Things That Matter

Mexican National Jumped To His Death Off A Bridge After He Was Denied Asylum

To understand why undocumented immigrants will do everything in their power to get to the United States is to fundamentally understand what is at the core of their fears. They are not all seeking the “American Dream” or to have a better life, many are seeking to have a life free of fear and violence. For many people seeking asylum, it’s a matter of life or death. Remaining in their home countries means death, and there’s no other way of saying it. People are dying at the hands of gangs and the cartels. So, when people risk their lives to enter the U.S. without documentation, it’s because they have nothing to lose. The worst part of all is being turned away by the U.S. because some of these have nothing else to live for. 

A Mexican national in his 30s or 40s cut his throat and jumped to his death off a bridge across the Rio Grande after he was denied by the U.S. border patrol.

Credit: @mlnangalama / Twitter

The man, who has yet to be identified, committed suicide on Wednesday, Jan. 8, and according to several news reports, was seeking asylum. Reports say that he jumped off the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge, which is between the Mexican border city of Reynosa and Pharr, Texas. 

We attempted to reach information about his death via the U.S. border patrol. However, because the death occurred on Mexican soil, American officials do not have to comment about the death or include it in any of their reports. 

Mexican officials are investigating the death further.

Credit: El Mañana de Reynosa / Facebook

The prosecutor’s office for the Mexican state of Tamaulipas did release more information about the man saying, “He was attempting to cross to the U.S. side to request asylum. When he was denied entry, he walked several meters (yards) toward the Mexican side and cut himself with a knife.” The death occurred around 5 p.m. local time. 

It’s unclear why the man decided to take such extreme measures, but as we noted earlier, some of the undocumented people have said returning home is like facing death. 

According to footage made available to the Spanish-language publication, El Mañana de Reynosa, a video shows the man pacing back and forth on the bridge while officials attempt to calm him down.  The standoff lasted for about 15 minutes. Since the man was behaving dangerously, U.S. officials closed the gates to the border and stopped international entry. After the man jumped, the Red Cross arrived at the scene where he was pronounced dead. 

Undocumented people are facing even more hardships when getting denied asylum. Aside from “remaining in Mexico” until it’s time for their asylum hearing, some are now being transferred to Guatalama even if they’re Mexican.

Credit: El Mañana de Reynosa / Facebook

This week the Trump Administration announced that some Mexican nationals would be sent to Guatalama under near agreements between both country officials. 

“Certain Mexicans seeking humanitarian protection in the United States may now be eligible to be transferred to Guatemala and given the opportunity to seek protection there, under the terms of the Guatemala Asylum Cooperative Agreement,” a spokesperson for the agency said in a statement to NBC News.

To make matters worse, the outgoing Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said that agreement never became official. He said the U.S. would have to discuss the matter further with the new president. 

“It’s more than clear; in the agreement, it only lays out Salvadorans and Hondurans,” Morales said, according to Time magazine. “The United States has talked about the possibility of including Mexican nationals, but that they have to discuss it with the next government. In the last visit we made to the White House with President Trump we were clear saying that that negotiation had to be done with the new government.”

All of this disorganization by the part of the United States just complicates matters more for the vulnerable undocumented community. They seek to enter the United States, and getting turned away means more uncertainty than before. 

This is not the first time a person has committed suicide soon after being deported. 

Credit: @adv_project / Twitter

In 2017,  44-year-old Guadalupe Olivas Valencia also jumped to his death soon after he was deported to Mexico. He had been previously living in California, working as a gardener. 

READ: Trump Administration Plans To Send Some Mexican Asylum-Seekers To Guatemala And Mexico Is Fighting Back

Karen Vega Becomes The First Oaxacan Model To Grace Pages Of Vogue Mexico

Fierce

Karen Vega Becomes The First Oaxacan Model To Grace Pages Of Vogue Mexico

voguemexico/ Instagram

According to the National Commission for the Development of the Indigenous Peoples, Oaxaca has the greatest percentage of indigenous people in Mexico. Making up 48% of the population in Oaxaca, Mexico the indigenous group continues to flourish and influence Mexican culture to this day. And yet, despite their prevalence and contributions, Oaxacans remain sorely underrepresented in Mexico and Latin America. Only recently, with the rising attention towards actress Yalitza Aparicio, have most mainstream outlets featured the indigenous people of Oaxaca on their screens and magazine pages.

Fortunately, that doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

Karen Vega broke barriers recently after becoming the first Oaxacan model to be featured in Vogue Mexico

Just 18 years old, the model graced the magazine’s pages and spoke out about the importance of seeing more diversity in the world of fashion. “It is time for new generations to have media that show them expressions of equality and educate them about the differences that make us all beautiful,” Vega told the outlet. “My grain of sand would be to put the focus on the southern woman, our stories, where we come from so that more than just photo models, we can also be an inspiration of another kind.”

According to Vogue Mexico, Vega’s journey began at the age of 14 when she helped her abuelo’s wife with her business as a seamstress.

At the time, Vega helped her measure out the dresses that she made for a local fashion form. According to Vega, she quickly fell in love with the world of fashion and began to dream about modeling as a profession. Using social media sites as her instruction guide, she began to obtain an understanding of what fashion meant. She flipped through the pages of magazines and began connecting with models to understand how to break into the world of modeling. Soon enough, after receiving an invite from the designer Pompi García and the photographer Enrique Leyva to model for part of the production “Magical Realism” in the city of Oaxaca she found herself on the path to a professional career in modeling.

She went on to join García and Leyva’s modeling agency, Talento Espina. The agency strives to represent Oaxacan models and ultimately helped Vega receive an invite to participate in an Autumn-Winter show in Mexico City.

“At first there was a lot of doubt about my participation, because although it was a very nice opportunity, the move and my parents’ confidence to leave was difficult, since it was the first time I was leaving Oaxaca,” Vega told Vogue. Fortunately, Vega’s agency was able to help her older brother come along with her.

Now she’s modeling for big brands like Vogue and says its thanks to her agency which taught her to never tolerate abuse from people who hired her and to speak up. According to Vega, working with her agency has taught her that while pursuing her dreams of modeling will come with its struggles because of her Indigenous origins it’s not at all impossible. 

Mexican Twitter Reacts To The Trump And AMLO Meeting And The Results Are The Level Of Petty I Aim To Be

Things That Matter

Mexican Twitter Reacts To The Trump And AMLO Meeting And The Results Are The Level Of Petty I Aim To Be

Win McNamee / Getty Images

During the week, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) flew to the United States – in coach, we might add – to meet with Donald Trump.

From the very beginning, many Mexicans were outraged at the thought of their elected president flying to meet with a man who has repeatedly demonized their country and people – we don’t have to look too far back to when Trump denigrated Mexican migrants and threatened its southern ally with crippling tariffs.

With this visit, many feared that AMLO would continue acting as Trump’s lapdog as he has in so many other instances – from border security to migration enforcer – and it appears that many of their fears unfortunately came true.

Mexico’s AMLO flew to meet Trump in his first trip outside of Mexico since becoming president.

Trump welcomed Mexico’s AMLO calling him a cherished partner and claiming that the two countries’ economic and security ties were reaching new heights. Sorry, but what world is this?! These warm words were a stark contrast to the days when he called Mexicans “rapists” and railed against migrants entering the US illegally.

But AMLO returned the favor, saying that it was good to find common ground and avoid throwing insults.

“As in the best times of our political relations, during my term as president of Mexico, instead of insults towards me and more importantly against my country, we have received from you understanding and respect,” AMLO said.

The official reason for the AMLO-Trump summit was to celebrate the signing of the recently renegotiated US-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement (USMCA), which was formerly known as NAFTA. The agreement officially went into effect on July 1, 2020. However, the two also discussed how to jointly combat the Coronavirus pandemic, which has raged across both countries as other parts of the world get it under control.

AMLO actually thanked Trump for being “so kind” to Mexico – this just sent Mexican Twitter into overdrive.

After the meeting on Wednesday, President AMLO lauded Donald Trump in Spanish for showing “respect” to Mexico and “not treating us like a colony”.

And in one of the first videos to begin making its round, was this quintessential Trump moment – where he shows such little respect for the Mexican President.

Reactions to the trip reflected Mexico’s own political polarization. A pre-trip poll published by the newspaper El Financiero showed 59% support for travelling to Washington, though 85% of Mexicans disapproved of Trump.

AMLO remains relatively popular – despite polls showing worries over his handling of issues like crime, the economy and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mexican Twitter didn’t disappoint with the memes – memorializing AMLO’s trip forever.

AMLO is known as being an austere man and he’s tried repeatedly to sell the Mexican presidential aircraft. So, just as he does when traveling across Mexico, AMLO flew commercial to Washington – amid a global pandemic no less. This was too good an opportunity for Twitter to pass up.

Many had been anticipating the memes for weeks.

Some pointed out they were just as excited for the memes as President AMLO probably was to be in Washington, taking in the sights and visiting the White House. But it’s worth pointing out, that AMLO has been to D.C. in the past – just not as his country’s president.

Many were concerned about AMLO’s visa application to make it into the U.S.

Given the Trump Administration’s inhumane and harsh immigration policies, some Mexicans wondered if their president would even be allowed to visit Trump. The Trump Administration has basically eliminated or severely limited every legal route to migration that there is.

Some saw something in AMLO’s eyes that they wanted for their own partner…

Some thought that AMLO may have been looking a little too enamored with a man who has repeatedly demonized his country and fellow paisanos. But in that look, they also saw something they wanted in their potential partners: “Hermanos, stay with someone who looks at you like AMLO looks at Trump.”

Some thought that once again AMLO was being far too subservient to Trump.

Some doctored up images of past visits to the White House to really drive home the point that AMLO has been doing much of Trump’s dirty work in Mexico. From deploying armed soldiers to enforce U.S. immigration law at the country’s border with Guatemala to placing refugees and migrants in detention centers, AMLO has been a key part of Trump’s plan to halt immigration.

Others shared images of the gifts that AMLO brought Trump.

Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with these t-shirts – I have several. I mean we all have that tía who goes on vacation and brings them back to us, right?

Given the stark differences between the two leaders, this meme is a bit far-fetched.

AMLO is a far-left ‘man of the people’ and Donald Trump is a far-right ‘man of the people,’ or at least that’s how they view themselves in their minds. Both leaders follow populist agendas but do so from very different points of view.