Entertainment

She Went Viral For Insulting The Food In A Mexican Migrant Shelther, Now Lady Frijoles Is A Celebrity Back In Honduras

On November 2018, Miriam Zelaya became a viral sensation after she criticized the food she was given while waiting for asylum in Mexico. Zelaya was nicknamed Lady Frijoles after making comments about the beans served to her, claiming that it was food for pigs. Embarrassed, she later apologized publicly to the Mexican public for the statements she made. 

The story of Lady Frijoles has taken an interesting turn. 

On March 2019, Zelaya was detained with her sister, Mirna Zelaya, for a violent altercation that occured between them and Alba Escobar, the woman they were living with. The fight took place after Escobar blamed Zelaya and Mirna for the loss of her job. The two sisters were accused of assaulting Escobar with a the butt of a knife and chair; they were detained that same night. 

After being held in jail for almost four months, Zelaya pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in court. As a result, she received four years of probation and was deported to her home country of Honduras. 

While Zelaya was in jail, her daughters were cared for by close friends and family. 

This week, Lady Frijoles was welcomed back in Honduras like a celebrity.

With only three days of being back in Honduras, Zelaya has been greeted by the media with style; she was even invited to appear on television. 

On the Honduran channel, Q’huboTV, Zelaya gives her version of the night she and her sister got arrested. According to most American media outlets, the dispute was only between the Zelaya sisters and Escobar. However, Zelaya tells a very different story that involves Escobar’s husband Mirna’s son. 

In her interview, Zelaya states that the reason the argument became physical was because Escobar pushed Mirna’s son. She affirms that neither she or her sister grabbed a chair to hurt Escobar, as most news publications have reported, saying that “I can lie to you all, but I will never lie to God.” Instead, it was Escobar who threw the chair at Mirna, which bounced back when Mirna lifted her arms to shield herself, causing Escobar to begin to bleed due to the impact. 

Zelaya refutes every word said about her on other sources, saying that there wasn’t a knife involved in the argument. Rather, Escobar gave the police the knife from her cabinet and claimed that she was assaulted with it. Miriam also clarifies that she was not as involved in the physical fight as the media claims she was. The only reason she got wrapped up in the situation was because Escobar was jealous of Miriam.

“I declared myself guilty more so for my daughters. I was scared that the state was going to take them away and I was going to lose them.”

After being able to meet with a judge to discuss her deportation, the judge let Zelaya know that she was able to fight for her stay in the country, if she could provide herself with a lawyer and the money to post bail. Zelaya responded that she did not have the money to cover the costs because of her lack of resources. The judge then offered to waive the cost of bail, but she must still find a lawyer to defend her. In the end, Miriam accepted her deportation because of her insufficient funds. 

During the programming, Q’huboTV opened up the line for calls directed to Lady Frijoles. Miriam received a lot of mixed reactions. For instance, one caller asked why Miriam would put the lives of her daughters at risk during the long journey from Honduras to the United States. Others tried to debunk all the statements Miriam had said about her case against Escobar. However, many welcomed Miriam back to Honduras and wished her good luck on her journey moving forward. 

On Q’huboTV, Miriam received plenty of support from the network.

For example, the opportunity to provide her daughter with glasses at no cost. Moreover, on live television the general manager of QhuboTV, Mario “Chano” Rivera, officially announced Miriam as a new host of show called “Las Doñas.”

To end the show, Miriam expressed how her fame helped her, but also impacted her negatively, “I never expected to have a job or help for my daughter.”

During a later episode, many viewers were upset about the fact that Miriam received a job offer with Q’huboTV due to her lack of experience and education in the field of media and communications. Both Alicia and Alejandra, Q’huboTV announcers, came to the defense of Miriam and stated that people should not be envious of Miriam or try to not tear her down. They invited Miriam because she is a star due to her fame. 

Either way, Miriam is incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be part of the QhuboTV family.

Seven Men Sentenced To Up To 50 Years For The Murder Of Honduran Environmental Activist Berta Caceres

Things That Matter

Seven Men Sentenced To Up To 50 Years For The Murder Of Honduran Environmental Activist Berta Caceres

Berta Caceres Flores / Facebook

Seven men were sentenced to up to 50 years in prison in a Honduras court on Monday for the 2016 murder of the environmental activist Berta Caceres. Four of the men, Elvin Rápalo, Henry Hernández, Edilson Duarte, and Oscar Torres Velásquez, who were identified as the hitmen hired to shoot Caceres dead in her own home, were sentenced to 34 years in prison each.

An additional 16 years and four months were handed down to them for the attempted murder of Mexican environmentalist Gustavo Castro, who was also with Caceres during the shooting. Three more prison terms of 30 years were handed down to other individuals that played a part in the murder including an officer, an ex-soldier, and a manager of the dam project that Caceres opposed. The three men reportedly paid the four gunmen $4,000 to kill Caceres because of her activism work. 

The slaying of Berta Caceres, then-45, brought international outrage and protests as she became a well-known women’s rights defender and indigenous lands rights activist. 

Caceras, a member of the Lenca indigenous community, may not have been a household name but her impact in the world of environmental rights was certainly felt. She was one of the co-founders of the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras, a grassroots organization that advocates for the rights of indigenous people. Caceras gained notoriety by protesting the company Desarrollos Energeticos (DESA), which had planned to create the $50 million Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam across from the Gualcarque River. Various indigenous communities depend on the river staying clean and healthy and free-flowing to sustain their communities.

“The river is like blood running through your veins. It’s unjust. Not only is it unjust, it’s a crime to attack a river that has life, that has spirits,” Caceres told Aljazeera in 2016. 

The building of the dam would have had major impact on water, food and medicine for her Lenca people and even caused flooding. One of her successful protests included placing a roadblock that halted construction workers from reaching the dam building site. After almost 10 years of opposition, the Chinese state-owned company Sinohydro, who was jointly developing the dam project with DESA, pulled out of the project citing community resistance. 

Her activism and work in stopping the building of the dam gave Caceres notoriety and international attention. Caceres was awarded the Goldman environmental prize in 2015 for her role in preventing the building of the dam. The project was suspended shortly following her untimely death.

Authorities have connected her death directly to her activism work against the failed dam project.

The individuals behind the death of Caceres were connected to executives that were connected to DESA and the failed dam project. The reasoning behind the plotted murder was due to multiple delays and financial losses that were linked to protests that Caceres was behind. Back in November 2018, a Honduran court convicted the seven men for the attack. 

“From the outset, the path to justice has been painful, as our rights as victims have not been respected. These sentences are a start in breaking the impunity, but we’re going to make every effort to ensure that all those responsible – the company executives and state officials identified in the trial – are prosecuted,” Bertita Zúñiga, Cáceres’ second-eldest daughter, said after the men were charged on Monday. 

While Caceres’ family is happy to see some justice be delivered, Zúñiga still believes the real culprits behind her the murder still on the loose. She has previously blamed the Atala-Zablah family, a well-known Honduran business group and DESA shareholders, as the ones behind her mother’s murder. 

“This is a day of pain because the intellectual authors of my mother’s murder are still enjoying impunity,” Zuniga said to reporters. “We are not going to believe that there’s true justice until these people are in jail.”

Despite this tragedy, Zuniga is not letting her mother’s legacy go to waste.

The message that Caceres spread of protecting indigenous communities still lives on according to her daughter, who continues to do similar work. She is committed to keeping her mother’s legacy alive and remembers her for the amazing impact she had on marginalized communities around the globe. 

“I remember her as a hardworking person. But I also remember her with a big smile on her face, because I believe that this struggle cannot be just to martyrize ourselves. We fight with joy and hope because if we do not, more than half of the struggle is lost,” Zúñiga told EarthJustice. “We always say that the image of my mother multiplied because we found her present in the struggle of so many women from so many communities who continue to fight very hard.

READ: Women Of The World Unite To Chant ‘A Rapist In Your Way’ A Chilean Song That Has Sparked A Global Feminist Movement

These Clips Shine A Light On Shade From The Pussycat Dolls’ Past

Entertainment

These Clips Shine A Light On Shade From The Pussycat Dolls’ Past

A&M

It’s hard to imagine the 2000s without the Pussycat Dolls. Not only were their hit singles “Dontcha,” “Buttons,” and “Stickwitu”—all from their 2005 debut album PCD—bangers all over the world, but the group quickly became something of a small empire, touching everything from reality TV to commercial merchandise. They topped the charts worldwide, earned several award nominations (including a Grammy nod), and are ranked as one of the best-selling girl groups of all time. And although they experienced a great amount of success over a relatively short time (they eventually broke up in 2010), the Pussycat Dolls were marred by some serious internal drama that made even their best years a little less sparkly.

The main reason for their conflict was the excessive attention paid to lead vocalist Nicole Scherzinger.

Of the five Pussycat Dolls, there were two vocalists: Scherzinger and Melody Thornton. Scherzinger has admitted to singing 95% of the vocals during the Dolls’ heyday, even going to so far as to say that the other members of the group didn’t hear the tracks until they were finished. While Thornton did contribute to background vocals as a Doll, she never had a chance to sing lead. Years of frustration over this inequity ended up culminating in a pretty uncomfortable moment performing the bop “Dontcha”:

As you can see, Thornton clearly went off-script in this performance, taking advantage of the opportunity to finally step into the spotlight. There’s no doubt that the girl can sing, but Scherzinger was not impressed. The shade, though!

Credit: Twitter

And this wasn’t the only time Thornton’s off-the-cuff solos made things awkward. Take this example from the 2006 American Music Awards (skip to 2:50 for her surprise ad-lib appearance onstage):

Earlier this year, Thornton told the UK’s Daily Mirror that she secretly went to therapy for low self-esteem during her time with the Dolls, and that it took many years for her to overcome her negative experiences with the group.

Credit: Pinterest

“I lost so much confidence and felt really worthless. Because it was pointed out, over and over again, that I was the weakest link in the group,” said Thornton. ”I had never felt insecure until I joined the Pussycat Dolls.”

Over the years, other Dolls have also complained about the overemphasis on Scherzinger. As a contestant on season 12 of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, Ashley Roberts said, “Even in the group, I wasn’t allowed to talk. We were told to be quiet—only Nicole was allowed to talk. We would occasionally pitch in.” Roberts confirmed that nothing in the group was split evenly, adding, “Why do you think the band broke up?”

But after almost a decade apart, and in spite of all the tea that’s been spilled, the Pussycat Dolls are back, baby!

Well, more or less. On Saturday’s episode of the UK’s X Factor: Celebrity, the newly reunited Pussycat Dolls performed a medley of their most popular songs, offering a sneak peek into an upcoming UK reunion tour. Whether surprising or not, several people served some serious criticism of the performance, conceding that while the choreography was stellar, there still seems to be too much of a focus on Scherzinger. Perhaps that’s because Thornton, as the Dolls’ only other vocalist, will not be joining them for the tour.

No, it’s not because Thornton has held a decade-long grudge against Scherzinger—in fact, neither Thornton nor any of the other girls have ever been angry at Scherzinger for the disequilibrium of the group. Instead, Thornton took issue with the label, Interscope Records, and the way the group was managed. Still, she insists that she has no bad feelings toward Scherzinger or Robin Antin, who founded the group back in 1995 when it began as a burlesque troupe.

“People would assume that I was so mad at Nicole because she sang and I didn’t. Well, no. That was her dream and it was coming true for her. I just wanted it for myself too,” said Thornton. “I wanted the best for everyone. I’m a phenomenal vocalist, you just never heard it. But it wasn’t Nicole’s fault.”

Both Robin Antin and Ashley Roberts insist that Thornton’s past difficulties with the group are not the reason for her absence from the 2020 reunion tour, which will reunite Roberts and Scherzinger with group members Carmit Bachar, Jessica Sutta, and Kimberly Wyatt.

“She was included in all of this. She’s our sister, and the door is always open, but it just wasn’t the right timing for her right now,” Roberts told the BBC. “We wish her well.”