Things That Matter

Police In Guadalajara Threatened To Make Protesters “Disappear” And Now Days Later 29 Protesters Are Still Missing

Communities around the world are rising up against unchecked police brutality and a system that operates with impunity. Mexico has long been a hotbed of corruption and unchecked police power, but much like in the United States, Mexicans are taking to the streets to voice their outrage.

The recent killing of an unarmed Mexican who was taken into custody after not wearing a face mask on public transport, has provoked unrest in cities across the country. And, also like in the U.S., the police reacted to protests with brutal force that left several injured – and now reports say that 29 protesters are missing or unaccounted for.

Protests in Guadalajara have left 29 protesters missing or unaccounted for – and many fear the worst.

Credit: Francisco Guasco / Getty

Across Mexico, people have taken to the streets to demand justice for Giovanni López – a man who died in police custody after being arrested for not wearing a face mask on public transit. The protests have taken place in cities across the country – also inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter protests taking place across the globe.

At the protests, police reacted with extreme force and left many protesters injured. Many have also come forward with stories of having been abducted by police forces on their way to the march and then being abandoned and robbed in the outskirts of the city.

Protests began popping up across Mexico in response to the killing of a man in police custody after he didn’t use a mask on public transit.

Credit: Francisco Guasco / Getty

Inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter protests in responde to the killing of George Floyd, protests over police abuses have flared up all around the world – including in Mexico.

In Guadalajara, which many call Mexico’s Second City, protests lasted for three days after video surfaced showing city police detaining Giovanni López in the town of Ixtlahuacán de Los Membrillos. Police had detained him for failure to wear a mask on public transit.

When López’s family went looking for him the day after his arrest, they were told he had been taken to a public hospital in Guadalajara. They found him dead there with a bullet wound in his foot and signs of trauma. An autopsy concluded he had died from traumatic brain injury, according to local media.

The news of missing protesters come as many protesters say that police actually threatened to make them disappear.

As protests raged across Guadalajara, some 80 protesters were seized by police officers and held without cause and under extreme measures. So far, 29 of those protesters are still missing.

Victims and human rights activists have described how the Guadalajara protesters were intercepted before they even reached the demonstration. Those were kidnapped said that police stole their money, ID documents and even their cellphones before leaving them in abandoned areas far outside the city. Some even alleged they were shot with stun guns or beaten with clubs.

According to reports, there are still 29 protesters unaccounted for, which has revived difficult memories of the 2014 forced disappearances of 43 students from Ayotzinapa college. Police officers allied to a local drug cartel abducted students as they made their way to a demonstration in Mexico City. The remains of two of the students were later found, but six years on, the fate of the other 41 remains unknown.

For his part, Jalisco’s governor has apologized to protesters for how police responded to the protests.

Although he did try to blame the violence on out-of-state instigators, the state’s governor – Enrique Alfaro – said he was appalled that police had beaten protesters.

“It embarrasses me, it distresses me, it greatly pains me as a man from Jalisco, and as governor,” Alfaro said in a video posted on Twitter.

However, some believe that the federal authorities involved in the protests would not have acted that way without a green-light from the state’s governor.

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Here’s How You Can Help Daunte Wright’s Family After He Was Killed By Police

Things That Matter

Here’s How You Can Help Daunte Wright’s Family After He Was Killed By Police

Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Police have taken another Black man’s life, this time it’s 20-year-old Daunte Wright. Protests have broken out in cities across the country as the nation reacts to the killing of yet another young Black man.

But as the nation reacts to the murder, Wright’s family – his mother and child – need all the support they can get right now and thankfully there are many ways that we can all be better allies while helping support the family that Wright leaves behind.

Daunte Wright is the third high-profile police murder in Minneapolis.

Daunte Wright was driving to his older brother’s house with his girlfriend on Sunday afternoon, when police pulled him over for expired tags. Police said they found an existing warrant for Wright’s arrest and attempted to handcuff him.

Bodycam footage revealed Officer Kim Potter shot Wright when she claimed to be reaching for her taser. He died on the scene, just 10 miles from where former police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial for the death of George Floyd.

According to CNN, Daunte’s death is at least the third high-profile death of a Black man at the hands of police in Minnesota in the last five years. And Daunte Wright’s death comes less than a year after the police killing of George Floyd, which sparked protests around the world.

Daunte Wright leaves behind a family still struggling with such an immense loss.

Daunte’s mother, Katie Wright, spoke out about the fear he experienced before his death. Daunte called her after the police pulled him over, at the suggestion of his older brother. “I know my son was scared. He’s afraid of the police, and I just seen and heard the fear in his voice. But I don’t know why, and it should have never escalated the way it did,” Katie told Good Morning America on April 13.

According to Katie, Daunte believed he was getting pulled over for his hanging air fresheners, then she heard “scuffling” and an officer told him to hang up the phone. “I tried to call back three, four times and the girl that was with him answered the phone and she said that they shot him and he was lying in the driver’s seat unresponsive.”

If you’d like to help support Daunte’s family and demand justice, below are a few resources and action items:

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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

PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images

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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