Things That Matter

Here’s Why Mexico’s President And Leonardo DiCaprio Have Joined Forces

Mexico’s Gulf of California is home to one of the most endangered species of porpoise in the world: the vaquita.


Located in the western part of Mexico, just south of California, it is believed that as few as 30 of the mammals are still alive. Their numbers are so low that scientists believe the only way to save the endangered animal is by relocating those remaining in the wild to a sanctuary in San Felipe, Mexico, The Guardian reports.

To save the vaquita porpoise, the Mexican government and the U.S. Association of Zoos and Aquariums have started a $4 million campaign.


The money will go to securing the necessary technology to locate the rare porpoises remaining in the wild, as well as using trained dolphins to help in that process, and providing them with holding pens that will transport them to the sanctuary.

Scientists are unsure of how the porpoise will react to this process, as no one has managed to successfully capture a living vaquita.


They are so rare that footage of vaquitas is hard to find. This video was taken in 2015, which shows only the briefest glimpse of the animal in its natural habitat.

In an effort to bring awareness to the vaquita’s struggle, actor Leonardo DiCaprio tweeted the following:


The Oscar-winning actor is known for taking on environmental causes.

As the Huffington Post reported, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto tweeted support for DiCaprio’s message.


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Peña Nieto then went on a Twitter tear, providing information about Mexico’s efforts to save the vaquita.

@EPN / TWITTER

The vaquita has faced threats from numerous sources in the Gulf of California.


The Guardian reports that the vaquita are often caught in the nets of fishermen illegally hunting the totoaba, another endangered animal in the Gulf of California, whose bladder “commands a higher price than cocaine,” according to Mexico’s National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change’s Lorenzo Rojas-Bracho. The nets used, called gill nets, are the perfect size to capture the vaquita, and were banned from the Gulf of California until this past April.

Even with the ban, these aggressive, illegal fishing practices, have caused the porpoise’s numbers to drop by 90 percent over the last five years, The Huffington Post reports.


Even with their numbers reaching grim levels, activists are working hard to ensure the species will survive. As Rojas-Bracho told The Guardian, “we have to do our best or [the vaquita] will be lost to the planet forever.”

[H/T] The Guardian: Last-ditch attempt to save the endangered vaquita porpoise

READ: LAUSD Just Made It Harder For ICE To Walk Onto Their School Campuses

Leonardo DiCaprio Just Said He Thinks Pupusas Are Better Than Tacos And He Just Sent The Internet Into WWIII

Culture

Leonardo DiCaprio Just Said He Thinks Pupusas Are Better Than Tacos And He Just Sent The Internet Into WWIII

Not everything has to be a competition but when it comes to food, us Latinos can get really riled up about what comes out on top. That’s the case with the epic debate of what’s better, tacos or pupusas? Everyone has their own personal preference right, so why boil it down to one or the other? 

Why not just enjoy both?

But well, while things in the tacos vs. pupusas debate seemed to be dormant, actor and film producer Leonardo DiCaprio just caused an uproar when he declared pupusas better than tacos. 

Leo has spoken, y’all! 

In a video for Univision’s Despierta America, reporter Luis Sandoval gets together with the cast of Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood to talk about the latest movie. Sandoval sits down with Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, and Leonardo DiCaprio and asks them about Mexican cuisine in L.A. which is discussed in the film. 

Sandoval asks them if they ACTUALLY like Mexican food and Brad Pitt responds, “You cannot live in Los Angeles and not love Mexican food.”

We 100% agree with you, Brad. After all, Mexicans comprise the largest ethnic group of Latinos in Los Angeles, followed by Salvadorans and Guatemalans. You can’t walk a single block in L.A. without seeing your local tamalera, frutero, paletero, elotero, or food truck joint selling tacos or pupusas. 

L.A. culture is heavily influenced by Latinx communities and you’ll always find different types of cuisine in this boiling pot of different cultures. 

But now back to Leo’s point. Brad quickly followed up his statement by saying, “you can’t beat a taco.” That’s when Leo was like alright, hold my beer. 

Leo answered Sandoval’s question about what the cast’s favorite type Mexican cuisine food by saying, “I prefer pupusas.” 

At first, it’s unclear whether Leo is somehow confusing pupusas for Mexican cuisine or if he’s simply making the claim that pupusas just do it better for him than tacos.

You do you, Leo. We’re a fan of both the cheesy goodness a pupusa brings and the beautiful anatomy of a taco.   

“I’m a pupusa man, myself,” Leo said. “Better than tacos to me, I gotta go with [pupusas].” 

Of course, as soon as that single clip of this video interview hit social media, everyone went nuts with Leo DiCaprio’s hot take. (A hot take because again, people always want to make a competition about everything.) 

“Who knew Leonardo DiCaprio was a Salvadoran king?,” one Twitter user said.

“New career goal: Interview Leo while he eats my mom’s pupusas,” they added. Tbh, we can’t wait to read and watch that interview. 

Carrusel Bakery, which serves Salvadoran, Mexican, and Guatemalan foods, was quick to ask their Instagram followers about their preference. 

“We’re Team Leo!,” they wrote in their caption. Go leave your comment, y’all. 

A Twitter user was fangirling even more than before, “as if he wasn’t already amazing.”

Damn, Leo, you’ve scored some more brownie points with folks. Another woman (@GiselletheeBest) on Twitter responded to this tweet saying, “An eco-friendly king that loves pupusas I fucking stan!!!!” WE STAN, TOO. 

Despite Leo’s “hot take” however, we should all take a moment to S/O ALL Latinx cuisine because it’s all delicious.

We’re with ya, @VotoLatino. “Pupusas, arepas, mofongo, tacos, etc., we love it all!”

Plus look, you can always have the best of both worlds.

Treat yo self to dos de asada y dos de revuelta please. 

And whoever once thought Jack didn’t deserve to survive in the Titanic, can think again now!

“Por cierto cabías con la Rose en la tabla,” one Twitter user said. LOL!

Another Twitter user shared a text her mother sent her with a hilarious reaction to Leo DiCaprio’s comments. 

“My Panamanian mom in true Central American fashion knows how much shit Leonardo DiCaprio is going to get for saying pupusas are better than tacos esp us living in L.A.,” writes journalist Brigette Lugo

Leo DiCaprio’s comments are going to leave a mark for sure. 

Historically, pupusas don’t get the same love that tacos do. But it’s time we quit with the comparisons and just enjoy others’ food for what it is: a delicious piece of someone else’s culture. 

BRB, we’re on our way to Rincón Hondureño on West Adams Boulevard in Los Angeles. This video and Leo DiCaprio has got us craving pupusas. 

Where are your favorite pupusa spots in L.A.?

Peña Nieto Has Been Accused Of Taking A $100 Million Bribe From El Chapo Before Taking Office

Things That Matter

Peña Nieto Has Been Accused Of Taking A $100 Million Bribe From El Chapo Before Taking Office

Presidencia de la República Mexicana / Flickr / CBS News / YouTube

In the latest chapter in the trail of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, a witness said the drug kingpin paid a $100 million bribe to former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. The shocking testimony came from Guzman’s former “right-hand man” Alex Cifuentes who claims the payment took place two months before Peña Nieto became the president of Mexico in 2012. According to the New York Times, Cifuentes worked closely with El Chapo from 2007 to 2013.

Alex Cifuentes, who worked closely with El Chapo, told a Brooklyn court that the former Mexican president had originally asked for $250 million.

The allegations of corruption against the Mexican government are nothing new as Peña Nieto left office last year with a string of scandals that left him and his administration with low-approval ratings. While Peña Nieto has yet to deny these claims, a spokesman for Peña Nieto called the bribery story “false and defamatory”.

“You gave a story that Mr. Guzman paid a bribe to Mr. Peña Nieto of $100 million,” Guzman’s lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman asked Cifuentes during cross-examination in Brooklyn federal court, referring to his prior discussions with US authorities. “That’s right,” Cifuentes responded.

Cifuentes previously said Guzman had paid Peña Nieto with a $250 million bribe, however during his testimony, he told the court that Nieto had requested $250 million, but accepted El Chapo’s counter offer of $100 million.

During his testimony Tuesday, Cifuentes said the bribe was made so El Chapo wouldn’t have to worry about getting caught with this drug business.

In court, Lichtman said that in prior meetings in April 2016 and November 2017, Cifuentes told U.S. prosecutors that Peña Nieto had reached out to Guzman in 2012. Cifuentes says Peña Nieto, who was elected that year, told Guzman if he gave him the money, he wouldn’t have to worry about his drug business.

“The message was that Mr. Guzman didn’t have to stay in hiding?” Lichtman asked about the terms of the bribe. “Yes. That very thing is what Joaquin said to me,” Cifuentes said in his response.

It was during Peña Nieto’s term that Guzman was captured by Mexican authorities in 2014 only for him to escape before being caught again in 2016. He was then extradited to the US to face charges of drug trafficking and murder.

Peña Nieto might not be the only Mexican president who was working with the drug cartels.

Lichtman said Cifuentes told prosecutors in 2016 that Guzman’s rival drug gang, the Beltran-Leyva cartel, was paying former Mexican President Felipe Calderon for military protection against him. As of now, Cifuentes doesn’t recall saying that. According to Rolling Stone, Cifuentes did claim though that Guzman was working with the Mexican authorities in some capacity. Guzman would send suitcases filled with cocaine from Argentina to Mexican federal police, who would then sell the drugs themselves.

“I was working with my wife, Angie San Clemente, and working with the Mexican Federal Police with Señor Guzmán’s authorization,” Cifuentes said. “And you claimed the police would then sell the drugs, correct?” Lichtman asked. “You said the police were the customers of the drug dealers?”

“Yes,” Cifuentes responded.

If El Chapo is convicted he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

Peña Nieto’s former chief of staff, Francisco Guzman, denied the allegations on Tuesday evening on Twitter.

“The statements of the Colombian drug trafficker in New York are false, defamatory and absurd. The government @EPN was the one who located, arrested and extradited Joaquín Guzmán Loera. Since the beginning of the administration, it was a priority objective of the security cabinet.”

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Mexico’s new president, ran a campaign on the platform of anti-corruption and won in a landslide last year. The trial so far has exposed many scandals and allegations of bribes in Mexico and Columbia that include police commanders and government officials. This probably won’t be the last we hear of this and this could spell serious trouble for Peña Nieto if the claims are true.

READ: El Chapo’s “Trial Of The Century” Started Last Month And Here’s Everything You Should Know About It

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