The play ‘Like Water for Chocolate,’ based on the beloved 1989 Mexican novel, makes its U.S. debut

09/13/2018 – The Washington Post 

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The women of the De la Garza family share a lighter moment on their Mexican ranch in “Like Water for Chocolate.” (Daniel Martinez)

A baby who cries so much that her tears flood a room. A bedspread knit over many years until it’s large enough to cover a whole ranch. A meal so sensuous that it propels a woman to run off to make love to a strange man on horseback and abandon her family. It’s moments like these that make “Like Water for Chocolate” so captivating — and a challenge to present on the stage.

Laura Esquivel’s 1989 novel “Como Agua Para Chocolate” was a best-seller in her native Mexico and in the United States after it was published in English translation the following year; the 1992 movie based on the novel was at the time the highest-grossing Spanish-language film in U.S. history. Yet, after having first been theatrically adapted in Spain in 2004, the work is only now having its U.S. premiere as a play, at GALA Hispanic Theatre.

“It is challenging to transform,” director Olga Sanchez says. “Theater has to do a whole lot of backbends to fulfill everything that people get out of a novel, which is so incredibly rich, and people read over months’ time. And a play, you basically have about two hours.”

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Maradona to coach soccer club in Mexico’s cartel heartland

09/10/2018 – Reuters 

white soccer ball
Photo by Aman jha on Pexels.com

Diego Maradona, whose public battles with cocaine made him soccer’s poster child for the perils of substance abuse, is setting up camp in Mexico’s drug cartel heartland as the new coach of a second-tier team.

Draped in official club gear, the Argentine soccer legend arrived this weekend in Culiacan, home turf of the Sinaloa Cartel, to take over the bottom-dwelling Dorados in what some describe as a publicity stunt for the team and a last-ditch effort to resurrect a career marred by drugs and antics.

Maradona, 57, is a big fish for a little-known team founded just 15 years ago. He will reportedly earn $150,000 a month to coach a team where players complain of missed paychecks. A Dorados club representative could not be reached to confirm or deny the salary or missed payments.

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Reality show about the wealthy triggers backlash in Mexico

08/29/18 Washington Post

Image result for made in mexico netflixPhoto: Netflix

A new Netflix reality series following the lavish lives of nine wealthy, light-skinned socialites in Mexico City has provoked a backlash from critics who say it’s tone-deaf in a country where most have darker skin and about half the population lives in poverty.

“Trash,” ‘’filth,” ‘’pathetic,” ‘’classist,” were some of the more polite adjectives Twitter users employed to describe their reaction to the show, “Made in Mexico.”

Critics are also questioning the timing of the streaming service’s first Mexican reality show, announced a little over a month after the country overwhelmingly elected as president the leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who rails against what he calls an entrenched and corrupt elite and promises to make the poor his top priority.

“In the last elections we showed that we live in a democratic country. Nonetheless, we still suffer terrible atavisms related to classism and, what’s worse, racism,” said Guadalupe Loaeza, who has written several books about the Mexican elite. “More than money, the color of one’s skin is definitive … for whether one is accepted or not among the ‘rich boys and girls.’”

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The Mexican indigenous community that ran politicians out of town

04/03/2018 The Guardian

michoacanenglishAll across Mexico, political billboards are springing up and candidates are hitting the streets, as campaigning starts for elections to pick a new president, renew the congress and replace hundreds of state and local officials.

Everywhere, that is, except for one small corner of the violent western state of Michoacán, which has found a simple solution to the vote-buying and patronage which plague Mexican democracy.

The indigenous Purépecha town of Cherán threw out all political parties after a popular uprising in 2011 – and it doesn’t want them back.

“The only thing the parties have done is divide us,” said Salvador Ceja, Cherán’s communal lands commissioner. “Not just here – in the entire country.”

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Mexico celebrates Hollywood success of director Guillermo del Toro on Oscar night

03/05/2018 The San Diego Union Tribune

pexels-photo-164183.jpegGuillermo del Toro’s Oscar victories for best director and best picture for “The Shape of Water” have set off an outpouring of national pride and triggered celebrations in his Mexican homeland.

Many commentators on social media and elsewhere pointedly contrasted the success of Del Toro and other Mexican artists in the U.S. film industry with what many in the country assail as President Trump’s stereotyping of Mexicans as lawbreakers.

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Mexico’s Televisa to create content for Amazon Prime

02/22/2018 Reuters

televisaMexican broadcaster Televisa said on Thursday that it plans to start producing original content to be distributed on Amazon.com Inc’s platform, underscoring streaming services’ increasing efforts to woo Latin American audiences.

Televisa, the largest producer of Spanish-language TV content, said it has struck a multiseries agreement to create “premium programming with an emphasis on multicultural characters” for Amazon Prime Video, an on-demand video streaming service available in more than 200 countries and territories.

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¿Qué opinan? Firmas del día: 9/23/11

The Mexico Institute, AL DÍA: Analysis from the Mexico Institute, 9/23/11

Each morning, through the Mexico Portal feature, “¿Qué opinan? Firmas del día”, we will bring you an assortment of op-ed pieces from five major Mexican dailies: Reforma, El Universal, La Jornada, Excelsior and Milenio. Enjoy!

Cada día, por la entrada titulada, “¿Qué opinan? Firmas del día”, vamos a traerles un surtido de artículos de opinión de cinco periódicos populares de México: Reforma, El Universal, La Jornada, Excelsior and Milenio. ¡Que lo disfruten!

Continue reading “¿Qué opinan? Firmas del día: 9/23/11”

Reframing Mexico: Journalism Students Capture Day By Day Stories

Huffington Post, 9/22/11

Journalism students who walked into Professor Pat Davison’s multimedia and digital storytelling class at the University of North Carolina School of Journalism in January, were faced with a huge challenge. International reporting has long been a staple of their program, and this year, the students were teaming up with students at Tecnólogico de Monterrey in Mexico City to create documentaries about life in Mexico. However, the class was mandated to stay away from the drug war for safety reasons.

After racking their brains for angles to take, one student said, “I don’t think we should try to avoid [the drug war], instead we should make it our focus and look at everything beyond the drug war.” This is how the project “Reframing Mexico” began.

“All you hear from Mexico are negative headlines and the drug war, but there’s a lot more to it than that. This was a good broad umbrella. The goal was to paint a picture of Mexico City that goes beyond headlines,” said Davison.

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Or check out an interactive webpage on the ‘Reframing Mexico’ project at the Washington Post

¿Qué opinan? Firmas del día: 9/20/11

The Mexico Institute, AL DÍA: Analysis from the Mexico Institute, 9/20/11

Each morning, through the Mexico Portal feature, “¿Qué opinan? Firmas del día”, we will bring you an assortment of op-ed pieces from five major Mexican dailies: Reforma, El Universal, La Jornada, Excelsior and Milenio. Enjoy!

Cada día, por la entrada titulada, “¿Qué opinan? Firmas del día”, vamos a traerles un surtido de artículos de opinión de cinco periódicos populares de México: Reforma, El Universal, La Jornada, Excelsior and Milenio. ¡Que lo disfruten!

Continue reading “¿Qué opinan? Firmas del día: 9/20/11”

Mexico gangs send deadly message to social media, But some bloggers continue to defy threats and inform public

Houston Chronicle, 9/15/11

Placards left with the tortured bodies of two people hanging from a Nuevo Laredo overpass warn that the same fate awaits social media devotees who keep information flowing by text, Twitter, blogs and other means as gangsters muzzle the news media in much of Mexico.

“This is going to happen to all the internet busybodies,” said one of the notes signed with a Z, presumably for the Zetas gang that controls Nuevo Laredo. “Listen up, I’m on to you.”

Many Mexican newspapers and broadcasters have self-censored under constant gangster siege. Reporters have been killed, newsrooms attacked. Government officials often prove less than forthcoming with timely and accurate information. Twitter, Facebook, blogs and text messaging all have filled the void, becoming primary news sources in scores of Mexican communities, even for family members in the U.S., as gangs battle cartel rivals and security forces.

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