By RICARDO CASTILLO
Child Gunman Shocks Nation
Eleven-year old elementary school student José Ángel Ramos requested permission to go to the bathroom on Friday, Jan. 10, but when he did not return, English teacher María Assaf Medina went looking for him in the washroom and found him.
José Ángel had changed out of his uniform and dressed himself to look like Erik Harris, one of the two killers of the infamous 1999 Columbine massacre in Denver.
José Ángel is said also to have been influenced by the video game “Natural Selection.”
Teacher Assaf, on seeing that José Ángel began firing a Glock .40 pistol, tried to stop him, but the boy received her with two shots to the chest and head.
By that time, José Ángel had wounded five other students. Then, he pulled out another Glock, this time a .22 caliber, and shot himself in the head.
The shooting took place at the Colegio Cervantes in Torreón, Coahuila, and is the first case of a rather well-to-do Mexican child turning murderer.
The two guns belonged to his grandfather, and witnesses claim that José Ángel was handy at using them.
Society at large in Mexico is shocked, and, as is usual in these cases, parents are asking “where did we go wrong?” while authorities want to establish a controversial backpack check at school entry spots all over the nation.
But nothing will bring back the dead or undo the harm that José Ángel wreaked.
During last week’s 31st Annual Reunion of Mexican Ambassadors and Consuls, Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard announced Mexico’s new Feminist Foreign Policy.
This policy was introduced in tandem with an “ambitious gender equality and no discrimination policy” established by the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO).
A similar policy has been established by other nations under the global HeForShe diplomatic solidarity campaign.
The problem is that Mexico itself is the birthplace of machismo and pundits are wondering whether the program will work on a full scale, given the “macho-man nature” of Mexican men, diplomats included.
PAN Governors Stage Rebellion
Eight National Action Party (PAN) governors across Mexico have declared themselves in rebellion against the elimination of Popular Security public hospitals in their states.
At the root of the rebellion is the fact that these were hospitals were founded by former President Vicente Fox (Mexico’s first PAN president) as a supplementary health option to the overwhelmed National Social Security Institute (IMSS) medical service.
Now, the López Obrador administration has instituted a new Institute for Health and Wellbeing (Insabi) }, which the PAN governors vehemently oppose.
PAN Governors Association President and Aguascalientes Governor Martín Orozco bluntly stated: “We represent eight states that have not signed up for the disappearance of the Popular Security or the centralization of the country’s health sector at a federal level. We are not going to do it.”
This is an issue over which the coin is very much still up in the air since Social Security Director Zoe Robledo has said that Insabi will not replace the IMSS and is aimed at providing health services to those not registered with the IMSS.
Implementing Insabi, thus far, is proving to be a hot political potato for the AMLO administration.
New Fiscal General for Mexico City
Mexico City is revamping its police department,s and under the new name Fiscal General for Justice in Mexico City, former Police Chief and now Fiscal Ernestina Godoy Ramos has taken over the command of the agency.
In a ceremony last week, Godoy Ramos was joined by Fiscal General for the Republic Alejandro Gertz Manero and City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum
Godoy Ramos said that, under current circumstances, people “are demanding, shouting and mobilizing in demand of justice.”
“The challenge we face today ,” she said, “is enormous and demands an unbending compromise with justice and honesty from all those who work here. (The justice system) needs to be accompanied by surveillance by society at large.”
The office is “autonomous” — no other authority can interfere with its operations — and Godoy Ramos outlined 20 strategies to squelch the sprawling criminality affecting the capital city’s 16 boroughs.
In specific, she is poised to combatting feminicide, homicides, kidnapping, aggravated assaults and prostitution, “in which this administration (Sheimbaum’s) has already made noteworthy changes.”
AMLO on Fast and Furious
On a visit to the border town Ciudad Juárez last week, AMLO chastised the U.S. government for “managing the information” as to who were the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents responsible for the now-infamous Fast and Furious program, which allowed for organized criminal gangs to purchase (both legally and illegally) high caliber weaponry and ammo in the United States.
The reason AMLO has demanded the names of the U.S. agents is that the program was carried out in agreement with the Mexican government when now-prisoner and former Mexican top cop Genaro García Luna was in command.
“Who was his counterpart? Who? Didn’t they know?” asked AMLO.
This may end up being one of the charges that García Luna will soon face in the United States.
García Luna is slated to appear in a Brooklyn Federal Court on Jan. 21.
“The Fast and Furious case should be clarified in this trial,” AMLO said.
PRI In Distress
If there is one things Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) members fear the most, it is being accused of corruption.
But it so happened a year ago that current PRI President and former Campeche Governor Alejandro “Alito” Moreno got his baptism by fire when he took office with accusations of being a land hoarder in his native state, which he allegedly pillaged while governor.
The point being now is that AMLO – a former PRI member – despises what’s left of the party and the news is going around that in February, when Congress reconvenes, the president will present an initiative that will prove to be the poison pill that kills the PRI.
But some say AMLO need not bother since the PRI – which once was at the helm of a portentous and well-greased nationwide electioneering machinery – is crumbling as Alito has tried to organize several state conventions through the Organizational Secretariat headed by Ricardo Aguilar, at which former PRI enthusiasts were absent by the masses.
But Alito kept pounding the ruling National Regeneration Movement (Morena), which controls the presidency and both houses of Congress, as “a fly-by-night bird, born yesterday, governing today and gone tomorrow” during his speech in Tabasco where he was “reorganizing” the local PRI.
No doubt, the real bird is Alito, who, like the song says, is “a black bird singing in the dead of night,” no doubt, the darkest hour for the moribund PRI in the past 90 years.