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Articles tagged "Mexican Drug War"

From the Translator: On Translating Fabrizio Mejía Madrid

It’s funny the paths one is led down by what one gets to translate. After having translated Juan Pablo Villalobos’s stunning debut, Down the Rabbit Hole, last year, I now seem, somewhat bewilderingly to me at least, to be considered by some as practically an expert on Mexico and Mexican literature—something I am  not by any stretch of the imagination and do not claim to be. I was recently asked to participate on a panel talking about social realism in the Latin...

Violence and Drug-Trafficking in Mexico

In Mexico, people will pay up to $70,000 dollars for a license to hunt and kill a bighorn sheep. Killing a man is much cheaper—about $2,000, according to the rates charged by hitmen in Ciudad Juárez, the most dangerous city in the world. And yet, on occasions, death comes free. On August 24, 2010, in Tamaulipas, seventy-two migrants were murdered before they could achieve the golden American dream. The workers, who had no passports, came from Brazil, Central America, and...

The Way to Juarez

The doctor didn’t try to hide from me the storm my father was passing through: “It’s called delirium. Hallucinations, amnesia, psychic disorder. It could also be a case of dementia caused by psychotic depression. We need to do a serum electrolytes test and an unenhanced cranial tomography.” The neurologist wanted to look inside the theater of my father’s brain, to become a spectator of that absurd drama, as if there might be a new Ionesco trapped inside...

The Mystery of the Parakeet, the Rooster, and the Nanny Goat

The Tate Drugs Gallery Inside the Ministry of Defense in Mexico City is a museum that’s not open to the public. It displays all the jewels, weapons, clothing, and reliquaries that have been seized from drug traffickers since 1985. The collection is an example of the symbols the Mexican drug trafficker draws strength from: a gold Colt .38 studded with emeralds that belonged to Amado Carillo, leader of the cartel from the northern state of Chihuahua, and which was a present from the...

Death Count

In the small hours of March 13, 1964, Kitty Genovese ended her shift at the bar as usual, took her car, and parked a few  yards from the apartment complex where she lived, in Kew Gardens, Queens. As she started to walk toward her home she noticed a shadow behind her. Terrified, Genovese ran to Austin Street, closely followed by a man. Before she was able to take refuge in a building, the attacker stabbed her twice in the back. She screamed for help. Of the dozens of apartments in the...

Notes on a Zombie Cataclysm

(Opening Song) Hey, sweetheart, don’t go picnicking in the cemetery: don’t go drinking in the cemetery: don’t go doing drugs in the cemetery: don’t dress and make up like a Goth tonight.   Because things are turning weird: because they found just the arm while the rest of the body remains a mystery; because they found just the ear  of another mystery and teeth from the devil knows whose smile;   because things are...

Tijuana: On the Pozole-Man’s Hill

1 A writer from Tijuana told me: “If you want to know what Tijuana is all about, you have to go there.” There was the village of Ojo de Agua, in a dusty valley on the outskirts of the city, that you reach after crossing the hills dotted with houses that appear in all the stories about Tijuana. On the top of a rise, like Dracula’s castle, stands the shack of Santiago Meza López, aka The Pozole-Man1 of the Arellano Félix brothers’ cartel. A man...

The History of the Present: Sergio González Rodríguez on the Mexican Literary World and the Drug War

Carmen Boullosa: When I approached you for this interview you said you were convinced that the situation in Mexico should not be read as a conflict between “good” and “evil”—criminals attacking innocent people—but rather within an altogether different frame of reference. Sergio González Rodríguez: Yes, the situation in Mexico today adds up to much more than some filmlike scenario with good guys and bad guys. There’s malice in it,...

The Heart’s Secret Moves

It happened on a Wednesday, this tale of enlightenment. Tuesdays Pedro was The Heart, which meant cracking heads. He was a Lightweight, and a real brawler. Wore a red mask and had a red, triangular kaboom painted on that smooth chest of his. Got his opponent in a Boston Crab till the trainers threw in the towel and The Heart told the ref, count. It didn’t really matter if the ref didn’t count, or if he counted too fast, because it was all just part of the show. It was the buzz...

The Politics of Mourning

“Acapulco, September 18 [2010]. Two unidentified men, decapitated in the town of Coyuca de Catalán. Heads thrown into a soft-drink bottling plant from two moving vehicles. One has its eyes masked with gray industrial adhesive tape. The bodies have not been identified.” “Juárez, Chihuahua, December 27 [2010]. On Jarudo and Sierra Candelaria streets, in the community of Jarudo, two young students were riddled with holes and charred by Molotov cocktails in the...

Notes on the Violence in Sinaloa, Mexico

For two weeks I sensed violence as an invisible force. I only experienced one act of direct intimidation: a thirty-something, ultra-well-dressed woman with five-centimeter nails adorned with precious stones barged into me in an OXXO grocery store while I was paying. I look her in the face, raise my voice and emit a DF-style “be my guest,” forgetting the typically Sinaloan comment “you put up with it or they kill you.” And nothing happens. No “now you’re...

Sleepless Homeland

…   Did we lose you in a game of dice? Did you escape from us in one snort? In which junkie’s syringe did you become trapped, my Homeland?            Maybe some Nordic addict’s? When did they brand you with the mark of the pill that gives short-lived pleasure? I’m addicted to you, stamped with your indelible mark.     My Homeland, once eloquent, now you stutter, stutter daily, ever more alive, voracious,...

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