Latino Population Rising in the South

latino flags

America is becoming more Latino these days, but no area is getting more of the Latino settlers than the good ole South.

 

According to data released last week by the Pew Hispanic Trends Project, Alabama was at the very top of the list out of a listing of 10 States with the fastest growing Hispanic Populations from 2000 to 2011.

 

Also, the gathered data showed that not one state amongst the list or research showed a significant decline of their Latino population. However, the data is not up-to-date regarding the time in-between 2011 and to the present.

 

While Alabama may be at the top having the most Latinos living in the state, the state just passed one of its strictest laws some are calling Draconian (Harsh). Aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration, the law follows in the footsteps of Arizona’s SB 1070 bill which permitted law enforcement to “question” any “suspected” illegal citizens.

 

According to the New York Times, the introduction of the law caused an exodus of Latinos residing in the state which may require a re-research on the findings.

 

Despite the immigration laws being passed that is upsetting the livelihood of Latinos, there is a booming growth in the south. The U.S. southwest remains the leading region of Latinos residing with states like New Mexico holding the highest population of 46.7% Latinos. Following after New Mexico is Texas, California, and Arizona.

 

While the data may not include 2012 and 2013, the surveys regarding the Latino population rising in the country since the result of the 2012 election showed Latinos being the powerhouse for votes is steadily coming true.

 

Kim Kardashian look-alike leads a cartel killing squad

claudia-ochoa-felix1

When you look at Claudia Ochoa Felix you may think ‘wow, she kinda looks like the Latina version of Kim Kardashian’ and you wouldn’t be alone in that thought. However, when you look at Ochoa Fox would you ever think that she could be the leader of an elite murdering squad used regularly by a Mexican drug cartel?

If you said no, well you’re not alone in that thought either.

With long sleek brown hair, intense eyes, and a curvy body, Ochoa Fox has become somewhat of a media sensation. Apart from being described as the doppelganger of Kim Kardashian, Ochoa Fox recent popularity stems from allegations that she is the new ruler of a known Mexican killing squad known as, Los Ántrax .

Reports have been circulating that Ochoa Fox, aged 27 and mother of three, is now the leader of Los Ántrax which has been reported as being under the employ of the Sinaloa Cartel, a coldblooded drug cartel, in Mexico to do their murderous bidding.

Listed as one of Mexico’s most powerful drug-trafficking organizations in the world, by the U.S. authorities, The Sinaloa Cartel has protected and have hired members of the killer squad Los Ántrax to carry out their assignments and to ensure their reign remains.

Allegedly, Ochoa Fox—also known as La Emperatriz—acquired the leadership of Los Ántrax after her well-known hit-man boyfriend, Jose Rodrigo Arechiga Gamboa was arrested and taken to prison. After Gamboa’s arrest, Ochoa Fox is said to have taken over Los Ántrax despite the Latina vehement denial that she has any affiliation to the cartel.

Photo of Claudia Ochoa Felix, or La Emperatriz, the alleged new leader of Los Ántrax surrounded by armed men.

Photo of Claudia Ochoa Felix, or La Emperatriz, the alleged new leader of Los Ántrax surrounded by armed men.

Despite making claims that she and Gamboa are nothing more than friends, Ochoa Fox’s word has been questioned due to an incident and photos of the Latina.

On her social media accounts, particularly Instagram, Ochoa Fox there are photos of Ochoa Fox posed in ways similar to Kardashian while wielding AKA-47 that has been personalized colored pink. Also, on such sites Ochoa Fox has posted updates discussing her luxurious yet reportedly dangerous lifestyle.

But sites like Facebook and apps like Instagram aren’t the only things linking Ochoa Fox to being the new leader of Los Ántrax. Another reason as to why Ochoa Fox may be connected to Los Ántrax is due to a murder-gone-wrong incident.

Recently, there was an alleged hit made on Ochoa Fox’s life when gunmen grabbed a young woman who looked similar to Ochoa Fox. The young woman hooded gunmen snatched was named, Yuriana Castillo.The woman’s body was later found behind a school body; she had been tortured before her death.

But for Ochoa Fox the claims regarding her link to Gamboa and reports that she is the new leader of Los Ántrax is simply false.

According to Ríodoce, a Mexican newspaper that focuses on the Drug War in Sinaloa, Mexico and based in Sinola’s city of Culiacán, a press conference was held by Ochoa Fox and her attorney in response to the recent attention she has received in the media.

During the press conference, Ochoa Fox and her lawyer stated that Ochoa Fox’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts had been cloned and were being used to defame her.

According to Ochoa Fox, the photos in questions are a discredit to her life since she does not live a life of luxury and does not have armed men surrounding her; the latter statement refers to a photo of Ochoa Fox posed in a chair surrounded by hooded men wearing bulletproof vests. Also, Ochoa Fox has stated that many photos on the cloned accounts are not photos of hers at all.

Since the released statement at the press conference the social media accounts where these photos were once posted have been deleted. Ochoa Fox’s lawyer has also stated in the press conference that Ochoa Fox will be working with Mexican authorities to uncover the true culprit who created the accounts and published the false photos.

Now, in the matter of Yuriana Castillo there are reports that Castillo, much like Ochoa Fox, was a close associate of Gamboa. But the true nature of their relationship is yet unknown.

Whether Ochoa Fox is the new leader of Los Ántrax or merely an innocent Instagram users who likes talking selfies with guns, time will tell since it seems like Ochoa Fox will not be going anywhere any time soon much like her overnight sensation counterpart Kim Kardashian.

Alpo Martinez: Where is the Infamous Harlem Drug Kingpin?

alpo-img

Alberto “Alpo” Martinez is a name that most will not know, however if you happen to be a New York City resident or are a history enthusiast with a preference on the War on Drugs plight within the United States of America then you may have heard of his name as the legend, the myth, as one of the Drug Kingpins of Harlem.

However, like all popular Drug Kingpins–like El Chapo–who earn themselves a recognizable legacy the empire they’ve built tends to fall as does the legend who sits upon it.

But whatever became of Alpo?

For the last 25 years, Alpo has been believed to have been a resident of ADX Florence which is a federal supermax prison located in Fremont County, Colorado serving a 35-year sentence for 14 counts of homicide. However, according to those who are connected to Alpo that is no longer the case.

It is rumored that for the past few years Alpo has been out of prison, but the last place you may ever see him is back in New York City.

Back in the mid-1980s, during the early days of when the USA began its quest to combat drug-trafficking into the country in what has become known as the War on Drugs13-year-old Puerto Rican boy named Alberto Martinez—Alpo to those on the streets—rose in prominence within Harlem as a Drug Kingpin.

With a drug trade that consisted of transporting hundreds of kilos of crack-cocaine through various parts of New York City, other Northeast cities, and most noticeably Washington D.C.—where he lived during the last few days of his drug empire—Alpo became somewhat a street legend due to his dangerous lifestyle. Alpo’s life was eventually adapted into a 2002 movie entitled Paid in Full that starred rapper Cam’ron as Alpo.

 

 

He brought attention to himself. He was charismatic and outgoing. He had a party always going on around him and people gravitated to him,” remembers Kevin Chiles, a former Harlem drug dealer who knew Alpo, in a recent interview with Vice magazine back in 2015 where he disclosed that Alpo is no longer in prison.

While he was a legend for flashing his millionaire wealth with expensive cars, clothes, and jewelry, Alpo was also widely known for committing several murders during his drug kingpin reign.

In the 1990s, Alpo was involved in several murders that made him notorious. However, there was one murder that would begin the dismantling of both his drug empire and his legacy.

On January 3, 1990, Alpo and an accomplice murdered Rich Porter who was Alpo’s one time friend and actually sold drugs with when teenagers. It was Alpo murdering Porter that led those who once revered him to turn their backs on him.

Rich’s death had a huge impact on Harlem. The timing couldn’t have been worse,” said Chiles, “Richard was in the middle of negotiating the release of his 12-year-old brother, Donnell, who had been kidnapped and was being held for $500,000 ransom. Rich was killed, and then a few days later the body of his little brother was found in the same vicinity.”

While the death of Porter dented Alpo’s reputation, the silver bullet that would destroy his legacy would come after Alpo choose to testify against his former enforcer. Before an open court, Alpo turned on his former Washington D.C. enforcer in order to avoid serving a life sentence for the murders he had been arrested for committing.

After breaking the street law of snitching, Alpo was to serve as reduce sentence of 35 years for 14 counts of murder. However back in September of 2015, according to Don Diva magazine—a magazine developed by Chiles in prison that is devoted to the drug underworld and New York City street life—Alpo has been out of prison for the last few years.

Despite being rumored to being out of prison, the chances of Alpo returning to New York City is very slim.

I am most certain that Alpo won’t come back to New York. He knows he has a bullseye on him. That situation with Rich left Harlem scarred and people have strong feelings about it,” said Chiles, talking about the possibility of Alpo returning to NYC. “I could see a younger dude, on the come-up, try to make a name for themselves by taking Alpo out. They would be instantly infamous. I’m sure these are things he should be considering.”

So, where is Alpo Martinez? That is a question that may not be answered.

Eva Longoria – “Latinos in America Must Unite”

longoria_a

What do Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Ecuadorians, Colombians, and Peruvians all have in common?

The answer is simple: they are all Latino. The only thing that truly makes anyone from the above group different from each other is the cultural background associated to each group. For those who aren’t Latino may not think we are different and few Latinos as being a united group.

However, that idea is not exactly true.

While there is a strong sense of Latino pride for many Latinos, when it comes to being or feeling a sense of unity to others who are not of the same national background it seems non-existent. It is this sense of division among Latinos which has some Latino stars are suggesting that if we remove, Latinos could only benefit and progress forward as a united people.

Since becoming a superstar in her own right, Eva Longoria has used her fame earned by her stint as a Housewife on ABC’s Desperate Housewives into becoming a philanthropist to aid the Latino community within the country. And one way that Longoria has aided Latinos is through her very own foundation.

Since its establishment back in 2010, the intention of the Eva Longoria Foundation is to encourage and help Latinas across the country succeed through either educational and/or entrepreneurial pursuits. According to Longoria, the foundations mostly focuses on Latinas because she sees the growing demographic of Latinos in this country and believes that women in the community need more of a push because they “make the world go round.”

I grew up with a family of strong, accomplished, and educated women. I believe, as they say, that you can’t be what you don’t see, and since I saw a lot of smart women in my life, education being at the center, I just mimicked that behavior. There was never a question that I’d go to college. In fact, I was the last person in my family to get a master’s degree, so that tells you I’m actually the underachiever!

Although her foundation may be devoted to aiding the growth of Latinas, Longoria strongly feels that both women and men could both benefit in progressing upward if only we as a community come together to help one another out.

We have to support and lift each other up. Latinos have not historically been a culture that unites easily. We’re very factioned—you have your Mexican Americans, your Puerto Ricans, your Cuban Americans, your Central Americans—and sometimes we focus on the differences more than the commonalities.

And Longoria is not alone in this ideology. At the recent PaleyFest held this weekend, Gina Rodriguez the star of Jane The Virgin took part of a panel that discussed Latinos on Television and the actress gave advice to other Latino actors.

We need to unite,” said Rodriguez, suggesting one way to do so is by Latino actors opting to portray characters of different Latino nationalities beside their own to show this unity. “They see us as one community—we need to be one community. Let’s do that, use our power as Latinos, whatever culture you identify with and celebrate.

Being of Latino origin I have experienced, and seen, that there are fractions that exist within the Latino community. There are some Latinos, mostly Latinos of South America, who are being stereotyped or persecuted for being immigrants due to the country’s heated debate regarding how immigration—for some—harms the country or—for others—betters it. With this issue and others that are race-related and plagues the Latino community, the unifying of Latinos could aid in eliminating this issue.

New York’s Mom & Pop Businesses are Being Replaced by BIG Corporations

f03a01a6-8a22-4d86-9076-2832cea5f52a-620x247

Hey! Want to grab a bite to eat at the original 2nd Avenue Deli in the East Village?

605a85bd-6403-4b38-9bd1-b0c1cec63408-620x205

How about we grab some lunch at Manatus restaurant on Bleecker Street?

Then maybe grab something from Ralph’s Discount City up in TriBeca?

And why not stop by the great home of punk rock CBGB in the East Village, yeah?

Well, you kind of can’t anymore since these notable New York City landmarks are no longer around.

Considered local fixtures in the neighborhoods, familiar and popular mom-and-pop stores, diners, restaurants, and shops are slowly becoming extinct in the evolving city due to staggering rent hikes and a lackluster economy. Unable to withstand the hardship, many of these familiar shops are being replaced by big name corporations like Subway or Dunkin Donunts or banks like Chase and Capital One.

c9313a6b-7409-4d79-91d0-9a9c88ccca0d-620x161

In their photo book Store Front – The Disappearing Face of New York, photographers James T. and Karla L. Murray take readers on a visual tour of some of the familiar and irreplaceable store fronts that line street after street of New York City.

Choosing places that “look like they’ve been around forever” the duo has in a way allowed such locales to exist forever in photographic form. Organized by borough and then subdivided into neighborhoods, the photographic book poses as an encyclopedia of sorts that manages to preserves the now extinct shops that have become replaced by commercial businesses.

“The purpose of the photos in the before and after project is to clearly spell out and provide documentation of not only what storefronts have been lost but also what is often lacking in what replaces them,” said the photographers.

The book depicts the dramatic alteration in the appearance of many familiar local spots in New York City. From 2001 to 2007, the book contains a good decade of how scathing rental prices are forcing out mom-and-pop shops which are being replaced with chain stores belonging to commercial businesses.

The shop-owners frequently acknowledged that they were at the mercy of their landlords and the ever-increasing rents they charged,” and if the shop-owners could not meet the increasing rent, “big rent hikes meant that many small businesses closed to be replaced by chain stores or banks, which could afford the higher rent.

According to the book, Max Fish, a bar located on the Lower East Side is an example of being a victim to rising rent costs. The bar opened in 1989 and its rent was a mere $2,000 a month, however after a series of rent increases and being opened for a good 24 years the bar closed with a reported $16,000 rent cost. The rent was due to increase again if the bar remained opened.

d337a4eb-0264-4205-bbcd-2d8a14e005b4-620x225

Until you place them side-by-side and really look at the two photos, you cannot get the true sense of loss,” explained the Murrays, discussing how powerful the images taken are when you show what was beside the what is.

The two also add, “the trend we noticed very early on while photographing the original stores was that if the shop-owner did not own the entire building, their business was already in jeopardy.

Mom-and-pop shops are not the only familiar local spots being replaced by commercial businesses. Late last year, 5 Pointz–5 Pointz: The Institute of Higher Burnin’ or the 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center–was an outdoor graffiti haven considered an art cultural center to many was white-washed—the numerous art pieces that were spray-painted on its wall was marked out with white paint—by the builders owners.

5pointz-painted-over

The white-washing came after 5 Pointz owner and supporters lost am ongoing battle to remaining standing. The building is scheduled to be torn down and make way for new condos and business shops in its place.

While the book can be a bit grim showcasing the demise of familiar shops, shops that are either replaced by corporations or gutted to the group, the book also contains some hope.

Among some of the photos taken, the Murrays have included side-by-side photos of old shops being replaced not by large corporations but fellow and new mom-and-pop shops. These images show some hope that not all is being taken over by large commercial businesses but there are still regular folk with businesses of their own trying to make it in this ever changing world.

EL POETA CALLEJERO: UN TIGRE DECENTE PREOCUPADO POR LAS INJUSTICIAS SOCIALES

poeta-callejereo

 

Gerardo Gabriel Santana, mejor conocido por sus millones de fans como El Poeta Callejero es un joven al que podríamos definir como tímido y comedido. Mucho más allá de la súper estrella de música urbana nos encontramos conversando con un joven agradable, quien piensa detenidamente sus respuestas y quien lleva como bandera y mensaje, la justicia social.

Este deseo de igualdad y justicia social incentivado en gran parte por sus orígenes humildes y la pobreza que vivió en la niñez se ve claramente reflejado en las letras de sus canciones.

A pesar de los rumores sobre su fanatismo religioso, incoherencias o largos silencios en recientes entrevistas, el poeta callejero se define como “un tigre decente”, decidido a hacer lo correcto y a luchar por ser una mejor persona con el único arma que conoce, su arte, sus letras, su poesía que nace y se alimenta en el lugar que lo vio nacer y crecer: La Calle.

poeta2

HABLAMOS DE TU NUEVO ÁLBUM?

El título del álbum es “Tigre Decente” y en eso es lo que me es convertido, en una persona hábil para desenvolverse en el lugar donde me tocó vivir y decente porque soy correcto.

Dentro del álbum hay una canción que le dedico a mi hija y se titula mi bendición. Se ha hecho una serie especial y diferente que se usó con los temas del CD., un video de 40 minutos donde se desarrolla una historia con la música del álbum y que cuenta lo que es un tigre decente y porque.

ES DIFÍCIL SER UN TIGRE DECENTE EN REPÚBLICA DOMINICANA?

Es realmente difícil.

QUÉ HAY DETRÁS DE TU NOMBRE ARTISTICO: EL POETA CALLEJERO?

Yo crecí en la calle, nací en la calle en la entrada de una iglesia. Así fueron mis inicios y toda mi vida involucrado en la calle y poeta porque yo amo la poesía y la gente me empezó a llamar poeta pero qué tipo de poeta , bueno uno callejero.

PORQUE TUS LÍRICAS Y EL CONTENIDO DE TUS CANCIONES ES DIFERENTE AL RESTO DE LOS ARTISTAS URBANOS?

Me importa mucho lo que sucede a mí alrededor, soy una conciencia viviente que analiza lo que me rodea. Mi objetivo principal es ser un mensajero de lo que me rodea y exponerlo en mi arte.

QUE INJUSTICIA SOCIAL TE PREOCUPA?

La desigualdad, la pobreza y que los que están en posición de ayudar por sus conocimientos o influencia no lo hacen. Porque beneficiarse solo unos pocos no entendiendo que todos somos iguales.

SE HA HABLADO ÚLTIMAMENTE QUE LUCES INCOHERENTE, QUE TIENES PROBLEMAS DE ADICCIÓN O DESÓRDENES DE PERSONALIDAD. QUE PASA REALMENTE CONTIGO?

Yo solamente evito las conversaciones banales y triviales.

ES ESTA NUEVA PERSONALIDAD UNA ESTRATEGIA PUBLICITARIA?

A los hijos de Dios, los planes del enemigo, les terminan favoreciendo. La gente puede llegar a pensar que es una estrategia, entonces yo lo tomo con una actitud positiva y agradezco a Dios.

ESTAS PASANDO POR UNA DEPRESIÓN?

Mira yo vengo de una casa que tenía una lona como techo, que el piso era de tierra, que las camas tenían chinches  y  quemabamos los colchones con trementina en las noches para matarlas y aun así yo era feliz. Imagínate ahora estoy en mi casa con aire acondicionado, con gente apoyándome, siempre con más deseos de superarme y motivado a dar lo mejor al público.

UN MENSAJE PARA EL PÚBLICO EN ESTADOS UNIDOS?

Estamos coordinando una gira próximamente, espero verlos pronto y síganme en instagram a @elpoetacallejero

 

 

 

DE LA GHETTO ESTRENA NUEVO TEMA Y CONTRATO CON WARNER MUSIC LATINA

ghetto2

El cantante urbano De La Guetto acaba de lanzar al mercado el sencillo “Acercate” parte de su nuevo álbum “Movimiento”, bajo la producción  del sello disquero Warner Music Latin. Luego de más de 10 años trabajando de manera independiente y lanzando y promocionando sus temas mayormente a través de las redes sociales, el joven talento acaba de firmar un contrato exclusivo que promete darle un giro total a su carrera.

“Este contracto significa algo grande, un movimiento estratégico, ahora con el respaldo de una multinacional tan importante como esta, podemos llevar mi música a otro nivel, estar presente en los medios de comunicación y las premiaciones”, nos dice el rapero neoyorkino.

Rafael Castillo, nació en Nueva York, hijo de padre dominicano y madre puertorriqueña. Su pasión por la música nace desde que era muy pequeño y se afianzo al mudarse a Puerto Rico a la edad de 8 años. Comenzó en el arte siendo apenas un adolescente con el nombre de Rafael De La Guetto

 “De La Guetto, del barrio, del caserío, de los proyectos, de ahí nace mi música. Yo siempre trato de influir a los jóvenes con mis liricas y con lo que hago para que sepan que ser del barrio, no significa necesariamente estar en pandillas o en drogas, tu puedes ser exitoso, artista, profesional, un doctor, lo que tú quieras” le recuerda el cantante a los jóvenes

Su nuevo sencillo “Acércate” fue producido 100% en Colombia por la misma compañía que produce los temas de JBalvin.

“Acércate, es un tema bien melódico, con un toque colombiano, caribeño pero bien bailable, bien sensual. Estaremos grabando el video en Colombia próximamente, será un concepto bien diferente, algo así como ciencia ficción”, revela De La Guetto.

ghetto1

Al preguntarle si existe una rivalidad entre los boricuas con el reggaetón que se hace en Colombia, nos dice

“yo no creo en eso de rivalidad, siempre hay 2 o 3 estúpidos ignorantes que quieren causar conflictos. El reggaetón es pa’ to el mundo, no solo pa’ nosotros, mi sonido y estilo en lo que hago es único. Me siento bendecido por tener lo mejor de varios mundos: dominicano-puertorriqueño nacido en Nueva York,  esta es una mezcla especial que es parte de mí y de mi estilo”.

Sus inicios se remontan al 2004, cuando formo un dúo musical con el cantante Arcángel, luego grabo temas con Daddy Yankee, Nicky Jam y otros artistas del género, hasta que prácticamente su música se vio bloqueada por unirse a un sello disquero que no le permitia lanzar álbumes o participar en eventos grandes, .

 “me tenían bloqueado, pero todo pasar por una razón y yo creo que eso tenía que pasar en mi vida para yo ponerme fuerte mentalmente, espiritualmente, como ser humano y como artista. Ahora tengo más experiencia en el negocio y voy hacia el éxito”, nos dice lleno de entusiasmo.

Y es por esa madurez y experiencia que las cosas están sonriendo a su favor, además de estrenar un sello disquero, acaba de lanzar al mercado un reggaetón romántico junto a la cantante Thalía, un nuevo tema con el cantante urbano Secreto y está a punto de convertirse en padre por segunda vez.

De La Guetto también trabaja en la producción de un disco completamente en inglés, y se mantiene enfocando y con la certeza de que los frutos de estos más de 10 años de trabajo y sacrificio ya están a la vuelta de la esquina. Este es el tiempo de De la Guetto y lo mejor está por venir

 

 

*Originally published in the July/August 2016 issue of Latin Trends

Top Latino lawyers to be recognized in New Jersey

The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) is proud to announce its list of honorees for the HNBA National Annual Awards to be presented during its 41st Annual Convention at the Intercontinental Chicago Magnificent Mile Hotel in Chicago, Illinois from September 7-10, 2016.

The theme of this year’s Annual Convention is ‘Empowering Leaders,’ and we are proud to recognize the accomplishments of an extraordinary group of Latino leaders, who work tirelessly to better our communities and profession,” said Robert T. Maldonado, HNBA National President.

“We honor those who serve as exemplary role models to us all.  We thank you all for your dedication and service.  The world is a better place because of you.  The leadership you exhibit empowers each of us to be better leaders.”

The list below highlights four attorneys and one affiliate organization from the New York/New Jersey area.

HNBA “Latina Judge of the Year” Award

honorable esther salas

Hon. Esther Salas, U.S. District Court Judge, District of New Jersey
Newark, NJ

The Honorable Esther Salas, U.S.D.J., was appointed by President Barack Obama and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate as the first Latina to serve on the federal bench in New Jersey as Magistrate Judge for the United States District of the District of New Jersey in November 2006 and as United States District Judge in June 2011.

Judge Salas is a proud 1994 graduate of the Minority Student Program of Rutgers Law School, Newark and a 1991 graduate of the Educational Opportunity Fund Program from Rutgers College, New Brunswick.  During law school, Judge Salas was Vice-President of the Association of Latin American Students and a Minority Student Program Representative.  After receiving her Juris Doctorate, Judge Salas served as a law clerk to the Hon. Eugene J. Codey, Jr. of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Essex County; an Associate at Garces & Grabler, P.C.; and almost ten years as an Assistant Federal Public Defender.   She served as former president of the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey and the Hispanic Bar Foundation of New Jersey; the Governor’s Hispanic Advisory Council for Policy Development, the New Jersey Supreme Court Committees on Minority Concerns and Women in the Court, the Committee on Pro Se Litigation for the District of New Jersey.  Since the inception of the HBA-NJ American Dream Pipeline Program in 2013, Judge Salas has opened the doors to her chambers to allow high school students to meet her and engage in dialogue and have an opportunity to witness firsthand how justice is served in federal court.  Judge Salas’ commitment has been recognized by Rutgers Law School Distinguished Alumna Award, Seton Hall University School of Law, Women’s Law Forum, Woman of Substance Award, Tri-County Scholarship Fund Honor of Service, the New Jersey Women Lawyers’ Association, Women’s Initiative and Leaders in the Law Award, and the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey, Hispanic Heritage Award.

 

HNBA “Latina Attorney of the Year” Award

camelia valdes

Camelia M. Valdes, Prosecutor, Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office
Paterson, NJ

Camelia M. Valdes is the Passaic County Prosecutor.  When Ms. Valdes was appointed on May 16, 2009 by Governor Jon S. Corzine, reappointed on June 15, 2015 by Governor Chris Christie, and confirmed by the New Jersey State Legislature, she became the first Latina county prosecutor in the State of New Jersey, the first woman prosecutor in Passaic County, and the first lead prosecutor of Dominican ancestry in the United States.  As the chief law enforcement official in Passaic County, Ms. Valdes is responsible for the management of approximately 185 assistant prosecutors, detectives, victim advocates and support staff, a $19.2 million office budget, and the oversight of 16 municipal police departments, the police departments of William Paterson and Montclair State Universities, and the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department.

Ms. Valdes is a career prosecutor.  She served as a Municipal Prosecutor in the City of Newark, a Deputy Attorney General in the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, and as an Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.  Her experience has ranged from investigating and prosecuting municipal offenses to complex federal crimes that included human trafficking, health care fraud, financial offenses, and violent crimes.  Ms. Valdes is extensively involved in bar associations and community service work.  Born to Dominican parents in the Bronx and raised in Newark, New Jersey, Ms. Valdes is a product of the Newark Public Schools.  She received her undergraduate degree in sociology from Seton Hall University in 1993, her law degree from Rutgers Law School-Newark in 1996, and her LL.M. in Trial Advocacy from Temple University in May 2001.  As the proud mother of two beautiful autistic girls, Isabela and Elsa, ages 11 and 9, Ms. Valdes endeavors to raise awareness about autism and special needs education.

 

HNBA “Latino Attorney of the Year” Award

frank martinez

Frank F. Martinez, Vice President, Legal Affairs, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Inc.
New York, NY

Frank F. Martinez is the Vice President of Legal Affairs at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Inc. serving as U.S. employment law counsel for the LVMH Group.  He has also served as V.P., Legal & Business Affairs at BMG Music, Interim V.P. and AGC at L’Oréal USA and interim counsel at MetLife and Pitney Bowes.  Prior to joining LVMH, Frank maintained a solo employment law practice in New York representing individuals and management. Originally from West Covina, California, Frank graduated from Boston University School of Law in 1995 and holds a B.M. and M.M. in Voice Performance from Indiana University, Bloomington and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  Frank began law practice in San Francisco at Littler Mendelson and was also an associate at Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati in Silicon Valley and at Proskauer Rose in New York.  Frank served on the Board of the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York from 2012 to 2014 and is a past member of the LGBT Rights and Labor and Employment Committees of New York City Bar Association.  He is a member of both the New York and California bars.

 

HNBA “Pro Bono Attorney of the Year” Award

osvaldo garcia

Osvaldo Garcia, Associate, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
New York, NY

Osvaldo Garcia, an associate in the Private Client Group at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, is the founder and current Director of the Cadwalader Black and Latino Association Immigration Clinic.  Osvaldo launched the clinic in 2015, turning it into a successful and crucial source of assistance both for attorneys and pro bono clients.  The Immigration Clinic serves as an internal support network meant to increase attorney awareness, knowledge, and engagement of immigration matters. Osvaldo’s passion for pro bono work and immigration law in particular is shaped by his own experiences as a Cuban immigrant.  In addition to his clinic work, he serves as counsel for a young Salvadorian immigrant applying for Special Juvenile Immigration Status.  Osvaldo received his B.A. from Florida International University, and his J.D. from Cornell Law School.

 

HNBA “Affiliate of the Year” Award

hispanic bar association of nj

Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey
Newark, NJ

Founded in 1980, the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey (HBA-NJ) represents the interests of Hispanic attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students within the New Jersey legal community.  Dedicated to the professional development of its membership and to serving the Hispanic community at large, the HBA-NJ had a dynamic year in 2016, replete with vibrant initiatives and programming.  The HBA-NJ awarded $65,000 in scholarships to 13 Latino students.  It had a robust CLE program, including the 15th Annual Sun, Surf & Seminars Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The HBA-NJ also boasts an active mentorship program, pairing individual attorneys with Latino law students and mentoring high school students through the HBA-NJ Pipeline Program.  Further, the HBA-NJ offers community education initiatives throughout the year in an effort to educate the Latino community about their legal rights.  Finally, the HBA-NJ has a dynamic Young Lawyers Committee that operates a Summer of Service Program where attorneys engage in community service in various statewide Latino communities.

George Lopez’s ‘Lopez’ on TV Land gets a 2nd Season!

George-Lopez

George Lopez seems to have another hit series on his hands with the recently announced renewal of his TV Land’s series aptly titled Lopez.

Check out our exclusive interview with George Lopez below! 

 

The series follows Lopez as he portrays a fictional version of himself trying to cope with all the demands that comes with being a celebrity as well as trying to fulfill a desire to give back to the Latino community within the area in-which he grew up in.

The TV Land series is the third comedy series for Lopez. From 2002 to 2007, Lopez starred in ABC’s George Lopez and in 2014 in FX’s Saint George

Lopez serves as executive producer on the series.

Season one of the series began back in March, and the season finale is scheduled to air on June 22nd.

SHOBOY IN THE MORNING – The Latin touch that was missing in New York morning radio

Originally published in the May 2016 of Latin Trends Magazine

SHOBOY
Totally happy in his new city, Edgar “Shoboy” Sotelo wanders through the streets of New York as if he has lived here all his life. It is hard to imagine that, just a year ago, this popular radio personality was the host of one of the most popular radio shows in Dallas, TX, “Shoboy en la Mañana”.

He tells us about the afternoon he received the call that would change his destiny; a proposal to have his own radio show in English in one of the most important markets in the world.

“When I was asked to do the show, I almost fell backwards. It was amazing. It was something I wanted to do for some time, especially in the number #1 market in New York. At first, it was a difficult decision because my show in Spanish in Dallas was about to be syndicated nationally. My wife and I were happy in Texas, but we came to this city because we base our decisions on faith, not fear,” he says.

But Sotelo’s success is no surprise. This young man grew up at radio stations with his popular brother, Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo, one of most the renowned radio announcers in Spanish radio. He worked in promotions, pasting stickers and helping in everything that was needed at the station.

Despite being born in Jalisco, Mexico, and arriving to the United States when he was five years old, Shoboy speaks English and Spanish with such perfection and professionalism that he is able to brilliantly connect with his listeners in both languages.

“Shoboy In The Morning” is a new radio show that entertains and informs his English-speaking listeners, but of course, he always adds his Latin spark and throws and occasional word in Spanish. The audience that tunes into 92.3 AMP Radio from 5:30 – 10:00 a.m. in New York City is already used to hearing phrases like “que rico” and other common words in “Spanglish”.
SHOBOY2

Sotelo is fun, casual and sometimes a little crazy, and his listeners adore him because he is able to make his guests play all his games, such as convincing Justin Bieber and Chris Brown to dance the famous merengue “Culiquitaca”. Laughing out loud, he tell us:

“I told Justin and Chris that they would increase their potential to get Latina girlfriends if they learned how to move their hips.”

Despite having received major awards for his radio career-raising over a million dollars to benefit the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and being invited to the White House by President Obama, Shoboy is a young man that reflects great humility, passion and a genuine desire to proudly represent Latinos.

His greatest goal is to positively impact the community. When asked how he see himself in the future, he stares at us and answers with a big smile.

“I see myself with more wrinkles from laughing so hard and thanking God for all the beautiful blessings he brings to my life.”

Here’s the Links to some of Shoboy’s most popular youtube videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_mS5mS7cDQhttp://

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dv9KNXyN70://