Daily Archives: Aug 13, 2019

    The Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade of WNY is happy to announce EDWIN MARTINEZ as the 2019 GRAND MARSHAL. We are truly proud of Edwin and all he has done for our community.

    Edwin Martinez is the Publisher and Owner the Largest Latino Newspaper and Online News Organization serving Buffalo, Rochester and Dunkirk New York. Thru Panorama Hispano News daily online Newspaper, Panorama reaches readers in Puerto Rico, Chicago, New York City, Houston, Los Angeles, Dallas, Orlando and Miami, and many other large Latino markets across the nation and around the world, including Spain and Mexico.  Edwin was born in Buffalo, NY. And raised in New York City and Buffalo, New York. His professional career began in 1987, when he joined an International conglomerate company with sales in the Billions of dollars as a corporate manager. He then entered Politics as a Legislative Director in the New York State Senate. In 1989, he became Chief of staff at New York State Parole Board and of the Division of Parole serving Governor Mario Cuomo. In 1995, he was offered the Under Sheriff position in New York City but declined because of family commitments. That year, he moved on to become Regional Director of Programs at the New York State Division of Parole. Edwin, Likewise, worked at the US Justice Department.

    Edwin also built an impressive record of accomplishment in the human service arena beginning in the early eighties. In 1983, he helped created the Consortium of Spanish Speaking Organizations, the first full service agency headed by a Puerto Rican/Latino in Buffalo, followed by the founding of the Western New York Hispanic and Friends Civic Association. He provided the leadership and spearheaded the creation of Western New York’s first residential substance abuse treatment program, then incorporated and served the board of La Alternativa, Buffalo’s first Hispanic based substance abuse prevention program. He then merged La Alternativa with The Puerto Rican Chicano Committee and The Puerto Rican American Community Association to create Buffalo’s largest Hispanic Organization, Hispanos Unidos de Buffalo.

    Edwin has also been a Generous Philanthropist to the Latino and Western New York community, funding College Scholarships, Youth Programing, Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY, Hispanic Veterans Memorial and Senior Services throughout his lifetime. Likewise, he has given and raised monies for political candidate for the last 35 years.

    A pioneer in healthcare reform in Western New York, Edwin Served on The health Systems Agency board for 15 years. Where, he regulated HealthCare provider services thru local Hospitals, Nursing Homes and ambulatory care facilities throughout Western New York. Likewise, Edwin has served on the Board of Directors of Columbus Hospital and Waterfront Nursing home which were later merge with Buffalo General Hospital.

    As a Ward chairman and Executive member of The Democratic Party, Edwin was instrumental in the election of the first Latino Judge, Councilmembers and The first Puerto Rican Mayor of the City of Dunkirk. As well as coordinated campaigns for Governors, Senators and State Assembly members. Likewise, Edwin served on the transition teams of various Governors, County Executives and Mayors across New York State and Western New York, which opened doors to the first Latino Commissioners, and Deputy Commissioners in the City of Buffalo. As well, Edwin’s involvement in government opened the doors too many Latinos in government positions today.

    Edwin has also been active throughout his lifetime in improving outcomes within the public schools system. While at the same time, creating organizations in Higher Education to serve the needs of Latino College Students.

    Today, through his vision, commitment, and leadership, Panorama Hispano News continues to grow and continues to be the number one news source for Latinos around Western New York, while, also reaching across the country and around the world.

      EL PASO, Texas (Reuters) – More El Paso residents than ever before crowded into a class over the weekend to become certified to carry a concealed gun in public in Texas after this month’s mass shooting at a Walmart store that killed 22 people. The national trend for minority communities to arm themself has become and overwhelming problem for weapons certification agency because they are unable to keep up with demand.

      Guadalupe Segovia, 35, was at the class with her two children. She said her military husband had long been pushing for her to get a concealed-carry license, which allows the holder to wear a gun hidden under their clothes or carry it in a purse when they are in public.

      Segovia said she felt urgency to do the required training now after the attack hit close to home. “I’m still going to be scared, even carrying a weapon,” she said.

      The vast majority of people at the classes were Hispanic; El Paso is a predominantly Latino city. Police say the accused gunman deliberately attacked Hispanics in the Walmart.

      Michael McIntyre, general manager of Gun Central, one of the largest gun shops in El Paso and the host of the class, on Friday said his store tallied double the usual number of sales in the week following the attack, something that did not happen after previous mass shootings in Texas.

      Most of the sales were for handguns, which can be strapped to an ankle or shoulder under clothing.

      “I have over 50 for this Saturday class and approximately the same amount for the Sunday class, and I normally have approximately seven,” McIntyre said.

      “We actually had two people buy guns here who were actually in the Walmart on the day of the shooting. The other people are just saying, ‘Hey, you know I want to be able to protect myself in the event of something going on.’,” he said.

      “This is not the last mass shooting we’re going to see.”


      With or without a weapon, McIntyre acknowledged most people would not be able to fight back in an attack like the one in El Paso. The class acknowledges this, and students are taught to run first before firing a gun. Only 1% of people return fire, he said.

      “One out of a hundred is a fire, the other 99 will run off,” McIntyre said.

      Segovia, who has military training, said the concealed-carry class does not compare to what is needed in an active shooter situation, but she wants her sisters to prepare anyway.

      “I’ve already told them, ‘Let’s go practice. Let’s go practice.’ It’s not just this one time that we have to keep coming to ranges and so you can feel familiarized with a weapon and be OK with it,” Segovia said.

      Segovia may be applying for her concealed-carry license, but she also wants to see changes in gun laws come from the top and make it harder for young people to get firearms.

      “I think weapons should be a privilege and for safety, not to go and kill people,” Segovia said.

      Gun control is definitely not on the horizon for Texas, where Governor Greg Abbot recently signed into law nine bills, backed by the National Rifle Association, that will loosen up gun regulations starting on Sept. 1.

      One of the new laws lifts a ban on carrying firearms in places of worship. That ban came after a gunman fatally shot 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs. Another stops landlords from prohibiting firearms on their rental properties.

      The laws were all signed in the first regular legislative session after three mass shootings in Texas: the Sutherland Springs church massacre, a shooting at Santa Fe High School near Houston that killed 10 in 2018, and the El Paso attack that killed 22.

      Reporting by Julio Cesar-Chavez; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

        MAICAO, Colombia – “Empuja, vamos, empuja sostenido. Push, come on, keep pushing.”

        The doctor chanted it like a mantra at Venezuelan migrant Yulianis Rodriguez from a delivery room in the northern Colombia-Venezuela border city of Maicao.

        Rodriguez, 26, was alone in the hospital in May, with no one’s hand to squeeze and no epidural, nothing for the pain other than a bright yellow rag in her mouth to stop her from biting down on her tongue.

        She crossed into Colombia months earlier through “trocha,” illegal dirt pathways run by criminal groups, with little more than her Venezuelan ID to her name. After living through Venezuela’s collapsing economy and food and medicine crises, the pregnant Venezuelan hoped she’d be able to get the medical care for her baby that she’d never be able to get in her own country.

        “I came to Maicao to be able to have my baby,” she said in Spanish. “To be able to work, to be able to help myself. I’m here because of this crisis.”

        Because of Colombia’s citizenship laws, her baby became one of 24,000 children in the South American country who were born “apátrida” –  stateless, without a country to call home. Though Colombia is putting in place measures to protect babies like Rodriguez’s, human rights activists worry that those measures are only a temporary solution for a bigger problem.

        A ‘legal limbo’

        A stateless person is someone who is not considered a citizen of any country, . Being stateless often is caused by a lack of birthright citizenship, the legal right to citizenship given children born in a country’s territory.

        As a result of the exodus of more than 3.7 million Venezuelans from their country, 24,000 Venezuelan babies have been born stateless in Colombia since the beginning of the crisis, according to government data from June.

        Colombian law dictates that if at least one parent did not have citizenship or legal permanent residency – a miniscule percentage of the Venezuelans arriving at the country’s doorsteps – the child would not receive Colombian citizenship. That’s created a growing number of stateless infants in Colombia, the biggest receiver of the migrants.

        That, in turn, made way for what experts called a “more vulnerable” population within an already desperate group of people fleeing Venezuela because stateless individuals often lack access to medical services, education or the ability to vote. They’re effectively in a “legal limbo,” said Juliana Vengoechea, a researcher with the Open Society Foundation, a U.S.-based group that funds independent human rights and justice groups.

        “They’re stuck in a country without rights, but then they’re not able to exercise freedom of movement,” Vengoechea said.

        That changed in August when Colombian President Ivan Duque decreed that Colombia would make an exception for children born to Venezuelan parents and give Colombian citizenship to those children and to babies born over the next two years.

        Human rights defenders called the decree a temporary fix to a larger problem. They worry that the damage done by Colombia’s constitution may have had a ripple effect on the children and their families.

        “The constitution of Colombia is still the same,” said Florencia Reggiardo, attorney and coordinator of the Americas Network on Nationality and Statelessness.

        Venezuela’s migration crisis began in 2016, when the economy went into a freefall and brought with it shortages in food and medicine and an emerging medical crisis. As the situation worsened in 2018 and 2019, pregnant women such as Rodriguez flooded into Colombia to give birth and seek medical aid difficult to find in Venezuela.

        “There was nothing,” Rodriguez said. “Here, at least I have the chance of getting the medical services.”

        For years, Colombia did not provide automatic birthright citizenship – or jus soli, the “right to the soil” – to those simply born in the nation. Though Rodriguez’s baby did qualify for citizenship in Venezuela, it’s virtually impossible to obtain. Rodriguez and her baby would have to travel back to Venezuela, but the country is sinking deeper into political violence, food and medicine shortages.

        Though Colombia’s rule change marks a significant turning point for the children born without a nationality, Reggiardo said, the country will struggle to provide legal status to those children because many parents don’t know their children were born without a nationality in the first place.

        ‘Not valid for nationality’

        Up until August, the parents were given a “certificado nacido vivo,” a birth certificate that many mistook as testament their child is a Colombian citizen.

        A line at the bottom said otherwise: “Not valid for nationality.”

        That important fact was largely unknown among many of the women streaming across the Venezuela border.

        In the maternity ward in Hospital San Jose, a public hospital in Maicao, about half the women interviewed by USA TODAY said they thought their baby would be born Colombian. Most others said they thought their child would be Venezuelan.

        Mothers such as Liliana Gonzalez, 23, were simply confused.

        Gonzalez had been staying in a dusty, informal migrant settlement on the border and, like Rodriguez, had come to Maicao to give birth. She wanted to have her baby in her home of Maracaibo – a city devastated by the blackouts that swept through Venezuela in March – but had to flee to Colombia for medical care.

        “I’m scared, because I don’t know if he’s Venezuelan or Colombian,” Gonzalez said in May, peering down at her newborn baby snuggled in the crook of her arm. “I don’t have a paper that tells me, well, who he is.”

        As Colombia attempts to resolve its emerging human rights crisis, it’s unclear how many of the parents of these babies will know what resources they have to access their child’s nationality, or even know that their child doesn’t have a nationality.

        This lack of knowledge of resources and basic documentation has been one of the core problems in the exodus of millions of migrants from Venezuela. Migrants cross the Venezuela border in desperate conditions, sometimes walking for days and in various states of starvation or deteriorated health. They often lack basic documentation such as valid passports because it’s become practically impossible to access those papers in the collapsing country.

        For many, the complex legal maze that the statelessness situation presented is not the foremost concern; rather, it’s more basic human needs such as access to food, shelter and work.

        Birthright citizenship around the world

        Birthright citizenship gained an international spotlight after President Donald Trump campaigned on a promise that he would end the U.S. constitutional right of birthright citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants.

        Trump railed against the idea of migrants using their child’s birthright citizenship to stay in the USA without being deported. In October, the president told the Axios website in an interview that he wanted to use his executive power to end birthright citizenship.

        “We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States for 85 years … with all of those benefits,” Trump said. “It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”

        More than 30 other countries have similar birthright citizenship laws, most in the Western Hemisphere. Other countries that eliminated birthright citizenship have seen the rise of stateless populations, sometimes referred to as “ghost citizens.”

        Worldwide, about 15 million people are stateless, according to the Institute of Statelessness and Inclusion (ISI), an international nonprofit group. Every year, about 70,000 children are born into statelessness, according to the ISI.

        For decades in the Caribbean, undocumented Haitian women fleeing deep poverty crossed to the neighboring nation of the Dominican Republic.

        They gave birth to children who were legally Dominican, but for years, the Dominican government imposed increasingly stricter birthright citizenship policies on children of Haitian descent. In 2013, a ruling stripped Dominican nationality from anyone born to undocumented parents or grandparents since 1929.

        Those residents were unable to access education or medical services, find work or vote in the only place they had ever called home. As part of the long history of persecution of people of Haitian descent in the country, they became victims of xenophobic attacks and even expulsion from the Dominican Republic, according to Jonathan Katz, a national fellow at the D.C.-based New America who  covered Haitian statelessness as a journalist for The Associated Press.

        “It’s like all the things they need to do to live a healthy and complete life have suddenly been made impossible for them,” he said.

        Only ones who benefit are smugglers

        Colombia’s legal framework may have had a ripple effect as the exodus of migrants spreads across Latin America. Colombia is the largest receiver of Venezuelans in the world and has accepted more than 1.2 million migrants. It’s a transit zone, a place Venezuelans pass through on their way to countries such as Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina, which have all accepted hundreds of thousands of migrants.

        Those children born stateless who passed into other countries will effectively remain stateless, Reggiardo said, forced to return to Colombia or Venezuela to gain legal recognition.

        “A big problem is the children that were born in Colombia with this (legal) situation, who after that, migrate again with their parents to other countries in the region,” she said. “These children, they have to travel to Colombia to request their nationality.”

        For many who arrive on their last leg to other countries around Latin America without food, shelter or documentation, that journey back is impossible.

        They continue in the shadows, probably without access to education, more complex medical services or the right to legally migrate. Francisco Quintana, Andean director for the Center for Justice and International Law, an international legal initiative to protect human rights in the Americas, said migrants with those children could be forced into the hands of human traffickers or into dangerous situations to cross borders.

        “The fear is that people will not stop,” he said. “With more walls, more papers, migration does not stop, and the only people that are benefited by these situations are the smugglers.”

        Some have already been pushed into drastic circumstances.

        Venezuelan migrant Nairobi Correa Martinez stood in a migrant soup kitchen in the border city of Cucuta, Colombia, in February as her 4-year-old daughter, Fabiana, brushed her small hand on her mother’s bulging pregnant belly.

        They left their country at the beginning of the year, so Correa could give birth outside Venezuela. She, like many migrants from Venezuela, hadn’t had a single checkup for her pregnancy.

        “Imagine being sick and unable to get anything practically ever,” she said. “It’s hard to get anything. All of it, medicine, toiletries, sustenance. Right now, everything is horrible.”

        The goal was to stay for a month in Colombia to give birth. The border wasn’t what she expected, and it was hard on them. It was impossible for her to find work because business owners wouldn’t let her bring her young daughter along. They landed at the doors of a soup kitchen, accepting plates of food they wouldn’t have been able to afford outside.

        Correa said that when she first heard murmurings that if she gave birth in Colombia, her child might face issues with citizenship, she decided she had to go back to Venezuela. There was no food, not even the most basic medicine, but she had family and the assurance that her baby would be Venezuelan.

         “Yes, I’m scared, but at the same time, I have to do it,” Correa said.

        Though Colombia’s decree in August is an important step, said Reggiardo, the attorney, it is a short-term one.

        “If we have a solution solely based on solidarity, it means that these are only temporary, and for a specific situation as it is this one,” she said, “I mean, what is going to happen to children born from other nationalities?”



        WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com