Tag Archives: Mexico

Mexico Feature | Afro-Mexicans

The Political Reemergence of Mexico’s “Invisible” Minority


Source: Fusion YouTube

Despite a half-millennium of life in Mexico, Afro-Mexicans have seen their political visibility decrease dramatically as the ideology of mestizaje (racial mixing) has become central to Mexican national identity. As in many parts of the Americas, how blackness is defined in Mexico is distinctive, unique to the convergence of circumstances that shaped identity through culture, economics, geography, ideology, and law. Today, the contemporary political landscape, with its interest in multiculturalism and the rectification of historical disadvantage, has pressed black Mexicans to seek greater administrative recognition. But with relatively small numbers and lacking a non-Spanish native language, Afro-Mexicans have been officially indistinct from either the majority non-indigenous and mestizo population or minority indigenous groups, unwilling to acknowledge the historical circumstances that have made recognition of Afro-Mexicans as a minority a priority and denying the financial and political support that such recognition would bring.

However, in 2015, an interim census allowed for respondents’ self-identification as “black”—itself a disputed term among Afro-Mexicans—for the first time, giving new visibility and coherence to the more than 1 million black Mexicans in the country. Mexican blackness—as defined historically, culturally, psychologically, and geographically—has joined the global stage of Afro-consciousness in the call for recognition and reparation of injustices against the community of African and Afro-descendent peoples. The official reemergence has attracted the attention of media outlets covering the renewed consciousness and political agency of Mexico’s “invisible minority.”

Read:
Afro-Mexicans: No longer ‘erased’” (The Daily Kos, April 2016)
The black people ‘erased from history’” (BBC, April 2016)
Now Counted By Their Country, Afro-Mexicans Grab Unprecedented Spotlight” (NPR, February 2016)
Mexico Finally Recognized Its Black Citizens, But That’s Just The Beginning” (The Huffington Post, January 2016)

Also:
The secret lives of Afro-Mexicans in America” (Fusion, February 2016)
México Negro A.C.

Mexico News | LGBT

Mexican congressional committee rejects proposal to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples
  • President Enrique Peña Nieto’s office had asked for an amendment to the constitution to allow couples to marry irrespective of gender or sexual orientation.
  • The constitutional committee voted 19-8 (with one abstention) against allowing the proposal to proceed.
  • While same-sex marriage is permitted in several Mexican states and a judicial ruling declared marriage bans unconstitutional, the executive proposal was an attempt to secure marriage rights nationwide.

Read more:
Mexican congressional committee rejects Pena Nieto’s bid to legalize gay marriage” (Reuters)
Los diputados fulminan la propuesta de Peña Nieto de avalar el matrimonio igualitario” (El País, in Spanish)
Diputados desechan iniciativa de matrimonios gay” (El Universal, in Spanish)

Mexico News | Haitian Migrants

End of special immigration protections diminishes hopes of Haitians looking to cross into U.S. from Mexico
  • Thousands of Haitians have become trapped in Mexico as an ongoing migration crisis has been exacerbated by the recent destruction wrought by Hurricane Matthew in their home country.
  • The U.S. recently ended special protections for Haitian migrants in the country in place since the 2010 earthquake that killed more than 200,000, though activists have begun pressuring the government to renew them in light of the most recent natural disaster.
  • Monitors estimate as many as 40,000—many coming from an economically distraught Brazil—may be en route throughout the Americas as they pay upwards of thousands of dollars to pass through the most legally treacherous parts.

Read more:
Far from Hurricane Matthew, a Haitian crisis flares in Tijuana” (Reuters)
Haitians, After Perilous Journey, Find Door to U.S. Abruptly Shut” (The New York Times)
Haitians throng at U.S.-Mexico border despite deportation policy” (AP via CBS News)

(Image Credit: Adam Ferguson/The New York Times)

Mexico News | LGBT

At least 5 dead following May shooting in Mexico gay bar
  • On May 22, gunmen entered La Madame in Xalapa, Veracruz, and opened fire, with reports indicating between five and seven dead and 12 to 14 injured.
  • Reports indicate that six men entered the bar and began firing on patrons, with at least one witness reporting the attackers targeted a group of men before firing randomly on those present.
  • Security officials blamed the shooting on a territorial dispute by drug cartels, while LGBT activists argued police were downplaying the homophobic nature of the crime.

Read more:
Cae presunto implicado en ataque al bar ‘Madame’” (El Universal, in Spanish)
Ataque en bar de Xalapa fue contra ocupantes de una mesa: testigo” (Milenio.com, in Spanish)
The Massacre at a Mexican Gay Bar That No One Talked About” (teleSUR English)
7 people were killed in a Mexico gay bar, but it’s not big news” (PinkNews)

(Image Credit: El Universal)

Mexico News | Journalists

Sharp uptick in attacks on journalists in Mexico in 2015
  • There were 397 attacks against journalists reported in Mexico in 2015, a 22% increase over 2014 and the most violent year on record, according to a report by an international media advocacy group.
  • Most prevalent in Mexico city and the southern state of Veracruz, the attacks, which included seven murders, involved public officials 41.5% of the time.
  • The year was also a record for attacks on women journailsts, with 84 incidents having been reported.

Read more:
A Mexican Journalist Is Attacked Every 22 Hours: Report” (teleSUR English)
Mexico’s Media Faced a Record Number of Violent Attacks in 2015” (VICE News)
Media group: Attacks on Mexico journalists up 22 pct in 2015” (AP via Yahoo! News)

(Image Credit: Reuters, via teleSUR English)

Central America & U.S. News | Central American Women

UN: Ongoing gender-based violence in Central America threatening to create another refugee crisis
  • The UN has warned in a recent report that as femicide and sexual and domestic violence showing no signs of abating in parts of Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, the region (and the U.S.) needs to prepare another refugee surge.
  • Gang violence has exploited women in the region as governments have failed to address the region’s drug cartel problem, while escaping women become vulnerable to trafficking.
  • Advocates for women refugees have argued that the Mexico’s crackdown on migrants–with U.S. backing–has heightened insecurity for women escaping violence.

Read more:
UN agency warns of ‘looming’ refugee crisis as women flee Central America and Mexico” (UN News Service)
Women Refugees Are ‘Running For Their Lives’ In Central America” (BuzzFeed News)
Mexico’s migration crackdown escalates dangers for Central Americans” (The Guardian)

(Image Credit: Amy Stillman/IRIN, via the UN News Agency)

Mexico News | LGB

Mexico supreme court strikes down ban on same-sex adoption
  • The court ruled 9-1 that a 2013 law in the state of Campeche was unconstitutional following a filing by the state’s human rights commission.
  • Same-sex couples’ adoption rights have experienced less support than marriage equality in the country, with only 24% expressing favor versus 52% for marriage rights in a 2013 survey.
  • Adoption rights have been solidified in much of the country, with most of the opposition residing outside of the heartland.

“I see no problem for a child to be adopted in a society of co-existence, which has precisely this purpose. Are we going to prefer to have children in the street, which according to statistics exceed 100,000? We attend, of course, and perhaps with the same intensity or more, to the interests of the child.”

Read the full story at the International Business Times.

(Image Credit: Edgard Garrido/Reuters, via the International Business Times)