Monthly Archives: October 2013

Land, migrants, poets: Day of the Dead 2013

Day of the Dead. (Photo courtesy of Fotos_Gratis via flickr under Creative Commons license. Terms below.)

Day of the Dead. (Photo courtesy of Fotos_Gratis via flickr under Creative Commons license. Terms below.)

Kent PatersonFNS Feature

New Mexico and the borderland will come alive this weekend with activities related to the annual Day of the Dead celebration, which

(Photo courtesy of Bob Mical via flickr under Creative Commons license. Terms below.)

(Photo courtesy of Bob Mical via flickr under Creative Commons license. Terms below.)

falls on Saturday, November 2, this year. As befits a cultural boom that is drawing in thousands and thousands of people, this year promises bigger and broader events than ever before, encompassing art, music, literature, and culinary treats.

“Without a doubt,” the growth of immigrant and Mexican populations on this side of the border is “exponentially” related to the expansion of the Day of the Dead, said Albuquerque poet and longtime community activist Jaime Chavez. The celebration honors the dearly departed through altars, music, food, and family and community gatherings.

Updated: Border candy factory explodes in Juárez

Blast kills 3, hurts many

UPDATE: A third employee of the factory has died of burns and other injuries suffered in the explosion, according to El Diario de Juárez. He is identified as Jorge López Morales, 41. López was admitted to a Juárez hospital after the explosion with burns on 80 percent of his body. One of the partners in the plant is Chihuahua businessman Eloy Vallina, who also is a developer at San Jeronimo across from the Santa Teresa, N.M., border crossing as well as other interests. The plant has operated in Juarez since 1998 with a series of accidents and other problems, El Diario reports.

Frontera NorteSur

A deadly explosion at a Ciudad Juárez export factory, or maquiladora, left two workers dead and about 50 others injured on Thursday afternoon, Oct. 24. Early news accounts reported that two or three other people were possibly missing after the blast. The disaster was traced to an old boiler that exploded, sending walls crumbling and a floor collapsing in the plant operated by candy maker Sunrise Confections.

“A very strong explosion was heard,” employee Mario Lopez said, sobbing. “I then saw part the factory falling down and the people swept up in it, many of them burned. There were many shouts.”

The lies that will kill America

News Corp. headquarters in New York. (Photo: Mary Altaffer/AP/DAPD)

News Corp. headquarters in New York. (Photo: Mary Altaffer/AP/DAPD)

“Ignorance will kill democracy as surely as the big money that funds and encourages the media outlets, parties and individuals who spew the lies and hate.”

Bill Moyers and Michael Winship

Here in Manhattan the other day, you couldn’t miss it — the big bold headline across the front page of the tabloid New York Post, screaming one of those sick, slick lies that are a trademark of Rupert Murdoch’s right-wing media empire. There was Uncle Sam, brandishing a revolver and wearing a burglar’s mask. “UNCLE SCAM,” the headline shouted. “US robs bank of $13 billion.”

An extermination of social leaders

Frontera NorteSur

Assassin’s bullets have claimed the life of another prominent rural and political leader in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero.

Rocio Mesino Mesino, leader of the Campesino Organization of the Southern Sierra Madres (OCSS), was fatally shot in the back and head multiple times by an unidentified man on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 19, in Atoyac de Alvarez, a violence-ridden municipality which is located in the Costa Grande region about an hour’s drive from Acapulco.

Youth gardens can help address New Mexico’s food desert problems

Hidalgo County Extension Agriculture Agent John Allen examines okra plants growing in the Hidalgo County Youth Demonstration Garden in August. (NMSU photo by Emily C. Kelley)

Hidalgo County Extension Agriculture Agent John Allen examines okra plants growing in the Hidalgo County Youth Demonstration Garden in August. (NMSU photo by Emily C. Kelley)

Emily C. Kelley | NMSU

Nestled between railroad tracks and Interstate 10 in Lordsburg, N.M. is a brightly colored desert oasis. This collection of vegetable gardens is contributing to a cooperative solution for one of Hidalgo County’s biggest challenges: being designated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a food desert.

The colorful Hidalgo County Youth Demonstration Garden in Lordsburg, N.M., makes use of discarded materials to create functional garden beds. Dried yucca stems serve as a canopy to protect the plants from the harsh desert sun. (NMSU photo by Emily C. Kelley)

The colorful Hidalgo County Youth Demonstration Garden in Lordsburg, N.M., makes use of discarded materials to create functional garden beds. Dried yucca stems serve as a canopy to protect the plants from the harsh desert sun. (NMSU photo by Emily C. Kelley)

The USDA defines food deserts as “urban neighborhoods and rural towns without ready access to fresh, healthy and affordable food.” The map of food desert areas shows that much of the state of New Mexico is considered a food desert, with the exception of the areas immediately surrounding Las Cruces, Albuquerque and Santa Fe or sparsely populated areas of eastern New Mexico.

Two third-place finishes for Fort Bliss at Army Ten Miler

Army Ten Miler runners make their way to the finish line Sunday morning. Nearly 35,000 runners were registered to run the annual race. (SHFWire photo by Andrés Rodríguez)

Army Ten Miler runners make their way to the finish line Sunday morning. Nearly 35,000 runners were registered to run the annual race. (SHFWire photo by Andrés Rodríguez)

Andres Rodriguez | Scripps Howard Foundation Wire 

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Fort Bliss men’s and women’s teams finished third Sunday at the Army Ten Miler.

The Fort Bliss men’s team placed third Sunday at the Army Ten Miler. From left are Pfc. Antonio Varela, Maj. Joe Buccino, Coach Brandon Gangstad, Spc. Japhet Ng’Ojoy, U.S. Air Force Capt. Jeff Coverdale, Maj. Andrew Medendorp, Sgt. Ryan Hawkins and 1st Sgt. Benjamin Hartwig. (SHFWire photo by Andrés Rodríguez)

The Fort Bliss men’s team placed third Sunday at the Army Ten Miler. From left are Pfc. Antonio Varela, Maj. Joe Buccino, Coach Brandon Gangstad, Spc. Japhet Ng’Ojoy, U.S. Air Force Capt. Jeff Coverdale, Maj. Andrew Medendorp, Sgt. Ryan Hawkins and 1st Sgt. Benjamin Hartwig. (SHFWire photo by Andrés Rodríguez)

Spc. Japheth Ng’Ojoy, 25, clocked the men’s team fastest time at 52:15 and 1st Lt. Jasmin Branch, 24, finished first for the women’s team at 1:04:25.

About 35,000 people registered to run the 29th annual race on the streets of Arlington, Va., and D.C., skirting several monuments and memorials. An alternate, Arlington-only route, was planned due to the government shutdown, but the original course was reinstated after Congress voted to reopen the government.

U.S. crisis unsettles Mexico

Frontera NorteSur

“There is a lot of uncertainty for investment and this is very negative for Ciudad Juárez.”

The partial shutdown of the U.S. government is unsettling the Mexican economy.

As the crisis took shape last week, the Mexican peso dipped to 13.34 units per dollar, an amount which represented the second largest depreciation in 2013. The pending Oct. 17 showdown over the U.S. debt limit is likewise contributing to the jitters, said Gabriela Siller, an analyst for Mexico-based Banco Base.

Statewide caravan part of national day of action for immigration reform

Renee Blake

Public News Service – NM

HOBBS — Over the weekend, a statewide caravan converged on Hobbs, in Lea County, the hometown of Congressman Steve Pearce. The “On the Road to Citizenship” caravan marked the end of a series of events to contest Pearce’s refusal to support a path to citizenship as part of immigration reform. Immigrant families, faith leaders and their allies from across the state have held protest marches, prayer rallies and town hall meetings in Pearce’s district.

New Mexicans have rallied through the summer to convince Congressman Steve Pearce of Lea County to support immigration reform in the U. S. House of Representatives. This is the On the Road to Citizenship parade float that was part of that effort. (Photo courtesy of Somos Un Pueblo Unido.)

New Mexicans have rallied through the summer to convince US Rep. Steve Pearce of Lea County to support immigration reform in the U. S. House of Representatives. This is the On the Road to Citizenship parade float that was part of that effort. (Photo courtesy of Somos Un Pueblo Unido.)

Marina Piña, community organizer at Somos Un Pueblo Unido, said Pearce supports a guest worker program, but she says that won’t work.

“That doesn’t meet the need of our families. Having a guest worker permit, families would continue living in limbo without knowing exactly what’s going to happen to the future of that family, Piña said.

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