Things That Matter

Cartels Are Targeting Migrants Forced To Stay In Mexico Under Trump’s ‘Remain In Mexico’ Policy

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’d know that the Trump administration has had the bright idea of forcing asylum seekers to wait in Mexico until their cases are heard in the US federal courts. While there are definitely parts of Mexico that would be great to stay in for a week on break, this is no holiday for these asylum seekers. In an effort to profit from some of the most vulnerable people in Mexico, cartel violence has specifically targeted the areas where migrants are being temporarily housed. 

The violence has gotten so bad that some have abandoned their asylum applications.

Instagram / @paulratje

At this point, it’s hard to keep up with what’s happened so far to threaten the lives of migrants. In Nuevo Laredo alone, there’s an entire laundry list of incidents that have made asylum seekers uneasy. Last week, shooting broke out between gang members on the main boulevard to Nuevo Laredo’s airport. An educated guess would say that The Cartel of the Northeast was responsible for the trouble, since they dominate that area of town. It’s not uncommon to see them riding around in armored cars emblazoned with “Tropas del Infierno” across the sides. It’s their constant presence that keeps migrants constantly anxious and alert.

The government is offering bus trips to other cities outside the border zone.

Instagram / @altavozmx

In an effort to alleviate tensions, the government has provided free bus trips for asylum seekers to places such as Monterrey and Tapachula, which are around 3 and 36 hours away from Nuevo Laredo, respectively. However, the trips have been disrupted by gang members, who take it upon themselves to stop the buses and abduct the passengers. Abductions give cartels hostages that they can use to blackmail relatives in exchange for payouts. It’s clear that it’s not safe for migrants to stay in this environment. And apparently, it’s barely even safe to leave through provided channels. This has resulted in asylum seekers abandoning their applications to return to the relative safety of home – despite the fact that the dangers there had prompted them to leave in the first place.

Aid providers say the Migrant Protection Protocols, or MPP, are to blame.

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So far, the MPP have resulted in approximately 35,000 migrants being sent back to Mexican border cities to wait for their day in court. In fact, 4,500 people have been sent to Nuevo Laredo alone. What essentially happens under the MPP is that, once asylum seekers reach US ports of entry, they are sent back to Mexico with a date to return and make their case for asylum via video link. Migrants can be stuck waiting for that day from anywhere between two to four months.

So why did Mexico agree to the MPP in the first place, when it’s had some very dire outcomes?

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Well, Trump had threatened Mexico with tariffs if they didn’t agree with the MPP. Now, it’s all well and good to say that Mexico could have done a China, and dived head first into a trade war. But Mexico doesn’t have that sort of economic power. Most of its trade is conducted with the US. China, on the other hand, has diversified its trade relationships. As a result, it doesn’t depend on business with the US to keep the Chinese economy running. Mexico, being backed into a corner as it were, had no choice but to agree to the terms of the MPP.

There are a few reasons why the Trump administration has pursued this course of action – and none of them are good.

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There are two main reasons why the Trump administration has developed the MPP: money, and the strict enforcement of immigration law. Where money is concerned – it costs a lot to employ the 150 judges who oversee immigration cases, and whatever other staff and facilities are needed as part of both detaining and processing asylum seekers. It’s must less expensive to just not do that.

With these type of policies, many worry violence could begin to spread.

Instagram / @rebecca_esq

As far as strict enforcement of immigration law … well, we’ve seen a lot of that already with the overflow of inmates at border detention centers, and the exponential increase of ICE raids and arrests. What’s been discussed less by the media is the fact that, in 2018, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions enacted legislation that determined migrants could not apply for asylum based on the threat of domestic or cartel violence, because it’s too hard for the government to verify. So, why even bother allowing migrants to leech off US resources, if you’re pretty much planning to deny their request for asylum anyway?

All of this is great news in light of the agreement that’s in the works between Guatemala and the US. Should it be ratified, Guatemala would be set to be the next Mexico, and also house asylum seekers while they wait for their applications to be reviewed by the US. This could potentially mean a rise in cartel violence in Guatemala, too.

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It’s No Surprise El Chapo’s Wife Is In Jail, Her TikTok Was A Look Inside #CartelLife

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It’s No Surprise El Chapo’s Wife Is In Jail, Her TikTok Was A Look Inside #CartelLife

The recent arrest of Emma Coronel Aispuro – the wife of drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzman – follows a telenovela-style life that straddled hyper-violent Mexican cartels, fame and motherhood. And it’s a life that Coronel shared with her thousands of followers on social media platforms like TikTok.

The former beauty queen used social media to give her fans a peek into the luxurious life she lived and helped birth the large #CartelLife movement that is booming on apps like TikTok.

Parties, TikTok and Reality Shows: the luxuries of Emma Coronel.

Although Emma Coronel Aispuro is now in the news for her recent arrest in the U.S., she was all about flaunting her larger than life and luxurious lifestyle. She has long stood out for sharing her life of luxury on social media, and many of her videos went viral for her dancing and singing.

Since being arrested and brought up on charges related to drug trafficking, Coronel now faces a minimum sentence of 10 years behind bars and even life imprisonment, in addition to an eventual $10 million fine, should she be found guilty of the charges.

But before being placed in a maximum security prison, Coronel was a social media influencer that helped bring the world into the #CartelLife.

Coronel’s social media life was a window into the world of Mexican drug cartels.

In 2018, Coronel decorated her home to mimic that of everyone’s beloved Barbie, in order to celebrate the birthday of her daughters. At the meeting there were even rides, inflatables and an incredible spread of all kinds.

Then, on her own birthday, images of her celebration went viral where she posed with some friends near a pool, as well as a table decorated as white candles.

In 2019, Coronel tried to launch her own clothing brand, inspired by her husband’s nickname. The company “El Chapo Guzmán JGL LLC”, would focus on wallets, sweatshirts, blouses and pants, among other items, but it failed to take off.

She even appeared on a VH1 show to share just how “normal” she was.

Emma Coronel has also participated in the reality show “Cartel Crew”, produced by the VH1 channel, where she spoke about the disadvantages of being the wife of a drug trafficker, since she says that she is judged by the people who don’t truly know her.

“It is very unfortunate that they judge us without knowing us. It’s hard because sometimes you want to do what you see everyone around you doing […] We are normal,” she said during her run on the show.

The son of El Chapo has also turned to TikTok to flaunt his millionaire lifestyle.

Supuestos lujos del hijo de "El Chapo", Jesús Alfredo Guzmán.

El Chapo’s wife isn’t the only one who has taken to social media to share her luxurious life. Jesus Alfredo Guzman, one of the drug lord’s sons, – who is already on US’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)’s most-wanted fugitive list – has also created a TikTok account and quickly amassed more than 15,000 followers.

So far, he’s only shared six videos but they reveal his luxurious and extravagant mansion, which includes an indoor movie theatre and a swimming pool decorated with pillars and fountains.

Although it cannot be confirmed that it is officially the account of Jesús Alfredo, the profile appears to indicate that it could be an authentic. He also spares no details on his fleet of supercars, including three Rolls-Royces, an Audi R8, a white Bentley, and an azure blue Lamborghini.

The clips are all set to narcocorridos, a controversial ballad-style music with lyrics that speak approvingly of illegal activities, mainly drug trafficking.

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An Alleged Rapist Is Running For Governor In Mexico And Still Has The Support Of President AMLO

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An Alleged Rapist Is Running For Governor In Mexico And Still Has The Support Of President AMLO

For years, Mexicans have been taking to the streets to denounce violence against women and to demand accountability from their leaders. However, much of that messaging doesn’t seem to have reached the very top as President Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) continues to support a candidate for governor facing multiple allegations of sexual assault.

A candidate for governor faces multiple sexual assault allegations and still enjoys widespread support.

Félix Salgado Macedonio, a federal senator (currently on leave) is accused of sexually assaulting five women and yet is still in the running for governor of Guerrero.

Despite the accusations he faces, 64-year-old Salgado, has maintained the support of President AMLO, who has claimed that the allegations are politically motivated, and other high-ranking party officials including national party president Mario Delgado. He was considered the frontrunner in the election for governor.

AMLO came to the candidates defense, calling on people to stop politicking and avoid “media lynchings” and asserting that people should trust the party process that was used to select Salgado as candidate.

“We have to have confidence in the people, it’s the people who decide. If polls are taken and and the people say ‘I agree with this colleague [being candidate],’ I think that must be respected. Politics is a matter for everyone, not just the elites,” López Obrador said.

The MORENA party has committed to reselecting its candidate for governor but Salgado is still in the running.

Officials from the MORENA party announced that they would conduct a new selection process to find a contender for the June 6 election. The party’s honesty and justice commission said its members had voted unanimously to order a repeat of the selection process.

While the honesty and justice commission has ordered a new candidate selection process, Salgado was not precluded from participating in it. He indicated in a social media post on Friday night that he planned to seek the party’s backing for a second time.

“Cheer up colleagues! There is [still fight in the] bull,” Salgado wrote on Facebook.

Activists continue to fight back against his candidacy and the president’s support for an alleged rapist.

Women have protested in Mexico City and Guerrero state capital Chilpancingo and the hashtag #NingúnVioladorSeráGobernador (No Rapist Will be Governor) has been used countless times on Twitter.

Yolitzin Jaimes, a member of the feminist collective Las Revueltas, said the withdrawal of Salgado’s candidacy is a positive first step but urged the authorities to continue investigating the rape allegations.

“… He has to go to jail, … he mustn’t return to the Senate and he mustn’t be nominated [for governor] by any political party because … it’s very probable that he’s seeking to go to the Labor Party [a Morena ally],” she said.

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