Mexico's Foreign Ministry Confirms 7 Mexican Citizens Dead in Cuba Plane Crash

Mexico's Foreign Ministry confirmed deaths of seven country's citizens in the Friday plane crash near the Cuban capital of Havana.

"The Mexican government through the Foreign Ministry says that based on the official information we can confirm the sorrowful fact that seven Mexican citizens (six crew members and one passenger) died as a result of the incident with the jet of the Cubana de Aviacion company on Friday at the Jose Marti International Airport in Havana," the Foreign Ministry said on Saturday in a statement.

The plane crashed on Friday shortly after a take-off from Havana leaving over 100 people killed. Causes of the incident remain unknown. On Saturday, Cuban experts found one of two black boxes of the crashed plane.

The black box, found on Saturday, is in a good condition, the EFE news agency reported citing Transport Minister Adel Yzquierdo without saying whether the experts found a flight data recorder or a cockpit voice recorder. According to the minister, the experts continue to look for the second device.

  • Published in Cuba

Thousands demand justice for Mexican students dissolved in acid

Close to 12,000 people took to the streets of Guadalajara on Thursday (April 26), calling for peace and justice for three film students who were brutally murdered in a crime that has shocked Mexico.

Over a month after their disappearance, authorities confirmed on Monday that Salomon Aceves Gastelum, 25, Daniel Diaz, 20, and Marco Avalos, 20, were kidnapped, tortured and killed by drug cartel members. Afterwards, their bodies were dissolved in acid.

"The absurd war on drugs is taking our classmates and we will not allow it anymore," said Jesus Medina, a student leader from the University of Guadalajara.

Many of the demonstrators also rejected the official version of events surrounding the students' deaths.

"What they presented is based on indications - there is not strong scientific evidence. There are many doubts," said Oscar Juarez.

Meanwhile, there was horror following the confession of a YouTube star and rapper - Christian Omar Palma Gutierrez, also known as "QBA" - that he dissolved the students' bodies in acid.

Gutierrez said he received 3,000 pesos (S$212) a week to work for the Jalisco New Generation drug cartel, one of the most powerful in Mexico.

"People like that who no longer feel...they have forgotten what it is to be human. A total lack of values," student Jose Eduardo Gomez told Agence France-Presse.

Along with the students, who came from five local universities, teachers and relatives also marched shouting slogans and singing songs calling for peace.

According to official figures, more than 200,000 people have been murdered and over 30,000 have disappeared since the government launched a controversial military offensive against organised crime in late 2006 - although how many of those incidents were linked to gang activity is unknown.

  • Published in World

Mexicans Will Exhibit Cuban Work on Perez Prado

The Mexican Independent Company ''Conjuro Teatro'' will premiere at the City Theater ''Yo soy el rey del mambo,'' by Cuban playwright Ulises Rodriguez, the House of Scenic Memory (CME) confirmed here today.

Directed by Dana Stella Aguilar, the group will perform on April 13, 14 and 15 in the aforementioned hall, in the Mexican capital, with a stage performance that pays homage to Damaso Perez Prado.

The piece was debuted by that group on December 8, 9 and 10, 2017, in the western town of Matanzas, the hometown of the arranger, composer and orchestra conductor, during the celebration of the international colloquium for its centenary.

On that occasion, the visiting theater players subsequently made a successful tour that included the cities of Cienfuegos (center / south), Sancti Spiritus (center) and Havana, reviewed by the Cuban critics.

This month's performance features a Mexican cast led by Gerardo Trejoluna and live music from the Matanzas brass quintet Atenas Brass Ensemble, led by Rodolfo Jorge Horta, with musical direction by Emiliano Gonzalez de León.

Other actors that will intervene are Hector Hugo Peña, Ernesto Alvarez, Luz Marina Arcos, Julio Olivares, Fabiana Perzabal and Omar Godinez, the CME added.

In the production team, Israel Rodriguez as a designer and the choreographer Luis Villanueva will participate; in the audiovisual creation will work Alan Kerriu, as an advisor of songs and rhythms will be Juan Cisneros and Vivian Martinez Tabares will be the theatrical advisor.

The binational project of 'Conjuro Teatro' and CME received the 2017 Efiteatro grant from the Ministry of Culture of Mexico and has several auspices, including Covamex Cuban National Council, Provincial Council of Performing Arts and the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba.

In Mexico 'Yo soy el rey del mambo' will be presented in other spaces and institutions, such as the Julio Castillo Theater, the Metropolitan Autonomous University, the National Polytechnic Institute, and the city of Aguascaliente, during April and May.

  • Published in Culture

The Eagles Settle Lawsuit Against Mexico's Hotel California

"Hotel California" is the title track from the 1976 Eagles album of the same name, and won the 1977 Grammy award for record of the year.

There can evidently be only one Hotel California: music legends the Eagles have settled a lawsuit to stop a Mexico hotel from using the name "Hotel California," arguably the rock band's most famous song, after the hotel's owners withdrew their application to trademark the name in the United States.

RELATED: Eric Clapton: 'I'm Going Deaf But I Will Keep Playing Live'

A joint dismissal of the band's lawsuit against Hotel California Baja LLC, which runs the Todos Santos hotel in Baja California Sur, was filed on Wednesday with the US District Court in Los Angeles, Reuters reports.

"This case has been settled by mutual agreement of the parties," Thomas Jirgal, a lawyer for the Eagles, said in an interview on Thursday.

The dismissal came on the same day the US Patent and Trademark Office accepted Hotel California Baja's request to permanently abandon its trademark application.

Neither the hotel nor its lawyer immediately responded to requests for comment.

"Hotel California" is the title track from the 1976 Eagles album of the same name, and won the 1977 Grammy award for record of the year.

It is known for a long guitar outro by Don Felder and Joe Walsh, and abstract lyrics that lead singer Don Henley told CBS News in 2016 depict "the dark underbelly of the American dream."

Hotel California Baja was accused of wrongly encouraging guests to believe the Eagles authorized using the song's name, such as by playing the band's songs throughout its property.

The Eagles said this was done in part to spur sales of T-shirts, posters, refrigerator magnets and other merchandise for guests to take home after they check out and leave.

In court papers, Hotel California Baja denied it was trying to mislead guests, and said they were unlikely to be confused.

Located about 1,609km south of San Diego and 77km north of Cabo San Lucas, the hotel had been called Hotel California when it opened in 1950.

It underwent some name changes, but the original name was revived after John and Debbie Stewart, a Canadian couple, bought the property in 2001.

  • Published in Culture

Día de los Muertos-Inspired Film Tops US Box Office on Debut

“These are really solid numbers, particularly given how volatile the box office has been this year,” comScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian said.

“Coco” tops the U.S. box office on debut, raking in $71.2 million over the five-day Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

RELATED: Highest Grossing Animated Film 'Coco' Star Dedicates It to Latino Children

The film – which centers on Mexico’s Día de los Muertos celebration – became the highest grossing film in the Latin American country's history ($53.4 million to date), when it opened four weeks ago.

“These are really solid numbers, particularly given how volatile the box office has been this year,” comScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian said.

"Pixar not only focused on telling a good story, they focused on making the film as culturally relevant as possible. I think that's one of the things that make the film feel authentic for all audiences, and particularly Hispanic audiences, although this is a story that resonates with everyone," says Disney distribution chief Dave Hollis.

“Coco” is the fourth-best Thanksgiving opening of all time, trailing only “Toy Story 2”, “Frozen” and “Moana.”

“It’s another win for the Pixar brand,” Dergarabedian added.

The animated feature managed to beat out second-weeker and DC Comics heavyweight, Justice League, which fell 57% from its opening week.

“Coco” also debuted in China and is currently tracking to become Pixar’s biggest hit in a country, making $18.2 million so far, after a 25 percent boost from Friday to Saturday receipts.

  • Published in Culture

Tropical Storm Nate Prompts Gulf Coast Hurricane Warnings Ahead of Weekend Landfall; Hurricane Threat For Cancún Tonight

The center of Tropical Storm Nate is churning over the Caribbean Sea north of Honduras.

Nate will make its closest approach to Cancún and Cozumel Friday night, where a hurricane watch and tropical storm warning is in effect.

Preparations should be rushed to completion in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

Nate will then make landfall along the northern Gulf Coast late Saturday night or early Sunday as either a hurricane or a tropical storm.

Hurricane and storm surge warnings and watches have been issued for the U.S. northern Gulf Coast.

Nate will produce a swath of heavy rain from the Gulf Coast to the Appalachians and possibly parts of the Northeast.

Torrential rain will also trigger serious flash flooding and mudslides in much of Central America the next few days.

Tropical Storm Nate has is gaining strength over the warm water of the northwest Caribbean Sea, poised for a strike on Cancún and Cozumel tonight, then on the northern Gulf Coast Saturday night and Sunday, where hurricane warnings have now been posted.

This is a developing weather story, for the latest forecast on Nate, including expected impacts along the U.S. Gulf Coast, check out our latest forecast article here.


  • Published in World

Mexican Activists Call for US to End Blockade Against Cuba

The solidarity group denounced Trump’s move to reverse a diplomatic opening between the two countries.

The Mexican Solidarity Movement with Cuba demanded the United States lift the blockade against socialist government Saturday, marching to the U.S. embassy in Mexico City.

Morales Expresses Solidarity with Cuba Against Trump's Policies

MMSC denounced U.S. President Donald Trump’s move to reverse a diplomatic opening between the two countries. The group’s leader Jesus Escamilla stated that Mexicans reject the U.S. blockade and demand Trump lift it and move to normalize relations with the Caribbean island.

Members of the movement also pushed for the U.S. government to return Guantanamo Bay to Cuba, which has been occupied without the consent of the Cuban people since before the Cuban Revolution of 1959.

The U.S.’s attempts to tighten the economic, financial and commercial blockade against Cuba and its people is "a failed policy by more than a dozen U.S. administrations," Escamilla explained.

In a speech in Miami on June 16, Trump announced his cancellation of former president Barack Obama’s "completely one-sided deal with Cuba."

He added that U.S. sanctions would not be lifted until Cuba frees “political prisoners” and holds “free elections.”
Under the changes, Washington will tighten rules on individual U.S. citizens traveling to Cuba, who, if visiting the country for non-academic educational purposes, will again be required to only go with organized tour groups run by U.S. companies.

The new policy also bans most U.S. business deals with the military-runned Armed Forces Business Enterprises Group while still allowing airlines and cruise ships to continue services.

  • Published in Cuba

Gold Cup contenders banking on youth

The 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup is all set to begin, with 12 teams vying for regional glory in the United States over the next three weeks. 

The tournament looks set to uncover some new talent, with most sides opting to pack their squads with youngsters, while some of the region’s lesser lights have the opportunity to pick up valuable experience at the highest level. previews the tournament, which starts on Friday 7 July and ends on 26 July.

Group A: Canada, Costa Rica, French Guiana, Honduras
Group B: USA, Martinique, Nicaragua, Panama
Group C: Mexico, El Salvador, Jamaica, Curacao

The format
The top two from each section in the group phase will advance to the quarter-finals, along with the best two third-placed sides. The winners of the four last-eight ties will progress to the semis, with the tournament concluding on 26 July with the match for third place and the final.

Three things you need to know

1 Mexico will be pitching up in the USA with a much-changed squad to the one that appeared at the recent FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017, not that anyone should be mistaken about their intentions. Featuring the country’s most promising players, the Tri squad will not be short of pace and has the ability to trouble any defence. Led by Rodolfo Pizarro and Jesus Gallardo, the young Aztecas will be determined to acquit themselves well and take a big step forward in their careers.

2 Down on their luck lately, Costa Rica are anxious to return to prominence. Beaten quarter-finalists at the last three Gold Cups, Los Ticos are hungry for glory. Coach Oscar Ramirez has picked virtually a full-strength squad, though he will be without keeper Keylor Navas. Can they make up for the absence of the Real Madrid custodian?

3 Since taking charge of Nicaragua nearly three years ago, Costa Rican coach Henry Duarte has injected some belief into their cause. Narrowly beaten by Jamaica in the third round of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, Los Pinoleros now have the perfect opportunity to continue their recent improvement, with their goal being to advance beyond the group phase for the very first time in their history.

Players to watch
Rodolfo Pizarro (MEX): A mainstay with Mexican champions Guadalajara, the 23-year-midfielder is in the form of his life and has his sights set on a dream move to Europe. An intelligent, pacy player with an eye for goal, Pizarro will be the cornerstone of this Tri side. His ability to dictate the play will be crucial in channelling the energy of his young team-mates.

Ismael Diaz (PAN): Though only 20, Diaz has picked up plenty of experience already, having represented his country on the FIFA U-17 and U-20 World Cup stages. With seasoned campaigners Blas Perez and Luis Tejada both absent, Diaz will be one of the men Panama will be looking to for goals.

Romell Quioto (HON): Spearheading Honduras’ new breed, the 25-year-old attacking midfielder is sure to be one of their trump cards in Group A, having formed part of the side that finished fourth at the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016.

Did you know?

  • Panama have conceded no more than one goal in 15 of their last 16 Gold Cup matches. The man charged with maintaining that record in the USA is Jose Calderon, who takes over goalkeeping duties from Jaime Penedo, a veteran of six Gold Cups but absent from this tournament.
  • Published in Sports
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