largest Mexican cultural fests in the Midwest.”
In late September, Little Village is also the site of the Chicago’s annual Mexican Independence Day Parade.

(6) Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Cinco de Mayo – Oregon

Get ready to see professional luchadores (Mexican wrestlers) riling things up at Portland’s 28th Annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, which starts today and continues through Sunday, May 7.
The extravagant celebration takes place along the waterfront and showcases a variety of local talent and professional entertainment, including ethnic Mexican ballet dance and a Latin rock band.

(7) San Francisco, CA

San Francisco, CA

Cinco de Mayo – San Francisco

The Mission neighborhood in San Francisco celebrates its eigth annual Cinco de Mayo spectacular this weekend in Dolores Park.
The family-friendly, alcohol-free extravaganza is expected to draw more than 5,000 people — just the right number to start a giant Zumba-thon Exercise Class, which will launch the entire event on Saturday, May 5.
Updated from 2011: Business Insider

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HOW LONG UNTIL DRUG CARTELS TAKE OVER MEXICO: LOS ZETAS AND GUATEMALAN ORGANIZED CRIME

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

Mexican President Felipe Calderon (L) and his Guatemalan counterpart Alvaro Colom arrive at a joint press conference at the official residence Los Pinos, in Mexico City, capital of Mexico, on July 27, 2011. (Xinhua/David de la Paz)

Los Zetas and Guatemalan Organized Crime 

Guatemalan authorities arrested Horst Walther Overdick-Mejia, a Guatemalan drug distributor working with Los Zetas, on April 3 in San Lucas Sacatepequez, Guatemala, near Guatemala City. According to a U.S. indictment, Overdick was responsible for trafficking illicit drugs, including cocaine, via land and maritime routes into Mexico since at least 1999 and played a significant role in the establishment of trafficking routes through Guatemala for Los Zetas.

Several Mexican transnational criminal organizations, including the Gulf cartel, Sinaloa Federation and Los Zetas, employ people in Guatemala like Overdick to transport illicit drugs through the Central American country. For Mexican organized crime, these liaisons are crucial for moving illicit drugs through Guatemala. Logistical liaisons, such as Overdick, allow foreign groups to establish a presence in unfamiliar terrain and facilitate communications with Guatemalan contacts. However, for at least the last five years, Los Zetas have placed an increasing focus on expanding their operations into Guatemala. The group thus likely has alternative plans to prevent operations depending on a single point of contact.

Members of Los Zetas pose with their drugs and weapons following their arrests by Mexican special ops police. Photo credit: DEA/DoJ File Photo 04/12/12

Unlike other Mexican organized criminal groups such as the Gulf cartel and the Sinaloa Federation, Los Zetas use their characteristic violent tactics to exert influence in Guatemala. On May 15, 2011, in the Peten department of Guatemala, gunmen murdered 27 farm workers on a ranch owned by Guatemalan drug distributor Otto Salguero. A week later in Quetzaltenango, Quetzaltenango department, three Guatemalans were arrested after posting narcomantas signed Z-200 that claimed Otto Salguero was one of “the most important suppliers of cocaine” to the Gulf cartel. Los Zetas have targeted other drug trafficking organizations, which family organizations largely control in Guatemala. Los Zetas attacked one such group, Los Leones, on March 25, 2008, with gunmen killing 11 of its members including Juan Jose “Juancho” Leon, a leader in the organization.

Guatemala Blames Mexico’s Most Brutal Drug Gang For Killing And Decapitating 27 People (05-17-2011) photo source el narco blog

Given Los Zetas’ established ability to assault rival criminal groups in Guatemala and its increasingly public presence (through narcomantas appearing in Guatemala’s largest cities), it is unlikely that Overdick’s arrest would significantly hinder Los Zetas influence in, and ability to traffic drugs through, Guatemala. Los Zetas are likely to adjust to Overdick’s arrest to continue operations in Guatemala.

July 6, 2011 – Guatemala, Guatemala – FILE: A picture dated 31 may 2011 shows Agents of the National Civil Police of Guatemala seizes 336 kilos of cocaine after a fight against drug traffickers in Rancho de Progreso, 80 kilometers north of Guatemala city. The group Los Zetas, one of the most violent organizations of organized crime, supplied drug from Guatemala and not direcly in Colombia, as revealed by number three in the group, jesus Enrique Rejon arrested in Mexico on July 3, 2011. Photo: Jesus Alfonso/dpa.

Turf War Hits Cancun

Spring Break in Cancun, in the narco era, via FP. March 2009

Gunmen shot and killed a 21-year-old man in front of the Hotel Ibis in Cancun, Quintana Roo state, on March 27. Authorities said they were looking for a missing taxi driver in connection with the murder. On April 2, authorities discovered the bodies of three males along the Cancun-Leona Vicario highway with two vehicles, one of which was registered as a taxi vehicle. According to authorities, the murders probably were linked to the March 27 killing. Two days later, authorities arrested seven members of the Los Pelones gang in Cancun in connection with the murders. After interrogating the suspects, authorities said the March 27 victim was killed for belonging to Los Zetas. Five members of Los Zetas were arrested April 5 in the district where the March 27 murder happened. Those arrested said they had arrived in Cancun 10 days before to carry out several assassinations.

The hotel is located in a high commercial traffic area at the intersection of Tulum and la Nichupté avenues.

Though Cancun does not typically see violence related to the drug war, violence may erupt without notice in any part of Mexico. At present Los Zetas and Los Pelones, a name historically associated with the Sinaloa Federation but not necessarily the same gang in Cancun, are attacking each another in Cancun. How far the violence could escalate remains unknown, but travelers to the resort town should pay attention to the security situation given the March 27 killing, which occurred in the area where numerous travelers will stay. Collateral damage easily could result from violence between the organizations.

April 3

  • Authorities discovered three bodies — two male and one female — at a ranch in Brisenas, Michoacan state, near the Jalisco state border.

April 4

  • Four gunmen were killed in Ario de Rosales, Michoacan state, when they opened fire on a military patrol. No military casualties were reported.
  • Authorities discovered the bodies of four executed individuals, two of whom were decapitated, in three different municipalities of Morelos state.
  • Francisco Medina Mejia “El Comandante Quemado,” the reported mastermind of the Casino Royale fire that killed 52 individuals in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon state, was killed by Mexican military in a firefight on the Nuevo Laredo-Piedra Negras highway. Three other gunmen were also killed.

April 5

  • At least seven individuals were murdered in separate incidences in Acapulco, Guerrero state.

April 6

  • Gunmen arrived at a residence in a vehicle and kidnapped four police officers before shooting and killing them in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon state.

April 7

  • Authorities discovered the body of a woman in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon state. The victim’s eyes were taped shut and there were signs of torture on the body.
  • Three individuals were killed in Acapulco, Guerrero state. Two of the victims were decapitated, and their heads were left in an ice cooler inside a vehicle. The third victim was a taxi driver, and his body was left in a taxicab.
  • In Arriaga, Chiapas state, two narcomantas were placed along bridges. The first stated that “Los Z” has arrived and warned that 100 people would die. The other stated that “La Familia” did not kill women, children or innocent and that justice begins.

April 8

  • The Mexican army with municipal police seized 844 kilograms (1,860 pounds) of marijuana from a residence in Tijuana, Baja California state.
  • Authorities discovered four decomposing bodies in a well in Rioverde, San Luis Potosi state.
  • Gunmen killed three men who had arrived at a car wash in Chihuahua city, Chihuahua state.

April 9

  • Gunmen kidnapped a man in La Trinidad, Sinaloa state. Authorities later discovered the decapitated body with the hand placed in the mouth.
  • Gunmen opened fire in a bar in the center of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon state, killing a waiter and a patron.
Read more: Stratfor

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ARE LATINOS THE CONSUMER POWERHOUSE RESHAPING AMERICA?

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

Studio Gang Architects + Joseph Lekas Photography

This Easter weekend I went to an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York called “Foreclosure: Rehousing The American Dream,” a fascinating view into what the future of urban and suburban housing in America could look like. For this exhibit, five architectural teams proposed how they would re-invest the TARP money of 2008 to revitalize foreclosure-ravaged suburbs near five major cities in the United States.

I came away feeling most impressed about the transformational impact that Latinos are already having on this country and wondering if most companies are really prepared for what is around the corner. I was most impressed with how clearly they understood the demographic impact of both the rise of Hispanics as a mega buying force in the home-buyer market.

Photographs by Don Pollard.

While Hispanics were certainly not the focus of this exhibit, their impact on four of the five places featured could not be denied. From Rialto, Calif., to Cicero, Ill., where 88% of the population is Hispanic, Latino attitudes about homeownership were not only prominently featured and discussed by architects, but also helped frame the developing of what the exhibit calls the “national conversation on issues of housing, transportation, and public space.”

When I got home, I remembered that I had recently downloaded the latest report on the State of Hispanic Homeownership, published in March by The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals and found that, in spite of also being hit by the housing crisis between 2007 and 2010, they too were predicting a new Latino housing mega trend.

“Over the next 10 years, Hispanics are expected to account for 40 percent of the estimated 12 million net new households, with minorities comprising 70 percent of total growth,” says Alejandro Becerra, author of the report. Unlike other groups, Latinos have not been big on saving for retirement. This is partly due to a cultural legacy that, hopefully, should change over the next few decades. Our American Dream has always mainly revolved around buying a home and depending on family to take care of us.
“An unrelenting drive to succeed combined with strong family values and larger family sizes fuel their yearning for a place to call home,” says Becerra. “This strong work ethic, often combined with a vibrant entrepreneurial spirit, adds up to major consumerism. The Hispanic market made up over 50 percent of real growth in the U.S. consumer economy from 2005 to 2008, with $52 billion in new spending.”

According to the Census, Hispanics are already a significant segment of the workforce. “The role of Latinos in the nation’s labor force in the manufacturing, construction, real estate and service industries is both monumental and crucial. For well over a decade, Hispanics have also had the highest labor force participation in the nation. Currently, 66.7% of all working-age Latinos are employed, nearly three percentage points higher than the rest of the U.S. population,” adds Becerra.

And while many Baby Boomers are expected to age in place, the NAHREP report says that “current mobility rates suggest that 3.8 million baby boomers could downsize over the coming decade, adding further to the demand for compact, lower-cost homes.” As a result, smart start-ups like Boomerator,Southeast Discovery and GetawayStyle are all setting up to cater to the needs of this huge demographic shift.

But I don’t see the same kind of focus and innovation reaching and catering to Hispanics. In spite of the Hispanic demographic tsunami that everyone agrees is upon us, many companies still dedicate only 3% to 5% of their budgets to marketing to Latinos. If that’s your strategy to win in this economy.

READ MORE: AD AGE

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NBC NEWS APOLOGIZES FOR EDITING GEORGE ZIMMERMAN’S 911 CALL

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

NBC News apologized for the way it edited the 911 conversation between George Zimmerman and a police dispatcher in the Trayvon Martin case.

NBC’sToday” show ran edited audio last week that appeared to reveal Zimmerman saying, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good … he looks black.”

But a transcript of the 911 call showed that Zimmerman actually said, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining, and he’s just walking around, looking about.”

The 911 handler responded, “OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?”
“He looks black,” Zimmerman replied.

Zimmerman, a volunteer neighborhood watch leader, admitted shooting and killing 17-year-old Martin in Sanford, Fla., in February but claimed it was in self-defense and justified under the state’s Stand Your Ground law. He also claimed Martin attacked him.

Trayvon Martin case: George Zimmerman's brother claims medical data will verify shooter's story

Martin was unarmed when he was killed by Zimmerman, who followed him despite being told not to by a 911 dispatcher. The shooting is being investigated.

Martin’s death sparked protests across the US, with many angry that no charges were filed against Zimmerman.

The NBC audio was aired Mar. 27. Critics claimed the edited version suggested Zimmerman targeted Martin because he was black.

The network launched an investigation after criticism in other media. Fox News presented a “before” and “after” version of the call last week.

A statement from NBC said Tuesday, “During our investigation, it became evident that there was an error made in the production process that we deeply regret. We will be taking the necessary steps to prevent this from happening in the future and apologize to viewers.”

Attorney Craig Sonner said Monday that Zimmerman would hand himself in if charges were filed against him.

“If he is asked, he will turn himself in,” Sonner said. “There’s not going to be a manhunt or anything like that. We’re preparing for trial. We’ve done all we can except ask for discovery [evidence-sharing] from the state, which is not available to us yet.”

Read more: FOX NEWS LATINO

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WHAT ARE THE TOP 10 FACTS ABOUT HISPANICS IN DC, MARYLAND & WISCONSIN?

THE HISPANIC BLOG IS THE LATEST HISPANIC NEWS BY JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ

Top 10 Facts about Hispanics in the District of Columbia

  • The District of Columbia’s total Hispanic population is 54,749 or 9% of the capital’s population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010).
  • There are 16,000 Hispanic eligible voters in the District of Columbia, which constitute 4% of all eligible voters in the district (Pew Hispanic Center, 2010).
  • Between 2000 and 2010, the District of Columbia’s Hispanic population grew by 22% (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010).
  • Three-in-ten (32%) of Hispanics in the District of Columbia are eligible to vote. In contrast, 84% of the capital’s White population is eligible to vote. (Pew Hispanic Center, 2010).
  • Sixteen percent of Hispanics in the District of Columbia do not have health insurance (Pew Hispanic Center, 2009).

Read More: Hispanic Leadership Network

Top 10 Facts about Hispanics in Maryland

  • Maryland’s total Hispanic population is 470,632 or 8% of the state’s population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010).
  • There are 113,000 Hispanic eligible voters in Maryland, which constitute 3% of all eligible voters in the state (Pew Hispanic Center, 2010).
  • Between 2000 and 2010, Maryland’s Hispanic population grew by 106% (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010).
  • The Hispanic population in Maryland is the 20th largest in the nation (Pew Hispanic Center, 2010).
  • Three-in-ten (30%) Hispanics in Maryland are eligible to vote. In contrast, 78% of the state’s White population is eligible to vote (Pew Hispanic Center, 2010).

Read More: Hispanic Leadership Network

Top 10 Facts about Hispanics in Wisconsin

  • Wisconsin’s total Hispanic population is 336,056 or 6% of the state’s population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010).
  • There are 106,000 Hispanic eligible voters in Wisconsin, which constitute 3% of all eligible voters in the state (Pew Hispanic Center, 2010).
  • Between 2000 and 2010, Wisconsin’s Hispanic population grew by 74% (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010).
  • Less than four-in-ten (37%) of Hispanics in Wisconsin are eligible to vote. In contrast, 78% of the state’s White population is eligible to vote (Pew Hispanic Center, 2010).
  • In Wisconsin, Hispanic eligible voters are outnumbered by black eligible voters by a margin of 2 to 1 – 106,000 Hispanics to 210,000 blacks (Pew Hispanic Center, 2010).

Read More: Hispanic Leadership Network

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