Things That Matter

A Guatemalan Child Migrant Had His Throat Slit And Was Found Next To His Dead Father In Mexico

The migrant crisis has a death toll. Whether it is migrants dying trying to traverse some of the most hostile parts of North America, violent gangs, police brutality, medical negligence in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detention, or homicidal coyotes, the death toll is rising. Immigration policies in Mexico and the U.S. are partly to blame for the deaths and the desperation to live a life free of fear and violence is what forces families to be put in harm’s way. That is the story of Cristian, a Guatemalan boy left to die with his father’s body.

A 10-year-old Guatemalan boy is recovering after being left for dead in the desert with his father’s body.

Credit: @RafaelRomoCNN / Twitter

CNN reports that a 10-year-old migrant boy was left for dead with his throat slit next to his father’s body. The boy was found in the Mexican state of Morelos. The father and son were making their way from Guatemala to the U.S. with the help of a coyote.

Despite having hired the smuggler to get them from Guatemala to the U.S., they were abandoned in Mexico.

Credit: @gcomissi / Twitter

The father and son were abandoned by the coyote and that’s when they were kidnapped, according to CNN. That is when the pair were kidnapped by members of the Los Zetas drug cartel and held for ransom. The cartel members contacted Cristian and his father Rudy’s family in the U.S. demanding $12,000. CNN reports that they could only get $8,000 and that’s when the cartel ceased communication.

Cristian and Rudy were on the journey with Rudy’s brother and his son.

Credit: @llharley1991 / Twitter

Rudy’s brother and his son managed to escape the gang members and CNN reports that they are now in the care of Mexican authorities. Cristian was found on July 6 with his throat slit lying next to the body of his dead father. Cristian’s survival is a miracle.

Migrants are regularly the victims of crime when passing through Mexico to the U.S. border. The crimes committed in Mexico against migrants range from robbery to murder.

The latest tragedy in the migrant crisis has Christians calling out Evangelicals for their harmful and dangerous approval of Trump’s immigration policies.

Credit: @HerDensanHubby / Twitter

The “Remain In Mexico” policies and the increased restrictions on asylum claims is leading to an increase in deaths for the migrant crisis. Men, women, and children are dying trying to get the U.S. and some have started dying once in immigration authority custody.

The deaths of migrants desperate to reach the U.S. border have garnered more attention in recent months.

Credit: @ElleHM / Twitter

The tragic deaths of Óscar Martínez Ramírez and his very young daughter shocked the U.S. but haven’t spurred any change. The father and daughter were desperate to reach the U.S. border to apply for asylum from El Salvador. The father and daughter tried swimming across the Rio Grande after being denied a chance to request asylum at a port of entry.

The migrant crisis has become so prevalent in the U.S consciousness that presidential candidates are being asked how they will save lives if elected.

“Watching those images of Óscar and Valeria is heartbreaking. It should also piss us all off,” Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro said during the Democratic Debates. “If I were president today, I would sign an executive order that would get rid of Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy, the ‘Remain In Mexico’ policy, and the metering policy. This metering policy is basically what prompted Óscar and Valeria to make that risky swim across the river.”

Castro added: “They had been playing games with people coming and seeking asylum at our ports of entry. Óscar and Valeria went to a port of entry and then they were denied the ability to make an asylum claim. So, they got frustrated and they tried to cross the river and they died because of that.”

The policy of metering at the border is not new but Trump has ramped it up making it more and more dangerous for asylum seekers.

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

According to NPR, “metering is the term that Customs and Border Protection uses for a process by which it limits the number of people who can request asylum at a port of entry at a U.S.-Mexico border crossing each day.”

NPR reporter James Frederick explains, “As far as U.S. asylum law says, anyone who steps foot in the U.S. has the ability to request asylum. So what CBP is doing is they’re stationing a guard at border crossings. Asylum-seekers that show up there, they tell them they have to turn around and go put their name on a waitlist, basically, back in Mexico and wait for their turn to request asylum. And these lists are getting very long. People are waiting weeks or sometimes months for their opportunity to request asylum. The latest figure we have is that 19,000 asylum-seekers are waiting on the Mexican side of the border for their chance to request asylum in the U.S.”

It is important that Americans stay engaged in the discussion about immigration and asylum seekers.

Credit: @BetoORourke / Twitter

The Trump administration is further restricting asylum claims and only making it harder and more dangerous for people to seek legal asylum in the U.S. Call your representatives and senators and let them know what you think about the change to asylum laws attacking migrants.

READ: Yesterday’s Attack On An ICE Detention Center Could Have Resulted In The Mass Murder Of Migrants

Mexican YouTuber Eats Habanero Chillies And Ends Up In Hospital, Do Not Try At Home!

Entertainment

Mexican YouTuber Eats Habanero Chillies And Ends Up In Hospital, Do Not Try At Home!

Los Hermanos Lara Oficial / YouTube

Oh my, what some people are willing to do for a few thousand views! YouTuber and influencer culture has become an incredibly competitive field and only the most outrageous manage to stand out among literally thousands of individuals who offer a look into their lives and fight to get at least 15 minutes of fame. We have seen it all, from the early days of the Internet and fake identities being created, to the case of a woman in Australia who faked cancer recovery to become a wellness and health celebrity.

But a recent case in Mexico became much talked-about for all the wrong reasons… introducing the case of the man who ended up in hospital for eating two habanero chillies, one of the most picosa varieties that you can find.

Los Hermanos Lara are a comedic duo out of Yucatan, and Hugo went far beyond duty and faced one of his biggest fears… 

Credit: Los Hermanos Lara Oficial / YouTube

Hugo stated that he doesn’t eat chili, but was dared to eat two habaneros at once. He said yes, but said he would have one after the other. The rest of the crew said absolutely not…  And then all spicy hell broke loose!

Hugo put both chilies in his mouth at once… and started chewing 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Credit: Los Hermanos Lara Oficial / YouTube

We just cannot stress this enough: please do not try at home. If you suspect you won’t be able to handle the heat (quite literally), please just don’t! Besides risking a respiratory shock due to the sudden attack on your throat lining, your stomach can also suffer greatly, as the oils from some chili species can damage the inner layer of your gut. You will regret it. Do not succumb to peer pressure, repeat, do not succumb to peer pressure. 

Look at this face: it is a face of a guy who is about to experience real hell on Earth… 

Credit: Los Hermanos Lara Oficial / YouTube

Wait for it, wait for it… 

Wow! His tongue and lips and throat are exploding in a thousand sparks of flavor and pain!

Credit: Los Hermanos Lara Oficial / YouTube

Someone please call the firemen! This poor man just had a complete shock to his system and as funny as it might be it is actually pretty darn dangerous. Lara immediately turned red due to a sudden rush of blood to his face, and started to cough as the chili oils were being released, acting as an irritant in his mouth and upper respiratory tract. 

Then things started to get really, really bad…

Credit: Los Hermanos Lara Oficial / YouTube

Hugo was overcome by an uncontrollable coughing fit after he spit the habaneros. His companions started to get real worried and Hugo could just not stop coughing… 

An ambulance was called! 

Credit: Los Hermanos Lara Oficial / YouTube

They gave him water, panicked… things went from laughter to chaos in a few seconds, which reminds us that in life unexpected turns are always there waiting for us. 

Hugo is fine now, thanks for asking, but the incident was like straight out of a telenovela (but also a reminder to not do silly things that can put us in danger.)

Credit: Los Hermanos Lara Oficial / YouTube

The other half of the Lara duo released an announcement on social media, stating that Hugo was fine and that they decided to release the video so rumors didn’t get too out of control: “Hugo Lara is in stable condition. We didn’t think that this would get so out of control, and we will show you the video we recorded, so that you can see what really happened…”

You can watch the incident here. We are glad that Hugo is fine, but it could have ended very, very badly for him. Sometimes people have allergic reactions that they are unaware of, so that coughing fit could have signaled a much more serious issue.

So what are habaneros anyway and why are they so damn hot (and delicious)?

Credit: Bonnie Plants

Habaneros are a staple of yucateca food, and one of the most profitable crops in the state. The habanero chili comes originally from the Amazon, but its popularity spread up, reaching Mexico. Its scientific name is Capsicum chinense Habanero Group and it is considered one of the hottest chilies in the world. Like other chilies, habaneros contain a substance called capsaicin that stimulates areas of the skin and tongue that are sensitive to heat and pain.

And when you say that a chili is burning your tongue you are onto something: capsaicin tricks the brain into thinking that the body’s surface is actually on fire, so the fright and flight response is well justified! Trivia fact: chili species developed their heat to stop fungus from developing on them and killing them. Damn, nature can be pretty smart, much smarter than us mortal humans. 

People Are Celebrating Mexico’s Planned Bill To Fine Companies That Copy Indigenous Designs

Culture

People Are Celebrating Mexico’s Planned Bill To Fine Companies That Copy Indigenous Designs

MasdeMx.com

Much has been said and written about the material pillaging that indigenous communities in what is now the Americas have been subject to since Christopher Columbus “discovered” the continent. Mineral resources, agricultural knowledge and dignity: they were all taken in the name of “civilization”. These processes of abuse towards the original owners of a land that was never willingly ceded have continued well into today. 

Some goods are immaterial, which means that more than objects or places, they are cultural goods such as knowledge, practices and methods of doing things.

Credit: secadero_uno / Instagram

 Such an immaterial good are the designs that indigenous communities imprint on clothes, pottery and art. However, because there is no single author for these, creations are nor protected under intellectual property, which is how companies and designers take advantage and basically steal designs. These are not homages, but direct acts of plagiarism! 

But there have been people that have been profiting from traditional designs

Credit: Mexico News Daily

Zara, the massive Spanish retailer, has been accused of stealing designs both from indigenous communities and from independent designers. Indigenous groups from the Mexican state of Chiapas, for example, have said that the copycat designs affect their livelihood because potential customers, including tourists, can just go to the shops and get them.

As reported by Mexico Daily News, there is a discrepancy in the hours of labor that indigenous artisans invest in each garment and what they get paid, compared to the profit made by brands like Zara. as artisans “dedicate more than 50 hours to making each embroidered garment, selling them for 200 pesos (US $10). In contrast, Zara manufactures the same garment and sells it at 599 pesos ($32.)”

And let’s not forget that Zara and other international companies have been found to use abusive and exploitative production methods in other countries such as Bangladesh. Consumers are also to blame, as a representative for the advocacy group Impacto told Mexico Daily News: “There’s also a contradiction, because they pay high prices at a store but then don’t want to spend in an indigenous community.”

So if you visit Mexico or another developing country and you want to take the price down, regatear as they say in Spanish, when buying from a local artisan, well, then shame on you! 

And if we think a bit further, international brands like Zara sometimes profit from a global network of abuse and injustice.

Let’s not forget that six years ago a fatal collapse in Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza building, where brands such as H&M and Zara outsourced clothes manufacturing, caused deaths and revealed the industry malpractices that do not guarantee workers’ safety. Since then international brands have looked into their production processes, but problems remain. Needless to say, what Global South workers get is a minuscule amount compared to what US or Spanish workers would demand, so the profit on each piece is huge. All in the name of money, right? So the chain of mistreatment sometimes start with stealing designs and continues with paying super low wages to people that cannot afford not to be employed, even if it is under very precarious conditions. 

So the motion that is being considered in the Mexican Senate makes a ton of sense.

Credit: masdemx.com

The Mexican Senate is considering imposing a hefty fine to those who copy indigenous designs, which are de facto intellectual and cultural property that can make money, so there is a monetary value attached to them.

As reported by Mexico Daily News, “The proposal being discussed by the Senate culture commission would penalize the theft of indigenous cultural elements with fines up to 4.2 million pesos (US $218,000.)”

The proposal includes a legal framework through which indigenous communities can denounce cases in which they feel like their creative and cultural property has been stolen. The Senate’s cultural commission has focused on indigenous affairs since MORENA, the incumbent president’s party, got into power earlier this year. For all its controversial decisions, the current government has in fact done more to protect indigenous communities than previous administrations.

In some cases the copycat models are blatantly direct: such is the case of a chinanteco design copied by the brand Intropia and sold in over 170 euros. Other brands that have appropriated designs from indigenous communities from Chiapas, Oaxaca and other states such as Hidalgo are  Carolina Herrera, Dior, Isabel Marant, Nestlé, Madewell, Mango and Desigual. The National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) has found at least 39 cases of this type of theft. If the proposal goes through, a database of designs of indigenous and Afro-Mexican designs will be created.