Showing posts with label Mexico. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mexico. Show all posts

February 1, 2017

Trumps Threatens Mexico’s Peña with Military

 Trump threatens Pena with Military invasion

President Donald Trump threatened in a phone call with his Mexican counterpart to send U.S. troops to stop “bad hombres down there" unless the Mexican military does more to control them itself, according to an excerpt of a transcript of the conversation obtained by The Associated Press.

The excerpt of the call did not make clear who exactly Trump considered "bad hombres," — drug cartels, immigrants, or both — or the tone and context of the remark, made in a Friday morning phone call between the leaders. It also did not contain Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s response.

Still, the excerpt offers a rare and striking look at how the new president is conducting diplomacy behind closed doors. Trump’s remark suggest he is using the same tough and blunt talk with world leaders that he used to rally crowds on the campaign trail.

A White House spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.
The phone call between the leaders was intended to patch things up between the new president and his ally. The two have had a series of public spats over Trump’s determination to have Mexico pay for the planned border wall, something Mexico steadfastly refuses to agree to.

"You have a bunch of bad hombres down there," Trump told Pena Nieto, according to the excerpt seen by the AP. "You aren't doing enough to stop them. I think your military is scared. Our military isn’t, so I just might send them down to take care of it.”

A person with access to the official transcript of the phone call provided an excerpt to The Associated Press. The person gave it on condition of anonymity because the administration did not make the details of the call public.

A Mexican reporter's similar account of Trump's comments was published on a Mexican website Tuesday. The reports described Trump as humiliating Pena Nieto in a confrontation conversation.
Mexico’s foreign relations department denied that account, saying it "is based on absolute falsehoods."

"The assertions that you make about said conversation do not correspond to the reality of it," the statement said. "The tone was constructive and it was agreed by the presidents to continue working and that the teams will continue to meet frequently to construct an agreement that is positive for Mexico and for the United States."

Trump has used the phrase "bad hombres" before. In an October presidential debate, he vowed to get rid the U.S. of "drug lords" and "bad people."
"We have some bad hombres here, and we're going to get them out," he said. The phrase ricocheted on social media with Trump opponents saying he was denigrating immigrants.

Trump’s comment was in line with the new administration's bullish stance on foreign policy matters in general, and the president's willingness to break long-standing norms around the globe.

Before his inauguration, Trump spoke to the president of Taiwan, breaking long-standing U.S. policy and irritating China. His temporary ban on refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries, aimed at reviewing screening procedures to lessen the threat of extremist attacks, has caused consternation around the world.

But nothing has created the level of bickering as the border wall, a centerpiece of his campaign. Mexico has consistently said it would not pay for the wall and opposes it. Before the phone call, Pena Nieto canceled a planned visit to the United States.

The fresh fight with Mexico last week arose over trade as the White House proposed a 20 percent tax on imports from the key U.S. ally to finance the wall after Pena Nieto abruptly scrapped his Jan. 31 trip to Washington.

The U.S. and Mexico conduct some $1.6 billion a day in cross-border trade, and cooperate on everything from migration to anti-drug enforcement to major environmental issues.
Trump tasked his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner — a real estate executive with no foreign policy experience — with managing the ongoing dispute, according to an administration official with knowledge of the call.

At a press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May last week, Trump described his call with Pena Nieto as “friendly."

In a statement, the White House said the two leaders acknowledged their “clear and very public differences” and agreed to work through the immigration disagreement as part of broader discussions on the relationship between their countries.

__Associated Press writer Mark Stevenson in Mexico City contributed to this report

January 27, 2017

Homophobia Seemed to Surge in Mexico After Peña Gay Marriage Proposal

Let me just quantify the tittle: The homophobes were always there like Trump voters were here, they just kept quiet about it…..

 Homophobia has surged in Mexico since president Enrique Pena Nieto proposed to legalise same-sex marriage in May, a gay rights group said, reporting 26 hate-fueled murders this year. Alejandro Brito, head of the Citizen Commission against Homophonic Hate Crimes, said there was a “defamation campaign” against gays.


"This can trigger a wave of violence and an increase in attacks against homosexuals. We think that it's important for the authorities to take care of this before a tragedy takes place," he said yesterday. "Homophobia has worsened this year due to the opposition to the initiative that the president has sent to Congress," Brito said at a news conference.
"We don't want an Orlando in Mexico," he said, referring the murder of 49 people by a gunman at a gay nightclub in the Florida city in June. Pena Nieto has proposed a constitutional reform that would legalise same-sex marriage nationwide after the Supreme Court ruled last year that state bans were unconstitutional.
Currently only a handful of the country's 31 states and Mexico City allow such weddings. Brito said that at least 26 people from the LGBT community were killed so far this year, with some brutal homicides perpetrated after the president's announcement.
On June 25, two lesbians were verbally attacked by a man for their sexual orientation while they were outside a store in the northern city of Monclova. The couple left but the man hit their car with his vehicle and shot one of the women in the neck, killing her, Brito said.
The Mexico Equality Movement has documented two other murders of gays after Pena Nieto's announcement. One was run over and the other one was tortured. Brito's group reported 44 homophobia-fueled murders in 2015, down from 72 in 2014. An average of 71 anti-LGBT murders have taken place every year in the past decade.
But Brito said the figure is likely much higher as the statistics are only based on news reports.
"For each case reported in the press, there are at least two others that are not reported," he said. Pena Nieto’s initiative has been opposed by Mexico's Roman Catholic Church and members of conservative parties. The leftist Democratic Revolution Party and LGBT rights groups filed complaints in the interior ministry and the government’s anti-discrimination agency against bishops and a cardinal, accusing them of violating the constitution for their public stance against same-sex marriage.
What’s missing from Mexico vis a vis United States gay marriage is education. What should have happened would have been for both public and private sectors to explain why should there be gay marriage. Who are the gay people? In United States there was a campaign before and after there was gay marriage showing the population that gays were in everyone’s family. Either in the past or in the present and if not, there are still gays we interact every day from friends and co workers that don’t talk about it and we don’t know their sexual orientation.
In United States we started the fight of going from state to state but realized some states were too far behind in recognizing gays as comparable human beings and it was the same states that had problems with the right to vote, inter-race marriage and even the end of slavery.
We realized we needed the same power that made all of those things I just mentioned happen and that was the power of the Supreme Court.
I don’t know the constitution of Mexico but if it proclaims that all citizens are to be treated equally then the highest courts there is the way to go.

Companies and Education:

The private sector also played a big role in education in the US. Many of those companies are also in Mexico. McDonalds, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, etc., can also make the effort there to educate and have equal hiring and opportunities for all and let the public know.

It was great that President Peña went for gay marriage and the timing seemed right since the Supreme Court in the US had made the decision but it seemed like there was a vacuum in education and for backing from organization the public respected. Yes,  the Catholic Church coming down hard against it is not helping but they also did in the US.

You have to teach people and find out why they oppose gay marriage and gay rights.
If its religious then you have to point out many things people do daily that does not square with the scriptures. If it’s sex, well that is private.  Is it the way we dress? Not everybody dresses the same way and the people they probably think are gay is because they are perceive to be effeminate in some way.
Then show them the figures in sports globally and in companies such as Apple, Mozilla,Pay Pal and others were their CEO’s are gay and nobody would know if they were not out to the public.

When you have organized opposition like the church and then you have new groups with Putin-Russian scare tactics you need to counter them and bring the truth out and the lie exposed to the light of that truth. This thing that kids cannot be told about gays like if kids were stupid needs to go besides it needs to be pointed out that gays are not made but born. There are gay kids and they should feel that there are other solutions for them besides suicide and getting married to go in the down-low.

I hope that the gay community there learn from us and other nations how they have done it. In  all cases education is key.
You are not going to have everyone accept you but at least the misinformed and uneducated can be brought to your around and for the hard core homophobic which many times are gay themselves or afraid of being gay, for those only time is the answer.
Adam Gonzalez

September 2, 2016

Trump Got Real Tough-After Leaving Mexico



Donald Trump has provided the political world with many moving moments over the past year, but none quite like the whiplash mood swing between his daytime and nighttime performances in Mexico City and Phoenix on Wednesday.

In the daylight hours, Trump struck his most presidential pose to date with a solemn (if somewhat grumpy) reading of prepared remarks at a news conference alongside Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto. That somber event, inside the Mexican presidential residence, epitomized the more moderate image Trump has pursued on immigration issues over the past 10 days.

But as night fell in Phoenix, back in the U.S.A., Trump mounted the stage in prime time and quickly caught fire. He poured forth an hourlong harangue against all things alien, highlighting the lurid crimes of a handful of illegal immigrants as if to define the character of millions. He also promised to build "a beautiful wall" across the entire U.S.-Mexico border and create a "deportation task force" that would eventually guarantee that "the bad ones are gone."
On the subject of the wall, Trump departed from his script to assure his listeners that Mexico would indeed pay for it — adding, "They may not know it yet, but they will." In so doing, he as much as acknowledged that Peña Nieto had told him something different earlier in the day.

That was not a minor point, but rather a sore one. The issue of the wall's cost had taken over the news and Twitter feeds earlier in the evening. Trump himself had insisted at the news conference in Mexico City that the two men did not discuss the financing of the wall. Peña Nieto, who did not contradict Trump at the time (maintaining a striking deference to the American throughout their joint appearance), later tweeted that he had begun their meeting by saying Mexico would never pay for such a wall, a stance Mexican officials have taken consistently.
None of the Trump surrogates appearing across the media landscape Wednesday night seemed to dispute this, saying rather that the Wednesday meeting had "not been a negotiation" and that more formal talks would ensue on the wall and its financing. Rest assured, they seemed to say, Mexico will come around.

Throughout the Phoenix speech, Trump read from a teleprompter but supercharged the script with his own asides and add-ons, many of which riled the already raucous crowd to transports of delight. At one moment, promising to rid the land of criminal immigrants, he shouted that "in the first hour they are gone," and the throng exulted. Trump in such moments would back away and himself applaud until the roar subsided.

Listening to the speech, marveling at the about-face maneuver, one could almost hear the spirited debate within the councils of Trump's campaign. One imagined Kellyanne Conway, the pollster-cum-campaign manager, arguing for the quickie trip to Mexico and the confab with Peña Nieto. Since stepping up in mid-August, she has been seen as a moderating influence, seeking a new tone and tenor more appealing to white suburban voters (especially women and college graduates).

With Conway seeming to be ascendant, one could easily imagine the day ending with a very different speech in Phoenix. Would Trump not hail his conquest of Mexico City, citing his domination of the news conference where he practically had the Mexican president poised on his knee? Would Trump not repeat his lines of praise for "first, second and third-generation Mexican Americans" he said were "beyond reproach" and even "spectacular, hard-working people"?

The die seemed to be cast, and the timing seemed propitious. Because two weeks of adverse publicity about the Clinton Foundation and its donors and about newly discovered emails at the State Department have helped erode Hillary Clinton's already weak standing with voters. For the first time, her disapproval numbers were almost equal to Trump's. Conway seemed to have found just the right moment to raise her candidate's acceptability score in contrast with his opponent.

But if this was the opportunity for a turnaround that changed the broad public perception of Trump, it was a moment not only missed but thrust away with both hands.

For as soon as that moderating narrative got airborne, Trump's speech in Phoenix took off after it with the speed and fury of an anti-aircraft missile. The explosion as the two met in midair against the desert sky was spectacular indeed.

That intercept was launched, in all likelihood, from the campaign's other new major domo, Steve Bannon, the former publisher of, the self-styled voice of the alt-right movement.

Bannon, now called the CEO of the Trump campaign, has been a fan of the hard-line approach on immigration as well as other issues. And whether he or another wordsmith in the Trump camp wrote the script, it was the fuel for one of the candidate's most incendiary performances.
Mexican President Says He Told Trump Mexico Would Not Pay For A Wall
In the speech, Trump not only doubled down on the wall and the invoice to Mexico, but on a "deportation task force" that would either drive the undocumented out of the country of their own accord or arrest them and send them to their countries of origin. The "softening" often promised in recent days seemed to consist only in the delay of the deportation endeavor until the wall could be completed and all the criminal elements of the illegal population first removed.

Trump made a point of including in his ban the "dreamers," present in the U.S. now as adults because they were brought to the country as minor children by their parents. This has been an especially popular target group for immigration reformers, and President Obama protected them from deportation orders with one of his executive actions. 

At some point, Trump allowed, "we will bring back the good ones." But moments after making this concession to what he has called "being humane about it," Trump was filling the stage with the grieving parents of people killed by immigrants in the country illegally.

After a day spent putting his weight down on one foot, the Republican nominee was standing firm on the other. And he left little doubt where he would remain through the rest of this campaign.

September 1, 2016

Trump Whips In and Out of Mexico


Whipping in and out of Mexico Wednesday, Donald Trump managed to further inflame Mexicans' indignation with the GOP nominee, but his visit south of the border was unlikely to sway a lot of Latino voters.

Trump avoided any gaffes and was constrained as he spoke at a news conference with Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto at Los Pinos, the official office and residence of the Mexican president. It followed a meeting the two had behind closed doors.

Trump didn't repeat the statements he made when he opened his presidential bid - that Mexico sends its people to the U.S. and they are rapists and people who bring crime and drugs.
Standing side by side with Mexico’s president and under its country seal and its red, white and green colors, Trump stuck to plans to build a wall in Mexico and avoided any sort of "dressing down" from Peña Nieto for how he has trashed Mexicans and Mexico. 

When he was asked about paying for the border wall, Trump managed to push the issue aside as something that would be discussed later. He said they didn't discuss who would pay for it. Trump has previously said Mexico would pick up the cost.

Peña Nieto did not push back on what the country's leaders have been saying for months, that Mexico would not pay for it at the news conference. But a couple of hours later, Peña Nieto tweeted that the private conversation between the two, he made it clear to Trump that Mexico would not pay for the wall. 

The Mexican president did say Mexicans have been offended by what Trump said and said Mexicans in the United States are "honest people and hard working," "well intentioned" and people who respect the law.In his comments on a future relationship with Mexico, Trump was very basic. He said he had five goals. His top goal is stopping illegal immigration not just between the two countries, but also from Central and South America, followed by building the wall he said.

"Having a secure border is a sovereign right and mutually beneficial. We recognize and respect the right of either country to build a physical barrier or wall on any of its borders to stop the illegal movement of people, drugs and weapons," he said.

His other goals included dismantling drug cartels and ending movement of illegal drugs, weapons and funds "across our border"; improving the North American Free Trade Agreeement and finally, "keeping manufacturing wealth in our hemisphere."

Trump expressed love for the Mexican people and the contributions of Mexican Americans to the U.S., but didn't apologize for what his previous statements about Mexicans and those who come to the U.S.

"I happen to have a tremendous feeling for Mexican Americans, not only in terms of friendships, in terms of the tremendous numbers I employ in the United States and they are amazing people, amazing people," Trump said.

But that statement is only likely to please those who already are in his camp. Those who do support him said they saw his meeting with Peña Nieto as a demonstration of his leadership and makes him look presidential.

"What we saw in the news conference is one of the greatest acts of flip flopping we've seen from a presidential candidate," said Israel Navarro, a political strategist with El Instituto in Mexico who has done work on both sides of the border.

"I think that people have some preconceptions based on past declarations from Peña Nieto and Donald Trump and I don't think this press conference will change substantially the way people are thinking of them," Navarro said.

Hillary Clinton holds a wide lead over Trump when it comes to Latinos, but some Latinos have met with him and tried to advise him on the tone he has used with the community as well as some of his policies.

The news conference did little to answer questions that linger about Trump's immigration plan. Some were hoping to hear that later Wednesday from his Arizona speech.

Artemio Muniz, head of the Texas Federation of Hispanic Republicans, said while he thought Trump was trying to show leadership and he was impressed by the nearly similar speeches of Trump and Peña Nieto,"I want to see what he is going to do about the 11 million undocumented. I want to hear it from his mouth," said Muniz.

Muniz has said he wants to support Trump, but has not yet decided to vote for him. It is Latinos like him that the campaign hopes to reach, although their numbers are not large.

"It's another dynamic to Donald Trump's style, if he keeps doing it," Muniz said. “Donald Trump is one minute saying devastating things and then he's meeting with the President of Mexico, and that extreme turnaround - it shows if he really wants to repair this thing, he could."

August 31, 2016

Mexico Looses Juan Gabriel (Juanga) its own Liberace

 ‘Juanga’ in 2015

With his glittery capes, slinky dance moves and ultra-romantic lyrics, Mexican superstar Juan Gabriel was an unlikely king in a country known for its machismo. He never spoke about his sexuality, yet was widely assumed to be gay.
It’s no surprise that the singer was an icon in Mexico’s gay subculture. But how was it that he came to be celebrated by the country’s Catholic, conservative and often homophobic mainstream?
Juan Gabriel, whose sudden death Sunday at age 66 cast Mexico into a state of mourning, navigated both worlds by saying nothing at all. 
“It’s his life,” said Ricardo Monroy Martinez, who came to pay his respects Monday at a statue of the performer in Mexico City’s Plaza Garibaldi, where fans were gathered, singing. Juan Gabriel’s sexuality wasn’t important, Monroy said, and he never felt the singer needed to articulate it. What mattered were the songs. “They reached my heart,” said the 63-year-old.
Juan Gabriel, the stage name he preferred to his given name, Alberto Aguilera Valadez, remained coy about his private life from the 1960s, when he started his career singing on the streets of Juarez. He maintained that posture into his later years despite a shift in public opinion on gay and transgender rights. 
 He never married, conceived four children via artificial insemination with a female friend and repeatedly refused to answer questions about his sexuality, even after a male former personal secretary wrote a book alleging they had a romantic relationship.
In 2002, a few years years before Mexico City legalized gay marriage, the famously effeminate singer shut down a journalist who asked if he was gay.
“You don’t ask about what can be seen,” he said.
Like the flamboyant pianist Liberace, who some say maintained that he was straight out of fear that the truth would hurt his appeal to mainstream America, Juan Gabriel’s stance could in part be viewed as a business decision.
“It would have been a career killer to come out,” said Hector Carrillo, who grew up in Mexico and is now a professor of sociology at Northwestern University. “That was part of the calculation for people who had a very public persona.... They would never name it. They would never say it. It was a strategy of silence.”
“Don't ask, don't tell” had long been the policy in Mexico when it came to the sexuality of those in the limelight. Famed Mexican singer Chavela Vargas waited until 2002, when she was 81, to publicly come out as a lesbian. Although Gabriel never publicly claimed the gay community, that community certainly claimed him, with his romantic Spanish-language ballads belted late into the night in drag bars on both sides of the border. Many gay fans saw coded messages in the lyrics of Juan Gabriel’s songs, such as “Es Mi Vida” (“It’s My Life.”)
It’s my life, very much my life, and I don’t have to give any explanations. 
I have my reasons, which no one will care to know.
Many have credited Juan Gabriel with opening the door to greater expression of gender and sexuality, even if he never explicitly called for it. Like Prince, or David Bowie, Juan Gabriel was known for his gender-bending clothing and occasional touch of eye makeup.
“I think he made a deep cultural change not by talking about his sexuality but by living it out on stage,” said Alejandro Madrazo, a law professor in Mexico who is an expert on the legal battle for same-sex marriage in the country. “Juan Gabriel taught us how to be feminine.”
Madrazo recalled seeing Juan Gabriel perform before a large crowd at at cockfight, a sport that exemplifies Mexico’s machismo culture.  
“He would dance in a way that was sexy and provocative in front of all these stereotypes of a Mexican man,” Madrazo said. “He would literally shake ... in their faces, and they would go crazy.”
Madrazo said he thinks Juan Gabriel never opened up about his sexuality because there may have not been just one label that fit him. “I think his sexuality was probably far more complex,” he said.
In an homage to Juan Gabriel published on the website of Mexico’s Millenio newspaper Monday, journalist Alvaro Cueva recalled friends making fun of Juan Gabriel for his effeminate stage presence. At some schools, his name was used as an anti-gay slur.
Cueva called Juan Gabriel subversive. “You ... became an idol in a country of macho men,” he wrote. “You made homophobic people sing and dance.”
Mexico has changed considerably from the days Juan Gabriel was beginning his career.  

In 2005, the federal government instituted an anti-homophobia campaign. Gay and lesbian characters now appear on Mexican sitcoms and soap operas. And public opinion polls show Mexican people are warming toward gay marriage, which is legal in several states and Mexico City.   
“Mexico got ahead of him,” said Carrillo. “Homosexuality kind of came out of the closet, but Juan Gabriel never did.”
While Juan Gabriel himself shied away from political causes, some in Mexico are using his death as an opportunity to push for the legalization of same-sex marriage nationwide.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has championed that cause and is seeking congressional approval to amend the country’s constitution. But his plan has been met with fierce resistance from church leaders and even officials in his own party. 
“Mexicans are crying for Juan Gabriel,” newspaper columnist Yuriria Sierra wrote on Twitter. “But they would continue to deny the legal right to love.”

Kate Linthicum

May 24, 2016

Mex.Pres.Wants Change Machista to ModernGay Marriage Friendly

Image result for mexico's President and gay marriage


Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto would have a hard time winning a popularity contest these days. After four years in office, he has slumped in the polls amid a sustained streak of corruption scandals, drug-war violence and a sputtering economy that has failed to meet global expectations.

But in recent days Peña Nieto has been making a slight comeback on one issue that was never part of his campaign platform: gay rights.

The president last week announced he will ask Congress to: 1) legalize same-sex marriage in the Constitution; 2) allow same-sex couples to adopt children; and 3) allow people to self-identify their gender on official documents. 
Say what you will about the president’s record on almost everything else, but his recent fight for gay rights in Mexico is a bold move in what many see as a machista society that’s predominantly Catholic.

The Mexican Conference of Bishops insists the Catholic Church will continue to recognize only marriages between a man and a woman. Other conservative organizations, such as the Mexican Council of the Family, have said the president’s proposals to allow same-sex couples to marry and adopt children “harms” human rights.

A 2015 national opinion poll suggests Mexicans are divided on whether gay couples should have equal rights. So the president isn’t simply preaching to the choir. 
Peña Nieto is winning some points. Many Mexicans are pleasantly surprised by his unexpected championing of LGBTQ rights, and are encouraging those who normally criticize the administration to also celebrate when it does something right.

“The silence of many on Enrique Peña Nieto’s push for same-sex marriage is a pity,” popular Mexican YouTuber Chumel Torres recently tweeted out. “In Mexico victories are turned into defeats if they are achieved by those we hate.”

The president hasn’t done it alone. Mexico’s Supreme Court last year ruled it was unconstitutional for state laws to limit the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Experts say Peña Nieto’s sudden advocacy for same-sex marriage is somewhat of a “symbolic” gesture meant to accelerate the implementation of the high court’s decision.

“Technically speaking the president’s reform is not indispensable because the Supreme Court already ordered it,” said Mexican attorney Jose Antonio Caballero, who In 2010 formed part of a group of lawyers that led the charge to legalize same-sex marriage in Mexico City.

“The move is symbolic,” he told Fusion. The president is just calling for a constitutional reform that’s in accordance with what the Supreme Court has already decided.
But he insists Peña Nieto is still to be commended for framing the debate as a human-rights issue while making calls for inclusiveness in the law, including urging Congress to remove legal deninitions that state marriage is “for procreation.”

Caballero says the issue with same-sex adoptions is slightly more complicated. The president’s initiative doesn’t necessarily grant same-sex couples the right to adopt children, but states no institution can discriminate against homosexuals by excluding them from the adoption process.

But he says the president’s proposals go beyond the legal realm and are part of something bigger.

“It signals a cultural shift. He’s turning same-sex marriage into something mainstream, something that’s a non-issue.”
- Jose Antonio Caballero on EPN's initiative
Caballero predicts Peña Nieto’s advocacy will weaken the efforts of those who oppose LGBTQ rights in Mexico. But others think it won’t be that easy. Legal scholar Julio Manuel Martínez penned an article in Mexican magazine Nexos that predicts the president’s call for same-sex marriage is likely to be met with resistance in most states. “The president doesn’t have faculties to initiate laws or reforms at a local level,” he said. 

Same-sex marriage is currently allowed in Mexico City as well as the states of Coahuila, Quintana Roo, Chihuahua and Michoacán. Same-sex couples in the other 26 states might still have to file appeals if they want to marry—something that could trigger a lengthy and complicated legal battle, Martínez says.

But some states are already following Peña Nieto’s lead. State lawmakers in Morelos voted last week to legalize gay marriage.

Some analysts say the president’s commendable stance on LGBTQ rights doesn’t undo all of his administration’s mistakes on human rights issues.

“I think the president’s proposal fulfills the debt that the Mexican government had with a specific sector of the population,” Mexico-based human rights expert Corina Giacomello told Fusion. “[But] neither this nor any other measure can fix the problems of corruption, lack of change in strategy, security results, Ayotzinapa, Tlatlaya, or the general situation with prisons or drug policies, to name a few issues.” 
Some think the president should focus his efforts on other human rights issues that are far more pressing.

“Our biggest human rights problems deal with torture, forced disappearances and the lack of due process in Mexico,” says Gabriela Rodriguez, a human rights professor at ITAM, a private research university in Mexico City.
But LGBTQ activists say nobody should minimize what the president is doing.

“Peña Nieto’s proposal is a consequence of the work and the pressure the LGBTQ movement has exerted for years, and comes on the heels of what the Supreme Court has said more than once: To deny same-sex couples the right to marry is discriminatory and unconstitutional,” said Enrique Torre Molina, a campaign manager for All Out, an international LGBTQ rights group.

He adds, “Yes, Mexico is a country with many grave problems, but there’s no excuse to postpone the recognition of LGBTQ rights. There’s homophobic crimes, many families remain unprotected before the law, and there’s violence against transgender people and exclusion from the labor force. It was time for a president to sum all of these voices and legalize gay marriage nationwide.”

June 15, 2015

While Nobody was Watching Mexico’s Supreme Court Legalized Gay Marriage

  His church turned him away, his family discouraged him from a public fight and the government of the state where he lives vowed it would never happen.
But it did. Hiram Gonzalez married his boyfriend, Severiano Chavez, last year in the northern state of Chihuahua, which, like most Mexican states, technically allows marriage only between a man and a woman.
Mr. Gonzalez and dozens of other gay couples in recent months have, however, found a powerful ally: Mexico’s Supreme Court.

In ruling after ruling, the court has said that state laws restricting marriage to heterosexuals are discriminatory. Though the decisions have been made to little public fanfare, they have had the effect of legalizing gay marriage in Mexico without enshrining it in law.
“When I heard the judge pronounce us legally married, I burst into tears,” said Mr. Gonzalez, 41, who, like nearly all gays marrying in Mexico, needed a court order enabling him to exchange vows.
As the United States awaits a landmark decision on gay marriage by the Supreme Court, the Mexican court’s rulings have added the country to a slowly growing list of Latin American nations permitting same-sex unions.

Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil already allow same-sex marriage. Chile plans to recognize same-sex civil unions this year; Ecuador approved civil unions in April; and Colombia grants same-sex couples many of the same rights extended to heterosexual married couples.
“It’s a huge change from where things were 10 years ago,” said Jason Pierceson, a professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield who studies gay marriage trends in Latin America.
The shift in Mexico, the second largest country in Latin America after Brazil, is the product of a legal strategy that advocates used to bypass state legislatures, which have shown little inclination, and often hostility, to legalizing gay marriage.

In 2009, Mexico City, a large liberal island in this socially conservative country, legalized gay marriage — a first in Latin America. There have been 5,297 same-sex weddings there since then, some of them couples coming to the city from other states.
Of the nation’s 31 states, only one other, Coahuila, near the Texas border, has legalized gay marriage. A third state, Quintana Roo, where Cancun is, has allowed gay unions since 2012, when advocates pointed out that its civil code on marriage did not stipulate that couples be one man and one woman.
In most of the rest of the country, marriage is legally defined as a union between a man and a woman — laws that may remain on the books despite the court’s decisions.
The Supreme Court upheld Mexico City’s law in 2010, adding that other states had to recognize marriages performed there.

Advocates of gay marriage saw that as an opportunity to use the court’s rulings to assert that marriage laws in other states were discriminatory.
The court — taking into account international decisions and antidiscrimination treaties that Mexico has signed — has steadily agreed, granting injunctions in individual cases permitting gay couples to marry in states where the laws forbid it.

 A major turning point occurred this month when the court expanded on its rulings to issue a decree that any state law restricting marriage to heterosexuals is discriminatory.
“As the purpose of matrimony is not procreation, there is no justified reason that the matrimonial union be heterosexual, nor that it be stated as between only a man and only a woman,” the ruling said. “Such a statement turns out to be discriminatory in its mere expression.”
The ruling, however, does not automatically strike down the state marriage laws. However, it allows gay couples who are denied marriage rights in their states to seek injunctions from district judges, who are now obligated to grant them.

“Without a doubt, gay marriage is legal everywhere,” said Estefanía Vela Barba, an associate law professor at CIDE, a university in Mexico City. “If a same-sex couple comes along and the code says marriage is between a man and a woman and for the purposes of reproduction, the court says, ‘Ignore it, marriage is for two people.’”

The Roman Catholic Church, often an influential force socially and politically in a country that is 83 percent Catholic, objected to the ruling, saying the court had flouted two millenniums of convention.
“We reiterate our conviction, based on scientific, anthropological, philosophical, social and religious reasons, that the family, cell of society, is founded on the marriage of a man and a woman,” Msgr. Eugenio Lira Rugarcía, secretary general of the Mexican bishops’ conference, said in an email on Sunday in response to the decision.
He added that the church’s position is “stated in the millennia of Western legal tradition, collected and deepened throughout our history by legislators and judges from very different schools of thought and ideologies.”

In Mr. Gonzalez’s case, the Supreme Court had already ruled that the law in Chihuahua State was unconstitutional, enabling the couple to get an injunction so that their marriage could go forward.
State officials in Chihuahua vowed to never legalize same-sex marriage, and Mr. Gonzalez said he was expelled from his local church for being gay.
He and his husband refused to go to Mexico City to get married because they believed they should have that right in the state where they pay taxes.
The principle, he said, was important.
“It is not just the legal battle, but what it involves, the emotional and physical strain of the process,” Mr. Gonzalez said. “At the end, it’s a fight for your dignity.”
Alex Ali Mendez, a lawyer and gay rights activist with Mexico Marriage Equality, took on a case involving three couples from Oaxaca State in 2012, using the Supreme Court’s arguments to challenge the law in that state.
 “We opened the door in Oaxaca, and we are now opening it in different states,” Mr. Mendez said.
Bureaucratic hurdles, and sometimes hostility, remain.
Civil registry authorities abiding by state laws can still block couples hoping to marry.

 It is up to the couples to appeal to the courts, a process that can cost $1,000 or more and take months. Although gay rights advocates are spreading the word, many couples remain unaware that they have a strong legal case to get married.
José Luis Caballero, a constitutional scholar who directs the law school at the Iberoamerican University in Mexico City, said that even though judges must now rule in favor of gay couples, full equality has yet to be reached.
“What has to happen is that the state laws have to be reformed so that couples have the same rights and they don’t have to spend time and money,” he said. “A couple with resources can get married. A couple without resources can’t.”
Victor Manuel Aguirre, 43, and Victor Fernando Urias, 38, in January faced down protesters and bureaucratic roadblocks in Baja California before, with the power of a court injunction, they became the first gay couple to marry there.
At one point, they could not get into the civil registry building because of demonstrators.
“We were both dressed in white and went back home completely defeated and humiliated and just cried our eyes out,” Mr. Aguirre said.
After news media coverage of the fracas, the mayor of Mexicali called them and said that there had been a misunderstanding and that they could marry.
“With many setbacks, love triumphed after all,” Mr. Aguirre said.

Mr. Mendez, the lawyer pressing these cases, said the next step in the legal process was compiling enough injunctions in each state to reach a threshold under which the court could formally order state legislatures to rewrite their laws.
But experts said that Mexico had already reached a watershed.
“It certainly looks like there will be more marriage equality in Mexico in the near future,” said Professor Pierceson. “We don’t know if there will be any backlash or counter protest to stop it.”

January 13, 2015

Deemed “Locos” by Therapy Counselor, Gay Marriage Ceremony Halted in Mexico

Same-sex marriage Mexico
 Victor (L) and Fernando (R) first tried to get married in November last year but the ceremony was cancelled due to a bomb scare. This year, the ceremony could be not performed as a counsellor claimed that the pair "suffer from madness" and therefore could not get married.Youtube screenshot
A gay couple in Mexico were forced to stop their wedding after a counsellor claimed they were "insane". 

The incident occurred in Baja California state, where the two men, Víctor Manuel Aguirre and Víctor Fernando Urias, were about to become the first homosexual couple to tie the knot. 

The pair originally planned their wedding to take place in November 2014, but were forced to cancel following a bomb scare at the city hall, Pink News reported. 

The two men tried again to get married with the backing of the Mexican Supreme Court.

This time, however, the ceremony was stopped after a counsellor claimed that the pair "suffer from madness" and therefore could not get married. 

The comment was made by the president of the Coalition of Baja California Families, Angelica Guadalupe Gonzalez Sanchez, who provides compulsory pre-marital talks to couples having civil wedding ceremonies. She refused to certify the pair, according to reports. 

The men's attorney accused also the Mayor Jaime Díaz Ochoa of deliberately holding up the process with red tape. 

Mexico City became the first jurisdiction in Latin America to legalise same-sex marriage in 2009. The Mexican states of Quintana Roo and Baja California followed, and Coahuila is also in the process of voting in favour of a bill legalising same-sex marriage and gay adoption. 

Same sex acts were decriminalized in Mexico in 1871. 

The recognition of LGBT (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) rights has expanded in recent years and gay Mexicans are also protected by anti-discrimination laws promulgated in 2003.

Officials in the Mexican city of Mexicali on Saturday once again refused to allow a gay couple to marry after a premarital counselor complained the two men “suffer from madness.”
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Víctor Aguirre Espinoza and Fernando Urias Amparo on Jan. 8 had a mandatory meeting with Angelica Guadalupe González Sánchez, president of the Coalition of Baja California Families.
The newspaper noted that González wrote in a complaint she filed with Mexicali officials that the two men became “aggressive and impertinent” because she refused to confirm they attended the meeting. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that González’s husband told Aguirre and Urias their counseling sessions were only open to heterosexual couples.
Aguirre and Urias, along with roughly 100 people who included relatives and friends and same-sex marriage, gathered outside Mexicali City Hall on Saturday ahead of their scheduled wedding. Opponents of nuptials for gays and lesbians — many of whom wore surgical masks with ‘only man and woman’ written on them — were also present.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported an official told Aguirre and Urias their wedding had been cancelled because of González’s complaint.
“It only demonstrates our government’s poor response towards society and the society of (the state) of Baja California is ignorant,” Urias told the Washington Blade on Sunday.

Lawyer: Mexicali officials violating Mexican Constitution

Aguirre, 43, and Urias, 37, are hairstylists who have been together for 11 years.
The couple in June 2013 sought legal resource — known as an “amparo” in the Mexican judicial system — that would allow them to marry.
The Mexican Supreme Court last June ruled Aguirre and Urias can marry.
The two men in November had been scheduled to become the first same-sex couple to legally marry in Baja California, but Mexicali officials refused to allow them to exchange vows because of what they described as problems with their paperwork. Authorities a few weeks later once again blocked Aguirre and Urias from exchanging vows. 
“The authorities of Mexicali, Baja California, are violating with impunity the Federal Constitution (of Mexico) and international treaties on the subject of human rights,” Alex Alí Méndez Díaz, a Mexico City-based lawyer who represents Aguirre and Urias, told the Blade on Sunday. “We will take action with all the means at our disposal and we will demand justice for Victor and Fernando until the end.”
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Mexico City since 2010. Gays and lesbians have been able to tie the knot in the state of Coahuila since September 2013. 
The Mexican Supreme Court in April 2014 ruled in favor of 39 people who challenged the constitutionality of a Oaxacan law that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. The same tribunal in 2012 ruled in favor of three same-sex couples represented by Méndez who separately sought legal recourse that would allow them to exchange vows in the state.
Gays and lesbians in Jalisco, Chihuahua, Quintana Roo and several other Mexican states have also sought legal recourse through the country’s legal system that would allow them to legally marry in their respective jurisdictions.
A gay Mexican couple seeking marriage rights in Mexico in May 2014 filed a complaint with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in D.C.
Hunter T. Carter, a New York-based lawyer who represents the couple in their case at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, described Mexicali officials decision to once again prevent Aguirre and Urias from marrying as “insane and nothing short of cruel.” 
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights in 2012 ruled in favor of lesbian Chilean Judge Karen Atala who lost custody of her three daughters to her ex-husband in 2005 because of her sexual orientation. The Mexican Supreme Court cited the landmark case in its 2012 ruling that extended marriage rights to the three Oaxacan same-sex couples.
Mexico is under the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
“The Inter-American Court on Human Rights has specifically ruled against using sexual orientation to deny parental and family rights,” Carter told the Blade. “Over and over again, the courts in Mexico including the Supreme Court of Justice, have ruled in favor of couples seeking civil marriage rights, but local officials are repeatedly blocking their progress with complete disregard for the rule of law. This is bordering on a constitutional crisis, and the central government needs to take responsibility and act.”

Couple ‘only seeking respect’

Urias told the Blade that he and Aguirre are “only seeking respect.” 
He said they remain hopeful they will have the opportunity to legally marry in Mexicali.
“We are certain that this will be,” Urias told the Blade. “The case has already been won.”

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