Help tell the stories of migrant families being detained at the border

The news cycle isn’t kind to stories that take a long time to be told. Sure, no one ever stops talking about Trump and his uncle Vlad, but despite it all being a part of one two-year long shit show, there’s always something new and horrific to draw the eye. Not so with stories like the ones that are still playing on on the United States’ southern border, daily. Families are still being kept apart, kids barely able to talk are being asked to defend themselves in court, and individuals seeking asylum from the dangers of their homes are being turned away by customs agents or railroaded into custody with less than legal practices.

While much of the media has turned its focus to alleged Russian spies sleeping their way into influential positions, The Texas Tribune just keeps on keeping on: their reportage on the tragedies being played out on the U.S./Mexican border is has been absolutely outstanding. But, they’re a non-profit. In order to continue to do the sort of quality journalism that they’ve been churning out of late, they could use a hand.

Right now, the Texas Tribune is raising funds to open a newsroom in the Rio Grande Valley: an area of the state that, as it’s name suggests, lays along the Mexican border by the Rio Grande River. It’s where you’ll find McAllen and Brownesville – two of the cities where DHS has been splitting up families and stashing kids away in privately operated prisons. It’s ground zero for the Trump administration’s bigoted bullshit. Read the rest

Authoritarians used to be scared of social media, now they rule it

A new report from the Institute For the Future on "state-sponsored trolling" documents the rise and rise of government-backed troll armies who terrorize journalists and opposition figures with seemingly endless waves of individuals who bombard their targets with vile vitriol, from racial slurs to rape threats. Read the rest

Underneath ancient Mexican temple, archeologists find an even older one

Last September, an 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Mexico did all kinds of crazy damage to buildings, infrastructure and ended far too many lives. It’s hard to find anything good in the midsts of a mess like that, but here we are: According to the BBC, a pyramid in Morelos (around 40 miles south of Mexico City,) was damaged by the quake. While assessing how much the quake had messed the ancient structure up, Archaeologists discovered that, underneath the pyramid, there was an even older temple that they hadn’t known was there.

From The BBC:

The temple is nestled inside the Teopanzolco pyramid in Morelos state, 70km (43 miles) south of Mexico City.

It is thought to date back to 1150 and to belong to the Tlahuica culture, one of the Aztec peoples living in central Mexico.

The structure is dedicated to Tláloc, the Aztec rain god.

Archaeologists say it would have measured 6m by 4m (20ft by 13ft). Among the temple's remains they also found an incense burner and ceramic shards.

According to people far smarter about old stuff than most of us are, the structures are the Teopanzolco site date back to the 13th century. The temple underneath of that 13th century pyramid? It’s older--but how much older remains to be seen.

At a press conference held by Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH,) Isabel Campos Goenaga, the director of the INAH's Morelos Center and archeologist Georgia Bravo Lopez told journalists that the newly discovered temple was located about two meters below the floor of the pyramid. Read the rest

Mexican election: saturation robo-calls spreading disinformation about Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador the front-running candidate for president of Mexico on a largely progressive ticket (tuition breaks, increased aid to seniors, drug war amnesty, though it's a mixed bag, reflecting the weird coalition of left-wing and right-wing parties he's fronting); and he is the target of a bizarre, mass-scale disinformation campaign being carried out by blanket robo-calling. Read the rest

114 candidates in Mexico's upcoming elections have been murdered, so far

Alejandro Chavez Zavala was running for mayor of Tareta in the state of Michoacan when he was gunned down following a campaign event. Read the rest

Mindbendingly cool Mexican psychedelic music from 1981

I'm familiar with the psych music scene that emerged in the 1960s-1970s in some Latin American countries like Brazil, Chile, and Argentina, thanks to fantastic reissues of rare LPs on labels like Luaka Bop, Goma Gringa, Now Again, and Mr Bongo. Now, the esteemed diggers at Mr Bongo have brought us a stunningly spacey psych record from Mexico: Luis Pérez's "Ipan In Xiktli Metztli, México Mágico Cósmico, El Ombligo de la Luna."

In the 1970s, Pérez studied the pre-Columbian instruments and musical traditions across Mexico, from the Maya and Nahuatl to Raramuri and Wixarika. He then channeled those influences into his own gorgeous electronic and experimental psychedelic songs that make up this record first released in 1981. Listen below.

As Mr Bongo writes, Pérez "delves deep into the past but also exists entirely outside of time."

Far fucking out.

Read the rest

Native American Tribe to DHS: Keep your dumb border wall off our land

In 1853, the U.S. Government bought a 29,670 square mile chunk of dirt in a deal that, as history buffs will tell you, ended up being called the Gadsden Purchase. It was a dick move: purchasing the land meant bisecting the territory of the area's indigenous Tohono O’odham Nation. This left half of the Tohono O’odham in Mexico and the other half in the United States. Today, the Tohono O’odham are a federally recognized tribe, with somewhere around 34,000 members. This number includes around 2,000 Tohono O’odham who live in Mexico. It's not uncommon for the tribe to cooperate with Homeland Security where protecting the border is concerned. But guess what? A tribe that had their lands split up by the Federal government once isn't crazy about having it done again.

According to Splinter, the Tohono O’odham Nation controls the second largest land base in the United States. This includes a full 75 miles of the U.S./Mexico border. Given that members of their tribe live on both sides of the border, they're less than chuffed with the notion of allowing the National Guard onto their lands to surveil their territory or to allow a border wall to be built on their property. The reasons for their objections are sound: Having a wall thrown up in the middle of their land would keep members of their tribe from easily traveling to participate in culturally important events on their own frigging land.

From Splinter:

Tohono O’odham chairman Edward D.

Read the rest

Trump to deploy National Guard to southwest border with Mexico, 'to assist Border Patrol' in fighting immigration

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to sign a proclamation today to authorize deployment of National Guard troops to the southwest border with Mexico. Read the rest

Even insured Americans flock to Mexico for low-cost, high-quality health-care

American health care is so screwed up, so horribly distorted by the insurance companies' abusive practices, that millions of Americans (even those with insurance) fly to Mexico every year to get state-of-the-art medical care -- and a resort vacation in the bargain -- rather than face the US system, and save money by doing so. Read the rest

Teachers on four continents stage mass strikes

In the USA, there are tens of thousands of teachers in open rebellion, in Oklahoma, West Virginia, Arizona, Kentucky, and things are heating up in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Iowa and Colorado. Read the rest

This French baker cruises around delivering fresh-baked goods to boaters

Here's a guy who's found his niche market.

Out of a humble panga, there is a French baker who goes boat to boat selling his fresh-baked wares to those docked (primarily gringos) in Jalisco, Mexico's Barra de Navidad marina and lagoon area.

Chef Emeric Fiegen opened up shop, with his wife Christine, in this small laidback beach town over 15 years ago after a stint in Montreal. Early each morning, Chef Emeric still personally delivers his many breads, baguettes, croissants, pies, and quiches by boat. Not surprisingly, his pastries sell out by the time he's done making his rounds.

My friends Andrea and Nick are currently on an epic cruising adventure with their teen daughter Pari, and were lucky to sample the breakfast pastries while anchored in Barra de Navidad. Andrea told me that they've never come across a delivery service like this before on any of their many boating trips.

Here's a look at the menu. Keep in mind that those prices are in pesos and that it's currently about 18.50 pesos to the dollar:

Landlubbers, fear not, the French Bakery (aka El Horno Francés) has an onshore eatery for you in town.

photos by Andrea Cook Read the rest

Canada stripped the TPP of its terrible IP proposals: will the US seek revenge in NAFTA talks?

It's been nearly a year since Trump killed the Trans Pacific Partnership by pulling the US out of it; last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada and the other TPP countries would sign the agreement without the USA -- an announcement timed to coincide with Trump's appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, presenting the TPP nations as a kind of coalition of the willing for political moderation and maturity. Read the rest

Humorous anti-Trump sentiments expressed in beach vendor's wares

My pal photographer John Curley is visiting the beautiful seaside village of Sayulita, Mexico right now.

Today, on Facebook, he shared this photo he took of a display of hand-woven anti-Trump bracelets with the message, "the beach vendors are muy inteligente here." Read the rest

Mexican cities secede to escape corruption and cartels, forming corporate dystopias, precarious utopian projects, and Mad Maxish militia towns

Mexico's corrupt, failing government that covers up official mass murders by attacking journalists and dissidents with cyberweapons is locked in a stalemate with the country's horrific, mass-murdering gangs, and the Mexican people are caught in the crossfire. Read the rest

The Mexican town where 75% of residents manufacture fireworks

Brimstone & Glory is a new documentary about the annual National Pyrotechnic Festival in Tultepec, Mexico, a ten-day orgy of sparks and sulfur. Almost everyone in town manufactures fireworks, so the festival is beyond the beyond. Read the rest

Letter from indigenous Mexican man who was denied a US visa to receive an award for internet development

Mariano Gómez is a 23 year old Tseltal from Abasolo, Chiapas, and a member of the Ikta K’op Collective; he is being given an award by the prestigious Internet Society for his work creating "a wireless Internet and Intranet network that provided connectivity and access to information to his community, which has no telephone or radio service," but will not be able to attend the awards in Los Angeles because the US embassy has denied him a tourist visa. Read the rest

Trump begs Mexico president: 'I have to have Mexico pay for the wall – I have to'

"But the fact is we are both in a little bit of a political bind because I have to have Mexico pay for the wall – I have to.” -- Trump to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on a January 27, 2017 phone call. Read the rest

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