Archives by date

You are browsing the site archives by date.

Benicio Del Toro portrays Pablo Escobar in new Film

Paradise_Lost_theatrical_release_poster

Embracing dark roles is nothing new for Puerto Rican actor Benicio del Toro, however for his latest role in Escobar: Paradise Lost, as the Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar Del Toro found the role and the person to be quite interesting considering Escobar was both a dangerous, violent man while also known for his familial values and community aid.

At the height of the Colombian drug trade of the late 80s & early 90s, Escobar was one of the most powerful drug lords who overlooked a cold and bloody empire. His notoriety as drug kingpin has resulted in numerous films about Escobar, particularly wanting to expose how one man took his drug trafficking business onto a larger, global scale and building it into a strong empire around himself until his death in 1993.

And in the latest incarnation, Del Toro will get to portray the drug lord in a new take of his rise to power. Out in theaters now, Escobar: Paradise Lost we get to see the power of Escobar through the eyes of Nick (played by Hunger Games star Hutcherson), a young surfer arrives in Colombia to open up a surf school and by chance meets Escobar through his niece and tries to work his way up to the drug lord’s good side.

According to Toro, Escobar “did a lot of evil, you know, and along the way corrupted a whole system. He brought the government of Colombia to its knees for his own benefit.”

He was a family man, a churchgoing man, or a faith man,” said Del Toro, discussing the film’s approach into showing the protector and paternal side of Escobar, “He helped a lot of people in need like bringing soccer fields and things that a lot of Latin Americans do know; he brought in clinics and built neighborhoods but at the same time he was involved in a very bad business..”

According to those who provided accounts on him, Escobar was quite a complex character. Known for being truly charming and charismatic at one moment, some have said the very next moment Escobar could become the most feared and terrifying psychopath there was.

It is this duality of Escobar that attracted Del Toro to the role.

He became almost like a character out of a fictionalized comic book,” added Del Toro, “Truth (here) is even stranger than fiction.

Subscribe to our weekly e-Newsletter for the latest news, trends & events: click here, its quick & easy

Petition to Dump Trump on NBC

Trump

Boycott Donald Trump online at change.org 

 

As an immigrant and naturalized American citizen, I am filled with pride to call America my home. This is a great nation, which offer all liberty justice and the pursuit of happiness, and just like me (born here of not), there are 54 Million US Hispanics that if by way of a miracle (and you would need a miracle), you would not get ONE vote for our community. NOT ONE! Donald Trump, you have gone too far and insulting our communities (Mexicans and all Latinos) calling Mexicans drug dealers, rapist and people with problems. No, Mr. Trump. You are the one with the problem. Your racist and ignorant remarks will not be tolerated by our community. Mexicans, all Latinos and people with a conscious and common sense who truly respect and love America!

Don’t agree that you need to be taught a lesson, because it seems that you think that you are better than most and that you can insult and disrespect people because you are a billionaire. There are plenty of billionaires that don’t think as silly as you do.  You said you are great at building walls…guess what! Walls are what keep people and countries from progress, walls are only good to build buildings and skyscrapers, which are made of glass, concrete and steel. They are like you, they have no human appeal. Your are an arrogant mean person, and America is too much of a great nation for you to even think about running for the presidency.

 

By: Guillermo Castañeda Jr via Change.org

Dear NBC,

w up wondering if Rachel and Ross would stay together, my favorite psychiatrist would finally have a relationship, and trying to figure out if George was really the master of his own domain. I watched show after show in the good and the bad times. I still cannot see you eye to eye for taking my favorite cannibal away, but hey, at least you brought back Duchovny!

Which is why I am wondering as to why the Latinos are being treated as second class citizens. Food Network cancelled Paula Dean’s shows for insulting the African-American community, Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty was suspended for his anti-gay remarks, and so on and so forth. Yet, as one of the most watched TV networks in the country and owner of Telemundo, the second most largest Hispanic TV network, you side for business and not for ethics, principles and values.

A few days ago, one of your TV reality show stars by the name of Donald Trump, decided to announce his candidacy for the largest public position in the United States, the presidency. He called Latinos, not only Mexicans, rapists, drug users and criminals. Racists in this country do not differentiate between Central and South Americans or Mexicans, they just use the word “Mexican.” Not only do Mexicans cross the border, but so do Salvadorians, Guatemalans, Dominicans, etc. The word Mexican is also used to describe anybody that looks Latino or has a Latino name, Yes, even those born in this country.

Univision decided to see principles as a priority instead of business and cut ties with Trump and Miss USA. Your answer, “we do not agree with his positions on a number of issues including his recent comments on immigration.” You did not cancel Miss USA, The Apprentice or even made reference to his hateful and divisive remarks. Not only that, but the only reason why you would not have him as head of The Apprentice would be because of his political aspirations, not because of his incendiary remarks in a country where violence against minorities and racism are still around daily.

To read and sign the online petition go to: https://www.change.org/p/nbc-cancel-miss-usa-miss-universe-and-the-apprentice

 

 

Not Such A Blind Spot: Comedian Amy Schumer addresses Racist comment

1427128639-insideamyschumer_season2

Comedian Amy Schumer is currently on an upstream of Hollywood recognition.

From a highly successful comedy sketch show on Comedy Central, to hosting last summer’s MTV Movie Awards, being named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people this year, and currently starring in Trainwreck—a movie in-which she also wrote, Schumer is a comedian known for taking on controversial topics that deals with feminist issues like equal pay, rape culture and the portrayal of women in media. But now the comedian is facing public scrutiny after being criticized for her stand-up routines exhibiting racial insensitivity. Particularly, her comments regarding the Latino community have some suggesting the star is racist.

However, should the routine of a comedian ultimately classify them as a racist if it contains certain jokes that may be considered so?

According to Schumer, no.

An article written by the Guardian about the Comedy Central star’s stand-up comedy containing some questionable jokes. The article identified the comedian as having a large “Blind Spot” when it comes to jokes that are aimed at various race groups.

Of the jokes told by Schumer the article addressed several jokes that regarded Latinos.

I used to date Latino guys, now I prefer consensual,” Is a joke allegedly told by Schumer during one of her stand-up routines.

And in a somewhat response to the article and accusations of her being racially insensitive, Schumer took to her Twitter account and posted an essay to defend her material and confirming that she is not a racist.

It is a joke and it is funny. I know that because people laugh at it,” said Schumer in her tweeted response, “Trust me. I am not a racist.

Schumer then ended her Twitter post with a plea that those calling her a racist spend more time actually targeting true race issues as opposed to her material.

My fight is for all people to be treated equally,” Schumer wrote. “Move on to the next person who is more deserving of your scrutiny.

So should comedians avoid such hot button issues such as race due to some finding it offensive?

Ideally no.

Jokes are jokes and remain as so when it is known that they are simply that. You can laugh at a joke that may be ascribed to a particular gender, race, or sexual orientation if you know that joke is simply a joke. As long as you understand that there is something wrong with it; that essentially the very joke is “messed up” or “shocking” then it is accepted as being just a joke. However, a joke becomes an issue, a problem, when a joke that is or could be offensive is taken and accepted as fact or truth.

Race, Gender, Orientation jokes told by the likes of Chris Rock, George Lopez, Sarah Silverman, and Schumer herself aren’t told to exploit, harm, or condemn any particular group but to spotlight the absurdity that such viewpoints, such stereotypes, are accepted by certain individuals who think that way and are nothing more than ignorant.

For example, what differs Schumer from the likes of Donald Trump or Iggy Azaelia?

Trump has recently made some comments regarding Latinos and as such is deserving of the outcry he is receiving for them, and Aussie rapper Azaelia has been targeted for past remarks regarding Blacks, Latinos, and Asians she has made on her Twitter, but the former two comments differ from the ones made my Schumer because the former comments aims to either persecute or wrongfully mock a specific group while the latter’s comments aims to make fun of the absurdity of such comments believed by the likes of Trump. While Azaelia isn’t exactly innocent for her comments, the attention outcry she received for them should be saved for such persons-of-interest like Trump: individuals who are seeking public office positions within our government and can do actual harm if they believe such ignorant things.

But again, if such stand-up acts like Schumer do offend then you as an audience member have every right to not pay for or watch a comedian who may perform such offensive material.

The following is just a bit of what Schumer had to say on her Twitter:

Put down your torches before reading this so you don’t catch on fire. I am a comic…I will joke about things you like and I will joke about things you aren’t comfortable with. And that’s OK. Stick with me and trust that I am joking. I go in and out of playing an irreverent idiot. That includes making dumb jokes about race. I enjoy playing the girl who time to time says the dumbest thing possible and playing with race is a thing we are not supposed to do, which is what makes it so fun for comics. You can call it a ‘blind spot for racism’ or ‘lazy’ but you’d be wrong. It is a joke and it is funny. I know that because people laugh at it. Even if you personally did not. I am not going to start joking about safe material. And don’t ask that of me. I love what I do and won’t let anyone take that away. I ask you to resist the urge to pick me apart. Trust me. I am not racist. I am a devout feminist and lover of all people. My fight is for all people to be treated equally. So move on to the next person who is more deserving of your scrutiny and not the girl in your corner. Sincerely Amy (a dirty half Jew).

Subscribe to our weekly e-Newsletter for the latest news, trends & events: click here, its quick & easy

MLS CELEBRATES RIVALRY WEEK

20150625_144544

This Sunday at Yankee Stadium, as part of Heineken “Rivalry Week” we get the rematch between the New York Red Bulls and New York City Football Club.

NYCFC is the expansion team that was added to bring a soccer presence into the city center as well as provide a natural rival. Led by their Spanish Captain and former World Cup champion, David Villa, NYC is on a roll.

“At the end of the day its soccer.”

Villa explained,

“In general, rivalries are great for soccer. Overall I am enjoying my experience.”

“We are starting to develop an identity.”

NYC Head Coach Jason Kreis added.

The Red Bulls are the established team. Originally the MetroStars, Red Bull took over ownership as well as the name. They are currently sitting in the middle of the standings after a rough stretch.

The first meeting between these two teams was a spirited matchup at Red Bull Park. The Red Bulls won 2-1 but the game established a measure of rival intent. NYC is a different team this time, something Head Coach Jason Kreis points out.

“They try to press their opponents in their half of the field. Thats why they won.”

Kreis said,

“We’re a team that wants to dictate the tempo. We are much improved and we feel good about ourselves.”

Many fans of the Red Bulls see NYCFC as Mancester City lite in reference to the co-ownership of the team by Manchester City.

They also poke fun at the fact that NYC does not have their own soccer specific stadium. But Yankee Stadium is not a place to overlook, especially as its been reported that as many as 40,000 fans are expected to attend the lone meeting here of the three games scheduled between these two.

What You Didn’t Know about Benicio del Toro

del toro

Puerto Rican sex symbol, Benicio del Toro, is known for playing the bad boy in television (Miami Vice) and in film (The Usual Suspects, Savages, Escobar: Paradise Lost).

“The very first things that I did, even in theater, were bad guys. They are meaty roles for the most part. With the bad guy you have more freedom to experiment and go further out than with a good guy,” said del Toro.

But at heart is a man that promotes equality for all and the stamping out of poverty. He donates to Oxfam, which tries to find permanent solutions to poverty. He is a supporter of GLAAD and AIDS research. He also fights to help Americans who are in the military or abroad to exercise their right to vote through the Overseas Vote Foundation.

At this year’s Cannes Film Festival he almost wore heels as a show of solidarity for the women that were turned away at the red carpet for not wearing the spiky shoes as part of the fests antiquated dress code until the programmer later claimed that high heels were not required.

This year he had three films premiere at Cannes to rave reviews, “Sicario”, “Little Prince” and “A Perfect Day.” The first film will hit theatres on Sept. 18 and the last two are waiting release dates in the US. He also has two more films coming out in 2016 (Weightless) and 2017 (The Trap).

Fun Facts

  • Del Toro was the youngest Bond Villain at 21-years-old
  • One of his favorite hobbies is oil painting
  • He was the co-captain of his school’s basketball team
  • He still drives the same SUV from the 1990s
  • Emotional Rescue by The Rolling Stones was the first album he bought

 

View complete celebrity profile section: http://bit.ly/1OIZF0p

Subscribe to our weekly e-Newsletter for the latest news, trends & events: click here, its quick & easy

500,000 Dominican-Haitians Kicked Out of Country For Being Black

juliana deguis pierre

Juliana Deguis Pierre, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, was born in the Dominican Republic on April Fools Day in 1984. In 2008, Pierre simply applied for a cédula (a Dominican national ID card) so that she could get a birth certificate when she was pregnant, and work legally as a maid and nanny in her native country.

Her dark complexion, Haitian features and immigrant parents resulted in her being denied a cédula, which to Pierre was no laughing matter, because that means she will have no rights whatsoever in the Dominican Republic.

Therefore, she sued the Dominican Republic for discrimination. Instead of receiving a card smaller than the palm of her hand, she received La Sentencia, which denied her and about 500,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent and Haitian migrants citizenship. Last year, after a six-year uphill battle she finally received that ID, but since then only 300 others have received their cédulas and the rest started being deported to the Haitian border on Wednesday, June 17, 2015.

(Photo courtesy of El Nacional)

Should Dominican Immigrants Abroad Stop Sending Money to the Dominican Republic?

junot diaz

In 2013, Junot Diaz, a Pulitzer Prize winning author from the Dominican Republic whose family emigrated to New Jersey in 1974, came back to his native country to take part in a series of lectures on literature, immigration and being Dominican.

Soon, he learned that the Constitutional Court in the Dominican Republic would strip thousands of Dominicans of their citizenship. He spoke up against the decision, calling it “racist,” as it only targeted Dominicans of Haitian descent and Haitian immigrants (Dominicans of European, Asian, Arab and Jewish backgrounds, and from the U.S. as well as other Spanish-speaking countries live there).

As a counter-argument to deporting Haitian immigrants and their Dominican-born children, Diaz pointed out that the island nation heavily relies on the money earned from the Dominican Diaspora which is made of immigrants that live in countries outside the island nation.

Currently, an estimated 500,000 Dominican Haitians and Haitian migrants are being deported to the Haiti-Dominican Republic border. Considering the Dominican Republic’s stance against these immigrants and their children, should Dominican immigrants in the United States and abroad continue to send money to the country?

After Donald Trump’s offensive comments J Balvin and Univision opt out of Miss USA pageant

j Balvin

First J Balvin and now Univision bows out of Miss USA pageant due to Donald Trump’s racial comments about Mexican immigrants in the United States.

The reggaeton singer J Balvin cancelled his scheduled performance for the beauty pageant on July 12.

“It was going to be my first performance on national television,” Balvin said to Billboard on Wednesday.

The Colombian singer, who spent time in the United States working odd jobs before he went back to his native land to become a successful artist, said to Billboard that he didn’t appreciate Trump’s racist comments.

“We’re talking about our roots, our culture, our values,” he said. “This isn’t about being punitive, but about showing leadership through social responsibility. His comments weren’t just about Mexicans, but about all [Latinos] in general.”

The real estate mogul is part-owner (along with NBCUniversal) of the Miss Universe Organization, which runs several beauty pageants.

Trump made his arrogant and anti-immigration speech during his bid for the republican nomination on June 16. He claimed the United States “has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems,” and “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems [to] us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Trump alleged these “problems” come from “More than Mexico… It’s coming from South and Latin America, and it’s coming probably, probably from the Middle East.”

Those comments by Trump provoked Univision to release a statement announcing “that it is ending the company’s business relation with the Miss Universe Organization, which is part-owned by Donald J. Trump, based on his recent, insulting remarks about Mexican immigrants.”

The statement also says that Univision will no longer conduct any future projects with Trump.

53 Dead and at Least 238 Injured in Terrorist Attacks Today

terror3

France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls cut short his trip for climate and sustainable development in Bogotá, Colombia and other Latin American countries, today because of a terror attack in the French city of Lyon, which left one businessman at a US gas factory decapitated and two injured. A flag with Islamist inscriptions was left behind.

A Shia mosque in al-Sawaber, Kuwait and a beachfront resort in Sousse, Tunisia were also sites of violence.

East of Kuwait City, a suicide bomber, said to be in his 20s according to locals who saw his body, left 25 dead at the Imam Sadiq Mosque and 200 injured. About 2000 people were packed inside before the attacks for prayer.

Tunisia had the most fatalities, as 28 tourists (mostly European), were gunned down and 36 were injured at Rui Imperial Marhaba and a second nearby hotel. One of the gunmen was shot and the second is being pursued. In 2010, the North African nation was the birthplace of the Arab Spring, a time when youths protested against repression from Islamic-run states.

According to France’s interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, the suspect, Yassin Salhi was killed by a firefighter that arrived on the scene. Salhi’s wife is currently being detained for questioning.

Back in Kuwait, the Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah visited the smoke covered mosque as an emergency session in parliament was called. So far, the Islamic State’s (ISIS/ISIL) Daesh affiliate, Najd Province, has taken responsibility for the assault on the mosque.

This is just days after ISIS incited jihadists to go after “Shias and apostate Muslims,” and a week after the start of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of peace, prayer and self-reflection.

A spokesman for the US Justice Department was not able to comment or confirm whether there was a possible link between the three incidents, or state if an investigation would be on its way.

Latin America… the New China?

post china emerging countries in latin america

On Feb. 23, 2015, Stratfor, a geopolitical firm, released its annual Decade Forecast (2015-2025), which analyzes the future of industries and markets around the world. One prediction is that within the next decade China’s economy will rapidly slowdown because of internal conflicts within the country, and economic reforms that will focus on “return on capital.” Four of the sixteen countries anticipated to fill the gap in garment/footwear manufacturing and mobile phone assembly jobs are in Latin America: Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Peru and Mexico (specifically Campeche, Veracruz, Yucatan & Chiapas). Part of the economic shift from China to these countries is because of entrepreneurs of small businesses choosing to invest in these new developing countries.

(Photo courtesy of Stratfor)