Fighting Against Oppression

The media is supposed to report facts, not their personal feelings and opinions. Sadly, that’s not always the case. Fortunately, there are those that commit themselves to a high standard of professional etiquette. Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin are two such men. They are the co-founders of Phoenix New Times and Village Voice Media.

They got their start in reporting in the early 70s. Lacey moved to Arizona to attend Arizona State University, where he met Larkin. During the 70s, they noticed the way that the ultra-conservative media portrayed local college antiwar protests. Lacey and some friends wrote a paper about the real issues, which later became the first paper published by Phoenix New Times.

Since then, Phoenix New Times has taken on numerous unjust activities. Most notably were the acts of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. What began as a New Times story turned into a constitutional battle and ended in a $3.75 million settlement.

After all the strife, Lacey and Larkin found a way to overcome their trauma and do something good for their community. They created the Frontera Fund, a fund that supports organizations that advocate for human rights and freedom of speech in Arizona and along the Mexican border.

While the fund is an inspirational wonder, their story is a more inspirational wonder. It’s always difficult to take on corruption, especially in law enforcement, but Lacey and Larkin never let that fear stop them. When they discovered Sheriff Arpaio’s dirty activities, they reported the truth.

That simple righteous act upset Sheriff Arpaio in the worst of ways. He became hell-bent on destroying Phoenix New Times and taking Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin down. He tried many harassment methods to get them to stop publishing stories, but he eventually resorted to desperate and illegal methods. Read more: Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund

There’s no excuse for Arpaio’s actions beyond a certain point. He got caught red-handed doing many things he wasn’t supposed to be doing; namely, his outrageous assault on the Constitution. He violated the First Amendment in every way imaginable just because Phoenix New Times and its executives refused to let him get away with his reprehensible acts.

Fed up with their storytelling, Arpaio sent the feared “Selective Enforcement Unit”. Yes, that unit’s actions are as controversial as their name suggests. They arrested Lacey and Larkin in the middle of the night and forced them into unmarked SUVs. The deputies then took Lacey and Larkin to separate jails miles away from each other.


How Talos Energy Revolutionized the Oil Sector in Mexico

In 2015, Talos Energy from Houston, Premier Oil Plc from London and Sierra Oil and Gas from Mexico collaborated and drilled the first private exploration oil well in Mexican waters. That has been unheard of for the past 80 years. Mexico voted to open its ailing oil industry to private investment which in turn led to the three companies winning the rights to the prospect. The well located in Sureste Basin in Tabasco holds close to 100 to 500 million barrels of crude oil. It was closely watched by the oil industry because it was one of the most captivating exploration wells to be drilled at the time.

Drilling was expected to achieve high success due to the structure of the basin. The drilling was supposed to take 90 days and cost $16 Million. Highly skilled personnel from Mexico and The United States worked together efficiently to ensure the venture was successful. Talos energy owned a 35 percent stake in the enterprise and was the primary operator of the well while Premier held 25 percent and Sierra 40 percent. The venture created local jobs and generated revenue for the Mexican government.

Tim Duncan and his partners founded Talos energy with $600 million equity from previous investors. He is the C.E.O of the company. The company has assets in the Gulf of Mexico and a team of not less than 60 professionals. Its headquarters are in Houston. Talos Energy’s primary objective is exploration and acquisition of oil and gas. Talos Energy was named the best workplace among small businesses in 2013. Talos Energy in 2013 acquired helix Energy Solution for $620 Million. Talos energy also finalized the acquisition of Energy Resource Technology in 2013. The company is rapidly growing.

Tim Duncan values interaction with employees and encourages them to offer their best ideas to help grow the company. Talos Energy is keen on discovering and drilling more exceptional wells. A liner has been set by Talos Energy to protect discovered reservoirs. The company’s commercial manager Ash Shepherd was in 2016 awarded for his leadership skills. He was instrumental in signing the first two production sharing contracts that led to Constitutional Energy Reforms.


Growing Significance of Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund and Other Migrant Rights Organizations

Migrant rights are one of the intensely discussed subjects in the recent years as humanity could watch the sufferings of many migrants across the world in the recent years.

It created wide-spread torture and inhuman treatments in various stages of the migrant journey. It should be noted that majority of the people who are facing migrant issues are either children or women, and this further extends the violations to greater levels. Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey:  http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/jim-larkin/ and http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/potmsearch/detail/submission/6427818/Michael_Lacey

For instance, while coming to the recent deportations after Donald Trump assuming the power in the U.S., many of the children who migrated to the country from Mexico or other countries at very young ages are forced to return. Since many of them are deeply integrated into American society, the shift is a real pain.

All these deportations are by devastating their business, American families, and more. It is widely criticized that the Trump administration is following cruel policies when it comes to migrants. The administration has spoken in a way that more than 11 million undocumented migrants are a threat to the public safety of the country.

Various studies have proved that more than 90 percent of those immigrants have no criminal history or records, and some studies also showed that migrant neighborhoods in the country are much safer than other areas. However, Trump and his supporters portray the migrants as potential criminals and a real threat to the society. Read more: Phoenix New Time and Village Voice Media | Wikipedia

Though the attempts of the administration go beyond the normalcy and become civil and human rights issues in most cases, a number of reputed non-profit groups in the country is actively intervening into various migrant issues to reduce the struggles of those souls. While some of these groups are larger organizations with networks around the globe, others are initiatives in some particular areas or a setup by some individuals.

It includes Amnesty International, American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch, migrationpolicy.org, and more. It should be noted that these organizations initiate petitions, campaigning programs, address various regional issues, and more. While coming to migrants, the groups financially support them, give them legal aid, offer healthcare programs, and more.

While coming to the initiatives of individuals, Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund is the perfect example with a clear vision. It was instituted by the journalists, Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey with the settlement amount they received for challenging their illegal arrest by Maricopa County Sheriff.

The co-founders of Phoenix New Times were arrested on October 18, 2007, from their home at midnight for reporting a strange grand jury proceeding of asking news reporters’ notes featuring the Sherriff. Additionally, the grand jury even demanded the identity of the people who read the news regarding the Sherriff.

Considering their decades of experience in challenging various First Amendment rights violations, the journalist duo sued the county in the U.S. Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals acquitted both the journalists and granted them a settlement amount of $3.75 million.

Both Lacey and Larkin decided to setup Larkin & Lacey Frontera Fund to support various groups that are backing and advocating human, civil, and migrant rights along with freedom of speech in Arizona.