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The Story Of José José’s Death Has More Twists And Turns Than A Telenovela, Here’s Everything You Need To Know

One of Mexico’s greatest icons continues to inspire people with tributes and ceremonies around the world. The death of José José sent much of Latin America into a deep mourning but now those same communities are celebrating the late-singer’s monumental legacy. 

And all of this celebration and remembrance comes shortly after an intense family drama fit for a telenovela. I mean, his body actually went missing. Like it doesn’t get more telenovela than that. But, at last, his body has been located, his family seems to have set aside their differences, and the world is coming together to remember the ‘Prince of Song.’ 

His public funeral was held in Miami and attended by his family, celebs, and fans from around the world. 

The public funeral was held at the Miami Dade Country Auditorium. Yes, José José was a Mexican legend but he inspired his fans from across Latin America and so, the crowd at the public funeral featured people from all walks of life and from Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, and Puerto Rico, among others.

It was a closed casket memorial. On Tuesday, it was revealed that José José’s body was not in the casket during the memorial, as it was still at the morgue.

Fans came out to celebrate the legacy of a man who had been singing since the 1970s, when he rose to fame with his first hit, “El Triste”.

Always dressed elegantly, the gifted singer was a combination of baritone and lyric tenor and revered for his ability to sustain long notes. The Latin American cultural icon, who was known for moving audiences to tears with melancholic love ballads, told fans in 2017 that he was battling pancreatic cancer.

Fans in Miami weren’t the only ones celebrating the legacy of the Mexican great.

Hundreds of people gathered Friday at one of Mexico City’s most famous parks, Alameda Central, to pay homage to the late singer. Fans were seen singing José José’s most famous songs. Some even dressed up as the singer.

As drama between the family spiraled out of control back in the US, many Mexicans worried that there may not be a proper memorial service in Mexico.

The death of José José hit hard in Mexico, which endured the 2016 death of another cherished crooner from the same era: Juan Gabriel.

And all of this played out just days after a seemingly broken family came together to celebrate the pop icon.

The drama started just days after the singer’s death when two siblings, José Joel and Marysol, accused their half-sister, Sarita, of hiding their father’s body.

The relationship between the two oldest siblings and José José’s youngest – Sarita Sosa – has been strained, particularly since the late crooner’s announcement in 2017 that he was suffering from pancreatic cancer, which prompted Sarita to move to Miami, drawing accusations of trying to profit from his legacy.

“We have every right to see my dad,” Marysol said to TV Azteca. “My half sister has a lot to explain to me and to all of Mexico. “Please, wherever you are, get in touch with us. I’ve been talking to you all day and I’m here, and I’ve been telling you since yesterday: I see my dad’s body, or I don’t believe anything.”

Whatever differences these siblings once shared seemed to have blown over in the wake of their father’s memorial services.

And it looks like the drama continues, as the family decides what to do with the singer’s remains.

The posthumous homecoming ceremony for José José in his native Mexico is caught up in a family conflict over the singer’s remains that are still in Miami, where he lived for decades.

José Joel Sosa said on Monday that he and his sister halted their father’s cremation because they wanted the entire body for the Mexico City memorial service. His other daughter in Miami, Sarita Sosa, said José José wanted half of his ashes to stay in Florida and the other to go to Mexico.

However, as of Wednesday, news reports indicated that the late-singer had already been cremated and half of his ashes would likely arrive in Mexico later in the day.

Telemundo reports that José José’s ashes will be divided among his three children – Marysol and José Joel from his second marriage to Ana Elena Noreña and Sarita from his third to Sara Salazar.

José José will be honored in a special memorial in Mexico City on Wednesday, where a portion of his ashes will be displayed for his fans and family to pay tribute.

It’s been an uphill battle for Marysol and José Joel, who tried to prevent their father’s cremation. The brother and sister wanted the singer’s body to be present for the Mexican memorial service and to be laid to rest in his native country. José Joel even pleaded to his late father’s wife, Salazar, and his step-sister a day before the cremation during an interview with Univision to stop the process and let his body rest in Mexico.

Mexican Artist Transforms 1,527 Deadly Guns Into Life-Giving Shovels To Plant Trees

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Mexican Artist Transforms 1,527 Deadly Guns Into Life-Giving Shovels To Plant Trees

botanicocln / veri_fp / Instagram

A Mexican artist and activist embarked on a project to gather as many firearms as he could from Culiacán, Mexico, the city with the highest death by gun violence rate in Mexico, and transform them into shovels that would instead plant trees. Artist Pedro Reyes, a Mexico City native, has long been using his art to illustrate how evil can be transformed into good, with the right perspective. While the United States has, by far, the highest number of firearms per capita (120.5 per 100 persons), Mexico ranks 60th in the world. Pedro Reyes wanted to do his part in getting the deadly weapons off the street.

Reyes set out in Culiacán, Mexico, to trade civilian’s weapons for coupons for electronics, and residents traded 1,527 weapons.

Pedro Reyes’s project, known as “Palas por Pistolas” publicized the gun exchange on television ads and through local media.

Credit: bintazd / Instagram

 All of this was made possible by the botanical garden of Culiacán, which has been commissioning artists to perform social impact interventions for years. Reyes made a proposal to the garden to organize a city-wide campaign for a voluntary donation of weapons. The commission was able to pay for television advertisements and liaise with local media to promote the project. Soon, the whole city knew that residents were invited to give up their guns in exchange for a coupon. Those coupons were then traded at a local store in exchange for domestic appliances and electronics.

Of the 1,527 weapons collected, 40 percent were automatic weapons, “exclusively” used for the military.

Credit: molaaart / Instagram

The second phase of the project was put on public display. All 1,527 guns were taken to a military zone and were crushed by a steamroller in a public act. Then, the pieces were taken to a foundry and melted down to its original form. Once again, the same metal that was transformed into guns became a ‘blank page,’ available to transform into absolutely anything. Reyes worked with a major hardware factory to create molds that would create exactly 1,527 shovels. 

Since they’ve been repurposed, 1,527 trees have been planted.

Credit: molaaart / Instagram

The shovels have been on display at a variety of art institutions. Admirers could read an inscription of the shovel’s origin story on the handle. Later, children and adults alike would feel the weight of what was once a gun in their hands as they dug up dirt to plant new life. Trees have been planted at the Vancouver Art Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute, Paris’s Maison Rouge, Lyon Biennial, Marfa, Texas, and Denver, Colorado.

“This ritual has a pedagogical purpose of showing how an agent of death can become an agent of life,” Reyes said of the project. 

Credit: botanicocln / Instagram

Like every other Reyes project to date, the gift is a change in perspective. For whoever might have been injured or died at the hands of those 1,527 guns, as many trees have been planted in their honor. Reyes breaks down the concept of a gun to what it is: human intention and scrap metal. With a simple shift in intention, that metal has created lasting memories for children and created oxygen-giving life on this planet.  

Since “Palas por Pistolas,” Reyes has also installed “Imagine,” a similar concept that instead turns guns into musical instruments.

Credit: Pedro Reyes

In April 2012, Reyes was given the opportunity to transform human intention once again. “I got a call from the government who had learned about Palas por Pistolas,” Reyes said. “They told me a public destruction of weapons was to take place in Ciudad Juarez and asked me if I was interested in keeping the metal, which would otherwise have been buried as usual. I accepted the material but I wanted to do something new this time. 6700 weapons, cut into parts and rendered useless, were given to me and I set out to make them into instruments.”

“A group of 6 musicians worked for 2 weeks shoulder-to-shoulder turning these agents of death into instruments of life.”

Credit: Pedro Reyes

Reyes said it was far more challenging than simply turning the metal into shovels. The metal had to create sounds. “It’s difficult to explain but the transformation was more than physical,” Reyes writes. “It’s important to consider that many lives were taken with these weapons; as if a sort of exorcism was taking place the music expelled the demons they held, as well as being a requiem for lives lost.”

Living in a community free of guns ought to be a human right. Many liberties that we enjoy today were considered utopian, and the first step taken into that direction was to Imagine.” Reyes continues to draw attention not only to where guns are used, but where they are made. It is an industry and one he continues to reclaim for life.

READ: Mexicans Are Questioning Their Government’s Decision To Release El Chapo’s Son After A Massive Gun Battle

Mexico Becomes The World’s First Country With A Highway Paved From Recycled Plastics

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Mexico Becomes The World’s First Country With A Highway Paved From Recycled Plastics

Inhabitat

One of the biggest assets of the great and complex country known as Mexico is the creative and even ludic way in which people reuse materials. This is done on an everyday basis. You just have to go to a traditional mercado to see, for example, Barbie doll dresses made with scraps from old clothes. Need a swing for the backyard? No worries, that used tire will do! 

But sometimes this sort of creativity extends to public works that set a good example that other governments can follow. 

Introducing the world’s very first eco-highway! Recycled plastic on the road! 

Credit: Mexico News Daily

The state of Guanajuato in central Mexico is home to the first ever highway paved with recycled materials. The effort is modest at the moment and involved a 4 kilometer stretch that required 1.7 tons of plastic. The stretch communicates the municipalities of Irapuato and Cuerámaro. If we don’t continue to implement solutions like these, the only highway that we will be paving as humanity is a highway to climate hell!

The number of plastic packages required to accumulate 1.7 tons will surprise you!

According to Dow Plastics Technology Mexico, the 1.7 tons of eco-pavement equal up to 425,000 plastic packaging units. The development of the highway plastic was a private affair that involved the companies Dow, Vise, Surfax, Lasfalto and Omnigreen, and its use in the highway was championed by the federal body Communications and Transportation Secretariat (SCT). Regardless of the politics that are surely involved in the project (governments loooove to take credit for this sort of initiatives and present themselves as super eco-friendly), this project sets a great precedent. 

And the new recycled material is much more durable too!

Credit: Inhabitat

Through a press release, Dow praised the durability of the new eco-material, which could become the standard in the years to come: “This new technology not only offers a possible solution to the management of plastic waste, it also theoretically prolongs the life span of highways by 50% compared to conventional asphalt. The advantage of using recycled plastic products is that they can be used on all types of highways, not only in high-performance products, which can extend the life span of any paved road”.

It is important to note that the world at large is facing a crisis when it comes to the management of recycling materials. Many developed countries such as Australia and New Zealand traditionally send their plastics to China to be recycled. However, China is no longer accepting them and a lot of plastic is either being stored (a costly and not very useful solution) or, worse, it ends up in landfill. This was a pilot study, but it will surely at least trigger the curiosity of other governments and companies. And remember: they both love good PR, and what could be better PR than being eco-friendly in these times of true environmental distress? 

Mexicans have done some other pretty cool eco-friendly things with roads!

Credit: Elite Readers

If you have been to Mexico City chances are that you have been stuck in traffic. If the traffic lasts for more than, say, 45 minutes, chances are then that you are in the infamous Periferico. This artery, which connects the city’s Sur y Norte, was so busy that the government decided to build a second floor on top of it. This was a very controversial project then championed by now president AMLO.

A new project, Via Verde, is creating vertical gardens on the pillars that support “El Segundo Piso”. This is intended not only to provide a pretty view for tired drivers, but also to alleviate some of the air pollution caused by the thousands of cars that cross “El Peri” every day in what is perhaps one of the world’s busiest commutes. We only hope that CDMX becomes a truly green megalopolis… 

And don’t forget the nopal leather made by a duo of Mexican superstars!

Credit: The Mind Unleashed

A few days ago this wonderful invention made its rounds on the media: Adrian Lopez and Marte Cazarez, two Mexican inventors, have created an alternative to plastic faux leather by using nopal, a cactus variety that is as delicious to eat as it is durable when used as a material. If this vegan and eco-friendly is commercialized on a large scale it will not only provide more fashion alternatives to vegans, but it will also have an impact on the cattle industry, which is one of the main culprits of climate change. The material is also much more breathable than plastic faux leather… seriously, that things makes you sweat like there is no tomorrow!