AMLO, the World Series-watching president, wants to Make Mexican Baseball Great Again

white baseball ball on brown leather baseball mitt
Photo by Steshka Willems on

10/24/19 – The Washington Post

By Mary Beth Sheridan

It was another grim news conference for Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. There was a narco crisis in Sinaloa. A clash with protesters in the capital. And now, a new threat from Washington.


His name was Juan Soto, and he was sticking it to the president’s team, the Astros.

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Elderly Mexicans are visiting their undocumented children in the U.S. – with State Department approval

5/24/2019 – The Washington Post

By Kevin Sieff

granMaría Dominga Romero León bent over a small black suitcase and packed her things, one by one: A folder of photographs, a half-finished blouse, a bag of wooden toys for the grandchildren she’d never met.

She sighed.

“They’re probably used to America by now,” she said.

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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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‘Roma,’ ‘Cold War’ among foreign-language Oscar nominees

1/22/2019 – The Washington Post

(Carlos Somonte/Netflix via AP) 

By The Associated Press

LONDON — Films from Mexico, Poland, Lebanon, Japan and Germany are competing in the Academy Awards race for best foreign-language film.

Five nominees announced Tuesday include Alfonso Cuaron’s Mexican memory masterpiece, “Roma,” Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski’s black-and-white period drama “Cold War” and Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki’s child-poverty drama “Capernaum.”

Also in the running are “Shoplifters,” the story of a family on society’s margins by Japan’s Hirokazu Kore-eda, and German director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s artist biopic “Never Look Away.”

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Graciela Iturbide’s Photos of Mexico Make ‘Visible What, to Many, Is Invisible’

1/8/2019 – The New York Times

Graciela Iturbide/Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Graciela Iturbide may be one of the most renowned photographers working today. Five decades into her journey with a camera, her work, most famously in indigenous communities in her native Mexico, has achieved that rare trifecta — admired by critics, revered by fellow photographers and adored by the public. She continues to travel, photograph and exhibit all over the world.

But it is becoming impossible to discuss her work without mentioning the Zapotec woman wearing five live iguanas on her head.

Ms. Iturbide made the photo after happening upon Zobeida Díaz at a farmer’s market while living with the Juchitán of southeastern Oaxaca in 1979. It took several tries — the iguanas kept moving around, falling off, reducing her subject to laughter — but on her contact sheet, Ms. Iturbide found her “Nuestra Señora de las Iguanas (Our Lady of the Iguanas),” an image so arresting that 40 years later, its popularity is still growing.

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Mexico’s new ‘common man’ president hits the ground running

12/3/2018 – Washington Post

(Marco Ugarte/Associated Press)

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s newly inaugurated president hit the ground running Monday with his pledge to govern as a common man and end decades of secrecy, heavy security and luxury enjoyed by past presidents.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador sported slightly ruffled hair at his first early morning news conference as president, which started at 7 a.m. local time Monday.

“Isn’t that a change, that I am here, informing you?” Lopez Obrador asked reporters. While past presidents have very seldom held news conferences, Lopez Obrador promised to do so on a near-daily basis, much as he did when he was mayor of Mexico City from 2000-2005.

Lopez Obrador took his first airplane flight as president Sunday, boarding a commercial flight with the rest of the passengers. He has promised to sell the presidential jet as an austerity measure.

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Mexico honors migrants at Day of the Dead as caravan treks north

10/29/2018 – Reuters

dia de los muertos
REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico City dedicated its Day of the Dead parade on Saturday to migrants, just as thousands of Central Americans were trekking from the country’s southern border toward the United States under pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to disband.

In an a twist on the traditional dancing skeletons and marigold-adorned altars making their way down the capital’s main thoroughfare, the parade also referenced Mexicans who emigrated as well as foreigners who settled in the capital.

“The parade… is dedicated to migrants, who in their transit to other countries have lost their lives, and who in their passing through the country have contributed to a true ‘Refuge City,’” the Mexico City government said on Twitter.

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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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‘We don’t want Maradona’: Soccer legend gets a mixed welcome in Mexico’s Sinaloa

9/19/2018 – Washington Post

Marco Ugarte/AP

 The president-elect of Mexico, a man capable of convening massive crowds, passed through this coastal city on Monday morning and raised little more than a ripple.

The same afternoon, one of the living legends of major league baseball, Fernando Valenzuela, was left mostly in peace as he ate lunch with other retired ballplayers in the restaurant of the Hotel Lucerna.

The reporters and TV crews who had convened in the hotel lobby were more interested in another new arrival: a 57-year-old, short, paunchy Argentine man with graying stubble and a pronounced limp who had taken up residence in a seventh-floor suite and had hardly been seen for a week.

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