Things That Matter

Journalist Found Dead In Mexico, Becomes 12th Killed This Year, After Criticizing Local Authorities

There is terrible news out of Mexico where the body of journalist Nevith Condés Jaramillo was found dead on the evening of August 24 in a home in the municipality of Tejupilco. Condes was a well-known journalist in the state who ran the local news site, El Observatorio del Sur, and was also an announcer on a community radio station. Reports say that Condes was found dead as a result of being stabbed multiple times, according to state prosecutor who made the announcement on Saturday. The murder case is currently being treated as a homicide as investigators look for any suspects. 

The 42-year-old would publish stories and news reports that caused tensions with the local government, this resulted in various threats back in June and November. Condes would eventually request federal protection because of these ongoing threats but reportedly didn’t comply with some procedures due to certain bureaucratic procedures involved. He becomes the third journalist killed in Mexico this August and the twelfth journalist killed in the country this year alone, according to Mexico’s human rights watchdog. 

The killing adds to a growing list of reporter deaths in one of the world’s most dangerous countries for the press.

Credit: @drconsultores / Twitter

The Mexican National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) denounced the killing of Condes in a public statement. The organization is calling for an independent and thorough investigation into this latest death.

“Violence against journalists, in all its forms, is one of the main obstacles for our country to consolidate itself as a democracy, hence the need for the authorities of the three levels of government to focus on the prevention, protection and timely investigation of these facts, the statement said. “With this homicide, there are already 153 journalists killed since 2000, and 12 so far in 2019.”

As of now, human rights defenders are asking authorities of Tejupilco to protect the family of the murdered journalist and requested that the “possible relationship of the crime with their journalistic activity” be looked into and fully investigated. 

There has been an outpouring of reactions to the senseless murder on social media from fellow journalists who are hoping to see an end of this trend. 

Credit: @notociasmundo2020 / Twitter

There has been an outpouring on anger and sadness since the news of Condes’s murder broke last week. Many journalists in Mexico and around the world have chimed in on the tragedy calling for immediate action. 

“All our solidarity with the family and colleagues of the Mexican journalist #NevithCondesJaramillo murdered. Without secure journalism and decent and long-lasting jobs, democracy corrodes in its foundations. Populism began destroying serious journalism,” Fernando Vidal, a fellow Mexican journalist tweeted. 

The latest journalist murder underscores the growing dangers for media members in the country who are being attacked in record numbers. 

Credit: @univ_english / Twitter

Advocacy group, Reporters Without Borders, which releases annual rankings of the world’s most dangerous countries for news media, placed Mexico alongside war-torn Syria and Afghanistan. The country has been plagued with ongoing drug and gang violence since 2006. Murders in the country have spiked in the first half of this year and at this current pace, it will most likely be the highest on record, according to official data.

Just last month there were similar murders in Mexico that left three journalists killed within a week. Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), an independent non-profit organization, condemned the killings and called on Mexico to take action on the growing problem. 

“These two brutal killings within days of each other are the tragic consequence of Mexico’s failure to seriously address impunity in attacks on the press,” the group said in a statement. 

The spiraling violence underscores the challenges President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has faced since taking office in December with promises and initiatives to reduce violence in the country ravaged by notorious drug traffickers. The violence that has been linked to drug trafficking and political corruption is growing rampant in Mexico with many murders going unpunished.

“Collusion between officials and organized crime poses a grave threat to journalists’ safety and cripples the judicial system at all levels,” the RSF said in a statement. “As a result, Mexico is sinking ever deeper into a spiral of violence and impunity and continues to be Latin America’s most dangerous country for reporters.”

READ: First It Was Soap And Toothbrushes, Now CBP Won’t Provide Flu Vaccines To Migrants In Detention Centers

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Mexico City Could Soon Change Its Name To Better Embrace Its Indigenous Identity

Things That Matter

Mexico City Could Soon Change Its Name To Better Embrace Its Indigenous Identity

Mexico City is the oldest surviving capital city in all of the Americas. It also is one of only two that actually served as capitals of their Indigenous communities – the other being Quito, Ecuador. But much of that incredible history is washed over in history books, tourism advertisements, and the everyday hustle and bustle of a city of 21 million people.

Recently, city residents voted on a non-binding resolution that could see the city’s name changed back to it’s pre-Hispanic origin to help shine a light on its rich Indigenous history.

Mexico City could soon be renamed in honor of its pre-Hispanic identity.

A recent poll shows that 54% of chilangos (as residents of Mexico City are called) are in favor of changing the city’s official name from Ciudad de México to México-Tenochtitlán. In contrast, 42% of respondents said they didn’t support a name change while 4% said they they didn’t know.

Conducted earlier this month as Mexico City gears up to mark the 500th anniversary of the fall of the Aztec empire capital with a series of cultural events, the poll also asked respondents if they identified more as Mexicas, as Aztec people were also known, Spanish or mestizo (mixed indigenous and Spanish blood).

Mestizo was the most popular response, with 55% of respondents saying they identified as such while 37% saw themselves more as Mexicas. Only 4% identified as Spaniards and the same percentage said they didn’t know with whom they identified most.

The poll also touched on the city’s history.

The ancient city of Tenochtitlán.

The same poll also asked people if they thought that the 500th anniversary of the Spanish conquest of Tenochtitlán by Spanish conquistadoresshould be commemorated or forgotten, 80% chose the former option while just 16% opted for the latter.

Three-quarters of respondents said they preferred areas of the the capital where colonial-era architecture predominates, such as the historic center, while 24% said that they favored zones with modern architecture.

There are also numerous examples of pre-Hispanic architecture in Mexico City including the Templo Mayor, Tlatelolco and Cuicuilco archaeological sites.

Tenochtitlán was one of the world’s most advanced cities when the Spanish arrived.

Tenochtitlán, which means “place where prickly pears abound” in Náhuatl, was founded by the Mexica people in 1325 on an island located on Lake Texcoco. The legend goes that they decided to build a city on the island because they saw the omen they were seeking: an eagle devouring a snake while perched on a nopal.

At its peak, it was the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas. It subsequently became a cabecera of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. Today, the ruins of Tenochtitlán are in the historic center of the Mexican capital. The World Heritage Site of Xochimilco contains what remains of the geography (water, boats, floating gardens) of the Mexica capital.

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Mexico Plunges 23 Places On The World Happiness Report As The Country Struggles To Bounce Back

Things That Matter

Mexico Plunges 23 Places On The World Happiness Report As The Country Struggles To Bounce Back

When it comes to international happiness rankings, Mexico has long done well in many measurements. In fact, in 2019, Mexico placed number 23 beating out every other Latin American country except for Costa Rica. But in 2020, things looks a lot different as the country slipped 23 spots on the list. What does this mean for Mexico and its residents? 

Mexico slips 23 spots on the World Happiness Report thanks to a variety of compelling factors.

Mexico plummeted 23 places to the 46th happiest nation in the world, according to the 2020 happiness rankings in the latest edition of the United Nations’ World Happiness Report. The coronavirus pandemic had a significant impact on Mexicans’ happiness in 2020, the new report indicates.

“Covid-19 has shaken, taken, and reshaped lives everywhere,” the report noted, and that is especially true in Mexico, where almost 200,000 people have lost their lives to the disease and millions lost their jobs last year as the economy recorded its worst downturn since the Great Depression.

Based on results of the Gallup World Poll as well as an analysis of data related to the happiness impacts of Covid-19, Mexico’s score on the World Happiness Report index was 5.96, an 8% slump compared to its average score between 2017 and 2019 when its average ranking was 23rd.

The only nations that dropped more than Mexico – the worst country to be in during the pandemic, according to an analysis by the Bloomberg news agency – were El Salvador, the Philippines and Benin.

Mexico has struggled especially hard against the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Since the pandemic started, Mexico has fared far worse than many other countries across Latin America. Today, there are reports that Mexico has been undercounting and underreporting both the number of confirmed cases and the number of deaths. Given this reality, the country is 2nd worst in the world when it comes to number of suspected deaths, with more than 200,000 people dead. 

Could the happiness level have an impact on this year’s elections?

Given that Mexico’s decline in the rankings appears related to the severity of the coronavirus pandemic here, one might assume that the popularity of the federal government – which has been widely condemned for its management of the crisis from both a health and economic perspective – would take a hit.

But a poll published earlier this month found that 55.9% of respondents approved of President López Obrador’s management of the pandemic and 44% indicated that they would vote for the ruling Morena party if the election for federal deputies were held the day they were polled.

Support for Morena, which apparently got a shot in the arm from the national vaccination program even as it proceeded slowly, was more than four times higher than that for the two main opposition parties, the PAN and the PRI.

Still, Mexico’s slide in the happiness rankings could give López Obrador – who has claimed that ordinary Mexicans are happier with him in office – pause for thought.

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