Things That Matter

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

On Wednesday, not even a week after the mass shootings that took place in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, communities of color continued to suffer at the hands of the Trump administration. In what is being called the largest workplace raid in at least a decade, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested nearly 700 undocumented workers from different processing plants in Morton, Mississippi. 

Since the raids happened early in the day, many children were left behind to fend for themselves, without parents to pick them up from school or feed them. 

Scenes of the children’s devastating reactions quickly made rounds on social media. Many of them pleading to ICE officials to let their parents go back home with them. 

After the El Paso shooting in Texas, many survivors and witnesses, some of which were children, we also left wondering if they’d ever see their parents again or if they’d be next in losing their lives at the hands of a gunman. One 5-year-old even asked her grandparents, “is he going to come and shoot me?” With each passing day, children in the U.S. continue to undergo traumas that they shouldn’t be exposed to. 

Now, with ICE officials conducting more raids and ripping parents away from their children, we continue to see the dangerous and violent ways in which the Trump administration shows it doesn’t care at all for communities of color and let alone, the children. 

In a Facebook video recorded outside a plant in Morton, Mississippi, an 11-year-old girl can be heard sobbing and begging an officer for a chance to see her mother. “If I could just see my mother please,” the young girl says.

According to the Associated Press, most of the workers that were detained were also Latinx. These raids marked another blow to the Latinx community who continues to mourn over the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas. But reports state that the raid had been planned for months, “long before a Texas man killed 22 people and injured 24 in El Paso, TX, his white supremacist manifesto promoting concerns of a ‘Hispanic invasion’ of the country.” 

Nevertheless, the raid on Wednesday left many children vulnerable and devastated. According to Mississippi news station WJTV, authorities said children affected by the raid would be placed with another family member, and they were also working with school officials to ensure the children would be cared for. But despite these reports, a journalist for WJTV said that many children who were left behind had nowhere to go. 

Another video of 11-year-old Magdalena also made rounds on social media where she’s seen being interviewed by journalists in tears, pleading for the return of her father.

“Let my parent be free, with everybody else… don’t leave the [children],” she says sobbing. “My dad didn’t do nothing. He’s not a criminal.” 

According to a Twitter video by WJTV’s Alex Love, children can be seen in distress waiting outside what seems to be a school waiting for more information on their parents. “Children of those arrested are left alone in the streets crying for help,” Love writes in his tweet. “Strangers and neighbors are taking them to a local gym to be put up for the night.” Many other community members also volunteered to feed the children by donating food and drinks for dinner. 

As more and more heartbreaking images and videos of children crying after they had been separated from their presents, many thought it wasn’t “ethical” or “right” to share the images and videos showcasing their pain. 

“I don’t think it’s ethical to take and post pictures of distraught children who have found out their parents have been kidnapped by ICE,” said one Twitter user Yasmin Yonis.  

It sparked conversation and some were in her mentions agreeing with her sentiment while other disagreed and thought it was necessary for people to circulate these images in order to evoke empathy.

 One Twitter user mentioned the “desensitization” of the nation and added that it’s a “scary thought that images of distraught toddlers can’t evoke empathy. Just my cents.” A scary thought that seems to be the reality. 

One Twitter user said they thought it was unethical to “obscure the suffering of children or anyone no matter the situation.” 

But at this point what is unclear about what’s happening? The public has seen migrant deaths in photos circulated through social media, we’ve seen parents in detention facilities, and now we’re seeing the trauma form in real-time with these videos of children crying, begging for their parents. 

We’ve gotten to a point where sharing these images of children heartbroken and devastated because their parents have been arrested by ICE is no longer necessary to evoke empathy. 

As immigration journalist, Tina Vasquez wrote for Playboy, “If white Americans need to see dead brown bodies to make sense of their own borders, then journalism will supply their demand. Under the Trump administration, there seems to be no end to America’s capacity to consume migrants’ suffering. After years of inaction and turning the other cheek, America wants to see it all. But then what?” 

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

Things That Matter

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

A Man In El Paso Has Been Charged With The Murder Of His Date After She Went Missing

Things That Matter

A Man In El Paso Has Been Charged With The Murder Of His Date After She Went Missing

El Paso Police Department

The family of a woman who had been declared missing since July has finally found tragic answers after El Paso police charged Ricardo Marquez, 28, with her murder. Erika Andrea Gaytan, 29, was reported missing by her family on July 16, who felt it was out-of-character for Gaytan to disappear and leave her 7-year-old son behind. Gaytan reportedly was last heard from after going to a concert at the El Paso County Coliseum on July 13 with Ricardo Marquez. Gaytan recorded the concert, featuring Los Rieleros del Norte, Polo Urias and La Maquinaria Norteña, from her social media last night, marking the last time anyone heard from her. Detectives say that the day after Gaytan’s disappearance, Marquez borrowed his brother’s car and his sister’s shovel. Gaytan’s blood was found in Marquez’s Jeep. In a statement released Wednesday, Sgt. Enrique Carrillo said that Gaytan’s “body has not been found, but based on forensic and other evidence gathered over the course of the investigation detectives have reason to believe that she is deceased and was the victim of a murder.”

Police believe Marquez used zip-ties to restrain Gaytan in his home, where he murdered her.

CREDIT: EL PASO POLICE DEPARTMENT / FACEBOOK

Marquez was brought in for questioning following Gaytan’s disappearance, where he told detectives that she came home with him, but used a ride-hailing app to leave after they got into a verbal argument. Detectives found no evidence that Gaytan used her ride-hailing apps, discrediting Marquez’s statement. According to a court affidavit, Marquez continued to give conflicting statements about his experience with Gaytan, and his whereabouts the following day, when speaking with law enforcement and family and friends alike. 

Marquez allegedly spent the next day covering up his crime.

CREDIT: @JALAKFOX_CBS / TWITTER

Investigators then looked into Marquez’s phone records, which showed that he had texted his brother and sister the next morning. He asked his brother if he could borrow his all-wheel-drive Jeep Wrangler, and picked up a shovel from his sister. Surveillance video evidence creates a timeline for Marquez’s alleged cover-up. He borrowed a shovel from his sister around 11:25 a.m. the following morning, and then went to his brother’s house to pick up the Jeep. He spent about an hour with his brother before being spotted on the 13900 block of Montana in east El Paso, driving toward the Redlands desert area. An hour later, the Jeep was spotted again, driving back to his brother’s house around 1:39 p.m., according to the affidavit that was issued for his arrest. With a search warrant in hand, a Department of Public Safety DNA lab-tested Marquez’s brother’s Jeep trunk floor mat, which came back positive for traces of Gaytan’s blood. Police believe Marquez transported Gaytan’s body in the trunk of his brother’s car, and buried her in an unknown area in the desert.

Court documents cite that a search of Marquez’s home produced the shovel he borrowed from his sister, a pair of shoes filled with sand, and zip-ties “tied in a manner to be used as restraints.” Detectives have concluded that “Ricardo Marquez murdered the victim in his residence, used the Jeep to transport the body of the victim to an unknown location only accessible by off-road vehicles, and that he used the shovel to bury the body.”

The El Paso community is shocked to hear of Gaytan’s murder.

CREDIT: EL PASO POLICE DEPARTMENT / FACEBOOK

“Too many tragedies as of late,” commented Melissa Arredondo on the El Paso Police Department’s Facebook announcement of the arrest. “Dang… And the report says he buried her near Redlands. That place is so cursed. My friend’s dad just died there. It will never be the same,” commented another member of the community. Others remain hopeful in demanding that the police find Gaytan’s body before assuming her death. “Too many questions remain,” commented another concerned El Paso citizen.

Gaytan was facing a court hearing for criminal mischief when she disappeared, but her family couldn’t believe that she would leave her son behind without warning. Gaytan once appeared on El Paso’s Most Wanted List in 2017 before she was charged 66 charges of credit abuse in a criminal mischief case.

Police say the investigation is ongoing and detectives are relying on the public for more information. If you have information on the case or Ricardo Marquez, call (915) 212-4040 or Crime Stoppers of El Paso at (915) 566-8477.

READ: California Man Arrested With Drugs And Guns While Keeping A Person Hostage And Suspected Of Murder