Things That Matter

A Restaurant In Mexico City Is Facing Backlash And Legal Trouble For Serving Endangered Tarantula Tacos

México en el Paladar, a restaurant located in Mexico City, is facing severe backlash after video surfaced of an employee cooking an endangered Mexican red rump tarantula. The restaurant has served up the eight legged animals inside a warm tortilla topped with smashed avocado and a squeeze of lime juice. The federal environmental protection agency in Mexico found out about the tarantulas because of a video posted to Facebook and seized four tarantula corpses that were about to be served. The restaurant is now under investigation for serving up the tarantulas.

México en el Paladar boasts a menu that specializes in “exotic pre-Hispanic cuisine” including grasshoppers, worms and ant eggs.

Esto es solo una de las preparaciones que se le hace a la Tarántula para que la podamos degustar!!!!

Posted by México en el paladar on Friday, May 18, 2018

The video, posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page, shows a cook using a flamethrower to burn the tarantula to a crisp. Tarantulas are part of the diets of many people around the world, like in Cambodia. However, the Mexican red rump tarantula is on the verge of extinction and are classified as a protected species making this 500 Mexican peso ($26 USD) taco illegal.

The Mexican red rump tarantula inhabits central and northern Mexico but good luck finding it at your local taco stand.

PROFEPA (the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection), Mexico’s environmental protection agency, inspected the restaurant last week  and found the dead tarantulas. The agency confiscated the tarantulas when the restaurant couldn’t provide legal documentation proving the origin of the spiders, the agency confirmed in a written statement.

The restaurant responded to the criticism it received on it’s Facebook page with the following comment:

“Good afternoon, indeed PROFEPA [Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente, or “Federal Environmental Protection Agency”] went to the premises and advised me in terms of documentation and took the tarantulas because, at the time, I did not have the documentation. Unfortunately, I haven’t taken the time to go get the tarantulas back with the proper documentation. However, that doesn’t mean that I’m not working legally. These days I will go to PROFEPA with the documentation and will make it public for your knowledge, and for my part I will stop selling [the tacos] until I resolve everything with PROFEPA. Thank you.”

While the restaurant is under investigation for the tarantulas, the taco place is still open to customers.

CREDIT: PROFEBA

According to NBC San Diego, the restaurant advertised the tarantula taco dish as being “flamed and golden” and ready for eating. The restaurant employees also use the poison of the spider as the the main ingredient in a popular drink. While the tarantula taco is temporarily out of the restaurant, the owner has vowed to get documentation to prove that they acquired the spiders legally to bring them back.


READ: A List Of Latin American Cuisine That Isn’t For The Weak Stomach

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This Indigenous Village In Mexico Trains Their Children As Soldiers To Combat Gang Violence

Things That Matter

This Indigenous Village In Mexico Trains Their Children As Soldiers To Combat Gang Violence

via Getty Images

In the town of Ayahualtempa, Mexico, in the state of Guerrero, reporters see a shocking image whenever they visit. Children armed with guns, trained to defend themselves. The disturbing scene is meant to be shocking. The village of Ayahualtempa is under constant attack. A prominent heroin “corridor”, they are the victims of violence and carnage at the hands of gangsters and the cartel.

In order to gain the Mexican government’s attention, the Ayahualtempa villagers dress their children up as soldiers. Then, they invite the media in.

Ayahualtempa
via Getty Images

When reporters arrive, the children of Ayahualtempa dutifully line up and put on a performance. They march, they show how they would shoot a gun from one knee, or from flat on their bellies. They tell reporters that their mock-violent performance is “so the president sees us and helps us,” as a 12-year-old child named Valentín told the Associated Press.

Because the Mexican government doesn’t protect Ayahualtempa, the display of child soldiers is a form of protest for the small indigenous village. The people of this remote region of Guerrero want protection from the National Guard, and financial help for widows and orphans who have been made so from organized crime.

The villagers don’t trust local authorities, and for good reason. Guerrera is the Mexican state in which 43 teaching students were abducted and killed in an event that is known as the “Iguala mass kidnapping”. Authorities arrested 80 suspects in connection to the event. 44 of them were police officers, working in conjunction with a network of cartels.

Although the demonstrations function largely as a publicity stunt, violence is very much a part of these children’s lives.

via Getty Images

Parents train their children to walk to school with loaded guns, ready to defend themselves against violent gangsters.

The attention-grabbing antics have, to some extent, worked. On one occasion, the government donated some housing material. On another, benefactors gave the community’s orphans and widows scholarships and houses. But as soon as the periodic media storms die down, the federal government continues pretending Ayahualtempa doesn’t exist.

The hypocrisy of the government’s response is frustrating to many. “We’ve normalized that these children don’t eat, are illiterate, are farm workers. We’re used to the Indians dying young, but, ‘How dare they arm them!’” said local human rights activist Abel Barrera to the AP, with a heavy dose of sarcasm.

As for now, until the government moves to protect the community, they say they will continue their demonstrations. “They see that the issue of the children is effective for making people take notice and they think: If that’s what works, we’ll have to keep doing it,” said Barrera.

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Spanish Voiceover Actress For Jessie From Pokémon Dies And Fans Mourn

Entertainment

Spanish Voiceover Actress For Jessie From Pokémon Dies And Fans Mourn

Pokémon fans in Latin America are mourning the death of Diana Pérez, the Spanish-language voice of Jessie of Pokémon’s Team Rocket. The voice actress has been voicing the character since 1997.

Diana Pérez, the voice actress of Team Rocket’s Jessie, died at 51.

Lalo Garza, a famed voice actor in Mexico, confirmed the death of the Pokémon voice actress.

“Rest in peace Diana Pérez, a strong, cultured, intelligent, and very talented woman. You are good now, friend. Nothing hurts anymore. Have a good trip,” reads the tweet.

Pérez has been a staple in the Spanish-language Pokémon fandom for decades.

Pérez was more than just he voice of Jessie. The voice actress was the voice of multiple anime characters including Luffy in One Piece and Kagura in Inuyasha. In recent years, Pérez had started branching out to directing, producing, and other branches in the entertainment industry.

Pérez’s death is being mourned by Pokémon fans outside of the Spanish-language fandom.

Sarah Natochenny is the English voice of Ash Ketchum in the Pokémon series, Jessie’s mortal enemy. The death of Pérez has impacted the larger Pokémon community. Pérez was a pivotal part of the Latin American Pokémon community for decades and her loss has devastated fans.

Descansa en paz, Diana.

There have been no plans announced for a replacement to voice Team Rocket’s Jessie. No official cause of death has been released either. Our hearts and thoughts go out to Pérez’s family and the greater Pokémon community mourning her passing.

READ: I Was Today Years Old When I Found Out This Mexican Pokémon

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