Alejandro G. Iñárritu, right, directing the virtual-reality project “Carne y Arena.” Credit NYT Chachi Ramirez

by Janis Jimenez Jaimes

At the recent Academy Awards ceremony, Mexican director Alejandro G. Iñárritu topped the list of winners. His film Birdman took four Oscars in total including best picture. But, perhaps the biggest victory for the Mexican community came from Iñarritu’s acceptance speech. “I pray that we can find and build a government that we deserve,” he said to his countrymen after dedicating his award to Mexicans living in the U.S. and those in Mexico.

Iñarritu’s prayer, meager though it was, exposed the political instability in Mexico. A more telling sign: the forced disappearance of the 43 students from a rural teachers’ college in the state of Guerrero that has received little international media coverage. The state’s police intersected the normalistas’ small caravan returning from a trip to the city. Upon the signal of the commander in chief, the police opened fire against the unarmed students killing six people, injuring many, and taking into custody 43 students. With many speculations surrounding the case, the reality boils down to one thing: the whereabouts of the students remains unknown. The youngsters’ plight has spiraled the country in a struggle for better governance and an end to Mexico’s Narco-State.

Iñarritu also called attention to the treatment of the Mexican community living in the U.S., saying: “…the ones that live in this country, who are part of the latest generation of immigrants, I just pray that they can be treated with the same dignity and respect of the ones who came before and built this incredible immigrant nation.”

His statement came after the Supreme Court decided to put a halt to Obama’s immigration executive action, which would have allowed the parents of American children to apply for social security and worker’s permit. The decision has created a setback for the immigrant community who would have benefited from a stop on deportations. Even so, instead of amnesty, Obama’s “reform” would do little more than provide the least possible relief for migrant workers who actively contribute to the country’s economy.

Though the director might have done a better job by making a stronger, more forceful statement, at least he wasn’t rattled by Sean Penn’s underhanded joke when he announced the Best Picture award. To much backlash, Penn said: “Who gave this son-of-a-bitch his green card? Birdman!” And that nasty green card comment didn’t bring the award-winning director down. The comment spouts more of the same hate Iñarritu tried to speak against.