Things That Matter

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

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.

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Peru’s Indigenous Are Turning To Ancestral Medicines To Fight The Coronavirus

Culture

Peru’s Indigenous Are Turning To Ancestral Medicines To Fight The Coronavirus

Joao Laet / Getty Images

With news headlines like “How Covid-19 could destroy indigenous communities”, it’s hard to understate the affect that the Coronavirus has had on Indigenous communities across the world.

Even before the pandemic hit, native populations were already at increased risk of health complications, poor access to medical care, lack of proper education, and even premature death. The pandemic has only exacerbated these issues as government programs and NGOs who delivered aid to far flung communities have grind to a halt.

However, many communities have started taking the matter into their own hands by creating their own impromptu healthcare systems based on ancestral techniques and others have barricaded off their villages from the outside world in an effort to stem the flow of the virus.

In Peru, many Indigenous communities are turning to centuries-old medicines to fight back against the Coronavirus.

The Coronavirus has had a devastating impact on Peru – the country with the world’s highest per capita Covid-19 mortality rate. At particular risk is the nation’s large Indigenous community, who often lack proper access to education efforts and medical care. This has forced many Indigenous groups to find their own remedies.

In the Ucayali region, government rapid response teams deployed to a handful of Indigenous communities have found infection rates as high as 80% through antibody testing. Food and medicine donations have reached only a fraction of the population. Many say the only state presence they have seen is from a group responsible for collecting bodies of the dead.

At least one community, the Indigenous Shipibo from Peru’s Amazon region, have decided to rely on the wisdom of their ancestors. With hospitals far away, doctors stretch too thin and a lack of beds, many have accepted the alternative medicine.

In a report by the Associated Press, one villager, Mery Fasabi, speaks about gathering herbs, steeping them in boiling water and instructing her loved ones to breathe in the vapors. She also makes syrups of onion and ginger to help clear congested airways.

“We had knowledge about these plants, but we didn’t know if they’d really help treat COVID,” the teacher told the AP. “With the pandemic we are discovering new things.”

One of the plants the Shipibo are using is known locally as ‘matico.’ The plant has green leaves and brightly colored flowers. And although Fasabi admits that these ancestral remedies are by no means a cure, the holistic approach is proving successful. She says that “We are giving tranquility to our patients,” through words of encouragement and physical touch.

Even before the Coronavirus, Indigenous communities were at a greater risk for infectious diseases.

Indigenous peoples around the globe tend to be at higher risk from emerging infectious diseases compared to other populations. During the H1N1 pandemic in Canada in 2009, for example, aboriginal Canadians made up 16% of admissions to hospital, despite making up 3.4% of the population.

Covid-19 is no exception. In the US, one in every 2,300 indigenous Americans has died, compared to one in 3,600 white Americans.

Indigenous groups are particularly vulnerable to dying from Covid-19 because they often live days away from professional medical help. As of July 28, the disease had killed 1,108 indigenous people and there had been 27,517 recorded cases, with the majority in Brazil, according to data published by Red Eclesial Panamazonia (Repam).

Some communities are turning inward to survive COVID-19, barricading villages and growing their own food.

Despite the immense threat they face, Indigenous communities are fighting back.

“I am amazed to see the ways that indigenous peoples are stepping up to provide support where governments have not,” Tauli-Corpuz, a teacher at Mexico’s UNAM, told The Conversation. “They are providing PPE and sanitation, making their own masks, and ensuring that information on Covid-19 is available in local languages, and are distributing food and other necessities.”

They are also choosing to isolate. In Ecuador’s Siekopai nation, about 45 Indigenous elders, adults and children traveled deep into the forest to their ancestral heartland of Lagartococha to escape exposure to the Coronavirus, says the nation’s president Justino Piaguaje.

Despite their best efforts, many experts are extremely concerned for the survival of many Indigenous communities.

Credit: Ginebra Peña / Amazonian Alliance

They are already facing the ‘tipping point’ of ecological collapse due to increased threats of deforestation, fires, industrial extraction, agribusiness expansion and climate change,” Amazon Watch executive director Leila Salazar-Lopez told UNESCO of Amazonian Indigenous groups.

“Now, the pandemic has created one more crisis, and as each day passes, the risk of ethnocide becomes more real.”

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Nearly 9,000 Unaccompanied Child Migrants Have Been Expelled From the U.S. Under Trump’s COVID-19 Restrictions

Things That Matter

Nearly 9,000 Unaccompanied Child Migrants Have Been Expelled From the U.S. Under Trump’s COVID-19 Restrictions

On Friday, previously undisclosed court documents revealed that almost 9,000 unaccompanied migrant children seeking refuge were denied access to the U.S. and subsequently expelled from U.S. soil. None of these children were given a chance in court.

According to reporting done by CBS News, U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials have “suspended humanitarian protections” for most migrants crossing the border, on the grounds that “public health law overrides asylum, immigration and anti-trafficking safeguards” in the era of COVID-19.

CBS news made the shocking discovery when investigating the problematic and increased practice of holding and detaining minors in unregulated, privately contracted hotel rooms.

The government is arguing that the practice is keeping the American public safe from possibly COVID-19 exposure from unauthorized migrants.

“What we’re trying to do…is remove all individuals, regardless of whether they’re children — minors — or they’re adults,” Customs and Border Patrol official Mark Morgan said in an August media briefing.

He continued: “We’re trying to remove [the migrants] as fast as we can, to not put them in our congregate settings, to not put them into our system, to not have them remain in the United States for a long period of time, therefore increasing the exposure risk of everybody they come in contact with.”

via Getty Images

But critics are claiming that the Trump Administration is using COVID-19 as an excuse to unlawfully expel as many migrants as possible–regardless of their age.

On Friday, federal Judge Dolly M. Gee ordered the administration to put an end to the practice of detaining children in hotel rooms, saying that hotels do not “adequately account for the vulnerability of unaccompanied minors in detention”. She asked the government to put an end to the practice by September 15th.

It is in the court documents regarding the above case that 8,800 expelled migrant children number was revealed.

“The numbers are stunning,” said executive director of the Immigrant Defenders Law Center, Lindsay Toczylowski, to CBS News. “…To find out that our government has literally taken children who are seeking protection and sent them back to the very places they fled in such high numbers really took my breath away.”

via Getty Images

US Border Patrol Deputy Chief Raul Ortiz has defended the unsafe hotel detainment and speedy expulsion of migrant children, saying that stopping the practice would increase risk of exposure to health and customs officials alike.

But even if the practice comes to an end, the staggering number of unaccompanied migrant and refugee children left to their own devices is sitting heavy on the soul of advocates and activists.

“It’s just completely contrary, not only to all child protection norms and standards, but also just completely contrary to our values as a nation around protecting the most vulnerable,” said vice president for international programs at Kids in Need of Defense Lisa Frydman to CNN. “Because we are just wholesale shipping them out without making sure that it’s safe for them to go.”

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