things that matter

Corruption Among Border Patrol Agents Highlighted In This Tense Documentary

THE ATLANTIC / YOUTUBE

The drug trade is big business in Mexico, and as a result, many individuals are attracted to the prospect of making big money by making deals with the cartels. In the U.S., it is not uncommon for cartels to pay off border patrol agents, so they can have access to valuable intel or to get a free pass at the border. And while border patrol agents can make some extra cash by turning a blind eye to cartel dealings, they’re not above retaliation, or worse, if something goes wrong. As this short documentary from The Atlantic shows, the relationship between the cartels and border patrol agents can tear apart communities, as well as families. The damage caused by this corruption is likely to get worse.

As demand for border patrol agents increases, the level of corruption is expected to increase as well.

THE ATLANTIC / YOUTUBE

Border Patrol Agent Joel Luna and his brother, Eduardo Luna, a sicario (assassin) for the “Gulf Cartel,” were arrested in connection with the murder of Francisco “Frankie” Palacios Paz, whose body was found floating in the waters of South Padre Island, Texas. The Atlantic reports that only around one percent of agents are likely compromised by cartels, the way Joel Luna was, but that one percent can cause billions of dollars in damage.

In January, President Trump signed an executive order asking for an additional 5,500 agents, and experts are concerned that this demand could lead to a relaxation in the hiring process, allowing less desirable, and potentially easier to bribe, people to fill those positions. The damage caused by agent Joel Luna could pale in comparison to what might come next.

Be sure to check out The Atlantic’s full piece, covering this and so much more, on just how much damage is caused by this kind of corruption.

[H/T] Remezcla: This Explosive Short Doc Exposes How Trump’s Expansion of Border Patrol Could Be Disastrous

READ: Thousands Of Non-Criminal Immigrants Have Been Arrested By ICE, Data Reveals

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Gay Activists Met In Havana To Talk Cuban LGBTQ Rights

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Gay Activists Met In Havana To Talk Cuban LGBTQ Rights

@mklavers81 / Twitter / Mark Scott Johnson / Flickr

A group of LGBTQ activists from the United States traveled to Havana, Cuba to meet with their Cuban counterparts, as well as Cuban officials, to talk about the future of LGBTQ rights on the Caribbean island. The trip was organized by Tico Almeida, the founder of Freedom To Work, and included three other activists who met with Mariela Castro, who is the director of the Cuban National Center for Sex Education. Castro is the daughter of current Cuban president Raúl Castro, according the Miami Herald. Despite the positive intentions of building bridges between the LGBTQ community of the U.S. and Cuba, people remain skeptical about what the future has in store for the LGBTQ community of Cuba.

“Business leaders at our top companies like American Airlines, Google, and Facebook have helped build bridges between Americans and the Cuban people, and it’s also important for the LGBT movement in the United States to create stronger connections with the brave gay and lesbian Cubans who are petitioning their government for the freedom to marry the person they love,” Almeida told Miami Herald.

Other LGBTQ activists, like SAVE executive director Tony Lima, hoped that the group will do more than have dialogue with Cuban regime approved people. Lima posted this message to Facebook:

While it’s important to engage the Cuban people, I would be extremely concerned about creating optics that support the…

Posted by Tony Lima on Saturday, May 13, 2017


“While it’s important to engage the Cuban people, I would be extremely concerned about creating optics that support the Cuban Regime – a regime that continues to suppress its people and the people of Venezuela,” Lima wrote on Facebook. “It is telling that Cuba’s leading LGBTQ rights activist is the straight daughter (Mariela Castro) of Raul Castro. We must not forget ONE family has controlled Cuba for nearly six decades with brutal implications for LGBTQ people during the far majority of that time.”

During the meeting, there were reports of an independent LGBTQ activist being blocked by the Cuban government from attending any of the meetings. According to Washington Blade, Nelson Gandulla, the president of the Cuban Federation for LGBTI Rights, was blocked by the Cuban government from leaving the Cienfuegos Province to go to Havana in order to meet the U.S. LGBTQ activists.

As for the fate of the LGBTQ Cuban community moving forward, only time will tell if the Caribbean island government with allow marriage equality and full protections from discrimination.


(H/T: Miami Herald)

READ: Her Transgender Son Helped The First Latina Senator In Florida Stand For LGBTQ Rights

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