Things That Matter

Two Migrants From Cameroon Drowned Off The Coast Of Chiapas As Mexico Continues To Crackdown On Caravans

Mexico and U.S. relations is a tricky and complicated mess — as history shows, it’s always been that way. These days, however, the concerns of these neighboring countries lie mainly on migration and border security. The surge of Central Americans migrants has put a strain on the U.S. and Mexico. And, it’s not just Central Americans that are making their way to the Mexican border with hope of reaching the U.S. There are also migrants coming from Cuba, Haiti, and Africa. So, what was once an issue between Mexico and the United States, is now concerning migrants from various parts of the world who are fleeing their native countries.

Last week as Mexico’s national guard continues to block migration into their country, at least two people from Cameroon drowned off the coast of Puerto Arista in Chiapas, Mexico. 

Credit: YouTube

The dead bodies washed up to shore after a small boat capsized on Oct. 11 that left two dead and two others missing. The rest of the migrants (six men and one woman) were rescued, AZcentral.com reports. All migrants were from “a country that has seen a growing exodus of refugees amid an increasingly violent conflict between its French- and English-speaking communities,” Voa News reports. 

Pueblo Sin Fronteras, a migrant advocacy organization, said that hostile Mexican forces broke up the caravan, but resulted in many fleeing toward the mountains. 

Credit: Pueblo Sin Fronteras / Facebook

“Yesterday morning, a caravan of migrants of many different nationalities left from Tapachula on foot, Pueblo Sin Fronteras stated on Facebook. “In the afternoon, the Mexican government, with a very large number of the national guard and the national institute of migration, blocked their passage, arrested many of its members, and dismantled it, sending many migrant families to hide in the mountain. The deployment of the military was like a full-fledged operation, but in reality it was to hunt migrants, women, girls, boys and men migrants, migrants who do not want to stay in Mexico, who do not take anything away from Mexico, who only want to pass, and flee violence and hunger in their places of origin.”

The crackdown of migrant caravans comes after President Donald Trump urged President Andres Manuel López Obrador to curb migration into Mexico. 

Credit: @mamendoza480 / Twitter

As a result, President López Obrador sent thousands of National Guard troops to defend Mexico’s southern border that neighbors GuatemalaLast month, President Trump publicly thanked President López Obrador for securing Mexico’s border during the United Nations General Assembly.

“I would like to thank President López Obrador of Mexico for the great cooperation we are receiving, and for right now putting 27,000 troops on our southern border,” President Trump said. “Mexico is showing us great respect, and I respect them in return.”

While that appreciation may have seemed sincere, a few days later, Trump said that he was “using Mexico to protect our border.” President López Obrador didn’t think President Trump’s words disrespectful because he said, according to the New York Times, “There’s nothing we should be ashamed of. We protect Mexico’s sovereignty. At the same time, we try to avoid confrontation.”

Now, critics of President Trump are saying that Mexico is actually paying for Trump’s border wall by creating a human fence with the Mexican national guard.

Credit: Pueblo Sin Fronteras / Facebook

Mexico foreign ministry spokesman Roberto Velasco told CNN that since the deployment of the Mexican national guard, migrant caravans had decreased significantly. “The number of migrants presented before Mexican authorities has decreased by 70 percent from June to September,” Velasco said to CNN. 

In an op-ed in the New York Times, Jorge Ramos wrote that at least one Mexican official went on the record to state that Mexico is basically the wall that President Trump wants. “Armando Santacruz, president of Mexico United Against Crime, told me in an interview. ‘Yes, we are the wall. And [Mexico’s] National Guard is now spending a lot of its resources keeping immigrants away,” Ramos wrote. 

Pueblo Sin Fronteras stated that the Mexican government is doing the “dirty work of the United States.” They also said that President López Obrador is wrong when with his claims that migrants are criminals. Pueblo Sin Fronteras say these are displaced people who fled their home due to violence, discrimination, and bureaucracy. 

READ: Under Pressure From Trump, Mexican Soldiers Are Making Life For Migrants Passing Through Mexico A Living Hell

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Armed Police In Tulum Arrested A Gay Couple For Allegedly Kissing On The Beach

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Armed Police In Tulum Arrested A Gay Couple For Allegedly Kissing On The Beach

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Mexico has remained a popular tourist destination as people seek out places with fewer restrictions. However, Mexico’s popular beach destination of Tulum apparently still has some restrictions – for LGBTQ folks – that the police are quick to enforce.

A Canadian couple was briefly detained by police for allegedly kissing on the beach.

Police in the popular resort town of Tulum, about 90-minutes south of Cancun, briefly arrested a gay couple for kissing in public on a beach, alleging that the couple was not allowed to kiss in public because children were present.

According to local media reports, police said they were reacting to a report by someone else on the beach who had claimed that the men were “committing immoral acts.”

The couple were handcuffed together and ordered in to the back of a patrol vehicle until a crowd of onlookers formed and began to shout disapprovingly at police after one of the men explained to the crowd why they were being detained.

Outraged bystanders gathered around the couple and urged the police to let the men go.

The crowd began shouting in support of the couple, calling the actions homophobic and demanding the couple’s release.

The pressure from the crowd apparently prompted officers to release the men after a few minutes of dialogue. The presence of Escalante herself might also have been a factor.

In response to the arrest, Quintana Roo Tulum Police said: ‘We are an inclusive and impartial police both for residents and tourists who visit the state of Quintana Roo. So no abuse of authority will be tolerated.’

Video of the incident quickly went viral on social media with outrage being the common reaction.

Video and photos of the arrest went viral after on social media accounts, including that of local politician Maritza Escalante Morales, who denounced the actions of the officers. Escalante happened to be at the beach with her family when she noticed the officers approach the couple, she said, and joined the crowd to advocate for the couple’s release.

“I want to file a PUBLIC COMPLAINT, because the treatment and type of authorities we have in our municipality is inexcusable. Yesterday while I was on the beach with my family, we noticed around 4:30 that 2 police squads in their ATVs approached a group of young foreigners. After about 20 minutes, a patrol arrived and proceeded to arrest them with handcuffs,” she explained on TikTok.

“The policemen were VIOLENT,” Morales added, “and gave arguments such as ‘there are families and children and they cannot be seeing this. I am FURIOUS because it is not possible that in the XXI century this type of oppression against the LGBT+ community continues. We all deserve the same treatment, and appropriate sanctions must be applied to these authorities.”

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4-Year-Old Girl Accidentally Hung Herself While Climbing A Tree

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4-Year-Old Girl Accidentally Hung Herself While Climbing A Tree

A mother living in the United Kingdom is enduring a “hellstorm of grief” following the tragic death of her 4-year-old daughter. Just days after welcoming her twin daughters, Elise Thorpe was forced to learn of her daughter Freya’s shocking death after she climbed a tree near her home in Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire.

Just before her death, Freya was wearing a bicycle helmet when she went for her tree clim.

Freya slipped and began to fall off of the tree when her helmet strap caught on to a branch.

Elisa Thorpe is speaking out about the incident which took place in September 2019 despite efforts to resuscitate her daughter by emergency responders. According to Yahoo, “An inquest into her death in January 2020 ruled that she ‘potentially slipped’ and her helmet caught on a branch, causing the helmet strap to become ‘tight against her throat.’ She died in hospital two days later.”

Speaking about the incident Elise told The Sun “We live every day and night in hell, torture, sheer shock, and grief that can’t be comprehended.”

Elise told South West News Service that she and her husband “were on cloud nine after the long-awaited arrival and difficult pregnancy” of their twins Kiera and Zack. Speaking about the grief she experienced, Elise said that she would have taken her own life had it not been for the birth of her children.

Recalling the day of Freya’s death, Elise explained that her little girl had gone for a playdate.

“In the early afternoon, Daddy had to go off to collect the special milk from Boots pharmacy in Cowley for the twins, as they were allergic to cow’s milk,” Elise Thorpe explained about how her daughter had been invited to play at a house just a 10-second walk away.

Freya had gone outside without her mother knowing.

“I had a gut feeling I wanted her home. Shortly after, I saw an ambulance at the end of the road – I panicked, at the time not knowing why I was panicking,” Elise told SWNS. “I called my husband to say I was going to get her back from the house behind. He said, ‘No, I’m five minutes away, stay with the babies.’”

“I saw his car go past and not return from the little cul-de-sac. I knew something was wrong,” she went onto explain. After spotting her husband speaking with a firefighter, Elise “grabbed the twins and rushed to a cordoned area where she saw first responders working desperately on Freya.”

After two days of waiting at John Radcliffe Hospital, the Thorpe family learned Freya could not be saved.

“I never stepped foot inside my home again. This is something I also lost and miss to this day — my home,” Elise went onto say. “Had I not given birth only 10 days before we would have taken our lives in the hospital that night, without a shadow of a doubt… We have had so much support over the last 18 months and we can’t tell you all how much that’s helped us through and for that I can never thank everyone enough for the support, kind words and donations – even from those we’ve never met.”

“But we’ve also experienced scrutiny and abuse from people who’ve asked, ‘Where were the parents? How could they let her out alone?’” she added sadly. “It has caused family rifts from relatives and judgment all because people didn’t know Freya wasn’t in our care when this happened.”

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