DRIVING RIGHTS FOR IMMIGRANTS. Every day, thousands of people drive on the freeways and streets of California without drivers licenses or car insurance. This is due in large part to a state law prohibiting undocumented immigrants from obtaining drivers licenses. In an effort to resolve this problem, Assemblyman Gil Cedillo has sponsored a bill that would reverse this law. This week, Ruben Tapia reports from Los Angeles on the effort of community groups to lobby Democrats in the state legislature to support the bill.
MEXICO: NO ABSENTEE BALLOT FOR 2000. Mexico's constitution assures its citizens living abroad the right to vote in national elections. Nevertheless, legislators from Mexico's ruling party voted against a motion to permit absentee voting for the presidential election in 2000. This, despite an intense lobbying campaign by Mexicans living in the U.S. This week, Raul Silva reports on reactions to the outcome of this long and heated battle.
MAINTAINING AN ANCIENT TRADITION. Aztec dancing has been a tradition in Mexico for centuries. In the U.S., this custom gained popularity among Latinos in the 1970s during the Chicano movement. Today, hundreds of people in this country participate in the ancient art form. This week, Silvia Parra speaks with Francisco Duarte, a dance teacher in San Francisco Mission District who believes the dance should be open to anyone, regardless of race or gender.
MEXICANS IN U.S. DISAPPROVE KILLING OF ABSENTEE VOTE. Last week, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI, used its majority in the Mexican Senate to block an electoral reform package containing a bill allowing millions of Mexicans abroad to vote by absentee ballot in next year's presidential elections. This week, Ruben Tapia reports on the reaction of Mexicans in the U.S. to Mexico's Senate controversial move.
MEXICAN ELECTIONS: ADVANCES AND SETBACKS. In state elections held this week in Mexico, the ruling party, PRI, held on to the governor's seat of the country's most populous state, Mexico. Yet, in the coastal state of Nayarit, an unprecedented coalition of four opposition parties managed to win that states governorship. This week, Lenica Avila reports on the results and their significance for the presidential elections next summer.
LATINO STEREOTYPES. By the year 2020 one in six U.S. residents will be of Latino descent. Nevertheless, the television and film industry reduces the growth of this diverse and fledgling community to old stereotypical roles. News correspondent Citlali Saenz speaks with Harry Pachon, director of the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute, about the continued type-casting of Latinos in the entertainment industry.
CROSSING BORDERS. Over the last 15 years, Culture Clash, a Latino comedy group based in San Francisco and composed of Richard Montoya, Ricardo Salinas and Herbert Siguenza, has gained a strong following for its brand of political comedy and satire. During these years the comedy trio has addressed serious issues in their plays, such as racism, gang violence, and immigration. This week, Ana Lilia Barraza interviews the threesome about their most recent theater piece, "Bordertown," a documentary-style piece about the San Diego/Tijuana border region.
MEXICO: THE END OF CONASUPO. The federal agency that has been responsible for overseeing distribution of basic food products in Mexico, known as CONASUPO, was created in the 1950s to commercialize and regulate prices of farm products in order to make them accessible for low income consumers. Yet, after four decades, the government agency, mired in corruption and bureaucracy, was closed down. This week, Lenica Avila reports on the closure of the agency and the effects this will have on Mexico's farmers and its economy.
MULTIPLE MURDERS SPUR SPECIAL INVESTIGATION. The deaths of 187 women in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico has brought this border town national and international attention, including a visit from a United Nations representative on human rights. This week, Raul Silva reports on the investigation of these cases and presents reactions from victims' family members, human rights advocates and Mexican legislators.
DANGER IN UNSAFE WORKPLACES. CAL-OSHA , California state agency for health and safety admits that despite efforts made to promote security among farm workers, the risk of lethal accidents remains high in the labor agricultural camps. Humberto Rodas speaks with farmworkers and with state officials on steps that can be taken to prevent more accidents in the workplace.
NAFTA AND LABOR RIGHTS. In 1994, when the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect, there were nearly half a million employees working in the maquiladoras on the U.S./Mexico border Three years later, that number has doubled. Nevertheless, according to a study by Cornel University, the wages in the maquiladoras remain low and abuse and exploitation of workers is the rule. This week, Citlali Saenz reports on efforts to unionize maquiladora workers.
LATINOS ON-LINE. Despite the fact that more and more U.S. residents are going online, a study by the Commerce Department shows that Latinos are still lagging behind. Yet, another study shows that Latinos are definitely trying to catch up, buying computers at twice the rate of the overall population. This week, Citlali Saenz reports.
REMEMBERING THE REVOLUTION. July marks the 20th anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution which toppled Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza. This week, correspondent Raul Silva speaks with renown author Sergio Ramirez, a leading sandinista, former Nicaraguan vicepresident and the author of a recently-published book entitled "Adios Muchachos", a memoir of the revolution. In his book, Ramirez writes that democracy is the greatest legacy of that movement.
LETHAL HEAT. The latest heat wave has caused dozens of deaths across the United States, including that of a farmworker in Ohio. Farmworkers in the scorching fields of California's Imperial Valley, where the mercury has reached 110 degrees, are also reported to be falling victims of sunstroke and dehydration. This week, Humberto Rodas reports from the state's southern valley on measures to prevent fatalities during this summer in the fields.
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