Things That Matter

Mexico’s Outgoing President Is Honoring Jared Kushner With One Of Mexico’s Highest Honors

Mexico’s outgoing President, Enrique Peña Nieto, is leaving office with a bang…sort of. He is bestowing the highest honor for foreigners to President Trumps son-in-law Jared Kushner and people are pissed.

President Peña Nieto is bestowing Mexico’s highest honor, the Order of the Aztec Eagle to Jared Kushner.

The award is given to foreigners, and past recipients include “Roberta Jacobson, the former US ambassador to Mexico, Bill Gates, and Queen Elizabeth II,” Vox reports. They also report that Kushner will be getting his award this coming Friday at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.

Mexican officials say Kushner is getting the honor for being instrumental in negotiating the new North American Fair Trade Agreement (NAFTA) deal.

“Mr. Kushner played a key role throughout the process, decisively supporting the development of trade talks between the two countries, thus achieving satisfactory results in a new economic agreement for the three countries,” the government of Mexico stated in a press release. “Mr. Kushner’s participation was decisive in initiating the process of renegotiating NAFTA, preventing a unilateral exit from the United States of said treaty, and his constant and effective involvement was key to achieving a successful conclusion of the negotiations.”

Deal or no deal, Mexicans were not happy that Kushner is receiving this top award.

“What level of self-inflicted humiliation, devaluing any added value that that decoration might have. Shame. Tremendous. And let it not even talk about how pissed off this makes us,” Bernal tweeted about the decision.

Mexican historian and essayist, Enrique Krauze said giving him that award is “an act of supreme humiliation and cowardice.”

“Kushner is the son-in-law of the person who called Mexicans ‘murders and rapists.’ Giving him the Order of the Aztec Eagle is a supreme act of humiliation and cowardice,” Krauze wrote.

“It is the ultimate Peña: He is finished, defeated, humiliated, but he still doesn’t care and offers this award to Kushner to almost show it off,” analyst Carlos Bravo Regidor of the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics in Mexico City, told NPR.

In response to the backlash, Peña Nieto said he is giving the award to Kushner because he is a “great ally.”

“It is an attribution of the president and I want to give it to him,” he said in a press conference, according to El Universal. “I want to recognize who has been a great ally of Mexico.”

Here’s some more thoughts on Kushner’s award from Mexico.

“Please go and enjoy your richness and never come back to politics. What foolishness is this,” @ErikaAndiola tweeted.

It has truly left many in the world confused about the thought process of the outgoing Mexican president.


READ: After Trump Threatens To Cancel Meeting With Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto Beats Him To The Punch

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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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