Things That Matter

Four Guatemalan Children Have Died On Their Way To The U.S. Since December. What’s Happening?

An unidentified 2-year-old Guatemalan toddler has died one month after being detained by U.S. officials. According to a spokesperson from the Guatemalan consulate in Del Rio, Texas, the child died from complication from pneumonia.

Juan de León Gutiérrez, 16, made the dangerous trip to the U.S. hoping to be able to earn some money and provide a better life for his family back in Guatemala. They had been surviving on just one meal a day and with severe drought conditions, there was little hope of things getting better.

In December, two Guatemalan children died in U.S. custody making them the first children to die in custody in a decade. Seven-year-old Jakelin Caal died in a children’s hospital in El Paso, Texas. Eight-year-old Felipe Gomez Alonzo dies on Christmas Eve in a New Mexico hospital after being ill with vomiting, cough, and a fever.

Families are heartbroken and grieving for the loss of their children who simply wanted to help make their lives better.

Credit: @RAICESTEXAS / Twitter

Juan had left his drought-stricken village in Guatemala and began a journey to the U.S. He had hopes of earning money to send back to his family so they could buy corn and salt. According to his mother, Juan was a good boy who loved his family.

The family, who survives on farming, has been struggling for years as drought takes hold of the region.

Credit: @rafaelshimunov / Twitter

Juan spent most days working the farm with this father, where the family grew maize, beans, and coffee plants on their modest plot of land.

Each year when school started, Juan would beg his mother to scrounge up the $130 needed to continue studying, a privilege his own parents never had. But this year, Juan said he wanted to migrate to the U.S. to help earn money that would help the family. His mother tried to convince him to stay but eventually gave in, aware she couldn’t offer him a better life in Guatemala.

Fifteen days later, the teenager was apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol near El Paso after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, according to a statement from Guatemala’s Foreign Ministry. He was transferred to a local hospital after a doctor at a government-run detention center noticed he was sick.

On April 30, after an operation at a Texas-area children’s hospital, de León Gutiérrez died. In an interview with CNN, his father said, “He went seeking life, but found death.”

The outpouring of grief on social media tells a story of how much the immigration laws of the U.S. need to change.

Credit: @CNN / Twitter

Many expressed sadness and anger over Juan’s death.

The detention center where the boy was being held has an alleged history of abuse.

Credit: @rebekahentralgo / Twitter

Experts agree that temporary detention facilities at the border – often called “hieleras” because of their cold temperatures – are not equipped to safely care for children. Aside from having to deal with cold temperatures, migrants often face verbal abuse from guards and are forced to sleep on cold baren floors. Migrants are also threatened with violence from other detainees.

Several Twitter users have pointed out that the U.S. is supposed to be a welcoming place for immigrants.

Credit: @anotheresquire / Twitter

The Trump administration is doing everything in its power to not only deter immigrants and asylum seekers from coming to the U.S., but they’re also making their lives a living hell once they arrive.

While some have called out the cruel policies of the Trump administration and pointed out the inaction of Congress.

Credit: @CrisAlexJimenez / Twitter

Short of a miracle, the Trump administration isn’t going to adjust its approach. In fact, the administration has recently announced new measures designed to be even crueler towards immigrants.

Congress must stand up to cruelty and find ways forward to ensure deaths like these no longer happen.

Juan was the fourth Guatemalan child to die in U.S. custody since December.

Credit: @vicenews / Twitter

The uptick in death of minors has triggered outrage and grief in the U.S. The Trump administration started separating families at the border and it seems the policies at the border have gotten more extreme and the care of children is dipping.

Their deaths have sparked outrage among many who question how the same people who say every life is valuable and are passing illegal and restrictive abortion bans can allow the deaths of these innocent children.

Meanwhile, in the face of pointed questions, Homeland Security officials have been unable to adequately account for how many people have been harmed in detention due to this administration’s policies.

READ: Separated Immigrant Children Young As 3 Years Old Ordered To Appear In Court Alone

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Radical Feminists Have Seized Control of a Federal Building in Mexico in Protest of the Government’s Apathy Towards Rampant Femicide

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Radical Feminists Have Seized Control of a Federal Building in Mexico in Protest of the Government’s Apathy Towards Rampant Femicide

Last week, Mexican feminist activists took over the National Human Rights Commissions federal building in a move to bring greater awareness to the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide that has racked Mexico for decades.

According to the federal Interior Secretariat, the statistics in Mexico have recently taken a turn for the worse.

Domestic violence against women has became an even more acute problem since the pandemic has forced women to stay insider with their abusers. Emergency distress calls reporting domestic violence have risen by 50%.

The occupation of the Human Rights building is just another chapter in the saga of the “Ni Una Menos” (Not One More Woman) movement, an anti-femicide collective born in Argentina that has steadily been gaining steam in Mexico since 2019.

In recent years, anti-femicide demonstrations have been sparked by various heinous crimes against women or girls that have been largely overlooked by law enforcement officials. 

Photo by Marcos Brindicci/Getty Images

Unfortunately, the government of Mexico has appeared to be apathetic to the wave of femicide that is overwhelming the women of their country.

Recently, when President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was asked to address Mexico’s gender violence epidemic, he demurred, stating that he didn’t “want femicide to detract” from the raffle his administration was holding for the sale of the presidential airplane.

As for the feminist activists at the heart of Ni Una Menos and the federal building occupation, the government’s failure to respond to anti-woman violence is the primary fuel for their anger. 

“We’re here so that the whole world will know that in Mexico they kill women and nobody does anything about it,” said Yesenia Zamudio to the LA Times. According to Zamudio, she is still seeking justice for the murder of her 19-year-old daughter four years ago.

The women of Mexico appear to be fed up, grasping at any and all tactics that have the potential to incite change on a grander scale.

Their tactics may seem dramatic to some, but it’s undeniable that they are no longer being ignored. As of now, the radical activists are pulling attention-grabbing stunts like decorating a portrait of Mexican Revolution leader Francisco Madero with lipstick and purple hair.

They’re also making headlines for vandalizing the federal building’s walls and splashing paint on the doors of the presidential palace.

One thing is for sure: something has to change. Otherwise, thousands of innocent women and girls will continue to be raped, abused, and murdered while their perpetrators escape with immunity. 

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Joe Biden Speaks Alongside ‘Fearless Fighter’ Kamala Harris In First Appearance And Recalls Her Family’s Immigrant Story

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Joe Biden Speaks Alongside ‘Fearless Fighter’ Kamala Harris In First Appearance And Recalls Her Family’s Immigrant Story

Chip Somodevilla / Gettycc

After weeks of speculation and anticipation, presidential candidate Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that he has officially picked his running mate.

In a history-making announcement, Biden revealed that he had tapped California Sen. Kamala Harris to be his VP Pick.

“I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked @KamalaHarris — a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants — as my running mate,” Biden announced in a tweet.

On Wednesday, Biden held his first campaign event alongside running mate Kamala Harris in Delaware.

During their speeches, the two candidates wore masks and kept their distance in keeping with COVID-19 standards.

Speaking about his VP pick, Biden described Harris as coming from an “America’s story.” Biden described Harris as “a child of immigrants” who “knows personally how immigrant families enrich our country as well as the challenges of what it means to grow up Black and Indian-American in the United States of America,” he explained. “And this morning, all across the nation, little girls woke up, especially little Black and brown girls that feel overlooked and undervalued in their communities, but today — today just maybe they’re seeing themselves for the first time in a new way as president and vice presidents.”

In a speech of her own, Harris emphasized the importance of family and urged citizens to vote.  “We need a mandate that proves that the past few years do not represent who we are or who we aspire to be,” she said. “Joe likes to say that character is on the ballot. And it’s true,” she explained. “I’ve had a lot of titles over my career and certainly vice president will be great. But ‘Momala’ will always be the one that means the most.”

Harris’s nomination makes her the first Black and first Indian-American woman on either major party’s presidential ticket.

Harris is a former prosecutor from California who challenged Biden in her own presidential bid last year. Her nomination makes her the fourth woman to appear on a major presidential ballot. Before her, Geraldine Ferraro ran as a Democratic vice presidential nominee in 1984. In 2008, Republican Sarah Palin ran as a vice presidential nominee, later in 2016, Hillary Clinton became the Democratic presidential nominee.

Biden’s choice was one that has long been in the works. In March of this year, he revealed that he would make a point to have a woman as his running mate and in July he announced that he had narrowed his picks down to four Black women.

Kamala Harris was elected to Congress in 2016.

This has been Harris’ first term as a senator. Before, she served as the California attorney general. During her time as AG, Harris formed a lasting friendship with Biden’s late son Beau who was attorney general at the time in Delaware. Writing about Beau’s death, in her memoir The Truths We Hold, Harris recalled that “there were periods when I was taking the heat when Beau and I talked every day, sometimes multiple times a day,” she wrote in her memoir. “We had each other’s backs.”

Biden’s son Beau died in 2015 from brain cancer. Harris attended his funeral.

During his announcement, Biden mentioned Harris’ friendship with his son.

“I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse,” Biden tweeted. “I was proud then, and I’m proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign.”

So far, it seems there are quite a bit of Harris x Biden supporters.

Fans were quick to give their support and applaud her candidacy.

In a tweet acknowledging her nomination, Harris wrote “@JoeBiden can unify the American people because he’s spent his life fighting for us. And as president, he’ll build an America that lives up to our ideals. I’m honored to join him as our party’s nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief.”

Here’s to 2020 y’all. Get ready to make history.

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