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US Drops Charges Against Mexican Official Arrested For Drug Trafficking

Update November 19, 2020

Charges against Salvador Cinenfuegos Zepadas have been dropped by U.S. officials. The sudden change in direction by justice officials has drawn criticism and has exposed that precarious nature of U.S.-Mexico relations.

The announcement that the DEA is dropping charges against a recently arrested Mexican official is a big deal.

According to Vice News, the Mexican government stepped into get the charges dropped against former Secretary Salvador Cienfuegos Zepadas. Vice News reports that the Mexican government threatened to expel the DEA from the country and limit all cooperation on narcotics investigations unless Cienfuegos Zepadas is released.

Meanwhile, Attorney General Bill Barr released a joint statement with his Mexican counterpart, Alejandro Gertz Manero, downplaying that angle.

“In recognition of the strong law enforcement partnership between Mexico and the United States, and in the interests of demonstrating our united front against all forms of criminality, the United States Department of Justice has made the decision to seek dismissal of the U.S. criminal charges against former Secretary Cienfuegos, so that he may be investigated and, if appropriate, charged, under Mexican law,” AG Barr and Gertz Manero said in a news release. 

Original: President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador criticized the historic role of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Mexico after a former Mexican army chief was arrested Thursday in Los Angeles on drug charges at the request of the DEA.

The former Mexican Defense Minister was arrested by the DEA on drug charges.

Salvador Cienfuegos Zepedas was the secretary of National Defense in the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto from 2012 to 2018. President Lopez Obrador claims that the arrest is proof of corruption from past governments.

President Lopez Obrador used the arrest to criticize the U.S. government and the DEA.

President Lopez Obrador, speaking at a press conference in Oaxaca, claimed that there is a double standard. While Cienfuegos Zepedas has been arrested by the DEA, the president claims U.S. officials have not been held accountable for trafficking arms into Mexico to track them to the cartels. According to the president, Mexican officials are being held at a higher and harsher standard than U.S. officials.

“Why is it that it’s just the people in Mexico who took part in these acts being accused or implicated, and (the DEA) aren’t criticizing themselves, reflecting on the meddling by all these agencies in Mexico,” Lopez Obrador said at the press conference. “They came into the country with complete freedom, they did whatever they wanted.”

The former defense minister’s arrest sent shockwaves through Mexico.

Cienfuegos Zepedas was the first high-ranking Mexican military official to be arrested in the U.S. with drug-related corruption. He was arrested at the Los Angeles International Airport and will be facing drug and money-laundering charges. It’s been less than a year since Genaro Garcia Luna was charged with taking bribes from the Sinaloa drug cartel led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

President Lopez Obrador wants to protect the military’s reputation.

Lopez Obrador also said he hopes that the armed forces aren’t blamed for this scandal and that Mexico must take care of institutions as important as the Secretary of National Defense. Mexico does not currently have an ongoing investigation of the retired general and will await the result of the U.S. investigation, according to the president of Mexico. 

Cienfuegos Zepedas is due to make a court appearance related to four charges in California on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020.

READ: This Is What Mexico’s AMLO Wants From The Pope For The Churches Crimes Against Indigenous Mexicans

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Elon Musk Wanted To Call His Tequila Brand ‘Teslaquila’ But Mexico Said No

Culture

Elon Musk Wanted To Call His Tequila Brand ‘Teslaquila’ But Mexico Said No

Tesla Tequila

Tesla Tequila is real? That’s the question many people are asking themselves after the recent announcement that the elixir was indeed available to buy on the company’s website.

Many assumed it was all a publicity stunt or a Twitter joke by the eccentric Tesla founder…looks like we are all wrong. Turns out we probably shouldn’t of doubted him. He’s already gotten people to buy flamethrowers, short shorts and surfboards. Guess it was only natural that the billionaire’s next move would be tequila.

Only one problem: tequila is a well protected and regulated beverage that’s overseen by Mexican officials. So although he’s released his so-called Tesla Tequila, he didn’t get to call it what he had wanted to, thanks to Mexican regulators.

Mexican officials told Elon Musk no to his ‘Teslaquila’ brand.

It was more than two years ago that Elon Musk referenced the “Teslaquilla” (yes, with two Las) idea. It came in the form of an April Fool’s Day joke, with Musk writing, “Elon was found passed out against a Tesla Model 3, surrounded by ‘Teslaquilla’ bottles, the tracks of dried tears still visible on his cheeks.”

But thanks to Mexican regulators, Musk has had to change his approach. Although he launched his tequila brand over in November, he didn’t get to call it what he had hoped to call it.

Thanks to strict controls on naming and production of tequila, Musk’s tequila brand is now called Tesla Tequila. Mexico’s Tequila Regulatory Council rejected the name for being too confusing for a brand name, since it’s close to the word “tequila.” 

The word “tequila” is a designation of origin; it means the rights of using this word belong only to the tequila agribusiness. That also means no one can register the word as their property. Musk’s team challenged this, saying “Teslaquila” was a natural variant from Tesla and the suffix “-quila.” On January 16th, the final ruling came down: the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property declared it could not register the brand.

Although Musk couldn’t launch ‘teslaquila’, he’s moved fast on Tesla Tequila.

Despite the naming setback, Musk has been hard at work at getting his tequila brand off the ground. And just last month, products started to ship.

Tesla Tequila comes in a lightning bolt-shaped bottle and, according to the label, is an “exclusive, premium 100% de agave tequila añejo aged in French oak barrels” produced by Nosotros Tequila.

The liquor boasts “a dry fruit and light vanilla nose with a balanced cinnamon pepper finish” and a Tesla-branded stand to hold the angular glass container upright. Despite limiting orders to two bottles per customer and only shipping to certain U.S. states, the car-brand tequila still sold out within a matter of hours. And it’s going for $250 a pop.

And in case you’re wondering, Mexico ain’t mad about it. “Today the tequila industry has someone as important as Elon Musk representing it,” the CRT said in a statement. “This is, without a doubt, a benefit to all the tequila producers because he is giving his image as an important businessman and he is showing he wants to comply with the rules of this industry. We welcome Elon Musk and the Tesla tequila brand.”

People are already receiving their shipments and posting to social media.

People who ordered the tequila are beginning to receive their shipments, and some are sharing photos on social media.

“It’s finally here and it’s so sexy!” wrote one Twitter user.

This isn’t the first time that Tesla’s owner has raised eyebrows for strange business ventures.

From flamethrowers to surf boards and now tequila, Musk has launched all types of products, apart from his iconic Tesla vehicles.

Earlier this year, the company took to selling mini red gym shorts on its website, in a playful hit back at investors who had “shorted” Tesla, or bet that its stock would drop. Each pair was priced at $69.420.

Musk also made headlines this week by revealing how close the automaker was from bankruptcy at one point. In response to a question on Twitter, he said that Tesla was only “about a month” away from collapse when it was working to ramp up production for its popular Model 3 sedan from mid-2017 to mid-2019.

However, what ever he’s doing seems to be working for the company since none of those struggles are reflected in its stock price. Tesla shares have been on a tear this year, shooting up more than 420%.

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Flor Silvestre, Beloved Mexican Singer and Film Icon, Dies at 90

Entertainment

Flor Silvestre, Beloved Mexican Singer and Film Icon, Dies at 90

Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Flor Silvestre, the beloved Mexican singer-actress of stage and screen died at her home in Zacatecas, Mexico on Wednesday. She was 90. According to her family, her death was of natural causes.

Flor Silvestre was born Guillermina Jiménez Chabolla in 1930 in Guanajuato.

Her mother longed for a more urban life, so the entire family moved to Mexico City when Chabolla was 13. It was in Mexico City that Chabolla began to stretch her musical skills in concert halls and radio programs. She quickly caught the attention of producers and promoters who recognized both her talent and her beauty.

It was from one of these promoters that Guillermina Jiménez Chabolla received her stage name, Flor Silvestre, “wild flower” in Spanish. She was christened such due to her delicate–and at the time, gangly–appearance.

Throughout her 70 year career, Silvestre recorded over 300 songs and appeared in over seventy movies. She was a prominent figure in the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, appearing in famous films like “Ánimas Trujano” and “La cucaracha”. Her rich, melodious voice gave her the nicknames “La Sentimental” and “La Voz Que Acaricia”.

But Silvestre found both professional and personal fulfillment when she met her husband, singer-actor Antonio Aguilar, in 1950.

The two complemented each other and were able to use their relationship to rise to new professional heights.

Silvestre was the original triple threat–adding horse-riding into her song and dance act. Her famous traveling rodeo show that she performed in alongside her Aguilar and two sons attracted thousands of attendees across Mexico and the U.S., eventually selling out Madison Square Garden.

After the death of Aguilar in 2007, Silvestre largely retired from public life. Her children Pepe Aguilar and Antonio Jr. however, continued to make music and wow the public with their unending talent.

Pepe Aguilar took to Instagram to eulogize his late mother, a woman who, to so many Mexicans, was the sound of home. “She left the example of being a nuanced voice of the beauty of being a mother and wife,” he wrote. “She left the joy of bearing witness to beauty that thinks and speaks.”

Many fans of Silvestre’s took to Twitter to reminisce about the way La Sentimental touched their lives.

Flor Silvestre movies were a staple in many Mexican and Latin American households.

Some fans waxed nostalgic about the relationship their abuelos and abuelas had with the late star.

This man has memories of seeing the Aguilar family perform in one of their famous rodeo shows.

They brought joy to so many.

And finally, fans are celebrating the everlasting love that Antonio Aguilar and Flor Silvestre had together.

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