John Leguizamo
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John Leguizamo Flips Narrative Of Latino Voters In Compelling Op-Ed

"It’s as if our heroism and sacrifice somehow counted less, as if we didn’t exist in history at all. Without a past to glorify and uplift you, how do you propel yourself into an unknown, tenuous future?"

In the past, John Leguizamo has championed the importance of voting in many ways, from dancing around in an Uncle Sam suit to a stern manner in Rock the Vote slots. Today (Oct. 21), the veteran actor used his past experiences as well as little known facts about Latinos to showcase how much voting can change the scope of the Latin narrative in America.

In the New York Times op-ed titled "Too Bad You're Latin," Leguizamo challenges the 56 million Latinx that reside in America to get out and vote. "We are victims of neglect, discrimination and ignorance," he said. "We have grown up amid an entrenched disrespect for Latin culture, and we have often internalized that disrespect." An avid critic of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, The Infiltrator actor, gave the businessman credit for uniting Latinos and pushing for rights in education and healthcare.

“Donald J. Trump has done one good thing,” the Colombian/Puerto Rican-American said. “He has galvanized a conflicted and diverse community. For years, activists and politicians have struggled to get Latinos to vote and show their power. But not until Mr. Trump’s racist rhetoric shone a light on anti-Latino sentiment did we feel the need to make our voices heard on the issues that matter to us.”

The actor questioned the pride and faith Latinos have in America by reminding us of how we played significant roles in its foundation. Spanish military leader Bernardo de Gálvez was given a shout out as well as the Cuban women who donated jewelry and other goods to fund gear for patriots in the Civil War. Latino contributions in America haven't stopped and will continue to thrive in hopes of a Latino Spring--on social media and in the streets.

"We need a Latino Spring in this country, he said. "We must demand an equal share of the American dream, and not accept a downgraded version of it. We need to stop accepting exclusion over persecution. In this critical election, and in the future, I urge you all to register and vote, to be counted and heard."

Read the rest of the op-ed, here.

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El Chapo's Reportedly Deceived Suppliers To Buy Meth Ingredients

More tea is being spilled in the trial of pseudo-famous Mexican drug lord  Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera. On Monday (Dec. 17), it was revealed in court that El Chapo went to the sister of a Colombian drug trafficker to cop methamphetamine for his Sinaloa drug cartel.

According to the New York Daily News, Jorge Milton Cifuentes Villa was one of the witnesses called to the stand during the 61-year-old's criminal preceding in the States. Chapo is being hit with a laundry list of charges including money laundering, conspiracy, firearms and international distribution of cocaine, meth, heroin, and marijuana.

Cifuentes confessed Chapo went behind his back and made a deal with his siblings who are also involved in their illegal activities to be a source for methamphetamine so that he can turn a profit in his business.

Cifuentes said that Chapo neglected the fact that meth is extremely addictive and can damage the physical and mental state of young people who consume it and purchased from his sister and brother, the drug's precursor ephedrine.

“Don Joaquín knows I (didn’t) like to f**k around with ephedrine,” Cifuentes said in the courtroom.

It wasn't until after a plane that carried Colombian-imported cocaine crashed on it's trip to Mexican that Cifuentes' siblings came clean and admitted they took a deal with Chapo as it the ephedrine was also in the cargo of the aircraft.

Cifuentes escaped to Venezuela in 2010 around the time these incidents were going down and changed his mind regarding meth out of desperation for money, saying that “Hunger made me change my mind."

Chapo faces life in prison if convicted of all charges.

READ MORE: A Man Claiming To Be El Chapo's Nephew Threatens To Have Tekashi Mother Deported

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Angela Ponce makes history as the first trans woman to compete for Miss Universe.
Miss Universe

Miss Spain Angela Ponce Becomes First Trans Miss Universe Contestant

Angela Ponce didn’t walk away with the crown during last night’s Miss Universe pageant (Dec. 16), but she did end up being a winner in her own right. Ponce, who represented her country of Spain, is the first transgender woman to compete in the Miss Universe pageant.

“This is for you, for those who have no visibility, no voice, because we all deserve a world of respect, inclusion and freedom,” the model wrote on Instagram Friday (Dec. 14). “And today I am here, proudly representing my nation, all women and human rights.” Catriona Gray, the 24-year-old Miss Philippines, walked away with the crown over models from South Africa and Venezuela, who came in second and third.

Ponce, 27, was crowned Miss Spain back in June, beating out 22 contestants for the win. At the time of that win, she told The Associated Press, “If my going through all this contributes to the world moving a little step forward, then that’s a personal crown that will always accompany me.”

The pageant, formerly owned by Donald Trump, lifted its ban on transgender contestants in 2012. This is the same year that Jenna Talackova of Canada threatened legal action against the organization, who was rejected because she was not a “naturally born” female.

Congrats on making history, Miss Spain.

 

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Que honor y orgullo poder ser parte de la historia de @missuniverse. Esto es por ustedes, por aquellos que no tienen visibilidad, ni voz, porque todos merecemos un mundo de respeto, inclusión y libertad. Y hoy estoy aquí, representando con orgullo a mi nación, a todas las mujeres y a los derechos humanos. • #missuniverse #missuniverso #confidentlybeautiful #thailand #bangkok #roadtomissuniverse #67thmissuniverse #angelaponce #spain #preliminar

A post shared by ANGELA PONCE (@angelaponceofficial) on Dec 14, 2018 at 5:27am PST

READ MORE: Discrimination, Violence & Death: The Reality For Transgender Women Of Color In 2015

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VIBE/ Nick Rice

18 Best Latinx Albums Of 2018

A number of artists from the scope of latinidad contributed to making 2018 another rich year in music. If hip-hop is the world's most consumed genre, latin pop, reggaeton, latin trap, flamenco and more of the subgenres of Latinx music rested in between.

This includes J Balvin being one of the most streamed artists on Spotify, Cardi B's Invasion of Privacy scoring stellar Grammy nominations, the rising appeal of Harlem rapper Melii, the return of Wisin Y Yandel and Bad Bunny sprinkling the gift that is Latin trap on your getting ready playlists.

But there were also artists who took big risks like Kali Uchis' coy yet forward voice in R&B, Jessie Reyez's dynamic voice and collaborations with the likes of Eminem and many more.

Check out our favorite albums from the best and brightest Latinx artists of the year below.

READ MORE: 25 Hip-Hop Albums By Bomb Womxn Of 2018

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