Rounding up the usual suspects
I’ve been distracted by real life (family and business affairs) which has meant neglecting the Mex Files … besides not writing on the massive changes to PEMEX (hint… I think they’re bone-headedly wrong) and the recent attempts to gag the media in Sinaloa, I keep running across things I MEAN to comment on, book-mark them, and never get back.
Having dumped about 100 bookmarks this weekend, at least here’s a round-up of what I would have commented on, or at least brought to your attention, was there world enough and time.
Lax Attitude Along Mexico’s Southern Border Becoming Thorn In U.S.’s Side, Andrew O’Reilly (Fox News Latino)
The favorite media source for the Know-nothings on Mexico’s “failure” to follow through on U.S. prescriptions to resolve it’s own border “issues” by exporting the types of controls that don’t work in the U.S. to Mexico. My favorite bit is where O’Reilly says the Mexican-Guatemalan border is different because a third of it is river.. overlooking the fact that two-thirds of the U.S. Mexican border is also river… and one of the most important waterways in the North American continent to boot.
Uruguayan pot marketplace may go up in smoke, Leonardo Haberkorn, (Dis)Associated Press.
I don’t know how many times I’ve had to say this, but the Latin American middle-class is not obsessed with pot, nor are Latin American particularly interested in smoking it. And middle-class people vote.
Pinche Gringo BBQ: The Silver Twinkie in Mexico City, Mexico Cooks!
With all due respect to Cristina, the maven of Mexican food writers, the idea of a Tex-Mex airstream trailer invading Mexico City is not cultural fusion, but hipster barbarism.
Mexico’s New Gendarmerie: Security Game Changer or Window Dressing?, Patrick Corcoran, Insight Crime
On a more serious matter:
The gendarmerie was initially painted as an alternative to the armed forces being active in domestic security activities, and its creation was the first step toward lessening Mexico’s reliance on the army and the Marines. As Peña Nieto himself said in support of his proposal, “it would imply the gradual withdrawal of the armed forces to their barracks”. More recent reports indicate that the gendarmerie will have an explicit focus on protecting strategic regional industries.
Patrick (whose talents were stymed for years by the need to write about the narcotics export industry, as if that was the only business in Mexico, or the only criminal activity of note) questions whether the size of the new national police force hasn’t already been scaled back to a point where its effectiveness will be limited. I question whether yet another national police force just isn’t a rationale for more U.S. spending on weapons and “training” and services that have had the effect of increasing insecurity here, though its a boon to the U.S. “military/industrial complex” as the various overt interventionist wars (Iraq, etc.) lose political support north of the border.
Nude, Gun-Toting Frida a Photog’s Creation, Susana Hayward Soler, News Taco
I was fooled by the photo when it started appearing a few months ago, too. I should have looked more carefully, or regarded it a bit more critically. That Kahlo was self-aggrandizing enough to have posed for a photo like this (with it’s stereotyped “dangerous Mexican woman… sexy, but capable of murder) is reason enough to question whether the recent placement of Kahlo among the pantheon of Mexican (and female) aretists doesn’t have more to do with her self-created image, and less to do with her artistic merit (or lack thereof… I think she was neither a particularly original artist, nor one particularly in the Mexican tradition… her work being more self-indulgent and based on European models).