Juan Gabriel, a Pop Music ‘Icon’ in Mexico, Dies at 66

08/28/2016 The New York Times

juanga.jpgJuan Gabriel, the prolific singer and songwriter who was one of Mexico’s most successful musical artists, died on Sunday at his home in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 66.

Juan Gabriel’s publicist told The Associated Press that he had died on Sunday morning. Univision said he had had a heart attack.

Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, offered his condolences on Twitter, calling him “one of the great musical icons of our country.”

Juan Gabriel released the first of several dozen albums in 1971 and continued to release records at a relentless pace, including two this year. He was nominated for six Grammy Awards and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1996, he was inducted into the Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame.

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Young people thrive in a new Mexico, even as the shadows of violence linger

08/29/2016 The Star

Mexican Flag XXLMEXICO CITY—Tattooed hipsters on bikes. Same-sex couples walking hand-in-hand. Cafés with almond milk coffee and gluten-free bread. Artisanal mescal — three dozen different kinds.

This is not the Mexico most Canadians know. But in the chic eateries and cultural centres of the gentrifying La Roma neighbourhood in Mexico City, another side of the country is in full bloom.

“The city has such an intoxicating mix of culture, emotion, food, design and architecture that has really exploded in the last two or three years,” says Susie Neil, standing outside Toscano café, where she is producing a tequila commercial for a Canadian client.

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Open city

08/20/16 The Economist

LGBT Rights Mexico.JPGOMAR GARCÍA CERVANTES, an aspiring novelist, was brought up in the state of Veracruz but moved to Mexico City 16 years ago. As a gay man, he is happier there than anywhere else. Mexico City has grown only more welcoming since he moved there. In November last year the mayor, Miguel Ángel Mancera, signed a declaration proclaiming its gay-friendliness. Gay marriage has been legal in the city since 2010; under a law passed in 2014, people can change their legal sex simply by applying to alter their birth records. Hate crimes against gays are almost unheard of, says Alejandro Brito of Letra S, a gay-rights activist group.

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Hidden codex may reveal secrets of life in Mexico before Spanish conquest

08/21/2016 The Guardian

Michoacan, Mexico Photo by Flickr user Scott Clark find link to his photoOne of the rarest manuscripts in the world has been revealed hidden beneath the pages of an equally rare but later Mexican codex, thanks to hi-tech imaging techniques.

The Codex Selden, a book of concertina-folded pages made out of a five-metre strip of deerhide, is one of a handful of illustrated books of history and mythology that survived wholesale destruction by Spanish conquerors and missionaries in the 16th century.

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Tough Love for Latin America’s Drug Barons and Beauty Queens

08/12/16 InSight Crime 

el chapo
Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán

The recent murder of a beauty pageant director inMexico draws attention to the long history of star-crossed romantic pairings involving two kinds of individuals Latin America is famous for: drug traffickers and beauty queens.

Media outlets frequently call these women “trophy wives” or say they have been “seduced” by the lure of money and fame that comes with drug trafficking. But in some cases, that narrative may be too simplistic. While there is certainly no denying that Latin American drug trafficking is saturated in “machismo” culture, it’s also worth noting that some beauty queens became significant underworld figures in their own right.

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Mexico launches a nationwide campaign against sexting

08/10/16 Fusion

3675347973_440c9d3482_oMexicans are being reminded to think twice before they send out photos of their 🍆 and 🍑.

The Mexican government has teamed up with several children’s rights organizations to launch a nationwide campaign against “sexting,” the practice of sending and receiving sexually explicit messages and/or images on mobile phones.

The term “sexting” originally described the exchange of sexual text messages, but the rapid rise of smartphone technology has broadened the definition to include all types of media—from videos to emojis to GIFs to Snapchats.

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Mexico City behaving badly: one man’s crusade to end poor civic habits

08/06/16 The Guardian 

7365569870_a1aa813d48_oUntil recently, Arne Aus den Ruthen roamed one of Mexico City’s more affluent boroughs on the lookout for bad civic behaviour, broadcasting it on Periscope to an outraged population. He exposed people parking on sidewalks, tossing bags of trash out into the street and dumping pylons, bricks and buckets in the street to save parking spots.

He even confronted bodyguards blocking a wheelchair access ramp with their SUVs and refusing to move – only to discover they were waiting for a member of the president’s inner circle to finish a workout at a nearby gym.

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