Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Tigres del Norte and other norteño Mexican musical groups, perhaps because they are closest to the Lowest of the Lower 99 of Mexico, were among the first to understand the long-term mass-entertainment value of drug trafficking lore.  Once it became clear law enforcement activities were not designed to stop drug trafficking (this began to sink in about 20 years ago in Mexico), the Mexican public and news media years ago began seeing it as a cross between a virtual reality show and the old fashioned soap opera.  Various television series about the lives of drug lords are years into production, and the Reina del Pacifico, Sandra Ávila Beltrán, now out of jail (she was captured in 2007), has just granted her first full-fledged interview since her release in 2015, getting various things off her chest.  At 56 she is beginning to show her age, but her evolving self-portrait is still a work of art that continues to fascinate, a sort of female version of Andy Warhol or Elton John.  As Chapo ponders his fate, swallowing anti-depressant pills in his jail cell in Juarez, surrounded by people from the rival cartel who would love to kill him, the Mexican government must determine whether to extradite him to the US., and the suspense about this in popular culture is beginning to feel like the final days before the last episode of Breaking Bad.

Grist for the mill of popular culture, a new cartel is making inroads into the Tijuana platform for exportation of the drugs to the US, as covered by Borderland Beat.  Locally, National Geographic has published a strong article on the bouncing back to life of Juarez after the violence, definitely worth reading.

NM in Depth has an interesting piece on campaign spending so far this year.  Is it any surprise that the largest campaign funder, Advance New Mexico, has received all of its money from interests in Texas and a national GOP fundraiser?  One wonders just which "New Mexico" interests they wish to advance.

No comments: