Author: lafocus

Amid Pandemic Hardship, Two New Laws Expand Mental Health Coverage?

By Quinci LeGardye | California Black Media  

 Gov. Gavin Newsom signed two bills into law that expand mental health coverage in California.  

?The bills I am signing today will help Californians access the behavioral health services they need to recover,? Gov. Newsom said. ?Earlier this year, I pledged to put these critical services within reach of more Californians, through reforming our Mental Health Services Act and laws that allow loved ones and service providers to ask courts to compel those who need treatment into community-based outpatient care. Today, we do just that.? 

SB 855 passed through the state legislature on the last day of the session and was signed into law Sept. 25. The bill requires health insurance companies to provide coverage for mental health and substance abuse treatment deemed medically necessary.  

?It?s time for every Californian to have access to comprehensive and preventative mental and physical health care. SB 855 is a big step toward ensuring that in California, mental health is taken as seriously as physical health. It?s time for insurance companies to fully cover this essential treatment,? said State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). 

SB 855 was co-authored by Wiener, State Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose), chair of the Mental Health Caucus, and Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters). 

This new law comes at a time when many Californians have faced mental health challenges due to psychological stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study, released Aug. 14, found that 40 % of respondents reported struggling with an adverse mental health condition in late June. Out of about 5,400 respondents 30 % experienced symptoms of anxiety and depression and 13 % had started or increased substance use to cope with emotions related to the pandemic. 

According to the CDC survey, psychological stressors have a disproportionate effect on Black and Brown people, essential workers, unpaid caregivers and young adults. Also, low-wage earners were experiencing more anxiety and depression than high-wage earners. 

?Unfortunately, there are gaps in the law that have allowed insurance companies to deny what is clearly medically necessary coverage for people experiencing mental health and addiction challenges,? said Senator Wiener earlier this month. 

There has been a long history of health insurance plans providing better coverage for physical illness than for mental health. According to the American Psychological Association, although federal parity law requires that coverage for mental health and substance-use disorders must be comparable to physical health coverage, the law does not require that all plans include mental health and substance abuse coverage. Also, a health insurance plan is allowed to exclude certain diagnoses.  

The same day, the governor signed another bill, AB 1976, into law. That legislation, introduced by Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton), expands the use of court-ordered outpatient treatment at the county level. It also prohibits counties from downsizing those programs. 

?The Assisted Outpatient Treatment demonstration project started by Laura?s Law has shown for many years that we have the tools to provide effective, community-based mental health treatment to those with the greatest need. As a social worker I?ve long fought for the extension of these critical services and expanding this program. Finally making it permanent will ensure greater care for the people of California,? said Eggman. 

Supporters of both bills praised the governor for signing them. Many of them joined Eggman in pointing out that the new policies are long overdue. 

?No one should have to suffer from mental illness or substance use disorder without support, resources and medical care. No one should have to forego mental healthcare until they?ve deteriorated to the point where they?re in crisis and in the ER. And no one should have to go into debt to pay for substance use disorder or mental health treatment,? Wiener said in his statement.  

Rev. Terry Brown to be Installed Pastor at Judson Baptist Church


      In April, the L.A. faith community mourned the loss of Pastor Dr. Johnny Baylor,

noted preacher, founder and senior pastor of the Carson-based Judson Baptist Church. Under Baylor?s leadership, the church ? which he dubbed as ?the assignment of his life?? transitioned in just 18 months to a thriving congregation of upwards of 500 active members.

      ?Dr. Baylor was a combination of street submitted to the spirit of God. He was raw and real, but he was also one of the finest exegetists this nation has ever known,? said Pastor Terry Brown, who was hand appointed by Baylor as his successor.

      It was last August that Baylor?who?d recently discovered the medical odds of his condition?reached out to Brown.

      ?When we spoke in August, the relationship had already begun to be closer and deeper,? Brown stated. ?It was just in August that he was at a point where he wanted me to know that if anything would happen to him, he wanted me to succeed him as pastor.

      ?I was in a state of disbelief. I was humbled. Still Am. Honored. Still am,? Baylor expressed. ?And really, I felt like if it happened, it would be way down the road, a few years down the road. I had no way of knowing that he would pass within several months of him sharing that with me. So, it was just an overwhelming experience.? Brown took over in April? during the onslaught of the global pandemic and says the transition has gone better than he could have expected.

      ?It has been tremendous. Granted, all ministry is difficult and challenging during this COVID season. I have not yet been able to meet physically with the whole church, but they have been the sweetest, kindest people. The obvious evidence of their love for him and certainly their love for God was that they received me without question. I?m sure some people had questions and some people said this or that, but in terms of what has been communicated to me, there has never been any dissension.?

      Now, on October 25, Brown is set to be officially installed as the pastor.

      ?Obviously, for every pastor and church, the installation represents the new relationship that God has ordained, so I have three pastors who will be sharing with me virtually,? Brown explained. Bishop Timothy Clarke of Columbus, Ohio will be giving the charge to the pastors. Bishop Michael Kelsey will be giving the charge to the church and Bishop James Dixon of Houston will be bringing the message.

      Brown says that no one can fill Pastor Baylor?s shoes, but he is ready to take up the mantle that Baylor entrust- ed him with.

????? ?His [Baylor?s] footprint is large, and my goal is not to try to fit or fill his shoes. My goal is to walk the path that God has predestined me to follow,? Brown explained. ?I?ve learned from Pastor Baylor. He knew me. He knew that I had my own vision. Dr. Baylor laid a strong foundation. my goal is to lead this church into deeper vistas that he had already set into motion pursuing the kingdom of God and playing our role in the kingdom. In every aspect that we live life, we want to be a part of lifting and loving the community. ?????????????????

?Ironically enough, Brown?who still serves as senior pas- tor of the Liberty Baptist Church?will be celebrating his 15th pastoral appreciation on October 18?just one week prior to his installation and his younger brother, Pastor Steven Brown (of Houston) will be serving as the guest preacher.

Joe Biden Expands His Lead in Key Polls as Election Day Nears


Following his COVID-19 diagnosis and role in what some are calling the worst presidential debate of all time, President Donald Trump is now trailing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in several key polls. 

According to a new CNBC/Change Research poll, Biden garners 50 percent of support compared to Trump?s 45 percent in crucial states like Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The poll surveyed 2,688 likely voters in the six states over the weekend as news rolled in about the president?s condition.

In a recent nationwide CNN poll, it was concluded that Biden now holds the largest lead of the cycle. Among likely voters, 57 percent said they support Biden while 41 percent backed Trump. The poll also revealed that voters prefer Biden when it comes to a number of issues including the coronavirus outbreak (59 percent prefer Biden, 38 percent Trump), health care (59 percent to 39 percent), racial injustice in America (62 percent to 36 percent), nominations to the Supreme Court (57 percent to 41 percent) and crime and safety (55 percent to 43 percent).

Voters also believe Biden is a candidate who would unite the country (61 percent Biden to 33 percent Trump), who is honest and trustworthy (58 percent Biden to 33 percent Trump), who cares about people like you (58 percent Biden to 38 percent Trump), who has a clear plan to solve the nation’s problems (55 percent to 39 percent) and who would keep Americans safe from harm (55 percent to 43 percent).

Biden also has a 14-point lead over Trump in a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. The Democratic nominee leads Trump 53 percent to 39 percent among registered voters. This survey was taken after the first presidential debate between the two, but before news of Trump?s positive COVID-19 results – proving that the chaotic debate had a direct impact on Trump?s standing with the American people.

The polls also reflect public opinion on Trump?s handling of his own diagnosis and overall attitude toward the severity of the coronavirus. Trump was released from Walter Reed Medical Center on Monday after contracting COVID-19. His doctor, Navy Cdr. Sean Conley, said that Trump isn?t completely ?out of the woods? for another week but that ?he?s back.? The president tweeted about his release, saying that citizens shouldn?t fear the coronavirus. 

?I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good! Don?t be afraid of Covid. Don?t let it dominate your life. … I feel better than I did 20 years ago!? Trump tweeted.

Doctors and epidemiologists expressed the danger of Trump making statements that could lead to people not taking the virus seriously and downplaying its effects.

?It?s an unconscionable message,? said Dr. Sadiya Khan of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. ?I would go so far as to say that it may precipitate or worsen spread.?

A majority of the public also appear to be dissatisfied with the president?s actions. The CNBC poll revealed that 39 percent of those surveyed think Trump took the appropriate precautions to prevent himself from getting exposed to the virus, while 55 percent said he failed to do so. In contrast, 75 percent said they believe Biden has taken the right steps to avoid exposure. 

Since the news broke on Oct. 1 that Trump and his wife Melania Trump tested positive for the virus, several family members and government officials who’ve been in close proximity to him have been tested. Mike Pence and Joe Biden have both tested negative. 

Other cases in and around the White House include top Trump adviser Hope Hicks, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, Trump body man Nick Luna, an unnamed press staffer, former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Republican Sens. Thom Tillis, Mike Lee and Ron Johnson.

Trump appears to be adamant about continuing his campaign as planned but many are questioning how the recent uptick in government cases will impact the election and debates. A source within the Biden campaign confirmed that the Commission on Presidential Debates approved plexiglass barriers at the vice-presidential debate between Pence and Kamala Harris on Wednesday. 

The Trump campaign said that the president plans to still participate in the next presidential debate scheduled for Oct. 15.

Democrats Bet on Kamala Harris in Upcoming Debate

Christal Mims, Staff

After a tumultuous first presidential debate between democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and President Donald Trump, democrats are placing their hope in senator and vice-presidential nominee, Kamala Harris. Harris will take on Vice President Mike Pence during their first and only debate this month.

The American people benefitted from a very clear contrast, Harris said of the first presidential debate. On one hand you have Joe talking directly into the camera, trying to bring some semblance of maturity to a conversation with a county that is in the midst of at least three major crises at a proportion that weve not experienced in generations on the other hand, you have Donald Trump who spent the whole time interrupting, bullying the moderator and lying to the American people.

A former prosecutor and participant in the democratic primaries, Harris is well-equipped to handle a debate stage – a trait that democrats are banking on to take down Pence.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has confidence in Harris and her ability to discuss key issues effectively – but also had a word of advice.

She has to modulate her responses because we know there still is a double standard alive and well when it comes to women in politics, Clinton said. She’s got to be firm and effective in rebutting any implication that comes from the other side, but to do it in a way that doesn’t scare or alienate voters.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters says that Harris ambition is the most admirable thing about her, and she shouldnt worry about the public calling her names or talking down on her simply because she is displaying the characteristics of a strong woman.

Shes prepared and she will deal with it, and she knows how to deal with it, Congresswoman Waters said. For those of us who are confident that we are capable and that we deserve opportunity, we dont let that stop us from pursuing our goals. We have missions that weve defined for ourselves and we continue to work on those missions.

Senator Bernie Sanders believes that Pence has his work cut out for him if hes going to defeat Harris in the debate.

I believe that Kamala, as somebody who has known her for a number of years, is incredibly smart, tough, and I would not want to be Vice-President (Mike) Pence in a debate with her, Sanders said.

Experts are saying that there is a weight placed on the vice-presidential debate more than ever before as the nation is anxious to see if they will be able to get a more direct and clearer standpoint from each candidate.

There is a weight that’s placed on Mike Pence and Kamala Harris to demonstrate that there is still something useful about two people meeting in the public square and having an exchange of ideas because that’s at the heart of this grand democratic experiment that we have, said Ed Lee, of Emory University’s Alben W. Barkley Forum for Debate, Deliberation and Dialogue. That usually is not placed on a vice presidential debate.

University of Georgia head debate coach Shunta Jordan thinks that anything is better than the screaming and disrespect that the U.S. witnessed during the first presidential debate.

I don’t expect either candidate to back down but am confident in saying we won’t see the disgrace and embarrassment of (Tuesday), she said. I expect to hear more argumentation and refutation. I expect to hear each candidate discuss actual policy or what needs to be the priority in America moving forward.

Many have noted that Pence is generally level-headed and will most likely not come close to the way Trump acted in the first debate. He is said to be practicing his approach to the debate and will focus on the Trump administration’s accomplishments and the key differences between his team and their democratic opponents.

Harris says that she will treat Pence with respect but will not tolerate blatant lies being told to the American people.

Im also not going to stand by quietly if he, in whatever tone of voice, delivers lies, Harris explained. Joe and I have a lot in common, and one of them is that we dont back down from a good fight if its a fight worth having.

Latest Vigil for Breonna Taylor Puts Spotlight on Black Women as Endangered Species

Stephen Oduntan, Staff

A small crowd gathered outside the Laugh Factory Monday evening for a candlelight vigil in memory of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old black woman who was fatally shot during a botched police raid in her apartment.

In between chants and music, Shannon Morton, the founder of Black Women Lead and the organizer of the vigil, took the megaphone, saying, ?Breonna Taylor is important. She should be here. Breonna Taylor is me. She?s my cousin. She?s my friend. She is everybody who I ever loved.?

Ka, a 25-year-old woman who would only give her first name, attended the vigil, which took place at 7: 30 pm near the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Crescent Heights in Hollywood.

?A visual for Breonna Taylor is super important because we?re honoring her spirit. Her spirit is still with us. Black people are a people of spirit and rhythm so that?s why we?re playing music. She?s still with us. Even though she didn?t get justice, we?re still out here in her name. We?ll never stop being out here,? Ka said.

Ivy Coco Maurice, of Walk Good LA, also spoke to the crowd.

?Black women,? she said. ?We are an endangered species and they?re killing us like flies. Black women have always been at the forefront of every revolution, and it?s time for everybody to stand at the forefront for us as well. That?s why when it comes down to the polls come November, don?t just vote for yourself. You are voting for Breonna Taylor. You are voting for Sandra Bland. Vote for the Black woman Kamala Harris.?

The crowd applauded.

Attendees blocked off the roadway, sitting in the middle of the road, and gave a moment of silence in Taylor?s memory for about three minutes. Many sat with lit candles beside them.

?In this quest for justice for the slain, let?s not forget the mothers. Black women and Black mothers, we bear so much of the pain. When I think about Breonna being shot in her bed, the first thing I think about is her mother. Black mothers are at the forefront of the healing process that not only America but also Black America has to deal with,? said Angelina Spicer, a comedian-actress and self-described accidental activist. 

Spicer called on the attendees to turn grief into action.

?We?ve been marching, we?ve been protesting, we?ve been gathering for months now, and the fact that you all are here means so much to me because you realize without our collective voices nothing will change,? she said.

At the end of Spicer?s ten minutes speech, she thanked everyone for attending the vigil and said, ?Black lives matter,? and the crowd called back a roar of ?Black lives matter.?

By 9: 30 p.m., it all seemed to be over. Participants reopened the street, traffic returned to normal, and the crowd dispersed.

Michael Jordan Forms NASCAR Team, Secures Bubba Wallace as Driver


            Basketball legend Michael Jordan is the newest NASCAR team owner. The 57-year-old will oversee a NASCAR Cup Series team with the only Black, NASCAR top racer, Bubba Wallace, as a featured driver. Jordan will be the majority owner while NASCAR’s Denny Hamlin will serve as a minority owner.

            “Growing up in North Carolina, my parents would take my brothers, sisters and me to races, and I’ve been a NASCAR fan my whole life,” said Jordan in a statement. “The opportunity to own my own racing team in partnership with my friend, Denny Hamlin, and to have Bubba Wallace driving for us, is very exciting for me. Historically, NASCAR has struggled with diversity and there have been few Black owners. The timing seemed perfect as NASCAR is evolving and embracing social change more and more.”

            Jordan says he wants to educate a new audience and open up more opportunities for Black people in racing, something he believes will be possible with Wallace by his side.

            “I think (Bubba) has the potential to be (a champion). If I didn’t think so, I wouldn’t get into this,” Jordan said. “Luck has a lot of do (with winning) in a lot of sports. But if you feel you have the same knowledge and the same equipment, you give yourself a chance. Then it’s all up to the driver.”

            Many are excited to see Jordan and Wallace diversify a sport that has historically lacked Black representation.

            “A lot of what I call closet NASCAR fans are Black fans,” said Bill Lester, who for years was the only Black driver in NASCAR’s top series. “Now with Jordan opening the door to the sport, I think that that’s going to go a long way.”

            Wallace will get behind the wheel for the new team in the 2021 NASCAR Cup series.

Amy Coney Barrett’s Religion May Become Flash Point in Supreme Court Fight

President Donald Trump’s potential Supreme Court pick Amy Coney Barrett’s faith could be a focal point of her confirmation hearing if she’s nominated.

Trump will announce his nominee Saturday at the White House, about a week after liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died of metastatic pancreatic cancer.

The possible selection of Barrett has raised several flags, particularly regarding her conservative religious views.

Barrett, a devout Catholic, is also affiliated with a religious group called People of Praise, which teaches that husbands have spiritual authority over their wives.

The controversy over Barrett’s faith emerged in 2017 when she was grilled by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., at her confirmation hearing to sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

The debate is likely to reignite if Barrett is nominated to fill Justice Ginsburg’s seat.

Feinstein told Barrett in 2017: “When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for, for years in this country.”

“If you’re asking whether I take my Catholic faith seriously, I do, though I would stress that my personal church affiliation or my religious belief would not bear on the discharge of my duties as a judge,” Barrett said.

Feinstein’s line of questioning prompted outrage from conservatives, who called it a litmus test.

In a 2006 speech to the graduating class of Notre Dame Law School, Barrett said: “Your legal career is but a means to an end, and … that end is building the kingdom of God. You know the same law, are charged with maintaining the same ethical standards as your peers across the country. But if you can keep in mind that your fundamental purpose in life is not to be a lawyer, but to know, love and serve God, you truly will be a different kind of lawyer.”

Critics have jumped on Barrett’s use of the phrase “kingdom of God,” suggesting she was pushing for a theocracy and questioning how she would keep her rulings separate from her religious views. “I’m a Christian but this is terrifying,” tweeted Lindy Li, a Joe Biden delegate.

Some critics are misinterpreting the phrase, said another Biden supporter and law student at the University of Pennsylvania Andrew Figueiredo.

“The way I understand the Kingdom of God is not mutually exclusive with the First Amendment. It’s perfectly valid to question Judge Barrett’s legal philosophy, but lazy criticisms of her faith reflect a deep misunderstanding of Catholicism and public life,” Figueiredo said. “So the kingdom of God is embodied in the common good, in human dignity, in solidarity, and in subsidiarity. Catholics, especially those in leadership roles, are called to live as Christ did. This means seeking justice, love, and peace.”

Barrett, a University of Notre Dame law professor, strongly opposes abortion. She is a mother of seven and former law clerk to the conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. She was also a finalist for the Supreme Court seat that went to Justice Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.

(Edited by Fern Siegel and Emily Crockett)

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Research Reveals Lack of ‘Cuddle Hormone’ Makes Some Animals Eat Their Young

SIVAS, Turkey—Groundbreaking research in Turkey has shed some light on one of the mysteries of the animal kingdom: Why mothers sometimes kill and eat their own young.
Known as maternal cannibalism, the phenomenon been blamed on everything from the fact that it provides a mother with much-needed nutrients and energy, to the fact it might make her more attractive to a potential new mate, or that the offspring being disposed of are either unwell or taking too long to develop.
But thanks to research carried out at Cumhuriyet University in Sivas, Turkey, involving a local breed of dog, it appears that maternal cannibalism may be caused by the absence of key hormone produced by female animals that’s vital in helping mothers bond with their offspring.

Here’s how that discovery came about: Sivas, located in a central Turkey province of the same name, has a largely agricultural economy which includes sheep that need to be protected from bears, wolves and jackals. That role is carried out by shepherds often using the locally bred Kangal shepherd dog, a large livestock guardian breed that’s also been exported to such places as Africa.
The Kangal, a type of mastiff, is large enough to protect its flock even from lions and cheetahs, and it has a strong protective nature that applies not just to the flock that it guards but also to people.
But dog breeders contacted the Turkish university five years ago with a problem: the breed had demonstrated a frequent tendency for mothers to eat their own puppies within the first two weeks of their birth. They asked the university for help, and Mustafa Kockaya, 38, an assistant professor there, agreed to take on the challenge.
“As this is a local breed, there was a strong connection with our institution, and a desire to do something to help” Kockaya said in an exclusive interview with Zenger News. “We agreed to take it on as a study project, and it has lasted six years so far.”
When it came to understanding why such animals were eating their puppies, researchers launched two studies: The first was to try to find the reason for maternal cannibalism and the second was to find a treatment to stop it from happening again.
As Kockaya tried to identify the factors that distinguished mother dogs that ate their puppies from those that did not, he noticed that those in the latter category seemed to exhibit significantly more affection for their puppies than those that did. That led him to closely monitor a female Kangal that reportedly devoured 15 of her puppies.
Kockaya’s investigation included testing the dog’s hormonal levels, including oxytocin, the so-called “cuddle hormone.” Oxytocin is a key part of childbirth in many placental mammals including humans, strengthening the contractions of the uterus, stopping any bleeding after the birth and encouraging lactation. But it is also said  to strengthen the mother’s positive feelings towards the newborn.
And it was at dangerously low levels in the dogs that were eating their own puppies, researchers found.
After identifying the hormone deficiency, Kockaya then teamed with Associate Professor Yasemin Salgırlı Demirbas from Ankara University’s veterinary medicine faculty, and together they found that injecting the missing oxytocin hormone in Kangal mothers immediately after giving birth stopped them from consuming their puppies.
“This study is first of its kind and was very important for me. Dog owners view mothers eating their puppies as monsters and either abandon them or put them to death.” Kockaya said. “Our study and treatment could save future generations of Kangal dogs.”
The discovery could also be significant for other types of animals that practice maternal cannibalism. Kockaya says he has received e-mails from around the world asking about that possibility.
But he’s unsure that will be the case. “Separate studies are needed for it, as we don’t know if other cases of cannibalism stem from the same cause.” Given that, Kockaya is planning to begin researching if other dog breeds can be deterred from killing their young with “cuddle hormone” injections.
He also said that therapy might have some applicability to humans.
“Maybe similar studies can be done on [human] mothers who do not accept their babies. The oxytocin hormone has many receptor regions in the body, and if medical doctors wanted to do studies on the subject, we would be happy to share our research.”
(Edited by Matthew Hall and Allison Elyse Gualtieri.)

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El bono de 40 billones de los migrantes mexicanos enviado a casa desde Estados Unidos

Los trabajadores migrantes en los Estados Unidos están enviando dinero de regreso a México a un ritmo que totaliza 40 billones este año, estableciendo un nuevo récord.

Las familias mexicanas están dependiendo cada vez más de parientes que han ingresado a Estados Unidos, en violación de la ley federal, para trabajar. El Covid-19 ha recortado empleos, ha subido los precios de los alimentos y ha dificultado el acceso a la atención médica en ambos lados de la frontera. Los dólares enviados a través de Western Union y otros sistemas similares de transferencia de efectivo, conocidos como remesas, pueden ser salvavidas para los parientes. Ahora son la principal fuente de divisas para México.

El total para el mes de junio alcanzó 3.5 billones de dólares, incremento de 11.1 % en relación al cierre de junio de 2019, de acuerdo con el Banco de México.


En el primer semestre de 2020, el envío de reservas mantuvo una tendencia ascendente a una tasa anual en términos reales de 23.8 %, que representaron ingresos por 19 billones de dólares. Eso fue 10.6 % más que en el mismo periodo de 2019, con 17.2 billones de dólares.
Para el Centro de Estudios de las Finanzas Públicas de la Cámara de Diputados –Congreso Federal- el número de envíos fue de 10.3, cifra 9.4 % superior a la de hace un año. La remesa promedio por operación al mes de junio fue de 340 dólares, 1.5 % superior a lo reportado en el primer semestre del año pasado, que fue de 335 dólares.

Para dimensionar el impacto en la economía mexicana por la crisis sanitaria de Covid-19, el banco español en México, BBVA Research, reportó que en el primer semestre del año, 19 estados presentaron crecimientos en el flujo de remesas y 3 las vieron disminuir.
Para  Baja California, se contabilizó en 36.9 % mayor la recepción de remesas, y en esa misma dinámica destacaron, Sonora con  17.3 %; Sinaloa, 16.7 %; Chihuahua, 15.5 % y Jalisco, 14.6%.

Mientras que la caída en los flujos en el envío de dólares se observaron en las entidades del sureste de México, como Tabasco, con menos 29.6 %; Yucatán, 19.9 % y Tlaxcala, un negativo de 19.4 %.

A pesar del declive económico por la crisis del Covid, está inyección de recursos de los indocumentados contribuyen significativamente a la economía de millones de familias mexicanas. En la Unión Americana  residen y laboran alrededor de 26 millones de connacionales.

Su contribución es reconocida por la Presidencia de México al asegurar que las remesas son la principal fuente de divisas.

Para, Wendy Carrera, Cleofás Hernández, Adriana González, Graciela Medel, Ethelvina Cortés, entre los millones de mexicanos que reciben dinero procedente de los Estados Unidos, las remesas representan “una bocanada de oxígeno”, toda vez que en tiempos de pandemia se vio mermada su economía ante el confinamiento.

Coinciden que el “dinerito” que reciben les ha permitido en algunos casos mantener la educación de sus hijos, construir su vivienda, reactivar la siembra de sus tierras, adquisición de medicamento  en el caso de las enfermedades crónicas, el pago de servicios, deudas y consumo diario que representa una casa.

Ellos reconocen que sus familiares se vieron obligados a incrementar la cantidad de dinero que enviaban habitualmente ante situaciones provocadas por el Covid-19.

No sólo México se vio beneficiado con el envío de remesas de Estados Unidos. BBVA Reserch, sostiene que en Latinoamérica y el Caribe este fenómeno caracterizó al mes de junio, en donde los países más representativos fueron República Dominicana con un incremento de  25.7% más de envíos; Guatemala, 9.2% y El Salvador 9.8%.

(Editado por Rafael Prieto y Fern Siegel.)

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Violent Video of Killing Amps Up Cameroon’s Anglophone Conflict

Margaret Lum Timasam, 62, was working on her farm in Muyuka, in Southwest Cameroon, when her daughter died. Comfort Timasam, a 33-year-old mother of two, was killed by suspected separatists demanding independence from Cameroon.

“I was working on my farm when, suddenly, other farmers approached,” said Timasam. “They told me my daughter was killed by amba [separatist fighters] because she was a blackleg [a traitor]. How…she did nothing wrong?’’

Violence has torn through the Anglophone regions of Cameroon since lawyers and teachers went on strike in 2016 in peaceful protest against a government they charge is attempting to wipe out cultural values of the community, namely, Common Law and Anglo-Saxon Sub-System of education.


The Yaounde regime, led by President Paul Biya, 87, in power for 38 years, took the demonstrations as an act of rebellion to be crushed by the military. Timasam’s death is a painful reminder of the many gruesome killings in the escalating Anglophone conflict. 

In April, Cameroon acknowledged the army’s role in the killing of at least 13 civilians after initially denying responsibility. In a video that went viral on social media, Timasam’s hands are tied as she is brutalized and beheaded by suspected armed separatists who accused her of conniving with the Cameroon military.

Minister of Communication Rene Emmanuel Sadi said the Cameroon government “strongly condemns these heinous acts committed by secessionist terrorist gangs who, for absurd, illegitimate and unacceptable motives, continue to kill honest and innocent citizens all around.”

The Cameroon military launched a manhunt for the separatists, resulting in the arrest of dozens of suspects. Territorial Administration Minister Paul Atanga Nji restricted weapons, including machetes and iron rods, in English-speaking regions.

Timasam’s gruesome Aug. 11 murder sent shock waves throughout the country. Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in a statement, said the UN “unequivocally condemns this atrocious act of violence,” calling on the authorities to “swiftly launch an investigation into these allegations and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.”

The secessionist forces who took up arms against the state to defend their people number between 2,000 and 4,000 armed fighters.  They are splintered into two rival so-called Ambazonia interim governments.

One is led by Sisiku Julius Ayuk Tabe, the self-proclaimed president of Ambazonia, the state the revolution sought to create. He is currently serving a life sentence for terrorism and secession charges at a maximum-security prison in Yaounde.

The other group is headed by Samuel Ikome Sako, a U.S.-based former pastor, and the interim president of the unrecognized Federal Republic of Ambazonia. The split in the movement followed the arrest of Ayuk Tabe in Nigeria, along with nine other senior officials on their extradition to Cameroon.

Cameroon was once a single entity before and during German colonial rule from 1884-1916. The English-speaking people of Cameroon, who currently live in the northwest and southwest regions of the country, became distinct after British rule. Following a  1961 UN-organized plebiscite, these Cameroonians formed a federation with the Francophones, also a separate people after French rule. (In 1919, Britain and France divided the country; each administered their own territory. The territories achieved independence in 1961 and 1960, respectively.)

The Federal State structure later changed to a unitary state in 1972 after an organized referendum. Since then, Anglophone Cameroonians have been in a constant war to assert themselves and protect their cultural identity in a Francophone-dominated, centralized Cameroon.

Experts attribute the escalation of the war to other factors, as well.

“The conflict is the consequence of the lack of political will on the part of the government and her international partners to carry out a genuine and deep analysis of the conflict in order to understand its intricacies and be able to adapt interventions that respond to its deep-seated historical and structural causes,” said Dr. William Hermann Arrey, senior lecturer and chair of the Department of Peace and Development Studies at the Protestant University of Central Africa.

Cameroon has undertaken a number of initiatives to end the war, including the organization of a national forum to solve the conflict internally code-named the  Major National Dialogue.

“The President of the Republic had said there is some pertinence in the demands made by the lawyers and teachers, and the government did a lot through dialogue to come to terms with more than what they asked for,” said Professor Elvis Ngolle Ngolle, political scientist and member of the Central Committee of the Cameroon People’s Democratic Movement.

Such measures may not be enough.

“The government should establish a national action plan for genuine talks with leaders of the population. The Anglophone non-state armed groups should participate with goodwill in genuine dialogue should the government launch it,” Arrey said.

(Edited by Blake French and Fern Siegel)

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