Archive for November, 2010

El Salvador Remembers the Jesuits Assassinated in the UCA

November 17, 2010
Today, El Salvador pays tribute to the 6 Jesuits who were killed in the campus of the University of Central America (UCA) along with their cook and the cook’s daughter. The six Jesuits that were assassinated at the UCA on November 16, 1989 were Ignacio Ellacur??a, Ignacio Mart??n-Bar??, Segundo Montes, Juan Ram??n Moreno, Armando L??pez, Juan Ram??n Moreno, and Joaqu??n L??pez y L??pez. Their cook, Elba and her daughter Celina Ramos were also murdered in cold blood so that there wouldn’t be any witnesses.

The soldiers who murdered the Jesuits were trained in the School of the Americas (SOA) and this coming weekend, thousands of people will gather in Fort Benning, Georgia to bring awareness on closing the SOA. To this date, the soldiers responsible for the deaths of the 6 Jesuits, Elba and Celina Ramos have not been brought up to justice.

I have been inspired by the courageous acts of not only these martyrs but all the Jesuits that were in El Salvador during the war in El Salvador. To stand on the side of the people and to openly criticise the Salvadoran Army was not an easy act. To risk being shot and killed was not going to stop them from demonstrating their faith and accompanying the Salvadoran people. They were called communist, Guerrillas disguised as priest, agitators, etc, but nothing was going to stop them from doing the right thing. They provided a voice to the voiceless.

Here is a homily that was given by Father Joseph O’hare in a memorial Mass of his Jesuit brothers that were slain in El Salvador. His homily was given on November 22, 1989 in New York. Clink on the link to read this beautiful homily.

Here is a short video of the events that happen before the tragic day of November 16, 1989. Part 1.

Part 2.

Here is President Rafael Correa visiting the UCA and giving a great speech.

Martires de la UCA…
PRESENTE!!!
AHORA…Y…SIEMPRE!!!

Tupac Katari…Presente!!!

November 16, 2010
Julian Apaza Nina, is known to every Bolivian and to people in the world as Tupac Katari. He adapted his name after his admiration of Tupac Amaru and Tomas Catari.

Tupac Katari was a famous indigenous aymaran who organized 40,000 of his soldiers in the uprising against the Spanish colonizers. In 1781, he was able to take control of  La Paz for 184 days. Later that year, Spanish troops were successful at getting through La Paz. It is rumored that that second time, Katari was able to get some assistance from Andres Tupac Amaru, the nephew of Tupa Amaru II. The second time didn’t prove to be successful as his siege was broken by loyalists led by Josef Reseguin on October 17, 1781.

Tupac Katari died when he was tied by his hands and feet and was pulled by 4 different horses who were running in 4 different directions. Tupac Katari is not only a martyr and a symbolic hero in Bolivia but is known for his famous slogan, “A mi solo me mataran pero manana volvere y sere millones.”

Here is a song by the famous Bolivian band, Kala Marka, performing one of their favorite songs, Tupac Katari. Enjoy.

Katari…La Rebelion
Evo…La Revolucion

Tupac Katari…PRESENTE!!!
AHORA…Y…SIEMPRE!!!

Evomorales_tupackatariMuraltupackatari

Manny Pacquiao wins his historic 8th Title

November 15, 2010
November 13th was a historic night for boxing fans. Manny captured his historic 8th world title by winning a unanimous decision over Antonio Margarito. I must admit that Manny Pacquaio is clearly one of the best boxers of our generation. I give credit to Pacquiao for his amazing performance and destroying Margarito in last night’s fight. But, as a boxing fan, part of me felt that the fight was fixed. I have couple theories on why the fight was fix. From the opening bell, I could see that Margarito was not the same fighter as the one that stepped into the ring to fight Roberto Amenaza Garcia. That fight was also fight in the 154 range. In that fight, Margarito looked more aggressive and even showing some lateral movements. In the opening round, when Margarito threw a punch, it was thrown in such a slow motion that either he was too heavy for his weight at 165 or he was just too weak before the fight started. Both fighters are promoted by Bob Arum, and as a promoter, I never heard Arum talking about Margarito. He wasn’t promoting Margarito at all. He only gave him the fight. The only promotion he gave was basically to say that Margarito was suspended unfairly and that Margarito served his time. To have a promoter put all his marbles on one of his fighters and not on another doesn’t seem right. Arum did a good job trying to sell the fight. The bigger and taller Margarito trying to fight for redemption while Pacman fights for a record 8th world title. Not only that, but financially speaking, it was also in the interest of Arum to use Margarito to try to sell the fight to the latino boxing fans. And it worked. We all know Margarito is a slow starter but last night’s fight was just too obvious that the fight was fixed. Margarito has never fought like that before. Even when he got knocked out by Mosley, he looked faster than last night and that fight was fought at 147.

Anyways, maybe the boxing fan in me really wanted to see a great fight. I was just shocked that Margarito would come at 165 when his own camp had mentioned that he would come in at around 159. Did they added those pounds to make him weaker on purpose? We will never know. I just wanted to see a great fight. A fight where Margarito and Pacquiao actually went toe to toe. We saw some of that in the 6th round. But, the fight was clearly a one sided beat down. In fact, it was the 6th round that Margarito had his best chance when he connected to the body that seemed to hurt Pacquaio. Manny even when on to say that he was lucky to get out of the 6th round. Had Margarito would have sensed that Pacquiao was hurt and started to put more pressure and started the 7th trying to attack the body, maybe it would have been a much more interesting fight. Instead, we were treated to a complete avalanche of Pacquiao’s speed and power. It got so bad that Manny just stopped fighting past the 10th round. He was soft on Margarito in the last 2 rounds. That just shows the type of fighter that Pacquiao is.

I congratulate Pacquiao for his record 8th world title. This maybe one of those feats in Sports that will be impossible to break. This maybe one of those records that may will not be broken. Although, some would argue that his 7th and 8th title were won at catch weights. The record may have an asterisk but one cannot deny Pacquaio’s amazing accomplishments.

Now for the fight that everyone is waiting for. Here is what I hope for. Have Manny fight Mayweather for Manny’s 154 belt. Knowing Mayweather he won’t agree to a catch weight fight. So both fighters fight for Manny’s 154lb belt. There is a penalty if Mayweather comes over the limit and Mayweather would counter that Manny would at least have to weight close to the 150 range. I think it would be interesting to see Manny defend his new 154 lb belt against Mayweather. Have both fighters do olympic style testing since we know Mayweather will throw that in. Based on Mayweather’s legal issues, the fight should be staged sometime in September of next year to give it ample time to promote.

I just think Manny vs Mayweather is due. Let’s get it on and they can even fight for the P4P “title”. This is the fight that everyone will want to see. Although, if it happens, I do see Manny having difficulties getting through Mayweathers’ defense. I just hope they signed the contract before I start analyzing the fight.

Pacquiao vs Margarito Pre Fight Analysis

November 13, 2010
November 13, 2010 will be a night to remember. Either we see Pacquiao win his 8th title or we will see Margarito defeat Pacquiao and put the hand wrap scandal aside. Whatever your expectation is for the fight, it will be a great fight for the fans. It has the potential of being a fight of the year candidate.

I was shock like many boxing fans were when Pacquiao tipped the scales at 144.6lbs. One would think that he was going to fight a welter weight fight. I know the plan is to use his lateral movements and speed to his advantage but I don’t understand why Pacquiao would want to give a 5.4lbs advantage to Margarito. I don’t know if Team Pacquiao are biting more than they can chew. It doesn’t make sense to me when Pacquaio had the chance to fight Yuri Foreman for the WBA championship; he refused saying Foreman was taller. Yuri Foreman is the same height as Margarito. Both Margarito and Foreman are promoted by Top Rank. Margarito in my opinion is much bigger and stronger than Foreman. Margarito may not be as fast as Foreman, but in my eyes, a fight vs Foreman, one can make the argument that it would have been much easier to get his 8th title as oppose to challenging Margarito. One reason, why we didn’t see a Pacquiao vs Foreman fight, was because it wouldn’t sell. On the other hand, a Pacquiao vs Margarito, has many elements to this fight. But regardless of what people think about Margarito, there is no denying that Margarito can still pack a house. And Pacquiao knows it. Bob Arum knows it. Come Saturday night, don’t be surprise if half of the stadium are rooting for Margarito.

But, I ask myself, why is Pacquiao fighting Margarito at 154 pounds. We don’t need the fact that Manny is going for his 8th title to hype the fight. A pacquiao fight doesn’t need no adverstising. He advertises himself. I think it would have been much better if Pacquaio would have defended his welter weight belt against Margarito. By fighting Margarito at 147, Manny is giving himself all the advantages. They can continue to do what they have done to fighters like De la Hoya and Cotto, which is to drain their opponents, even though, Margarito is considered to be a bigger welter weight. If the fight was at 147 then I would see many disadvantages for Margarito. It is what it is.

Pacquiao would have to use his speed to his advantage. He can’t stand there and trade shots with Margarito. He can’t even allow himself to be pushed to the ropes since Margarito will unload on him. Manny has a tendency of letting his opponents back him to the ropes and see what they have. Cotto did it but he didn’t capitalize on him. Manny can’t take the same risk. He is going to have to try to box inside hit and move. It may throw Margarito off his game plan if he does this all night.

On the other hand, Margarito needs to use his height and reach advantage and make the best of it. He knows that he can’t fight at the same pace with Manny so it is crucial that in the first round, Margarito sets the rhythm of the fight. Margarito needs to keep Pacquiao at a distance and use his jab. If he fights at a distance, Pacquiao will have difficulty moving in. Speed is good but what good is it if you can’t hit your target. Margarito needs to take advantage of the times that he is able to put Pacquiao on the ropes and connect to the body and his face. Not only that, but if Margarito is able to demonstrate that he can counter punch with Manny, then I see a long night for Manny.

I think speed and lateral movements are a good advantage but I am going to go for size and power. Pacquiao come fight night will be weighing around 147 compare to Margarito’s 160. I just feel an accumulation of punches to his body and/or to the head at this weight is of concern. If Margarito is able to land a lot of his body shots then its going to affect Manny’s speed.  I see Margarito winning in the later rounds. Should be a great fight. Can’t wait.

On another note, who is that fool on the video that comes in around 2:18 taking pics with Margarito. Looks familiar.

Why a Margarito Win is Good for Boxing

November 13, 2010
I know many boxing fans have not forgiven Margarito for his allegedly hand wrap scandal. But when I ask so call boxing fans, their thoughts on a possible Margarito vs Maravilla Martinez rematch, they don’t know who I am talking about.

Just like any other boxing fan, I am excited for this fight. But, very few fans and even boxing writers are giving Margarito a chance to win. I, on the other hand, see many advantages for the sport of Boxing if Margarito wins. We know that this fight is one where a boxer can enter deeper into the record books and one where a boxer will try to seek redemption.

Assuming that Pacquaio wins his 8th title. He is just going to give it back as he has no intention of defending his belt. In this case, it won’t look good for boxing to accommodate a boxer to fight in a division where he is clearly small and if he becomes a 154lb champion has repeatedly stated that he has no intention of fighting in this division again. Boxing should have a rule that if a boxer wins a world championship belt in any division that the boxer should at least defend the belt once before moving up in weight or vacating the belt. It is not fair to be giving certain boxers preferential treatment to win belts when certain fighters have no intention of defending those belts.

On the other hand, if Margarito wins, it clearly makes the 154lb division more interesting. If he wins, there are many exciting fights that could happen in this division. One will be the rematch of Antonio Margarito vs Miguel Cotto. They can even unify the belts as Cotto is the WBA champion. Having the WBC and WBA on the line, this should be an exciting fight as it will put to rest the rumors that Margarito cheated on his fight against Cotto. Margarito can also fight a rematch with Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez, as Martinez will be fighting to avenge the first true loss of his career. Not only that, but Martinez will be trying to win the belt that he vacated. Margarito can fight Kermit Cintron for a 3rd time if he feels that Margarito cheated in his two losses against him. Margarito can fight somewhere in Mexico against Alfredo Angulo, since Angulo won’t be fighting in American any time soon. Another great fight could be the rematch between Margarito vs Paul Williams.

All these fights are exciting fights for boxing fans. If we don’t get a Pacquiao vs Mayweather fight, we still have a lot of great boxing fights that can happen with a Margarito win. I think a Margarito win will make the 154 one of the best divisions in boxing. Right now, we have the 140 division loaded with potential big fights. A Margarito win be good for boxing and for the potential fights that came come out of the 154 lb division.

Pacquiao comes in too small while Margarito makes weight at 150

November 13, 2010
I can’t wait for tomorrow’s fight. While many of us predicted that Pacquiao would come in at around 147, I was surprised that Pacquiao tip the scales at 144.6 lbs. Margarito, on the other hand, has been saying all along that the weight won’t be a problem. He had no problem making the weight at 150lbs. Margarito looks ripped. He will be gaining no more than 10 pounds and should come in at around 159-160lbs. Pacquiao, may have to eat a cow just to gain 4 pounds. He said he had difficulties gaining any more weight. He had a bread and some eggs earlier in the day. I am just surprise that Pacquiao would come in this small. I know part of the strategy is speed but to give your opponent a 5.4 lbs advantage during the weigh in and maybe 12 pounds (assuming Pac weighs 147 and Margarito 160) come fight time is taking a lot of risks.

L.A. CAN showing us how a community garden in Skid Row is done

November 12, 2010
I am happy to know that the L.A. Times has featured an article on L.A. CAN’s (Community Action Network) community garden. This community garden might be the 1st of its kind in Skid Row or the more appropriate term, Central City East. This is just another great example of how this great grass roots organization continues to see the needs of the community and rather than relying on city officials, they do it zapatista style and build their own. Here is the article to read more about the garden and what they have been growing.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/home_blog/2010/11/skid-row-community-garden.html

On another note, here is an article where LA CAN’s co director, Becky Dennison was quoted regarding HACLA’s plan to convert 6,800 public housing units into Section 8 units.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-la-housing-20101111,0,627653.story

 

Much love to L.A. CAN and the work they continue to do.

 

ALL POWER
TO THE PEOPLE!!!

Poem in honor of our Homeless Veterans

November 11, 2010
As we celebrate Veterans Day, let us not forget the thousands of homeless veterans that are in our communities. They may not get the special treatment, or be asked to join in a parade, but like every other soldier, they put their time and energy and deserve to be recognized. I am always amazed at how people can “support” the troops or have campaigns to bring the troops home. But, when those troops come back to the United States, they become unknown soldiers. This is especially the case with homeless people who have given their commitment to fight for this country but we haven’t seen this country fight for them.

We have seen too many homeless veterans on our streets. We have seen a lot of our soldiers come back from war torn countries and not be given the proper care to deal with their PTSD. Instead of thanking our veterans for putting their life at risk, we have seen this country turn their backs on them. We can continue to have Veterans Day as a holiday but what good is that if its only to be use as a photo op for the President or any other politician.

Let’s really honor our Veterans by taking care of our Homeless Veterans, especially women. The general public has a perception that women who are veterans are nurses, file paperwork and not engage in combat. That is what mainstream media wants us to think about women in uniform. The truth is that women have also been on the front lines. They have also given their fair share but when they come back to their communities, they realize that resources for women veterans are very scarce. There are not that many resources catered to this population and that is a tragedy in itself. Women in the military not only have to deal with Military Sexual Trauma (MST) but the barriers that they have to deal with once they go to their communities is even more shocking. The lack of VA services catered for women is an issue. Many women feel disrespected when seeking services at the VA because they feel that men would not treat them as equal. They feel that men would just look at them as someone who didn’t have the same combat experience as their male counter parts did. Not only that, but I doubt that the VA services have sections of their transitional housing set aside for homeless women veterans, much less homeless women veterans with children.

The VA office has unveiled a 5 year plan to end Veteran Homelessness. While that may sound nice, we would have to see. The problem with all these “strategic” plans to end homelessness, is that every city and state practically has one. It is basically lip services in my eyes. I have seen too many strategic plans to end homelessness come and go and the problem is still there. A 5 year plan to end Veterans Homelessness is like saying the United States in 5 years will stop invading and occupying countries in the world. It’s not going to happen. I wish we can end Veteran Homelessness in 5 years. I wish the United States will stop invading and occupying countries. But, I have to be realistic. It’s not going to happen. I can’t believe I said that but its a dead fact. Only time will tell. In the mean time, let’s not forget our brothers and sisters in the streets, who continue to be on the front lines.

Here is a poem, I wrote in honor of our Homeless Veterans.

UNKNOWN SOLDIER

My name is Fred and I am a Vietnam Veteran.
At the time of my deployment, I was fired up.
I was ready to go to war and defend my country.
I was given the proper tools
and was well prepare to battle.
But, something change when I got to Vietnam.
Something in me realize this wasn’t right.
A lot of my fellow soldiers had second thoughts.
We started questioning the motives for us going to war.

One thing about war is that it will leave you
with scars that you will never be able to heal.
I saw other soldiers kill innocent men, women and children.
These innocent people were our “enemies” because they were Vietnamese.
I couldn’t do it.
I didn’t have it in me.
So a few of us got court martialed.
We made our decision under the basis that
we couldn’t follow through with our orders
at the expense of killing innocent civilians.

You have to understand that back in our times, we didn’t have the internet.
We didn’t have the technology that your generations has.
We had a real movement going on.
The anti-war movement was strong.
You could feel the wind of Revolution.

Nowadays, even with all the resources
that this generation has
it saddens me that we continue
to live in a world
where war triumphs over humanity.
Son, how can this be?
How can we allow ourselves to
believe that something good
comes from war?
I’ve been there
and trust me when I tell you
that war seeks to impose
ones’ views over others
while it leaves the rest of us
suffering from PTSD
and if that’s not a catastrophe
look around in your own community
and tell me how many
homeless veterans you see
walking around
with PTSD.

Look at me,
I have tried to
live a normal life
but I can’t.
Once you go to war,
you will never be able
to live a normal life.
I have been on the streets
for quite some time.
I have been getting assistance
from the VA office
but because there is such a
long waiting list to house
homeless veterans
I am on the streets.

Many people may
disagree with me
that I am not a real
soldier because I
didn’t kill anybody
or engaged in combat.
But, does killing someone
make you more a soldier
than someone who didn’t.
The difference I see is that
me and my friends were not
going to allow ourselves
from being brainwashed
and making us kill innocent
people that have never done
anything to our country.
If I invested the same amount
of time and went through the
same training as any other soldier
then I consider myself a soldier.

Right now,
I am still a soldier;
only of a different source,
a soldier who is willing
to fight for the greater cause of Humanity.
Once you live in the streets,
you don’t have to worry about
getting a purple heart to
make you feel special.
Once you live in the streets,
the soldier instincts in you come out.
We are in the concrete jungle
and you have to use
whatever resources you can find
just to survive.

Thanks for taking the time
to talk to me.
I really appreciate your time.
There are a lot of us
unknown soldiers
in these cold streets.
Many of us have our
different stories.
What’s important to know
is that there shouldn’t be
homeless veterans
in the United States.
That is like a slap to the
face for soldiers
who fought and defended this country.

Juan Manuel Lopez Knocks Out Marquez

November 7, 2010
Juan Manuel Lopez knocked out Rafael Marquez at the end of the 8th round to keep his WBO Featherweight belt. This fight lived to its expectation. In the first 3 rounds, I had Lopez commanding the fight. He appeared to be very loose and taking control of the ring. Rafael Marquez tried to use his jab and was going to the body a lot but it appeared that it wasn’t doing any damage to Lopez. At one point, Lopez appeared to not seem bothered by Marquez punches. Then in the 4th round, things changed. Marquez connected to Lopez chin that stunned Lopez. Marquez kept pressuring him landing combinations but couldn’t quite pull the trigger. Lopez got a point taken away for holding down Marquez. This made the round a 10-8 for Marquez.

Round 5 was another round that I gave to Marquez. Rounds 6-8 were all Lopez. He was over punching Marquez. He kept throwing combinations to the head and by round 7 he looked like he was losing steam. Round 8 was just brutal. Marquez was just taking too many blows. At this point, I started thinking that if Lopez continues his pace, he was going to knock out Marquez by either the 9th or 10th round.

After the 8th round, Marquez stated that he sustained a shoulder injury in his right shoulder and not being able to move it. That forced his corner to throw in the towel, giving JuanMa an 8th round knock out. After the fight, Marquez was asked if he wanted a rematch and he said yes. Lopez stated that he would give it to him but it was Bob Arum’s decision. At this point, Arum stated that it depended on Marquez shoulder healing and if he was ready there was a spot to fight JuanMa in March, 2011 in Puerto Rico since he plans on having JuanMa fight Gamboa in June of next year.

Assuming that the shoulder injury of Marquez slowed him down towards the late rounds, I feel that if given the rematch this fight would be even more explosive. Marquez can still fight at 35 years young. But, Lopez did appeared to be the bigger and stronger fighter in the ring. In order for there to be a rematch, Marquez shoulder injury needs to get heal. If it doesn’t heal by March, we may see a rematch in September of next year or maybe in 2012. I just think it is better to have the rematch some time next year since Rafael Marquez doesn’t seem to have too many fights remaining in his tank. I see maybe 3 more fights in his career.

Overall, it was a great and entertaining fight. I had it 77-74 for Lopez; the same score as one of the judges, Raul Caiz, Sr. JuanMa Lopez seems to be the new boxing star from Puerto Rico. A rematch would be great but a fight will Yiorkis Gamboa would be explosive. That is the fight that everyone wants to see.

Juan Manuel Lopez vs Rafael Marquez Pre Fight Analysis

November 6, 2010
Today in Las Vegas, JuanMa will be defending his featherweight belt against Rafa Marquez. On paper this has Fight of the Year candidate written all over it. Not only do we get another Puerto Rico vs Mexico fight but everyone in boxing knows how big the PR vs Mexico rivalry is. Out of 74 fights between these countries, Puerto Rico holds the edge at 42 wins to Mexico’s 30. But, out of those 30 wins none are bigger than Julio Cesar Chavez beating Hector Macho Camacho, Salvador Sanchez shocking the world by knocking out Wilfredo Gomez in the 8th round (Gomez at the time was 32-0 with 32kos. Sanchez dropped Gomez in the 1st 40 seconds of the fight in what was called, the Battle of the Little Giants), and more recently Antonio Margarito knocking out Miguel Cotto in the 11th round.

Given this background, there are a lot of motivation for each fighter. For Lopez, he not only wants to prove to the world that he is the next boxing star from Puerto Rico but he wants to demonstrate that he is ready for the big fights. A win against Marquez, he has the possibility of fighting either Celestino Cabellero or Yiorkis Gamboa. Everyone wants to see a Lopez vs Gamboa fight. For that to happen, Lopez must get passed Marquez. It will not be easy given the type of boxer Marquez is. JuanMa has to be in great condition tonight. He is not fighting fighters like Bernabe Concepcion or Rogers Mtagwa who gave him trouble and the later almost pulling off the upset. Lopez has to prepare himself for the full 12 rounds. If he thinks that he can rely on his power then this fight will be done by the 10th round with Lopez on the canvas.

For Marquez to win this fight, he has to use his ring intelligence and box his way around. At the age of 35 and having been in war battles against Israel Vasquez, it is not wise to stand there and trade punches win someone who is young and has tremendous power. Marquez can definately go toe to toe but I don’t see it being an advantage for Marquez. Rafa has to use his jab and combinations to the body to try to slow Lopez down. If Rafa is able to wear down Lopez, he has a good chance at stopping Lopez in the late rounds.

I am going with Rafa in the 10th or 11th round. I just see Lopez wearing down and becoming impatient at executing his game plan.