Vogue cover spotlights Mexico’s transgender ‘muxe’ women

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Photo by EVG photos on Pexels.com

11/20/19 – Reuters

By Jose de Jesus Cortes, David Alire Garcia

A culture of indigenous transgender women that has been part of southern Mexico’s heritage for centuries is primed for global fashion cachet thanks to one of the world’s top style magazines.

For the first time in Vogue magazine’s more than 120 years of publishing, an indigenous “muxe” will appear next month on the cover of the glossy’s Mexican and British editions.

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Cuaron’s ‘Roma’ gives Mexico 1st foreign language film Oscar

2/25/2019 – The Washington Post

(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

LOS ANGELES — “Roma,” the touching black-and-white portrait of a domestic worker and the middle-class family she cares for in 1970s Mexico City, won the Oscar for best foreign language film Sunday, giving Mexico its long-sought first win in that category.

Director Alfonso Cuaron’s deeply personal film with dialogue in Spanish and Mixtec beat four other contenders that also told the stories of individuals and families facing tumultuous social and historical times. The Netflix-produced film ended the night with Oscars for Cuaron for best director and best cinematography.

“This award belongs to Mexico. It’s a Mexican film in every single front,” he told reporters after the ceremony. “It’s not that 95 percent of the crew was a Mexican crew, and the cast is 100 percent Mexican, but the thematic, the country, the landscape, everything is Mexico. This film doesn’t exist if it’s not for Mexico. I could not be here if it was not because of Mexico.”

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‘Roma’ made Yalitza Aparicio a star. Now she’s giving a voice to her indigenous fans.

2/21/2019 – The Washington Post

Long before Yalitza Aparicio became the first indigenous woman nominated for best actress at the Oscars, she applied for a retail position at a clothing store in her hometown of Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca.

She didn’t get the job. Aparicio, now in the same conversations as Glenn Close and Lady Gaga, recalls the store manager’s exact words: “It’s your skin color.”

She wasn’t surprised. It isn’t unusual for people with indigenous features to face discrimination in Mexico. But now Aparicio, who had never acted before landing the lead role in the critically lauded “Roma,” has gone from aspiring public school teacher in a city of less than 18,000 to the first indigenous woman on Vogue Mexico’s cover. Fans tout her as the face of indigenous Mexico. Trolls leave racist comments on her social media. And at just 25 years old, she’s wrestling with the rewards and burdens of fame.

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Mexico City prepares to celebrate Oscar wins for ‘Roma’

2/1/2019 – The Washington Post

(Rebecca Blackwell/Associated Press)

MEXICO CITY — Mexico City officials are predicting Alfonso Cuaron’s film “Roma” will sweep the Academy Awards and are already planning a mass celebration.

Mexicans traditionally gather at the city’s Independence Monument to celebrate victories in World Cup soccer matches. On Thursday, officials said they are already preparing to host a celebration for the Oscar wins at the monument, known as “the Angel.”

The city’s culture secretary says a route has already been planned from the Roma neighborhood — where the film is set and where the Oscar ceremony will be shown on big screens — to the monument.

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Cuaron’s ‘Roma’ beckons moviegoers to Mexico’s presidential digs

12-06-2018 – Reuters

roma.PNGMEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Alfonso Cuaron’s critically acclaimed film “Roma” is set to show in one of Mexico’s most exclusive venues, taking over the once-private screening room of the palatial presidential residence, which President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has opened to the public.

Lopez Obrador on Saturday transformed “Los Pinos,” the luxurious home of Mexican presidents during the last eight decades, into a cultural center in a symbolic moment for his presidency that has promised an end to rule by the country’s elite.

Cuaron said on Twitter on late Tuesday that “Los Pinos joins in showing ROMA!,” a film that focuses on an indigenous maid in a middle-class home that mirrors the director’s own upbringing in Mexico City.

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Mexico President-Elect Criticized After Reporter Cheek-Kiss

09/26/2018 – The New York Times

Mexico's President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks during a rally as part of a tour to thank supporters for his landslide victory in the July 1 election, in Mexicali
 REUTERS/Cristian Torres

Mexico’s president-elect has come under criticism over a video of him kissing a female reporter on the cheek after she asked him a question, the second recent incident in which some said he showed a lack of respect to women covering him.

The encounter came as Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who won July’s presidential vote, was in Tijuana as part of a nationwide thank-you tour ahead of his Dec. 1 inauguration.

In the video, Lorena Garcia of the local newspaper El Mexicano asks Lopez Obrador about next year’s gubernatorial election in Baja California state, which is home to Tijuana. He smiles, does not answer, turns around, gives her a quick peck and then continues walking to his car.


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Gael García Bernal and director Alonso Ruizpalacios discuss the cultural politics of their art heist film “Museo”

09/26/2018 – Chicago Tribune 

(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

On Christmas Eve 1985, Mexico City’s world-renowned National Museum of Anthropology was victim to a massive heist, losing 140 Mayan, Aztec and other pre-Columbian artifacts in a single night. The Times reported then that the museum believed that “the thieves are professionals who will probably try to sell the artifacts abroad.”But the reality was quite different.

In the new film “Museo,” director Alonso Ruizpalacios reveals that the thieves weren’t well-trained, suave and highly-skilled criminal masterminds, the likes of which we’ve seen in heist movies such as “Oceans 8.” The real masterminds of the scandalous heist in “Museo” are just two bored veterinary-school dropouts who hatched their plan after a marijuana-fueled joyride.

While Ruizpalacios’ based-in-fact film relates the sometimes funny antics of the two thieves — the Carlos Castaneda-worshipping, Pink Floyd-loving Juan (Gael García Bernal) and his best friend Wilson (Leonardo Ortizgris) — the theft raises big philosophical questions about cultural history: Who are the true keepers of history? How is value ascribed to cultures? And is archaeology a kind of theft itself? As the characters travel around their country trying to sell the priceless artifacts, the film becomes an exploration of cultural appropriation through the lens of 1980s Mexico.

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Singer Belinda Hit for Involvement in Mexican Politics

09/20/2018 – The New York Times

dt.common.streams.StreamServerPop singer Belinda may have illegally interfered in Mexico’s politics because she’s a Spanish citizen and campaigned for President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, authorities said Wednesday.

A rival party filed a complaint because the singer gave out articles with Lopez Obrador campaign emblems.

The singer, whose real name is Belinda Peregrin Schull, also appeared in his campaign.

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Mexico Celebrates 208th Birthday

09/17/2018 – Bloomberg 

flag StarrGazrWATCH: Mexico celebrated it’s 208th Independence Day with a parade, fireworks, and President Enrique Peña Nieto ringing a bell on the balcony of the National Palace, in a traditional that began in 1810 #VivaMexico


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Achieving A Dream: A Tale Of Becoming A Property Owner In Another Country

09/13/2018 – Forbes 

Harmon’s home offers a breathtaking view of Guanajuato from the upper patio.(PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVE HARMON)

When Dave Harmon recently finalized the purchase of a home in Mexico, what had previously seemed like an impossible dream became his life-changing reality — but it took a year to get there.

It all started with a summer spent studying Spanish in the small colonial city of Guanajuato, Mexico.  Harmon was instantly smitten with Guanajuato and found himself going back regularly, imagining what it would be like to live there. In his mind, the ideal spot would be in the historic center, close to the central plaza and the city’s main university with a view of the mountains. At first, that seemed like an impossibility, but after dabbling in real estate in his home town of Austin, Texas, the intimidation factor dissolved away. As soon as Harmon found a house in that perfect spot that would one day become his, things really became interesting.

Harmon says that purchasing a house in another country requires a steep learning curve and is not at all like buying a home in the U.S., where escrow, insurance and backout provisions are taken for granted. Instead, as is common in many parts of the world, Mexican home property purchases are typically all cash. For a non-citizen, that’s often because it is difficult to get financing from a local bank. In the end, it seemed the easiest part was finding the property in the desired location. The hardest part was negotiating a real-estate deal with the 29 family members who owned a piece of the property. With help from a local notary (in Mexico, notaries are licensed attorneys who also perform the functions of U.S. title companies), Harmon navigated the twists and turns of what became a very complex process.

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