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Mexican investigators may get bad rap Marvin West

K’inich Janaab’ Pakal death mask in jade.
The reputation of Mexican criminal investigators is often somewhere below zero, except on this occasion. They don’t even hear about a lot of crimes. They seldom solve cases. Even when they think they have caught a crook, they rarely gain convictions. Judges shake their heads. Maybe the warrant was defective, wrong address, misspelled name. Or maybe there is mistaken identity, that is not Jose. Stranger things have happened. I am reminded of the great Mexico museum robbery of long, long ago. It made huge headlines. I know. I wrote some. Thieves stole 140 thought-to-be-priceless Maya, Aztec and other artifacts from world-famous National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City on Christmas Eve 1985. Nothing like that had ever happened. read more

The bus goes everywhere. Marvin West

A Mexican local bus
Buses go everywhere in Mexico. Indeed, some encounter problems. There are natural, mechanical and human issues. Brakes fail. Weather is disruptive. Drivers doze. Fast buses smash into slow trucks. Dangerous curves are actually dangerous. There is another side to the story. The bus is one of the intriguing success stories in Mexico. The system works. The bus offers a somewhat economical and effective means to explore the entire country. read more

Secret places in Mexico Marvin West

Tarahumana
Ojo de Lago 1997
As a child, I sometimes read comic books for entertainment. I did not believe in flying dragons but they certainly stimulated the imagination. As an old-timer, older than dirt, I read travel writers just for fun. I do believe some write at great length about Mexico without ever visiting. Case in point: Smarter Travel magazine had a headline about Mexico secret places. That got my undivided attention. "Ready to discover the real Mexico? If you haven't yet ventured beyond the mega resorts and Senor Frog franchises, here's help. In these 10 cities, undiscovered by most American travelers, you'll see another side of Mexico." The thought of learning about 10 places “undiscovered by most American travelers” was exciting. For many years we have traveled widely but, unlike the Hank Snow long-ago song, we have not been everywhere. read more

Ask an old gringo about baseball, Canadians, ukuleles and orange juice Marvin West

Roberto Osuna
Readers of MexConnect magazine are sharper than the average turkey. They monitor the news, spot little headlines and hear tidbits and rumors related to Mexico and immediately check to see what the old gringo knows. Depending on the subject and how much really good Mexican coffee he had with breakfast, ability to inform fluctuates. His level of knowledge ranges from some, to a little, to not much but he keeps trying. He deals with questions more or less in the order of arrival -- or probable impact on his vast international following or whether he likes them or not read more

Missing Order of the Aztec Eagle Marvin West

Placa Orden Aguila Aztecal
Placa Orden Aguila Aztecal
I have waited and waited, patiently seven-eighths of the time. After all these years, after a hundred and a half MexConnect columns about Mexico, most of them favorable, I have not yet been invited into the Order of the Aztec Eagle. Past presidents of this colorful country could have done it with a wave of the magic wand. The present leader needs only speak the words – West next read more

Hurting Time for Mothers of Mexico Missing Marvin West

Christmas is family time. We see it in our community. Workers are off for a few extra days. Three generations climb into pickup trucks and go visit relatives – even if it is just across town. They have lunch and dinner gatherings. We see the extra children playing in the neighborhood. It is obvious when there is an empty chair at a table. read more

Ask an old gringo about tax cuts, wind farms, Alebrijes and egg sandwiches Marvin West

The alebrije is a uniquely Oaxacan variety of Mexican folk art. This one depicts a rabbit. © Alan Goodin 2007
Mexico is a very interesting country. If anything hasn’t already happened here, it soon will. Nowhere else in the world are people protesting because taxes are going down. $207 million USD has gone missing. Giant Alebrijes are roaming the streets, and egg sandwiches are missing from grocery stores. read more

Mexico changes, Mexico remains the same Marvin West

Pesos
The more Mexico changes, the more it remains the same. Despite delusions of assorted miracles, it is still largely a country where the past remains vividly present. We have been hearing about reforms since Enrique Peña Nieto launched his presidential campaign in November 2011. Together we will build a new and better Mexico, he said. As so eloquently added by a TV comedian, exaggerated promises come with “buckets of saliva.” Foreign investors took the bait. Mexico is a potential manufacturing powerhouse. Alas, the proverbial man on the street has been looking everywhere, trying to identify improvements in ordinary living. What he sees is fuzzy. read more

Travelers ignore warnings, Mexico wins Marvin West

It works! Advertising actually works. Mexico’s tourism board kept pouring millions of pesos into splashy ad campaigns featuring white sandy beaches, turquoise blue waters, Maya ruins, fresh fruit and genuine hospitality. Americans, Canadians, Europeans and several from the Orient ignored dire warnings, bought the sales talk and came to see for themselves. read more

Ask an old gringo about knife sharpening, a new college, Trump and things to like about Mexico Marvin West

afilador de cuchillo
There is a better way to sharpen your knife. Education can be expensive - for investors. The USA Presidential nomination process crosses the border - Not. How to gain wealth without working too hard. 'Tis the season to be juicy - Mangos and all the local drippings about a new hospital. read more
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