Things That Matter

Mexico’s Murder Rate Is At A Historical High And The Debate About Border Policies Is More Caliente Than Ever

Since former president Felipe Calderon Hinojosa launched a full-fledged military attack on Mexico’s drug cartels back in 2006, the country has been locked in a humanitarian crisis. Clandestine graveyards pop up all around the country and families take matters into their own hands and try to find their loved ones’ remains.

Entire towns live in fear of both the army and the cartel sicarios (hitmen). Young men are lured or kidnapped to become “soldiers” for organized crime, and young women fall prey to human traffickers who exploit their bodies. Some politicians and journalists live in fear of being executed. There are regions, such as particular municipalities in states such as Guerrero and Michoacán, where the authorities have ceased to try to restore the order and self-defense groups have popped up. Things in some regions of the country are, to say the least, dire. 

In 2018, a leftist candidate who had sought the presidency in two previous occasions, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, won the election and promised to stop violence and corruption. Things have been a bit more complicated than that. 

The first half of 2019 has seen the all-time high murder rate in the country’s history: at least 17,608 people have been murdered.

Credit: @Mauricio_35M / Twitter

Let that sink in. This number is just unbelievable: translate the figure into a small town and you will get the magnitude of the problem. Of course, many are blaming the incumbent president. To the murders one has to add the number of sexual assaults, kidnappings and other crimes that put people at risk. 

This figure translates into 97 murders per day!

Credit: @elarmadoguerra / Twitter

As the Associated Press reports, “Since Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador entered office in December 2018, there have been 20,599 murders recorded”. Things definitely cannot change de un dia para otro, but reality has really bitten deep into people’s hopes in the new administration. 

Numbers are actually increasing.

Credit: @AlDiaDallas / Twitter

The Daily Mail breaks down the numbers: “The number of murders grew by 5.3% compared to the same period of 2018, when 16,714 people were killed.

Mexico saw 3,080 killings in June, an increase of over 8% from the same month a year ago, according to official figures. The nation of almost 125 million now sees as many as 100 killings per day nationwide.”

Violence is particularly concentrated in the Northern states, as reported by the AP: “The northeastern state of Nuevo León reported 486 murders from January until June in contrast with 282 during the same period in 2018. In particular, drug cartel turf wars have become increasingly bloody in the northern state of Sonora, where the number of homicides was up by 69% in the first half of 2019. Officials registered 564 killings after 337 were murdered last year. But in Sinaloa, where the cartel of convicted drug lord Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán is based, homicides declined by 23% so far this year compared to last.” 

North of the Border conservative anti-immigration voices have seen this as an opportunity to spill their bile.

Credit: @ApostleRichThomas / Twitter

Like this dude, whose logic is just not right: man, people are FLEEING the violence, they are victims, not perpetrators! This type of logic makes us think of how damaging the label of “bad hombres” continues to be.

This is also the stance taken by the highest levels of government, as reported by Daily News Sri Lanka: “However, President Trump has often referred to Mexico ‘one of the most dangerous countries in the world’ and claimed the murder rate in the country has increased. A recent Trump tweet said “The Coyotes and Drug Cartels are in total control of the Mexico side of the Southern Border. They have labs nearby where they make drugs to sell into the U.S. Mexico, one of the most dangerous countries in the world, must eradicate this problem now. Also, stop the MARCH to U.S.”, and could raise questions about it being a ‘safe country’.”

Human rights activists, on the contrary, use this murder rate record to point out how inadequate the #RemainInMexico policy is.

Credit: @HumanRightsFirst / Twitter

Let’s repeat this again for those anti immigration voices: people migrate because they have no other choice in their home countries, not because they want to. They see it as a way of survival rather than as an opportunity to profit from the system. 

The crisis has also emboldened some pro-legalization voices.

Credit: Twitter. @mcgovern

He has got a point: the main problem is that Mexico is the passageway of drugs into the most profitable market in the world, the United States. A new legal framework would certainly reshuffle the status quo of criminal networks. Reality is a bit more complicated.

Others in the United States point out that some cities in the country are as violent as towns South of the Border.

Credit: @ChrisCoons / Twitter

Violence in Mexico is also a good opportunity to talk about communities that live at risk, such as some areas of Detroit – right here in the US.

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Here’s What We Know So Far About The ‘Rebelde’ Reboot Coming To Netflix

Entertainment

Here’s What We Know So Far About The ‘Rebelde’ Reboot Coming To Netflix

Nostalgia has a way of taking us right back to who we were when we saw and heard some of our favorite things. “Rebelde” is definitely one of the top nostalgic moments in most Latino childhoods. Well, get ready because Netflix is bringing “Rebelde” back so you can dive back into the stories that will forever hold a special place in your heart.

“Rebelde” is coming back and this is definitely not a drill.

After years of being off the air, the historic and iconic show “Rebelde” is back and people cannot wait. The original cast has been good at keeping our love for them alive as they toured and created music. Most recently, RBD, the surviving band of original Rebelde members, dropped a new single to make the pandemic a little more tolerable.

We already know who is reprising their role in the reboot.

Celina Ferrer, played by Estefanía Villarreal, is coming back as the principal of the school. The official announcement letter was signed by the Elite Way School alumna.

“EWS is renowned for the excellence of its illustrious student body, young people ready to dazzle the world. In these halls, we have shaped icons who have gone on to entertain millions with their talent, and our classrooms have turned students into stars, ready for the big stage,” reads the letter. “Today, our Board of Directors is proud to present the next generation of young people who will become part of our prestigious institution in the upcoming 2022 school year. We welcome our future students Azul Guatia, Sergio Mayer Mori, Andrea Chaparro, Jeronimo Cantillo, Franco Masini, Lixeth Selene, Alejandro Puente, and Giovanna Grigio, who have been selected from an impressive list of applicants. The new students will start wearing the EWS uniform during orientation, which will start on March 1 of this year, thus preparing themselves for the upcoming 2022 school year at this institution, always committed to educating the leaders of tomorrow.”

Here’s a quick look at the new class.

Azul Guaita

Guaita is best known for her impressive TikTok account. She also starred in telenovelas ‘Mi marrido tiene familia” and “Soltero con hijas.” The 19-year-old Mexican actress has garnered more than 2 million followers on TikTok.

Sergio Mayer Mori

Mayer Mori is son of Mexican actor and producer Sergio Mayer and Uruguayan-born Mexican actress, model, producer and writer Bárbara Mori Ochoa. The young actor was in “Un padre no tan padre” in 2016.

Andrea Chaparro

Andrea is the daughter of famed Mexican actor Omar Chapparo. Hopefully the actress brings her unapologetic grunge vibes to the set in her role.

Jeronimo Cantillo

Cantillo is best known for his role in Verdad Oculta and Los Morales as well as his reggaeton music. The actor is bringing his award nominated acting chops and musical stylings to the highly anticipated Netflix reboot.

Franco Masini

Masini is one of the biggest names attached to the new “Rebelde” reboot. With several projects under his belt and more than 1 million Instagram followers, Masini is definitely bringing a large following to the Netflix show.

Lizeth Selene

Selene has made a name for herself as a musician and model. It is pretty impressive that her first acting job is going to be as part of the newest Rebelde class.

Alejandro Puente

Puente is an actor, writer, and director with a lot of success in Mexico. He is best known for his role as Todd Anderson in the Mexican stage adaptation of “Dead Poets Society.” He also stars in “El Club,” a crime drama television show in Mexico.

Giovanna Grigio

Grigio comes to the Elite Way School with 6 million Instagram followers and a lot of experience. The Brazilian actress has starred in several television shows and movies and will definitely bring some strong talent to the show.

READ: RBD Is Back With A New Single And This Is Not A Drill

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Biden Is Counting On Mexico’s President To Help With Immigration But That’s A Risky Move

Things That Matter

Biden Is Counting On Mexico’s President To Help With Immigration But That’s A Risky Move

One of the stranger things to happen during the Trump presidency was the unlikely alliance between Trump and Mexico’s President Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). The former frequently spoke disparaging of Mexicans and pursued cruel and inhumane immigration policies that directly targeted the constituents of the latter. Yet AMLO was a major supporter of Trump’s most severe immigration policies and, in fact, helped bring them to fruition.

Now, with a new president in the White House, AMLO is being asked again to recalibrate his approach to immigration but having once been a major ally of Trump, how will he work alongside a President Biden?

Presidents Biden and AMLO host a virtual meeting to discuss a wide range of topics.

President Biden is hoping that Mexico’s President AMLO can help him avert another crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. However, given AMLO’s close alliance with Trump and support of his harsh immigration policies, Biden may face an uphill battle.

But as the administration faces an uptick in migrants attempting to cross into the U.S., Biden is hoping that AMLO can become a partner in preventing another cycle of out-of-control migration from Central America. The Mexican president appeared open to collaboration, issuing a joint statement committing to address climate change, the pandemic and migration north.

Their first head to head meeting comes after a rocky start for the two leaders. Mexico’s President was one of the last leaders in the world to congratulate Biden on his election victory, with many saying AMLO fears a Biden administration as potentially more interested in pressuring Mexico on its own domestic matters.

President AMLO was a key player in Trump’s harsh and inhumane immigration tactics.

Despite his racist rhetoric directly targeting Mexicans and his cruel and hardline immigration policies that largely shifted the pressure to Mexico, AMLO largely accepted Trump’s worst policies with little resistance.

As migrant caravans formed in Central America and attempted to make their way to the U.S. passing through Mexico, AMLO unleashed his newly formed Guardia Nacional to stop them in their tracks. His agents arrested and deported thousands of migrants back to their home countries, often using tear gas and other extreme tactics to do so.

And President AMLO said nothing as Trump implemented the “Remain in Mexico” policy which forced thousands of refugees and asylum seekers to await their claims on the Mexican side of the border, amid a global health pandemic, shifting the burden to Mexican officials.

Biden looks to continue many of Trump’s policies.

Although Biden campaigned against Trump’s harsh immigration policies, the president wants many of the same things from AMLO that Trump asked for: help in keeping Central American migrants from immediately surging north toward the United States through Mexico. And although Biden declared he would break sharply with Trump on immigration, he’s only abandoned some of his predecessors policies.

The Biden administration has formed a task force to unite parents separated from their children Trump’s family separations policy. He’s also begun welcoming back a limited number of asylum seekers who were exposed to violence and kidnappings in dangerous areas of Mexico under a Trump-era program. But the Biden administration has kept in place a separate Trump policy that empowers agents to rapidly expel new arrivals at the border to Mexican authorities as Biden hopes to avoid a crisis that challenged his predecessors.

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