Strong Winds Topple Stage at Campaign Rally in Mexico, Killing at Least 9

People look at a forensic service vehicle at the site after a gust of wind caused a structure to collapse, resulting in multiple fatalities and injuries, at a campaign event for the Citizens' Movement party, in San Pedro Garza Garcia, Nuevo Leon, Mexico May 22, 2024. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril
People look at a forensic service vehicle at the site after a gust of wind caused a structure to collapse, resulting in multiple fatalities and injuries, at a campaign event for the Citizens' Movement party, in San Pedro Garza Garcia, Nuevo Leon, Mexico May 22, 2024. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril
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Strong Winds Topple Stage at Campaign Rally in Mexico, Killing at Least 9

People look at a forensic service vehicle at the site after a gust of wind caused a structure to collapse, resulting in multiple fatalities and injuries, at a campaign event for the Citizens' Movement party, in San Pedro Garza Garcia, Nuevo Leon, Mexico May 22, 2024. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril
People look at a forensic service vehicle at the site after a gust of wind caused a structure to collapse, resulting in multiple fatalities and injuries, at a campaign event for the Citizens' Movement party, in San Pedro Garza Garcia, Nuevo Leon, Mexico May 22, 2024. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

 A strong gust of wind toppled the stage at a campaign rally Wednesday evening in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, killing at least nine people — including a child — and injuring 63, the state's governor said.
The collapse occurred during an event attended by presidential long-shot candidate Jorge Álvarez Máynez, who ran to escape. Videos of the collapse on social media showed people screaming, running away and climbing out from under metal polls, The Associated Press reported.
The victims “will not be alone in this tragedy,” Máynez told reporters Wednesday night, adding that he had suspended upcoming campaign events.
Afterward, soldiers, police and other officials roamed the grounds of the park where the event took place while many nearby sat stunned and haunted by the tragedy.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he “sends a hug to family members, friends of the victims and political supporters.” Condolences poured in from across Mexico, including by other presidential candidates.
In a video message, Nuevo Leon Gov. Samuel Garcia, a leading member of Máynez’s Citizens Movement party, asked residents to shelter in their houses for the next two hours.
Máynez wrote in his social media accounts that he went to a hospital after the accident in the wealthy suburb of San Pedro Garza Garcia, near the city of Monterrey. He said he was in good condition.
“The only important thing at this point is to care for the victims of the accident,” he wrote.
Videos of the accident showed Máynez waving his arm as the crowd chanted his name. But then he looked up to see a giant screen and metal structure toppling toward him. He ran rapidly toward the back of the stage to avoid the falling structure, which appeared to consist of relatively light framework pieces as well as what appeared to be a screen with the party’s logo and theater-style lights.
Máynez has been running third in polls in the presidential race, trailing both front-runner Claudia Sheinbaum of the ruling Morena Party and opposition coalition candidate Xóchitl Gálvez. Both sent their condolences, and Sheinbaum canceled a campaign event in nearby Monterrey the next day “in solidarity” with victims and their loved ones.
“My condolences and prayers with the families of the dead, and my wishes for a speedy recovery to all those injured,” wrote Gálvez in a social media post.
The accident happened at the height of campaign season, with many events held this week and next in anticipation of the June 2 presidential, state and municipal elections.

Campaign events are being held this week and next in anticipation of the June 2 presidential, state and municipal elections.



Trump Blasts Immigrants for Taking Jobs

Former US President Donald Trump (AFP)
Former US President Donald Trump (AFP)
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Trump Blasts Immigrants for Taking Jobs

Former US President Donald Trump (AFP)
Former US President Donald Trump (AFP)

Donald Trump blamed immigrants for stealing jobs and government resources as he courted separate groups of Black voters and hardcore conservatives in battleground Michigan on Saturday.

The Republican former president also made several new baseless claims attacking the nation's voting system.

But Trump's fiery comments on illegal immigration, long a staple in his unapologetic message, marked a connecting theme in downtown Detroit as he sought to stitch together a delicate political coalition at both a Black church and a group known to attract white supremacists.

"The people coming across the border — all those millions of people — they're inflicting tremendous harm to our Black population and to our Hispanic population," Trump told a cheering crowd of thousands of conservative activists packed into a vast convention hall, The AP reported.

“They're not human beings. They're animals,” he said later in referencing members of violent immigrant gangs.

Trump’s diverse weekend schedule underscores the evolving political forces shaping the presidential election this fall as he tries to deny Democratic President Joe Biden a second term.

Few states may matter more in November than Michigan, which Biden carried by less than 3 percentage points four years ago. And few voting groups matter more to Democrats than African Americans, who made up the backbone of Biden’s political base in 2020. But now, less than five months before Election Day, Black voters are expressing modest signs of disappointment with the 81-year-old Democrat.

Trump, who turned 78 on Friday, is fighting to take advantage of his apparent opening.

His crowd was far smaller, but also warmly receptive, when he visited the 180 Church earlier in the day. Derelict vehicles sat outside the modest brick building with “Black Americans for Trump” signs affixed. Rap music and barbecue smoke wafted from a pre-event gathering organized by the Black Conservative Federation group.

“It’s a very important area for us,” Trump told the church crowd, which included a significant number of white people. He promised to return “some Sunday” for a sermon.

He argued that the Black community “is being hurt” by immigrants in the country illegally.

“They’re invading your jobs,” he said.

Trump offered a similar message later in the day while addressing the “People's Convention” of Turning Point Action, a group that the Anti-Defamation League says has been linked to a variety of extremists.

Roughly 24 hours before the former president spoke, well-known white supremacist Nick Fuentes entered the hall surrounded by a group of cheering supporters. Security quickly escorted him out, but Fuentes created political problems for Trump after attending a private lunch with the former president and the rapper formerly known as Kanye West at Trump’s Florida estate in 2022.

Turning Point has emerged as a force in GOP politics in the Trump era, particularly among his “Make America Great Again” movement, despite the Anti-Defamation League’s warning that the group “continues to attract racists.”

“Numerous individuals associated with the group have made bigoted statements about the Black community, the LGBTQ community and other groups,” the ADL, an international anti-hate group, wrote in a background memo. “While TPUSA (Turning Point USA) leaders say they reject white supremacist ideology, known white nationalists have attended their events.”

Turning Point spokesperson Andrew Kolvet dismissed the ADL’s characterization as “smears and lies.” He added that Turning Point has been blocking Fuentes from attending its events for “years.”

“The ADL is a scourge on America, which sows poison and division. They’ve completely lost the plot,” Kolvet said, describing the ADL’s criticism as “a badge of honor.”