Garcia Marquez joins Shakira to launch Latin American 'Live Aid'

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The Independent US

A group of Latino entertainers including Shakira, Ruben Blades and Diego Torres have announced a series of Live Aid-style concerts to raise money for anti-poverty efforts throughout Latin America.

Joined by business people and intellectuals such as the Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the group plans to hold a series of five benefit concerts in cities ranging from Buenos Aires to Los Angeles. The concerts are planned to take place in 2007 though no dates have been fixed.

"We all have to do our part to fight against inequality," said the Colombian singer Shakira, who attended the announcement and the launch of an umbrella group, the Latin America Solidarity Action Foundation (Alas), in Panama.

"We want this to be an event that brings world attention to poverty in Latin America, which is virtually invisible to the rest of the world."

Garcia Marquez , who is also Colombian and the author of more than a dozen novels including Love In The Time of Cholera, drew attention to the 350,000 children under the age of five who died from poverty related causes in the region and of the 40 million children working on the streets of Latin America.

"Latin America has some devastating statistics," he said.

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