Displaying items by tag: Mexico
Fritz Dorilas is the eighth journalist killed this year in Haiti. There is surging gang violence, political instability and targeted attacks on the media. The capital’s increasingly powerful criminal gangs battle for control in a political vacuum after President Moise’s assassination. Haiti has security and humanitarian crises after weeks-long blockades on key petrol terminals caused electricity and water shortages that exacerbated already-high rates of hunger. His killing came shortly after Romelson Vilsaint died during a Port-au-Prince protest when police threw tear gas and opened fire on journalists demanding the release of a colleague. Mexico has been plagued by journalists’ killings since the government’s war on cartels began. It is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be a journalist: 13 had been killed by the end of August. A web of violence, corruption and impunity has plagued Mexico and despite government efforts to protect journalists, the situation has worsened.
Cheaply-made fentanyl is made and distributed in rainbow colours by Mexican drug cartels to appeal to young children and teens. It is fuelling an addiction among American youth. The Drug Enforcement Administration says it is the deadliest drug America faces today. As Americans move further from biblical values, the effects are showing throughout the culture. Children are dying from fentanyl on school campuses while suicide, depression and anxiety rates are higher than ever before. 154 Americans die from fentanyl every day. Parents need to warn their children that fentanyl-laced pills are out there; more importantly, the youth of America need Jesus. They turn to drugs to fill voids and need to hear that God is the only one who can fill our voids and make us whole again. This is a growing national problem that will not be fixed until there are serious efforts to prevent drugs crossing the border.
US / Mexico border concerns are unaddressed; Americans are complaining. Judges and commissioners of 26 Texas counties have signed declarations of needing ‘protection from the influx of violent Mexicans’. They want constitutional authority to protect themselves from Mexican ‘paramilitary, narco-terrorist organisations that profit from trafficking people and drugs into the US and exploit insecure borders for their power and profit, harming local communities’. The counties say the Texas constitution allows them to 'defend themselves against invasion.’ Both the Republican Party and the Texas Public Policy Foundation want Texas to declare an invasion by unprecedented illegal immigration. They argue that Mexican cartels and their extensive criminal networks across US cities are threatening the lives of Texans and Americans. Meanwhile Governor Abbott has directed officials to apprehend illegal border crossers and return them to ports of entry. He is the only Texas governor to build a wall on Texas soil.
Yessenia Mollinedo and Sheila Johana Garcia were shot on 9 May, raising the death toll of journalists this year to eleven. Mexico is the most dangerous country for media workers outside of war zones. Authorities are searching for a motive for their murder. Media rights group Reporters Without Borders are investigating the incident. Mexico’s federal government has been criticised for neither preventing the killing of journalists nor investigating them sufficiently. Although organised crime is often blamed for attacks on media workers, small-town officials and politicians with political or criminal motivations are often suspects in these crimes. Crimes against freedom of expression occur daily. It is not clear if Mollinedo or Garcia were enrolled in a federal protection programme for journalists and human rights defenders. Several of the journalists killed this year had made contact with the programme at some point. Although President Obrador promises a ‘zero impunity’ policy when investigating such slayings, he continues his regular verbal attacks against journalists critical of his administration.
Christians are the majority of Mexico’s total population, but they are targeted by unlawful gangs for speaking out against criminal operations and violence. Cartels violently try to silence them. In rural indigenous communities, anyone turning away from traditional religious beliefs faces rejection and punishment in the form of fines, imprisonment, and forced displacement. Non-discrimination laws mean that any links between Christian faith and politics are placed under very strict legal scrutiny. In areas controlled by criminals or drug cartels, young Christian men are exposed to forced enrolment. Those who do not accept it face threats, potential abduction, and even death. Families are bribed and intimidated to force their children to obey the gangs. Church leaders are victims of blackmail because they have access to church funds. Mexico also has the highest rate of human trafficking in the world. Women are easy targets.
A fourth journalist has been killed in Mexico in a month, drawing condemnation from freedom-of-the-press groups. Roberto Toledo, a 55-year-old lawyer, was gunned down by three men in a parking area by the law office where he worked. Three other journalists have been killed so far this year. ‘His death underscores the incredibly dangerous situation that journalists across Mexico are having to contend with as they try to go about their daily work.’ said Natalie Southwick, programme coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean for the Committee to Protect Journalists. The group condemned the attack on social media and urged Mexican authorities to investigate. Mexico has offered bodyguards and bulletproof vests to vulnerable journalists in the past, but it hasn’t been enough. Tourist drug demand is bringing cartel violence to Mexico’s most popular resorts.
Flights carrying Haitian migrants from the US back to their homeland continue daily. The ongoing mass expulsion comes in response to a growing humanitarian crisis at the US/Mexico border. Over 12,000 migrants, mainly from Haiti, camped under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, after wading across the Rio Grande from Mexico. Activity at the border has increased significantly in recent years. Border agents stopped nearly 200,000 people last month, a significant increase from the 50,684 arrests in 2019. UN officials say almost a million people from El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti and Honduras have fled to Mexico. Mexico may top 100,000 new asylum claims this year, breaking a new record. Recently a federal judge decided officials could not use Title 42 law to deport migrant families from the US to Mexico. Lawyers serving the Biden administration immediately appealed the ruling. Mission Cry is sending 25,000 Spanish Bibles to migrants all over Mexico and hope to reach 2 million people.
The Catholic-run welcome centre, the last stop for migrants before crossing the border into the USA, offers meals, clothing, medical and legal assistance. It has become a waiting room. The group running the welcome centre attributes lengthened stays (300+ days) to the pandemic and Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy. Many who get into America are ejected by Border Patrol after a few days - creating a revolving population, returning to the welcome centre on a weekly or daily basis. Women give birth, children miss two years of education, girls can’t have a quinceañera (celebration of a girl's 15th birthday). US authorities found 19,000 children traveling alone across the Mexican border in March. It is a major test for Joe Biden as he reverses many of his predecessor's hard-line immigration tactics.
The US homeland security secretary said they are expelling most single adults and families but not unaccompanied children. An average of 565 lone children are crossing the border daily. The highest number of families come from Honduras, the most unstable Central American country. Many lone children come from Guatemala, where youth population and unemployment are high and smuggling networks are developed. The transition from Donald Trump to Joe Biden has persuaded would-be migrants that a limited window now exists for US entry. In the Trump years human traffickers were thwarted, but they are now eager for more. Also, two major hurricanes have inflicted severe human and economic damage in Central America. Taking to the road to find a better life is dangerous, especially for children. Most flee from violence, corruption, and poverty all around them. Doctors Without Borders said 75% of migrants with children were fleeing threats of violence, including forced recruitment by gangs.
On 6 October Louisiana’s governor warned, ‘It is time to prepare for Hurricane Delta as it intensifies in the Caribbean. It is common for people to experience hurricane fatigue during a busy season, but we need everyone to take this threat seriously.’ Delta is the 10th named storm in America this season. After tearing down trees and power lines across Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, Delta grew in size as it approached the northern Gulf Coast on 9 October. Life-threatening storm surges and hurricane-force winds are expected in the Louisiana coast, with as much as 12 inches of rain in places. State and local officials are shoring up levees, sandbagging and taking other protection measures in areas still recovering from Hurricane Laura, which roared ashore in August. Over 6,600 Laura evacuees remain in hotels around the state, mainly in New Orleans, because their homes are too heavily damaged to return. Pray for their peace of mind.