I was struck by this paragraph in the Foreign Affairs piece I posted by Shannon O’Niell:
“As a result, modern Mexico is a middle-class country. The World Bank estimates that some 95 percent of Mexico’s population is in the middle or the upper class. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) also puts most of Mexico’s population on the upper rungs, estimating that 50 percent of Mexicans are middle class and another 35 percent are upper class. Even the most stringent measurement, comparing incomes alongside access to health care, education, social security, housing, and food, finds that just over 45 percent of Mexicans are considered poor — meaning that almost 55 percent are not.”
Many studies I have seen from Mexican agencies such as CONEVAL in recent years say that 50%+ of the Mexican people are “poor or very poor.” So how is it possible for 95 percent to be middle or upper class?? In any case a new study from the UNICEF says that 5 out of 10 children in Mexico live in poverty.
The figure of 90% in the middle class in Mexico is just preposterous. INEGI figures, corroborated by various secretariats put the number living in poverty at 54 million. The report mentioned here by the World Bank from Nov. of last year is very detailed but this news account highlights Mexico as being one of the countries of Latin America with the LEAST upward mobility since 2000. See the chart depicting movers and read the last paragraph. “Just two other countries — Guatemala and Nicaragua — had less economic mobility than Mexico.”
Also, the World Bank uses a figure of $10 US/day as its lower threshold for measuring membership in the middle class. This is about 130 Mex pesos/day. If you know anyone who works in the informal sector here, ask them how much they make on a good day, think about that figure and ask them if they consider themselves middle class.
El Diario reports that 45 people were victims of homicide in March. This is the highest number in the past 5 months. Two of these victims were women, 2 were minors and 2 were Federal policemen shot in an ambush on March 19. The report says that another body was discovered in a clandestine grave in the Valle de Juarez and this case is being investigated by the special prosecutor for crimes against women, but this one is not included in the count–apparently because it cannot be said for certain when she was murdered. In all since the beginning of the year, 97 people have been victims of homicide. In January, there were 26 murders, the majority related to gang fights and not “organized crime.” In February, the state Fiscalia reported 26 murders, and in addition, the discovery of 3 bodies in hidden graves and one decapitated person. I would count this as a total of 30, since it is unlikely these other dead will show up in another tally.
It is worth noting that the article does not report anything for Tamualipas–a state where numerous very violent incidents were reported during March, but no official tallies of the number of victims seems to exist. The Milenio article does not give a source for its data.
For more information on these events, please contact email@example.com
Saturday, April 6, at 2:00 pm
NMSU University Museum, Kent Hall, corner of Solano & University Avenues, Las Cruces
PHOTOGRAPHING RESISTANCE: IMAGING MAYAN WEAVERS
The presentation will look at weaving among members of a Tzotzil Mayan women’s weaving cooperative in Highland Chiapas as a form of cultural resistance in dialogue with fair trade foreign marketing. Issues of taking and making public images produced in this context will be addressed: issues of vision distorted by clichés and exoticizing will be discussed in the context of the photographer’s responsibility to make visible what our eyes are trained not to see. Issues of commodification will be addressed in relation to both the weavings and the images.
Weavings from Chiapas co-ops will be exhibited & available for sale from 10:00 to 4:00 at the Museum
Sunday, April 7, 2013, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
FOUNTAIN THEATER, Mesilla, New Mexico, 2469 Calle De Guadalupe
Part 2 of “Broken Branches, Fallen Fruit: Immigration and the family in Highland Chiapas” and work in progress on Mayan resistance to cultural and physical displacement
This viewing of Jungels’ work-in-progress addresses our inter-connections with resistance efforts of indigenous communities in Chiapas, Mexico, and the threats to their cohesion by neo-liberal globalization. This event is a fundraiser for Weaving for Justice. Suggested donation $10, $5 students. Weavings from Chiapas co-ops will also be for sale and one of Bill’s photographs will be raffled to benefit Tsobol Antzetik (Women United), a Maya weaving cooperative.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Project 380: Aid to Violence Related Mexican Political Asylum Seekers on Humanitarian Parole
“Rita’s family and about 500 other individuals who, after staring death in the eyes,are legally present in the United States and they want to work. They each need a minimum of $380.00 just to get the visa to allow them to work. The 380 PROJECT was designed to assist in that specific need. All funds will go directly to the U.S. State Department for these work visa fees.”
Please consider contributing $3.80 or $38.00 or $380.00 or any amount to this project.
Rita lived in a small town near Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on the land that had been her family home for many generations. Officials in the United States and Mexico decided to put a new international bridge near Rita’s community. That meant that the price of Rita’s land was rapidly increasing in value and corrupt officials wanted Rita to leave. The cheapest way to accomplish that was through terror. And those acts of terror included killing Rita’s husband while she and her children huddled in the next room. Then, Rita happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and she witnessed a Mexican federal policeman murder a room full of people. She ran, but they hunted her. Her family – mother, brother’s family, and children – ran to the United States border with only the clothes on their backs.
After weeks of complex immigration processes, the family was granted humanitarian parole and they were admitted into the United States. They do not have official asylum, but they are legally residing here. During the next four years, they will go through many more legal proceedings and finally an Immigration Judge will determine if their asylum will be granted, or if they will be forced to return to Mexico.
Meanwhile, the family has no financial support, and because of their status, they cannot take advantage of any U.S. entitlement programs. A group of people who knew of their status and their financial need are providing funds to ensure that the family has a safe home and food temporarily.
Rita, her brother, and his wife want to work so they can provide for their family. However, their work visas take a long time to process, and it costs $380.00 each time they renew their work visas. The visas are granted for random time spans – a few months up to a year. Then, the applicants have to pay the $380.00 again and repeat the renewal process which takes 60 to 90 days.
Rita’s family and about 500 other individuals who, after staring death in the eyes, are legally present in the United States and they want to work. They each need a minimum of $380.00 just to get the visa to allow them to work. The 380 PROJECT was designed to assist in that specific need. All funds will go directly to the U.S. State Department for these work visa fees.
Please consider contributing $3.80 or $38.00 or $380.00 or any amount to this project. Click here to make an ONLINE DONATION. At the drop down menu choose: 380 Project: Political Asylum
Checks can be made to Catholic Charities, c/o Deacon Tom Baca, 1280 MedPark Drive, Las Cruces, NM 88005. For more information you may contact Crystal Massey at the law office of Carlos Spector, email@example.com.
Please consider contributing $3.80 or $38.00 or $380.00 or any amount to this project.
A lot of people have been killed in Juarez during Saturday and Sunday… Follows are the stories I’ve found more or less in reverse chronological order. The first story in the list reports that an armed group executed 3 men in the Granjas de Chapultepec neighborhood. Two men were killed immediately in the drive-by shooting. Another man was injured and died later. Witnessed report that it took 40 minutes for ambulances to arrive. This multiple homicide occurred at about 6 pm.
Two stories from the New Mexico part of the sector… On a personal note…I spent some time at the Las Cruces gun show yesterday and boy, was it a rousing success! I actually saw less anti-government propaganda than I expected, but did stop to talk to a few people. One was buying a shotgun to protect his property from all of the dangerous drug smugglers from Mexico… And of course the anti-wilderness rhetoric for the Organ Mountains is that making these areas wilderness opens up more terrorist havens. Yes, there are New Mexicans who believe that terrorists are waiting behind every yucca…
According to an official registry, there are 26,121 disappeared people in Mexico.
This is a more or less direct translation of this article.
This information comes from a search on the web site of the National System for Missing or Disappeared Persons on Monday February 25.
The information was migrated from the National Center of the Executive Secretariat of the National System for Public Security by the National Center for Planning, Analysis and Information for the Combat of Delinquency of the PGR (the Federal Attorney General) and the data in the system comes from what local attorneys general have reported.
The database contains basic information about the cases including: date of disappearance, state, municipality and locality of the disappearance, sex, identifying marks and/or tattoos of the disappeared person and the public ministry (local law enforement bureau) that registered the disappearance.
According to the web site, this information corresponds to that required by the Law of the National Registry of Missing or Disappeared Persons that came into effect on April 18, 2012 and which said that “all administrative or judicial authorities which have knowledge of a missing person or which receives any report about the disappearance of a person, must communicate this information immediately to the National Registry in the form established by the current Law.”
It is worth noting that as of the present date, this regulation has not been officially established and disseminated.
[Cabe destacar que, a la fecha, dicho reglamento aún no ha sido emitido.]
The data that is available on the website is somewhat consistent with the information published in the Washington Post on November 29, 2012 that cited 25,000 disappeared persons during the past presidential administration, as well as with the information released on December 20, 2012 by the NGO Alianza Civica which made public the database of 20,851 disappeared persons from 2006-2012 that was reported by Tracy Wilkinson of the Los Angeles Times.
The data presented in this National Registry makes no distinctions with respect to missing persons, disappeared persons or victims of forced disappearance.