Culture

Elon Musk Wanted To Call His Tequila Brand ‘Teslaquila’ But Mexico Said No

Tesla Tequila is real? That’s the question many people are asking themselves after the recent announcement that the elixir was indeed available to buy on the company’s website.

Many assumed it was all a publicity stunt or a Twitter joke by the eccentric Tesla founder…looks like we are all wrong. Turns out we probably shouldn’t of doubted him. He’s already gotten people to buy flamethrowers, short shorts and surfboards. Guess it was only natural that the billionaire’s next move would be tequila.

Only one problem: tequila is a well protected and regulated beverage that’s overseen by Mexican officials. So although he’s released his so-called Tesla Tequila, he didn’t get to call it what he had wanted to, thanks to Mexican regulators.

Mexican officials told Elon Musk no to his ‘Teslaquila’ brand.

It was more than two years ago that Elon Musk referenced the “Teslaquilla” (yes, with two Las) idea. It came in the form of an April Fool’s Day joke, with Musk writing, “Elon was found passed out against a Tesla Model 3, surrounded by ‘Teslaquilla’ bottles, the tracks of dried tears still visible on his cheeks.”

But thanks to Mexican regulators, Musk has had to change his approach. Although he launched his tequila brand over in November, he didn’t get to call it what he had hoped to call it.

Thanks to strict controls on naming and production of tequila, Musk’s tequila brand is now called Tesla Tequila. Mexico’s Tequila Regulatory Council rejected the name for being too confusing for a brand name, since it’s close to the word “tequila.” 

The word “tequila” is a designation of origin; it means the rights of using this word belong only to the tequila agribusiness. That also means no one can register the word as their property. Musk’s team challenged this, saying “Teslaquila” was a natural variant from Tesla and the suffix “-quila.” On January 16th, the final ruling came down: the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property declared it could not register the brand.

Although Musk couldn’t launch ‘teslaquila’, he’s moved fast on Tesla Tequila.

Despite the naming setback, Musk has been hard at work at getting his tequila brand off the ground. And just last month, products started to ship.

Tesla Tequila comes in a lightning bolt-shaped bottle and, according to the label, is an “exclusive, premium 100% de agave tequila añejo aged in French oak barrels” produced by Nosotros Tequila.

The liquor boasts “a dry fruit and light vanilla nose with a balanced cinnamon pepper finish” and a Tesla-branded stand to hold the angular glass container upright. Despite limiting orders to two bottles per customer and only shipping to certain U.S. states, the car-brand tequila still sold out within a matter of hours. And it’s going for $250 a pop.

And in case you’re wondering, Mexico ain’t mad about it. “Today the tequila industry has someone as important as Elon Musk representing it,” the CRT said in a statement. “This is, without a doubt, a benefit to all the tequila producers because he is giving his image as an important businessman and he is showing he wants to comply with the rules of this industry. We welcome Elon Musk and the Tesla tequila brand.”

People are already receiving their shipments and posting to social media.

People who ordered the tequila are beginning to receive their shipments, and some are sharing photos on social media.

“It’s finally here and it’s so sexy!” wrote one Twitter user.

This isn’t the first time that Tesla’s owner has raised eyebrows for strange business ventures.

From flamethrowers to surf boards and now tequila, Musk has launched all types of products, apart from his iconic Tesla vehicles.

Earlier this year, the company took to selling mini red gym shorts on its website, in a playful hit back at investors who had “shorted” Tesla, or bet that its stock would drop. Each pair was priced at $69.420.

Musk also made headlines this week by revealing how close the automaker was from bankruptcy at one point. In response to a question on Twitter, he said that Tesla was only “about a month” away from collapse when it was working to ramp up production for its popular Model 3 sedan from mid-2017 to mid-2019.

However, what ever he’s doing seems to be working for the company since none of those struggles are reflected in its stock price. Tesla shares have been on a tear this year, shooting up more than 420%.

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A Tourist Was Arrested For Illegally Climbing Up The Pyramid of Kukulkán

Culture

A Tourist Was Arrested For Illegally Climbing Up The Pyramid of Kukulkán

Jon G. Fuller / VW PICS / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

It is important to be a responsible tourist. This means following rules, acting responsibly, and not violating sacred places. That is something one tourist learned the hard way when she climbed the Pyramid of Kukulkán in Chichén Itzá.

Here’s the video of a tourist running down the steps of the Pyramid of Kukulkán.

The Pyramid of Kukulkán is one of the most iconic examples of Pre-Hispanic architecture and culture in Mesoamerica. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most visited archeological sites in Mexico. In 2017, more than 2 million visitors descended on the site.

Of course, #LadyKukulkan started to trend on Twitter.

You know that Twitter was ready to start calling out this woman for her actions. According to Yucatán Expat Life Magazine, the woman was there to honor her husband’s dying wish. The woman, identified as a tourist from Tijuana, wanted to spread her husband’s ashes on the top of the pyramid, which it seems that she did.

The video was a moment for Mexican Twitter.

Not only was she arrested by security when she descended, but the crowd was also clearly against her. Like, what was she even thinking? It isn’t like the pyramid is crawling with tourists all over it. She was the only person climbing the pyramid, which is federally owned and cared for.

The story is already sparking ideas for other people when they die.

“Me: (to my parents) Have you read about #ladykukulkan?
My Dad: Yes! (to my mom) When I die, I want you to scatter my ashes in the National Palace so they call you “Lady Palace,” sounds better, no?” wrote @hania_jh on Twitter.

READ: Mexico’s Version Of Burning Man Became A COVID-19 Super-Spreader Event Thanks To U.S. Tourists

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These Women Created A Cookbook That Honors Victims of Mexico’s Violence With Their Favorite Recipes

Things That Matter

These Women Created A Cookbook That Honors Victims of Mexico’s Violence With Their Favorite Recipes

FRANCISCO ROBLES/AFP via Getty Images

Despite a slight change in strategy in combatting the country’s endemic violence, Mexico continues to see a staggering degree of violence plaguing communities. Although the country’s president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, promised sweeping changes that would help pacify the country – violence has continues to spiral out of control, reaching record levels in 2020.

No where is this more evident than in the communities that have lost dozens or even hundreds of loved ones. Many of these communities have formed search brigades to help try and find their loved ones (or their remains) but they’re also getting creative with the ways in which they work to remember those they’ve lost.

A search brigade publishes a recipe book containing their loved ones’ favorite foods.

A group of women who came together to help locate the remains of their loved ones, have worked together on a new project to help remember their loved ones. Together, they have created Recipes to Remember, a book of favourite dishes of some of the missing. Each dish has the name of the person it was made for and the date they disappeared. It was the idea of Zahara Gómez Lucini, a Spanish-Argentine photographer who has documented the group since 2016.

The women are known as the Rasteadoras, and they’ve literally been digging to uncover graves of Mexico’s missing. Now, they’re finding ways to help remember those who have gone missing. The book is a way to strengthen the community and as one of the mothers told The Financial Times, “the book is a tool for building ties.”

“This recipe book is very important because it’s an exercise in collective memory and that’s very necessary,” says Enrique Olvera, the chef and restaurateur behind Pujol in Mexico City and Cosme in New York and a sponsor of the book. “It enables the Rastreadoras to connect with the memory of their loved ones through food and brings us, the readers, closer … It weaves empathy,” he told the Financial Times.

Many of these women came to know each other as they searched for their missing loved ones.

The women – who are mostly housewives in their 40s and 50s – literally scour the nearby grasslands, deserts, and jungles with shovels in hands hoping to make a discovery.

Their “treasures” are among the more than 82,000 people recorded as having disappeared and not been located in Mexico since 2006, when the government declared a war on drug cartels, unleashing terrible, seemingly unstoppable violence. Notwithstanding Covid-19, 2020 may prove to have been the deadliest year on record. As of November there had been 31,871 murders, compared with a record 34,648 in 2019.

Their stories of loss are heartbreaking.

One of the mothers, Jessica Higuera Torres, speaks of her son Jesús Javier López Higuera, who disappeared in 2018, in the present tense. For the book, she prepared a soup with pork rind because “he loves it — when I was cooking, I felt as though he was by my side.”

On the other hand, Esther Preciado no longer cooks chile ribs, her recipe for her daughter’s father, Vladimir Castro Flores, who has been missing since 2013. “That one’s just for the memories now,” she says.

“You get addicted to searching,” she adds. The 120 or so Rastreadoras have found 68 people, but only about a quarter of those are their missing loved ones. She acknowledges many victims may have got into trouble because they sold or used drugs; others were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Mexico’s missing person problem continues to plague the country.

Since taking office in 2018, the government of President López Obrador has stepped up efforts to locate missing people and identify bodies. It says the number of reported disappearances for 2020 was trending down. But the government acknowledged in November that in 2019, a record 8,804 people had been reported missing and not been found.

According to official data, Mexico has counted 4,092 clandestine graves and exhumed 6,900 bodies since 2006. Sinaloa is notorious as the home of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, once Mexico’s most powerful drug baron, now locked up in a maximum-security jail in the U.S. The city of Los Mochis, where the Rastreadoras are based, is currently in the grip of Fausto Isidro Meza Flores, known as El Chapo Isidro.

The Rastreadoras acknowledge that they’re on their own, turning to the authorities for help is not an option. As shown in the mass disappearance of 43 Mexican students in 2014, which rocked the country, municipal police have a terrible reputation for being infiltrated by cartels. “They won’t help us — they’re the same ones who are involved,” scoffs Reyna Rodríguez Peñuelas, whose son, Eduardo González Rodríguez, disappeared in 2016.

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