Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera, leaders of a peasant ecological organization in their home state of Guerrero, Mexico, are currently in prison and facing trial for fighting against logging and the depletion of natural resources in the mountains north of Acapulco. This week Rodolfo Montiel was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize, the environmental equivalent of the Nobel Prize. However, the handling of their case by Mexican authorities has provoked criticism from such organizations as Amnesty International, which has declared Montiel a prisoner of conscience. Kent Patterson has the details of this case.
One of the main obstacles facing the growing Latino population in Texas when trying to get medical attention is the shortage of hospital interpreters that speak their language. A striking example is the case of Austin, Texas, where there are only two medical interpreters serving all of the city's non English-speaking Latino patients. Our correspondent Judith Torrea brings us this report.
Thousands of Cubans and Nicaraguans who entered the United States before December 1995, and who missed last week's deadline to apply for amnesty under NACARA, the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act, were left without a valuable opportunity to gain U.S. residency status. They are now hoping that Congress approves an extension of the deadline for submitting their applications. Hirania Luzardo, our correspondent in Miami, has the story.
Despite the large-scale census campaign being conducted nationwide to encourage people to be counted, Florida remains among the 10 states with the lowest rate of return of questionnaires in the country. Among the reasons people cite for not returning their forms is the confusion caused by questions about race and ethnicity. Others say some of the questions are simply too personal. However, as our correspondent in Miami Hirania Luzardo informs us, the campaign pushes on to assure an accurate count that better reflects the state's Latino population.
Groups of veteran ex-braceros from various states in Mexico and the U.S. who worked in the agricultural fields of this country between 1940 and 1960 continue to occupy the premises of the Banco de Credito Rural in Mexico City, where their retirement funds were supposedly deposited. The detention for several hours of one of their leaders by officials of the attorney general has given them further impetus to continue their blockade to demand that the bank search for their missing savings fund. In the meantime, they have asked that the Mexican government grant them health insurance and a pension. Raul Silva has this report.
Public clinics in Texas recently carried out a study to determine how well Latino patients understand the Spanish translations of various medical information pamphlets. Their results showed that women tended to understand them better than men, not because of the quality of the translation but because of their greater familiarity with the topics they covered. Judith Torrea, our correspondent in Austin, brings us this story.
As janitors in Los Angeles conclude their third week on strike to demand higher wages and better health benefits, there seems to be no resolution in sight. However, support for the cause is growing all over the country. Vice president Al Gore and L.A. Cardinal Roger Mahoney have both appeared at demonstrations and declared their support. Janitors in San Diego, Chicago, and other cities have also staged their own strikes in a show of solidarity. Meanwhile, the L.A. janitors say they are prepared and determined to stick it out to win the $1 an hour raise they are demanding, even if it means facing arrests and further clashes with the police. Our correspondent Ruben Tapia is in the streets of Los Angeles, following the struggle of the Latino immigrants participating in the strike.
With the aim of saving lives at a time when donor organs are scarce, Mexican Secretary of Health Antonio Gonzalez Fernandez introduced this February a proposition that would increase their availability and encourage the standardization of organ donation in Mexico. While the Mexican congress studies this proposal, which would make every Mexican a potential donor, people are questioning what would seem to be more of an obligatory donation than one made on one's own free will. Lenica Avila reports from Mexico City.
Nearly one million children under two years of age in the U.S. have yet to receive their necessary vaccinations. Among Latino children, that number is even greater. To close this gap and raise awareness of the need for parents to immunize their children, the Health and Human Services Department has launched a new Spanish-language public health education campaign. Known as "Vacunas para todos," the campaign aims to inform and encourage parents to take advantage of the services available to them and to get their children immunized early. Citlali Saenz has the details.
This week, and for only the second time in recent Mexican history, the six candidates for Mexico's presidency met to debate in what has become one of this country's most hotly contested and closely watched elections. With less than three months to go before votes are cast, attention has centered on two of the candidates: Francisco Labastida, of the long-governing Institutional Revolution Party (PRI), and Vicente Fox, of the National Action Party (PAN), the opposition party seen by many as having the best chance of making history by ending the PRI's 70-year rule. Lenica Avila has been following the electoral campaigns in Mexico City and has this report.
Even with Elian Gonzalez safely reunited with his father, the battle over the Cuban boy's fate rages on. Elian's Miami relatives, outraged over the actions of federal agents last week to remove the boy from their home, and with support from several Republican senators, have called for a congressional investigation into what they call an unnecessary use of force. Meanwhile, Elian's father and his supporters continue to lobby lawmakers and other federal officials for sole custody of the boy and the right of his father to decide Elian's fate. Our correspondent in Washington, D.C., Patricia Guadalupe, brings us this story.
Though many Latinos have cancer prevention, screening and treatment programs within their reach, some at no charge, too many do not take advantage of them. In part, say some doctors, this is due to the fact that often they are not aware these programs exist. To create awareness of these resources and increase the number of Latinos involved in research in this field , the National Cancer Institute recently funded a program known as Redes en Accion. Designed to create networks between organizations and individuals working to control and treat cancer in Latino communities, the program creates educational and informational campaigns specifically attuned and suited to their culture. Citlali Saenz has the details.
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