Things That Matter

President AMLO Just Released New Figures Detailing The Country’s Missing People And It’s Worse Than Previously Thought

New data directly from the government shows that previous estimates of Mexico’s disappeared were grossly under counted. Under President AMLO, the country’s National Search Commission has released updated figures that say there are more than 61,000 missing persons in Mexico – the vast majority of whom (almost one third) went missing just since 2006.

The Drug War has fueled the disappearances as cartels fight for control over important drug trafficking routes against increased scrutiny from the military.

The government said 61,637 people have disappeared since 1964, the vast majority since 2006, when then-president Felipe Calderón began cracking down on drug cartels.

More than 61,000 people have been forcibly disappeared in Mexico in recent years, government officials announced on Monday, a drastic increase of an earlier estimate of the toll of the country’s endemic drug-related violence and cartel warfare.

More than 97.4 percent of the total have gone missing since 2006, when then-President Felipe Calderon sent the army to the streets to fight drug traffickers, fragmenting the cartels and leading to vicious internal fighting. 

“These are data of horror,” Karla Quintana, head of Mexico’s National Search Commission which leads the efforts to find the missing country wide, said in a news conference. Behind the numbers, “there are many painful stories from families both in Mexico and of migrants,” she said.

Ms. Quintana said the new data comes from updated and carefully revised information from the offices of local prosecutors.

The new figures showed a sharp increase from a prior official estimate of 40,000 disappearances from early 2018.

The government announcement differed from those of past administrations, which often played down the issue of drug violence and offered little details about the extent of the issue.

More than half of the overall reported cases were of young people between 15 and 34 years old, 74 percent of whom were men, officials said. Mexican officials said most disappearances have taken place in 10 different states in swaths of the country with a heavy presence of drug cartels.

In Mexico, the number cases of disappeared people surged more recently amid raging violence as drug cartels battled each other over territory and trafficking routes.

As Mexican security forces were deployed to the streets to confront the ever-growing power of organized crime groups, criminals began implementing a highly efficient and vicious strategy: disposing bodies and tossing them into graves in desolate areas, rivers and mountains, to leave no evidence behind.

Last year alone, during the first year of leftist government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, more than 9,000 people were forcibly disappeared.

AMLO has adopted a policy of “hugs, not bullets” in dealing with violent crime, focussing on addressing inequality and tackling corruption, but the death toll has continued to climb.

The López Obrador government has faced criticism that it lacks an adequate security strategy to deal with the country’s rampant violence, underscored by recent cases like the siege of the city of Culiacán by the Sinaloa cartel and the massacre of nine members of a Mormon sect in northern Mexico last fall.

Almost a third of the total number of missing persons – 19,108 – disappeared between 2016 and 2018, the final three years of the Enrique Peña Nieto government.

More than 500 field searches across Mexico led to the discovery of 800 clandestine graves and the unearthing of 1,124 bodies.

The official said that between December 1, 2018 and December 31, 2019, authorities have carried out searches for hidden graves at 519 different locations across practically all of Mexico’s 32 federal entities. In February last year, Encinas described the country as a whole as an “enormous hidden grave.”

He said on Monday that the federal government will extend an invitation to the United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances to have its members visit Mexico this year.

The government was criticized last month for failing to keep its promise to allow the committee to visit the country and thus open up Mexico’s investigative processes to international scrutiny.

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Mexico’s AMLO Wants To Launch New Social Media Network For Mexicans After Twitter Banned Trump

Things That Matter

Mexico’s AMLO Wants To Launch New Social Media Network For Mexicans After Twitter Banned Trump

Hector Vivas / Getty Images

Love him or hate him, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has long called himself the voice of the people – and many Mexicans agree with him. That’s why his latest announcement against social media companies has many so worried.

In the wake of Twitter and Facebook’s (along with many other social media platforms) announcement that they would be restricting or banning Donald Trump from their platforms, the Mexican president expressed his contempt for the decisions. And his intention to create a Mexican social network that won’t be held to the standards from Silicon Valley.

Mexico’s AMLO moves to create a social media network for Mexicans outside of Silicon Valley’s control.

A week after his United States counterpart was kicked off Facebook and Twitter, President López Obrador floated the idea of creating a national social media network to avoid the possibility of Mexicans being censored.

Speaking at his daily news conference, AMLO instructed the National Council of Science and Technology (Conacyt) and other government departments to look at the possibility of creating a state-owned social media site that would guarantee freedom of speech in Mexico.

“We care about freedom a lot, it’s an issue that’s going to be addressed by us,” he told reporters. He also added that Facebook and Twitter have become “global institutions of censorship,” sounding a lot like the alt-right terrorists that stormed the U.S. Capitol.

“To guarantee freedom, for freedom, so there’s no censorship in Mexico. We want a country without censorship. Mexico must be a country of freedom. This is a commitment we have,” he told reporters.

AMLO deeply criticized the moves by Twitter and Facebook to ban Trump from their platforms.

Credit: Hector Vivas / Getty Images

AMLO – like Trump – is an avid user of social media to connect with his constituents. He’s also been known to spread falsehoods and boast about his achievements on the platforms – sound familiar?

So, it came as little surprise when he tore into social media companies for ‘censoring’ Donald Trump, saying that they have turned into “global institutions of censorship” and are carrying out a “holy inquisition.”

Nobody has the right to silence citizens even if their views are unpopular, López Obrador said. Even if the words used by Trump provoked a violent attack against his own government.

“Since they took these decisions [to suspend Trump], the Statue of Liberty has been turning green with anger because it doesn’t want to become an empty symbol,” he quipped.

So what could a Mexican social media network be called?

The president’s proposal to create a national social media network triggered chatter about what such a site would or should be called. One Twitter user suggested Facemex or Twitmex, apparently taking his inspiration from the state oil company Pemex.

The newspaper Milenio came up with three alternative names and logos for uniquely Mexican sites, suggesting that a Mexican version of Facebook could be called Facebookóatl (inspired by the Aztec feathered-serpent god Quetzalcóatl), Twitter could become Twitterlopochtli (a riff on the name of Aztec war, sun and human deity Huitzilopochtli) and Instagram could become Instagratlán (tlán, which in the Náhuatl language means place near an abundance of something – deer, for example, in the case of Mazatlán – is a common suffix in Mexican place names.)

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Carlos Villagrán Is Running To Be Governor Of Querétaro

Entertainment

Carlos Villagrán Is Running To Be Governor Of Querétaro

Paul Archuleta / FilmMagic

We all remember Carlos Villagrán as Quico from “El Chavo del Ocho.” The actor and Mexican icon is now entering the world of politics. Villagrán is entering the race for governor of Querétaro.

Actor and comedian Carlos Villagrán wants to be governor of Querétaro.

Affectionately known as Quico from “El Chavo del Ocho,” Villagrán is someone we grew up with. Now, decades after his famous role ended, Villagrán is hoping to open a brand new chapter in his life: politics.

“After 50 years of making people laugh, I find myself on another platform, which does me a tremendous honor,” Villagrán said during a press conference after filing paperwork.

Villagrán has been thinking about entering Mexican politics for a while.

It is never easy to decide if you want to become a politician. Your private life is no longer private and everything you do is suddenly under intense scrutiny. Villagrán did take time mulling over the idea before filing his paperwork to be a candidate for governor of Querétaro. He registered under the local Querétaro Independiente Party.

“I can’t say anything, because I still don’t know anyone and I have to talk to people to find out what it is about. So, I could not say anything at this moment,” Villagrán told El Universal when still debating the idea.

Villagrán created a Twitter account after announcing his candidacy and is hitting the talking points hard.

Villagrán’s official Twitter account has only pushed tweets highlighting QiBook. The social media platform is specific to Querétaro and is hoping to foster some economic and commercial success in the state.

Fans around the world are wishing him so much success.

Villagrán character Quico is one of the most celebrated characters in Latin America. The wild success of “El Chavo del Ocho” has made Villagrán a face that people throughout Latin America know and love.

However, some people are not excited to see another entertainer enter politics.

We have seen entertainers become politicians and it isn’t always a good thing. The current governor of Morales is Cuauhtémoc Blanco, a former soccer player, and people are not loving him and his leadership. We will no better about his chances of running on Feb. 8 when things are finalized.

READ: FIFA21 Releasing ‘El Chavo Del Ocho’ Uniforms To Honor The Icon For Limited Time

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