11 Stories That Rocked the Latinx Community in 2016

It’s been a rough year to be Latinx. Over the last 12 months, our community experienced an unbelievable amount of hatred, from the June 12 attack at Pulse nightclub and the police killings of unarmed teens to our children being harassed on their school campuses and, of course, Donald Trump’s terrifying presidential election win.

Scroll through for some of the worst news stories to rock the Latinx community and keep you enraged into the New Year.

MORE: Presenting the Badass Ladies Who Inspired Us in 2016

1. TSTRL: Donald Trump

Donald Trump Wins the 2016 Presidential Election

Donald Trump’s presidential election win in November likely hit our comunidad, collectively, the hardest. After months of campaigning, registering our friends and family to vote and hitting the polls in record numbers against the real estate mogul, hate won, leaving so many of us fearful of what’s to come when Trump, who pledges to deport millions of undocumented immigrants and build a wall along the Mexico-U.S. border, takes office on January 20.

2. TSTRL: Classroom Racism

Latinx Children Are Attacked on School Campuses

Trump’s election win has ignited hate against Latinxs, and our children aren’t safe. Just as soon as the former reality TV star was named the president-elect, there was an uptick in racist and xenophobic bulling across U.S. schools, from teachers telling their students their parents will be deported and classmates passing out deportation documents to kids yelling “white power” and spitting on their Black and brown peers. 

3. TSTRL: Puerto Rican Father Killed

Racist Killing in Milwaukee

Violence against communities of color, particularly Latinxs, has risen since Trump started spewing his racist and xenophobic rhetoric. Among the growing crimes: the murder of Jesus Manso-Perez. Dan J. Popp, a 39-year-old white man, killed Manso-Perez back in March because he was angry that the Afro-Latino barely spoke English and was from Puerto Rico. Popp also murdered Asian couple Mai Vue, 32, and Phia Vue, 36.

4. TSTRL: Pulse Nightclub

The Mass Shooting at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub

In June, the U.S. experienced the deadliest mass shooting in modern history. The mass murderer’s target: Orlando’s LGBTQ Latinx community. Ninety percent of the 49 dead at Pulse were Latinx, and most of them were Puerto Rican. 

5. TSTRL: Latino Teen Killed

Police Killings

Since January, 166 Latinx people have been killed by the hands of the police, children as young as 14-year-old Jesse Romero, unarmed teens like Pedro Villanueva and, most recently, 73-year-old Francisco Serna, who had dementia.  

6. TSTRL: Erykah

The Murders of Trans Latinas

In 2015, 21 transgender people were killed in the U.S. While 2016 isn't over yet, the number of trans murders already exceeds last year's. A mid-November report by GLAAD found that 26 trans people were killed in 2016, most of them Black or Latina. Erykah Tijerina, pictured above, Jasmine Sierra and Monica Loera were among those killed.

7. TSTRL: Juan Gabriel

The Loss of Juanga

In August, the Latinx community lost a legend: Juan Gabriel. The Mexican singer-songwriter, considered a queer icon, died from a heart attack in Santa Monica, Calif. on August 28, bringing Latinxs across the country and world to tears. 

8. TSTRL: Earthquake

The Earthquake in Ecuador

In April, Ecuador endured one of the deadliest earthquakes in its history. As many as 654 people were killed and 2,500 more were injured in the 7.8-magnitude quake that hit the country's Pacific coast.

9. TSTRL: Zika

Zika Reaches Epidemic Proportions

The Zika virus, a flu-like virus transmitted by mosquito bites and sex that can lead to severe birth defects and death, broke out in 2015 but reached epidemic levels by mid-2016. The virus erupted in Brazil and has since made its way through Latin America, the Caribbean and even Florida. Victims have overwhelmingly been Latin Americans and U.S. Latinxs.

10. TSTRL: Venezuelan Flag

The Crisis in Venezuela Grows

The economic crisis in Venezuela exasperated in 2016, with women reluctantly opting for sterilization so they don't get pregnant, newborns being placed in cardboard boxes at Venezuelan hospitals, children fainting in classes because they’re hungry, and impoverished families giving their children away. The situation is dire, prompting hundreds of thousands of venezolanos to take to the streets in Caracas for the #TomadeCaracas protest in September.

11. TSTRL: PR Flag

The U.S. Reinforces Colonialism in Puerto Rico with PROMESA

Over the summer, Congress passed PROMESA, the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, to create a control board tasked with running the island’s finances and restructuring its $70 billion debt for the next five years. The board, or “junta,” as it’s called in Puerto Rico, is made up of seven unelected members of the U.S. Congress, reinforcing colonialism in an island that has been under U.S. power since 1898.