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Monivette Cordeiro

mcordeiro



Recent Stories from Monivette Cordeiro

Image: Orlando Weekly Cover Art, orlandoweekly.com

Under Orlando’s real-time surveillance partnership with Amazon, everyone’s a suspect



Orlando Police Chief John Mina doesn’t see a privacy issue in Orlando’s partnership with Amazon for their real-time surveillance technology. Using the city’s extensive camera system, Amazon’s Rekognition program will scan people’s faces as it looks for a person of interest when it becomes fully operational. Mina says it’s similar to officers using their eyes to scan a crowd. But Clare Garvie, with the Center on Privacy & Technology, says Orlando’s use of Rekognition is actually more like police asking everyone in a crowd for individual IDs to make sure they aren’t a suspect. With little scrutiny, Orlando leaders have been experimenting for months with this powerful new technology, which they hope will help them catch criminals, find missing children …


Photo: Observers at the Sasha Garden vigil by Monivette Cordeiro, orlandoweekly.com

A transgender woman was murdered in Orlando last week and how it was reported was awful



Last week, a transgender woman was found dead at the back of an Orlando apartment complex. Orange County Sheriff’s deputies found the body of 27-year-old Sasha Garden at the Reserve at Lake Buchanan Apartments on Holden Avenue around 5 a.m. on July 19. Investigators said her body had signs of trauma and described her death as a “homicide.” No suspects have been identified so far. Garden is the fourth black trans woman to be murdered in Florida within the span of five months. Like the other three women, Garden was initially misgendered in an offensive way by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and local TV news stations. Hours after Garden’s friends and family called them out, the Sheriff’s Office finally …




Image: David Begnaud/Twitter, border patrol @CBP showing the McAllen, Texas detention facility.

After Trump signed an executive order it’s still not clear how immigrant children will be reunited with their parents



Eli García traveled down to Homestead last weekend to turn fear into power. As one of hundreds of thousands of youth using the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), García innately understands the terror of being undocumented. That feeling was heightened as more details emerged about a Trump administration policy that separated about 2,300 undocumented children from their immigrant parents. Trump has since signed an executive order ending this policy, but it’s not clear yet how these children will be reunited with their parents. Although they were afraid, members of the Central Florida undocumented community and the Hope CommUnity Center drove down to a detention facility holding about 1,000 migrant children in Homestead to protest the conditions. Some people …


Photo by Monivette Cordeiro, Betzy’s family, orlandoweekly.com

After surviving a hurricane, ‘Betzy’ Santiago Burgos strived to make it in Central Florida. Then she was murdered



In four days, Betzy Santiago Burgos and her two children would be homeless. That’s all the 43-year-old could think about after FEMA had given her the ultimatum that morning. In March, her case manager told her the federal agency was extending the hotel voucher program for Puerto Rican evacuees who fled the aftermath of Hurricane María until May 14. But now, on April 16, FEMA had reversed course. Santiago Burgos and about 40 other families staying at the Super 8 motel off Highway 192 in Kissimmee would be kicked out by April 20. In the parking lot of the Super 8 at a protest with other families, Santiago Burgos sobbed. She couldn’t find an apartment or cheap hotel she could …


Photo by Robert Bartlett. Brandon Wolf, orlandoweekly.com

Pulse Survivor Brandon Wolf and Multiple Community Groups to Rally at City Hall



On June 12, survivors of the mass shooting at the gay nightclub Pulse plan to grieve and remember the friends whose lives were stolen by a gunman. But on June 11, some of them plan to yell and chant at Orlando City Hall at a protest demanding an end to the epidemic of gun violence that cut short the hopes and dreams of 49 people two years ago. The rally organized by Pulse survivor Brandon Wolf and several community groups comes four months after a shooter killed 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Less than a month after the Parkland shooting, Gov. Rick Scott signed a $400 million measure that bans bump stocks, raises the minimum …


Image: Photo via Publix on Facebook

Shoppers continue to boycott Publix for supporting Adam Putnam



Is there a more beloved brand in Florida other than Publix? Probably not. The Lakeland grocery store chain has been conquering hearts since 1930 with its free cookies, chicken tender Pub Subs and heartwarming holiday commercials. There is a limit, though, to some Floridians adoration, and its name is the National Rifle Association. Shoppers have been threatening to boycott Publix this Memorial Day Weekend over the company’s support of Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam. Over the years, Publix has donated about $670,000 to the Agriculture Commissioner’s campaigns, which is a record amount to a single candidate for the chain. By supporting Putnam, though, Publix is supporting a candidate who touts himself as a “proud NRA sellout.” The Bartow politician has …


Image: Valencia College, orlandoweekly.com

Valencia and Seminole State College adjunct professors scramble to make a living wage and now, they want a union



Jennifer Copp is at the end of her rope. The 46-year-old has two degrees in photography. She’s taught college students as an adjunct professor for about 14 years, giving lectures at various institutions across Central Florida. And yet, Copp only earns $18,000 to $19,000 a year in a career that offers her no benefits. She teaches two to four classes every semester at Seminole State College – but to make ends meet, she also adjuncts at nearby colleges and universities. Copp drives around less now because she has to take care of her 7-year-old daughter, who has special needs. To help pay the bills, Copp’s 80-year-old mother also teaches part-time at Seminole State. Copp and other adjunct professors at Seminole …


Photo by Jeremy Reper, orlandoweekly.com

Noor Salman’s trial gave us the best glimpse of what actually led to the Pulse shooting



Last week, a federal jury found Noor Salman not guilty of aiding and abetting her husband, Omar Mateen, in his plan to murder 49 people at the gay nightclub Pulse. Despite the verdict, many in Orlando still have questions about what happened on June 12. The confusion has only been increased by the trial’s anonymous jury foreman, who said the jury was convinced Salman “knew” what her husband was planning, despite not knowing the day or location. But federal prosecutors were not able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Salman “knew” about the attack. Their case against the widow consisted of an alleged confession she gave to FBI agents. They interrogated her for 11 hours – though they chose …


Image: FEMA logo, wikipedia.org

Hurricane Maria Survivors Still Struggle in Central Florida



Desiree Torres knew exactly what she would do when things fell apart. She would fasten her baby in his stroller and grab her two other children by the hand. Together, they’d get on a bus for a 30-minute ride to Kissimmee City Hall. Inside, Torres and her kids would find a spot to sit and wait for the help that was promised. “Where is the help you’re giving me if you’re throwing me out onto the street with my kids?” she asks in Spanish. In February, it had been five months since Torres and her children survived Hurricane Maria, took a plane to Orlando and ended up in this Super 8 motel room off Highway 192. She thought it would …



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