Culture

The Mexican Government Tried To Say Pinche Gringo BBQ’s Name Was Too Vulgar, But They Won A Case Letting Them Keep It

Six years ago, United States native Dan DeFossey and Mexican Roberto Luna took a chance when they opened a BBQ restaurant in the Mexico City neighborhood of Narvarte. Their idea was simple in thought, create a food environment where both U.S. food and Mexican culture meet. It was an idea that was rooted in building a bridge between both countries in increasingly divided times. 

“We want to be a cultural center where we offer a variety of activities and a bridge between Mexico and the United States,” DeFossey told Mexican newspaper El Economista back in March. “We want to send a message that there is no wall between us. This place is a letter of friendship between Mexico and my country.”

While the restaurant has seen success and has even opened a second location in Anáhuac, there has also been controversy that until recently put Defossy and Luna in legal trouble. That is mainly due to their restaurant’s name, Pinche Gringo BBQ.

The controversy stemmed from Article 4 of the Industrial Property Law in Mexico that states that “a brand cannot be registered if it is deemed to be contrary to the morals and good manners of society.” In this case the word “Pinche.”

Credit: pinchegringobbq / Instagram

The ordeal started about five years ago when Defossy and Luna attempted to register the restaurant’s name but immediately faced legal challenges. This stemmed from the use of the word “pinche”, essentially meaning “damn” but also used as an offensive term, in its business name.

The term was found offensive and not suitable for registering according to Article 4 of the Industrial Property Law (LPI) prohibits the registration of brands whose contents or form are contrary to the morals and good customs of society. The two didn’t agree with the decision and launched a five-year legal battle to register its name. 

Defossy and Luna put forth two factors to defend the use of the name. Both made the argument that “pinche” is also used in some parts of the restaurant industry to describe “kitchen assistant” in formal Spanish. The term is also part of the fabric of the restaurant’s mission in creating  “fraternity and camaraderie between citizens of the United States and Mexico.”

“From a gastronomic point of view, the word pinche refers to a cook . . .” Alejandro Luna de Olivares, the owners’ lawyer,  old the magazine Forbes México.

After a long legal battle, the restaurant was allowed to keep it’s popular name after the courts ruled in their favor.   

Credit: pinchegringobbq / Instagram

“. . . The case reached a collegiate district court and our main argument was that the fourth article of the law is against the constitution because IMPI must not be the arbitrator of morals and good manners,” Luz Elena Elías, another lawyer who represented Pinche Gringo restaurant, told the Mexico Daily News. “In the end, the court ruled in our favor,” she said, noting that the court decision sets a precedent for the use of the term “pinche” in a brand going forward. 

Defossy and Luna are happy to put this legal trouble in the rearview mirror and continue to grow their restaurant chain. This also means they can finally make products with the business’s name, which was previously not an option due to the pending legal case. 

“The future is very bright. We have a lot of ideas to grow Pinche Gringo. We have plans to open a luxury restaurant with . . . more gourmet food but with a casual atmosphere,” DeFossey said. “What matters most to us with the concept of El Pinche Gringo is to bring about a change and I think we’re achieving it.”

That change goes beyond just their name but how the business is run from the inside out. That starts with the more than 100 employees whom a large majority are Mexicans who were deported from the U.S. after living the majority of their lives there. This is part of El Pinche Gringo’s philosophy and a testament of what they believe in building bridges not walls. 

“When someone comes into this house [El Pinche Gringo] it’s as if they’ve arrived in Austin, Texas, and for two hours you have the chance to get up close to a little bit of the food and culture of the United States in an environment where social classes or where you come from don’t matter,” DeFossey says. “When you leave, you return to Mexico, my country for the last 10 years.”

READ: He Was Injured In The Hard Rock Hotel Collapse And Gave An Interview To The Media, Now He’s Being Detained By ICE

Mexico Is The World’s Second Deadliest Country For Trans Women And These Activists Have Had Enough

Things That Matter

Mexico Is The World’s Second Deadliest Country For Trans Women And These Activists Have Had Enough

Homosensual / Instagram

Trans rights in Latin America are an uphill and often heroic battle. Conservative social norms and Catholicism, both of which are generally dogmatic when it comes to any sexual or gender diversity, has shaped Mexican society into a mostly CIS-gendered, patriarchy-led society. However, there are promising signs that long-lasting change could be near and that Mexican culture could shift the tide towards a legal and everyday framework in which rights are respected. 

Trans women in particular are vulnerable to discrimination, verbal abuse and physical violence. 

Mexico is almost as dangerous as Brazil for trans women.

Credit: Homosensual

As the Associated Press reports: “Mexico has become the world’s second deadliest country after Brazil for transgender people, with 261 transgender women slain in 2013-2018, according to a recent study by the LGBTQ rights group Letra S.”

This is just appaling, as is the fact that most crimes go unpunished and that corruption in the Kaflaesque Mexican bureaucracy often leads to even more instances of abuse and trauma for the victims. The Associated Press reported late last year: “Like most crime in Mexico, nearly all such slayings go unsolved and unpunished — less than 3% of the killings of LGBTQ members have resulted in convictions since 2013. So transgender community leaders and activists are largely on their own in pursuing long-denied justice.” And remember there is no peace without justice. 

Trans activists in Mexico City shut down the city’s busiest road to protest the killing of a community member.

El Periférico is one of the busiest roads in the world. Around 20 trans activists blocked it while carrying a coffin. They were protesting the killing of Paola Buenrostro in 2016. The authorities, activists claim, have done close to nothing to solve the case. They blocked El Periférico after delivering documents to the National Human Rights Commission. As CE Noticias Financieras notes, the letter states that: “It accuses the Attorney General’s Office of Mexico City (now the Prosecutor’s Office) of not recognizing the gender identity of the victim and Kenya Citlali Cuevas Fuentes, an indirect victim of the crime, as well as of discriminating them against them for being trans women and sex workers. They also noted that they failed to investigate with a gender perspective, negligence in the imputation within the initial hearing, raising evidence and chain of custody, among other misconduct.”

Paola’s friend, the aforementioned Kenya Cuevas, is leading the protest. She was there when Kenya was shot and she was close to experiencing the same fatal fate. Even though Kenya was actually there the authorities did not validate her first-hand testimony. The case turned cold and no one has been blamed for the transfeminicide.

Kenya Cuevas herself got into the coffin to stand for murdered trans and CIS women.

Sometimes the best way to fight for a cause is to be daring and doing things that can have a strong visual and symbolic impact. That is what trans rights activist Kenya Cuevas did by laying inside a coffin in broad daylight. It was a brutal image to remember. Paola’s legacy also lives on through a house for trans women in need set up under her name: this house helps trans women escape drugs and sex work that they might not want to engage in for any other reason other than survival. Kenya’s message while blocking El Peri (as the freeway is commonly known) was clear: “We are tired of being unseen, tired of being violent, tired of not being given us opportunities to succeed, we also support our families. We too are awaited by our relatives and no one cares”. We hear you, reinas hermosas! 

The protest was successful and the women were granted a meeting with the Attorney’s office in Mexico City.

Credit: Homosensual

The protest only lasted ten minutes, but in a road as busy as El Periférico that feels like an eternity. Things got tense between drivers and activists. The police arrived and escorted the trans women to meet with Mexico City’s Attorney General Ernestina Godoy. If we measure activism by the success of their actions in terms of real political change, which can amount to having your voice heard, then we can argue that these trans women made a breakthrough that would probably not have been made without altering the public order.

And that’s what some people, mainly dudes but also some CIS women, do not understand: that trans women and feminists have to resort to methods that might be deemed as extreme, such as painting public monuments and stopping traffic. In the case of Paola’s murder, almost four years went by without the authorities being able or willing to have any developments on the case. Without becoming a real threat and momentarily disrupting traffic flow in Mexico City’s main artery, perhaps they would have never been heard. 

Food Crimes Committed In The Past Decade That Will Crack You Up

Culture

Food Crimes Committed In The Past Decade That Will Crack You Up

New Smyrna Police Department/Shutterstock

Ever crave a meal so bad you’d kill for it? 

When it comes to meals, some people literally don’t play. We learned that several times over in the past few years. Particularly this year when craze over Popeyes chicken sandwich sparked mayhem across the country. At the height of their craze, Popeyes stores routinely hit with long lines and sold out sandwiches which surprisingly unleashed a world of wild in various states. In fact, in November of last year, a man by the name of Ricoh McClaine fatally stabbed a customer in Maryland who had cut in front of the lines to purchase his sandwich. Fortunately, our list of food-related crimes are a bit lighter and funnier than cases of murder. Below, find a series of stories in which desperate food cravings led to desperate crimes. From a man who stole food from his own mama to to a woman who went ham at a taco store. We literally rounded up the best stories we could find online about food crimes. 

Check them out! 

That time a guy from New Mexico was arrested for stealing his mom’s pozole

mitú

It’s true. According to the Albuquerque Journal, a 23-year-old man texted his mother that he would drop by to eat. Ray’s mother told police she asked him not to go to the house. When she arrived, Ray entered through the back door, opened the fridge and ran off with a large pot of pozole. “He opened the door and grabbed that big pot of pozole I had made for my kids. He knew I had made it,” said Ray’s mother to the Albuquerque Journal.

When an Indiana woman was dining and dashing with chalupas and charged with felony theft.

Taco Bell

Los Amigos, an Indiana restaurant specializing in “authentic” Mexican food, took a woman named Jennifer Peru to court because she refused to pay for a chalupa that she claimed wasn’t a real chalupa.

On its surface, we can understand why Culver was confused. The chalupas that are sold at Taco Bell are described as  “a fried tortilla shell, in the shape of a small boat, filled with lots of flavorful ingredients”, and Culver may have been used to that version. But according to Los Amigos’s menu, their chalupa is “a flat tortilla with refried beans, topped with cheese and guacamole salad”. To no one’s suprrise, there is quite a stark contrast between the way a fast food joint approaches making Mexican food in comparison to the way a local, mom-and-pop store would make one. 

According to court records, Culver tried to sneak out of the restaurant by walking “briskly” past the cash register with her two children in tow. But the restaurant manager caught up to Culver in the parking lot before she could make her great escape. After being asked to pay her $11.73 bill, Culver responded that she’s “not paying for that [expletive]”. Because the manager wasn’t one to mess around with, he called the cops on the dine-and-dasher and reported her for theft.  Ultimately, a jury convicted Culver of a level 6 felony theft, resulting in 120 days on electronic monitoring, and 14 months of probation, and fined a cumulative total of $485.

When a Mexican man was caught stealing trompo Meat from a taco shop. 

Pinterest

One man’s hunger and deep love for tacos resulted in one of the best WTF?! moments caught on camera. Video footage recently surfaced of a man in Mexico City stealing, of all things, a trompo of el pastor meat from a small taco stand. Crazy right?

In the video, an unidentified man dressed in black clothing is seen slowly exiting a white car; he scouts the area and a few seconds later approaches the unattended taco stand, grabs the trompo, and drives away with the meaty bounty.

The case of the 14 meth burrito orders

Back on Feb. 3, 2018, Renteria was pulled over in the Angelino Heights neighborhood by Los Angeles Police officers after multiple witnesses reported a white Chevrolet Tahoe driving erratically. When police asked for his license, Renteria didn’t have it on him and was then allowed to search for his registration and insurance. While he couldn’t provide the correct paperwork, police determined the vehicle was registered to Renteria legally but found that his license was expired. That’s when Renteria let police search the vehicle. They would soon find a black garbage bag filled with 14 “foil-wrapped, burrito shaped” packages.

The woman who got her RV stuck in a Taco Bell drive-thru.

 Photo by Kennewick Police Department.

In Washington, Police arrested a woman after suspecting her of being under the influence while driving. According to the Kennewick Police Department, the woman drove her RV the wrong way into the Taco Bell’s drive-thru in December. When the RV couldn’t make the turn around the drive-thru’s corner it got stuck in the building’s corner. 

The drunk man who brought a knife fight to Taco Bell but did not deliver.

New Smyrna Police Department/Shutterstock

In 2014, a drunk man went to Taco Bell to attent to his munchies and got served with an order of handcuffs.  According to WFTV, Gabriel Harris rode his bicycle through the drive-thru of a Taco Bell in FloridaWhen he was told the restaurant was closing he refused to leave until he was served. It wasn’t until police showed up that he pulled out a knife and was ultimately arrested.