First Lady talks education to Hispanic audience

By Percy Luján

NEW YORK CITY — First Lady Michelle Obama, featured speaker at the League of United Latin American Citizens convention, which concluded here this past week, didn’t venture into the national debate about the 50,000-plus Central American children clogging the U.S.-Mexico border. She left that contentious politicized subject up to husband Barack. Instead, addressing 1,200 LULAC members at a unity luncheon here, she chose to talk about education and Latino youth. After commending LULAC for its consistent civil rights advocacy on Latino and black education issues, she shifted, “While all of you are proud of what you did, you are by no means satisfied.”

A U.S. Department of Education study released in April showed the high school graduation rate for Hispanic students nationwide was 73 percent, 13 points lower than for white students in the school year ending in 2012. For African-American students it was 69 percent.

You read me right. We abhorred Salvadorans

By Kay Bárbaro

D.C.’s SALVADORAN INGREDIENT: Salvadorans now comprise 40% of the still-small Hispanic population (9%) here in the nation’s capital, with next-to-no local political influence. At the Democratic mayoral candidate forum involving eight candidates (no Hispanics) last month, two-thirds of the 111 Latino caucus members supported incumbent Vincent Gray, whom voters hoisted onto a greased rail out of town when his term expires in January,2015 while winner Muriel Bowser, who outpolled Gray in the total community 44-32%, didn’t even gain single–digit support. Wrong horse, paisanos. Back in 1987, when Salvadorans were starting to bail out of their embattled homeland, a Washington Post survey found that their exodus to the USA in the previous five years had doubled. (Yet only 5% of those who applied for U.S. asylum received it vs.

Documental vuelve a encender debate sobre la muerte de Rubén Salazar

By Kay Bárbaro

Read this story in English

WASHINGTON — A pesar de la convicción declarada del productor de Hollywood, Phillip Rodríguez, con respecto a que el homicidio de Rubén Salazar, director de noticias de KMEX TV (Los Ángeles), cometido hace 44 años, fue un accidente, dos públicos independientes —uno en Washington, D.C., y otro en Long Beach, California— que vieron el preestreno del documental de 54 minutos, no concuerdan con él. Algunos dijeron, además, que aunque trató de hacer un caldo de cultivo para exponer un mal, solamente logró un refrito para la televisión. El programa, Rubén Salazar: Man in the Middle, saldrá a nivel nacional el 29 de abril por la red pública de televisión, PBS. Respondiendo a la invitación de PBS, 125 personas valientes —incluyendo las del equipo del Hispanic Link, el reportero Aaron Montes y el editor Charlie Ericksen, acompañados por Peter Copeland, quien formó parte de la fundación de periodismo de Scripps-Howard—, se aventuraron la noche del 27 de febrero, con temperaturas bajo cero, a ver el documental en el auditorio del Museo de Arte Americano, del Instituto Smithsoniano, en el noroeste de Washington, D.C.

En la otra costa, con temperaturas más cálidas, el profesor y activista Armando Vásquez Ramos invitó a un grupo de 350 jóvenes universitarios al teatro de la California State University, Long Beach, el 10 de marzo, y poco después 100 invitados asistieron a la recepción y discusión que siguió. Al productor del documental, Rodríguez, se le unió Phil Móntez, gran amigo de Salazar, jubilado recientemente de su cargo de director regional de la costa oeste para la U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Documentary revives debate over Rubén Salazar’s death

By Kay Bárbaro

Lea esta historia en español

WASHINGTON — In spite of independent Hollywood producer Phillip Rodríguez’s stated belief that the killing of KMEX-TV (Los Angeles) news director Rubén Salazar 44 years ago was accidental,  two separate audiences – in Washington, D.C., and Long Beach, Calif. — that previewed his 54-minute television documentary, beg to differ. Where there was grist for an exposé, a TV rehash resulted, some say. The program — Rubén Salazar: Man in the Middle — is scheduled to run nationally April 29 on the Public Broadcasting Service network. Responding to PBS invitations, 125 brave souls, including Hispanic Link’s reporter/editor team Aaron Montes/Charlie Ericksen along with Scripps-Howard Journalism Foundation member Peter Copeland ventured into the sub-freezing night of Feb.

Obama, Republicans fail to advance hopes on immigration reform

By Aaron Montes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – When President Barack Obama delivered the fifth State of the Union address of his presidency, he dedicated just three sentences to immigration reform. Not once did he mention the contributions or needs of Latinos, nor did he touch on his administration’s handling of deportations. Most of his proposals won applause from Democratic members while the majority of the Republican Party sat in silence. They did the same when the president said “…and fix our broken immigration system.”

On Jan. 30, the house GOP released its immigration requirements: more border security, implemented entry-exit visa tracking and employment verification systems and no special path to citizenship.

Cecilia Muñoz, Assistant to the President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council. (

Hispanics are tired of Obama’s lip service on immigration reform

By Kay Bárbaro

For Borderzine from Hispanic Link

WASHINGTON – WE’RE STILL WAITING:  Cecilia Muñoz, longtime vice president of the National Council of La Raza whose appointment in Jan. 20, 2009, to President Obama’s initial cabinet was seen as a payoff to the Hispanic community for its huge role in Obama’s winning a front-door key to the White House. This, we and many others innocently believed, would ensure that el presidente nuevo would move quickly to make good on his repeated promises to end our undocumented immigrant agony by delivering genuine immigration reform legislation. Did he? Of course not.

Media Report- August 7, 2013

By Luis Carlos López

Piolín’s exit: Univisión’s abrupt decision to pull the plug on long-time syndicated radio show Piolín por la Mañana stems from alleged sexual harassment by its star, reports The Los Angeles Times. Writer, producer and performer for the radio program Alberto “Beto” Cortez alleges that his boss, Eddie “Piolín” Sotelo, was “physically, sexually and emotionally harassing” him for a three-year period ending last January, the Times reported. The accusation was made in an April 16 letter from Cortez’s attorney Robert Clayton to executives Roberto Llamas and José Valle of Univisión Communications Inc., the Times reported July 29. Sexual harassment alleged

“In addition to the claim of sexual harassment, Cortez alleged that Sotelo ordered members of his radio production team to falsify letters in support of a high-profile campaign for congressional immigration reform, an issue that Sotelo championed on his program,” the Times wrote. According to documents it obtained, Cortez claimed that Sotelo continually made aggressive and unwanted sexual advances.

Ken Salazar resigns; President’s cabinet is devoid of Hispanics

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Kenneth Salazar is resigning from President Obama’s Cabinet and will return home to Colorado by the end of March. His impending departure, announced Jan. 16, follows that of Secretary of Labor Hilda Solís, who returned to her native California Jan. 23. Their decisions leave President Obama’s Cabinet bare of Hispanics.

Families made a good part of the participants in the march for immigration reform. (Justin Monarez/

Rival immigration reform plans could ignite Capitol Hill fireworks

By Basilisa Alonso

The comprehensive immigration reform proposal spread out Jan. 29 in Las Vegas by President Obama could eventually put as many as 11 million undocumented immigrants, about 80 percent of whom are Hispanic, on a path to U.S. citizenship. It is could also light up the sky with an awesome display of political fireworks by the Fourth of July. While Obama’s 25-minute televised speech was seen and heard by millions and then regurgitated and analyzed for days by print as well as broadcast  media, its message was clearly directed to those 535 members of Congress who must sign off before it reaches his desk for signature. The stakes — the President’s reputation, the future viability of the Republican Party and the welfare of the Hispanic community — are enormous.

Mexico caravan for peace winds up in Washington

By José de la Isla

EDITOR’S NOTE: Influential Mexican writer and poet Javier Sicilia jolted that country’s public and political conscience last year following the murder of his 24-year-old son Juan Francisco Sicilia, and six others, by members of one of that country’s drug cartels by forming and leading a national movement to end the years-long domestic warfare between the government and drug syndicates which has already cost as many as 70,000 lives. The movement came to the United States to address our involvement as the cartels’ principal drug-user market, arms provider and multimillion-dollar partner, while the Mexican government’s counter-offensive has come at a price of additional victims — 10,000 missing and 160,000 displaced persons in Mexico alone. Hispanic Link’s Mexico Citybased columnist José de la Isla has been traveling with the Caravan For Peace and Justice and is filing dispatches covering its final week of U.S. travel and activities in Washington, D.C., which wrapped up this week. Episode I: 70,000 faces of the caravan for peace

NEW YORK, Sept. 6 — Before the historic Caravan For Peace with Justice and Dignity arrived at Riverside Church on the Upper West Side, local volunteers wearing white T-shirts with “#YoSoy132NY” brought refreshments and fruit for the 110 sojourners on the buses coming from Cleveland, Ohio.