Things That Matter

After Years Of Calling For A Border Wall, Trump Wants A Special Trade Agreement With Mexico

President Donald Trump announced this that he and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto have reached a preliminary trade deal. The deal between Mexico and the U.S. would be a revised version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). NAFTA is a trade deal between the United States, Canada and Mexico that has benefited the three countries by creating a trading bloc in North America. Trump also said he plans to change the NAFTA name because as he says, the name has a “bad connotation” and is a “rip off.”

President Trump wants to renegotiate a trade agreement that has been in place for two decades.

The 24-year-old trade deal was created to “eliminate barriers to trade and investment between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.”

“They used to call it NAFTA,” President Trump said during a press conference. “We’re going to call it the United States Mexico Trade Agreement.”

This initial agreement between Mexico and the U.S. does not include Canada, even though President Nieto said several times during the press conference that he wants Canada to be involved, The Washington Post reports.

“I spoke to the Prime Minister of Canada @JustinTrudeau about the status of the NAFTA negotiations and the advance between Mexico and the US,” Nieto said via Twitter. “I expressed the importance of his reinstatement in the process, in order to conclude a trilateral negotiation this week.”

However, a spokesperson for the Canadian Foreign Minister, said that they will only sign the new deal if it’s “good for Canada and good for the middle class. Canada’s signature is required.”

The deal also has to be approved by Congress. In the past GOP lawmakers have expressed that they don’t agree with Trump’s views on NAFTA.

“If the president wants to have a good economy for the United States of America, he needs to have a reasonable trade policy that will be good for Texas,” Texas Gov. Abbott told CNBC.

Beto O’Rourke, who’s running for Congress in Texas, also expressed his views about NAFTA, tweeting that terminating NAFTA would “have a real life, long lasting impact on farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, energy producers, small business owners in Texas. It generates $112 billion in exports for our state annually with 1 million jobs in our state connected to trade with Mexico alone.”


READ: The President of Mexico Is Considering Legalizing Drugs In Order to Bring Peace To The Country

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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.

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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

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