Gay activists accuse of discrimination at the Nobel Peace Summit in Yucatan

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Alex Orué claims that the organization and security personnel prevented him from participating in the meeting held in Mérida (Yucatán)

Alex Orué intended to enter on Thursday the inauguration of the World Summit of Nobel Peace Prizes held in Merida, in southeastern Mexico. To his surprise, the security personnel prevented him from entering the convention center where the activities related to the event would take place, which brought together 11 laureates. Orué, who is a belligerent activist for the rights of the LGTBI community in the region, received no explanation either that day or after reporting the fact on his social networks. For him, it is a vexation towards gay people in a conservative state, whose Congress has refused to approve equal marriage, against the tide of what happens in other regions of the North American country.

Orué is a spokesman for the Collective for the Protection of All Families in Yucatan, an organization that promotes equal marriage and defending the rights of the LGBTI community. The activist explains in conversation with EL PAÍS that he registered to participate in the summit on August 22. The organization of the event, says Orué, sent him a message informing him that he had met all the requirements and was given a QR code to attend: “We asked him to go to the International Congress Center of Yucatan, to from September 17 (…) so that your material will be delivered for your access to the event “.

The young man had mainly registered to participate in a panel titled Celebrating Our Differences, in which the gay theme would be played with Rigoberta Menchú, Nobel Peace Prize (1992), Guatemala; the singer  Miguel Bosé; Bernice Albertine King, daughter of Martin Luther King; and Mexican guitarist Joy Huerta. Sources from the press team of the summit organization consulted by this newspaper said, however, that Orué had made his registration late and that was why he had been rejected. They also claimed that the organization had apologized after hearing the incident. “I have not had contact from anyone on the Summit organizing committee,” the activist refutes.

The day he arrived at the convention center, Orué was invited to participate in the radio program conducted by Mexican journalist Gabriela Warkentin. Despite the initial rejection, and after the insistence of the Warkentin team, the young man was able to access the facilities where the journalist had set up his broadcast studio. After knowing what had happened to the young activist, another media asked to interview him, but he had to do the interview outside the convention center. “After the interview, when the journalists tried to enter the premises again, they did not want to leave them,” he says. Policemen had surrounded reporters and the young activist. For him, this type of action aims to “intimidate activists and journalists, and make up the state’s situation with the event.”

In addition to being a well-positioned tourist enclave in the world, Yucatan is one of the States with the lowest rates of violence in Mexico, a haven of peace among the horror that sows other regions of the North American country. That security fills the Yucatecans with pride, who feel privileged. But behind that image of a peaceful oasis – the Nobels declared it “State of Peace” at the close of the summit – another reality is hidden: it is a very conservative region, where hate crimes against the community are recorded on a daily basis LGBTI and which has high rates of femicide, according to human rights organizations .

That violence was recognized by the governor of the State, Mauricio Vila – of the conservative National Action Party – during his inauguration speech at the summit. “During the campaign last year, Vila signed the agenda of the National Front for the Family, which attacks the rights of the LGTBI community and the reproductive rights of women. He promised to defend traditional marriage. There has also been an absence of public policies to address discrimination. We get the impression that the governor has positions against the LGBTI community, “says Orué. These conservative positions are joined by the rejection of the local Congress to a law to legalize equal marriage in Yucatan.

For the young activist, it is incongruous that he has been prevented from entering a summit where for four days issues related to human rights were discussed and in whose panels there were many references to gay marriage, equality, and inclusion. Actor Diego Luna was one of the first to call the local Congress – in a conversation with Bosé and former soccer player Rafael Márquez – to pass the equality laws “because the LGTBI community does not feel represented.” There was an ovation among the public. The same thing happened at the closing of the summit, when Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin delivered an emotional speech in which he said that “as a member of the LGTBI community it is very simple: we as citizens do not want more rights, we do not want less. We want equality. “.

Orué and the organizations he works with have taken a positive rejection of his entry to the summit. They took advantage of Martin’s presence and a concert he held on Saturday in Mérida to peacefully protest in another area of ​​the city and read proclamations in favor of passing laws that guarantee equality for members of sexual diversity. “We see it as a victory,” he says. “The officials will be pressured to compromise, and although maybe that is not going to happen these days, this event leaves a trail of conversation that will help us make more pressure,” he says.

Source: el pais

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