Things That Matter

As El Paso Grieves Their Loss, Here Is Everything We Know About The Victims Of The El Paso Massacre, Which Were Mostly Latino

Much of the nation was grief stricken over this weekend’s double terror attacks. On Saturday, El Paso and it’s large Latino community was racked by gun violence as an alleged White Nationalist opened fire on a Walmart upset about the “invasion” of Hispanics.

News about those killed and injured traveled quickly. So far it’s been confirmed that 22 people have been killed and dozens more were injured, some of them are still in critical condition.

Among the victims are 13 Mexican citizens (including the injured and dead), for whom the Mexican government is now vowing to take legal action against the US and the gunman.

Here’s everything we know about the victims so far:

Jordan and Andre Anchondo

This recently married couple, 25 and 24 respectively, had just celebrated their 1-year wedding anniversary and their eldest daughter was soon turning six. The couple had gone to Walmart to buy school supplies and clothes for their kids but their lives were violently cut short.

The moment he heard about the shooting, Tito Anchondo, Andre’s brother, began calling both his brother and sister-in-law but got no response. Several hours later, he received a call from authorities, who asked him to identify Jordan. He said he rushed to the hospital with the rest of his family to find Jordan, who had died, and his infant nephew, who survived but had several broken bones. Andre was not there.

On Sunday night, family members confirmed to The Post that Andre was killed too.

A 25-year-old woman and mother of three, Jordan Anchondo was killed while trying to shield her 2-month-old son, according to the AP.

“From the baby’s injuries, they said that more than likely my sister was trying to shield him,” Jamrowski told AP. “So when she got shot she was holding him and she fell on him, so that’s why he broke some of his bones. So he pretty much lived because she gave her life.”

Arturo Benavides

Arturo and his wife Patricia were nearly out of the Walmart when the gunmen opened fire. Patricia’s life was saved when someone pushed her into a bathroom stall, however, Arturo didn’t make it out alive.

The 60-year-old was a US Army veteran and had recently retired from working as a bus driver for El Paso’s public transit agency. The couple had been married for more than 30 years.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Jacklin Luna, Arturo’s great-niece, said: “If anyone ever needed anything, he was the first one there: If we needed a ride, a shirt or a meal, he was always the first person to offer anything he had. Whenever we all went out to eat, he would pay the whole bill, he didn’t want anyone to spend a dime.”

Javier Rodriguez

At just 15-years-old, Javier was among the youngest victims from Saturday’s attack.

The Clint Independent School District confirmed his death in a tweet Monday. “We are deeply saddened to learn of the loss of one of our students,” the district said. “Our heartfelt condolences and prayers are with his parents and family.”

Javier was just weeks away from starting his sophomore year of high school. “He was such a loving boy,” Elvira Rodriguez, his aunt, told the Arizona Republic. She said he loved to play soccer and did well in school.

Elsa Mendoza Marquez

Elsa Mendoza Marquez, a Mexican schoolteacher who was married and the mother of two adult children, was another of the victims.

According to family members, she crossed the border on Saturday and entered Walmart while family members waited outside the store. Her husband, Antonio de la Mora, called her “full of light” and “the most wonderful of women” in a tribute post on Facebook.

Sara Esther Regalado

Sara Esther Regalado was named by the Mexican foreign ministry as a victim.

Her granddaughter Vielka Yu shared images on social media of her and Adolfo Cerros Hernandez, Ms Regalado’s husband. While searching for news, Ms Yu wrote: “My grandparents were shopping at Walmart and Cielo Vista when the shooting happened.”

Adolfo Cerros Hernandez

In another death confirmed by the Mexican Foreign Ministry, it’s reported that the husband of Sara Esther Regalado also died in the attack.

Their daughter Sandra Cerros wrote: “With deep pain in our hearts, let us inform you that our dear parents Adolfo Hills Hernandez and Sarita Regalado died victims of the unfortunate shooting happened yesterday August 3 at Wal-Mart.

“We are devastated. These have been very difficult hours. But now we are united. We thank you infinitely for your prayers, your support, concern, calls and messages.”

Leo Campos

A statement posted online read: “One of PSJAs Alumni life was taken by yesterday’s tragedy in El Paso. We would like to express our sincere condolences for his family during this difficult time. Rest In Peace Leo Campos.”

His former school also paid tribute, with school board president Jesse Zambrano saying: “Leo Campos was a great athlete and friend to many during his time at PSJA High. He was a goalie for the soccer team and a kicker for the football team.

“Leo was well liked and a role model to many athletes that looked up to him, including me. We ask for the entire PSJA community to join us in prayer. Rest in peace, hermano.”

Angie Englisbee

Angie Englisbee was described by her grandson Jacob Hallberg as “the hero of our family.”

Hallberg told BuzzFeed News that after his grandfather died of a heart attack at age 38, Englisbee had to find a job and take care of their seven kids alone. He said she “raised seven successful great children on her own,” including his mother, Edie Hallberg.

Maribel Hernandez

The partner of Leo Campos, Maribel Hernandez was killed as the pair shopped, having dropped their dog off at the groomers.

Her brother, Al Hernandez, confirmed her death as well as Mr Campos’s. He said he knew something was wrong when he received a call from the groomers when they had not collected their dog.

Jorge Calvillo García

Jorge Calvillo García died shielding his granddaughter Emily from bullets, Jorge’s nephew, Raul Ortega, told KFOX14. Calvillo and Emily were raising funds for a soccer team that Calvillo coaches outside of the Walmart.

García was visiting his son Luis Calvillo, who was also shot and injured, and is from Torreón, Mexico, according to Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard.

Gloria Irma Marquez

Gloria’s death was confirmed by the Mexican consulate. She was one of the many victims who was in El Paso shopping from across the border in Ciudad Juárez.

Stay tuned as we update this list with additional information about the victims, their friends, and family as it becomes available.

If you would like to help the victims of this weekend’s deadly terror attacks, including the one directly targeting Latino victims in El Paso, please consider making a donation to Paso del Norte Community Foundation here. And if you’re in the El Paso area, please consider donating much-needed blood – Lyft will even give you a free roundtrip ride for the donation.

READ: El Paso Needs Blood Donors After Another White Mass Shooter Kills 19 Walmart Shoppers

Young Mexican Boy, 11, Shoots And Kills Teacher And Injures 5 Classmates Before Killing Himself

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Young Mexican Boy, 11, Shoots And Kills Teacher And Injures 5 Classmates Before Killing Himself

Jay Heike / Unsplash

A school shooting in Mexico is shaking the country. An 11-year-old boy entered his private school in Torreón with two handguns and killed a teacher, injured 5 classmates, and killed himself. Authorities believe that a videogame is to blame for the violence.

Mexican authorities are blaming an online video game for the school shooting this morning in Torreón, Coahuila, Mexico.

Credit: @AnnaDay03449248 / Twitter

Authorities believe that the boy was influenced by the online game Natural Selection. According to reports, the boy went to school and told some of his pupils that “today is the day.” According to Daily Mail, the student asked to go to the bathroom to change his pants. When he didn’t return in 15 minutes, the teacher went looking for him. That is when she found him in the hallway hold two handguns. He shot and killed the teacher and injured 5 classmates and a male P.E. teacher before killing himself.

The conversation of gun control touched Mexico after the deadly shooting of 31 people in El Paso, Texas. The 21-year-old gunman of the El Paso shooting reportedly chose a powerful AK-style rifle to commit what is being called “the deadliest attack targeting Latinos in recent U.S. history.” However, these types of weapons have also made their way across the U.S.-Mexico border where many are being brought there illegally by mostly American citizens.

In 2018, the homicide rate in Mexico hit a record high of 35,964, which is up 12 percent from the year before, according to the country’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography. Of those killings, at least 20,005 were gun-related deaths.

Credit: @bejaminnorton / Twitter

As the number of homicides has risen in Mexico due to gun violence there is a growing sense of urgency from Mexican officials to see something get done. The AK-47 has been known to be the gun of choice for cartel groups and is being used to kill countless Mexican citizens, every week. 

As these powerful assault rifles make their way illegally from the U.S. into Mexico, they are being used in cartel-related violence and drug trafficking efforts. The overwhelming majority of guns used by drug cartels in the country’s deadly turf come illegally from the U.S., since the Mexican army is the only legal seller in the country.

According to the San Diego Union- Tribune, the illegal trafficking of these powerful weapons has fueled the already increasingly dangerous and deadly conditions in the country. The underground market for the weapons is worth hundreds of millions of dollars and will only keep rising. 

Jack Riley, a retired DEA agent, told the Union-Tribune that these cartel groups are choosing these U.S.-made weapons for two primary reasons: their efficiency and because the weapons are a status symbol. He also says that the majority of these funneled weapons are passing through Mexican ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border, which includes on the busiest, the San Ysidro-Tijuana port.

“It is really important to these criminal organizations, who stay in business by the threat of violence and through the use of violence; and the tools that they prefer to do that with are American-made guns,” Riley told the Union-Tribune. “There is a tremendous market for them and unfortunately there’s a ton of people in the United States willing to do business with some of the cartels.”

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is now urging the United States to “control the indiscriminate sale of weapons” after recent mass shootings.

Credit: @jennfranconews / Twitter

The shooting in El Paso, Texas has prompted President Lopez Obrador to put pressure on the U.S. to curb the gun proliferation that is now taking the lives of Mexican citizens. He has also mentioned that the Mexican government was looking into the possibility of accusing the El Paso shooter of “terrorism” and requesting his extradition to face charges in Mexico.

“We are very respectful of what other governments decide, but we think that these unfortunate events, which occurred in the U.S., should lead to reflection, analysis and the decision to control the indiscriminate sale of weapons,” Lopez Obrador said at a news conference in Mexico City last Monday.

Similar to the U.S., citizens in Mexico have the same right to bear arms but when it comes to the sale of weapons, the country has tighter restrictions. Most citizens are only able to purchase lighter handguns or nothing more powerful than a .38 caliber gun as assault weapons are banned. Also, the sale of weapons from one citizen to another is prohibited.

The numbers show that the gun problem in America had crossed over across the border as 70 percent of guns seized across all of Mexico have U.S. origins, According to a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Credit: @frankluntz / Twitter

Mexico is in the midst of turbulent times as the number of people murdered hit more than 33,000 people last year, a record high. This was especially the case for Tijuana, where the popular tourist city that saw more than 2,500 homicides just last year. This gave the city the unwanted distinction and title of “the most violent city in the world,” where almost every single gun that was seized by police since 2016 came from the U.S., according to the city’s chief of police.

There is an “importance of going after both of these things, not just immigration, narcotics, the flow of illegal money, but the tools with which these criminal organizations rely,” Riley told the Tribune. “And for far too long there hasn’t been enough emphasis both by the Mexicans and to a certain extent by us, for a variety of political reasons, to really go after the gun smugglers.”

Read more from the San Diego Union-Tribune here.

READ: This Heartbreaking Interview With An 11-Year-Old Girl Sees Her Pleading For Her Parents To Not Be Deported

Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot Has Overseen A Huge Drop In The City’s Violent Crime Right And This Is Why

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Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot Has Overseen A Huge Drop In The City’s Violent Crime Right And This Is Why

Pixabay

Chicago, Illinois, is one of the mayor American cities that faces big challenges when it comes to fighting violent crime. Historically, the city has been renowned for the role that organized crime has had on politics and also because deep social inequality often leads to marginalization. Even though the city experiences high levels of criminality that need to be tackled, there are some promising signs as 2020 begins. And the newly elected mayor Lori Lightfoot might have a lot to do with it, and has some thoughts on why the city has experienced a double-digit fall on violent crime indexes. 

Lori Lightfoot, a queer Black woman, has had a great inaugural year in office.

Credit: Chicago Tonight / WTTW

Lightfoot is part of an important shift in local governments that has seen the number of female incumbents increase more than ever before. As NFINCE reported in its end of year recap of good things that happened in 2019, “with the April election of Lori Lightfoot in Chicago, a record number of black women (eight) served as mayors in the 100 largest cities in the United States.”

Lightfoot has been strong from day one, making masterful political moves such as firing a senior police officer that many had not dared to touch. As the Chicago Sun Times reports: “… she fired the retiring police superintendent she had celebrated one month earlier after accusing Eddie Johnson “lying” to her and to the public about the circumstances surrounding an embarrassing drinking-and-driving incident in mid-October. From a practical standpoint, Lightfoot’s decision simply means Johnson is gone a month earlier than the Dec. 31 retirement date he announced in October. But, from a political standpoint, it’s a sea change”. So yes, while in power she has made sure that the establishment knows that she has the upper hand. 

While cities like Baltimore experienced a spike in crime during 2019, Chicago’s went down by up to 10%!

As the non for profit The Crime Report points out: “Crime in Chicago is down. Though it hasn’t returned to 2014 levels, compared to late November of last year, reported crimes are down by 10 percent. That decrease is driven partly by significant declines in property crime. Violent crime has fallen by 11 percent”. This is great news for the Windy City, which has often been singled out by Republicans as evidence of Democrat failure in government. Let’s not forget that mamy Obama aides and Obama himself learnt to do politics in the tough Chicago scene and the city is a somewhat safe Democratic bastion.

In a televised interview, Lightfoot outlined what she thinks are the reasons behind this positive drop in violent crimes.

Credit: CNN / YouTube

The Chicago Mayor told CNN that one of the reasons for the drop is the alignment of the different government departments in the city to guarantee public safety. But above all, she stated, was the work with what she called “community partners” while being “on the ground”. This is a very similar approach that the Obama-school of Chicago politics advocates for. She also credits the support that the city government has been giving to victims of crime. Lightfoot also singled out the use of complex technology that alerts police when there is a shooting so they can act faster. Technology is being deployed in the most violent areas of the city. There is a constant flow of information that can be sent to the field to track cars, victims and shooters. 

But there is still a lot to do and the situation in Chicago remains less than ideal, so come structural changes are being put in motion.

Credit: WBEZ

As The Crime Report sums up: “Chicago is on track to record fewer than 500 homicides this year, a 35 percent decrease from 2016. Even if Chicago returned to its 2014 murder rate, that would still be three times higher than the national rate”. There are other challenges faced by the Chicago police, such as the low number of solved homicides in the city. 

One of the most significant changes to law enforcement structures enacted in 2019 was a considerable increase in the number of detectives in the city. As the Associated Press reports, the Chicago Police Department “is beefing up its detective ranks and spreading them around the city in the hope that it can catch up to departments in other major cities that solve a far higher percentage of homicide and other violent crime cases”. Authorities are optimistic about this change, as the AP further reports: “Police officials said will get detectives to crime scenes more quickly and give them a better chance of finding witnesses to interview” and “the move will foster public trust in communities, particularly those with high crime rates , and will allow residents to regularly see the same detectives”.

Violent crimes are down, yes, but other offenses that affect communities are up, as reported by The Wall Street Journal: “A rise in carjacking across Chicago has spooked residents even as police celebrate a drop in violent crimes such as shootings and homicides”. So there is still a lot of work to do.