Things That Matter

Costa Rican Officials Find A Body They Believe Could Be That Of Missing Miami Woman

carla_margarita / Instagram

What should have been a fun birthday trip in Costa Rica for 36-year-old Carla Stefaniak has now turned into tragedy for her family. The woman, a Miami resident born in Venezuela, had gone to Costa Rica to celebrate her birthday with her sister-in-law, but when she didn’t arrive home on November 28, and her family got worried.

Carla Stefaniak last spoke to friends and family on November 27.

CREDIT: facebook.com/findingcarla

It was on the day that she dropped off her sister-in-law at the airport. Stefaniak was scheduled to leave the following day. Stefaniak took an Uber from the airport and was reportedly going to do some sightseeing around San Jose, the BBC reports, before she was ultimately dropped back at her Airbnb.

That evening she texted with family and friends and sent an ominous message that left her family feeling worried.

CREDIT: facebook.com/findingcarla

She told them that the power had gone out due to the heavy rain and also called the area where she was staying in as “pretty sketchy.” By this point, Stefaniak had already checked in to her flight, and scheduled an Uber to pick her up and take her to the airport the following day.

According to her family, the Airbnb rental owner and the local security guards claim that they saw Stefaniak “get into an unknown car with her luggage at around 05:00 local time.”

CREDIT: facebook.com/findingcarla

However, her family says that scenario “makes no sense.” Officials there also claim that they didn’t initially investigate the situation because she got into a car willingly.

Costa Rican officials report that they have found a body 200 feet from the Airbnb where Stefaniak had been staying.

CREDIT: facebook.com/findingcarla

The family is currently at the morgue awaiting to see if the body is their daughter.

“For the last four hours they are just there waiting,” family friend and spokesperson Bugra Demirel, told the BBC. “It’s a horrible wait, and every single minute that Costa Rican officials are not showing the body is just a tremendous amount of pain on the family.”

Since the day that Stefaniak was scheduled to arrive home but did not, her family launched a Facebook page for their daughter in which they claim Stefaniak was kidnapped.

Just a couple of days ago they posted: “HOW TO HELP: We are doing everything we can to get the U.S. Department of State: Consular Affairs to utilize their resources to help us bring Carla Stefaniak back home safely! This is what we need to get the FBI more involved and for them to be allowed to utilize their resources!!. WE NEED HELP IN NUMBERS!! If you would like to help please copy the below “Official Statement” and send it to your local congress representative, governor or the state department at email –> ProtocolHelp@state.gov You can also tweet this link –> https://gma.abc/2RziRlj to these twitter addresses and write “Please Help, American Tourist Kidnapped in Costa Rica.”

Demirel told the BBC that while the family is hoping for the best, they understand that the body found could in fact be their daughter.

“Even the best circumstance is really a nightmare scenario — we’re hoping it’s not Carla, but then it’s somebody else’s daughter,” Demirel said. “We’re hoping it’s not Carla based on what we know, but there’s still a lot of possibility that it could be.”

The family also reports on Facebook that they have no updates as of yet. “The wait is so painful but all the love and support for Carla and the family is beyond amazing! We will update everyone as soon as we know! Thank you so much!”


READ: This Woman’s Body Was Found A Week After She Disappeared. Latinos Are Furious Mass Media Didn’t Cover Her Story

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A Dating Website For Uniformed People Claims A Married Cop Suing Them Isn’t As Innocent As He Claims

Culture

A Dating Website For Uniformed People Claims A Married Cop Suing Them Isn’t As Innocent As He Claims

If you’re in a relationship, hold on to them tight. If you’re not, good luck out there because the dating world is mad crazy. Trying to meet people, especially online (is there any other way?) it is rough. Millions of people are trying to find love via dating websites, which means the competition is steep. It’s also challenging to make people not swipe left, meaning, getting someone to be interested in you based on your picture alone is the ultimate goal. So what makes people interested in someone else? If you’re a woman attracted to men, it’s pretty much the same thing since the beginning of time: tall, dark, handsome, and a man in uniform. That brings us to this hilarious yet unfortunate story.

A Florida cop has filed a lawsuit against a dating website for using his picture for marketing purposes. Oh yeah, and he also happens to be married.

Credit: @wackymoe / Twitter

Before we go on, we know what you’re thinking: this cop lied to his wife, set up a dating profile online, and got caught, so now he’s suing the company, acting like he had nothing to do with it. 

However, companies of all sorts have been caught in the past for wrongfully using images without permission simply because they came across a random image online. Also, the man is hot! So, of course, these online dating websites would want to attract users by using the image of an attractive young police officer (in uniform) as a way to lure in people who are starving for love (or something else, wink wink). 

David Guzman alleges that he had no idea his image was being used as a marketing ploy for online dating websites until his friends came across his advertisement.

Credit: @Kaygirl8Lawana / Twitter

According to court documents, last year Guzman said his friends told him that they had seen his picture and informed him like ‘hey, dude isn’t this you?’ Another person who found out: his wife! Yikes!!

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that his wife asked Guzman why his picture was on a dating website, and he responded to her by saying he “had no idea.” Okay, like that’s going to be enough for her to believe him. By the way, the advertisement that accompanied his picture said: “Bulletproof vest? Nah, it’s all muscle” Catchy and enticing! But yeah, he said he did not write that either. 

The 33-year-old police officer contacted the owner of the dating websites and demanded that they take down his picture from UniformDating.com.

Credit: @joshuarhett / twitter

NSI Holdings, owner of Cupid.com and UniformDating.com, didn’t take down the picture. First, they demanded that Guzman show identification, which he did promptly. Then NSI Holdings alleges that they found a dating profile that included his name, his age, and his birthdate and his email address.

Their argument is they have a right to use his picture because he apparently has a dating profile. They’re saying that either Guzman or someone close to him, started a profile and used his information. NSI Holdings also found that the person attached to that dating website did go on UniformDating.com and “that creation of the profile was a momentary dalliance.”  

Furthermore, people who use NSI Holdings dating website sign the terms and agreements which state that they can use your image and information as they please “to reproduce and broadcast the information contained in your profile including your name, photograph” and other submissions “for marketing and other purposes,” without compensating the user. Now that is some kind of bullshit. 

Guzman alleges that the company has still not taken down his picture, and he’s not rolling over and taking this kind of harassment.

Credit: @FCN2go / Twitter

It’s unclear what Guzman is asking for in his lawsuit, aside from the company taking down his picture, but we’re sure some monetary payback is in order.

“Defendant’s use of plaintiff’s image, likeness and/or identity in connection with a dating service impugns plaintiff’s character, embarrasses him, and suggests — falsely — that he, a married person, is presently dating and seeking out other partners,” the lawsuit states according to the New York Post

Legal docs go on to state, that Guzman is “a married man and respected member of his community who has been caught with a profile on an online dating website.” Or perhaps he just got caught with his pants down, so to speak. No! We remain Team Guzman. 

Who do you believe? Let us know in the comments.

READ: Check Out Some Of Yesika Salgado’s Best Clapbacks To Creepy Men Hitting On Her On Dating Apps

As Trump Moves To Strip TPS From Nearly Everybody, The Administration Is Thinking Of Extending It To Venezuelans

Things That Matter

As Trump Moves To Strip TPS From Nearly Everybody, The Administration Is Thinking Of Extending It To Venezuelans

Rep. Darren Soto / Soto.House.Gov

The headline gives it away: it’s legit, Trump and his band of merry men are considering taking steps to enact a TPS, or Temporary Protected Status, specifically for Venezuelans in the US. But what does this mean, exactly? Don’t worry, because we’ve saved you the hard work of doing research on the topic – read on to find out all about it.

Why the White House is considering a TPS for Venezuelans.

Twitter / @immprobono

Instituting a TPS for the Venezuelan population in the US would essentially protect them from being deported. While at this stage the details are sketchy, it seems that the plan would be to not only allow Venezuelans to continue living in the US, but also have work permits, too. And yes, it would also mean that these same Venezuelans, with their newfound legal status, wouldn’t have to watch out for persecution from ICE officers anymore.

The primary reason the White House is seeking to provide legal protections for Venezuelans is due to the current political environment in Venezuela.

Instagram / @elconsejero.ve

While it’s a complicated situation, the short story is that Venezuela’s current President, Nicolás Maduro, has been accused of running fraudulent elections by his opposition. This has escalated into military struggles – which, alongside power cuts, and food and medicine shortages, has resulted in an estimated four million Venezuelans leaving the country. As a result, Venezuelan migrants flocked to the US, since it’s one of the closest stable countries to Venezuela. However, that doesn’t mean that all Venezuelan migrants have got current paperwork for them to live and work in the US. Establishing a TPS for these Venezuelans would ensure that they’re rightfully recognized as asylum seekers, and give them the legal status to remain and work in the US.

Why it’s hella weird that the White House is considering a TPS for Venezuelans.

Instagram / @starbucki77

Don’t get us wrong – it’s great that, for once, the Trump administration is considering ways to protect people who are legitimately seeking asylum. But, it’s also weird as heck that it is considering ways of instituting a TPS. Remember, this is the same administration that gave us the infamous Muslim ban, overcrowded detention centers in El Paso, and also jeopardized the DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, program. Trump and friends don’t really have a great record when it comes to embracing immigration.

The other thing to consider is that the TPS they’re proposing would only be available for asylum seekers coming from Venezuela.

Instagram / @chebt82

People from other Latin American countries aren’t in luck, this time around. Some have speculated that the reason for this is because while Trump and his team consider Venezuelans to be refugees fleeing danger, they see Hispanics from the rest of Latin America as job seekers, looking to leech off of America’s success.

Another theory that’s been floated is that Trump is actually thinking ahead to 2020: Florida, as a key battleground state, is home to a considerable Venezuelan community. Offering TPS to friends and families in those neighborhoods could possibly be the olive branch Trump needs to secure deciding votes in the state. So, for those cynics out there, maybe it’s not so weird that Donald has has a change of heart when it comes to some immigrants.

Why the White House considering a TPS for Venezuelans isn’t a permanent solution.

Twitter / @AmericasVoice

Well, firstly, it’s important to remember that TPS stands for Temporary Protection Status – with emphasis on the temporary. The question remains as to what would constitute grounds for withdrawing such protection: would Maduro have to step down? Would Venezuela’s political system need to be overhauled? Or would Venezuela have to reach a certain GDP threshold before the US considered it stable enough for Venezuelans to return? And, what about potential pathways to gaining full, legitimate US citizenship from the TPS? The terms of the TPS are yet to be fully explored.

Another, secondary, thing to think about is the fact that not all Republicans are on board with the TPS.

It’s entirely possible that party politics may stand in the way of successfully implementing a magnanimous TPS program.

At the end of the day, while it’s great to see the Trump administration reconsidering its harsh stance on immigration and asylum seekers, at the same time, if they’re planning to institute policy to accommodate for refugees, then they need to plan for the long term. The reality is that if people are being settled in the US under a TPS to escape the hardships and traumas of their native countries, they are inevitably going to build a life, make friends and potentially create a family, under the auspices of a temporary program. Removing them from that life would further traumatize these people and also damage the community. Let’s hope that the current administration keeps this in mind when they’re debating the TPS. After all, these are human lives they are talking about.

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