Tag Archives | Mexico

Guerrilla Urban Planners Redo Mexico City By Painting Bike Lanes, Sidewalks, And Crosswalks

This Big City talks to Camina, Haz Ciudad, a group which extralegally redesigns public space to benefit ordinary residents:

Camina, Haz Ciudad started as a project to recover space for pedestrians. It was inspired by a modern development that happened here in Mexico City in an area called El Puente de los Poetas. Amazingly, there was no pedestrian infrastructure at all, the whole place seemed to be designed for cars. A group of citizens decided that couldn’t be, so they painted a sidewalk in an area where lots of people walked but had no safety. But the sidewalk was erased, and the people who painted it were really mad.

With our first painted bike lane [which is 5km and ends at Congress in Mexico City] we were trying to make a political point. We didn’t have any expectation of how long it would last. But the bike lane is still in place.

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Protestants Suck the Fun Out of Mexico’s Day of the Dead

Picture: Genghiskahng (PD)

Not content with sucking every bit of ritual and mystery out of America’s religious traditions, protestant churches now have Mexico’s indigenous beliefs in their crosshairs. Raw Story reports that participation in Mexico’s annual” Dia de Los Muertos” (the Day of the Dead) is on the decline thanks to growing numbers of Mexicans converting from Catholicism to protestant faiths:

Isaac Carrasco and his two daughters dutifully adorned the graves of several relatives with beds of marigolds and crosses made of red flowers for Mexico’s Day of the Dead.

But the nearby tombstones of his grandparents were bare and surrounded by metal bars, left this way by his aunts, who no longer mark the annual ritual.

Like a growing number of Mexicans, Carrasco’s aunts became Protestant and no longer believe in a tradition that dates back from the Aztec era and was later fused with Catholic beliefs…

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Google Maps Introduces Pyramid-View

Amazing, the Mayans’ breathtaking pyramids can now be wandered remotely. The Los Angeles Times reveals:

For travelers who’ve never been to the ancient Maya city of Chichen Itza, a virtual window into the site’s pyramids and plazas is available online, among 30 archaeological zones in Mexico now mapped by Google Street View. A viewer can almost feel like they might tumble into the Sacred Cenote, or natural sinkhole, where Maya priests practiced ritual sacrifice. Or imagine cavorting on the Plaza of the Thousand Columns.

Google and Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, or INAH, announced the new maps last week. Using a 360-degree camera mounted on a bicycle, Google captured “street views” of other major archaeological sites in Mexico, such as Monte Alban in Oaxaca and Teotihuacan outside Mexico City.

Lesser-known Mesoamerican sites are also now mapped by Google Street View, including Tula in the state of Hidalgo and Xochicalco in Morelos.

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Mexican Official Says CIA Manages Drug Trade; Doesn’t Want it to End


From Al Jazeera:

A spokesman for the Mexican state of Chihuahua has stirred up quite a bit of controversy in diplomatic circles for his comments to Al Jazeera regarding the United States Central Intelligence Agency’s role in the drug trade:

“It’s like pest control companies, they only control,” Guillermo Terrazas Villanueva, the Chihuahua spokesman, told Al Jazeera last month at his office in Juarez. “If you finish off the pests, you are out of a job. If they finish the drug business, they finish their jobs.”

Read More about Chihuahua and the CIA at Al Jazeera.

Accusations of CIA involvement in drug trafficking has been around for decades. Famously, San Jose Mercury News reporter Gary Webb wrote a series of articles detailing connections between the CIA, Nicaraguan rebels and the crack cocaine epidemic of the late eighties. A collection of the articles were later published as the 1999 book Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion.… Read the rest

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Oliver Stone: The Savage is Loose

Disinformation author Ed Rampell (Progressive Hollywood) has an exclusive interview with Oliver Stone about his new movie Savages.

The Oscar winning director of Platoon, Born on the Fourth of July and Wall Street discussed film technique, his actors, Mexico’s narco-politics, torture, sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll, at Festival of Films Blog:

FOF: What do you think of the way the Drug War is going in Mexico now?

OS: Aside from the movie business [laughs], it was a tragedy under [President Felipe] Calderon; he militarized it more. I don’t think that militarization works. I think that decriminalization works better, overall. As well as tolerance. But these are very hard qualities to achieve in a modern era.

FOF: Do you think that the [apparent] election of the PRI’s [Institutional Revolutionary Party] candidate [Enrique Peña Prieto] will have any effect at all on the Drug War in Mexico?

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Mexican Drug Lords Vs. Cybervigilantes & Social Media

John P. Sullivan and Adam Elkus write:

The Mexican drug war cannot be understood without reference to the virtual dimension. Cartels are seeking to aggressively shape the use of information within the drug war to promote an image of themselves as a source of unstoppable power and influence. Their methods range from the classic “propaganda of the deed” — killing for intimidation and effect — to psychological operations against Mexican police, military, and the public. By doing so, cartels struggle for information dominance. Civil society and press coverage of the cartel war have been quite literally silenced, pushing reportage to the margins of social media. However, the entry of cyber-vigilante organizations and use of new media by cartel gangsters have created a new dynamic that could change the rules of the game.

First, it is essential to understand that advances in information, while hailed as revolutionary, also tend to be excellent tools for facilitating the violent coercion and destruction of human life.

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Theme Park Offers Experience Of An Illegal Border Crossing

The undisputed highlight of Parque EcoAlberto, a nature and water park located in formerly sleepy El Alberto, Mexico, is an immersive experience called the "Caminata Nocturna" simulating the clandestine crossing of the U.S. border. The grueling adventure lasts up to eight hours and involves a journey through "mud, tunnels, canyons, poisonous plants, snakes, and spiders", with actors appearing as "coyote" human traffickers and U.S. border patrol agents. EcoAlberto has been accused of belittling the deadly perils faced by actual migrants, but perhaps deserve credit for offering a window into this world:
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Mexican Drug Cartel Kingpin Revealed As FBI Informant

Cocaine BricksRichard A. Serrano writes in the LA Times:
Police and federal agents pulled the car over in a suburb north of Denver. An FBI agent showed his badge. The driver appeared not startled at all. "My friend," he said, "I have been waiting for you." And with that, Jesus Audel Miramontes-Varela stepped out of his white 2002 BMW X5 and into the arms of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Over the next several days at his ranch in Colorado and an FBI safe house in Albuquerque, the Mexican cartel chieftain — who had reputedly fed one of his victims to lions in Mexico — was transformed into one of the FBI's top informants on the Southwest border. Around a dining room table in August 2010, an FBI camera whirring above, the 34-year-old Miramontes-Varela confessed his leadership in the Juarez cartel, according to 75 pages of confidential FBI interview reports obtained by The Times/Tribune Washington Bureau.
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Eight Santa Muerte Followers Arrested For Occult Sacrifices In Mexico

SantaMuerte deathMormonism or worship of the goddess of death? Which of the two major fast-growing religions will you pick? Via the Daily Mail:

Eight people have been arrested in northern Mexico over the killing of two 10-year-old boys and a woman in what appears to be ritual sacrifices. Prosecutors have accused the suspects of belonging to the La Santa Muerte (Holy Death) cult, which has been growing rapidly in the last 20 years, and now has up to two million followers.

The victims’ blood has been poured round an altar to the idol, which is portrayed as a skeleton holding a scythe and clothed in flowing robes. ‘They sliced open the victims’ veins and, while they were still alive, they waited for them to bleed to death and collected the blood in a container,’ said Jose Larrinaga, spokesman for Sonora state prosecutors.

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