Culture

Elon Musk’s ‘Teslaquila’ Drink Faces Legal Trouble From Mexican Tequila Industry

Elon Musk is one of the most well known entrepreneurs in the world, most notably as the co-founder and CEO of Tesla cars. Now, Musk is about to set his sights on his newest venture as he has trademarked an alcoholic drink dubbed “Teslaquila.” However, Musk is already facing opposition from Mexico’s Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT), which presides over what can legally be considered tequila in the U.S. and Mexico.

“Teslaquila” started as an April Fools joke with Elon Musk but it didn’t take long for him to make that joke a reality.

In October, Tesla trademarked the name “Teslaquila” as a “distilled agave liquor” and “distilled blue agave liquor.” Shortly after Musk tweeted a photo of the bottle, saying it was “coming soon.” The idea might be on hold as the CRT is prepared to take on Musk in a legal battle of who gets to use the word tequila in their product.

Musk has already filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office in October to trademark the word “Teslaquila.” The CRT recently released a statement challenging the product on intellectual and geographic grounds.

“If it wants to make Teslaquila viable as a tequila it would have to associate itself with an authorized tequila producer, comply with certain standards and request authorization from Mexico’s Industrial Property Institute,” said the CRT in a statement to Reuters. “Otherwise it would be making unauthorized use of the denomination of origin for tequila.”

What legal standing does the CRT have when it comes to tequila? Turns out, a lot.

The CRT main purpose is to keep regulations and tabs on tequila producers to assure they follow strict production rules. This means the drink must be made in the Mexican states of Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoacan, Nayarit or Tamaulipas. The main concern is that the proposed name, “Teslaquila,” might confuse and trick people into thinking it’s true tequila. Technically, it wouldn’t be tequila without approval from the CRT. The organization has the right to govern the designation of tequila in both Mexico and the U.S.

If Teslaquila, which has yet to be approved by the U.S. patent office, were to go forward without approval the company could find itself in legal trouble. Both the CRT and the Mexican government could bring up legal issues hindering the company and brand. Manufacturing products in the tequila business is notoriously difficult because the main ingredient agave, is in dangerously short supply.

In his latest Tweet, Musk said “We will fight Big Tequila” which might indicate this is far from over.

Musk isn’t the first high profile name to get into the crowded tequila business. Justin Timberlake, P. Diddy and George Clooney have all gotten into the business. If Tesla goes ahead with its tequila plans without the Mexican authorities’ approval, then it may have to change it’s name to distance itself from tequila.


READ: Cafe Tacvba Greets Refugee Caravan In Mexico City With Support And Music

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Armed Police In Tulum Arrested A Gay Couple For Allegedly Kissing On The Beach

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Armed Police In Tulum Arrested A Gay Couple For Allegedly Kissing On The Beach

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Mexico has remained a popular tourist destination as people seek out places with fewer restrictions. However, Mexico’s popular beach destination of Tulum apparently still has some restrictions – for LGBTQ folks – that the police are quick to enforce.

A Canadian couple was briefly detained by police for allegedly kissing on the beach.

Police in the popular resort town of Tulum, about 90-minutes south of Cancun, briefly arrested a gay couple for kissing in public on a beach, alleging that the couple was not allowed to kiss in public because children were present.

According to local media reports, police said they were reacting to a report by someone else on the beach who had claimed that the men were “committing immoral acts.”

The couple were handcuffed together and ordered in to the back of a patrol vehicle until a crowd of onlookers formed and began to shout disapprovingly at police after one of the men explained to the crowd why they were being detained.

Outraged bystanders gathered around the couple and urged the police to let the men go.

The crowd began shouting in support of the couple, calling the actions homophobic and demanding the couple’s release.

The pressure from the crowd apparently prompted officers to release the men after a few minutes of dialogue. The presence of Escalante herself might also have been a factor.

In response to the arrest, Quintana Roo Tulum Police said: ‘We are an inclusive and impartial police both for residents and tourists who visit the state of Quintana Roo. So no abuse of authority will be tolerated.’

Video of the incident quickly went viral on social media with outrage being the common reaction.

Video and photos of the arrest went viral after on social media accounts, including that of local politician Maritza Escalante Morales, who denounced the actions of the officers. Escalante happened to be at the beach with her family when she noticed the officers approach the couple, she said, and joined the crowd to advocate for the couple’s release.

“I want to file a PUBLIC COMPLAINT, because the treatment and type of authorities we have in our municipality is inexcusable. Yesterday while I was on the beach with my family, we noticed around 4:30 that 2 police squads in their ATVs approached a group of young foreigners. After about 20 minutes, a patrol arrived and proceeded to arrest them with handcuffs,” she explained on TikTok.

“The policemen were VIOLENT,” Morales added, “and gave arguments such as ‘there are families and children and they cannot be seeing this. I am FURIOUS because it is not possible that in the XXI century this type of oppression against the LGBT+ community continues. We all deserve the same treatment, and appropriate sanctions must be applied to these authorities.”

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This Teacher Received A Nissan Pickup Truck Decked Out As A Mobile Classroom

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This Teacher Received A Nissan Pickup Truck Decked Out As A Mobile Classroom

Like students around the world, kids in Mexico have been forced to take school online or tune into programming on public TV in order to learn. But that’s just the kids who are lucky enough to have access to Internet or a TV. Many students live in rural areas and lack the adequate resources to continue their studies amid the global pandemic.

But thankfully, there are many good samaritans out there (aka compassionate teachers) who have invented their own ways to bring the classroom to kids wherever they are.

A Mexican teacher was gifted a decked out pickup truck by Nissan.

Since schools were forced to close last year in April, Aguascalientes special education teacher Nallely Esparza Flores, has been driving four hours a day to educate students one-on-one at their homes from her truck bed, outfitted with a small table and chairs.

News of her project spread across social media, eventually reaching the corporate offices of Nissan México. This week, the company surprised Esparza with the gift of a new pickup truck specially outfitted with a small open-air mobile classroom built into the truck’s bed.

“Today I feel like my labors and the help that we give each day to children and their families is unstoppable,” she said on Twitter Wednesday, sharing photos of her new vehicle. “My students no longer have to take classes in the full heat of the sun,” she said.

Nissan representatives said they decided to give Esparza the adapted NP300 model, 4-cylinder truck after hearing her story because she was “an example of perseverance and empathy.”

“When we learned about the incredible work of this teacher, we got together to discuss in what way we could contribute to this noble work,” said Armando Ávila, a vice president of manufacturing.

The mobile classroom is pretty legit and will allow Esparza to continue her good deed.

Esparza inside her new classroom.

The decked out Nissan pickup truck has three walls (the other is a retractable sheeting) and a ceiling made with translucent panels to protect teacher and student from the elements while letting in natural light.

It also has retractable steps for easy access to the classroom, electrical connections, a whiteboard and an easily disinfected acrylic table and benches that are foldable into the wall to provide space. The table also has a built-in plexiglass barrier to allow social distancing.

Access to education in Mexico is highly inequitable.

Esparza, like many teachers across the country, found that not all distance learning was equal. Many of her students in Cavillo were from poor families without internet access. So she used social media networks to keep in touch with such students via cell phones, but even that was not necessarily an available option for all — and not ideal. Finally, she decided to solve the problem by hitting the road in her pickup truck.

According to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), only 58% of students in Mexico had a home computer – the lowest percentage among all OECD countries. And only about one third (32%) of the school computers in rural schools in Mexico were connected to
the Internet, compared to more than 90% for schools located in urban areas.

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