Things That Matter

Three Men In Mexico Were Forced To Strip Naked And Walk The Streets As Punishment For Stealing 15 Cows

Mexico’s everyday life, particularly in rural areas, is full of surprises and events that the average gringo would find too strange to be true. Such was the case of a recent robbery in the state of Veracruz. Three men were caught stealing 15 cows, which is a very significant asset and someone’s actual livelihood if you subsist by raising crops and producing farming goods such as milk. So they of course had to be punished in some way, and because people in some areas of Mexico (and we would dare to say in the country at large) mistrust the authorities, some citizens take matters in their own hands.

This is a symptom of a decades-long mistrust in the authorities or the real repercussions that criminals will face given the high levels of corruption at all levels of government that the new administration wished to eradicate (just how they pretend to do it remains largely unclear!). 

So first things first: yes, this was their punishment for stealing the cows, holding hands while totally naked

Credit: @QuePocaMadre_MX / Twitter

The punishment by public nudity took place in Suchilapan del Río, in the municipality of Jesús Carranza in Veracruz. The three men were caught right con las manos en la masa. The man who recorded the video, which has made its rounds on Mexican social media, made the robbers confess to their crime while naked and holding hands in the middle of the street. According to La Verdad Noticias, one of these men is a butcher, which makes perfect sense given that he was attempting to steal cattle. They are standing on Independencia street, right in front of the meat producers association. 

The news was broken by the Twitter news dissemination site @QuePocaMadre_MX which translates into something like “You gotta be kidding me, that’s rough, man!” 

The case has not been completely solved and whether the authorities have done anything on this matter is unclear. The case has garnered some attention in local media, so we might hear more about this. It is important to note, however, that while highly unlikely the video might actually be staged (we gotta at least entertain that possibility until we know otherwise!). 

The story might seem funny or chusca at first, but if you dig a bit under the surface there is a far darker undertone.

Credit: @QuePocaMadre_MX / Twitter

For one, the video evidences an almost total gap of authority in this municipality. The fact that these guys (criminals, if we are being honest) were forced to display public nudity to atone for their actions is almost laughable, but it also shows that law enforcement in the are has been decimated to reach a level of ridicule that can make headlines. Let’s not forget that Veracruz is one of the most violent states in the country, and since Los Zetas emerged in the 2000s and challenged the Cartel del Golfo, it has also become an epicenter of the cartel wars. This lack of government action lends itself to semi-funny situations but should not be taken lightly. 

The people made them hold hands, which is a clear sign of homophobic mob mentality.

The fact that the men were forced to hold hands and do a display of pretend homoeroticism is also an indicative of the prevailing homophobic views shared by some Mexicans. In everyday Mexican lingo, words that denote a queer identity are used as token insults and one of the cruelest ways to harm diverse genres and sexualities is making them an insult. We also have to consider that Veracruz has a very dark history when it comes to hate crimes against the LGBTQ community. Crimes against trans individuals, for example, are common and most of the times end up in impunity. Even though same-sex marriage is legal, measures such a conversion therapy are legal as well. 

And there is a thin thin line that separates forcing three men to get naked and an actual lynching, which has been a sad and brutal feature in contemporary Mexico.

Perhaps this story might seem amusing at first, but it also recalls some recent incidents in Mexico in which criminals are caught by the population instead of the authorities and then things escalate and lynching happens. People have been bashed to death, set on fire and dismembered in public. In some instances the lynched are guilty of crimes, often of sexual nature, but it has been the case that a disgruntled neighbor starts a rumor that has fatal consequences. Because there is such a climate of uneasiness and impunity in the country, people have even ambushed police cars carrying suspects. We are of course not saying that justice should not be served, but when it is an eye for an eye everyone ends up blind.

Andrea Arruti, The Mexican Actress Who Lent Her Voice To ‘Frozen’ In Spanish, Died At 21 Years Of Age

Entertainment

Andrea Arruti, The Mexican Actress Who Lent Her Voice To ‘Frozen’ In Spanish, Died At 21 Years Of Age

Andy AV / Facebook / frozendisney / Instagram

The young actress who lent her voice to the Spanish version of Elsa in “Frozen”, Diamond Tiara in “My Little Pony,” Neeko in “League of Legends,” among other characters, died this week and the Mexican entertainment industry is mourning the loss of a talented young voice actress. 

Actress Andrea Arruti who lent his voice to the Spanish-language version of Elsa in “Frozen,” died.

Mexican actress Andrea Arruti, died following a respiratory complication, which slowly debilitated her body over the course of several months. She was the voice behind many’s favorite characters in the Spanish version of animated series and films, such as “Anne with an E,” “My Little Pony,” “Phineas and Ferb,” and “League of Legends.” One of her most popular characters was Elsa in “Frozen.”

She reportedly died on Jan. 3.

The death of the 21-year-old actress occurred during the first days of the year, but the information wasn’t confirmed until this weekend, when several companies who worked with Arruti, expressed condolences.

The family shared official news of Andrea’s passing to appease rumors.

Credit: Andy AV / Facebook

Arruti’s family shared the news on her Facebook page and felt the need to be transparent about the young actress’s cause of death following false rumors.  “In the name of Andy Arruti’s family, we want to express our sincere gratitude for all the love and solidarity we have received after her passing in a hospital of Mexico City. After noticing some speculation around her death —in the media as well as in social media—we wanted to note that Andrea died due to a respiratory complication that weakened her body throughout the last months.”

The Arruti family made it clear that Andy ’had no addictions’ and that she was ‘an exemplary person’.

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La más bonita.💖😍 @andyarruti

A post shared by Andrea Arruti.💖😍 (@team_andy_arruti) on

“Throughout this period it was sought for their well-being and was duly attended by specialists.“ the Facebook post reads. “For her part, she did everything in her power to meet her health status and fulfill her family, school and professional commitments in a normal way. Andrea was an exemplary person who had no addiction and those who knew her can realize that she was always a cheerful young woman.”

“League of Legends” expressed their condolences.

“We regret the death of Andrea Arruti, who lent her voice to Neeko, and we extend our condolences to her loved ones,” wrote the official video game “League of Legends'” Twitter account. 

Those in the Mexican entertainment industry have been paying their respects via social media.

So far, the actress’s family has not revealed the cause of death, but in social networks, fans and colleagues have lamented the news and remember her as a cheerful and talented person.

Her close friend and colleague Emilio Trevino also shared a loving message.

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Sin duda a veces la vida nos sorprende de maneras fuertes e inesperadas…buscar un porque o para que es absurdo pues son respuestas que realmente nunca tendremos y no espero tenerlas. Sin embargo creo que hoy para mi es más importante recordar todas aquellas cosas hermosas que viví contigo…pues esas son las que al final de todo realmente importan. ¿Qué te puedo decir? Tantos años…crecimos juntos…tantas experiencias y sueños compartidos que no se por donde empezar. Gracias por todas las noches desvelándonos platicando sobre nuestros sueños y como llegaríamos a ellos. Gracias por acompañarme a ver mi película favorita al cine y escucharme hablar de Philippe Petit por horas con tanto amor como tu lo sabias hacer, me acuerdo que pesaba “wow realmente me está escuchando , esta niña es diferente”. Ese momento en el que a la mitad de la película nos quedamos viendo uno al otro por instantes sin decir nada pero realmente decíamos todo…fue simplemente hermoso. Gracias por todas las videollamadas cantando juntos. Gracias por hablar conmigo de Harry Potter por horas hasta cansarnos. Gracias por hacer una fiesta de disfraces en la cual solo fuimos disfrazados tu y yo jajaja. Gracias por platicar conmigo de todos los misterios del mundo como los grandes detectives que nos sentíamos querida Señorita Adler y gracias por darme el nombramiento de Sherlock Holmes. Gracias por introducirme a la lectura y tenerme paciencia aunque nunca fui un muy buen lector…perdóname por perder el libro que me prestaste jajaja. Gracias por volar conmigo en el país de Nunca Jamás…jamás olvidaré cuando grabamos juntos esa serie…era tan bonito escucharte y sentir que me acompañabas en cada aventura, y gracias por compartir tu polvillo de hadas conmigo. Gracias por enseñarme a bailar y a reír sin parar cuando grabábamos Trolls…eres la Poppy más hermosa de todas. Gracias por vivir conmigo una historia de amor tan incondicional, mágica, sincera, divertida y vulnerable cuando grabamos “Anne with an E”….escucharte en cada toma era muy especial para mi. Sin duda ese personaje reflejaba gran parte de ti. Tu sabes que siempre serás mi única e irreemplazable Anne❤️. ……continua abajo

A post shared by Emilio Treviño Oficial (@emiliotrevino_) on

“Life undoubtedly surprises us in tough and unexpected ways, sometimes,” wrote Trevino, a young man who shared many projects with Andrea. “Te voy a extrañar mucho,” “I’ll miss you a lot,” he added in the caption of his Instagram post. 

Despite her young age, Andrea Arruti had been working in the entertainment industry for a long time.

In addition to interpreting the Spanish version of Elsa in “Frozen,” Arruti was a part of other projects such as “Phineas and Ferb” where she played the role of Brigette.

Andrea’s voice has been immortalized in other projects like “Detective Pikachu,” “Goosebumps 2,” “Zombies,” “Powerful Minds,” “World War Z” and many many more.

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Don’t Throw Away Those Tamale Husks – They Make The Perfect Eco-Friendly Plate Or Service Dish

Things That Matter

Don’t Throw Away Those Tamale Husks – They Make The Perfect Eco-Friendly Plate Or Service Dish

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There is no secret that our planet is experiencing an ecological crisis. From flash flooding in Indonesia to a three-year drought that led to unprecedented and lethal bushfires in Australia, the first three weeks of 2020 have reminded us that as a species us humans have basically sucked at achieving a balance with other animal species and with the natural world in general. We are at the brink of either going into a deep well from which we might not come back, or hitting the PAUSE button and making some significant changes. 

Here’s a success story about creative ways of using free and inexpensive materials to curb our consumption of single-use plastic products. 

Our dependence on single-use plastic plates and containers is not only harmful to the environment, but frankly stupid.

Credit: Greenpeace

Think about the amount of plastic you use in a single day. From the coffee lid that you throw away after finishing your latte to the plastic cutlery at the fast food court, plastic bags at the supermarket and plastic toothpicks, to water bottles and a long list of products that frankly make no sense… all of those contribute to increased levels of pollution. Just think about how silly it all is: that lid that you threw away or that Starbucks cup will exist way after your body has turned into ash or compost. Yes, it might sound dramatic, but it really is how illogical the use of plastic is. 

So in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, corn husks have become the perfect alternative after Styrofoam was banned in the municipality.

The town of San Miguel de Allende, a traditional town and gringo-retiree central, has banned Styrofoam. Instead of complaining like many chilangos (Mexico City natives) did when plastic bags were banned, vendors in the picturesque San Miguel have resorted to a much more friendly and overall cooler alternative: corn husks.

This is a great idea not only because otherwise they get thrown away or turn into compost, but also because it is a resistant material and can even give some extra flavor to some traditional dishes. Such is the case of esquites, a scintillating concoction of corn, mayo, lemon and chili… food for the gods.

As reported by Mexico News Daily, San Miguel’s mayor, Luis Alberto Villareal, is proud of the initiative of banning harmful materials: “We’ve been working all year, but the truth is that the society of San Miguel is very participatory, it’s a committed society, it’s a progressive society, and [getting participation] hasn’t been too complicated.” Good for them! 

Mexico City also banned single-use plastic bags.

Credit: Pixabay

From January 1 the user of single-use plastic bags was banned in Mexico City. Given that this is one of the world’s biggest megalopolis the move will certainly have a measurable impact. Many complained (of course they did!), but most embraced the initiative.

Of course, plastic bag producers spoke out against the law, as CE Noticias Financieras reports: “Plastic bag producers, distributors and traders marched and demonstrated in Mexico City on Wednesday against a series of bans to make the Mexican capital free of plastic objects that are only used once in the next months.”

Multinational supermarket chains have also responded to the initiative by offering their customers reusable bags. As NFINCE reports: “Walmart of Mexico, Latin America’s largest self-service chain, began with the free delivery of half a million reusable bags to its customers, as part of the one-time plastic and plastic bag disposal agreement, signed with the Government of Mexico City.”

 Eco traditional practices are coming back

Credit: Mercado Libre Mexico

Even though hipster, gentrified zones of Mexico City have adopted the use of eco bags and all sorts of products that are often overpriced, Mexico City tradition has a long history of uses of bolsas de mercado, bags in which people store their groceries while shopping. This practice is mostly followed by the lower socioeconomic classes, but we are sure they will expand. Using a reusable bag is tradition and hopefully it will make a comeback. We also hope that bags that are usually less that $3 USD don’t end up being a $50 USD hipster commodity! 

Natural, compostable plates and containers are used throughout the Global South and it is a long and rich tradition.

All throughout Asia people use sticks or toothpicks and fresh banana leaves to make bowls and plates in which dishes such as coconut rice or amok (Cambodian curried fish) is served. Oftentimes the practices of the Global North are seen as the panacea of progress but there is much to be learned from developing nations and from indigenous communities in places such as Australia, the United States, Mexico and Canada.