Entertainment

Latinos Mourn The Death Of Astrological Legend Walter Mercado Who Died During Día De Los Muertos

Latinos are in disbelief to learn that the infamous Puerto Rican astrologer, Walter Mercado, died, at age 87, on Saturday. For more than 50 years, Mercado’s televised passion for astrological predictions, refusal to conform to gender roles, and mucho, mucho amor for his fans has secured a beloved space in the Latino zeitgeist. Whether your memory of Mercado was hearing your mom yell, “Callaté!” when his segment aired or memorizing your horoscope for the following day, every day, Mercado’s daily presence on your living room TV made him part of the family.

The public expects his immediate family to announce the cause of his passing, though San Juan’s Auxilio Mutuo Hospital spokeswoman, Sofia Luquis, did confirm his death on November 2, 2019.

Walter Mercado, a Pisces, was born at sea but lived and died in Puerto Rico.

Credit: @JuhemNR / Twitter

According to a biography published by Puerto Rico’s Foundation for Popular Culture, Mercado was born on March 9, 1932, on a ship traveling from Spain to Puerto Rico. He grew up in Ponce, Puerto Rico, where he later began his career in Puerto Rican telenovelas. Though his fame grew to all of Latin America, Mercado largely remained in Puerto Rico throughout his life.

The astrological legend Walter Mercado gifted us decades of accurate and life-changing predictions.

Credit: @BubbleTEar1 / Twitter

Mercaado happened to be at a studio when the star of a guest segment didn’t show up. Producer Elín Ortíz asked him to use a 15-minute segment to offer astrological divinations. Boricuas loved him, and he was soon made a regular.

Recently, Mercado opened up about his gender-nonconformity.

Credit: @Carrasquillo / Twitter

“I’m so into who I am, and I do [what] feels right for me,” Mercado explained to Remezcla. “I’m so connected to people and to the divine for that. That I look feminine with a cape? Everyone knows we have two energies – yin and yang – and I know how to balance them. If I have to be a warrior, then I’ll be that. If I have to be soft and subtle, I can be that, too.”

“He never identified as queer,” one mourner tweeted, “But it felt like he refused to be constrained by gender norms and antiquated ideas of masculinity. He even rejected our understanding of time. When an interviewer once asked his age, Walter Mercado responded “Soy ageless.” AGELESS NEVER DIES, BEBÉ.”

Mercado was a pioneer and icon in the LGBTQ+ Latino community.

Credit: @SheisDash / Twitter

Mercado never discussed his sexuality but courageously expressed his gender to millions of viewers decades before rampant machísmo and homophobia were regularly challenged. Like an actual LGBT superhero, Mercado was known for wearing bejeweled and sequined capes.

At one point, Mercado owned more than 2,000 capes, twelve of which were put on display in Miami in August.

Credit: HistorryMiami Museum

The HistoryMiami Museum put on a popular exhibit of his “costumes, mementos, and ephemera, on display for the first time ever” in its exhibit, Mucho, Mucho Amor: 50 Years of Walter Mercado, according to the museum website.

Mercado made a dazzling grand entrance, on a gold plated throne that was wheeled through the crowd.

Credit: @OfficialJoelF / Twitter

Wearing a gold sequined three-piece suit, 88-year-old Mercado blew kisses to his fans and posed for photographs as he met the cheering crowd one by one. Some received a coveted reading from the internationally acclaimed astrologer, which were likely some of the last divinations in his 50-year long career.

Mercado garnered 120 million Latino viewers every day for more than 30 years.

Credit: @hagtastic / Twitter

Basically, you, your abuela, and your mamá would gather in the living room every day to watch the icon deliver the wisdom we all needed. Today, Latinos are trying to tap into what made him so special to us all. “Our mothers, tias and tios relied on his advice,” one Twitter user shared, “but I think what captivated his 120 million daily viewers was his positivity and how he radiated mucho, mucho, mucho, amorrrrrr.”

Latinos are lamenting the loss of a decades-long tried and true New Year’s Eve tradition with Mercado.

Credit: THE NEW HERALD / YouTube

At the end of every year, Mercado gives a special segment on what each sign can expect from the new year. The mourning process for Mercado will extend at least until the New Year, as Latinos celebrate NYE without him. “I’m not an astrology buff but Walter was an icon and part of the family,” a mourner tweets, “New years will be so different without his segment his messages/horoscopes promoted optimism, love, and perseverance. Every evening he gave us hope, despite struggles, the stars showed a great future.”

Last year, Mercado predicted that Trump may be impeached in 2019.

Credit: @no_mamex / Instagram

Ok, so his exact Miami Herald-translated words were, “Donald Trump, the controversial president, will face his worst year and perhaps even impeachment.” This headline was published in The LA Times on January 2. Trump is currently undergoing an impeachment inquiry.

Beyond the loss of Mercado, it feels like a piece of our childhood died this weekend.

Credit: @lizzhuerta / Twitter

Ms. Lizz Huerta isn’t the first Latino to tweet about how Mercado’s death feels like the loss of something so innocent and pure from our childhoods. We all have such rich memories of how he was able to unite generations, though in varying ways. “My Tía would sit there and watch him weekly,” one dubious Latino tweeted. “I loved her dearly and while I would shake my head at her, if it made her happy to watch him, it was fine with me. She never sent money either which is why I was ok with it.”

We hope Mercado’s feeling mucho, mucho amor from wherever he is now.

Credit: @mijadoris / @cyberguurl / Twitter

Mercado passed on the final day of Día de Los Muertos, prompting Latinos to reaffirm Mercado’s destiny to transition to the stars themselves. Que descanse en Paz, Walter Mercado. You truly were a celestial being on this earth.

READ: Walter Mercado Got Real About His Flamboyant Style And Why He’s Long Said ‘No’ To Extreme Gender Conformity And Machismo

Andrea Arruti, The Mexican Actress Who Lent Her Voice To ‘Frozen’ In Spanish, Died At 21 Years Of Age

Entertainment

Andrea Arruti, The Mexican Actress Who Lent Her Voice To ‘Frozen’ In Spanish, Died At 21 Years Of Age

Andy AV / Facebook / frozendisney / Instagram

The young actress who lent her voice to the Spanish version of Elsa in “Frozen”, Diamond Tiara in “My Little Pony,” Neeko in “League of Legends,” among other characters, died this week and the Mexican entertainment industry is mourning the loss of a talented young voice actress. 

Actress Andrea Arruti who lent his voice to the Spanish-language version of Elsa in “Frozen,” died.

Mexican actress Andrea Arruti, died following a respiratory complication, which slowly debilitated her body over the course of several months. She was the voice behind many’s favorite characters in the Spanish version of animated series and films, such as “Anne with an E,” “My Little Pony,” “Phineas and Ferb,” and “League of Legends.” One of her most popular characters was Elsa in “Frozen.”

She reportedly died on Jan. 3.

The death of the 21-year-old actress occurred during the first days of the year, but the information wasn’t confirmed until this weekend, when several companies who worked with Arruti, expressed condolences.

The family shared official news of Andrea’s passing to appease rumors.

Credit: Andy AV / Facebook

Arruti’s family shared the news on her Facebook page and felt the need to be transparent about the young actress’s cause of death following false rumors.  “In the name of Andy Arruti’s family, we want to express our sincere gratitude for all the love and solidarity we have received after her passing in a hospital of Mexico City. After noticing some speculation around her death —in the media as well as in social media—we wanted to note that Andrea died due to a respiratory complication that weakened her body throughout the last months.”

The Arruti family made it clear that Andy ’had no addictions’ and that she was ‘an exemplary person’.

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La más bonita.💖😍 @andyarruti

A post shared by Andrea Arruti.💖😍 (@team_andy_arruti) on

“Throughout this period it was sought for their well-being and was duly attended by specialists.“ the Facebook post reads. “For her part, she did everything in her power to meet her health status and fulfill her family, school and professional commitments in a normal way. Andrea was an exemplary person who had no addiction and those who knew her can realize that she was always a cheerful young woman.”

“League of Legends” expressed their condolences.

“We regret the death of Andrea Arruti, who lent her voice to Neeko, and we extend our condolences to her loved ones,” wrote the official video game “League of Legends'” Twitter account. 

Those in the Mexican entertainment industry have been paying their respects via social media.

So far, the actress’s family has not revealed the cause of death, but in social networks, fans and colleagues have lamented the news and remember her as a cheerful and talented person.

Her close friend and colleague Emilio Trevino also shared a loving message.

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Sin duda a veces la vida nos sorprende de maneras fuertes e inesperadas…buscar un porque o para que es absurdo pues son respuestas que realmente nunca tendremos y no espero tenerlas. Sin embargo creo que hoy para mi es más importante recordar todas aquellas cosas hermosas que viví contigo…pues esas son las que al final de todo realmente importan. ¿Qué te puedo decir? Tantos años…crecimos juntos…tantas experiencias y sueños compartidos que no se por donde empezar. Gracias por todas las noches desvelándonos platicando sobre nuestros sueños y como llegaríamos a ellos. Gracias por acompañarme a ver mi película favorita al cine y escucharme hablar de Philippe Petit por horas con tanto amor como tu lo sabias hacer, me acuerdo que pesaba “wow realmente me está escuchando , esta niña es diferente”. Ese momento en el que a la mitad de la película nos quedamos viendo uno al otro por instantes sin decir nada pero realmente decíamos todo…fue simplemente hermoso. Gracias por todas las videollamadas cantando juntos. Gracias por hablar conmigo de Harry Potter por horas hasta cansarnos. Gracias por hacer una fiesta de disfraces en la cual solo fuimos disfrazados tu y yo jajaja. Gracias por platicar conmigo de todos los misterios del mundo como los grandes detectives que nos sentíamos querida Señorita Adler y gracias por darme el nombramiento de Sherlock Holmes. Gracias por introducirme a la lectura y tenerme paciencia aunque nunca fui un muy buen lector…perdóname por perder el libro que me prestaste jajaja. Gracias por volar conmigo en el país de Nunca Jamás…jamás olvidaré cuando grabamos juntos esa serie…era tan bonito escucharte y sentir que me acompañabas en cada aventura, y gracias por compartir tu polvillo de hadas conmigo. Gracias por enseñarme a bailar y a reír sin parar cuando grabábamos Trolls…eres la Poppy más hermosa de todas. Gracias por vivir conmigo una historia de amor tan incondicional, mágica, sincera, divertida y vulnerable cuando grabamos “Anne with an E”….escucharte en cada toma era muy especial para mi. Sin duda ese personaje reflejaba gran parte de ti. Tu sabes que siempre serás mi única e irreemplazable Anne❤️. ……continua abajo

A post shared by Emilio Treviño Oficial (@emiliotrevino_) on

“Life undoubtedly surprises us in tough and unexpected ways, sometimes,” wrote Trevino, a young man who shared many projects with Andrea. “Te voy a extrañar mucho,” “I’ll miss you a lot,” he added in the caption of his Instagram post. 

Despite her young age, Andrea Arruti had been working in the entertainment industry for a long time.

In addition to interpreting the Spanish version of Elsa in “Frozen,” Arruti was a part of other projects such as “Phineas and Ferb” where she played the role of Brigette.

Andrea’s voice has been immortalized in other projects like “Detective Pikachu,” “Goosebumps 2,” “Zombies,” “Powerful Minds,” “World War Z” and many many more.

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A Girl In Puerto Rico Died From An Illness Because The Only Hospital In Her Area Was Destroyed During Hurricane Maria

Things That Matter

A Girl In Puerto Rico Died From An Illness Because The Only Hospital In Her Area Was Destroyed During Hurricane Maria

@ValericaCollazo / Twitter

There is sad news out of Vieques, Puerto Rico where a young teenage girl has passed away after suffering flu-like symptoms. Jaideliz Moreno Ventura, 13, died on Sunday after her condition worsened she began convulsing. Now, her family is pointing the blame on the island’s inadequate medical facilities. 

Vieques, a Caribbean island off of Puerto Rico’s eastern coast, hasn’t had a working hospital in over two years. That’s because its old primary hospital, Family Health Center Susana Centeno, was closed due to damage from Hurricane Maria, which hit the island more than two years ago.

What started out as just flu-like symptoms turned into a tragedy within the span of three days. 

It all started last Friday when Jaideliz told family members that she was experiencing flu-like symptoms. According to local media, her uncle, Carlos “Prieto” Ventura, said that she had “a fever, a sore throat, and a headache.” She was then taken to a hospital in Puerto Rico for a checkup and to be tested for influenza. While the results of the test came back negative and she returned back home to Vieques, things got worse over the weekend. 

By Sunday, Jaideliz’s symptoms only got worse as she began to have spasms and severe head pain. After the family took notice of her increasingly worse conditions, she was taken to the only health facility on the island, the Center for Diagnostics and Treatment, which was due to Hurricane Maria destroying its old hospital. According to NBC News, the clinic lacked proper medical equipment to help Jaideliz. Her cousin, José Ventura, told the news outlet that the facility didn’t have a working mechanical ventilator for oxygen, only an older manual air pump. 

By 11:30 a.m. local time Jaideliz was pronounced dead as she was being transported to Puerto Rico on an air ambulance. 

For those living on Vieques, receiving medical attention isn’t easy. Many have to take a boat to receive medical attention in Puerto Rico where trip times vary from 30 minutes to multiple hours. 

There is growing anger and blame about the teen’s death with many people pointing blame at the inadequate assistance that Puerto Rico and nearby islands have received since Hurricane Maria hit in 2017. The situation in Vieques is a perfect example of that as residents lack nearby health services and aid. 

“If we had more resources, she would be with us right now,” her cousin told NBC News. “They have forgotten about us.”

Puerto Rico’s Health Secretary, Rafael Rodríguez Mercado, says that he has ordered an immediate investigation into the death of Jaideliz and which circumstances could have caused this tragedy. Back in December, Democratic lawmakers requested an investigation into why FEMA hadn’t done anything to help rebuild Vieques’ only hospital. But lawmakers alerted FEMA about this issue in May but there was never any response. 

“In Puerto Rico, we talk a lot about how we are treated as second class citizens, but the people of Vieques and Culebra [another island off the coast of Puerto Rico] are being treated as third-class citizens,” Edgardo Román Espada, president of Puerto Rico’s Bar Association, told NBC News last May. 

Jaideliz’s family is using this tragedy as a wakeup call for health officials to do something about the deteriorating situation on the island. They are hoping for more medical supplies and equipment so this situation doesn’t happen again.

On Wednesday, a vigil was held in the girl’s honor as her family called for help. They say that they “don’t want Jai’s death to be in vain” and made the plea for more medical assistance. Her mother says the island needs to “have a dignified hospital, with medical equipment and supplies —so that no other mother will have to go through what I am dealing with now.” 

“Up to a point, the people feel abandoned, that politicians come and go, and there are no bonds of affection and our feelings are obvious. We live this problem and that is why our pain here. All this adds more regret and anguish to our people,” her uncle told local media. “This is what you live every moment on our island. We need more sensitivity. ”

This tragedy followed what has already been a tough start of the year for Puerto Rico as a 6.4 magnitude quake shook the island back on Jan.7, killing at least one person, destroying homes and leaving most utility customers in the dark. There has been an estimated $110 million in damages caused by the quake. 

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