Former Disney star Bella Thorne just shook some sh*t up! The Cuban-American actor recently uploaded some videos to Snapchat that show her making out with another woman… and it’s her brother’s ex-girlfriend! Like, this is some novela-style sh*t if there ever was any.
The man who led a group of criminals to prey on and kidnap undocumented women and children in an extortion scheme has been sentenced to 14 years in prison by a federal judge. Francisco Betancourt, a Cuban immigrant, led a group of other Latino, Spanish-speaking men to target Central American immigrants, who had just arrived, disoriented, at bus stops in New York City, seeking to be reunited with their families. Betancourt would use his Latinidad to gain the immigrants’ trust, then, steal their bus tickets, and coerce them to get into a cab that would ultimately cost their families well over $1,000 in “cab fees.”
District Attorney Judge John H. Durham announced Thursday that Betancourt was sentenced in New York, New York by U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill to 168 months of imprisonment in the Bridgeport facility, followed by three years of supervised release. Betancourt will be 84 years old by the time he is released from prison.
Francisco Betancourt conspired with three other Latino men to carry out the kidnappings of primarily young mothers with children.
“The victims included women, men, and children from Central American countries who did not speak English and were seeking asylum in the U.S,” according to a statement by the US District of Connecticut Attorney’s office. “Some of the victims planned to travel from New York to Connecticut. Telling the victims that a connecting bus was not available and that they would provide transportation, Betancourt and others coerced the victims into vehicles. The co-conspirators would then drive the victims around, sometimes for hours, and refused to release them until they or their families agreed to pay the co-conspirators an exorbitant amount of money, on average more than a $1000.”
Betancourt used his Latinidad to victimize fellow immigrants.
Betancourt allegedly fled Cuba on the Mariel boatlift that famously aided a mass emigration of Cubans in the 1980s. Prosecutors allege that Betancourt was one of the prisoners, convicted of theft, that Castro ejected from the island and put on a ship with other freed inmates and mentally ill people to Mariel, Florida. Betancourt has served two prison sentences in the United States since his arrival.
His victims were often young women traveling with children. They were nearly at the end of a long, treacherous journey, often having traveled from their dangerous homes in Central America, through Mexico, and past the U.S. border. Once granted asylum, or strapped with tracking ankle devices, border authorities put them on a bus from the border to New York City. Days of traveling later, they have one more bus to catch before being reunited with family.
At times, Betancourt’s co-conspirators would pose as immigration officers to further intimidate the victims.
Betancourt and his crime gang could spot the families from a mile away, having been immigrants themselves. They would steal their bus tickets and immigration forms and tell them that they worked for ICE and had arranged a taxi cab service instead. With their contact information in hand, from their immigration forms, they would call their relatives and request a taxi fare (ransom) for $2,000. Often, the families didn’t have enough money on hand, and they would settle for hundreds of dollars less. Because the relatives were often undocumented, they would never report the crime.
Half of the four-person gang of criminals have been sentenced, with another two co-conspirators awaiting their sentences.
Pascual Rodriguez, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, had already been sentenced in July to nearly 12 years in prison. Upon his release, his custody will be transferred to ICE, which will promptly deport him. Carlos Antonio Hernandez and Lucilo Cabrera have both been convicted in the extortion scheme, but are awaiting their sentences. Meanwhile, Betancourt is likely to live out his remaining days in prison.
Meanwhile, folks are pointing out the similarities between Betancourt’s crimes and Trump’s policies.
“Strangely enough, Trump is doing the exact same thing……” tweeted Raul A. Maestri, Jr (@itsgoodtoberaul). “Can he charge Trump with the same?” asks Justin Clay (@jclaywow32). “I hope that man was named Donald J Trump,” tweeted @LindaMadison10. Trump’s administration has seen an increase in privatization of immigrant detention facilities. The stricter the punishments placed on immigrants, the more money private detention centers receive from the federal government.
Trump’s policies have drastically increased the number of migrants in detention and privatized detention facility political action committees like the GEO Group Inc contribute 89 percent of their political donations to Republicans.
Why In 2019 Some People Would Think That A KKK Costume Or A Bloodied And Bruised Makeup Look Are ‘Cute’ Is Above Us
Bella Thorne Angered Her Followers For Bloodied And Bruised Halloween Selfies: ‘Stop Glamorizing Domestic Abuse’
Bella Thorne’s Bruised And Bloodied Selfies And Two Women Dressed Up As KKK Members in DTLA Riled Up The Internet This Halloween
Just when we thought we’d made it through this year’s Halloween season without any inappropriate or problematic Halloween costumes, Bella Thorne posted her look on Instagram. A lot of the actress’ followers were offended by her makeup, saying that it looked too similar to a domestic abuse victim. And in Downtown L.A., a group of Hispanic women thought it was ok to dress up as KKK members until people snatched their hoods off. Here’s what went down.
Bella Thorne wanted to show off her makeup skills in a bloodied and bruised look —but instead, was dragged by her followers.
Before unveiling her actual Halloween costume as a sexy Girl Scout, Bella Thorne took to Instagram to show off her makeup skills by posting a photo of herself looking bruised and bloodied. Looking like someone had punched her in the face, the actress captioned the series of three photos with: “Hire me for your Halloween makeup I got you boo 🔪🔪🔪 😂😂😂.”
The actor riled up her followers who were quick to assume she’d been hurt.
Although the caption made it pretty clear that she hadn’t actually been hurt, many of her followers said the pictures were jarring and worrying. One wrote: “My heart dropped. I immediately got angry that someone hit you. This is uhhh fkn scary.” Another added; “Almost said, are u okay, lol.”
Her followers called the actor out for ‘glamorizing’ domestic abuse.
They also called Bella out for “glamorizing” domestic violence and said it should never be used for aesthetic purposes. Some commenters said: “Why is glamorizing being physically abused culturally appropriate during Halloween?”, “I feel this is too close to physical abuse, you’re crossing a fine line here.”
“That’s kinda insensitive to real victims of DV.”
“I’m just sickened and so disappointed in you. What a platform you have…and misuse it like this. Sickening, Bella.”
The actor is known for her wild, bold and colorful looks —hair and makeup included. The photos posted on October 30, featured a cut lip and bruises on her jaw and eye.
Commenters thought her makeup would be triggering to those who have experienced abuse in their own lives. Bella has previously spoken out about her own struggles with physical and sexual abuse in the past, so it’s surprising to see her showcase such a makeup look.
As part of the Time’s Up movement, Bella Thorne spoke up about her own experience of sexual and physical abuse as a child last year.
“I was sexually abused and physically growing up from the day I can remember till I was 14..when I finally had the courage to lock my door at night and sit by it,” she wrote on Instagram. “All damn night. Waiting for someone to take advantage of my life again. Over and over I waited for it to stop and finally it did. But some of us aren’t as lucky to get out alive. Please, today stand up for every soul Mistreated. #timesup”
Bella went on to debut her actual Halloween costume on Instagram the following day and has yet to respond to comments regarding her previous post.
And speaking of insensitive and problematic costumes, these two Hispanic women in DTLA thought that dressing up as KKK members would be funny —until it wasn’t.
A group of Hispanic women dressed as Ku Klux Klan members in downtown Los Angeles, on Halloween night and roamed around town, sparking outrage and alarm. Videos of their costumes were shown in several social media posts. One clip shows a woman telling the cloaked person to take her hood off until someone finally snatches it off her head.
One of the women who confronted the insensitive trick-or-treaters took to Facebook to share a post about how things went down.
“I’m not a bully nor am I a killer but this type of shit needs to stop before somebody gets killed or we start a riot as people. Last night Two Mexican women walked down the streets of LA wearing KU KLUX KLAN outfits thinking shit was funny and “allegedly trying to scare ppl” so we snatched their mask off and had a little conversation,” wrote Ashley Williams, one of the people who confronted the women about the disrespectful costumes.
“This isn’t just disrespectful to black ppl but all people who fought for our rights this is disrespectful to our people my people your people (to the women). The same people you two are supporting is the same folks supporting deportation of your ppl…”
The video compiles a few clips of what went down and how the two hooded women were confronted by a small mob of people.
The nearly two-minute-long video posted to Twitter shows the two women standing on the sidewalk as a mob of people try to take their hoods. Later on they try to enter a smoke shop as everyone around them booed. “Don’t ever wear that sh*t in your life,” said the female rapper Shatown Johnson to the hooded woman. “You’re right,” replied the woman in the ridiculous costume after being confronted.
Why these women thought it would be cute or “funny” to dress up as Klan members for Halloween? Who knows! But just like Facebook user Ashley Williams put it on her post: “Don’t play like this ppl of America cause this generation isn’t gonna let that shit go down!”
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