Mexico quake leaves country’s historic churches battered

 

11318499224_a287faa403_m09/24/2017 The Washington Post

MEXICO CITY — Our Lady of Angels Church has survived several major earthquakes, but Tuesday’s magnitude 7.1 shake proved to be the final death knell for the Mexico City building’s historic cupola.

Violent cracks crisscrossed the dome, and stone from the roof continued to fall onto the church’s wooden pews. On Sunday evening, the cupola split and half crashed to the floor.

“Each earthquake has left its mark,” said Marco Antonio Fuentes, part of the church’s ministry. “This one seems to be the straw that will break the camel’s back.

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In Mexico, Weavers Embrace Natural Alternatives to Toxic Dyes

09/18/2017 The New York Times

Zarape.jpgTEOTITLÁN DEL VALLE, Mexico — As a child, Porfirio Gutiérrez hiked into the mountains above the village with his family each fall, collecting the plants they would use to make colorful dyes for blankets and other woven goods.

They gathered pericón, a type of marigold that turned the woolen skeins a buttercream color; jarilla leaves that yielded a fresh green; and tree lichen known as old man’s beard that dyed wool a yellow as pale as straw.

“We’d talk about the stories of the plants,” Mr. Gutiérrez, 39, recalled. “Where they grew, the colors that they provide, what’s the perfect timing to collect them.”

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Mexico quake hit hard at center of Zapotec ‘muxe’ culture

09/12/2017 The Washington Post

Credit: Rebecca Blackwell/Associated Press

JUCHITAN, Mexico — Four days after Mexico’s magnitude 8.1 earthquake destroyed her home and much of her work, Peregrina Vera attended her third funeral.

Two were for friends who died in collapsed buildings. This time it was an elderly neighbor, Hermilio Martinez, whose heart apparently gave out a day after the big quake as the city of Juchitan shivered with repeated, terrifying aftershocks.

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Mexico Casually One-Ups U.S. By Legalizing Medicinal Marijuana

6/21/2017 Forbes

marijuana leafThis week, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto informed the world that his country is taking its relationship with cannabis to the next level.

In an official decree, Peña Nieto publicly confirmed Monday that his government has legalized medicinal cannabis, a.k.a. marijuana, with almost total support from Mexico’s congress and senate. The move marks a significant policy change for the country and the president, which finally came around on cannabis following national discussion and protest.

As the Independent reported, the bill passed with “overwhelming” support in Mexico’s Lower House of Congress in April, with 371 members voting in favor, and just 19 voting against or abstaining. In December, it also blazed through Mexico’s senate, managing 98 in favor and seven against.

In addition to spreading the news, the decree established that Mexico’s Ministry of Health will be responsible for drafting and implementing “public policies regulating the medicinal use of pharmacological derivatives of cannabis sativa, indica and Americana or marijuana, including tetrahydrocannabinol, its isomers and stereochemical variants, as well as how to regulate the research and national production of them.”

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Mexico takes drastic measures to halt rise of ‘super-obesity’

6/7/2017 Financial Times

Obese manJuan Pedro Franco, a 33-year-old Mexican, was so obese that no hospital had the facilities to see him. Bedridden for seven years, he reached a world record weight of nearly 600kg (1,320lbs).

Mr Franco suffered from diabetes, hypertension, lung problems and chronic swelling in his legs. He dropped 170kg simply to be able to undergo life-saving gastric surgery at a clinic in the western city of Guadalajara in May that had to widen its entrance and bring in stronger beds just to receive him.

He was a case of “super-obesity — off all the charts,” according to his surgeon José Antonio Castañeda, who sees an average of eight patients, mostly women, every day. “It’s a huge number, so you can see the scale of the problem in Mexico,” he says. Not all of those prospective patients are candidates for surgery but Dr Castañeda nonetheless performs 40 procedures a week.

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Mexico Protects Ancient Temple While Hotel Is Built Above

6/7/2017 New York Times

582px-Aztec_Warriors_(Florentine_Codex)MEXICO CITY — Plans to expand a hotel in Mexico City have been put on hold after archaeologists unearthed a 1400s-era temple to the Aztec wind god Ehecatl and a ceremonial ball court under the property.

The find could spark nightmares for any squeamish hotel guests: The carefully severed neck bones of 32 people were found in a ceremonial pit next to the ball court.

The find announced Wednesday by archaeologist Eduardo Matos was made in excavations done in 2009-2016. Matos, of the National Institute of Anthropology and History, noted that the hotel owns the property and will be allowed to build above the ruins once the dig is completed.

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Mexico’s Fiery Populist May Need to Tone It Down to Win in 2018

6/6/2017 Bloomberg

AMLOFor Mexican presidential front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Sunday’s election must have been bittersweet.

The movement he founded just three years ago came close to unseating the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party in its heartland: President Enrique Pena Nieto’s home state of Mexico.

Yet coming up three percentage points short left Lopez Obrador’s Morena party with none of the nation’s 31 governor’s offices and no access to potential funding that such power provides for national campaigns. Under such conditions, if Lopez Obrador is going to win the presidency next July, tapping into voter outrage at graft, crime and Donald Trump won’t be enough. He’ll need to broaden his appeal and curtail his threats against an establishment that he condemns as the “mafia of power.”

“To do that, he would need to change his entire style of the past 15 to 20 years,” said Jorge Chabat, a political scientist at the Center for Economic Research and Teaching, a Mexico City-based university. “When your speech is extremely confrontational, it’s difficult to expand your support beyond your close circle of ‘true believers.’ And that’s what you need to win.”

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