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Branded with a Swastika


An unidentified 22-year-old native American man from the Navajo Indian reservation was brutally attacked on April 29 by three white men: Jesse Sanford, 24, William Hatch, 28, and Paul Beebee, 26 in what prosecutors in Farmington, northwestern New Mexico, are calling a hate crime. The three were accused of kidnapping and branding the 22-year-old, mentally challenged man with a swastika.

"We'll explore every conceivable available avenue in charging them with a hate crime because what happened to the victim was so horribly wrong," said Chief Deputy District Attorney Sarah Weaver. "The U.S. Attorney's Office is very interested in taking the case."

Police believe the men heated a wire hanger fashioned in the shape of a swastika to burn the victim's flesh. The suspects are also accused of shaving a swastika symbol on the back of the 22-year-old victim's head and drawing degrading pictures and words on the man's body with red and black permanent markers, Farmington Police Sgt. Robert Perez said.

The words "White Power" were written on the back of the victim's neck and two horns were drawn with red marker on the victim's face above his eyebrows, an electric beard trimmer was used to shave the swastika into his hair. Video and photographs were also taken on a cellular phone to record the incident. Police took the victim to San Juan Regional Medical Center, where he was treated and released.

Jesse Sanford, one of the accused men, told police that on April 29 the victim came into the McDonalds restaurant on East Main Street, where all three suspects work, looking for a place to stay. Sanford claimed the victim, who wanted a haircut and a tattoo, "wanted the swastika design because it was a tribal symbol," according to court records.






Investigators believe the victim was coerced into a vehicle and taken to an apartment on 28th Street where the attack occurred. After the incident they kicked the victim out of the residence and he went to the 7 to 11 convenience store at 710 E. 30th St., for assistance and a store clerk there called 911.

Police obtained search warrants to search the apartment and vehicle. They found evidence to suggest that the accused were white supremacists.

"We haven't identified this as a gang-related crime, that is still under investigation," Perez said. "But they appear to be associated in some fashion to the white supremacist movement."

Sanford was being held at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center for misdemeanor charges related to a motor vehicle crash at the time the warrants were issued. Beebe and Hatch were arrested Friday night. All three men were charged with: First-degree felony kidnapping, Second-degree felony conspiracy to commit kidnapping, Third-degree felony aggravated battery causing great bodily harm and Fourth-degree felony conspiracy to commit aggravated battery, according to Sgt. Robert Perez. Beebe also faces fourth-degree felony tampering with evidence. All three men are being held on a $150,000 cash-only bond.

The hate crime law in New Mexico results in a sentencing enhancement of one year for each charge. The suspects face 35.5 years in prison, including a mandatory 18 years for the first-degree felony kidnapping charges, if convicted of all the charges and the hate crime enhancement. Beebe faces an additional 18 months for the tampering with evidence charge. Federal charges may also be filed.

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To Heaven on a Bike


David Morales Colon, 22, of Puerto Rico died violently; he was shot to death in Barrio Obrero on April 22, 2010. However it was not his death that made him famous, it was his wake.  When friends and relatives came to Marin Funeral Home to pay their respects to the recently deceased young man they were greeted by his embalmed body on top of his motorcycle as if he were riding it.

David was dressed in a black cap, black sunglasses, long-sleeved black T-shirt with dark jeans and sneakers.

According to a spokesperson for the funeral home, the family of David Colon came and asked them to perform funeral services with David mounted on his motorcycle bent over as if he were racing. 

"We are like any other normal funeral home but at the same time we please our clients," she said.

There was no information on whether David would be buried with his motorcycle or even if he would be buried in a coffin.

This was the same funeral home that two years ago held services for another young man who died tragically - 24-year-old Angel Pantoja Medina. As requested he was presented standing up wearing a cap, dark glasses, a long gold chain and flowers in his left hand.

Below is a video clip from the Spanish language television station WAPA.TV in Puerto Rico covering the David Morales Colon wake:


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He Pingping - Dead at 21

According to the TV production company Europroduzione, He Pingping - known as the shortest man in the world - died Saturday March 13, 2010. He was in Italy filming a television program called The Record Show. He had already filmed two episodes of the program when he complained of feeling sick:

"He started to feel slightly ill and we decided to take him to hospital. He entered hospital two weeks ago and had all kinds of tests, being a very special person he had to go though all sorts of tests. He went into intensive care three days after he was admitted," said Marco Fernandez de Araoz, communications director for Europroduzione.

He said that Mr He died on Saturday afternoon and, at the request of his family, his body would be returned to China to be buried.

He Pingping was born in July 1988 in the city of Wulanchabu (also called Ulanqab) in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. From birth He suffered from a form of Primordial Dwarfism. He stood 5ft 2in tall and weighed only 16lbs. Read more about He Pingping here and check out some pics here.

In 2008 the Guinness World Records named He Pingping the world's shortest, non-disabled, man. Guinness World Records said he had made a "huge impact around the world".

"From the moment I laid on eyes on him I knew he was someone special - he had such a cheeky smile and mischievous personality, you couldn't help but be charmed by him. He brightened up the lives of everyone he met and was an inspiration to anyone considered different or unusual." said Craig Glenday, Guinness World Records editor-in-chief.  "For such a small man, he made a huge impact around the world," he added. 


He Pingping's sister, He Lihua, said that the family had never anticipated such bad news, since He had no prior health issues. She also said that the entire Batou village, where He was born, was saddened to learn of his passing. She did however say that lately He had become homesick and used to call her frequently complaining that he wasn’t able to eat too well. In the clip below He is seen helping out at his sister's restaurant.

RIP - He Pingping


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Christopher Dudus Coke: Still Wanted

Christopher Dudus Coke is still wanted and the Jamaican Government's failure to turn him over to the U.S. authorities, who have been seeking his extradition since Aug. 2009, has strained relations between the two countries.

In the recently released INCSR 2010 (International Narcotics Control Strategy Report), which identifies and reports on countries involved in drug trafficking, Jamaica was singled out for being reluctant to carry out extradition requests "for a major alleged narcotics and firearms trafficker" as outlined on page 274 of the report:

While cooperation between Government of Jamaica (GOJ) and U.S. Government (USG) law enforcement agencies remained strong, delays in proceeding with the significant extradition request for a major alleged narcotics and firearms trafficker who is reported to have ties to the ruling Jamaica Labour Party, and subsequent delays in other extradition requests, have called into question Kingston’s commitment to law enforcement cooperation with the U.S. While cooperation between Government of Jamaica (GOJ)and U.S. Government (USG) law enforcement agencies remained strong, delays in proceeding with the significant extradition request for a major alleged narcotics and firearms trafficker who is reported to have ties to the ruling Jamaica Labour Party, and subsequent delays in other extradition requests, have called into question Kingston’s commitment to law enforcement cooperation with the U.S.
The scathing report on illegal drugs in Jamaica states that both the business sector and politics have been compromised by the drug trade and "Porous sea and air ports serve as direct export locations of marijuana and cocaine to the United States":
Jamaica’s murder rate per capita reached 1,672 in 2009 making it one of the highest in the world. The difficult economic situation has spawned a significant increase in aggravated crime such as larceny, robbery, and rape. This, in turn, has placed a national spotlight on increasingly brazen criminal activity throughout the country which continues to threaten civil society. A particular focus of concern has been the increasing activity of organized crime, which permeates both the legitimate business sector as well as the political sector. The “guns for ganja” trade exacerbates the problem as undocumented handguns continue to flow freely into the country. Recent assessments indicate that approximately 70 percent of the illegal firearms entering Jamaica originated from the U.S.
Leaving no doubt that the U.S. is displeased at the delay in turning over Christopher Dudus Coke, the INCSR implies that Coke is being shielded from extradition because of his ties to the JLP (Jamaica Labour Party) which currently controls the government.
Until August 2009, the extradition treaty between the USG and the GOJ had been actively and
successfully used by the United States to extradite suspected criminals from Jamaica. Extradition requests were routinely and timely processed by Jamaican political and judicial authorities. The GOJ’s unusual handling of the August request for the extradition of a high profile Jamaican crime lord with reported ties to the ruling Jamaica Labor Party, which currently holds a majority in parliament, on alleged drug and firearms trafficking charges marked a dramatic change in GOJ’s previous cooperation on extradition, including a temporary suspension in the processing of all other pending requests and raises serious questions about the GOJ’s commitment to combating transnational crime. The high profile suspect resides in and essentially controls the Kingston neighborhood known as Tivoli Gardens, a key constituency for the Jamaica Labour Party. Jamaica’s processing of the extradition request has been subjected to unprecedented delays, unexplained disclosure of law enforcement information to the press, and unfounded allegations questioning U.S. compliance with the MLAT (Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty) and Jamaican law.

Bruce Golding in the House 

The Prime Minister of Jamaica, Bruce Golding, in response to the report rejected U.S. claims and questioned the legitimacy of the extradition request. He claimed that some of the evidence used to justify the U.S. request was obtained by secretly and illegally recording communications.

The request for the extradition of Coke was received on August 25, 2009. There were aspects of the case and the procedures employed that were abnormal and the Government, consistent with the provisions of the Extradition Treaty, sought clarification and additional information...In one important respect, however, it was found to be in violation of the law. The Interception of Communications Act makes strict provisions for the manner in which intercepted communications may be obtained and disclosed. The evidence supporting the extradition request in this particular case violated those provisions. So serious an offence is this violation that the penalty provided by law is a maximum fine of five million dollars, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or to both such fine and imprisonment. The law further requires that for intercepted communication to be admissible in any criminal proceedings it must have been obtained, disclosed and used in accordance with these provisions. This was not done in this case. This was highly irregular.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding also said that there had been meetings with U.S. authorities regarding this matter both in Jamaica and Washington, D.C. where the government of Jamaica has remained constantly engaged with the US authorities on the matter.

The Jamaican government has indicated that if the U.S. had other evidence, the procurement and disclosure of which were not in violation of Jamaican law, the minister would be prepared to accept that evidence and issue the necessary authority to proceed. No such evidence has up to now been presented.

In questioning the assertions in the INCSR about the reluctance of Jamaica to live up to its international agreements, the Prime Minister said:

The US Narcotics Control Strategy Report accuses the Government of "unfounded allegations questioning US compliance with the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty and Jamaican law", and has questioned the Government's commitment to law-enforcement cooperation with the US.


We respectfully reject these assertions. The minister of justice, in authorising extradition proceedings, has a duty to satisfy herself that they conform to the provisions of Jamaican law. As minister and, especially, as attorney general, she cannot authorise processes which she knows to be in violation of Jamaican law.

Wayne ChenKarl Samuda

So what is next? In a move widely interpreted as sign of displeasure, the U.S. revoked the visa of Wayne Chen, Chairman of the state-run Urban Development Corporation. There has been no explanation for the revocation and Karl Samuda, General Secretary of the governing Jamaica Labour Party, has refuted reports that members and affiliates of the Party have also had their United States visas revoked.  

The Christopher Dudus Coke affair also caused problems in Parliament with accusations flying back and forth between the Government and the Opposition over the reluctance to sign the extradition warrant. 

Aside from the political arena, other groups have joined the call to place the matter of the extradition of Christopher Dudus Coke before the Jamaican court system. The contention that the extradition request from the the U.S. is flawed by evidence obtained by illegal wiretaps is a matter for the courts to decide.

  • The Jamaica Council of Churches (JCC)
  • The Independent Jamaican Council for Human Rights (IJCHR)
  • Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ)
  • The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ)
  • Families Against State Terrorism
  • And the Parliamentary Opposition

Have all joined together in opposition to Bruce Golding's decision to keep the issue out of court:

"The (extradition) matter should go before the courts," was the blunt declaration of the Reverend Peter Garth of the umbrella church group, which usually stays out of such issues.

"The council is troubled by the seeming trend to reduce or curtail judicial authority, and warns that there are constitutional implications," declared the Arlene Harrison Henry-led IJCHR.

"We embark on a dangerous road when the executive authority usurps judicial functions by making decisions about evidence. As such, decisions can only be properly made by the court after a full public hearing of all issues, and after the hearing of all parties"

"We fully support the position of the IJCHR and believe the Dudus matter needs to be placed before the courts," asserted Dr Carolyn Gomes, executive director of JFJ.

"In fact, we believe that it is a breach of the principle of separation of powers for the executive to assume the duty of the judiciary," Gomes added. "We have always argued that the court is the final arbitrator, and we have sought to defend the rights of all Jamaicans in a court of law."

In reality the Dudus affair has been a huge headache for Prime Minister Bruce Golding. Christopher Dudus Coke, no matter what anyone says, is not an ordinary citizen of Jamaica. He controls the area known as Tivoli Gardens from which the Prime Minister derives his political power and support. To be seen as "giving up" Dudus to the Americans would not only be unpopular in Tivoli Gardens it would be tantamount to political suicide. On the other hand to be seen as being uncooperative with the American authorities over this matter, leaves him open to charges of being a corrupt politician under the influence of an internationally wanted criminal. There are no good options for Bruce Golding.

In the meantime Christopher Dudus Coke has other things on his mind. It's his birthday! And in the style and pomp of the beloved Don that he is, he plans to throw a party. He will celebrate his 41st birthday with an elaborate two-day bash in the community that treats him like a king - Tivoli Gardens.

Where he will be for birthday number 42 is anybody's guess.


Also See: Dudus Wanted and Dudus to be Extradited? also Dudus Extradition Approved!<<----


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"Pinky" Gets 18 Months for Manslaughter

The 13-year-old boy known as "Pinky" - accused and convicted of stabbing 17-year-old Levi King Flores to death on the streets of Newburgh, NY - was sentenced by Orange County Family Court Judge Andrew Bivona to 18 months in a state juvenile facility. It was the maximum sentence allowed under the law. "Pinky" could be out by his 15th birthday. 

It was a case that highlighted the gang violence and rivalry in Newburgh. The two gangs, the BBK and La Eme - represented by "Pinky" and Levi King Flores respectively - are sworn enemies and often go out of their way to provoke and antagonize each other. This is apparently what happen on the afternoon of Jan. 13, 2010 when an incident between the two rivals escalated into a confrontation in which Flores was stabbed to death.

Before sentencing, Judge Andrew Bivona took into account a report prepared by Senior Probation Officer Bernadette Bergin. It detailed parts of the truant teen's life: Suspensions from school; Bringing a knife to school; Pictures with him displaying gang signs etc. After conducting interviews with "Pinky", Bernadette Bergin concluded: "He showed no remorse."

"Pinky" will be in the custody of the state Office of Children and Family Services, which could hold him until his 18th birthday or release him earlier.

The parents of Levi King Flores, Carlos and Martha, were disappointed not only with the sentence but also the 13-year-old's lack of remorse. They wanted to see him locked away for a much longer time and they also wanted a personal apology from him. Neither the law nor the perpetrator gave them what they wanted.

Levi's father, Carlos Flores, stood in front of the court and spoke of an emptiness in their family now that his son is dead. "My wife, Martha, is destroyed," he said.

He doesn't care, said Cynthia Herrera, Levi's girlfriend and the mother of his infant daughter. She cried in the parking lot and leaned against Martha Lopez Flores. Carlos said the law sends a message to other young boys that they can kill without consequence. Martha spoke to Cynthia in Spanish.

"We're just waiting for God to punish him," Martha said.

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