What place do children and young people occupy on the presidential agenda?

The reality does not change just because it is said so in the heat of the electoral campaigns, to express it as it is and without going around the roundabout, nor because it continues to be crushed every day on television and in full color. And this, as a Mexican that I am, does not make me happy, I do not celebrate it, even though I did not vote in 2018 for the current President. Because it turns out that like millions of compatriots, I live here and, above all, the people who are dearest to my heart live here. And the ones that hurt me the most are the little ones.

In Mexico there are 38.2 million girls, boys and adolescents from 0 to 17 years of age (49 percent women and 51 percent men); this represents 30 percent of the country’s total population. 26 percent are from 0 to 4 years old. 28 percent are 5 to 9 years old, 29 percent are 10 to 14 years old. 17 percent are between 15 and 17 years of age. 5.2 percent of girls, boys, and adolescents between the ages of 3 and 14 speak an indigenous language, and 1.7 percent of those under 18 are Afro-Mexicans or Afro-descendants. 7.8 percent of girls, boys and adolescents from 0 to 17 years of age have some kind of disability. 9.6 percent of girls, boys and adolescents from 3 to 17 years of age do not have any level of schooling.

In 2019 there were 3 million, 269 thousand 395 girls, boys and adolescents between 5 and 17 years of age who carried out some economic activity; of which one million 755 thousand 482 (53 percent) carried out an activity not permitted by the Federal Labor Law. These data are from the 2019 National Child Labor Survey (ENTI) and the 2020 Population and Housing Census, both from Inegi.

What’s in it for them? What is there for those who have not had the fortune of being born into a family that can give them the possibility of accessing a good education, food three times a day, first-world health services, the opportunity to Being in other latitudes and learning that there are cultures different from ours and that we are part of a whole? To point out just a few aspects that so many Mexican children and youth do not enjoy. There are creatures that in their short existence only know about poverty, lack and/or physical, emotional and sexual violence. How, with these tragedies on their backs at the age when they play, dream, laugh −because everything looks beautiful with the eyes of innocence− are they going to be healthy and balanced adults later?

Child poverty, UNICEF points out, “has particular characteristics that give it a sense of urgency, since the chances of it becoming permanent and the consequences it causes are irreversible, which compromises the physical and cognitive development of children and exposes them to school dropout, higher mortality from preventable or curable diseases and not having an adequate or sufficient diet”.

Likewise, the international organization highlights that in Mexico there are great lags, verbi gratia, 12 percent of children under 5 years of age still suffer from chronic malnutrition; Only 30 percent received exclusive breastfeeding during their first 6 months of life and 65 percent do not have access to children’s books, which may be a factor in the poor levels of reading and writing in primary school. The lags in education are observed mainly in terms of learning, since 8 out of 10 students in the country do not reach the required knowledge in their educational level and 4 million children do not go to school”. And to all this is added the bullying and adolescent pregnancies, and addictions, and the vulnerability that accompanies the orphanhood of principles and values. What aridity inside!

That is why the unconsciousness of those who govern today rebels against me, and I say this in the singular, because in this country the leaf of a tree does not move if he does not order it. With so many deficiencies and evils that our homeland has, the individual has not had the slightest qualms in ordering his henchmen in Congress to allocate millions in amounts to his whims of a frustrated wren, call them Felipe Ángeles airport, Mayan Train, refinery Dos Bocas, indiscriminate distribution of resources to populist programs that, it has been proven, do not bring anyone out of poverty, quite the contrary. The austerity with which he wants to distinguish his government is language. He takes pleasure in repeating “we are not the same as before”. That story is just swallowed by his chains.

Favoritism, lies, luxuries in the Government, crimes without punishment on behalf of crime more organized than ever, corruption in all its unfortunate facets overlapping with impunity and the long etcetera of crap for which they are going to Mentor when they talk about their misrule. There are those who say that we are so bad that they even miss the previous ones. What transformation? There were Mexicans who in good faith voted for that. This is what it is, and I don’t celebrate it.

But hey, this is not the time for crying, let’s see if we wake up, compatriots, and think about how we can change the destiny of our land because what you see is not rosy at all. And if it’s not for us, at least let’s have the sizes on the one hand and the generosity to do it for so many creatures that don’t deserve this on the other. The only ones who can stop this plague are us and it is not easy. They have the economic resources to continue buying wills and tying complicities. And still, it can.

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Deborah Acker

I write epic fantasy; self-published via KDP. Devoted dog mom to my 10 yr old GSD, Shadow! DM not a priority; slow response at best #amwriting #author.

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