culture

Inked Handbags Are Providing a Type of Freedom for These Prisoners

Prison Art HandbagsThese inmates are inking leather instead of skin.

Prison Art Mexico is making handbag designers out of tattoo artists.

Posted by AJ+ on Monday, March 28, 2016

CREDIT: AJ+ / FACEBOOK

“With this angel, I realized I could be free in spite of being in jail.”

Tattoos tend to be a part of life behind bars, so much so that some inmates even become talented tattoo artists just to kill time. But, prisoners in Mexico City’s North Prison are actually making a living by tattooing on leather instead of skin.

The intricate designs tattooed on leather become custom handbags sold in five boutiques in Mexico City. Edgar, one of the inmates working on this craft, sees this as more than a paying job or pastime. “With this angel, I realized I could be free in spite of being in jail,” he said. “I can express myself with what I do.”

It also allows for a way to connect with his family. “I don’t have to ask my family for stuff anymore. Instead, I have something to give, even if it’s not much. I’m no longer begging for stuff to be able to survive here,” Edgar said. On a monthly basis he makes about $800 and he splits it between the prison and his family.

This type of program is run by the Prison Art Foundation and it provides jobs for 200 inmates in four different prisons. The handbags have been selling so well, they will start selling them in Tokyo and New York.

READ: Would You Buy Prison–Made Clothes?

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Donald Trump's Latest Proposal Will Screw Over Mexico's Poorest

Politics

Donald Trump’s Latest Proposal Will Screw Over Mexico’s Poorest

Credit: lynae / Twenty20

GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, whose business acumen has resulted in multiple failures, finally unveiled his plan to get Mexico to pay for his border wall.

“There are several ways to compel Mexico to pay for the wall…”

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Credit: Blahblahblah263/Reddit/Giphy

The Trump campaign sent a two-page memo to the Washington Post with actual details on how he’ll get Mexico to foot the bill. The short version of it? Use an obscure portion of the Patriot Act to prevent companies like Western Union and MoneyGram letting customers send money to Mexico unless they can prove they’re documented.

Mexico, according to Trump, won’t like this rule because of the more than $24.4 billion in remittance it gets on a yearly basis. Because Mexico needs this money — again, according to Trump — it’ll have no choice bot to make a one-time payment of $5-10 billion. Once Mexico pays this money, the benevolent Trump will allow that money to flow back to Mexico. What a guy.

“Good luck with that…”

Credit: ABC News/YouTube

Naturally, President Barack Obama was asked about Trump’s brilliant plan. His response was pretty much straight to the point:

“The notion that we are going to track every Western Union bit of money that’s being sent to Mexico — good luck with that,” he said.

Right? Like wtf.

Speaking of Western Union…

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Credit: Reddit/Giphy

We reached out to Western Union and MoneyGram, two companies that profit from people sending money back to Mexico, for their thoughts. Western Union unfortunately didn’t respond to our request for comment. MoneyGram did:

“Remittances are an important part of economic development and financial  inclusion around the world. At MoneyGram, many of our customers depend on our services to pay for basic needs like education, housing and healthcare. MoneyGram remains committed to ensuring our customers can continue to stay connected to family and friends around the globe through our quality financial services.”

This is just a rich guy trying to screw over the poor.

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Credit: USA Today/Tumblr/Giphy

Should this “plan” actually become a reality, it will disproportionately affect some of Mexico’s poorest. Although the money being sent back to Mexico amounts to about 2.1 percent of the country’s GDP (here’s a quick explanation on what that is) — a relative drop in the bucket — that money could represent as much as 20 percent of the yearly income of someone who lives in Mexico’s poor, rural areas.

So, to recap: Trump’s plan, considered to be “half-baked” by the current U.S. President, will really screw over a lot of poor people, all to pay for a wall that will cost more than expected and will almost definitely not work.

READ: People Are Taking Their Anger At Donald Trump Out On His Defenseless Walk Of Fame Star

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