by the El Reportero’s wire services
The racist backlash that followed an 11-year-old Hispanic boy’s rendition of the national anthem before game three of the NBA Finals in San Antonio didn’t deter the Spurs from inviting the young mariachi to perform at game four of their series against the Miami Heat.
Sebastian de la Cruz’s performance, which was perfect, immediately sparked all kinds of criticisms and commentaries denigrating Latinos and immigrants.
That brought a strong defense of De la Cruz, who gained fame as a contestant on “America’s Got Talent.”
Thursday night, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and his wife escorted young Sebastian – again in full mariachi costume – to center court at the AT&T Center. The youngster’s performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” earned a standing ovation from the capacity crowd and coaches Gregg Popovich of the Spurs and Erik Spoelstra of the Heat walked out onto the court to congratulate De la Cruz, a San Antonio native.
Castro called De la Cruz an example for young people all over the world because of his talent and class as a human being, and said he represented all the children of San Antonio and of America. Before the tip-off to start the fourth game, Popovich denounced the authors of the racist comments about De la Cruz and offered praise for the young singer.
“He’s a class act. Way more mature than most his age. And as much as those comments by the idiots saddens you about your country, he makes you feel the future could be very bright,” the San Antonio coach said.
De la Cruz came out to sing the national anthem before the third game because the person ABC had engaged, country singer Darius Rucker, was unable to make it on time due to flight delays.
Sebastian de la Cruz’s performance at Game 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LVJRJZ0Pw-Q.
Mexico’s El Pinacate Reserve In Running for UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Mexican government has obtained the inclusion of El Pinacate Biosphere Reserve and Great Desert of Altar on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Environment and Natural Resources Secretariat said.
“The process has taken more than eight years. In the year 2004 the Mexican government began taking the necessary steps to get El Pinacate Biosphere Reserve and Great Desert of Altar included on the list of tentative sites,” the department said in a statement. This protected natural area in the northwestern state of Sonora “provides habitat for more than 1,000 species of flora and fauna, so it is considered the desert with the greatest biodiversity in the world,” the secretariat said.
The area has 40 species of mammals, 200 of birds, 40 of reptiles, a number of amphibians and two native species of freshwater fish, “as well as fragile ecosystems typical of desert areas, with vegetation on drifting and stabilized sand dunes that sustains a vast amount of wildlife.”
According to protectors of the environment, some endemic species in the area are in danger of extinction, such as the Sonora antelope, desert bighorn sheep, Gila monster and desert tortoise.
The secretariat said that with its inclusion on the tentative list, the reserve could be declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization, or UNESCO, as early as this year.
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee will meet June 16-27 in Cambodia to study the nominations and determine which will be definitively included on the list of World Heritage Sites, it said.
Mexico already has four Natural World Heritage Sites: the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve (1987), the Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino (1993), Islands and Protected Areas of the Gulf of California (2005), and the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve (2008). http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qEh4ofBaTNA.
Latin America and the Estimated Population Growth
According to a recent UN report, the world’s population will hit 7.2 billion next month and 10.9 billion by 2100. Interestingly, the populations of less developed countries are expected to double by 2050