Hispanic Political Clout Lacking, Voter Surge Predicted… Toledo To Continue Probe… 35 Busted In Puerto Nuevo… Mercado Gives Crime Prevention Tips… Yauco Employees Face Layoffs… Paxil CR Returned To Market… New Ponce Art Museum Curator… ‘Pivazos’ Legal Fees Called Abusive… FURA Ups Surveillance… Ferrer Courts Latinos

Study: Hispanic Political Clout Lacking

June 27, 2005
Copyright © 2005
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

WASHINGTON - The rapid increase of the Hispanic population in the United States is not resulting in a comparable growth in political clout, a new study found.

Hispanics accounted for half the growth in the U.S. between 2000 and 2004, but only a tenth of the growth in votes, according to an analysis of Census data by the Pew Hispanic Center.

The population of Hispanics increased by 5.7 million over those four years, but only 2.1 million of those were eligible to vote. The number of Hispanic voters increased by only 1.4 million.

One reason for the gap: A high percentage of Hispanics are either too young to vote or are ineligible because they are not citizens.

The Hispanic share of the electorate was up slightly in 2004 to 6 percent, while the share of the population increased from 12.8 percent in 2000 to 14.3 percent in 2004.

About 18 percent of the Hispanic population – citizens and non-citizens – went to the polls in 2004, compared with 51 percent of all whites and 39 percent of all blacks, according to the Pew report.

Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry won the Hispanic vote in 2004, but President Bush got more than 40 percent of those votes, which had been a goal of his campaign.

On the Net:

Pew Hispanic Center: http://www.pewhispanic.org

Hispanic Voter Surge Predicted

A study predicted that immigration and a higher birth rate among Hispanic women could show up at the polls in the coming years.


June 28, 2005
Copyright © 2005
MIAMI HERALD. All rights reserved. 

WASHINGTON - A Hispanic baby boom could surge into American politics in the next few years, adding to the growing political clout of the nation's largest minority group, a new study predicted Monday.

Two demographic trends are merging to produce the boom -- immigration and a higher birth rate among Hispanic women than the rest of the population. Of America's entire population growth from 2000 to 2004, about 5.7 million people -- or half the total -- were Hispanics. Of them, one-third weren't yet old enough to vote.

Whether they vote, and which party they vote for, remains to be seen. But the fact that they are part of the fastest-growing population group in the country suggests that they could change U.S. politics even if only a fraction participates -- provided they tilt decisively to one party in a nation still fairly evenly split between Democrats and Republicans.

''It really is a baby boom,'' said Richard Fry, one author of the analysis for the Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan research organization that studied new census data as well as 2004 and 2000 election surveys. ``These babies will become voters two and three election cycles from now.''


The promise of Hispanic votes already has changed the way politics sounds and works. President Bush speaks Spanish, he weighs whether to nominate his friend and attorney general, Alberto Gonzalez, to be the first Hispanic on the Supreme Court, and both presidential campaigns mounted ads in Spanish last year.

The prospect of a Hispanic baby boom politically up for grabs will only attract more courting -- and clout -- as the group ages. The Hispanic population grew so fast from 2000 to 2004 that the Hispanic share of the total 2004 vote went up even though Hispanics still vote at lower rates than non-Hispanic whites or blacks.


One factor that restrained the growth of Hispanic voting was that about two-thirds of the new population couldn't vote, either because they weren't citizens or were too young. One-third were younger than 18 on Election Day 2004. Of them, about 1 in 5 will be old enough to vote in 2008, Fry said. Most of the rest will be eligible by 2012.

''Most are native-born U.S. citizens and hence will eventually become eligible voters,'' the report said. ``And when they do, they will join the electorate at a rapid rate.''

If this boom does start showing up at the polls -- past predictions of Hispanic voting surges have failed to materialize -- it isn't a sure vote for either party. The Hispanic vote overall is increasingly open to persuasion.

Pew authors said they thought Bush received about 40 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2004. That would be less than the 44 percent for the president that election-night polls of voters suggested, but still more than the 34 percent Bush received in 2000.

Religion was a major reason that Bush got more votes from Hispanics in his reelection, but not simply because of his aggressive outreach efforts to Roman Catholics, as many assume. In fact, Bush did the same among Hispanic Catholics in 2004 as he did in 2000, the Pew study found.

But Hispanic Protestants increased their share of the total Hispanic vote to 32 percent from 25 percent in 2000. And 56 percent of them voted for Bush, up from 44 percent in 2000. Pew couldn't determine whether that stems from factors unique to the 2004 election, such as the gay-marriage issue, or whether it will persist in 2008 and beyond.

Toledo To Continue Probe Despite Petition

June 28, 2005
Copyright © 2005
PRWOW News. All rights reserved. 

Police Superintendent Pedro Toledo on Tuesday said that despite Sen. Jorge De Castro Font’s request, he would carry on with the investigation of several issues surrounding New Progressive Party (NPP) Sen. Pedro Rossello.

On Monday, De Castro Font sent a letter to Toledo stating his wish to withdraw his petition against one of Rossello’s bodyguards, but Rossello immediately demanded that Toledo continue with the investigation.

In his letter, Rossello assured Toledo that, contrary to what De Castro Font had claimed, agent Francisco Claudio had never apologized for anything.

Rossello said that "De Castro Font has falsely stated that he had received reports confirming Claudio’s sincere regret and apology for the sad incident."

De Castro Font had requested an investigation of an incident in which Claudio allegedly had elbowed him.

Toledo said that "if the senator [De Castro Font] wishes not to file charges, that is his decision, but we will continue to investigate."

De Castro Font currently faces an expulsion process from the NPP for going against party rules and defying NPP President Pedro Rossello.

On another note, Toledo said the phone number that WKAQ radio station had identified in the case of the anonymous caller who had claimed to be one of Rossello’s former bodyguards, didn’t exist.

The anonymous caller had claimed that Rossello had ordered the use of intimidation tactics on several legislators who didn’t support his bid for the Senate helm.

Police Bust 36 People In Puerto Nuevo

June 28, 2005
Copyright © 2005
EFE. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (EFE) — Local and federal authorities on Tuesday arrested 36 people in several public housing projects of San Juan.

Justice Department Special Investigations Bureau Director Jose Lozada Medina said the purpose of the bust was to dismantle a powerful drug gang at Vista Hermosa housing project in Puerto Nuevo.

Since 2003, special investigations agents and the Puerto Rico Police worked undercover to identify four drug points at Vista Hermosa housing project.

Lozada Medina said the people who were arrested at Villa Hermosa, Villa España, San Fernando, and Santa Elena housing projects had all been involved in murder cases and drug-dealing cases in the Puerto Nuevo area.

"We have arrested snipers, vigilantes, and drug dealers," Lozada Medina said.

They also seized two bank accounts of $500,000 and $100,000 each as well as five houses, one apartment, and several vehicles in the areas of Isla Verde, Rio Piedras, Hato Rey, and Trujillo Alto that belonged to drug dealer Edwin Colon Diaz.

U.S. District Attorney in Puerto Rico, Humbert Garcia, said the gang faces prison sentences of 10 years to life and up to $4 million in fines.

Mercado Gives Tips On How To Prevent Crime

By Melissa B. Gonzalez Valentin

June 28, 2005
Copyright © 2005
PRWOW NEWS. All rights reserved.

Following Saturday's incident in which Puerto Rican actress Cordelia Gonzalez was kidnapped in broad daylight from Plaza Las Americas parking lot, San Juan Public Security Commissioner Col. Adalberto Mercado urged the public to follow precautionary measures to avoid falling victim to a crime.

Mercado acknowledged that police efforts sometimes aren’t enough to dissuade robbers and carjackers from perpetrating a crime.

"Some guys are so bold that they’ll risk getting caught", Mercado said.

He noted that as of June 26, 874 robberies (including car-jackings) had been reported in the San Juan area. That is 25 fewer cases that in the same period last year, or a 3% reduction.

Even so, Mercado said he believes the community may help prevent crime to some extent and offered five tips on how to do it.

First of all, the colonel advised citizens against parking in secluded or dark areas.

He also urged people not to wait for a green light when driving any time after midnight or before 5 a.m.

Mercado noted that some delinquents manage to get their victims to stop by bumping the rear end of their car or by causing an accident. In these cases, Mercado urged citizens not to stop, but to keep on driving until they can reach a police station, a fire station or any other place where they can be safe.

Should they notice any suspicious activity, Mercado recommended using their cell phones to contact the Puerto Rico Police at (787) 343-2020, for guidance and orientation.

Mercado also said people should have their car keys at hand before reaching their vehicle. They should also look around to make sure they aren’t being followed. Should they notice something suspicious, they should go back inside the building or call for help.

In case someone does fall victim to a robbery, Mercado said the person shouldn’t resist the robber. He recommended that they focus on traits or peculiar details–like tattoos, scars, haircut, speech or accent–that may help authorities identify the perpetrators.

They should also notice any vehicle that the robbers may be using and to remember the model, color, the number of doors or if it had any dents. Even a few numbers of the license plate could help authorities identify the robbers.

He also said victims should try to keep their cell phone on, as nowadays, police have the mechanisms to trace the exact location of a cell phone, even when it is not being used in a phone call.

Mercado acknowledged that police efforts sometimes aren’t enough to dissuade robbers and carjackers from perpetrating a crime.

Yauco Mayor May Lay Off 200 Employees

June 28, 2005
Copyright © 2005
EFE. All rights reserved.

PONCE (EFE) — Yauco Mayor Abel Nazario on Monday announced that he may lay off approximately 200 employees if the financial situation of Yauco doesn’t improve.

Nazario said that as of June 29, the municipal government would close on Wednesdays to reduce operation costs.

He also announced the shutdown of several community outreach programs that currently provide aid to families and drug users.

"I don’t rule out the possibility of closing for more days," said Nazario, who noted the municipal government’s deficit of $4.5 million. Yauco currently has 300 municipal employees.

Nazario said the budget cut that the House of Representatives approved last week and the delay in the construction of several water projects that would generate $1.3 million are likely to increase the municipal deficit to $6 million.

Nazario added that he has already laid-off several municipal chiefs and would only work with key agencies that are needed to operate the government. However, he said he would touch municipal police, but may consider imposing a city tax of 5%.

Paxil CR Returned To Market

GlaxoSmithKline Announces Re-Supply Of Paxil CR

June 27, 2005
Copyright © 2005
PRWOW NEWS. All rights reserved.

GlaxoSmithKline announced Monday the availability of Paxil CR (paroxetine hydrochloride controlled release) tablets in pharmacies across the United States. Other markets will follow shortly thereafter.

GSK committed to re-supplying pharmacies and wholesalers by mid-year after disruption of supply following the company’s voluntary withdrawal of the product in February due to manufacturing issues.

Both the company and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agreed at the time that the manufacturing issues posed no significant safety risks for patients.

GSK has identified the source of the manufacturing issues and has implemented revisions to those processes, as certified by a third party.

Paxil CR is approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

With respect to Avandamet (rosiglitazone maleate/metformin hydrochloride) tablets, the Company anticipates re-supplying the distribution channels within two weeks.

GlaxoSmithKline —one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and health care companies —reiterated its commitment to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better, and live longer.

Hartup. New Museo de Arte de Ponce Chief Curator


June 27, 2005
Copyright © 2005
MIAMI HERALD. All rights reserved.

Cheryl Hartup, former associate curator at the Miami Art Museum, begins her new position as chief curator of the Museo de Arte de Ponce, in Ponce, Puerto Rico on Friday.

Hartup, 38, came to MAM in 2000. She has gained a reputation for seeking out Latin American artists and was the only curator at MAM fluent in English and Spanish.

In her new position, Hartup will work closely with the 4,000 objects in the Puerto Rican museum's permanent collection, which encompasses various periods from the Italian Baroque to modern and contemporary Latin American art. Since the museum is currently closed for renovation, her job, she said, will involve organizing shows based on its permanent collection to tour the United States and Europe.

She also will enjoy direct access to art of the Caribbean.

''Some of the things I did [at MAM] I want to continue there -- this integration of local artists in the Caribbean region with international artists in terms of group exhibitions. I want to definitely stay in touch with what's happening here in Miami,'' Hartup said. ``I think Puerto Rico is really important in this exchange between Miami and the Caribbean basin.''

Rivera: Legal Fees In ‘Pivazos’ Case Abusive

June 27, 2005
Copyright © 2005
EFE. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN (EFE) — New Progressive Party (NPP) Secretary General Thomas Rivera Schatz on Monday said the federal court’s decision to recommend that the plaintiffs in the so-called ‘pivazos’ case pay $1.34 million in legal fees was abusive.

Rivera Schatz said U.S. District Court Judge Justo Arenas’ statement is only a recommendation to U.S. District Court Judge Daniel Dominguez that won’t hurt the NPP coffers.

"That amount seems ridiculous to me. It is absurd, especially when the plaintiffs prevailed in the federal forum, even though the main issue was revoked by the Circuit Court (of Appeals)," Rivera Schatz said in radio reports.

He reiterated that no one should be concerned about Arenas’ recommendation and added their lawyers would deal with the issue.

Rivera Schatz said that should Arenas’ recommendation prevail, it would be up to the plaintiffs, not the NPP to pay for the legal fees. The plaintiffs in the case are NPP Sen. Pedro Rossello, Resident Commissioner Luis Fortuño, Rivera Schatz, and several other pro-statehood leaders.

The $1.34 million would go to pay for the legal representation of the Popular Democratic Party in the case regarding the mixed votes that the NPP believed to be invalid.

New FURA Division To Reinforce Surveillance

June 27, 2005
Copyright © 2005
EFE. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN (EFE) — Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila on Monday inaugurated a new FURA Maritime Surveillance Division in Humacao to reinforce security in the southeast region of the island.

The division is intended to intercept illegal immigrants and block any attempt to smuggle controlled substances and fire weapons into the island.

FURA already has 11 divisions in Puerto Rico. Its latest addition will have two patrol vessels as well as two trucks with computers and office equipment.

"This surveillance unit will have the assistance of 20 officers and a sergeant to allow more control over the detection, pursuit, and interception of vessels carrying weapons and illegal immigrants," the governor said.

The new unit will patrol the areas of Humacao, Maunabo, Arroyo, Patillas, Yabucoa, and Ceiba.

Acevedo Vila said the new division would also help establish more active patrols in the south of Vieques; an area which has been prone to drug-smuggling activity.

According to FURA statistics, almost 300 kilograms of cocaine have been seized and more than 700 illegal immigrants have been detained so far this year.

Ferrer, Courting Latino Vote, Attends Conference In Puerto Rico

June 27, 2005
Copyright © 2005
NY1 NEWS. All rights reserved.

Mayoral hopeful Fernando Ferrer took his campaign south to Puerto Rico this weekend in an effort to further connect with New York City's Latino voters.

Ferrer attended a conference of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials in San Juan, where he criticized Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Spanish-language campaign ads.

During his trip, Ferrer sat down with NY1’s Dominic Carter for a candid discussion of the race for mayor, and Bloomberg's lead in the polls, which shows the mayor’s lead is widening and that he is doing very well with the black and Latino communities.

"Dominic, I'm going to leave the analysis to you guys," said Ferrer. "Polls go up and they go down, but I certainly do not in any way feel concerned about this. My view is as people go forward, they understand that Mike Bloomberg, even though he attempts to speak Spanish from time to time, is still talking about bad policies."

Ferrer supporters say that it would be an historic victory for the former Bronx borough president to become the city's first Latino mayor.

"Everybody is very, very proud of Fernando Ferrer," said a conference participant. "And it would be such a great honor to have a Puerto Rican be a mayor of one of the most important, beautiful cities in the world."

However, others also voiced support for Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"I know that Michael Bloomberg has also done a fantastic job," another conference participant said. "I know that he has been very supportive of the Puerto Rican community."

Self-Determination Legislation | Puerto Rico Herald Home
Newsstand | Puerto Rico | U.S. Government | Archives
Search | Mailing List | Contact Us | Feedback