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Here’s Why Mexico’s President And Leonardo DiCaprio Have Joined Forces

Mexico’s Gulf of California is home to one of the most endangered species of porpoise in the world: the vaquita.


Located in the western part of Mexico, just south of California, it is believed that as few as 30 of the mammals are still alive. Their numbers are so low that scientists believe the only way to save the endangered animal is by relocating those remaining in the wild to a sanctuary in San Felipe, Mexico, The Guardian reports.

To save the vaquita porpoise, the Mexican government and the U.S. Association of Zoos and Aquariums have started a $4 million campaign.


The money will go to securing the necessary technology to locate the rare porpoises remaining in the wild, as well as using trained dolphins to help in that process, and providing them with holding pens that will transport them to the sanctuary.

Scientists are unsure of how the porpoise will react to this process, as no one has managed to successfully capture a living vaquita.


They are so rare that footage of vaquitas is hard to find. This video was taken in 2015, which shows only the briefest glimpse of the animal in its natural habitat.

In an effort to bring awareness to the vaquita’s struggle, actor Leonardo DiCaprio tweeted the following:


The Oscar-winning actor is known for taking on environmental causes.

As the Huffington Post reported, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto tweeted support for DiCaprio’s message.


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Peña Nieto then went on a Twitter tear, providing information about Mexico’s efforts to save the vaquita.

@EPN / TWITTER

The vaquita has faced threats from numerous sources in the Gulf of California.


The Guardian reports that the vaquita are often caught in the nets of fishermen illegally hunting the totoaba, another endangered animal in the Gulf of California, whose bladder “commands a higher price than cocaine,” according to Mexico’s National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change’s Lorenzo Rojas-Bracho. The nets used, called gill nets, are the perfect size to capture the vaquita, and were banned from the Gulf of California until this past April.

Even with the ban, these aggressive, illegal fishing practices, have caused the porpoise’s numbers to drop by 90 percent over the last five years, The Huffington Post reports.


Even with their numbers reaching grim levels, activists are working hard to ensure the species will survive. As Rojas-Bracho told The Guardian, “we have to do our best or [the vaquita] will be lost to the planet forever.”

[H/T] The Guardian: Last-ditch attempt to save the endangered vaquita porpoise

READ: LAUSD Just Made It Harder For ICE To Walk Onto Their School Campuses

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Denver Undocumented Immigrant Jeanette Vizguerra Has Been Granted A Stay Of Removal

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Denver Undocumented Immigrant Jeanette Vizguerra Has Been Granted A Stay Of Removal

The Denver Post / YouTube

Jeanette Vizguerra has been living in a Denver church since February, fearing deportation and being separated from her four children. Finally, after three months, Vizguerra has been granted a stay of removal until 2019 and is free to leave the church in time for Mother’s Day. Vizguerra made international headlines when a private bill was introduced in Congress to offer her permanent residency, making her a prominent face of the immigration debate under President Trump’s administration. She has even been named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People of 2017.

Vizguerra, an undocumented mother of four, has been granted a stay of removal.


Jeanette Vizguerra has spent the last three months hiding in the First Unitarian Society of Denver to avoid being deported. Vizguerra sought sanctuary in the church instead of attending a scheduled check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). After learning her original stay of removal order had expired, Vizguerra feared she would be deported, so she made the decision to stay in the church.

Vizguerra is the second immigrant in Denver this month to be granted a stay of removal after fears of deportation forced them to seek refuge.


Vizguerra and Arturo Hernandez Garcia are both undocumented immigrants living in Denver. Hernandez Garcia was recently given a much shorter stay of only 30 days which allows for him to see his daughter graduate from high school.

The announcement of Vizguerra’s stay comes just days before Mother’s Day.


“It’s a special day for me because I will be able to celebrate Mother’s Day with my children and grandchildren,” Vizguerra said at a press conference, according to TIME. “Their struggle is my struggle, and my struggle is their struggle, because we are a community.”

Representative Diana DeGette, who represents Colorado’s 1st District, celebrated the decision.


“ICE finally chose justice and granted a stay for Jeanette, freeing her from the church basement where she has sought shelter these past few months, and Arturo’s circumstances have been resolved for the moment,” DeGette said in a statement on her website.  “But such situations should never arise in the first place.  People who contribute to their communities and live peacefully for decades in this country – at a time when immigrants of all types are being demonized – deserve better. Congress needs to get serious about comprehensive immigration reform rather than continuing with the patchwork of measures that we now have.  And in the meantime, the Executive Branch needs to show more compassion.”

Vizguerra’s supporters joined her as she left the church this morning for the first time in years.


People were excited to see Vizguerra finally make her way out of the church basement she called home for months.

People are expressing their joy that Vizguerra gets to enjoy her time with family for Mother’s Day.


Others are reminding people that this is just a part of the larger issue of immigration reform.


Some are asking for Vizguerra to be given an indefinite stay.


You can watch her full press conference below.

Credit: The Denver Post / YouTube

(H/T: The Denver Post)


READ: His Wife Had To Stop Him From Going Back To Work Since He Only Has 30 Days Before ICE Takes Him Back

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