Saturday, December 2, 2023

2 Mexicans recognized for making world a better place

Two Mexicans are among nine people from around the world who have won the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Inspirations Awards this year, which rewards people for their efforts to make the world a better place.

Ana Baquedano Celorio, a student who convinced lawmakers to make “revenge porn” illegal after an ex-boyfriend shared her nude selfie, and Lorenzo Rojas-Bracho, a biologist who braved poachers and pirates in efforts to save a critically endangered marine animal, will be featured on a December 30 episode of the BBC World Service program, Outlook.

Baquedano, now in her 20s, was a teenager when she sent a naked selfie to her boyfriend, who promised to delete it but instead later shared it, resulting in her being bullied and harassed.

Instead of being cowed by the experience, Baquedano led a campaign to make what her ex-boyfriend did a crime in her home state of Yucatán, which since 2018 punishes with jail time the publication of intimate images of people without their consent and classifies such images as child pornography if the person in the image is under 18.

Rojas-Bracho is a biologist known by some as “Mr. Vaquita” for his work since the 1990s in conserving the vaquita marina, a rare, endangered marine animal that is described as a tiny porpoise.

Part of Rojas-Bracho’s achievements regarding the vaquita been convincing other scientists that the animal still exists, but Rojas also carried on his conservation efforts in the face of threats from cartel-supported poachers.

The Inspirations Awards, given annually by the BBC World Service’s long-running program Outlook, shine a light on people with extraordinary personal stories. Both Baquedano and Rojas-Bracho’s stories have been featured on previous episodes of Outlook over the past two years.

“Every day on Outlook, we hear from people who take your breath away with their resilience, compassion, courage and determination to overcome difficulty and make a real difference in the world. These awards are our way of applauding their achievements,” said Mary Hockaday, controller of the BBC World Service English. “And in a year that has been so challenging, we’re delighted to end 2020 by celebrating the stories of people who give us so much hope.”

Some of this year’s other Inspirations Award winners included a London bus driver who converted a bus into a roving music studio that gave young men in local gangs the opportunity to make music and even virtually collaborate with rival gang members, and a former professional tennis player from Sierra Leone who founded a sports foundation that supports the country’s next generation of athletes.

Mexico News Daily

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