Tag Archives | Mexico

The Violence of Mexican Drug Cartels

We've all read of the horrific border violence plaguing Mexico and the American Southwest, as well as the complicity of both governmental agencies and markets in the diabolical perpetuation of the corrupt Drug War. This stunning animation smacks the viewer with facts and statistics while also appealing to our humanity through the stark stories of violence. “The Violence of Mexican Drug Cartels” was designed by ishothim and published by Visual.ly (which has the stated goal of using 'infographics and data visualizations [to] tell your story'). via Laughing Squid:
“Tens of thousands are being murdered, and over a million are being forced to flee their homes. U.S. laws and policy play a major role in the conflict’s violence. This video is about understanding the complexities of the war and why it is happening.”
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Campeche’s Annual Cleaning of the Dead

Mexico Campeche location mapOddity Central reports on a fascinating funereal custom practiced by the people of Pomuch, Campeche:

On this particular day, families visit the cemetery to participate in the ritual cleaning of the bones of their loved ones. The squeaky-clean remains are then placed on display along with flowers and a new cloth for veneration.

The custom applies to anybody who dies in Campeche, ranging from young to old. Every corpse is buried for three years and then, on the Day of the Dead, the bones are dug up, cleaned and transferred to a wooden crate. The waiting period of 3 years is important because the bones need that time to dry out. The wooden crate is placed on permanent display in the cemetery. From then on, people go to the cemetery to pay their respects and clean the remains every year.

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1,000-Year-Old Mass Grave Of Elongated Skulls Found In Mexico

The remains of “lucky,” high-power individuals who had their heads ritually elongated have previously been unearthed across the globe in South America, Germany, and Greece. Was the goal to mimic the look of alien overlords? Via Yahoo! News UK:

An archaeological dig near the village of Onavas, south of Sonora in Mexico has uncovered strange elongated skulls from more than a millenia ago. The burial site contained 25 individuals, 13 with elongated skulls – reminiscent of the monster from Ridley Scott’s Alien.

The ‘cranial deformation’ in the skulls is actually intentional – carried out by binding the heads of babies to produce the bizarre effect. For pre-Hispanic cultures in the area, longer skulls were a sign of social status.

‘Cranial deformation in Mesoamerican cultures was used to differentiate one social group from another and for ritual purposes,’ said Cristina Garcia Moreno, the head of the research project. South American cultures such as the Maya and Inca practiced cranial deformation – and the practice was also known in Germany and Ancient Greece.

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Walmart Bribes Spur Growth In Mexico

Teotihuacan. Source: Mixcoatl (CC)

While Robert Greenwald’s Brave New Films and its many allies called out Walmart for its unscrupulous business practices years ago in the documentary Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, the mainstream media has generally held up the mega-retailer as an example of American business at its best. That makes this lengthy investigation by the New York Times into Walmart’s endemic corruption all the more welcome. For disinfonauts who are interested in ancient civilizations, note that the latest site to suffer at the hands of the crooks of Bentonville is Teotihuacan, Mexico:

Wal-Mart longed to build in Elda Pineda’s alfalfa field. It was an ideal location, just off this town’s bustling main entrance and barely a mile from its ancient pyramids, which draw tourists from around the world. With its usual precision, Wal-Mart calculated it would attract 250 customers an hour if only it could put a store in Mrs.

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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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