Things That Matter

A 74-Year-Old Man Works For Uber Eats In Mexico City And People Are Asking Why He Isn’t Enjoying Retirement

Someone once said that you can tell a lot about society by the way it treats its senior citizens. In Mexico, older people are generally respected on a family and social level, but are often left for their own devices in financial terms. It is common to see people well into their 70s and even their 80s working to make ends meet. For them, retirement is like a dream that will never be realized, and everyday life is a constant struggle. This is certainly the case for many older citizens living in Mexico City. As the megalopolis grows and swallows small towns and cities with it, work opportunities become centralized in the capital and people, regardless of their age or health status, are forced to commute and work in CDMX. 

Such is the case of this man. 

Francisco Sánchez is a man in his seventies who commutes from Ecatepec to Mexico City to be part of the gig economy.

Credit: 24 Horas Diario Sin Limites

Ecatepec is a marginalized area in the State of Mexico, the most populated state in the country and one of the most challenging in terms of security and poverty. Francisco was spotted by social media user Edgar Tequianes, in the Zona Rosa area of Mexico City. Francisco collects orders from restaurants located in the high end shopping mall Reforma 222, and delivers them on foot to the apartments and offices in the area, one of the busiest business hubs in the Mexican capital city. 

He has become part of the digital gig economy at an unlikely age.

The photograph of Don Francisco using his mobile phone has made the rounds in social media, and people are praising him for remaining active and productive at an advanced age. In a day and age where ageism is prevalent (those over 60s tend to be considered useless by society, particularly by businesses) it is encouraging to see someone like this man. Social media users have asked others to be patient with Don Francisco and to give him a good tip when he delivers orders. 

Facebook user Mariana Santos has become his fiercest advocate 🙂

Mariana Santos has had some chats with Don Francisco, and she has discovered that he is also a swimming teacher. He told her that he gets lost sometimes. Mariana, who has gotten orders delivered by him, says that he is a gentleman and has a positive attitude. 

It all seems great… but is this OK?

Conditions for older citizens in Mexico are dire. A recent study by the National University states that poverty and loneliness are the biggest challenges they face. Recent data also suggests that 49% of older adults in Mexico live with $600 pesos or less a month. That translates into roughly 35 dollars. Yes. You read that right.

And also, the gig economy deja mucho que desear when it comes to workers’ rights.

Yes, companies such as Uber Eats give people more opportunities to make money and get a job when facing unemployment or when wanting to get an extra bit of cash. However, they are pushing the labor force into casualization, which means that instead of being employees with full benefits and social security (in Mexico, for example, your employer needs to pay a contribution to the national health system, IMSS, for you to be fully covered), they are casual workers with no benefits. Added to this, companies such as Uber and its many branches take a cut that can reach up to 25% of earnings.

Working for a gig economy company also means that you need to report it to the tax authorities, which take a further percentage. People like Francisco end up with about 30% of the cut, which is far from ideal. The problem with the gig economy is that it is not a complement to the workforce, but rather a model that is being spread into various industries. This will likely create a precarious workforce that will face even more overwhelming challenges when they reach retirement age and have no savings and no pension.  

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Mexico’s AMLO Wants To Launch New Social Media Network For Mexicans After Twitter Banned Trump

Things That Matter

Mexico’s AMLO Wants To Launch New Social Media Network For Mexicans After Twitter Banned Trump

Hector Vivas / Getty Images

Love him or hate him, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has long called himself the voice of the people – and many Mexicans agree with him. That’s why his latest announcement against social media companies has many so worried.

In the wake of Twitter and Facebook’s (along with many other social media platforms) announcement that they would be restricting or banning Donald Trump from their platforms, the Mexican president expressed his contempt for the decisions. And his intention to create a Mexican social network that won’t be held to the standards from Silicon Valley.

Mexico’s AMLO moves to create a social media network for Mexicans outside of Silicon Valley’s control.

A week after his United States counterpart was kicked off Facebook and Twitter, President López Obrador floated the idea of creating a national social media network to avoid the possibility of Mexicans being censored.

Speaking at his daily news conference, AMLO instructed the National Council of Science and Technology (Conacyt) and other government departments to look at the possibility of creating a state-owned social media site that would guarantee freedom of speech in Mexico.

“We care about freedom a lot, it’s an issue that’s going to be addressed by us,” he told reporters. He also added that Facebook and Twitter have become “global institutions of censorship,” sounding a lot like the alt-right terrorists that stormed the U.S. Capitol.

“To guarantee freedom, for freedom, so there’s no censorship in Mexico. We want a country without censorship. Mexico must be a country of freedom. This is a commitment we have,” he told reporters.

AMLO deeply criticized the moves by Twitter and Facebook to ban Trump from their platforms.

Credit: Hector Vivas / Getty Images

AMLO – like Trump – is an avid user of social media to connect with his constituents. He’s also been known to spread falsehoods and boast about his achievements on the platforms – sound familiar?

So, it came as little surprise when he tore into social media companies for ‘censoring’ Donald Trump, saying that they have turned into “global institutions of censorship” and are carrying out a “holy inquisition.”

Nobody has the right to silence citizens even if their views are unpopular, López Obrador said. Even if the words used by Trump provoked a violent attack against his own government.

“Since they took these decisions [to suspend Trump], the Statue of Liberty has been turning green with anger because it doesn’t want to become an empty symbol,” he quipped.

So what could a Mexican social media network be called?

The president’s proposal to create a national social media network triggered chatter about what such a site would or should be called. One Twitter user suggested Facemex or Twitmex, apparently taking his inspiration from the state oil company Pemex.

The newspaper Milenio came up with three alternative names and logos for uniquely Mexican sites, suggesting that a Mexican version of Facebook could be called Facebookóatl (inspired by the Aztec feathered-serpent god Quetzalcóatl), Twitter could become Twitterlopochtli (a riff on the name of Aztec war, sun and human deity Huitzilopochtli) and Instagram could become Instagratlán (tlán, which in the Náhuatl language means place near an abundance of something – deer, for example, in the case of Mazatlán – is a common suffix in Mexican place names.)

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Carlos Villagrán Is Running To Be Governor Of Querétaro

Entertainment

Carlos Villagrán Is Running To Be Governor Of Querétaro

Paul Archuleta / FilmMagic

We all remember Carlos Villagrán as Quico from “El Chavo del Ocho.” The actor and Mexican icon is now entering the world of politics. Villagrán is entering the race for governor of Querétaro.

Actor and comedian Carlos Villagrán wants to be governor of Querétaro.

Affectionately known as Quico from “El Chavo del Ocho,” Villagrán is someone we grew up with. Now, decades after his famous role ended, Villagrán is hoping to open a brand new chapter in his life: politics.

“After 50 years of making people laugh, I find myself on another platform, which does me a tremendous honor,” Villagrán said during a press conference after filing paperwork.

Villagrán has been thinking about entering Mexican politics for a while.

It is never easy to decide if you want to become a politician. Your private life is no longer private and everything you do is suddenly under intense scrutiny. Villagrán did take time mulling over the idea before filing his paperwork to be a candidate for governor of Querétaro. He registered under the local Querétaro Independiente Party.

“I can’t say anything, because I still don’t know anyone and I have to talk to people to find out what it is about. So, I could not say anything at this moment,” Villagrán told El Universal when still debating the idea.

Villagrán created a Twitter account after announcing his candidacy and is hitting the talking points hard.

Villagrán’s official Twitter account has only pushed tweets highlighting QiBook. The social media platform is specific to Querétaro and is hoping to foster some economic and commercial success in the state.

Fans around the world are wishing him so much success.

Villagrán character Quico is one of the most celebrated characters in Latin America. The wild success of “El Chavo del Ocho” has made Villagrán a face that people throughout Latin America know and love.

However, some people are not excited to see another entertainer enter politics.

We have seen entertainers become politicians and it isn’t always a good thing. The current governor of Morales is Cuauhtémoc Blanco, a former soccer player, and people are not loving him and his leadership. We will no better about his chances of running on Feb. 8 when things are finalized.

READ: FIFA21 Releasing ‘El Chavo Del Ocho’ Uniforms To Honor The Icon For Limited Time

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