By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
The Tragic Saga of Victoria
She came to Mexico as a refugee in 2018, with the hopes of eventually making her way to the United States and getting political asylum there.
But for 36-year-old Salvadorian Victoria Esperanza Salazar Arriaza, the journey north would come to an abrupt end at the hands of the Mexican police, who, after detaining her in the Yucatan resort town of Tulum on Saturday, March 27, broke her spine by kneeling on her back (shades of George Floyd) until she was unconscious and then dragging her limp body onto the back of a police truck.
The entire incident was caught on camera, and the four officers were later relieved of their duties and arrested on charges of femicide, but the timing of Salazar Arriaza’s death was particularly bad for Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), who the following Monday (March 29) started his daily presser with the inauguration of a United Nations summit focused on gender equality, which Mexico was co-hosting with France.
Embarrassed by the inconvenient situation, AMLO did his best to feign remorse, saying that Salazar Arriaza’s demise filled him with “sorrow, pain and shame,” before moving on to his usual tirades against the media, former administrations and anyone else on his verbal hit list.
AMLO vowed to prosecute the guilty parties and get justice for “Victoria,” but the sad fact remains that, in Mexico, there is very little justice to be had for the victims of gender-based violence.
Despite the fact that AMLO likes to claim he is a great “defender” of female’s rights (proudly brandishing the large number of women in his cabinet), the Mexican president has done little to reduce the incidence of femicide in the country (which is on the rise) or to protect women from abuse (one of his first acts after taking office in December 2018 was to close down women’s shelters).
In 2020, an average of 10 women were killed daily in Mexico, and AMLO’s response to a surge in emergency calls last year by women trying to escape violence was to say that “90 percent of those calls are false.”
But while AMLO may continue to be dismissive regarding gender-based violence, Salazar Arriaza’s family and the Salvadorian government are not waiting around for Mexico to seek justice.
They have already filed a wrongful death suit against the responsible parties.
And on Sunday, March 28, Salvadorian President Nayib Bukele publicly condemned the killing of Salazar Arriaza and called on Mexican authorities to take immediate action.
Unfortunately, the Salazar Arriaza case is not the only example of Mexican police officers and AMLO’s personal coddled army, known as the National Guard (GN), going overboard in the use of brute force.
Just last month, 12 officers were arrested for the massacre of 19 people, including several Guatemalan migrants in the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas.
And on Monday, March 29, four Mexican GN officers shot dead a Guatemalan citizen who was about to cross the border illegally, and were drug into Guatemalan territory by an angry mob. They were later released into Mexican authorities’ custody.
Democracy lovers take note: This is what happens when a government gives its military free rein to run the country, with no checks or balances.
Premium Gasoline Prices Surge
AMLO may have promised that there would be no “gasolinazos” (gasoline price hikes) during his administration, but if your car runs on premium gas, your pocketbook will be telling you different story.
According to Mexico’s Federal Consumer Protection Agency (Profeco), the price of premium gasoline in Mexico just hit 25 pesos a liter in some parts of the country, as of Thursday, March 25.
The price of regular Magna gasoline is still hovering between 18.50 and 19 pesos a liter in most of Mexico, although in Culiacán and Guerrero it is selling at 22 pesos a liter or more.
With covid-19 restrictions slackening and more people traveling because of the Easter holiday, the old supply-and-demand rule seems to be kicking in at the pump.
Salgado Macedonio Loses his Battle
No one can say he didn’t put up a good (or, at least, a hard) fight, but alleged rapist and wannabe governor of Guerrero Felix Salgado Macedonio seems to have finally run out of options in his fight to be the leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena) candidate for the gubernatorial post in Mexico’s June election.
The Guerrero Electoral Institute unanimously approved the cancelation of Salgado Macedonio’s candidacy on Monday, March 29, after the National Electoral Institute (INE) said he had violated campaign regulations by not reporting all his campaign revenues.
AMLO, who is a close friend of Salgado Macedonio, had adamantly defended his buddy against the INE (and the numerous women who have accused him of rape), claiming he was a political scapegoat.
But in the end, the controversial Salgado Macedonio seems to have met his match in the political legal system.
No doubt, AMLO will find him a nice, cushy post in his cabinet in months to come.
…March 31, 2021