In a 4-to-1 decision, the Mexican Supreme Court has ruled that recreational marijuana use is legal, an enormous change in policy that will impact the drug war, our relations to the US, and pretty much everything about the path our country has been on for decades.
As debate rages about whether to introduce a sugar tax, this is the story of how Mexico defied its own powerful fizzy drinks industry to impose a tax on soda. [more inside]
In 1929, two years after his historic solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, Charles Lindbergh and his wife Anne photographed archaeological sites in the American Southwest and Mayan sites in Central America (Google books preview) as a side-gig while Charles helped set North America air mail routes. Almost 80 years later, Erik Berg re-visited those same Southwestern sites, as seen in the exhibition Oblique Views: Archaeology, Photography, and Time (media bank) and book Oblique Views: Aerial Photography and Southwest Archaeology. [more inside]
San Patricio & Barra De Navidad will experience equivalent EF5 tornado & 20 foot tsunami at same time. After a remarkable burst of intensification, Hurricane Patricia is headed to the Mexican coast with 200 mile per hour (320 kph) sustained winds. It is the strongest hurricane on record in the Western Hemisphere.
A drug mule for a Mexican cartel flies into Dayton, OH, gives up a kilo of heroin to federal agents, and provides a narrow glimpse of the current drug trade. (SLWaPo). [more inside]
Death on Sevenmile Road
The rush to militarize the U.S.-Mexico border has tragic consequences in Texas.
The rush to militarize the U.S.-Mexico border has tragic consequences in Texas.
California has long been home to immigrants from around the world (and from within the U.S.). What is less known, however, is that such longstanding histories of immigration and internal domestic migration have made California a fertile ground for extremely diverse and vibrant accordion musical cultures. With that, here is background on four immigrant populations —Italians, Creoles, Lebanese/Middle Eastern, and Mixtec/Mexican — to give more background the Squeezebox Stories, about an hour of history and tales of the accordion, filtered through customs and cultures found in California. [more inside]
Francisco E. Balderrama on Fresh Air: America's Forgotten History Of Mexican-American 'Repatriation' In the 1930s, during the Depression, about a million people were forced out of the U.S. across the border into Mexico. It wasn't called deportation. It was euphemistically referred to as repatriation, returning people to their native country. But about 60 percent of the people in the Mexican repatriation drive were actually U.S. citizens of Mexican descent. [more inside]
Urban Myth Confirmed True as Archaeologists Discover Hidden Tunnels in Mexico "Talk of a maze of underground tunnels beneath the Colonial city of Puebla in Mexico have long been disregarded as mere urban legend. However, city authorities have now confirmed that their existence is no myth. Believed to date back as early as 1531, when the city was founded, the subterranean tunnels are believed to extend as far as 10 kilometers beneath the historic center of the city." (more here (in spanish))
- 100 Years of Fashion in 2 Minutes
- 100 Years of Men's Fashion in 3 Minutes
- 100 Years of Men's Swimwear in 3 Minutes (women's)
- 100 Years of Fitness in 100 Seconds
- 100 Years of Female Dance
- 100 Years of Music
- AFI's 100 Years ... (youtube playlist from American Film Institute)
- 100 Years of Black Beauty
- 100 Years of History in 2 Minutes
Last saturday Ruben Espinosa, a Mexican photojournalist, was found dead in his apartment in a middle-class neighborghood in Mexico City. With him, four women were also found dead, three of which lived in the same apartment, and a domestic employee. All five showed signs of torture and had been killed with a shot to the head, execution style. [more inside]
The Intercept investigates the Mexican government's account of the September 26, 2014 disappearance of 43 students of the Escuela Normal Rural Raúl Isidro Burgos, also known as the Ayotzinapa Normal School. Part One. Part Two. [more inside]
Tacos 101: Part I: History and Etiquette. Part II: Condiments, Meat, and Tortillas. Part III: The LA Taco Scene. A Beginner’s Guide to Offal Tacos. The Rise of the Compton Taco. Tacopedia: A Complete Guide to the Taco Styles of LA.
Hundreds of mass graves have been discovered across Mexico, but the government isn’t keeping tabs. How many clandestinely buried bodies are rotting under the country’s surface? (SLBF)
Mexico mummies: Climbers find eerie head in snow, dig to find mummies embracing The mummies will be transported down the mountain as early Monday. These frozen Mexico mummies will make their descent with climbers who have special cases to keep the frozen mummies intact. [more inside]
A telecommunications worker has disappeared, and there seems to be evidence that drug cartels are responsible. Missing man Felipe del Jesús Peréz García is one of about 40 IT professionals who have been taken in the region, possibly to maintain communications infrastructure for drug lords.
Gone With A Trace (pop-up audio warning): a 20-min. audio documentary about photographer Richard Misrach (previously) and the objects he finds along the US/Mexico border, which are then turned into musical instruments by Guillermo Galindo. There's an accompanying photo slide on cbc's The Current site.
The Mexican political activist and critic Carlos Monsiváis once said that cartoonist Eduardo Del Rio, a.k.a Rius, was more important than the Ministry of Education in getting Mexicans to read. Rius' work forms the basis for a wide-ranging new exhibition at Mexico City's Museo Del Estanquillo, along with the lesser-known output of his spiritual predecessor, Andrés Audiffred. [more inside]
Product of Mexico: Hardship on Mexico's farms, a bounty for U.S. tables — the first in a series of four Los Angeles Times long-form stories about labor conditions discovered during an 18-month investigation of Mexican vegetable farms that supply produce to the United States. [more inside]
There is little trace of the presence of the South Asians who lived and worked in Mexico during the colonial period except for one woman whose legend lives on even today. She was purportedly born Mira in the kingdom of the Gran Mogol, or the Great Mughals, where she was captured by the Portuguese who eventually sold her to the Spanish at the port of Manila.The 'Mughal Princess' of Mexico: At the South Asian American Digital Archive, Meha Priyadarshini briefly explores the myths and realities of Catarina de San Juan (1606-1688), a religious mystic/visionary who sailed on the Manila galleon to Mexico nearly four hundred years ago and over time became associated in popular legend with a well-known style of dress. The etymological complexity of one keyword involved should not be underestimated and itself tells another story about the history of colonialism.
Chuck Bowden's final story,16 years in the making, is a fascinating 3 part read in to the torture and murder of DEA agent Enrique Camarena in 1985. [Part 1][Part 2][Part 3] [more inside]
The Green Monster: How the Border Patrol became America’s most out-of-control law enforcement agency.
A long-form report from Politico.
A long-form report from Politico.
Vintage Photo Finds is a site with vintage photographs. According to creator Joel Snow:
The following pictures were found as negatives at the bottom of a cardboard box at a flea market. I shot them with my SLR on a lightbox and inverted them back to positives with Photshop. I'm not sure if it was a single photographer, or many, but many of the shots show an artistic and creative eye and share a similar style.[more inside]
Something happened the night of September 26th, 2014 near the town of Iguala, 100 miles from Acapulco, Mexico. According to The New Yorker: “Scores of uniformed municipal police and a handful of masked men dressed in black shot and killed six people, wounded more than twenty, and rounded up and detained forty-three students in a series of attacks carried out at multiple points and lasting more than three hours [...] The forty-three students taken into police custody are now ‘disappeared.” All 43 students, all young men who were studying to become rural teachers, are still missing, presumed dead. [more inside]
Planned cities are not a new idea (Palmanova, Italy, 1593). From Washington, D.C. (1791), to Canberra, Australia (1911), to Brasilia, Brazil (1957), planned cities have long been an urban dream (from space), perhaps most frequently applied to national capitals. But they don't always work out as planned. [more inside]
Joanna Goddard has been interviewing American women raising their children in other countries, to hear how motherhood around the world compared and contrasted with motherhood in America. She's talked to parents in Norway, Japan, Congo, Northern Ireland, Mexico, Abu Dhabi, India, England, China, Germany, Australia, Turkey, and Chile. [more inside]
Moving the Mexican Border
The whole point of setting the border between Mexico and the United States at the deepest channel of the Rio Grande was that the river was not supposed to move. That was the thinking in 1848 [...][more inside]
I am on the western edge of the United States-Mexico border to understand more about the most publicised and most crossed border in the world. Ben Stubbs visits one of the most notorious borders in the world and reflects on Australia's frontier issues.
The Man Without a Mask, The New Yorker on Cassandro and the role of the exótico within lucha libre.
“It was Baby Sharon who encouraged me to step out of Mister Romano,” Armendáriz said. Baby Sharon was an exótico—a luchador who wrestles in drag. Exóticos have been around since the nineteen-forties. At first, they were dandies, a subset of rudos with capes and valets. They struck glamour-boy poses and threw flowers to the audience. As exóticos got swishier and more flirtatious, and started dressing in drag, the shtick became old-school limp-wristed gay caricature. Crowds loved to hate them, screaming “Maricón!” and “Joto!” (“Faggot!”). The exóticos made a delightful contrast with the super-masculine brutes they met in the ring. Popular exóticos insisted that it was all an act—in real life, they were straight. Baby Sharon was among the first, according to Armendáriz, to publicly say that, no, he was actually gay.[more inside]
A monster mouth doorway, ruined pyramid temples and palace remains emerged from the Mexican jungle as archaeologists unearthed two ancient Mayan cities.
YuMex - Yugoslav Mexico is a 45-minute documentary by Miho Mazzini about Yu-Mex, the genre of music comprising Yugoslav interpretations of Mexican music.
They grew up in America, were deported or returned to Mexico for other reasons and faced challenges and opportunities alike. A recently funded kickstarter for a book called "Los Otros Dreamers" tells the struggles and hopes of the other DREAMers. Nancy Landa, a deported honors graduate of California State University, who has lived in Tijuana and London since her deportation in 2009, is about to begin a research project collecting the experiences of voluntary and involuntary returns to Mexico after a long time in the U.S. To help in a country that is foreign to them the Mexican nonprofit Dream in Mexico supports young people who just arrived in Mexico. The German Der Spiegel interviewed three young deportees and how returning to Mexico after a lifetime in the U.S was both, a culture shock and an opportunity for a better life. [in German]
With the completion of the group stages, three quarters of the matches in the 2014 FIFA World Cup have been played. Now, it's a straight round-by-round elimination for the remaining 16 teams in their quest to reach the final. There's been biting, alternative commentary, mood swings, (allegedly) sulky England players, exciting matches, the USA vs Ronaldo, Europeans taking early return flights, deep analysis, a fantasy league and many goals - but who will finally lift the trophy in Rio's Estádio do Maracanã on Sunday 13th July? [more inside]
Take Me to Sanborns: Swiss Enchiladas and Race in Mexico City.
One afternoon early in their stay, [Jack] Johnson and Etta – who was white – walked into the famous Sanborns cafe in Mexico City's historic center for lunch. But before they could even place their order, owner Walter Sanborn refused to serve Johnson on racial lines. Johnson went and found a few of the generals he had met and told them what happened. They returned to Sanborns together and all sat down at the counter. They ordered ice cream. Everybody was served except for Johnson.
On March 23, the floodgates of the Morelos Dam, near Yuma, Arizona opened, unleashing a three-day "pulse" into the dry Colorado River delta. The waters recently reached the Sea of Cortez, and a group of scientists and journalists were there to raft it. [more inside]
Crawling the lost tracks of Latin America. Artists Ivan Puig and Andrés Padilla Domene, a.k.a. "Los Ferronautas," converted a car into a retro-futuristic rail vehicle they dubbed SEFT-1 (Sonda de Exploración Ferroviaria Tripulada, "Manned Railway Exploration Probe") to explore the abandoned passenger railways of Mexico and Ecuador.
Marcos stepping down demonstrates the strength of this autonomous community. On May 2, 2014, José Luis Solís López, better known as Galeano was murdered in the community of La Realidad in the Mexican state of Chiapas. Galeano was murdered by three gunshots after he, unarmed, was surrounded by paramilitary troops and refused to surrender. The attack took place on the eve of a meeting that the Zapatistas had planned to hold with other indigenous organizations and indigenous people of Mexico during which spokesperson Subcomandante Marcos had planned possibly to reappear after a public absence of nearly six years. During the attack, a number of people were injured, and a Zapatista school and health clinic in La Realidad, both of which were symbols of the movement’s autonomy, were destroyed. [more inside]
Amparo "Amparin" Serrano turned the much-revered Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico, into its Hello Kitty. In the early 2000s, Amparin drew a cute cartoon version of the Virgin and asked for protection, an inexpensive cell phone, and removal of her cellulite (Google auto-translate; original Spanish article), and it went from there (auto-translation; original page). Now, Serrano and her Distroller company have teamed up with Walmart and other large chain stores, and the brand has also expanded into the US.
Last November, after five years of remarkable negotiations that unfolded far from the Delta, representatives from the U.S. and Mexico agreed to a complex, multi-part water deal that will give them desperately needed flexibility for weathering the drought. More surprisingly, the two nations will join the team of environmental organizations to release a flood of more than 105,000 acre-feet of water – 3.8 million big-rig tankers' worth – into the Delta's ancient floodplain, and chase it with a smaller, permanent annual flow to sustain the ecosystem.For High Country News, Matt Jenkins describes the most ambitious water sharing plan ever created between Mexico and the United States (single page print version). For much more about this project and the water issues surrounding it, there's Eli Rabett's roundup of John Fleck's blogposts about this. (Or read the tl;dr version by Alex Harrowell.)
It is the unlikeliest of times to pull off a deal like this. Rather than hoarding all the water for themselves in this drought –– the river supplies some 35 million people –– the West's largest water agencies have pledged to send some all the way to the sea. That move is, to some extent, a long-overdue acknowledgment that the U.S. bears responsibility for the impacts its dams have caused beyond its borders. And after years of fruitless court fights in the U.S. by environmental groups, the Mexican government finally insisted that water for the Delta be a cornerstone of the broader deal.
It looks like axolotls are gone forever. This may not mean much to you if you aren't into amphibians, but if you read Mad Magazine back in the day the word might conjure up some memories, or even a poem. [more inside]
DEA Negotiated With Mexican Drug Cartel Members "An investigation by El Universal (in spanish) found that between the years 2000 and 2012, the U.S. government had an arrangement with Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel that allowed the organization to smuggle billions of dollars of drugs while Sinaloa provided information on rival cartels."
'I submit that the drug trade—and specifically cocaine—is among the worst things that the human mind ever invented.' The gruesome human cost of a fun little party treat.
Behold! The Heartbreaking, Hair-Raising Tale Of Freak Show Star Julia Pastrana, Mexico’s Monkey Woman
Buried deep among the hundreds of old scripts in RKO Pictures’ archives was a 1941 melodramatic gem about an amnesia-stricken man who wakes up in the middle of a revolution in Mexico. Never produced, the screenplay for “The Way to Santiago” is credited to Orson Welles.
The Panamanian golden frog that lives near loud waterfalls and the people of both Kuşköy (a small village in Turkey) and La Gomera (an island off the coast of Morocco) have something in common: creative communication in challenging situations. Where the golden frogs communicate by waving, the people of Kuşköy and La Gomera overcome difficult terrain by whistling. The Turkish people call their language "kuș dili" or "bird langage," as it originated in Kuşköy, which itself means "bird village," and the Silbo Gomero language is so organized and thorough that every vowel and consonant can be replaced with a whistle. [more inside]