Things That Matter

After Devastating Earthquake, Mexicans Are Showing Solidarity And Unity As Recovery Efforts Begin

After a magnitude 7.1 earthquake devastated central and parts of southern Mexico yesterday afternoon, the country is coming together to focus on rescue and recovery efforts, and to help those in need. The latest data reported has the death toll at more than 200 people. Deaths have been reported in Mexico City and other areas impacted by the earthquake, such as the states of Morelos, Puebla, Guerrero and Oaxaca.

 The death toll could rise as rescue workers continue to sift through the rubble of several collapsed buildings.

Luis Felipe Puente, the national coordinator for civil protection, tweeted an updated death toll from the earthquake with a breakdown of the areas where people died. According to Puente, Mexico City sustained the highest number of deaths at 86, with 12 other casualties reported in the State of Mexico. It’s also been confirmed that there have been 71 deaths in Morelos, 43 deaths in Puebla, four deaths in Guerrero and one death in Oaxaca.

Sobering footage of the devastating earthquake continues to make its way to social media.

The video above shows the city of Jojutla, Morelos, being shaken violently by the earthquake. Jojutla is located just 70 miles from the earthquake’s epicenter near the city of Puebla.

There is widespread infrastructure damage in the affected areas.

Bridges, metro lines and overpasses have been severely damaged by the quake.

One of the most heartbreaking stories from the catastrophic event is an elementary school in Mexico City that collapsed with children still inside.

Crews were working through the night to save the children still trapped under the rubble. According to The Los Angeles Times, at least 20 children and two adults died when a wing of the school collapsed. The latest report claims that there are still 30 children and eight adults missing from the school. Rescue workers lift their arms –  a sign they use to ask for silence –  to try and hear for voices beneath the rubble.

“Children are often the most vulnerable in emergencies such as this and we are particularly concerned because schools across the region were in session and filled with students,” Jorge Vidal, director of operations at Save the Children in Mexico, told ABC News.

There have been some moments of hope: Mexico City Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera announced the rescue of 52 people.

The 52 people were saved from one building. As of now, there are reports that 38 buildings collapsed in the densely populated capital city.

In the wake of the earthquake, residents of Mexico City have banded together as they start the long road to recovery.

People have spent time digging through debris to save every person and pet they come across.

A group of teachers sang to keep children calm after the city was shaken.

? ?

And volunteers have flooded every possible site to help remove debris and people from collapsed structures.

The recovery process has just begun in Mexico City but it appears that progress is already being made.

Mexico’s professional fútbol league, Liga MX, canceled all its matches this weekend so its stadiums could be used for relief efforts.

According to ESPN’s Tom Marshall, several stadiums throughout Mexico are being used as collection points for supplies and food that will be distributed to those affected by the earthquake.

If you are interested in helping those who have been affected by the earthquake, there are several ways to help. Here is a short list of organizations you can reach out to:

UNICEF Mexico: UNICEF has long been an organization that helps to protect and support children all over the world, especially in times of crisis and disaster.

Mexico Earthquake Relief Fund by GlobalGiving: GlobalGiving has helped raise more than $270 million since 2002 and vets all donation drives to ensure that they are legitimate and work for the cause they claim.

Red Cross Mexico: The Red Cross helps to provide supplies and shelter to those in need after a natural disaster.

Project Paz: Project Paz has a donation page set up where you can donate to help victims of either the Sept. 7 Oaxaca/Chiapas earthquake or the Sept. 19 Mexico City earthquake.

Los Topos: Los Topos is a rescue brigade that was formed after the 1985 Mexico City earthquake that devastated the city and are willing to step up again anytime a disaster hit’s Mexico’s capital. Donations are accepted via PayPal by sending to donativos@brigada-rescate-topos.org.


READ: Buildings Collapse And More Than 70 Dead After Mexico City Is Hit By Major Earthquake

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

This Indigenous Village In Mexico Trains Their Children As Soldiers To Combat Gang Violence

Things That Matter

This Indigenous Village In Mexico Trains Their Children As Soldiers To Combat Gang Violence

via Getty Images

In the town of Ayahualtempa, Mexico, in the state of Guerrero, reporters see a shocking image whenever they visit. Children armed with guns, trained to defend themselves. The disturbing scene is meant to be shocking. The village of Ayahualtempa is under constant attack. A prominent heroin “corridor”, they are the victims of violence and carnage at the hands of gangsters and the cartel.

In order to gain the Mexican government’s attention, the Ayahualtempa villagers dress their children up as soldiers. Then, they invite the media in.

Ayahualtempa
via Getty Images

When reporters arrive, the children of Ayahualtempa dutifully line up and put on a performance. They march, they show how they would shoot a gun from one knee, or from flat on their bellies. They tell reporters that their mock-violent performance is “so the president sees us and helps us,” as a 12-year-old child named Valentín told the Associated Press.

Because the Mexican government doesn’t protect Ayahualtempa, the display of child soldiers is a form of protest for the small indigenous village. The people of this remote region of Guerrero want protection from the National Guard, and financial help for widows and orphans who have been made so from organized crime.

The villagers don’t trust local authorities, and for good reason. Guerrera is the Mexican state in which 43 teaching students were abducted and killed in an event that is known as the “Iguala mass kidnapping”. Authorities arrested 80 suspects in connection to the event. 44 of them were police officers, working in conjunction with a network of cartels.

Although the demonstrations function largely as a publicity stunt, violence is very much a part of these children’s lives.

via Getty Images

Parents train their children to walk to school with loaded guns, ready to defend themselves against violent gangsters.

The attention-grabbing antics have, to some extent, worked. On one occasion, the government donated some housing material. On another, benefactors gave the community’s orphans and widows scholarships and houses. But as soon as the periodic media storms die down, the federal government continues pretending Ayahualtempa doesn’t exist.

The hypocrisy of the government’s response is frustrating to many. “We’ve normalized that these children don’t eat, are illiterate, are farm workers. We’re used to the Indians dying young, but, ‘How dare they arm them!’” said local human rights activist Abel Barrera to the AP, with a heavy dose of sarcasm.

As for now, until the government moves to protect the community, they say they will continue their demonstrations. “They see that the issue of the children is effective for making people take notice and they think: If that’s what works, we’ll have to keep doing it,” said Barrera.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Spanish Voiceover Actress For Jessie From Pokémon Dies And Fans Mourn

Entertainment

Spanish Voiceover Actress For Jessie From Pokémon Dies And Fans Mourn

Pokémon fans in Latin America are mourning the death of Diana Pérez, the Spanish-language voice of Jessie of Pokémon’s Team Rocket. The voice actress has been voicing the character since 1997.

Diana Pérez, the voice actress of Team Rocket’s Jessie, died at 51.

Lalo Garza, a famed voice actor in Mexico, confirmed the death of the Pokémon voice actress.

“Rest in peace Diana Pérez, a strong, cultured, intelligent, and very talented woman. You are good now, friend. Nothing hurts anymore. Have a good trip,” reads the tweet.

Pérez has been a staple in the Spanish-language Pokémon fandom for decades.

Pérez was more than just he voice of Jessie. The voice actress was the voice of multiple anime characters including Luffy in One Piece and Kagura in Inuyasha. In recent years, Pérez had started branching out to directing, producing, and other branches in the entertainment industry.

Pérez’s death is being mourned by Pokémon fans outside of the Spanish-language fandom.

Sarah Natochenny is the English voice of Ash Ketchum in the Pokémon series, Jessie’s mortal enemy. The death of Pérez has impacted the larger Pokémon community. Pérez was a pivotal part of the Latin American Pokémon community for decades and her loss has devastated fans.

Descansa en paz, Diana.

There have been no plans announced for a replacement to voice Team Rocket’s Jessie. No official cause of death has been released either. Our hearts and thoughts go out to Pérez’s family and the greater Pokémon community mourning her passing.

READ: I Was Today Years Old When I Found Out This Mexican Pokémon

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com