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Alexis García Gamboa’s Death Inspired Her Aunt’s Open Letter About México’s Femicide Crisis

On Sunday, April 17, Alexis Gabriela García Gamboa, a 17-year-old from Monterrey, México, was killed by her 23-year-old ex-boyfriend, Sergio Arturo Alanís. Alexis and Sergio were neighbors. She had known him her whole life. He shot her in the neck. Her mother and sister tried to protect her, but Sergio attacked them both. They’re now under hospital care. Sergio currently awaits sentencing.


Alexis and her sister Sharito were getting ready to see a cheerleading performance. As they were leaving, Sergio was waiting for them out on the street. Moments later, Alexis was killed.


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Credit: Flickr CC / Chakana Colectivo

Gamboa’s death adds to the rising tally of femicide cases in México. Femicide occurs when a man violently kills a woman because of her gender. The systemic roots of femicide cases derive from corruption and machismo. Too often, threats and violence against women are overlooked by Mexican authorities. Typically, these femicide victims had been abused and harassed by their killers in the past.


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Credit: Mitú / Alberto Urias


According to Humberto Padgett, author of Las Muertas del Estado, police and government authorities in México often blame women for their own murders. They believe that they’re “asking for it,” for reasons such as wearing short skirts, falling for the wrong guy, or because they are or work in the same parts of town as sex workers.


Alexis’ aunt, Carmen García Núñez, recently wrote an open letter about her niece’s murder, hoping to draw greater attention to these murders and encouraging women and their allies to do more when it comes to reporting violence and abuse.


“The last time I saw her…There was sadness inside of her. I don’t know. Like as if she was looking for something., as if she wanted to run from something. Now, I’m wondering, why didn’t I question anything then. Why hadn’t I intervened more?

Crying doesn’t comfort me. Understanding comforts me. Why do these things happen? Why are we harmed by the people who supposedly love us? Why does harm come from the people who supposedly love you? Why did Alexis love a troubled kid? Why didn’t she seek help? Why didn’t she believe in her fear? What can we do as parents to protect our daughters from this?

I think it’s about empowering women. Of knowing when to say no, and to report the attack the moment it happens.

Make a fuss. Yes, we must make a fuss when someone is being misogynistic or sick. Report it. Even if they call us “feminazis” or viejas arguenderas, or viejas locas. At this point in life, me vale madre whatever they say.

Yesterday, when I asked my cuñada, how are you? Dead, she told me. They took away my Alexis. Why live. I didn’t know how to respond. There are no words of comfort.”


You can read her original letter in its original Spanish on Facebook.


READ: YouTube Removed This Mexican Singer’s Music Video After People Criticized It For Promoting Violence Against Women

For help and information:

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

LoveIsRespect.org, a group that aims to “engage, educate and empower young people to prevent and end abusive relationships.”

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UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Things That Matter

UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Photo courtesy Forward Latino

An unnamed UPS delivery driver has been fired after being caught using racist language when delivering a package to a Latino household. The incident occurred on December 17th.

The video, which was caught on a doorbell camera’s security footage, shows a white UPS driver appearing to be angry when delivering a package.

“Now you don’t get f—–g nothing…You can’t read and write and speak the f—–g English language,” he says while writing a “failed to deliver” notice and pasting it on the house’s front door.

The Aviles family says that the footage shows that the UPS worker never even attempted to deliver the package in the first place. He never rang the doorbell or knocked on the door. Based on that, the family has come to the conclusion that the driver intentionally withheld the package from the family out of prejudice and spite

They believe that the only way the driver could’ve known that the family was Latino was by making assumptions based off the name on the package.

“The only information this driver had that could serve as a trigger for this deep-seated hate was the name on the package,” said Forward Latino President Darryl Morin at a press conference addressing the incident.

“So what we have here is a very intentional act to ruin Christmas for somebody, for someone to spew this hateful rhetoric, and quite honestly to deceive their employer,” Morin continued.

Per UPS, the employee has now been fired. “There is no place in any community for racism, bigotry or hate. This is very serious and we promptly took action, terminating the driver’s employment. UPS is wholeheartedly committed to diversity, equity and inclusion,” UPS said in a statement. They also said they contacted the family to apologize.

But the Aviles family is still rattled that such bigoted people are out and about, letting their petty prejudices effect other people’s lives.

“The package was a Christmas gift that we eventually received after Christmas Day, but what if it happened to have time-sensitive content like an epipen or a book I needed to take a final,” said Shirley Aviles, the mother of the man who lives at the address, told NBC News. “I don’t get it. It’s just sad.”

Aviles seemed disturbed about what this incident says about human nature. “This is about the things people do when they think no one is watching them. That’s important because that’s when you see people’s true colors and that’s what’s scary,”

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Here Are Some Christmas Traditions From Around Latin America

Culture

Here Are Some Christmas Traditions From Around Latin America

Henry Sadura / Getty Images

Christmas is a special time of year. Families have their traditions to mark the festive year and some of those traditions are rooted in culture. Here are some of the ways various countries in Latin America celebrate Christmas.

El Pase Del Niño Viajero – Ecuador

El Pase del Niño Viajero is a pageant that happens in Ecuador that lasts weeks. The parade is meant to represent the journey of Mary and Joseph. The parade highlights the religious importance of Christmas in Ecuador and is most common in the Andean region of the country.

The biggest and most important parade is in Cuenca, a deeply religious city. Citizens near the city have all day to see the parade as it starts in the early morning and runs through the late afternoon. This gives people a lot of time to make it to the city to witness the parade.

La Gritería – Nicaragua

La Gritería comes after La Purisma. La Purisma is celebrated at the end of November and is meant to celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. La Gritería is celebrated in early December and involves literal yelling. Someone would shout “Que causa tanta alegria?” (“What causes so much happiness?”) People respond “La Concepción de María.” (“Mary’s Conception.”)

Las Posadas – Mexico

Mexican posadas are the most recognizable. Posadas take place in Mexico from Dec. 16-24, though this year they are most likely to be virtual. The posada begins with a procession in the neighborhood filled with people singing and sometimes led by two people dressed as Mary and Joseph.

Another part is the posada party. Before guests can enter, there is a song exchange with the people outside playing Joseph looking for shelter. The hosts sing the side of the innkeeper saying there is no room. Eventually, the guests are welcomed into the home to celebrate Christmas.

Aguinaldos – Colombia

Aguinaldos are a series of games played by people in Colombia leading up to Christmas. There are certain games that are common among people in Colombia. One is pajita en boca, which requires holding a straw in your mouth the entire time of a social event. Another is dar y no recibir, which is about getting people to take something you are giving to score a point.

El Quema Del Diablo – Guatemala

El quema del diablo is celebrated in early December and is a way of letting go of the previous year. People burn piñatas and effigies of the devil to let go of all negative feelings and moments from the previous year. If there was every to try a new tradition, this would be the year. Burn an effigy and banish 2020 to the past, where it belongs.

READ: These Seriously Sad Christmas Presents Were Worse Than Actual Coal

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