Tag Archives: tourism

Escuinapa, Sinaloa – town of bicycles and mangos

I’m just back from Mexico where I spent a few days in the town of Escuinapa.

Escuinapa is in Sinaloa – a state with a heavy burden caused by the drug war and the fearsome cartel that bears the state’s name.

Here’s a video I made with an alternative view of the area. (I’m loving working video for another kind of storytelling, though clearly I’m still a technical babe in arms. Feel free to subscribe to my video channel, True Tales Video.)

I spoke there at a tourism conclave.

It was great to return to Mexico these last few days. I hope to go back a lot more now that I’m no longer with the LA Times.

I was also in Mazatlan, also in Sinaloa, and a couple hours away. Mazatlan is my favorite Mexican resort town, largely because along with spectacular beaches, there’s actually a city with real life going on. Its Old Town is one of the nicest in all of Mexico, and it’s hard to beat the pulmonias (golf cart taxis) as a mode of transportation.

More from there later.

But I was very happy to help present the new book by my friend, Arturo Santamaria, the sociologist who introduced me to the topic of beauty queens in Mazatlan.

De Carnaval, Reinas y Narc0 is about how beauty queens, beauty contests and drug trafficking all work together in Mazatlan and in Sinaloa.

Great stuff. Weird and wonderful stories.

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Filed under Drugs, Mexico, Storytelling, Uncategorized

MEXICO: Is Acapulco Lost? Is Guerrero a Failed State?

These are the remarkable questions asked in its El Palenque column by Animal Politico — a Mexican online newspaper.

The questions are brought on by the rape of six Spanish tourists last week, and by a constant narcoviolence going back to imagesthe real beginnings of Mexico’s cartel war — that being roughly 2004-05, when heads were placed on stakes and that kind of thing.

The state of Guerrero has been infamous within Mexico for its wanton violence, brought on by its intense heat, poverty and caciquismo – a term referring to the political and economic control by certain families and individuals.

Here’s what Jose Carreno Figueras, from the Tec de Monterrey, had to say:

“You have to remember that Guerrero was always a problem state, and that except for a few enclaves — like Acapulco, Taxco and Zihuatanejo –where there were appearances of authority, it was never far from being ungovernable. Political bosses, criminality, banditry, injustice have always been part of the perennial panorama of Guerrero.”

You just never could see much of it from an Acapulco hotel room — until recently, that is.

For those who read Spanish, Jose Antonio Alvarez Lima had the following remembrance of Acapulco in the 1960s’s glory days, and its fall in the 1970s — calling the city “a mirror of our own failure”:

“Durante los sesentas, disfrute Acapulco y mi primera juventud. Era el paraiso. Quizá uno de los sitios más bellos del mundo, junto con Río. En los setentas, el populismo echeverrista llenó los cerros de invasores sin servicios y se inició el deterioro desastroso que hoy conocemos. Acapulco  es el espejo de nuestro fracaso. De la corrupción generalizada, la demagogia, la codicia y la indiferencia.

“El mismo futuro que espera para Cancún y las Rivieras Maya y Nayarita. Nunca tan pocos y tan rápido han hecho tanto daño a la naturaleza.”

 

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Filed under Mexico