In today’s world, the news happens so fast that it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the latest, breaking developments. Here are five quick headlines to keep you up on the stories that might have gotten lost in the shuffle this week.
Trump is getting outfoxed by Mexico’s former president.
Super Deluxe and Vicente Fox teamed up again to send a message to President Trump: Mexico will not pay for the fucken wall! Not only does Fox call out Trump’s infamous Cinco de Mayo taco bowl tweet, but he also points out a major flaw in Trump’s wall — namely, how billions of dollars can be outfoxed with something as simple as a ladder. Fox makes some solid, and hilarious points here. Fans of Super Deluxe will definitely enjoy.
In Colombia, one man’s trash is another man’s… bookstore?
Jose Alberto Gutierrez, who never attended high school, understands the value of education. Over the last 20 years, the Colombian sanitation worker has rescued more than 20,000 books from the garbage for his bookstore, “Strength of Words.” Gutierrez usually collects books from the richer parts of town and then gives them away for free to poorer residents. As Gutierrez told the BBC, “Books transformed me, so I think books are a symbol of hope for those places. They are a symbol of peace.”
At 115 million years old, this mushroom fossil from Brazil is the definition of rare. “Most mushrooms grow and are gone within a few days,” explains paleontologist Sam Heads told Science Daily. “The fact that this mushroom was preserved at all is just astonishing.” The story of how the mushroom — named Gondwanagaricites magnificus — came to be is definitely worth a read.
A 10-year-old girl becoming friendly with one the most notorious dictators in Latin America? It sounds like a plot for an upcoming Netflix series, but it happened IRL. While most in the U.S. saw Noriega as the vicious, drug trafficking ruler of Panama, Sarah York just saw Noriega as a man who had a cool hat. York decided to send a letter to talk about it, saying, “I have seen you on television often here in the United States. Your hat was greatly admired here.” What happened next is almost too strange to believe.
By now pretty much everyone is at least familiar with “Despacito,” but Argentinian journalist Natalia Maderna’s cover is just starting to catch on, for good reason. Maderna changed up the lyrics to reflect Argentina’s problem with gender violence. The clip, which is just over a minute, features Maderna strumming on the ukelele, while her adorable, one-year-old girl throws down some amazing dance moves. Do yourself a flavor and check it out.
Aerial shows are something people around the world enjoy. Some people make full weekends out of these events that are typically tied to some kind of patriotic holiday or community event. However, an aerial show in Colombia this weekend showed the danger of participating in this kind of event. The terrifying and heartbreaking moment was captured on camera and the video is as scary and heartwrenching as it sounds. Two airmen were hanging on a Colombian flag suspended from a helicopter as it flew over a parade when the unthinkable happened. Without warning, the rope holding the flag snaps sending the two airmen plummeting to the ground in front of spectators.
On Sunday, two Colombian airmen died while attempting to do a stunt in the sky during a public gathering.
According to several outlets, the men were performing a stunt at the Medellin Flower Fair in Colombia. The trick, which at first began very beautiful, included a cable hanging from a helicopter. The men were also attached to this same cable along with the Colombia flag. It looked almost like a patriotic parade in the sky, but then things went horribly wrong.
The video shows the cable somehow snapped off of the helicopter and the two men plunged to their death.
It remains unclear how this tragic accident occurred. According to the Sun, an Air Force spokesperson said, “The reasons behind this painful accident are still being investigated by the authorities.” The event also happened near the Olaya Herrera Airport, which as a result of the accident had to be closed.
The men were identified as Jesus Mosquera and Sebastian Gamboa Ricaurte who were based in Rionegro in Antioquia. The shocking death has left a community mourning and searching for answers on how this could have happened.
The video has been shared far and wide on social media.
“Horrific,” one person said. “Sad, as I don’t understand the need for stunts like this. Awful way to go.” “There should have been the strictest safety protocols in place, no doubt there were none… RIP,” another said. “I never liked stunts like that. It’s just not worth it,” another said. And we agree with that sentiment exactly. Yes, ideally, a stunt like this would have been stunning, and it truly began that way, but something is quite off about how this trick went off.
Here’s the video, but please beware that it is painful to watch.
After analyzing the video, it almost appears as if something flew right across the cable, which caused it to break away from the helicopter completely. Other’s on social media agree. “Pretty sure I saw something fly into the cable there??” someone commented.
It almost looks like a bird, but it’s hard to tell because of the quality of the video and because it moves so fast.
Jorge Hugo Duarte, an Olaya Herrera airport manager, offered up his theory in the Spanish news outlet Ensegundos, that “One of the Air Force helicopters coming to the airport to land with two military men hanging holding the Colombian flag, this rope apparently burst from the aircraft and the two military men fell into the airport. Both military men died.”
But the video shows it didn’t just burst, something flew directly into it causing it to break.
Further inspection of the video shows that another helicopter was also carrying two other men with another flag.
It is unclear if the other stuntmen were injured or involved in the cause of the accident, but according to the video it seemed like they were far behind them.
The helicopters were performing as part of the Medellín Flower Fair.
According to The Sun, the festival “began in 1963 and includes pageants, parades of cars and horses, and musical concerts.”
The air show had only last ten-minutes before the cable broke. In the previous years, the Festival of Flowers has included the use of helicopters as part of the show. One year rose petals were dropped from helicopters as a tribute to the men and women who maintain the annual tradition.
Mercedes Salazar has always been fascinated by jewelry. As a child, she was drawn to sparkly gems and intrigued by the intricate stylings of indigenous artisans in her homeland of Colombia. Yet, it was the stories behind her mother’s favorite trinkets that inspired the jewelry designer to turn her passion for pretty stones and threads into a career and also preserve stories and culture through her medium.
“My mom used to have pieces she [wore] when she was young, and she would tell me their history.”
“I wanted to know the stories behind all the treasures. That’s what they were to me: treasures that connect people with something special — a memory, a special place, a belief or the universe,” Salazar, 41, told FIERCE. Today, the Bogotá-based designer’s brand of jewelry, purses and home goods intentionally tell tales.
Inspired by her love for Mexican culture, Salazar released a limited-edition two-part series of Mexican-inspired necklaces exclusively for mitú.
For series, the Mexican-trained jewelry designer was inspired by one of Mexico’s most distinguished art forms: papel picado. In the delicate form of decorative paper, Salazar designed three necklaces in the phrases Amor Eterno, Viva México and Amor. The second part of this series highlights some of Mexico’s most beloved icons, La Virgen de Guadalupe, el corazón sagrado and la calavera.
Salazar is so detail-oriented with her jewelry that even the packaging is beautiful.
Each jewelry piece is shipped in a colorful cloth duster and placed in a sturdy board backing that elaborates on what makes papel picado so special to Mexico’s culture.
“These sayings are inspired by the decorative paper that fills the streets with color during Mexican holidays. During the 19th century, field workers in Puebla imitated Chinese art paper to create this art form that is now known as a staple in Mexican culture,” reads the card.
As with most of Salazar’s jewelry, this collection — which is not sold anywhere else in the world — is 18k gold-plated brass and is nickel-free, perfect for people with sensitivities to metals.
Started in 2001, Mercedes Salazar’s handmade pieces are fabricated out of materials native to Latin America and assembled through traditional techniques of Colombian artisans.
The vibrant, time-honored collections preserve history in their construction and spark conversations about beauty, culture and spirituality.
“Because the pieces are handmade, they are all unique, they are all different. They each tell an important story about the place they are made, the community of the artisans who created them and the way they live there,” she says.
In 2007, just six years after she started her brand, Salazar began building alliances with local artisans in indigenous communities throughout Colombia.
Currently, the brand works with 10 different artisans from the South American country in a collaboration that Salazar refers to as a win-win: the artisans learn modern design while using precious, age-old techniques to craft necklaces, earrings and bracelets that will be worn by shoppers worldwide.
According to Salazar, ancestral techniques are infused into many levels of the manufacturing process. Its crochet technique comes from the Wayyú indigenous community of la Guajira. The straw-weaving style stems from the Zenú artisans of Córdoba. The iraca palm-weaving originates among the artisans of Nariño. And the werregue palm-weaving derives from the Wounaan Nonam community from Chocó.
“By making local artisans a part of the chain of production, we don’t just improve the quality of our designs but it also makes their quality of life better. As we get bigger orders, we need to hire more artisans, which inspires them to teach their family and friends and keeps these techniques alive. It’s a beautiful exchange,” she says.
And nearly two decades after Mercedes Salazar first launched, the brand has grown beyond its founder’s wildest dreams.
At 23, after studying jewelry and goldsmithery at the Artisan School of INBA in Mexico, Salazar returned to Bogotá and started Mercedes Salazar Jewelry, beginning with a small line of contemporary jewelry made of recovered materials, like buttons, leather, metals nuts and bolts. In just four years, Mercedes Salazar opened its first store in Bogotá. That same year, in 2005, they made their first export to the US. Currently, in addition to having five Mercedes Salazar shops across Colombia, including in Medellín and Cartagena, the brand has become global. The company is currently present in 19 markets across the Americas, Europe, the United Kingdom and Asia, distributing internationally through its website and retailing at department stores and online shops like Nordstrom and REVOLVE.
“I believe that when you have passion and love for what you do, the magic happens,” Salazar says of her rapid success.
Running a mission-driven, hand-crafted jewelry business hasn’t been without its difficulties.
For Salazar, the hardest part about building her brand has been finding the correct market for her designs. In 2015, for instance, she started a project called “Proyecto Peligro” that aimed to improve the lives of incarcerated men in Bogotá by training them on crochet techniques. The program was multipurpose. To start, the handwork, Salazar says, was meditative. Additionally, the designs they created — plastic ribbons that said “peligro” and resembled “caution” barrier tapes — reminded them and those who wore the pieces that the only danger in life is not giving people second chances. While the project was meaningful to Salazar and the men involved, she was forced to end it after a year and a half because she wasn’t able to attract the right market for the pieces they were creating.
“It was really difficult to sell the final product. I never found a real distribution market, and at the end, I had to buy all the pieces from the guys involved in the project,” Salazar said. “In order to keep this brand alive, sometimes those beautiful projects are temporary. That’s why I take really good care of the artisans I’m working with. I don’t want to repeat that.”
And she rarely has had to halt new ventures. With hundreds of thousands of followers on social media and clients like Katy Perry, Colombian singer Kali Uchis and Spanish actress Paula Echevarría, Mercedes Salazar is beloved and growing.
Salazar will soon launch Tropicália, a brand of handmade home goods like candle holders and lamps, which will also be created through traditional artisanal techniques.
“What’s really important for me is that my employees and team grow stronger every year, I become more and more conscious of the things I do for my country, that the women who wear my designs feel free and special, and that we can continue to tell beautiful stories together,” she said.