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No Pos Wow: Teen Arrested After Buying A Tiger Cub In Mexico, Brazil Opens Part Of The Amazon For Mining, And More

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 updated on the stories that might have gotten lost in the shuffle this week.

U.S. retailers have seen a steady decline in Latinos spending money on nonessentials since President Trump won the election.

NBC News reported this week that many U.S. retailers, including O’Reilly Automotive and Target, have seen significant slumps in earnings following the election of President Donald Trump last November. According to CEOs from various companies, the downturn in business has been noticed more along the border and in Latino-dominated neighborhoods. According to NBC News, it’s because Latinos, especially undocumented Latinos, are afraid of being profiled and harassed by immigration officials and local law enforcement. Industries such as footwear have seen some of the most significant drops in Latino spending. NBC News reports that Latino spending power reached $1.4 trillion dollars in 2016 and companies have spent years trying to court more Latino customers.

“People are squirreling money away and don’t want to leave their houses to go to stores,” Eric Rodriguez, the Vice President, Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation for UnidosUS, told NBC News.

Read More: US Retailers Hit As Immigration Worries Weigh On Hispanic Spending

New travel warnings have been issued for Mexico but experts say they shouldn’t be cause for alarm.

The U.S. Department of State has updated their travel warning for U.S. citizens traveling to Mexico. The report cites an increase in violent crimes in many popular tourist destinations but State Department officials are saying that Americans should not get overly concerned if visiting the country. The warning mentions cities Playa del Carmen, Cancun, and Tulum, which are popular tourist destinations. The report states that some violence between rival gangs and organized criminal entities has been taken to the streets in broad daylight but there is no evidence that Americans have been targeted specifically because of their nationality.

“[The] Mexican government dedicates substantial resources to protect visitors to major tourist destinations,” State Department spokesperson Pooja Jhunjhunwala told Condé Nast Traveler.

“As the travel warning explains, there have been situations among individuals involved in criminal activities,” a spokesperson for Mexico’s Tourism Board told Condé Nast Traveler. “We can add that the overwhelming majority of those incidents have taken place in locations not frequented by international tourists (such as inner-city areas or private properties).”

Read More: Mexico Travel Warning: What the Update Means for Travelers

An American teenager tried smuggling a Bengal tiger cub he bought in Mexico into the U.S.

An 18-year-old man from California has been arrested for trying to smuggle a Bengal tiger into the United States from Mexico. According to The Washington Post, U.S. Customs and Border Protections inspected Luis Eudoro Valencia’s car as he was crossing the border into San Diego, Calif. from Tijuana, Mexico. During the search, they found the tiger cub on the passenger side floor board and the teenager told them that he bought the tiger for $300 from a man in Tijuana. The man who sold him the tiger, according to the teen, was walking a full grown tiger on a leash. Valencia has been released on $10,000 bond and will have a hearing in front of a federal court Sept. 5. If convicted, Valencia could face up to 20 years in prison, according to The Washington Post.

“CBP officers are often faced with unusual situations,” Pete Flores, the director of field operations for Customs and Border Protection in San Diego, told The Washington Post.

Read More: Teen Tells Judge He Bought Tiger Cub On Streets Of Mexico

Climate change has turned a Bolivian village into a ghost town as residents flee.

Inside Climate News has reported that a village in Bolivia, which can be dated back to pre-Inca times, is on the brink of losing all of its residents following a record breaking drought. The village was once thriving because of the quinoa boom but the drought has left the fields and lakes drying up. The Drought has forced 80 percent of the residents to leave the village and head to the cities in an attempt to find work.

“Before it was much stabler. Rain arrived in the rainy season. There was a time for wind, when the wind came. But now it’s not like that,” Justino Calcina, a resident of Santiago K, told Inside Climate News. “Our only sustenance in this town, and in this region, is—or was—quinoa.”

Read More: Climate Change Is Making This Bolivian Village a Ghost Town

Brazil has opened up protected Amazonian land for commercial mining to boost the economy.

In a move that has shocked many environmental activists, Brazilian President Michel Temer has opened a large region of the Amazon — it’s the size of Denmark — to commercial mining, according to The Guardian. Temer said the opening of the land will not impede on any environmental and indigenous protections that are in place but many remain skeptical about the move. It is reported that there are rich deposits of gold, copper, tantalum, iron ore, nickel and manganese.

“A gold rush in the region will create irreversible damage to local cultures,” Mauricio Voivodic, the executive director of World Wildlife Federation-Brazil, told The Guardian. “In addition to demographic exploitation, deforestation, loss of biodiversity and water resources, this could lead to an intensification of land conflicts and threats to indigenous peoples and traditional populations.”

Read More: Brazil abolishes Huge Amazon Reserve In ‘Biggest Attack’ In 50 Years


READ: No Pos Wow: A Dolphin Is Running For President In Chile, ‘Despacito’ Snubbed By MTV, And More

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A Tourist Was Arrested For Illegally Climbing Up The Pyramid of Kukulkán

Culture

A Tourist Was Arrested For Illegally Climbing Up The Pyramid of Kukulkán

Jon G. Fuller / VW PICS / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

It is important to be a responsible tourist. This means following rules, acting responsibly, and not violating sacred places. That is something one tourist learned the hard way when she climbed the Pyramid of Kukulkán in Chichén Itzá.

Here’s the video of a tourist running down the steps of the Pyramid of Kukulkán.

The Pyramid of Kukulkán is one of the most iconic examples of Pre-Hispanic architecture and culture in Mesoamerica. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most visited archeological sites in Mexico. In 2017, more than 2 million visitors descended on the site.

Of course, #LadyKukulkan started to trend on Twitter.

You know that Twitter was ready to start calling out this woman for her actions. According to Yucatán Expat Life Magazine, the woman was there to honor her husband’s dying wish. The woman, identified as a tourist from Tijuana, wanted to spread her husband’s ashes on the top of the pyramid, which it seems that she did.

The video was a moment for Mexican Twitter.

Not only was she arrested by security when she descended, but the crowd was also clearly against her. Like, what was she even thinking? It isn’t like the pyramid is crawling with tourists all over it. She was the only person climbing the pyramid, which is federally owned and cared for.

The story is already sparking ideas for other people when they die.

“Me: (to my parents) Have you read about #ladykukulkan?
My Dad: Yes! (to my mom) When I die, I want you to scatter my ashes in the National Palace so they call you “Lady Palace,” sounds better, no?” wrote @hania_jh on Twitter.

READ: Mexico’s Version Of Burning Man Became A COVID-19 Super-Spreader Event Thanks To U.S. Tourists

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These Women Created A Cookbook That Honors Victims of Mexico’s Violence With Their Favorite Recipes

Things That Matter

These Women Created A Cookbook That Honors Victims of Mexico’s Violence With Their Favorite Recipes

FRANCISCO ROBLES/AFP via Getty Images

Despite a slight change in strategy in combatting the country’s endemic violence, Mexico continues to see a staggering degree of violence plaguing communities. Although the country’s president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, promised sweeping changes that would help pacify the country – violence has continues to spiral out of control, reaching record levels in 2020.

No where is this more evident than in the communities that have lost dozens or even hundreds of loved ones. Many of these communities have formed search brigades to help try and find their loved ones (or their remains) but they’re also getting creative with the ways in which they work to remember those they’ve lost.

A search brigade publishes a recipe book containing their loved ones’ favorite foods.

A group of women who came together to help locate the remains of their loved ones, have worked together on a new project to help remember their loved ones. Together, they have created Recipes to Remember, a book of favourite dishes of some of the missing. Each dish has the name of the person it was made for and the date they disappeared. It was the idea of Zahara Gómez Lucini, a Spanish-Argentine photographer who has documented the group since 2016.

The women are known as the Rasteadoras, and they’ve literally been digging to uncover graves of Mexico’s missing. Now, they’re finding ways to help remember those who have gone missing. The book is a way to strengthen the community and as one of the mothers told The Financial Times, “the book is a tool for building ties.”

“This recipe book is very important because it’s an exercise in collective memory and that’s very necessary,” says Enrique Olvera, the chef and restaurateur behind Pujol in Mexico City and Cosme in New York and a sponsor of the book. “It enables the Rastreadoras to connect with the memory of their loved ones through food and brings us, the readers, closer … It weaves empathy,” he told the Financial Times.

Many of these women came to know each other as they searched for their missing loved ones.

The women – who are mostly housewives in their 40s and 50s – literally scour the nearby grasslands, deserts, and jungles with shovels in hands hoping to make a discovery.

Their “treasures” are among the more than 82,000 people recorded as having disappeared and not been located in Mexico since 2006, when the government declared a war on drug cartels, unleashing terrible, seemingly unstoppable violence. Notwithstanding Covid-19, 2020 may prove to have been the deadliest year on record. As of November there had been 31,871 murders, compared with a record 34,648 in 2019.

Their stories of loss are heartbreaking.

One of the mothers, Jessica Higuera Torres, speaks of her son Jesús Javier López Higuera, who disappeared in 2018, in the present tense. For the book, she prepared a soup with pork rind because “he loves it — when I was cooking, I felt as though he was by my side.”

On the other hand, Esther Preciado no longer cooks chile ribs, her recipe for her daughter’s father, Vladimir Castro Flores, who has been missing since 2013. “That one’s just for the memories now,” she says.

“You get addicted to searching,” she adds. The 120 or so Rastreadoras have found 68 people, but only about a quarter of those are their missing loved ones. She acknowledges many victims may have got into trouble because they sold or used drugs; others were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Mexico’s missing person problem continues to plague the country.

Since taking office in 2018, the government of President López Obrador has stepped up efforts to locate missing people and identify bodies. It says the number of reported disappearances for 2020 was trending down. But the government acknowledged in November that in 2019, a record 8,804 people had been reported missing and not been found.

According to official data, Mexico has counted 4,092 clandestine graves and exhumed 6,900 bodies since 2006. Sinaloa is notorious as the home of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, once Mexico’s most powerful drug baron, now locked up in a maximum-security jail in the U.S. The city of Los Mochis, where the Rastreadoras are based, is currently in the grip of Fausto Isidro Meza Flores, known as El Chapo Isidro.

The Rastreadoras acknowledge that they’re on their own, turning to the authorities for help is not an option. As shown in the mass disappearance of 43 Mexican students in 2014, which rocked the country, municipal police have a terrible reputation for being infiltrated by cartels. “They won’t help us — they’re the same ones who are involved,” scoffs Reyna Rodríguez Peñuelas, whose son, Eduardo González Rodríguez, disappeared in 2016.

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