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By **Rachel Louise Ensign**

Arizona’s immigration law went into effect yesterday. Unfortunately for Jan Brewer, the state’s governor who is the measure’s principal supporter, a federal judge blocked key sections of Senate Bill 1070 just days ago. Brewer is already appealing Judge Susan Bolton’s ruling. On Fox News this morning, she declared, “I’m going to be relentless.” Though immigrants’ rights groups have decried the law as racial profiling and prompted numerous boycotts of Arizona, a Gallup poll showed that more Americans favored the law than opposed it. With Latin Americans in the spotlight, Guernica thought a countdown of our top stories on Latinos and Latin America would be apt. Here are our top 5:

5. “Wise Latina”. An interview with Lila Downs, an Oscar and Grammy-nominated Mexican-American singer whose music is influenced by her Indian blood, “In a way, it’s very childlike if you feel the need to cry, to just cry. Of course, there’s the Spanish side [in Mexico] that makes fun of this, of our Indian-ness. But I think the Indian vision is really to be truthful about emotion.”

4. “Nerdsmith”. We interview the elusive Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz. The New York Times’s Michiko Kakutani said that Diaz writes “with seemingly effortless aplomb the two worlds his characters inhabit: the Dominican Republic, the ghost-haunted motherland that shapes their nightmares and their dreams; and America (a.k.a. New Jersey), the land of freedom and hope and not-so-shiny possibilities that they’ve fled to as part of the great Dominican diaspora.”

3. “The Man Behind the Curtain”. Kristen French profiles Vik Muniz, a Brazilian-born artist who works in Brooklyn. Muniz recently curated a show for New York’s Museum of Modern Art that “uses the seduction of his images to sneak in tricky concepts.”

2. “Bolaño Inc”. Roberto Bolaño is being sold in the U.S. as the next Gabriel García Márquez, a darker, wilder, decidedly un-magical paragon of Latin American literature. But his former friend and fellow novelist, Horacio Castellanos Moya, isn’t buying it.

1. “Hate”. Jennifer Jo Janisch digs deeply into the murder case of Marcelo Lucero, uncovering the prevailing anti-immigrant sentiment on Long Island. Lucero was beaten and stabbed by seven local high school boys who told police that they were “beaner-hopping” and had attacked other Hispanic men earlier in the day.

An expanded version of this countdown can be found on our Twitter page.


Rachel Louise Ensign is an Editorial Assistant/Blog Editor at Guernica.

To read more blog entries by GUERNICA click HERE .


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