CultureStrike: Global Beats, Decolonized Minds

My profile of Mexican hiphop artists Bocafloja was published yesterday in CultureStrike, a magazine covering the intersection of arts and migration. Over a coffee in New York, Bocafloja talked about the origins of hiphop in Mexico City in the 1990s, how he built a collective that transgresses borders and his new album “Cumbé“. You can read the full piece here. “’It was almost accidental,’ says Bocafloja, on how he got into hiphop as a teenager in the 1990s. ‘Whenever migrant workers returned from the U.S….Continue Reading “CultureStrike: Global Beats, Decolonized Minds”

The Establishment: Mexican Women Take To Twitter And The Streets To Protest Gender Violence

I have my first piece in The Establishment, about the movement in Mexico to end gender violence. I interviewed women who shared their stories of sexual harrassment and abuse through the Twitter hashtag #miprimeracoso and report on the April 24th march in Mexico City to end gender violence. “On the afternoon of Saturday, April 23, a Colombian columnist and her Mexican colleague put out the call on Twitter for women to post about their first time being sexually harassed. The hashtag, #miprimeracoso, or #myfirstharassment, took…Continue Reading “The Establishment: Mexican Women Take To Twitter And The Streets To Protest Gender Violence”

Salió en la revista cultural mexicana Yaconic mi entrevista con el artista de hiphop Bocafloja. Léen lo aquí. “Encontrarme con Bocafloja no es fácil. Poco después de su concierto en el Foro Indierocks! de la Ciudad de México nos reunimos en un café en Manhattan: el punto intermediario de los ‘boroughs’ del Bronx y Brooklyn. Cada quien llega a la entrevista desde los dos polos de la escena neoyorquina del hip hop. Estamos rodeados por personas que parecen competir por quién hace su plática más…Continue Reading “Hiphop, Transgresión y Celebración: Cumbé el nuevo disco de Bocafloja”

Yesterday I published an article on the popular feminist blog Feministing on recent comments by the Mexican Social Development Secretary.

Here’s the hook-

“This month, the head of Mexico’s anti-poverty program celebrated the opening of a community kitchen by telling indigenous women that they would be penalized for having children. Justifiably, these statements provoked outrage. But unfortunately, they are nothing new. Mexico has a long history of problematic population policies, often supported by the United States. And today, Mexico, much like its neighbor to the North, punishes the behavior of people while denying them reproductive freedoms and rights.”

Read the full article here.

Migrant Shelter Sees Growing Number of Minors Heading North

Please visit The Americas Program page to read my recent article on the rising trend of minors migrating north through Mexico. Based on my volunteer work and reporting in Ixtepec, Oaxaca, I discuss why minors are forced north and what conditions they face along the way. “On a recent day in March, Luis (name changed), a 17-year-old Guatemalan, arrived in the migrant shelter Hermanos en el Camino (Brothers and Sisters on the Road), in Ixtepec, Oaxaca. Standing just over 5 feet tall, he pulled his…Continue Reading “Migrant Shelter Sees Growing Number of Minors Heading North”

Today is the seventh anniversary of Brad Will’s murder in Oaxaca. October 27, 2006, paramilitary police officers killed the independent reporter and activist as he filmed them barrel down on the barricade he held down alongside members of APPO- the city-wide assembly which formed out of a teacher’s strike and soon consumed the city. This is also the week to honor the dead. Día de los Muertos is November 2nd and altars are starting to go up for those passed on. It feels fitting to honor one of the dead of the strange tribe that I find myself a part of- American radicals in Mexico.

Llegó el momento de las mujeres con el pesar en los ojos. Tres mujeres, tres viudas. Florina Jiménez Colmenares, Angélica Martinez Avella, Carmen Marín García. Hablaron con el corazón en la mano, lamentando el dolor de los familiares de Brad, alabando a Brad por ser un periodista inocente que quiso contar las verdades de los pueblos de Oaxaca, y pidieron a la familia que luchara para que se hiciera justicia porque ya sabían que no habría justicia en ninguno de los otros asesinatos si el de Brad, el extranjero, quebada en la impunidad.

The moment for the women, with heaviness in their eyes, arrived. Three women, three widows. Florina Jiménez Colmenares, Angélica Martinez Avella, Carmen Marín García. They spoke with their hearts in their hands, lamenting Brad’s relatives’ pain, praising Brad for being an innocent journalist who wanted to recount the truth of Oaxaca’s communities, and imploring the family to fight for justice to be served, because they already knew that there wouldn’t be justice for any of the other murders if Brad’s, the foreigner, remained in impunity.

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El levantamiento en Oaxaca: afan de impunidad de Brad Will. John Gibler, 2012.

My translation to English from Spanish text.

You’re not supposed to cry in cafes. Sip your coffee, surf WiFi, chat with a friend. Mexico might permit more emotional expression than back in New England, but crying is a bit much.

Continue Reading "Seven Years in Impunity"

I have been writing away here in San Cristobal, but this is my first published piece in several months. It is also on the Black Sheep Journal.  Stay tuned for more in coming weeks.


Today is Independence Day in Mexico, marking the day in 1810 when Hidalgo’s “grito” (shout) called for rebellion, and the Independence War began. Leading up to the festivities here in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, brass bands practiced late into the night, red, white and green lights illuminate the central plaza, and vendors are out in force, selling Mexican flags, sombreros, streamers, and… model PEMEX trucks. This oddity is a window into the fierce national pride surrounding Petróleos Mexicanos, or PEMEX, Mexico’s national oil company and the heated debate over President Enrique Peña Nieto’s “energy reform” plan.

The energy reform, which would further open PEMEX to foreign investors and ownership, goes far beyond the question of economic competitiveness which Peña Nieto makes it out to be. It strikes at the core of Mexico’s anti-imperial history and values. A strong resistance movement has emerged in recent months to counter the wave of privatization is bearing down on PEMEX.

Continue Reading "Resisting Energy Reform in Mexico: the Next Grito"