VICE explores the hidden Mexico

I started to discover the most interesting stuff about Mexico when I left. I’m not gonna lie, I never realized what Mexico actually stands for until I saw the country as an outsider. In the same way, I got a closer perspective of the foreigner’s point of view.

It kinda surprises me and never found the words to express what Mexico is (within its thousands of faces). I think is better to show it, not just talk about it, but really put the culture, society and voices of the Mexicans in a visual way.

I have tried a couple of times (and will doing it as much as I can), but if a professional view of the culture is what people are looking for, then my biggest suggestion would be the VICE documentaries.

The first time I saw a VICE documentary about Mexico was the one about the “Mexican Pointy Boots“. I discovered that mexican fashion through VICE. I had never heard about it before. This is the kind of documentary that I like to see, closer to the people. It describes the real ‘feeling’ of the society, the thoughts of the Mexican people and in their own words.

Then I started to look more documentaries of the same style. What else could I discover from my country in this original journalistic enterprise? Well, there were more than expected, here a short list with some of my favorites, including the ones produced with the mexican beer brand “Indio”: Continue reading

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Song of the day: Gimme tha Power – Molotov

Molotov is one of my favorite bands. My favorite Spanish-speaking band for sure.

Oddly, the only times that I’ve been to a Molotov concert were in Germany, during their European tour. But I don’t complain, the concerts were vibrant and full of energy, like their songs. Damn! I was even able to jump with them on the stage and had some words before and after the show.

But anyways. Mexico has been involved in many political disturbances and its social movements are a clear way to observe these several demands from all over Mexico.

What I like from Molotov is that they are totally apolitical, so have more energy to talk crap about everyone in politics.

This is one of their most famous songs, and almost an hymn that has trascended through all Latin America. I truly believe, that many inhabitants from Tijuana to Tierra del Fuego feel very identified with the lyrics.

This is a powerful invitation of Molotov to take the streets and demonstrate against the dirt in Politics: Gimme tha Power.

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Humiliation of a Mexican child

Not new, still outrageous. A mexican inspector of the government did one of the most humiliating acts. But well, let’s start from the origin of all.

In Mexico are forbidden (among other things):

  1. Child labour.
  2. Selling cigarettes or alcohol to minors.

humkid01Clear so far? ok. However, there is a problem. It is not possible to achieve it. Why? Well, in Mexico there is a high level of poverty and many people have to find some source of income, rather than going even to schools, including children. True, some children are exploited and some others just don’t have any further goals in their lives. But, although the law is supposed to guarantee the same opportunities for everyone, in reality it is not possible due to the high inequality in the country. Continue reading

Song of the day: Criminals in Uniform – Sepultura

After the tragic days of the Presidential succession in my Mexico, I got full of anger and impotence as I saw how again the “controllers of chaos” were indiscriminately attacking protesters and making random arrests among population.

Thus, this time the song of the day is for them, the Criminals in Uniform serving powers that look at the control over the population rather their security.

I know public forces in my country are meant to serve the population and I strongly support my national heroes in the Police and the Army; but for those traitors attacking my people, I must tell you that I’ll be back for all of you. In the meantime this is your song:

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Puto – Molotov

You must probably know by now, Molotov is doing a European tour and they are going to play in my beloved Munich. Remembering last year’s concert and the funny interview I did with Paco Ayala, I would like to share in the following days the most-known Molotov songs and translate them. Why? Because this material should be shared worldwide. Molotov is an amazing band that still has the power and the energy to protest like years before, but of course with a more mature and rough sound. Some might like it, some others might not… but everyone talks about it, everyone knows them and remembers them once the people hear about… M to the O to the L to the O to the T to the O to the V!

“Puto” is one of the famous songs ever from the band, and all the generations from the X and after truly know it word by word, not only in Mexico, but in all spanish-speaking countries. You don’t believe me? Ask a Spanish speaking who Molotov is, and which song too. Yeah, Puto from Molotov. And why is it so famous? Well, it was released in 1997, in a very conservative Mexican society, in the middle of a tiring and mind-fucked tight society.

The history of Rock in Mexico could be also labeled as before and after Molotov (more precisely before and after Puto), when a boom in Rock in Spanish led to an explicit way of rock, full of “bad words”, but actually words that needed to be said.

Well well, too much chit-chat. Puto is one of the first releases of the first album (maybe the very first, I can not remember) and is simple but powerful, provocative and full of energy, THE song, the one that everyone yells and jumps with. But don’t get confused, people, this song has nothing to do against Homosexuality or the gay community. As a true believer of the Human Rights (and most of all of the common sense) I think the only sickness or deviation is Homophobia. As said before, I had the chance to talk to the guys of the band while touring last year in Europe, besides I know their backgrounds and I can tell you 100% that this song is dedicated to all those coward assholes that keep fucking with the Mexican people.

So, the meaning of “Faggot” here is clearly meant as in the “coward” sense, nothing else. If you don’t believe me, you can check the lyrics down defining “who is a Puto”, or ask any Mexican on the streets if they would dedicate this song to a gay or to a Mexican politician.

And yes, at the left is the original version, and at the right is a fully English version for you to understand. I will do a literal translation and some footnotes can be found after the translation to understand the “Mexicanisms” in the songs of Molotov, that could be a lot. For complaints regard the translation and comments about your mom just let it know below.

¡Cámaras! Continue reading

The worst case of Homophobia in Mexico

Agustín walks down the streets in California. He is clearly sad, scared and tired. He has been escaping because he just wanted to reveal himself as what he is, but he has no money, no food and no family with him; yet, he represents the worst case of Homophobia in Mexico.

The teacher Agustín Estrada Negrete, holder of a PhD on Education, began as principal of “Centro de Atención Múltiple” (CAM) in Ecatepec, one of the poorest and most populated communities of the State of Mexico. He started with almost nothing and created a well organised education center for mentally challenged children. Besides that, looking at the poor conditions of the inhabitants, created workshops and gave resources and tools to the neighbors, so they could start their own business. He gave even from his own money to improve the conditions of the school and started a program to give education to elderly and parents. He was active and hardworking in the community helping every time he could.

By 2005 the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, PRI), looking at the big influence of the professor in the community, asked him to support the Candidate for the Governance. Perhaps Agustín saw good proposals and a charismatic and young Candidate, so he accepted and helped him. The candidate for the PRI won.

In May 17th 2007, he was invited by the Human Rights Coordination to a rally at the International day against Homophobia. He went there on support and dressed up as in the movie “The Birdcage” making public his sexual preference.

Teachers under his charge were horrified at his opening and brought an action against him arguing that he had a wrong behavior and is a bad example for the community, but the community didn’t care about his preferences, they only saw a good professor and wanted him with them. The teacher replied with a complaint at the “National Council against Discrimination” but nothing was done.

He then goes to a meeting with the Governor of the State in the University of Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl exposing his case on the off chance that the Governor could review his case of injustice and help him, as he already knew the teacher and his reputation, besides he was helping him in his Campaign. Continue reading