Antônio Lopes, known as Nem, was Rio de Janeiro’s most notorious drug lord. He lived in Roncinha, the biggest and most well-known slum and provided all the rich kids in the surrounding areas with a substantial dose of drugs. He was all-knowing and smart and thought he had his bases covered when he restricted his associates from using cell phones, computers, and social media in order to protect his business.
In fact, “he regarded the mobile phone as a menace. Members of his cartel were forbidden to mention his name on the phone. When they did, they would refer to him by phrases such as ‘the one next to God’, ” Wiredreported. But he couldn’t control everyone — especially the wives of his employees.
Enter Bibi Perigrosa, the wife of Saulo de Sá Silva, second in command in the organization. He cheated, she was livid and so she took to social media to speak her mind. In one instance, she posted her cell phone number and that was the beginning of the end.
Perigrosa and Saulo’s cell phones were tapped leading Brazilian investigators straight to Nem, seriously damaging his drug business. He’s now serving a 12-year sentence.
Read more tantalizing facts about the untold story of Nem here.
For almost 70 years, since Maria Sabina, also known as Santa Sabina, spread the culture around the ritualistic consumption of magic mushrooms in the Oaxaca highlands, the world has been fascinated by these special fungi. The region near Huautla de Jimenez, particularly places like San Jose del Pacifico, has since been swarmed with tourists in the months between July and October, both from inner Mexico and from overseas, who want to experienced the altered states of consciousness brought by one of nature’s most powerful secrets.
So any story about Oaxacan magic mushrooms has to start with the legendary Maria Sabina, the godmother of all things trippy.
Credit: Giphy. @Hamiltons
Maria Sabina was a Mazatec curandera, or witchdoctor. She was well versed in the ancient arts of magic mushrooms and introduced the Western world to their consumption. She soon became a magnet for the rich and powerful who wanted to taste her psilocybin mushrooms. She was born in 1894 and died in 1985, so she saw the world change dramatically during her lifetime.
She allowed foreigners into her healing evenings, known as veladas.
Credit: YouTube / Vice
She became legendary, as City A.M. reported in 2018: “It was here that, in 1955, R Gordon Wasson, a vice-president of JP Morgan and amateur ethnomycologist, consumed psilocybin mushrooms in a ceremony presided over by the healer Maria Sabina. The article Wasson subsequently wrote up for Life magazine – ‘Seeking the Magic Mushroom’ – transformed Sabina into a reluctant icon and caught the attention of scientists including Harvard psychologist Timothy Leary”. What followed is an enduring cult following of the plant.
Mushroom tourism got a boost in the 1960s due to the high profile of some of Sabina’s visitors, who included The Beatles.
As EFE News Service reported back in 2007: “In the 1960s, the ‘high priestess of the mushrooms’ popularized this corner of Mexico located between the capital and Oaxaca city, a place visited by the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Jim Morrison and Bob Dylan at the height of the psychedelic era”. We mean, the place has basically been a Hall of Fame!
Consuming magic mushrooms is an ancient, ritualistic indigenous tradition that remains officially illegal.
Credit: High Times
Spanish friars first reported the use of psychedelic mushrooms in the region. Though magic mushrooms are illegal today, the authorities tend to turn a blind eye. This is due to the centrality to the customs and traditions of the Zapotecs, the area’s dominant indigenous group. Children as young as six participate in the ritualistic ingestion of shrooms.
However, tourism disrupts this long lasting understanding and ritual has turned into business.
The state induced by the mushrooms is supposed to get you in touch with nature: with the soil below your feet and the celestial bodies above your head.
Credit: Giphy. Anonymous.
According to man named Andres Garcia, he was introduced to the ritual ingestion of mushrooms by his grandfather. Just outside of Huautla, the man experienced mushrooms several times. He told High Times: “The first time I tried mushrooms I was 7 years old. And each time after that was different; each time there were messages and messages. Communication with the earth, the universe, the moon, especially the energy of the moon. The mushroom shows you everything—about your errors, your problems, all the good you’ve done, all the bad you’ve done. It’s something personal.”
Even though mushrooms are widely available in Oaxaca they are not for everyone, specially not for those who disrespect the ritual and want to do mushrooms just for some mindless fun.
Credit: Musrooms-in-Oaxaca. Digital image. Own Mexico
The magic mushroom tourism industry has brought an steady income to Huautla de Jimenez, the original stomping grounds of Maria Sabina. As reported by Juan Ramon Peña in EFE News Services, “visitors are greeted when they get off the bus by boys who offer to help them found the hallucinogenic fungi”. The wide availability of mushrooms is un secreto a voces. However, each person’s brain chemistry is different and you need to have an experienced guide to help you on a mushroom-induced trip.
And tourism has put the sustainability of the species at stake.
The lack of regulation translates into indiscriminate picking. Of course, traditional owners of the land are affected and that is just not fair.
Magic mushrooms have a good rep, but they are also unpredictable.
Credit: 2037. Digital image. The Guardian.
Several recent studies indicate that magic mushrooms could have medical benefits in people suffering from mental health issues. As reported by The Guardian earlier this year in relation to a study conducted at Imperial College London: “Magic mushrooms may effectively ‘reset’ the activity of key brain circuits known to play a role in depression, the latest study to highlight the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics suggests”. However, this study was done in a controlled environment. Doing mushrooms can have unpredictable effects that some people have described as a “bad trip”
Note: the consumptions of magic mushrooms is illegal throughout Mexico and only specific Indigenous groups can consume them for spiritual purposes. We do not condone the consumption of illegal substances. This article is for informational purposes only.
When you see those cop lights flashing behind you, what’s the first thing you think of? How am I going to get out of this? That’s my first thought anyway. I’m sure others thing “don’t shoot!” or “it wasn’t me!” Some can get out of a ticket by crying and making up a lie or acting oblivious about not knowing the speeding the limit. But when you have outstanding warrants under your name you better come up with a better story than just pretending to be naive. This hilarious but unfortunate case should be a lesson to all.
A 38-year-old woman tried to pass off as her 21-year-old daughter after she was stopped by police and discovered she had several outstanding warrants under her name.
Meet Heather Garcia, a woman from Davis County, Utah. Police stopped her while she was driving a silver BMW. They allegedly found a white substance in her car and drug paraphernalia. When officers asked her who she was, she said her name was Mercedes and that was born in 1998. Now we know it’s not proper to ask a woman her age, that is unless you’re talking to law officers. Her quick thinking would not have the impact on the police officers she was hoping for.
Police did not buy her story of being born in 1998, so they arrested her for the outstanding warrants and other charges.
Garcia was charged with “several drug charges including possession or use of a controlled substance, marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to inmate records,” obtained by Fox News. Cops claim to have found a white, powdery substance in Garcia’s car along with drug paraphernalia. We know that some police departments have issued questionable arrests in the past, however, they have to perform their investigation before anyone knows exactly what is going on. As for the marijuana charges, some states have started to overturn old marijuana charges and it is becoming more and more legal across the country. However, Utah only allows for medicinal marijuana making the possession of marijuana charges a serious one for Garcia.
“By providing individuals a path to have their records expunged, including those who have been unjustly impacted based on their race or ethnicity, and reducing the penalty for unlawful possession of marijuana to a fine, we are giving many New Yorkers the opportunity to live better and more productive, successful and healthier lives,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement, provided by CNN. Garcia was pulled over because her car didn’t have a license plate, according to te police.
We still can’t help but feel bad for Garcia. Why hasn’t anyone told her that the 1980s chola look isn’t in fashion anymore?
A good chola style is always incredible, especially that old-school veterana look, but Garcia went too far with the eyebrows and undereye wingtip. We didn’t even think that was actually possible. We’re all fans of Sad Girl, Mousie, Giggles, Baby Doll and the whole gang from “Mi Vida Loca.” Unfortunately, Garcia took those standards to another level and it worked against her, especially with her age.
Some people on social media said Garcia’s chola look actually looked more like Tim Curry in “Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
Alright, we see the resemblance, it’s the eyebrows, dark eyeliner, and red lipstick, but isn’t that a little cruel?
Now, we know what you’re asking yourself…
Yes, we’re wondering that too. If Garcia honestly thought she could pass off as her daughter, she must look exactly like her, right? We are all wrong.
Her daughter is beautiful!
This 21-year-old Mercedes and she’s stunning, which means she has her mom’s genes. We just know that beauty is underneath all that makeup. Imagine her mom with naturally curly hair. She would look younger in an instant.
We just know if Garcia wore less makeup we could see her natural beauty!
Less is more is our motto, and we think Heather is being wrongfully judged for her exaggerated chola look. We are certain if she had a make-under, her true beauty would shine and she would no longer get judged in this harsh manner. We also believe people can turn their lives around. It is possible. Si se puede!