June 30, 2022
Hi, all! Welcome back.
- Puede leer la versión en español aquí.
This newsletter, edited by Astrid Galván and Laurin-Whitney Gottbrath, is 1,360 words, about a 5-minute read.
1 big thing: Few Latinos own guns
Fewer than one in five U.S. Latinos keep guns in their homes, and an even smaller number have used them to hunt or fired them for any reason, according to a new Axios-Ipsos Latino Poll in partnership with Noticias Telemundo.
Why it matters: The results, Russell writes, offer a rare window into the firearms culture among groups of Hispanics, and come a month after a gunman killed 19 children and two adults in the largely Mexican American city of Uvalde, Texas.
- 93% of the 1,018 U.S. Latino adults surveyed said they support requiring background checks for gun purchases, while 82% support so-called red flag laws.
The big picture: Last week, President Biden signed into law the first significant gun control legislation in decades.
- The law includes enhanced background checks for those under 21, funding for mental health and school safety, incentives for states to implement red flag laws and limits on the "boyfriend loophole."
By the numbers: 17% of the survey respondents said they have guns in their homes or garages — and about two-thirds of those said the guns belong to them personally.
- That compared with overall U.S. figures of around 40% who have said they have guns in their homes, according to various studies and surveys.
- Only 7% of Latinos said they have gone hunting or game-shooting, the poll found.
- Around 14% said they have shot or used a gun in any circumstances.
- 23% of Puerto Ricans said they had a gun in their homes, compared with 18% of Mexican Americans and 17% of other Latino groups.
Yes, but: Nearly 40% of gun retailers saw an increase in U.S. Latinos purchasing firearms in 2021, a survey by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearm industry trade association, found.
- Latinos purchased firearms in 2020 at a 49% higher rate than they did in 2019, NSSF said.
2. Startling maternal death rate
The pandemic led to an "unprecedented" increase in Hispanic pregnant women dying in 2020, Axios health care reporter Arielle Dreher writes.
Driving the news: Maternal mortality rates rose in the U.S. after COVID-19 took root, according to a new analysis, with deaths disproportionately occurring among Hispanic and Black women.
- There were large increases in the rate of maternal deaths from viral and respiratory diseases in 2020, Marie Thoma, one of the study co-authors, told Axios — which was consistent with COVID being listed as a contributing cause of death.
Details: Maternal deaths from diabetes and hypertensive disorders also increased during the pandemic, which could be linked to diagnosed COVID infections or a byproduct of women delaying necessary care, Thoma said, although the data doesn't shed light on those links.
- Other studies have found pregnant Latinas are at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19.
3. Smuggling victims sought better life
Authorities are still unearthing details about the deaths of 53 people found in a hot tractor-trailer in San Antonio while being smuggled into the United States, Astrid writes.
Driving the news: The families of the victims have begun coming forward with their stories.
- Two Honduran brothers, 19- and 22-years-old, were excited for their voyage to the U.S., where they hoped to earn enough money to buy their mother a house, NBC News reports.
- Wilmer Tulul and Pascual Melvin Guachiac, 13-year-old cousins from Tzucubal, Guatemala, left their Indigenous Quiche community on June 14 to seek a better life, AP reports.
Prosecutors said yesterday that the alleged driver, Homero Zamorano Jr., 45, was charged with smuggling resulting in death, and Christian Martinez, 28, was charged with a count of conspiracy to transport illegal aliens resulting in death.
- Abbott, who has made immigration a focal point of his re-election campaign, blamed President Biden within hours of the tragedy on Monday, tweeting that the deaths "are a result of his deadly open border policies."
Biden fired off a response Tuesday.
- "Exploiting vulnerable individuals for profit is shameful, as is political grandstanding around tragedy, and my administration will continue to do everything possible to stop human smugglers," he said.
Immigration experts and advocates argued that Abbott's claim of an open border is inaccurate.
- "With the border shut as tightly as it is today for migrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, people have been pushed into more and more dangerous routes. Truck smuggling is way up," Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, policy director for the advocacy group American Immigration Council, told the Houston Chronicle.
4. Colombia's ocean protections
Colombia's outgoing president announced this week that the country became the first in the Western Hemisphere to make 30% of its ocean territory a protected area, banning fishing and oil exploration, Marina writes.
Driving the news: President Iván Duque Márquez made the announcement during the United Nations Ocean Conference in Portugal on Monday.
Why it matters: Ocean degradation caused by overfishing, coral reef bleaching, pollution and other factors, along with rising sea levels and temperatures caused by climate change, increases the likelihood of death, flooding and a loss of food sources, scientists say.
- It also destroys the ocean’s biodiversity.
- Oceans produce half of all the world’s oxygen and absorb 31% of human-produced carbon dioxide.
Background: Over 100 countries have joined a pact to protect 30% of the oceans by 2030 since it was proposed three years ago.
- Less than 8% of the world’s oceans are protected areas, according to the Marine Conservation Institute, a nonprofit organization based in Seattle.
Details: Colombia announced the creation of four new protected marine areas at the UN conference. Almost a third of its oceans will now have preservation measures, and extractive activities will be forbidden in many areas.
Of note: Nine countries with Pacific coasts — the U.S., Mexico, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Canada, Panama, Costa Rica and Colombia — signed a declaration at the Summit of the Americas this month promising to work faster toward protecting ocean areas and to collaborate more.
5. Stories we're watching
1. A special body finalized a draft of Chile’s new constitution late Tuesday, readying it for a referendum on Sept. 4.
- A new constitution was a major demand in the 2019 protests over socioeconomic inequality.
- The 387 proposed articles include the "right to a healthy environment" through climate change protections, along with codified reproductive rights, although Congress will later decide how to legislate abortion.
- Chile currently allows abortion only in cases of rape, danger to the woman's health, or a non-viable pregnancy.
2. Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso survived an impeachment attempt this week amid large protests with road blockages that have stopped the flow of oil and food.
- The impeachment bill received only 80 of the 92 votes needed to remove the president.
6. Smile to go: 🏊🏼♀️ Just keep swimmin’
Chilean athlete and psychologist Bárbara Hernández has broken a Guinness Record by swimming one nautical mile in 15 minutes and 3 seconds, Marina writes.
Details: Hernández was recognized this month for the feat she accomplished back in February in the Strait of Magellan, where she also crossed between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
- A nautical mile is about 1.15 miles on land, or 1.85 kilometers.
- Hernández said she now wants to break open water records in the Antarctic.
🪅 Pachanga: Juliana Anthony Hernández and Elena Gaona
Talk about making things happen. Juliana Anthony Hernández and Elena Gaona saw a need for more Latino representation in children's books, so they launched a publishing company to do just that.
Hernández, a teacher who lives in San Diego, and Gaona, a former journalist from Washington, D.C., are behind La Joya Press. Their first book, “Between Friends/Entre Amigos” was released this month.
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