Things That Matter

People Are Outraged That Colombian Police Shot And Killed A Teenager A Week Before His Graduation

If you haven’t already heard, thousands of people in Colombia have been embroiled in severe anti-government protests for almost a week. These protests began after rumors of reforms and pension cuts spread among unions, but they quickly escalated to include demonstrations from indigenous groups, students, and retired folks. While each of these groups has its own unique reasons for protesting, all of them are rallying against the extreme right-wing policies of President Ivan Duque.

Police involvement has grown more intense over the past few days, and on Saturday, an officer threw an unknown projectile as a means to disperse the crowd, resulting in the death of a Colombian teenager.

Credit: _dilan88_ / Instagram

Dilan Cruz, 18, attended high school in the capital of Bogotá and was due to graduate this week. He had plans to study business administration, but like the majority of his peers, he needed funding to do so. Cruz allegedly joined the protests to represent other students facing similar challenges accessing universities amid cuts to public education. Even prior to his death, his friends were showing up to the demonstrations, hoping to draw attention to the disparities affecting students all over the country.

After the initial trauma from the impact of the object (which some speculate was a stun grenade, a tear-gas canister or a rubber bullet), paramedics were able to resuscitate Cruz before rushing him to a hospital. There, he was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury caused by a “penetrating object.” On Monday, a vigil was held by fellow protesters outside of the medical center, and marches were led all over the country in Cruz’s honor.

“Dilan didn’t die. Dilan was killed,” shouted hundreds of demonstrators, days after the death of Dilan Cruz.

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Cruz was the fourth person to be killed during the unrest – the other three deaths occurred in incidents that, according to the police, involved looting in the western city of Cali, as well as in Bogotá (two deaths were actually linked to the city of Buenaventura, and one to the town of Candelaria). When the protests started last week, they were mostly peaceful, though violence began to erupt in Cali, where a curfew was quickly imposed. As a means of preventing the protests from spiraling out of control, a ban on alcohol sales was imposed in Bogotá for 24 hours. Additionally, the borders between Colombia and Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, and Venezuela were closed, prohibiting entry into Colombia by land and water. They were reopened Friday morning.

Though relative chaos has persisted, violence has been widely avoided by the demonstrators. As such, riot police are facing criticism for forcefully attempting to disperse nonviolent crowds and causing deaths like that of Dilan Cruz.

Police Chief Óscar Atehortúa stated that the police officer involved in the incident had been suspended and would be investigated. The Attorney General’s office has also opened an investigation, and various officials – including Claudia López, mayor-elect of Bogotá, Mayor Enrique Peñalosa, and President Ivan Duque – have offered their condolences to Dilan Cruz’s loved ones. President Ivan Duque addressed the late teen’s mother, grandfather and two sisters on Twitter, expressing his regret for Cruz’s death.

In response to the demonstrations, President Ivan Duque held a televised address on Thursday.

Credit: ivanduquemarquez / Instagram

He said: “Today, Colombians spoke. We hear them. Social dialogue has been a main principle of this government and we need to deepen it with all sectors of society and speed up the social agenda and the fight against corruption.” Of course, people were not satisfied with this statement, and Duque met with some protesters on Tuesday to engage in that much-needed “social dialogue.” Alas, the protesters asserted that their conditions have not been met, and as a result, the National Strike Committee said on Twitter that “[We] are going to strengthen and increase protests … the strike continues.”

The Committee announced another strike on Wednesday, but Sergio Guzman, director of Colombia Risk Analysis, says that it will be difficult for Duque to adequately respond to the protesters’ demands.

“His party doesn’t really support some of these ways of thinking. So in a way, he would be generating much more internal opposition if he were to implement some of these things,” Guzman told AlJazeera. He added that the main tenets of these demands – like the full implementation of the 2016 peace deal, a pension reform and the eradication of the riot police (ESMAD) – will likely be the most challenging demands to fulfill.

On top of protestors’ renewed vigor following the conversation with Duque, Dilan Cruz’s death has sparked even more fuel for the protests.

“People will be very upset [over Cruz’s death], and it probably give people more reasons to protest,” Guzman said. “Depending on the government’s response, things may even escalate.”

READ: Colombia Becomes The Latest Latin American Nation To Face Massive Protests And Here’s Why

Kobe Bryant’s Death Has Fans Mourning A Huge Loss: From Bad Bunny To Ricky Martin, Here’s How Latinos Are Reacting

Entertainment

Kobe Bryant’s Death Has Fans Mourning A Huge Loss: From Bad Bunny To Ricky Martin, Here’s How Latinos Are Reacting

The Recording Academy

The news sent shockwaves around the world when it was announced that a basketball legend, Kobe Bryant, died on Sunday in a helicopter crash outside of Los Angeles.

Kobe Bryant, a legendary shooting guard for the LA Lakers was just 41 years old and was one of nine victims to have died in the accident. His death has brought together people from a diverse range of backgrounds, but it’s especially painful for Latinos, who were among the first to embrace the Black Mamba and with whom Kobe had a major impact as a member of the Lakers. Fans around the world are left mourning a basketball legend and processing his complicated legacy.

Death of the 41-year-old basketball legend shook communities around the world.

News broke on Sunday that the 41-year-old had died, along with nine others, in a tragic helicopter crash in the hills outside of Los Angeles. The identity of all aboard are still undisclosed at this time, pending further investigation and conversation with next of kin, according to an LA County Sheriff at a press briefing earlier today.

Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa Bryant, and three other daughters – Natalia Diamante, Bianka Bella and Capri Kobe, who is only 7 months old.

While it was unclear who else was with Bryant at the time of his death, TMZ Sports confirmed that his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Maria Onore, was one of the passengers who died in the accident. Gianna and Kobe were on their way to the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks.

Preliminary investigations report that the helicopter went down in dense fog that had grounded most other aircraft in the region.

Credit: Mark Terrill / Getty

Bryant was known to use his helicopter to commute between his home in Newport Beach and the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles. However, for this journey, he was commuting to a sports academy in the Valley.

Los Angeles is known for dense fog and this Sunday morning was no different. In fact, the dense fog had led to the temporary suspension of flights from LAX and most other civilian helicopter operations.

As news of the star’s death spread, so too did the heartfelt messages of loss and grief.

Credit: ABC 7 LA

“[This] is why I don’t wait for tomorrow,” J Balvin wrote. “So many surprises in life that the present escapes us.” Dozens of others weighed in as well.

AOC sent her condolences to the victims and their families in a tweet saying: “Deeply shocked at the news of Kobe Bryant and four others lost today. Sending all my thoughts to their families and loved ones in this devastating moment.“

Bad Bunny had a special message about the super star’s untimely passing.

Credit: BadBunnyPR / Instagram

“I never would have imagined this would hurt so much!” he said. “I still remember the first time I saw a game of basketball at 7 years old with my dad, and it was a game with this genius, and from that day forward he became my favorite player x100pre!! I’ve never mentioned it because it doesn’t necessarily have to do with music, but this man has been an inspiration in many aspects for me to be who I am today. RIP GOAT!!! Rest in PEACE!!!! Thank you for inspiring me so much!! Thanks for so many emotions!!! How sad I feel!!! A legend is gone!! Along with a beautiful child and basketball promise, Gianna… It breaks my soul too know that I was going to meet, and share time, with you soon…”

And Anuel AA shared his take on the tragedy, one that many people could relate to.

“Wow, my hero died,” he said. “This is unbelievable. I’m here crying as if I knew him, heartbroken. Rest in peace, legend, you left a mark on the world. May God continue blessing his family and fill them with strength. Wow what sadness. [Kobe Bryant] your name will live forever.”

Kobe Bryant shared a special kinship with his Latino fans, who he said were the first to embrace him.

Credit: KobeBryant / Instagram

As the tributes pour in, many are remembering the impact Kobe had on LA’s Latino community.

A few years ago, he thanked the Latino community for their support.

“Latino fans are important to me, because when I arrived [in Los Angeles] they were the fans who most passionately embraced me,” he said. Bryant added that his Spanish was “not that good,” but this appeared to have been a modest assessment, as he routinely conducted full-length interviews in Spanish, which endeared him even more to Latino fans. He said that he was inspired to learn the language because of his wife and because his Latino fans “mean everything” to him. He told Univision in a separate interview that he learned Spanish through watching telenovelas with his family.

However, Bryant’s story wasn’t one without its blemishes. He was accused of sexual assault in 2003.

Credit: Jerome Nakagawa / Flickr

Bryant’s sexual assault case was another scandal that rocked the sport’s world and his own image. The charges brought against him were serious. He was accused of raping a hotel employee while at a Colorado resort – a claim that he denied saying the sexual encounter was consensual. The case was eventually settled out of court, according to The Guardian.

As much of the world is still in shock regarding the untimely loss of such an iconic man, his success as a basketball great will live on.

Andrea Arruti, The Mexican Actress Who Lent Her Voice To ‘Frozen’ In Spanish, Died At 21 Years Of Age

Entertainment

Andrea Arruti, The Mexican Actress Who Lent Her Voice To ‘Frozen’ In Spanish, Died At 21 Years Of Age

Andy AV / Facebook / frozendisney / Instagram

The young actress who lent her voice to the Spanish version of Elsa in “Frozen”, Diamond Tiara in “My Little Pony,” Neeko in “League of Legends,” among other characters, died this week and the Mexican entertainment industry is mourning the loss of a talented young voice actress. 

Actress Andrea Arruti who lent her voice to the Spanish-language version of Elsa in “Frozen,” died.

Mexican actress Andrea Arruti, died following a respiratory complication, which slowly debilitated her body over the course of several months. She was the voice behind many’s favorite characters in the Spanish version of animated series and films, such as “Anne with an E,” “My Little Pony,” “Phineas and Ferb,” and “League of Legends.” One of her most popular characters was Elsa in “Frozen.”

She reportedly died on Jan. 3.

The death of the 21-year-old actress occurred during the first days of the year, but the information wasn’t confirmed until this weekend, when several companies who worked with Arruti, expressed condolences.

The family shared official news of Andrea’s passing to appease rumors.

Credit: Andy AV / Facebook

Arruti’s family shared the news on her Facebook page and felt the need to be transparent about the young actress’s cause of death following false rumors.  “In the name of Andy Arruti’s family, we want to express our sincere gratitude for all the love and solidarity we have received after her passing in a hospital of Mexico City. After noticing some speculation around her death —in the media as well as in social media—we wanted to note that Andrea died due to a respiratory complication that weakened her body throughout the last months.”

The Arruti family made it clear that Andy ’had no addictions’ and that she was ‘an exemplary person’.

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La más bonita.💖😍 @andyarruti

A post shared by Andrea Arruti.💖😍 (@team_andy_arruti) on

“Throughout this period it was sought for their well-being and was duly attended by specialists.“ the Facebook post reads. “For her part, she did everything in her power to meet her health status and fulfill her family, school and professional commitments in a normal way. Andrea was an exemplary person who had no addiction and those who knew her can realize that she was always a cheerful young woman.”

“League of Legends” expressed their condolences.

“We regret the death of Andrea Arruti, who lent her voice to Neeko, and we extend our condolences to her loved ones,” wrote the official video game “League of Legends'” Twitter account. 

Those in the Mexican entertainment industry have been paying their respects via social media.

So far, the actress’s family has not revealed the exact cause of death just stating an unnamed respiratory problem. However, on social media, fans and colleagues have lamented the news and remember her as a cheerful and talented person.

Her close friend and colleague Emilio Trevino also shared a loving message.

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Sin duda a veces la vida nos sorprende de maneras fuertes e inesperadas…buscar un porque o para que es absurdo pues son respuestas que realmente nunca tendremos y no espero tenerlas. Sin embargo creo que hoy para mi es más importante recordar todas aquellas cosas hermosas que viví contigo…pues esas son las que al final de todo realmente importan. ¿Qué te puedo decir? Tantos años…crecimos juntos…tantas experiencias y sueños compartidos que no se por donde empezar. Gracias por todas las noches desvelándonos platicando sobre nuestros sueños y como llegaríamos a ellos. Gracias por acompañarme a ver mi película favorita al cine y escucharme hablar de Philippe Petit por horas con tanto amor como tu lo sabias hacer, me acuerdo que pesaba “wow realmente me está escuchando , esta niña es diferente”. Ese momento en el que a la mitad de la película nos quedamos viendo uno al otro por instantes sin decir nada pero realmente decíamos todo…fue simplemente hermoso. Gracias por todas las videollamadas cantando juntos. Gracias por hablar conmigo de Harry Potter por horas hasta cansarnos. Gracias por hacer una fiesta de disfraces en la cual solo fuimos disfrazados tu y yo jajaja. Gracias por platicar conmigo de todos los misterios del mundo como los grandes detectives que nos sentíamos querida Señorita Adler y gracias por darme el nombramiento de Sherlock Holmes. Gracias por introducirme a la lectura y tenerme paciencia aunque nunca fui un muy buen lector…perdóname por perder el libro que me prestaste jajaja. Gracias por volar conmigo en el país de Nunca Jamás…jamás olvidaré cuando grabamos juntos esa serie…era tan bonito escucharte y sentir que me acompañabas en cada aventura, y gracias por compartir tu polvillo de hadas conmigo. Gracias por enseñarme a bailar y a reír sin parar cuando grabábamos Trolls…eres la Poppy más hermosa de todas. Gracias por vivir conmigo una historia de amor tan incondicional, mágica, sincera, divertida y vulnerable cuando grabamos “Anne with an E”….escucharte en cada toma era muy especial para mi. Sin duda ese personaje reflejaba gran parte de ti. Tu sabes que siempre serás mi única e irreemplazable Anne❤️. ……continua abajo

A post shared by Emilio Treviño Oficial (@emiliotrevino_) on

“Life undoubtedly surprises us in tough and unexpected ways, sometimes,” wrote Trevino, a young man who shared many projects with Andrea. “Te voy a extrañar mucho,” “I’ll miss you a lot,” he added in the caption of his Instagram post. 

Despite her young age, Andrea Arruti had been working in the entertainment industry for a long time.

In addition to interpreting the Spanish version of Elsa in “Frozen,” Arruti was a part of other projects such as “Phineas and Ferb” where she played the role of Brigette.

Andrea’s voice has been immortalized in other projects like “Detective Pikachu,” “Goosebumps 2,” “Zombies,” “Powerful Minds,” “World War Z” and many many more.

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