Stories from Quick Reads and Mexico
One again, bloggers, hackers, designers, experts, as well as citizens interested in open data and transparency will meet to celebrate International Open Data Day 2015 all over the world to promote the opening of government data. The event is expected to have online meetings but also in-person activities all over the globe, requiring exceptional coordination and organization.
Faeriedevilish, blogging for School of Data, informs us on the Open Data Day festivities to take place on Saturday, February 21st in Spain and various cities in Latin America. Here you'll find information about the organization and event coordination in Buenos Aires, Lima, Medellín, Madrid, Mexico City, Xalapa, Monterrey, San Salvador, Panama City, etc., where many different activities will be held:
Alerta – Nos unimos a Abierto al Público: queremos que #datosabiertos se vuelva trending topic mundial en Twitter el 21 de febrero. Para lograrlo, las organizaciones participantes tuitearemos con este hashtag (y pediremos a lxs participantes que también lo hagan) el sábado 21 a partir de las 10:00 hora México, 11:00 hora Lima, 13:00 hora Buenos Aires, 17:00 hora Madrid. Importante: no usar el hashtag antes de esta hora.
Alert – We're meeting at Abierto al Público: we want #datosabiertos (#opendata) to trend on Twitter on February 21st. To do so, we'll be tweeting participating organizations with this hashtag (and we ask participants to do the same) on Saturday, February 21st starting at 10:00 in Mexico City, 11:00 in Buenos Aires, 17:00 in Madrid. Important: do not use the hashtag before this time.
Click here for more information on the International Open Data Day festivities.
The communication platform, Courage for Tamaulipas, and Ecuadorian sketch artist, Xavier “Bonil” Bonilla, were the only Latin Americans nominated at the Index Freedom of Expression Awards, which recognizes organizations and individuals in the fight against censorship.
The awards were created by Index on Censorship, an international organization dedicated to defending freedom of expression. Awards are given out in four categories: journalism, art, campaigns, and digital activism. Out of a total of 2,000 nominations, only 17 advanced to the final round.
Bonilla, who's nominated in the art category, has been the target of fines and various legal battles in Ecuador. In 2013 President Rafael Correa passed a law allowing the government to control certain content by journalists. Among the first victims were the newspaper El Universo as well as Bonilla himself. Both had to retract a drawing and pay a fine.
Meanwhile, Courage for Tamaulipas is competing in the digital activism category, and here the public can vote by clicking on the following link. The Mexican site was created in one of the most dangerous areas for journalism. Since 2010, six journalists have been killed, and violence by drug cartels in the region has resulted in a media blackout. Now drug-related violence is reported anonymously by the citizens.
Since the disappearance of the 43 students from Ayotzinapa last September, a group of citizens driven by Mexican journalist and producer Epigmenio Ibarra has decided to prevent the case from being forgotten by conducting a roll call of the names of each student every day at 10 p.m. Mexico Central Time.
Mexicans and foreigners alike have joined this initiative both within and outside of the country.
— Ara-Ídem (@5AraCoelli) January 27, 2015
We say their names every night. We will continue doing so until we conquer truth and get justice.
Each name is normally accompanied by an illustration from the Illustrators for Ayotzinapa movement to keep the memory of the students humanized. Some also add the phrase “Because if we forget, they win” to remind people about the importance of maintaining their memory alive.
— Sussan Buendia (@Buendia_Tunel) February 3, 2015
No to closing the case. We're going to push harder, we will cast a shadow over EPN. 10pm Roll call.
The roll call continues to gain traction.
— Alejandro T (@birkut) February 4, 2015
The daily roll call by @epigmenioibarra continues to get up to 500RTs per student.
Cada noche los RTs del pase de lista del 1 al 43 alcanza a miles en sus TLs, es otra pequeña marcha que acompaña. Sigamos juntos.
— Compa Salces (@carlossalces) January 27, 2015
Each night, RTs of the roll call from 1 to 43 reaches thousands in their TLs. It's another small protest accompanying the efforts. Let's continue together.
And every day there is a call to join this roll call where the following hashtags, relevant to the movement, are included: #YaMeCansé (#TiredofThis), #AcciónGlobalporAyotzinapa (#GlobalActionforAyotzinapa), #NosFaltan43 (#We'reMissing43), among others.
— Compa MariaIsabel (@wixaritari) February 4, 2015
Group: Those against apathy and neglect and because #We'reMissing43, let's join the roll call #WeAreAllAyotzinapa with @epigmenioibarra
— Frank (@frankcjc) January 30, 2015
Those who forget their history are condemned to repeat it. Ready for the roll call with @epigmenioibarra
On his personal blog Hbt, Olivera Herbert writes about a new district distribution (starting on October 2014) and the popular referendum about participatory budgeting 2015 (November 2014), that allowed us to assess and ellaborate a new Catalog of Colonies and Native Nations 2013 in Mexico City.
Herbert has prepared a chart of the 1,753 communities and 40 native nations and invites us to download it here, a *.kml file you can use on a free and open code SIG, such as QGIS. The author explains what a colony means geographically and the so called native nations:
De acuerdo a la Ley de Participación Ciudadana del D.F. la colonia es la división territorial del Distrito Federal y los pueblos originarios son asentamientos que mantienen la figura de autoridad tradicional de acuerdo a sus normas, procedimientos y prácticas tradicionales.
According to the Bill of Citizen Participation of Mexico City, colony is the territorial division of the Federal District and native nations are settlements that keep the figure of tradtional authority under its rules, procedures and traditional practices.
Herbert Olivera's account on Twitter is @oliveraherbert for further details.
Mexican artist Michelle Solano has composed “Grito de Guerra,” a song set to the rhythm of cumbia that intends to raise funds to support the family of the 43 missing Ayotzinapa Normal School students, who disappeared on September 26 in Iguala, Guerrero state, Mexico.
According to TV network CNN, the students were intercepted and taken away by police forces at the behest of the local mayor, and had set members of the Guerreros Unidos cartel on the abducted students. In the ensuing clash, six people were killed and 25 were injured, with 43 others remain missing.
Global Voices has dedicated special coverage to the Ayotzinapa case.
@faeriedevilish, blogging for Infoactivismo, reflects on the need to be creative in communicating our protests. Along those lines, the author explains the importance of creativity while referring to protesting events in Ayotzinapa, where photocopies of the victims’ faces were used to attract and generate awareness about the terrible incidents.
Illustrators not only made use of online resources to get the public's attention, but the streets also took the leading role for young people's creativity.
En una ciudad en la que la proliferación de marchas lleva en el mejor de los casos a una saturación, y en el peor de ellos, a prejuicios de clase, hacer que las marchas de Acción Global Ayotzinapa dieran incentivos para seguir participando fue un reto gigantesco.
Y es que marchar es del Contingente Carreola. Marchar es usar tu talento para incidir – como los jóvenes de la ENAP que pintaron las caras de lxs desaparecidxs en Reforma, lxs estudiantes de la Nacional de Música que marchaban interpretando música. Marchar es de quienes cuentan del 1 al 43, y de quienes cambian los dichos machistas por versiones feministas.
Marchar no es aburrido ni tedioso: es una forma de participación social que, de hecho, puede ser bastante divertida.
In a city where a proliferation of marches can either fill the streets or lead to class prejudices, it was a huge challenge to have the Ayotzinapa Global Action encourage further participation.
The march is lead by the Stroller Contingent. Marching uses your talent to have an affect on people, such as the kids from the National School of Plastic Arts who painted their faces reflecting the people who disappeared during the Reform period, and students from the National Conservatory of Music marched while playing music. The march has people from ages 1 to 43 and those willing to change their chauvinist remarks for more feminist ones.
Marching isn't boring or tedious. It's a way to participate in something social and fun.
You can follow Infoactivism on Twitter.
¡Hola! Mi nombre es Alejandra Baca, pero todos me dicen Ale, excepto los doctores, ellos me dicen “Karlita”. Vivo en Chihuahua, México. Me gusta estudiar, bailar, leer y salir con mis amigos. Estudio la Lic. en Administración y soy misionera.
Hi! My name is Alejandra Baca, but everyone calls me Ale except the doctors, who call me “Karlita.” I live in Chihuahua, Mexico. I like to study, dance, read, and go out with friends. I'm working on my degree in administration, and I'm a missionary.
The introduction from Alejandra Baca's blog, I Have Cancer and Keep Shining, where she writes about having non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Her cancer was diagnosed when she was 17. After a bone marrow transplant, chemotherapy sessions, she's had to give up modeling.
Los grandes cambios siempre vienen acompañados de una fuerte sacudida. No es el fin del mundo. Es el inicio de uno nuevo.
— Ale Baca (@AleeBaca) January 13, 201
“Big changes are always accompanied by a big blow. It's not the end of the world. It's the beginning of a new one.
February 4th is World Cancer Day (#DiaMundialcontraelCancer).
On Thursday, November 27, 2014, Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto addressed publicly Mexican nation to make a stand about the shocking events occured in Iguala and to announce a set of actions to be taken.
The address was a disappointment for most of the Mexican people, who expected more from their president. In this context, Fernando Vázquez Rigada responds ciítically to the presidential address and points out it was not only late, but it also lacked empathy towards the people. Furthermore, the announced mesaures weren't enough to face the current Mexican crisis:
La mención al combate a la corrupción fue blanda y retórica. Se asume el plan de la oposición, pero sin ser capaz de agregar nada ni de garantizar una nueva ética que se base en los mejores hombres, en las mejores prácticas, en un blindaje real e inmediato. Vendrá la implementación de las reformas por los mismos que han debido cancelar licitaciones, encubrir, coludirse.
Lo mejor fue la mención a la aplicación del modelo chino de estímulo al crecimiento. La pobreza no produce criminales, pero si divide y desgarra.
La nación esperaba el jueves a un ejecutivo y encontró a un legislador. Aguardaba a un líder que compartiera el dolor, que mostrara reflexión sobre sus errores propios, que asumiera los costos que le corresponden y, sobre todo, que inspirara a una sociedad harta y desconsolada.
The mention about fighting corruption was soft and rhetorical. The plan from the opposition might be guessed, but without the possibility of adding nothing on nor secure a new ethics based in new men, better practices, a real and immediate reinforcement. The reforms will be implemented by the same people who should have called off tendrs, concealed, colluded.
The best thing was the mention of implementing the Chinese model of growth boost. Poverty doesn't produce criminals, bit it does divide and rips up.
On Thursday, the nation was waiting for an ejecutive and came across a legislator. They were waiting for a leader that might share their pain, that might show some reflection upon his own flaws, that would assume the costs upon him and, above all, that might inspire a society that's fed up and inconsolable.
You can follow Fernando on Twitter.
From Merida, Andres Mayorquín reflects on the sentimients of Mexicans once they have been part of the marches for the disappearance of student teachers. Some ot them are already tired and they wonder if ti's worth it to take the streets. The mistrustful ones want Mexicans stop protesting and use their time “to work harder, to stop giving bribes, to respect others’ liberty or be more productive, to stop the whining”.
The opposite is no longer enough in Mexico, concludes Marroquín. Three proposals to this question: “What shall we expect or do with all this movement unleashed after the disappearance of the teacher students that ended up representing all the disappeared, murdered, kidnapped and attacked of the country?”:
Primero que nada, negarnos radicalmente a la violencia… La mayoría no queremos más agresión, queremos paz, queremos encontrar mejores formas de relacionarnos unos con otros en nuestra sociedad diversa y queremos justicia, que respete la dignidad de cada uno de nosotros.
Tercero, desarrollar una propuesta concreta…una legislación sobre la revocación de mandato, la formación de una Comisión de la Verdad, hacer obligatorias y públicas las declaraciones patrimoniales de los servidores públicos y sus familiares, facilitar los requisitos de las candidaturas independientes, una regulación sobre los legisladores plurinominales.
First of all, we radically reject violence… Most of us don't want more aggression, we want peace, we want to look for better ways of relating with each other in our diverse society and we want justice, they the dignity each of use deserves might be respected.
Third, elaborate a concrete proposal… a legislation about power revocation, the formation of a Truth Commission, make wealth declarations mandatory and public for pubilc servants and their family members, make easier for independent candidates to run for office, a regulation about multi-member legislators.
Vero Flores Desentis, blogging for Mujeres Construyendo (Women Building), reflects on Internet users’ behavior regarding the disappearance of 43 students in Ayotzinapa and rubs salt in the wound of those of us who use cyberspace for worthy causes, and calls us to an in-depth examination of our conscience: are denouncing and indignation on the Internet enough to make a change or do they just represent a simple catharsis? Thus, the author points out the duality of Internet denunciation regarding the events in Ayotzinapa:
Creo que es un tema que duele a la sociedad, y duele mucho. Lo que me sorprende es la dualidad de la denuncia social. Por un lado, cada vez tenemos más acceso a plataformas que nos sirven para denunciar o para establecer públicamente algún posicionamiento frente a un tema, y cada vez somos más las personas que las utilizamos. Y estas denuncias son una herramienta muy poderosa de denuncia social sin duda. Pero por otro, la denuncia ahí se queda, no hay un eco de ejecución que realmente ayude a disminuir los casos que lamentablemente siguen sucediendo.
I think this is something that hurts society. What amazes me is the duality of social denunciation. On one hand, each time we have more access to platforms that allow us to denounce or set publicly some position about a given topic, and each time more people use them. And these condemnations are a very powerful tool for social denunciation. Burt on the other hand, the denounce just stays there, there is no echo of carrying out that really helps reducing the cases that, unfortunately, keep coming.
Vero adds that just as in other disturbing cases, social networks channel our outrage about Ayotzinapa, although making it public doesn't change the situation. To change something, we must act outside the cybernetic world, changing our actions.
You can follow Vero Flores Desentis on Twitter.