Stories from Quick Reads and Latin America
Under the hashtag #NiUnaMenos (Not One Less), Argentina is mounting a campaign against the alarming increase in the number of femicides, which shows no signs of going down. Many of the country's public personalities have joined the campaign, like cartoonist Liniers, who used one of his best known characters to participate in the movement.
— Liniers (@porliniers) May 12, 2015
3 June. Plaza Congreso. No more femicides.
Femicide, understood as a hate crime against women, poses a serious problem in Argentina. Despite the passage of laws that deal with and criminalize violence against women, these crimes continue to be numerous. The protest will take place on 3 June in the Plaza del Congreso.
The movement gained momentum following the murder of 14-year-old Chiara Paéz. She was allegedly killed at the hands of her boyfriend and had been expecting a child at the time of her death.
The NGO La Casa Del Encuentro, which runs support groups for victims of domestic violence, reported that since 2008 in Argentina 1,808 women were killed by domestic violence, 261 of these girls between 13 and 21 years old. Last year alone, 277 femicides were documented in Argentina, according to Buenos Aires Herald.
Over 20 members of three Venezuelan media groups, El Nacional and Tal Cual, as well as news site La Patilla, are now prohibited from leaving the country. Caracas judge María Eugenia Núñez ordered the restriction on the opposition media figures, who are “accused of ‘continuing aggravated defamation'”, according to broadcaster NTN24.
Venezuela places travel ban on opposition media execs – VideoNewsUs http://t.co/ZAvKZNM7k9
— Democracy News Ven (@DemNewsVen) May 13, 2015
The court order was requested on April 28 by the National Assembly president, Diosdado Cabello, seen as one of president Nicolás Maduro’s closest allies in government and member of the ruling PSUV party. It was stated that these media organizations had affected the government's reputation by featuring “unscrupulous” publications from ABC, a Spanish daily newspaper.
The reports published in January alleged that Cabello was connected to drug trafficking in Venezuela.
As a result, Cabello sued for defamation everyone of importance at newspapers El Nacional, La Patilla and Tal Cual; as well as 22 members of the respective boards, including Miguel Henrique Otero, editor-in-chief of El Nacional, Teodoro Petkoff, from Tal Cual, and Alberto Ravell from La Patilla.
Alberto Ravell and Miguel Henrique Otero found out about the court rulling while travelling outside the country. They declared, respectively, that they will return to Venezuela in a few days to face the charges, and that their editorial lines will not change.
Despite what it seems like a violation of freedom of speech, even international treaties exempt such reproductions of news items from legal liability, except for the source.
Teodoro Petkoff, director of TalCual, and one of Venezuela’s most outspoken government critics, has already been banned from leaving the country because of another defamation lawsuit filed by Cabello last year. Petkoff recently received a prestigious journalism award in Spain, but was unable to collect it in person. The award was instead received on his behalf by former Spanish president Felipe Gonzalez, who spoke about attacks to freedom against expression in Venezuela.
According to Venezuelan law, the Court needs to notify each of the defendants, something that has yet to be done. Also, under no circumstance can a judge rule this prohibition without having talked to them first.
This defamation case had a very timely consideration and resolution, something noticeable in a country where the average prisoner has not seen a Judge in the first few months after its detention, or has spent around two years in prison without sentence, something analyzed in the blog The Devil's Excrement.
Media Factory, a startup accelerator which focuses on the business of online news and journalism, announced the second class of its news acceleration program, seeking to support new digital-only media ventures in Latin America during 2015.
Teams should be based anywhere in the region and have a strong professional network, successful experience generating impact (building audience, having political influence, or creating revenue), experience in journalism and digital content, capacity to produce summaries and to cover breaking news, and a fluid understanding of new technologies related to media. The initial goals will be to work on audience generation, community engagement and defining a business model.
Media Factory invests USD 75,000 in each company and works with founders on editorial efficiency, audience growth, and revenue generation. The second class will be held over three months in Buenos Aires, beginning Sept. 1st, 2015, after the Media Party conference.
After the acceleration period, the teams will return to their countries of origin where they’ll receive the mentoring of Media Factory to scale and achieve new rounds of investment. Furthermore, as part of the acceleration process, the startups will build strong sales and marketing departments so they can monetize their platforms.
For the first class in 2014, Media Factory reviewed 115 entries, interviewed 58 teams and selected 18 finalists, to choose three teams to its first class of entrepreneurs. ElMeme.me from Argentina, El Cambur from Venezuela, and GKillCity from Ecuador spent around 100 days in Buenos Aires, received investment and mentorship from disruptive digital media worldwide like Mic.com, Vox Media and the Knight Lab at Northwestern University.
The battle of a French mother to recover her son held in Ecuador by his Ecuadorian father, a case characterized by sexism and misogyny, had been followed closely on Ecuadorian social networks. Valeria Coronel and Antonio Jurado relate for the blog Plató Mundo:
Arianais Alezra, la madre de Gaspard Bruzzone, denunció hace unas semanas el secuestro de su hijo. Ella notificó que el niño se encontraba retenido por el padre […]
En una página web llamada: SalvemosaGaspard.com El padre redactó una carta diciendo que el secuestro es justificado, ya que estaba salvando a su hijo de una sociedad pecaminosa y liberal como Francia […] “las pruebas” de por qué Alezra no estaba capacitada para ser madre […] unas fotografías donde vemos a la madre posando desnuda, bajo intenciones artísticas. […] Aclarar que si las intenciones de posar desnuda fueran o no artísticas, no imposibilitan a una mujer de ser madre.
Arianais Alerza, Gaspar Bruzzone's mother, a few weeks ago denounced her son's kidnapping. She announced that the child was held by his father […].
On a web page named: SalvemosaGaspard.com (Save Gaspard) the father wrote a letter saying that the kidnapping was justified, because he was saving his son from a blasphemous and libertarian society as France […] “the proof” of why Alezra was unqualified to be mother […] some photos of her posing nude, with artistic purpose. […] To clarify that whether or not her motives for posing nude were artistic, this does not preclude a woman of being a mother.
José María León reports on GKillCity how the pressure on social networks (“#FindGaspard was used on about 6,000 tweets in a week and the child's name nearing 10,000 more”) forced the court to return Gaspard to the custody of his mother and allow him to join her on April 8 so they could return to their house in Paris.
— GkillCity.com (@GkillCitycom) April 14, 2015
Gaspard demonstrated that social media does much more than discharging the bile excess.
Tabra is an association launched by Guillermo Ferrero and Andrea Mesones in Peru that aims to improve life quality for children with autism and Down syndrome through surfing and contact with nature, as stated on their Facebook page.
Guillermo is the father of a 13-year-old boy diagnosed with autism, and Andrea is a psychology student at a university in Lima.
Tabra nace del deseo de probar alternativas para lograr una mejora significativa en los niños con problemas del desarrollo cognitivo, dándoles oportunidades de expandir su mundo.
Tabra was born of the desire to try new alternatives to achieve a significant improvement in children with problems in their cognitive development, giving them opportunities to expand their world.
During every monthly two-hour session, “They try to have newcomers, so everybody can participate.” Due to their logistics, they can allow only ten to 12 children per session.
As Guillermo Ferrero says:
La felicidad que tienen cuando están en el mar es tan contagiosa que realmente tú terminas una sesión de Tabra con el corazón y el espíritu lleno de energía por todo lo que te transmiten estos niños durante el momento en el que están conectados con el mar.
The happiness they feel when they are in the sea is so contagious that you really end a session with Tabra with the heart and spirit full of energy for all that these children transmit during the time they are connected with the ocean.
About the name Tabra, the blog Seis de enero tells:
El nombre nació de una manera espontánea un día que estábamos conversando fuera del agua y el muchacho [el hijo de Guillermo] empezó a decir “quiero tabra”, pronunciando mal la palabra tabla.
The name came up spontaneously one day when we were just talking by the sea and the boy [Guillermo's son] started to say “I want tabra”, with a bad pronunciation of the word tabla (the Spanish word for surfboard).
— Iván Hernández (@DrIvanHdez) May 12, 2015
I Fell Asleep Too. Sincerely: @kellypeto
It's a trending topic under the hashtag #YoTambienMeDormi (#IFellAsleepToo). In one week, there have been 17,500 comments on Twitter. The stories of tens of thousands of doctors in Mexico and Latin America who are sharing pictures of them sleeping during their long hospital shifts have gone viral.
It all started when a blogger criticized a physician whose photo showed him sleeping, according to the BBC.
“We know this work is tiring, but they have the duty to fulfill their responsibilities while there are dozens of sick people who need their attention at any moment,” Noti-blog site reports, showing the photo of a medical resident at General Hospital 33 in Monterrey, México, who fell asleep at 3 am while filling out the records of that night's patient number 18.
— Sabiel Ramirez (@SabielRamirez) May 9, 2015
I Fell Asleep Too, because we are not machines but human beings like everyone else
In addition to showing solidarity, the spontaneous campaign has also been a way to put a face the sacrifices people in the profession must make, including long meal-less, sleepless shifts, which are not always financially compensated nor always provide the necessary basics for the job.
The Chilean Police campaign against grooming, in which adults earn the trust of minors online to later abuse them, has already reached more than 5 million views. It has become a success going way beyond the borders of the South American country, according to Verne website.
The video was published on Facebook to raise awareness among young people. It tells the story of a teenage girl who sets up a date with a guy she met on a social network. The man, who has been asking her for “sexy” pictures is older than she imagined. The video leads to think the girl was abused.
Augusto Schuster, a very popular Chilean teen actor and singer with a base of 270,000 Twitter followers, was part of the campaign. At the end of the video, which is also available on YouTube, Schuster questions kids: “How many of your social network friends do you really know? Grooming is not a game. It is abuse. Remember that on Internet, the pictures are not only yours, they belong to everyone.”
Groomers pretend to be teenagers to take advantage of minors on social networks, wining their trust little by little, then asking them for intimate images, or setting up meetings that can end up in sexual abuse. Besides the video, the Chilean campaign offers tips — and even a test — to help kids recognize dangerous behavior. Verne adds that the police are promoting the hashtag #todoscontraelgrooming (everyone against grooming).
Self-evaluation: Am I exposed to grooming?
1. I have a profile in more than one social network.
2. I have more than 250 friends on Facebook.
3. I have accepted friendships requests from people I don't know.
4. I have established strong ties with people I never met in person.
5. I have dated people I have never met on real life.
6. Have spoken on a webcam with strangers.
7. I have set up dates with people I met online.
8. I have taken pictures of myself on my underwear.
9. I have taken pictures of intimate parts of my body.
10. I have been asked to strip infront of a webcam or send intimate pictures.
11. I have been forced to send intimate pictures.
If you have answered YES to the questions:
1-5 You are vulnerable to be contacted by a groomer
6-8 You have probably been contacted by a groomer and you are at risk.
9-11 You have been a grooming victim.
Junio del 75 en México no te asombres
Se juntaron mil señoras para hablar mal de los hombres […]
Liberación absoluta es meta de la mujer
Pero aquello de que hablamos
Que no lo dejen de hacer aunque sea por favor
In June of '75 in Mexico don’t be surprised
Thousand of women came together to criticize men […]
Absolute liberation is women's goal
But that thing we talked about
Please don’t stop doing it even if it’s as a favor
The popular Mexican corridos usually refer to women as wives, girlfriends or lovers, but there was a time in history when feminist liberation was reflected in their lyrics. Angie Contreras, blogging for Mujeres Construyendo (Women Building), explains the double interpretation of feminism in that age which still continues today:
El corrido puede tener un sinfín de lecturas, […] explicare dos:
La primera de ellas, una cultura machista muy arraigada en el mexicano, donde la mujer debe asumirse en un rol de casa, educadora y sobretodo de cuidado, es donde recae la frase “que no lo dejen de hacer”, se nos da la libertad pero deben de seguir haciendo lo que ya sabemos hacer […]
Y una segunda está idea que el feminismo es sinónimo de odio a los hombres “para hablar mal de los hombres”, y esto es una malinterpretación del concepto […] la búsqueda del feminismo es una “liberación absoluta”, cuando se buscaban cosas concretas como el acceso a la educación, el derecho a votar y ser votada, la igualdad de salarios.
The corrido has unlimited interpretations, […] I'll explain two of them:
The first one, a sexist culture deeply rooted in Mexicans, in which woman should assume the role of a housewife, a teacher and caregiver, that is what the phrase “let's hope they don't stop doing it” refers to, that liberty is given to us but they must continue doing what we already know how to do.
And a second one is the idea that feminism is synonymous with hating men “to criticize men,” and this is a misunderstanding of the concept […] the search for feminism is an “absolute liberation”, when concrete things were requested such as access to education, the right to vote and be voted, equal wages.
The Nantis is one of the semi-nomadic communities that live in Peru. A part of them live in the townships in the upper Camisea river and the central area of the Timpía river. There are isolated families that live scattered in the upper Timpía river and the northern area of the National Sanctuary Megantoni in Cusco in southeastern Peru.
The Nantis are one of the two subgroups of the Matsigenka or Machiguenga people. Nanti is a name that refers to a number of families that are part of this people who call themselves Matsigenka.
In late April, a delegation from the Peruvian Ministry of Education that arrived to the area confirmed that over ten children had passed away due to whooping cough, a highly contagious disease of the airways caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Bordetella pertussis. They also confirmed there were more children infected.
Other outlets mentioned four deceased children. The website Servindi reported:
Los funcionarios del Minedu (Ministerio de Educación) que llegaron hasta el lugar con el fin de realizar un diagnóstico socioeducativo y sociolingüístico […] lo que encontraron fueron aulas con pocos alumnos y una epidemia en su grado máximo.
Estos llegaron a señalar que inclusive durante su estadía, en la comunidad de Montetoni, fallecieron dos niños más, uno llamado Isaías de 4 años y un bebe de 9 meses.
The officials of the Ministry of Education went there in order to carry out an educational and socio-linguistic diagnosis […] found out classrooms with few students and an epidemic at its highest level.
The officials noted that even while they were, in the Montetoni community, two more children died, four-year old Isaías and a nine-month old baby.
Twitter echoed the news:
Peru: crianças indígenas Nanti morrem em epidemia de coqueluche, em reserva contígua aos PN Alto Purus e Manu | http://t.co/lRJ7XPEQpP
— Cassio de Figueiredo (@casdefigueiredo) abril 30, 2015
Peru: Nanti indigenous children die due to whooping cough epidemic, in a reservation next to Upper Purús and Manu.
— Perudalia (@perudalia) abril 30, 2015
Confirmed, four children from the Nanti community have died in Cusco.
Peru: “Disease” kills four Nanti indigenous children, community in stage of first contact.
We live in an age in which dizzying technological advances sometimes put minors in danger. In a post on blog Mujeres Construyendo (Women Building), Gloria Serrato delves into society's responsibility to protect them and teach them the appropriate use of new technologies:
Diferentes organismos han emitido iniciativas para defender a los menores de edad con respecto a la protección de su información confidencial, […] para buscar la regulación pertinente que no lesione los intereses del acceso a la información ni a los menores.
El acceso a las redes sociales en internet es una oportunidad para el ejercicio de los derechos de las personas y es una herramienta para el aprendizaje y el conocimiento. Sin embargo es imprescindible saber que los […] adultos deben ser una guía que pueda orientar en los usos adecuados.
Several organizations have launched initiatives in order to defend minors and preserve their confidential information, […] looking for the pertinent regulation that does not harm the accessibility of information or underage children's interests.
Access to social media sites is an opportunity for the exercise of people's rights and a tool for instruction and knowledge. But is essential to know that […] adults should be a guide to direct them in proper use.
The writer states that such an education should take place in schools and family environments. She also lists the lines of work from the Montevideo Memorandum on protection of minors’ data:
a) Recomendaciones en materia de prevención y educaciónb) Recomendaciones para los Estados sobre el marco legalc) Recomendaciones para la aplicación de las leyesd) Recomendaciones en materia de políticas públicase) Recomendaciones para la industria.
a) Recommendations in terms of prevention and education
b) Recommendations to states on the legal framework
c) Recommendations for the application of law
d) Recommendations for public policy
e) Recommendations for the industry