Posts Tagged ‘Mexico’

Private Investor Improves Basic Infrastructure in Mexico

July 14, 2015

Private Investor Improves Basic Infrastructure in Mexico
Wealthy private investor Joaquin Guzmán has bankrolled a new tunnel in the Santa Juana neighborhood of Almoloya de Juárez, Mexico, 16 miles from Toluca. The tunnel, 5 1/2 feet in diameter, stretches about a mile from the Centro Federal de Readaptación Social No. 1 “Altiplano,” a government facility, to an unfinished house surrounded by cornfields, perhaps slated for future development. It is estimated that the sophisticated underground structure cost $5 million to complete.

More information:

“Mexico drug lord Guzman’s escape tunnel is a minor engineering masterpiece,” Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times

“How Mexico’s Most-Wanted Drug Lord Escaped From Prison (Again),” Larry Buchanan, Josh Keller, and Derek Watkins, New York Times

“Undermining Mexico: How ‘El Chapo’ built a criminal empire — and escaped prison — by digging deep.” Nick Miroff, Washington Post

“How a Mexican drug kingpin’s daring prison escape made him a hip-hop icon & an outlaw hero,” Matthew Pulver, Salon


“Underworld: How the Sinaloa drug cartel digs its tunnels,” Monte Reel, The New Yorker


Where Does Donald Trump Make his Suits? ¡Mexico!

July 6, 2015

Where Does Donald Trump Make His Suits? ¡Mexico!

“Donald Trump has had some nasty things to say about Mexicans lately. In the announcement of his 2016 bid for the US presidency, he called Mexican immigrants to the US criminals and “rapists.” Later, on Twitter, he added, “Mexico is not our friend. They’re killing us at the border and they’re killing us on jobs and trade.”

It seems to follow that Trump would disapprove of American companies manufacturing their goods in Mexico too, except that Trump apparently does it himself. A photo circulated on Twitter by BuzzFeed political reporter Adrian Carrasquillo shows a jacket from Trump’s clothing line bearing a ‘made in Mexico’ label.”

— “Guess where Mexico-bashing Donald Trump makes his suits,” Marc Bain, Quartz

The astute Mary Cummins notes that Donald J. Trump Collection suits are made in Mexico for Sheldon Brody’s Marcraft Apparel Group, which has offices in Trump Plaza. The Wall Street Journal found that their fabric quality was less than advertised.


TV Terminates Trump

July 2, 2015

NBC to Trump: 'You're Fired!'
Donald John Trump, Sr., reality television performer, real estate heirgolf course owner, beauty pageant producer, hotel and casino boss, chairman and president of Trump This n’ That, and really rich person, declared his candidacy for U.S. President two weeks ago. He also declared that Mexican immigrants are drug dealers, rapists, and killers.

Needless to say, this did not go over well with the USA’s largest ethnic group, Latinos, or with the Republic of Mexico. America’s largest Spanish-language broadcaster Univisión was the first to unplug Trump, dropping coverage of the Miss USA and Miss Universe beauty pageants he produces, and NBC followed suit. Understandably, Miss Mexico opted out of the Miss Universe competition, and so did Miss Costa Rica. NBC’s Miss USA co-hosts also bailed, Miss USA judges Zuleyka Rivera and Emmitt Smith recused themselves, and rapper Flo Rida won’t perform on the show, either.

New York City is reviewing its contracts with the Trump Organization, which manages Central Park’s skating rinks and carousel and golf links at Point Ferry Park in the Bronx. NASCAR won’t hold its awards ceremony at Trump’s hotel. Macy’s is discontinuing it’s Trump menswear line, but there’s been lots of interest in Donald Trump piñatas, hand-crafted in Mexico.


El Cinco de Mayo, un día de fiesta grande en los Estados Unidos

May 5, 2015

El Cinco de Mayo, un día de fiesta grande en los Estados Unidos

Cinco de Mayo, the 5th of May, is the biggest Mexican holiday in the entire United States. Oh sure, the holiday commemorates the 1862 Battle of Puebla, so kids in that Mexican city get the day off to watch a parade, and gringo-infested beach resorts get a little loco, but the rest of Mexico carries on as usual.

North of the border, it’s a different story. The community-based Mexican-American celebrations of the Sixties were co-opted by marketers for big multinational brewers, tequila importers, and mega-food purveyors. In other words, St. Patrick’s Day with mariachis. Is this a great country, or what?



February 22, 2014


Mexico’s amphibious Axolotl, the strange looking “water monster,” may be almost extinct in the wild, warns Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México biologist Armando Tovar Garza. Ambystoma mexicanum, the “walking fish,’ of Lakes Chalco and Xochimilco, is unmistakable with its slimy tail, stubby legs, plume-like gills and goofy smile. The odd critter is under habitat pressure from urban sprawl, competition from recently introduced fish species like carp and tilapia, and capture for aquariums, laboratories, and pet owners.

Frankly. we believe the decline of the strange species began in 1961 when Frank Jacobs and Wally Wood published the recipe for Axolotl Pudding in Mad Magazine.


Axolotl Poem from MAD magazine #43, 1958


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Cannon Fire Along the Border

March 7, 2013

Cannon Fire Along the Border

Drug smugglers in Mexicali took aim at the USA, firing packets of marijuana over the border with a cannon. The improvised artillery, made from plastic pipe and an old metal tank, used compressed air to fire packets weighing up to 30 pounds into California.


Big Brother Is Watching, Not Listening

September 24, 2012

Big Brother Is Watching, Not Listening

Oaxaca, Mexico has installed 230 video cameras downtown and in the suburbs, and most of them are monitored by deaf police personnel.  Oaxaca’s Deputy Secretary for the Ministry of Public Security noted that:

“…these police officers have a very strong … visual sense and can better detect what is happening in different places where the cameras are located; they can often remotely read the conversations of people, to the benefit of this security system that operates 24 hours a day.”

“Deaf Police Monitor Security Cameras,” Murray Page, Mazátlan Messenger

According to Vaughn Bell, “…there is good evidence that deaf people are better at noticing things in the periphery of vision and detecting movement.”

 “This potentially makes them perfect for the job and likely better than their hearing colleagues.

 So the project turns out to be a targeted way not of recruiting ‘disabled people’ into the workforce, but of recruiting the ‘super able’. In fact, turning the whole idea of disability on its head.”

“Deaf police to monitor security cameras in Mexico,” Vaughn Bell, Mind Hacks


Seis de Mayo

May 6, 2012

Seis de Mayo
Last night, the 5th of May, millions of people commemorated the Mexican victory at the Battle of Puebla (1862) with volleys of shots — of tequila — bravura barrages of beer, and murderous margaritas. Unsurprisingly, this morning finds heads held hostage and stomachs seared from nacho napalm. Today’s Spanish vocabulary lesson: crudo means ” hangover.”

If you celebrated Cinco de Mayo with cerveza, celebrate Seis de Mayo this morning with el desayuno de los campeones, the Breakfast of Champions. The traditional Mexican hangover cure is menudo tripe soup or stew.


Obligatory Cinco de Mayo Blog Post

May 5, 2012

Obligatory Cinco de Mayo Blog Post

Some years ago, correspondent Mickey Weems PhD was improving his Spanish and Zapotec, conducting anthropological foodways fieldwork, and supplementing his meager adjunct faculty wages by working at a Chipotle Mexican Grill in Columbus, Ohio. He also cooked up a tasty Spanglish writing style:

“One domingo a couple of semanas passadas, Ashley and Papi Tigre made chilaquile, a dish made with corn chips cooked in salsa and served with huevos, pollo, sour cream and guacamole. The chilaquile was caliente but too good to pass up. I now understand the purpose of sour cream, arroz, and guac in the scheme of Mexican cuisine: they calm the fuego.”

New York Times “Minimalist”  Mark Bittman, who gives a recipe for chilaquiles in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, once caused a food fascist furor by using the term “taco chips” in a Travel Section piece about Mexico City. Variations of this dish, with and without meat, are popular throughout North America, and monolingual Norteamericanos call it “Mexican lasagna,” “Tortilla Casserole,” and ”Frito Pie.”

Regional, seasonal, and personal variations abound; cooks whip up what they like with what they’ve got. The word chilaquiles may have achieved a metaphorical meaning in U.S. Spanglish reminiscent of the Yiddish trope using tzimmes, the Jewish casserole dish, to mean ”big deal” or “big production.”

So if somebody calls tostadas “taco chips,” don’t make a big tzimmes, carnales.


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Walmart Introduces Foreign Aid Program

April 25, 2012

Walmart Introduces Foreign Aid Program

Stung by bad publicity because of its Chinese sweatshops, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. decided to institute its own foreign aid program, beginning south of the border with its Wal-Mart de Mexico branch. The corporation generously donated $24 million to our southern neighbor. Unfortunately, the financial assistance consisted of illegal bribes to obtain construction permits for its stores across the country, which currently number 2,099.

Who says? Sergio Cicero Zapata, the lawyer who was in charge of making Wal-Mart’s bribes. These payments aren’t just against Mexican law; they’re illegal in the USA under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the law prohibiting bribes to officials of other countries.

How did Wal-Mart react when an internal investigation found this pattern of corruption? With a cover-up.


“8 Revelations From Walmart’s Mexican Bribery Scandal,” Andrew Carter and Matthew DeLuca, Daily Beast


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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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