Mexico flag

Tuesday 16th June 2015 has become an unforgettable date. Real Estate Mogul Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the Presidency of the United States.

The event kicked off with Trump’s daughter Ivanka, who introduced the man to the stage. He was immediately taken aback by a vast number of people at Trump Tower, who came to support him. He did not start off with a typical speech, like other politicians do, on his reasons for wanting to become “Head of State.” The businessman began mocking other presidential hopefuls and berated against China and Mexico.

“When Mexico brings its people, they are not sending their best. They are not sending you. They are sending people that have lots of problems, and they are bringing those problems to us. They are bringing drugs. They are bringing crime, and they are rapists.”

My ears could not believe those words. The Republican candidate was vividly attacking Mexico and the Latino Community in the United States. If he is running, how on earth does he expect to win with that hateful speech?

First of all, Mexico does not send its people. It is a free country, and people who risk their lives by crossing the border are not forced at gunpoint. They simply want to live the “American Dream”, which has turned out to be a nightmare. High temperatures and an irregular dessert terrain caused up to 307 deaths in 2014, according to the U.S. government. The number of crossings has decreased because immigrants preferred to be handcuffed rather than being found dead.

Mexico was not alone. On the 25th of June Univision, the biggest Spanish-language television network in the United States decided no to air the Miss USA pageant, held on the 12th of July. That same morning, Colombian singer J. Balvin cancelled his performance for the event. An hour later, Chilean actor Cristian de la Fuente and Puerto Rican actress Roselyn Sanchez also pulled out of the show. Trump immediately backlashed, as he prohibited all Univision employees from using his golf courses in Miami, Florida. Days later, NBC decided to cancel the show.

Celebrities and enterprises have also joined the cause; Eva Longoria compared the tycoon to a new version of Adolf Hitler, and Ricky Martin pulled his charity event out of a Trump golf course. Department store Macy’s also decided not to sell his products anymore as a response from the public uproar due to his racist comments.

Suddenly, the social media was filled with Trump “memes” on how illegal Mexicans built “his hotels”, and that all his products come from China. Trump fired back on his Twitter account by attacking his contenders and boasting his recent poll results, which unfortunately still have him on the top of the GOP race.

Mexico got even by producing Trump Piñatas. Some merchants from border towns released their anger with typical paper-maché made containers filled with candies for children. People use them for birthday parties or Christmas posadas. But their last-minute production was selling like pancakes as Mexicans desperately needed to release their anger.

Mexico later announced it will not participate in this year’s Miss Universe pageant, and Ora TV, a television company controlled by Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim, cancelled a TV program; which ties with Trump.
But that does not seem to stop the Presidential hopeful. It has begun to worry the Latino Community and Americans, who would prefer to move to Mexico if the real-estate mogul gets to the White House.

Why Mexico? It is not as bad as the media has stereotyped it. Mexico has a lot to offer in business, tourism, education, and culture. As of 2014, the nation’s GDP was off around 1.2 billion dollars. Correspondingly, with globalization at its peak, international companies have been eyeing Mexico for their future investments; this is a result of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s economic reforms.

Moreover, British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg once stated that the Latin American nation’s global influence was increasing at an incredible rate. Mexico is Britain’s sixth commercial partner. Besides, let us not forget that the UK and Mexico signed an agreement to celebrate 2015 as “The Year of Mexico in the United Kingdom” and “The Year of the United Kingdom in Mexico”.

On the other hand, the influx of international tourism has grown in the past months. Mexico’s government informed that there was a 7.2 percent increase in international tourism. This contrary to the nation’s bad reputation, which has unfortunately affected some people’s minds who still think that Mexicans are lazy, wear sombreros and live under a cactus reflected over a strong sunbeam.

Furthermore, the nation has also become a paradise for foreigners who seek a better life, or even to try something different than their homeland. They are aware of the country’s problems. Nonetheless, they fight back and have decided to stay, as they know Mexico has a lot more to offer. As you can see, there is such a thing as the Mexican Dream.

Post by Priscilla Barquet-Diaz (check her LinkedIn profile here)