Things That Matter

Donald Trump Signed A New Spending Bill To Avoid A Government Shutdown And Didn’t Get Wall Funding

President Donald Trump signed a new spending bill to avoid a government shut down and no money is being used to build the border wall. Trump ran his campaign on the promise of building a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and that Mexico would be paying for the wall. Of course, Trump has not been able to deliver on that campaign promise and, once again, Trump bowed and signed a spending bill with no provision for the border wall.

President Trump signed a new spending bill to avoid a government shutdown but without wall funding.

Trump signed the bill to fund the government for a year while the American public watched the Senate Judiciary Committee handle the Kavanaugh hearings. The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Senate despite multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.

The proposed border wall was a major campaign promise and has been a focal point of contention with Mexico.

“They make all of this money, and they do absolutely nothing to stop people from going through Mexico, from Honduras and all these other countries, the caravan, all of this stuff,” Trump said during a rally in Nashville, Tennessee. “They do nothing to help us, nothing.”

Trump has avoided bringing up his wall pledge in public since the topic led the Mexican President to cancel plans for a visit to Washington early in Trump’s term.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has unequivocally denied that Mexico will ever pay for the wall.

“NO. Mexico will NEVER pay for a wall. Not now, not ever,” President Enrique Nieto wrote, in both English and Spanish. “Sincerely, Mexico (all of us).” It’s not the first time Peña Nieto has denied this.

The wall has strained relations between the two nations and impacted North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) talks.

The U.S., Mexico and Canada recently reworked NAFTA and created the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. It is being billed as an updated version of NAFTA.

“USMCA will give our workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses a high-standard trade agreement that will result in freer markets, fairer trade and robust economic growth in our region,” reads a joint statement by US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland. “It will strengthen the middle class, and create good, well-paying jobs and new opportunities for the nearly half billion people who call North America home.”

Former Mexico President Vicente Fox has long rejected the idea that Mexico will fund any border wall.

The former President of Mexico has consistently denied Donald Trump’s claims that Mexico will pay for the border wall. He has been on the record multiple times about his displeasure with the wall and has commonly responded with his now signature line “Mexico is not paying for that f****n wall.”

Last October, prototypes were revealed in San Diego for the proposed border wall with exact details and funding source yet to be revealed.

The president has said he wants as much as $25 billion for the border wall that could take about 10 years to complete, but the $1.3-trillion spending bill he signed back in March authorized only $1.6 billion for fencing, surveillance and other security measures. This leaves many open questions on who and what will pay for the border wall.


READ: Trump Plans To Offer DACA Recipients Citizenship If U.S. Tax Dollars Can Be Used To Pay For The Border Wall

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This Indigenous Village In Mexico Trains Their Children As Soldiers To Combat Gang Violence

Things That Matter

This Indigenous Village In Mexico Trains Their Children As Soldiers To Combat Gang Violence

via Getty Images

In the town of Ayahualtempa, Mexico, in the state of Guerrero, reporters see a shocking image whenever they visit. Children armed with guns, trained to defend themselves. The disturbing scene is meant to be shocking. The village of Ayahualtempa is under constant attack. A prominent heroin “corridor”, they are the victims of violence and carnage at the hands of gangsters and the cartel.

In order to gain the Mexican government’s attention, the Ayahualtempa villagers dress their children up as soldiers. Then, they invite the media in.

Ayahualtempa
via Getty Images

When reporters arrive, the children of Ayahualtempa dutifully line up and put on a performance. They march, they show how they would shoot a gun from one knee, or from flat on their bellies. They tell reporters that their mock-violent performance is “so the president sees us and helps us,” as a 12-year-old child named Valentín told the Associated Press.

Because the Mexican government doesn’t protect Ayahualtempa, the display of child soldiers is a form of protest for the small indigenous village. The people of this remote region of Guerrero want protection from the National Guard, and financial help for widows and orphans who have been made so from organized crime.

The villagers don’t trust local authorities, and for good reason. Guerrera is the Mexican state in which 43 teaching students were abducted and killed in an event that is known as the “Iguala mass kidnapping”. Authorities arrested 80 suspects in connection to the event. 44 of them were police officers, working in conjunction with a network of cartels.

Although the demonstrations function largely as a publicity stunt, violence is very much a part of these children’s lives.

via Getty Images

Parents train their children to walk to school with loaded guns, ready to defend themselves against violent gangsters.

The attention-grabbing antics have, to some extent, worked. On one occasion, the government donated some housing material. On another, benefactors gave the community’s orphans and widows scholarships and houses. But as soon as the periodic media storms die down, the federal government continues pretending Ayahualtempa doesn’t exist.

The hypocrisy of the government’s response is frustrating to many. “We’ve normalized that these children don’t eat, are illiterate, are farm workers. We’re used to the Indians dying young, but, ‘How dare they arm them!’” said local human rights activist Abel Barrera to the AP, with a heavy dose of sarcasm.

As for now, until the government moves to protect the community, they say they will continue their demonstrations. “They see that the issue of the children is effective for making people take notice and they think: If that’s what works, we’ll have to keep doing it,” said Barrera.

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Spanish Voiceover Actress For Jessie From Pokémon Dies And Fans Mourn

Entertainment

Spanish Voiceover Actress For Jessie From Pokémon Dies And Fans Mourn

Pokémon fans in Latin America are mourning the death of Diana Pérez, the Spanish-language voice of Jessie of Pokémon’s Team Rocket. The voice actress has been voicing the character since 1997.

Diana Pérez, the voice actress of Team Rocket’s Jessie, died at 51.

Lalo Garza, a famed voice actor in Mexico, confirmed the death of the Pokémon voice actress.

“Rest in peace Diana Pérez, a strong, cultured, intelligent, and very talented woman. You are good now, friend. Nothing hurts anymore. Have a good trip,” reads the tweet.

Pérez has been a staple in the Spanish-language Pokémon fandom for decades.

Pérez was more than just he voice of Jessie. The voice actress was the voice of multiple anime characters including Luffy in One Piece and Kagura in Inuyasha. In recent years, Pérez had started branching out to directing, producing, and other branches in the entertainment industry.

Pérez’s death is being mourned by Pokémon fans outside of the Spanish-language fandom.

Sarah Natochenny is the English voice of Ash Ketchum in the Pokémon series, Jessie’s mortal enemy. The death of Pérez has impacted the larger Pokémon community. Pérez was a pivotal part of the Latin American Pokémon community for decades and her loss has devastated fans.

Descansa en paz, Diana.

There have been no plans announced for a replacement to voice Team Rocket’s Jessie. No official cause of death has been released either. Our hearts and thoughts go out to Pérez’s family and the greater Pokémon community mourning her passing.

READ: I Was Today Years Old When I Found Out This Mexican Pokémon

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