Jacinto, 12, gives his speech to Congress. Jacinto, 12, gives his passionate speech.

Corruption is theme of fiery speech by boy, 12

Youth from remote Mayan community gives rousing address to children's parliament

A 12-year-old boy from a small and isolated Mayan community in Quintana Roo stole the show at the state’s Seventh Children’s Parliament with a fiery and animated speech against corrupt politicians.


Ángel Jacinto Noh Tun, a sixth-grade student at the primary school in the community of Xcabil in the Zona Maya, used his address to take particular aim at former governor Roberto Borge Angulo, who is under investigation for embezzlement.

“Crime in Quintana Roo is a slap across the face, an insult to those of us who love this land,” he declared.

Ángel urged state politicians to take action against what he described as “the saddest thing, the shameless and unpunished theft of ex-governor Roberto Borge.”

“Why don’t you, Mr. Deputy and Ms. Deputy, legislate to put him behind bars? Are you afraid or was your price already paid?” he continued to applause.

His words, delivered without referring to any notes, reverberated around the legislative palace.

Such was the energy, passion and articulateness with which he delivered his speech on April 26 that widespread media coverage ensued and it became a trending topic on social media.


Ángel told the newspaper El Universal, “I want to be a physicist and a politician because I want to do what the other politicians couldn’t do for the state, like support us because the resources don’t arrive, they stay for their benefit and they don’t send them here. They ignore us here because the village is small.”

Ángel’s speech to the children’s parliament was the culmination of a process that Ángel began with his teacher, Raúl Baez. Ángel asked for his assistance to prepare a speech on the topic, “Transparency and measures against acts of corruption.”

The research phase was not easy as there is no telephone, television or internet signal in Xcabil, a community set amidst the jungle, with very limited services and one that preserves Mayan customs and traditions.

Undeterred, Ángel collected newspaper clippings on his topic.

He is no stranger to hard work and overcoming adversity.

Every day he helps his father in the fields, cuts firewood so that his mother can cook, completes household chores and helps care for his baby brother in a modest home he shares with his parents and six siblings.

His parents, Minerva Tun Pat, who only speaks Maya, and Jacinto Noh Pat, are happy and proud of their son.

Minerva explained in her mother tongue that despite being very poor they are very happy but she hopes that her own children won’t have to suffer the same poverty when they are adults.

Some days they eat nothing more than roasted tomatoes and tortillas.

Ángel, for his part, is concerned about his parents’ health as they put their children’s well-being before their own.

“My dad really worries me,” he says. “His feet always hurt and he can’t walk. He has to wait for the pain to pass so that he can go to work and what he earns is so that we can eat. He doesn’t go to the doctor because there isn’t enough money. He’s dedicated to the corn fields and beekeeping but he’s best off when he has bricklaying work.”

Ángel is determined to continue his education but his teacher is concerned that his humble origins may prevent him from reaching his full potential.

“The boy already spoke up so I ask for heartfelt help so Ángel Jacinto can fulfill his dream and so his and his siblings’ education is not cut short,” Baez said.

Source: El Universal (sp)

Ángel’s speech before the Quintana Roo Children’s Parliament.

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  • Jose Yates

    They’ll kill him before he’s 25.

    • Güerito

      If he keeps this up, he might not make it to 15.

      • Playapapa

        Maybe he won’t make it to 15 or even 18, but he certainly seems to have more balls than the three of you put together!

        • Dan Tucker

          The comments have nothing to do with having balls, but only speaking a true opinion. . . . Why personally attack people´s opinions? They are right. . . . It´s the norm in Mexico until the people stand up and revolt.

        • Güerito

          The murder of social activists and community leaders in Mexico is a real problem. I suspect our comments pointing that out is what led to your childish post about testicle size.

          BTW: I saw this video last week, and I gave the kid a standing ovation and shared the video with several friends here in Mexico.

  • K. Chris C.

    He’ll be dead before he’s 18.

    “You cannot fight fire with words.”

    An American citizen, not US subject.

    • Bishadi

      But after the fire, words are what finishes the job.
      Peace will win and the obtuse will end up extinct.
      Evidence; the children evolve with knowledge.

  • Garry Montgomery

    Good kid, but it sounds as though his dad has gout. All of those tomatoes won’t help!