Los Patojos (The Little Ones)

As a resident in Guatemala Juan Pablo Romero Fuentes watched many of his peers get in to drugs, gangs and crime. In Guatemala Kids are forced to grow around bad influence. Guatemala continues to be taking over by poverty and violence. According to the United Nations, the country has the fifth-worst homicide rate.

Romero Fuentes became a teacher in his hometown, and he found that many of his students were struggling with the same issues his generation had faced. At 23 and Romero Fuentes turned part of his family’s home into a community center. In 2006 he began tutoring and mentoring a handful of kids after school. Word spread quickly, and children from all over the community joined the group. His program offers free classes, tutoring and meals, as well as low-cost medical care.

His nonprofit, Los Patojos (Little Ones) has helped more than 1,000 children. “I created a safe place for them to realize that they actually can change bad aspects in their lives and their community,” said Romero. Romero wanted to give them a better present to attain a brighter future.

Finding hope at home Los Patojos has become a haven in a region where young people are in desperate need of opportunity and protection. An unprecedented number of children from Central America have made the treacherous journey to the United States to flee violence and poverty in their countries. Since October more than 57,000 unaccompanied minors from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras have been caught crossing the U.S. border. Some 37% are from Guatemala, more than any other country, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Ignoring this harsh reality Romero said his country could rebuild itself from what has happened. But for the young people to help do that he says they need resources and support. “In a violent country, the only weapon we can have is love,” he said. “These kids are already powerful, but they don’t know that yet.”

To that end, Los Patojos offers productive activities for people 3 to 18, all aimed at giving them the tools they need to transform their families and their communities.

A generation of peacemakers Romero Fuentes’ program takes place in the entire front portion of his family’s home as well as another building down the block.

At the main center, painted with colorful murals and quotes, children are exposed to a number of creative outlets. They take classes in dance, music, photography, theater and juggling and often put on performances for each other. “These classes are to show kids that they can pursue their own passions in order to improve their lives,” Romero Fuentes said.

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http://www.lospatojos.org.gt

http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/31/world/cnnheroes-romero/

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E3: El Chapo Guzman

Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera is the main head of the Sinaloa Cartel. The Sinaloa Cartel is named after the Mexican Pacific coast state of Sinaloa. Joaquin Guzman is better known as “El Chapo Guzmán” (The Shorty Guzmán) for his 5 ft 6 in stature. El Chapo became Mexico’s top drug kingpin in 2003 after the arrest of his rival Osiel Cárdenas of the Gulf Cartel, and until his February 2014 arrest, the United States Department of the Treasury considered him the “most powerful drug trafficker in the world”.

El Chapo has been ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the most powerful people in the world every year since 2009. He was named as the 10th richest man in Mexico in 2011, with a net worth of roughly $1 billion US dollars. Forbes magazine and many people also calls him the “biggest drug lord of all time.” The DEA believes he has passed the influence and reaches of the famous Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, and now considers him “the godfather of the drug world.” In 2013, the Chicago Crime Commission named El Chapo “Public Enemy Number One” due to the influence of his criminal network in Chicago, though there is no evidence that El Chapo has ever been in that city. The last person to receive such notoriety was Al Capone in 1930.

El Chapo’s Sinaloa Cartel smuggles multi-ton cocaine shipments from Colombia through Mexico to the United States, the world’s top consumer. Business people have admired the way the Sinaloa Carte works like a well-built franchise. The Cartels organization has also been involved in the production, smuggling and distribution of Mexican methamphetamine, marijuana, and heroin across both North American and European markets. At the time of his 2014 arrest, El Chapo had imported more drugs into the United States than anyone else.

El Chapo was captured back in 1993 in Guatemala extradited and sentenced to 20 years in prison in Mexico for murder and drug trafficking. El Chapo still controlled most of his business in prison. The rumors have said that he was living the life inside prison, with prostitution going on and he received any kind of food, drugs, and power he wanted. After bribing prisons guards, he was able to escape from a federal maximum-security prison in 2001. The governments of Mexico, the United States, wanted him. The U.S. offered a $5 million US dollar reward for information leading to his capture, and the Mexican government offered a reward of 30 million pesos for information on El Chapo.

Mexican authorities in Mexico arrested El Chapo again on February 22, 2014. He was found inside his 4th floor condo in the beachfront Miramar condominium in Mazatlan, Sinaloa and was captured without any problems. After El Chapo was captured there was a huge protest going around all over Mexico. People wanted him free because he was the Mexican Robin Hood. El Chapo would help millions of poor people in Mexico. Many people pictured Chapo being rude and mean but he actually has a heart and loves to help people

Drug lord Chapo Guzman captured

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http://www.sott.net/article/267503-Sinaloa-Cartel-led-by-Mexican-drugs-kingpin-and-probable-US-govt-agent-Joaquin-El-Chapo-Guzman-accounts-for-80-of-massive-US-meth-trade

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/free-el-chapo-mexicans-march-jailed-drug-lord-n39961

http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/02/25/drug-cartel-el-chapo-guzman-worlds-most-wanted-man-captured-in-mexico/

E2: The TELETON..

The Teleton is a very popular charity in Mexico. This charity has an annual 24-plus-hour TV broadcast. The purpose of this great charity is to raise money for the children’s rehabilitation centers for disabled children. Mexico started all this back in 1996 thanks to Fernando Landeros. The popular Televisa network is the biggest producer for the Mexican Teletón. The Teleton can also be viewed in more than 500 Mexican and foreign media. Its popularity grows through the 100 commercial firms that sponsor the event. The message Teleton wants to get a cross annually is “to provide knowledge about physical disabilities, giving a strong message about respect, equality and support to people in these conditions”.

Every year since 1997, Teletón has created a tradition to air on the first Friday of December. The Teleton’s goal is to be seen as “a project of national unity where Mexicans have the chance to gather and work for the same cause”. In the years of 1996 through 2003 at the end of every event a concert, taking place at the Azteca Stadium would say goodbye. Starting in 2004 the Teleton decided to move around for example, in 2004–2005 it was held at Mexico City’s Zócalo, in 2006 at the Foro Sol and in 2007–2008 it was moved to the National Auditorium.

The Teleton is popular for creating CRITs. The meaning of CRIT is Children’s Rehabilitation Center Telethon. A great thing that happened was that the CRIT system and the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México (UAEM) signed an agreement in 2000 creating two bachelors-degree programs training professionals to work with children at the CRITs, and created the Instituto Teletón de Estudios Superiores. ITESUR is the only university in Mexico that grants degrees in occupational and physical therapy. If you like to work with kids and help them out a CRIT can be your career. Thanks to Teleton CRITs have been possible in Mexico State, Jalisco, Oaxaca, Aguascalientes, Coahuila, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Chihuahua, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Nezahualcoyotl, Tamaulipas, Yucatan, Veracruz, Durango, Sonora, Baja California, Puebla, and Guerrero.

The Teleton has been a great charity all over Mexico and these are some of their MOTTOS. “Together we will make the miracle,” “Love makes miracles,” “One more step,” “Together for love,” “To help is to love,” and “The best of you makes Mexico great.”

Ever since December 12, 2012 The Mexican Teleton has been part of USA helping thousands of children. On Friday December 14, 2014 was the third annual Teleton in the USA. This year they raised over $15 Million Dollars in only 25 hours.

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http://teleton.org

http://www.teletonusa.org/donaciones-landing.php

http://www.pgje.chiapas.gob.mx/comunidadsegura/crit.aspx

E1: The Missing 43

It all started on September 26, 2014 when more than 100 students of Raul Isidro Burgos Rural Teachers College of Ayotzinapa traveled 2 hours away from home to a city called Iguala. The students were traveling on 3 buses that were stolen by them. The goal was to reach Iguala and interrupt the annual DIF conference of Maria de Los Angeles Pineda and later take possession of more buses that were needed to attend an anniversary march of the 1968 student massacre in Mexico City. Around 9 pm the police blocked the 3 buses. The buses tried getting away but the police opened fire on the vehicles that were carrying more than 100 students. There were 2 students who died in this shoot out. Many students got away but dose that couldn’t were loaded into police vehicles. The total number of students who were loaded into police vehicles was 43. The students were never scene again.

Jose Luis Abarca Vasquez (Mayor of Iguala) and his wife Maria de Los Angeles Pineda (Local president of DIF and daughter of Salomon Pineda Bermudez and Maria Leonor Villa Ortono ex members of the Beltran Leyva Cartel) started receiving tough question that were hard to answer about the attack on the students. During the day of September 28, 2014 there were 22 police officers arrested due to the shooting and disappearance of the 43 students. Two days later the mayor and his wife escaped town. After investigators hopped on this case they found out Jose Abarca ordered the police to block the students from getting to his wife event. Investigators also found out that the mayor’s wife had family members in the local drug cartel called Guerreros Unidos. Guerreros Unidos is a cartel that was formed after the break up of the Beltran Leyva Cartel, the cartel her parents and family members were part of. The mayor’s wife is being called the chief operator of the cartel inside the government. Now the Mayor and his wife are detained over the missing students.

After founding out that the authority was corrupted and useless, local people volunteered to search for the students. During the search people found a grave of bones that may or may not have something to do with the 43 students. The parents and the people have asked for a group to come and investigate the bones that were found. There’s no trust around the city with all the corruption going on. The group that they have asked for is the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF). On October 11, 2014 Angel Aguirre (Guerrero’s Governor) announced that the bones of 28 bodies are not related to the 43 students that are missing. On October 22, 2014 students and parents marched back to Iguala. After leaving Iguala an unknown group of people destroyed Iguala’s City Hall. On October 23, 2014 Angel Aguirre stepped down and resigned.

On November 7, 2014 Mexico’s Attorney General Jesus Murillo announced that they had captured 3 members of the Guerreros Unidos who declared that the Iguala police handed over a group of 43 young students. After receiving the students the Guerreros Unidos Cartel members then put them into trucks and drove into a gated property far away from everyone. They asked them questions and then they got thrown off a cliff. The captured men claimed they then started a fire on the bodies that lasted longer than 15 hours. After all the bodies were ashes they got put into bags and then thrown into a river.

The government sent out a team to search the area. After searching they announced that the ashes found were of human flesh. The parents didn’t trust the government and they demanded for the ashes and prove to be sent to the EAAF group. The parents haven’t given up and their protest has gone global.

On December 7, 2014 Officials announced that they identified the remains of 1 student from the 43. The fact that the remains were found in a dump in Guerrero gives parents hope that the burning story was just another government lie.

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Map of Mexico.. Showing Guerrero

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Mayor Jose Luis Abarca and Wife

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Unknown group destroying Guerreros City Hall

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Area where they claim the students were burned

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Protest.. WE WANT THEM BACK #43

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/05/world/americas/Iguala-mayor-wife-missing-students-mexico.html?_r=0

http://time.com/3622546/mexico-missing-students/

http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/07/world/americas/mexico-missing-students/

http://www.excelsior.com.mx/nacional/2014/11/04/988934