Over the last few years, Mexico has taken important steps to provide equal rights to its LGBT community. Same sex marriage is legal in the nation’s capital, and Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto recently said he supports the legalization of same-sex marriage throughout the whole country. So, what better time for Colgate to officially roll out its first gay-inclusive commercial? The ad shows a male couple moving furniture into their new apartment. They come across a young boy and his father, and you can feel the tension when the couple is left wondering what will happen next. What *does* happen will melt your heart. Of course there are some people who aren’t happy about the commercial, but the comments on the video show more support than hate.
Giant estates with swimming pools and escape tunnels, a ranch surrounded by acres of land, and a chic luxury apartment with a terrifying history were among the 27 properties Mexico had seized from drug traffickers and others auctioned on Sunday.
The government is seizing property and selling it at auction.
The apartments auctioned on Sunday include one of a cartel leader who was killed there and disposed of by his brothers.
The government is also selling off land. The cheapest is a lot in Culiacán, Sinaloa, priced at about $11,200 USD, while the most expensive is the Rancho Los Tres García in Naucalpan, México state, priced at over $1.6 million USD. It was confiscated from convicted drug trafficker Carlos Montemayor, father-in-law of Edgar “La Barbie” Valdez Villarreal, after he was arrested in 2010.
According to Mexican media, the auction raised $56.6 million pesos (or about $3 million USD) of the 167m pesos predicted.
The Mexican President pledged that all the money raised from the auctions would go to benefit impoverished communities.
According to Lopez-Obrador (AMLO), the proceeds from the auction of properties and land, which had been seized by previous governments, would go to aid marginalized communities in the poor and violent state of Guerrero.
“Buyers will know that in addition to acquiring a good deal, they will also be doing good, that is, they will be helping those who need support because of the situation of poverty and marginalization they suffer,” AMLO said Friday.
In one of his first acts in office, Lopez Obrador enforced an austerity plan.
AMLO sold government-owned vehicles and even planned on selling the president’s brand new Boeing 787 jetliner. He also dismissed the Presidential Guard, which is tasked with protecting the president, and declined to move into Los Pinos – Mexico’s version of the White House – and instead lives in his private home.
In a similar auction at the end of May, Mexican authorities raised $1.5 million from the sales of 82 vehicles, including a Lamborghini and other assets seized from criminals and at least one former politician.
The late-May auction saw 800 bidders, with the money raised going to two poor communities in the southern state of Oaxaca to improve roads and schools. Seventeen black, bulletproof Chevrolet Suburbans were also up for auction but it was the muscle cars and vintage VWs that got all the attention.
Reactions on Twitter were pretty mixed.
A pretty common sentiment across Twitter was that people just wouldn’t feel safe moving into a home that had been seized from a former drug lord. I mean just think of all the risk that carries with it. Like that drug lord still has connections, still has friends – there are still people that are aware of its history. Maybe they’d show up wanting to take it for themselves at some point.
But everyone agreed that giving the proceeds of the auction to help the poor was the right move.
Especially since the communities that will benefit from these proceeds are in violence plagued Guerrero state – a state that has suffered greatly because of the Drug War.
Governors in the U.S. have tried and failed multiple times to enshrine discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community by passing “religious freedom” bills. At the heart of these bills is the idea that someone’s religion is enough to discriminate against those of different faiths, sexual orientations, and gender identities. Puerto Rico tried to follow the same failed path as Indiana and the backlash was swift and victorious after Ricky Martin and Bad Bunny (Benito Martinez) spoke out against the bill forcing Governor Ricardo Rosselló to backtrack on his bill to discriminate.
In April, Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rosselló presented the Puerto Rican House of Representatives a “religious freedom” bill.
The bill was months in the making and Gov. Rosselló showed his full support for the bill, House Bill 2069. The bill would have allowed for government employees to openly discriminate against people who went against their religious beliefs.
Ricky Martin spoke up against the measure and called out the Puerto Rican government and their willingness to legalize discrimination against LGBTQ+ people.
“While the world calls for equality, respect for diversity and the defense of human rights, members of the Senate and the House of Representatives and the Governor of Puerto Rico are pushing for a measure that goes against all of the above and it encourages division, prejudice, hatred and the lack of respect for individuality,” Martin wrote on his fan website. “It does so under a premise that undermines the constitutional protections against discrimination on the basis of race, sex or belief, and in its place, justifies an irrational protection of the religious convictions of government employees.”
“As a member of the LGBTT community, I join the constituency that affirms that there has never been a willingness among our LGBTT people to allow for the validation or legalization of discrimination against us.”
“House Bill 2069, filed at the request of Governor Ricardo Rosselló and promoted by Representative Charbonier, achieve nothing more than opening the doors to hatred towards anyone who doesn’t share the same ideology, who simply belong to the LGBTT community, or who don’t have the same color skin, amidst many other discriminatory measures.”
“Authentic religious freedom calls for respecting everyone equally.”
Bad Bunny also used his platform to stand up for the LGBTQ+ community in Puerto Rico.
“While we ‘bad guys’ do out to unite people and try to send a message of respect and tolerance, the leaders of my country work to do the opposite,” he wrote on Instagram. “We cannot take steps backwards, NEVER! @ricardorossello you make excellent coffee, I know that you can also make an excellent decision.”
Calle 13’s Residente joined his Puerto Rican peers to call out the Puerto Rican government’s wishes to strip LGBTQ+ people of their humanity with the law.
These calls against the action came during Pride month when the U.S. is supposed to be celebrating and uplifting the LGBTQ+ community, which still faces discrimination and violence.
After the outcry, Gov. Rosselló reversed his support for the bill and ordered the Puerto Rican House of Representatives to shelf the bill.
“WE WON! The recent years, Western countries have made significant advances in guaranteeing equal right for the LGBTT community,” Martin tweeted.
Martin celebrated the decision by educating his followers about what the measure would mean for the LGBTQ+ community.
“These advances were threatened recently in Puerto Rico, where the House fo Representatives passed legislation that endangered the progress won in the last decade and risked feeding the division, prejudice, and tensions between the communities.”
He did not sugar coat the true meaning behind the legislation.
“By granting government employees the power to act in accordance with their religious convictions, personal values, and principles, this regressive legislation would have sanctioned the practice of institutional discrimination on the part of those who committed themselves to a life in public service.”
It just goes to show that enough public outcry can make politicians listen to the majority instead of the vocal minority.