Tag Archives: Mexico

Cannes festival contaminated by politics

The Cannes festival 2019 demonstrates a further shift of the VII Art into politics, being used as a tool to shape political preferences of the spectators, abandoning even formal frame of neutrality, and preoccupation with artistic creations.

At the press conference introducing this year’s festival jury, its president Alejandro González Iñárritu, ceased an opportunity to criticize President Trump, and another jury member Alice Rohrwacher denounced film industry for failing to meet gender equality standards, and promote female film-makers.  Subsequently, the times of art uniting people are gone, contaminating the festival with toxic emanation of political struggle. From universal language of images, the film industry has openly transformed itself into a tool for political use, promoting agenda of specific groups of interest.

The first Mexican-born president of the Cannes jury,  Iñárritu, expressed concern at rise of populism, including Trump’s ascendance to power, and added that his presence at the festival served as a repudiation for the US president’s anti-immigration policies.

According to Alice Rohrwacher to be a woman-film director is similar to “survival a “shipwreck”. However, in spite of being plagued with so many political concerns, the 72nd Cannes film festival gets underway with movies presentations.

Every year, the Cannes Festival invites filmmakers from all over the world to give their own interpretation of the contemporary world, sketching a world map of cinema. In 2018, more than 120 countries were represented.

Brussels Flower Carpet in Mexican style

This summer, the famous Brussels Flower Carpet on the Grand-Place is devoted to Guanajuato, a Mexican region with an exceptionally rich culture and flower tradition. And to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Grand-Place becoming a UNESCO World Heritage site, a visitor will also greeted by  a stunning floral exhibition at the Bourse square.


Every other summer, on the weekend of August 15th, the Flower Carpet offers a chance to stroll across the Grand-Place, a jewel of Gothic architecture, to inhale the fragrant scent of the begonias and admire its details. This extraordinary spectacle is made complete by a visit to the balcony of the Town Hall, which offers a wide-angle view of the work. A musical theme is especially composed for each edition. A concert is given on the Grand-Place every evening and accompanies a magnificent sound-and-light show.

The Flower Carpet is 75 m long by 24 m wide. 1,800 m2 of begonias, dahlias, grass and bark.
A hundred volunteers assemble the carpet in less than eight hours.
The first Flower Carpet of Brussels was created in 1971 and has been a showstopper every two years on the Grand-Place since 1986.IMG_0716[1]

The Flower Carpet is 75 m long by 24 m wide. 1,800 m2 of begonias, dahlias, grass and bark. A hundred volunteers assemble the carpet in less than eight hours.
The first Flower Carpet of Brussels was created in 1971 and has been a showstopper every two years on the Grand-Place since 1986.



Trump suggests illegal migrants return without trial

President Donald Trump said  that migrants who enter the United States illegally should be sent back immediately to where they came from without any judicial process, qualified as invaders who are trying to “break into” the country.

President also insisted that the migration system should be fair, based on merit and respect of law, and aiming to welcome people who will ‘Make America Great Again!”

The proposal got strong criticism of the Democrats favoring open door policy for migrants crossing Mexican border, insisting the right to asylum. However the defenders of President Trump view point out at abuse of asylum legislation, used as a cover for economic migrants to enter the country, claiming they are asylum-seekers.

Mexico is the leading  country of origin for most unauthorized immigrants to the USA, among 11  million illegal migrants.

In 2016, the Border Patrol apprehended 117,200 immigrants from Central America, almost one-third of all apprehensions border-wide–and 5,000 more than during the so-called surge of 2014. The agency also apprehended 5,000 Haitians.

“God didn’t create borders. We shouldn’t have a border,” – former Mexican President Vicente Fox said, during an interview on Fox News, discussing details of the White House’s latest  immigration proposal, which includes amnesty for 1.8 million illegal immigrants in exchange for Mexican border wall funding, an end to the visa lottery, and major revisions to chain migration.

Meanwhile Mexico’s economy, society and political system are built around the assumption that migration to the USA and amnesties for undocumented migrants will continue to ensure  $20 billion they send home every year.

Experts defending  President Trump position underline that asylum-seekers should not come to border crossing, but come to one of 10 U.S. Consulates in Mexico to introduce their request.

Map US Consulate Mexico



Mexico flower carpet at Brussels Grand Place

From 16 to 19 August 2018 at the Grand-Place in Brussels Flower Carpet biennale presents Mexico composition, honoring Guanajuato (Image below).

Mexico colonial architecture

Every two years, the non-profit association Tapis de Fleurs brings together a committee of professionals – illustrators, graphic designers, landscape architects, who come up with scale projects, with each edition illustrating a theme focusing on major events, a country, a continent, the coat of arms of a city. Once the theme has taken shape in the form of a model and symbols, the number of flowers is calculated and the combinations of colours are established. The hundreds of thousands of cut flowers necessary for the composition can then be reserved, very long in advance. Several days before the inauguration, a full-size drawing is executed on sheets of micro-perforated plastic that are laid down atop the cobblestones of the Grand-Place.


Image: Begonia

Every two years the Grand-Place in Brussels is covered with a flower carpet of begonias. The carpet of 77 m x 24 m is composed by about 120 volunteers, with nearly 1 million begonias in less than 4 hours.

Mexico tropical flower

Image: Birds of Paradise, Mexican flora.

The 2018 theme of the flower carpet is Mexico. The Flower Carpet is dedicated to Guanajuato, a Mexican region with a particularly rich floral culture and tradition.

Mexio flower

Image: Mexican flora, courtesy of Manfred Richter.

More than 100 volunteer gardeners put together this giant floral design in less than eight hours. The day before the opening, the spaces between the floral motifs are filled in using rolls of sod.

Flower cactus

Image: Mexican flora

The flowers are so closely-packed that they can not be blown away, and indeed they create their own microclimate! If there is a heat wave, the sod is watered to prevent it from wilting. If the weather is too wet, the grass can grow by 4 to 5 centimetres in 3 days. The flowers remain fresh and preserve their splendour during the four days.

Image: Grand-Place, Brussels Japanese flower carpet 2016, August.

Flower carpet frontal

Jaguar cubs starring in Mexico park

Two jaguar cubs are the new stars at Teotihuacan wildlife park in Mexico charming tourists eagerly streaming to the site to admire them, but even more so a huge global internet audience, fascinated by big cats (#bigcats).

The female cubs, who have not been named yet, had to be separated from their parents when just 18 days old as one of them developed a skin condition that caused the decision  of caretakers to start the treatment.

After the treatment the cubs were not returned to their mother to avoid risks of hostilities as her possible reaction on human scent.

Nursed back to health, the cubs are happily playing with their caretakers, who feed them using  baby bottles.

“Seeing them up close, hearing them, smelling them, touching them. You can never forget that, and it awakens you to something bigger,” said Luis Gonzales, the manager of Animal Kingdom in San Juan Teotihuacan.

Jaguars are the largest #bigcats in the Americas, and the third-largest in the world, after lions and tigers.

However they are also “very meticulous killers,” Gonzalez continued, while cuddling two charming cubs. Being able to approach them this close is a powerful experience of wild nature, he added.

Animal Kingdom is trying to capitalize on its young celebrities to teach visitors, especially children, about conservation.

Children are the ones who will inherit these species, and this planet,” said Gonzalez.

Jaguars are classified as a “near-threatened” species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which says their population has declined by about a quarter in the past two decades.


EU-Mexico duty-free – winners and losers

“Free Trade Agreements with Canada, Mercosur, Mexico, Singapore …When there are no more countries available the Commission will sell the left over rights for European tariffs to “other planets” (those that @JunckerEU met after the Brexit …)” – say critics of the  EU-Mexico Trade deal.

The European Union and Mexico reached an agreement on Saturday (21/04/2018) on a new free trade deal, celebrated by both parties in the face of increased protectionism from the United States under President Donald Trump.

In 2016 the EU was Mexico’s second-biggest export market after the US. The EU’s key imports from Mexico are fuels and mining products, office and telecommunication equipment, transport equipment, and other machinery.

  • The EU was Mexico’s third-largest source of imports in 2016, after the US and China. Key EU exports to Mexico include other machinery, transport equipment, chemical products, and fuels and mining products.
  • In terms of services EU imports from Mexico are dominated by travel services, and transport services. EU services exports to Mexico consist mainly of transport services, and telecommunications, computer and information services.

A number of French Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) as Florian Philippot  assessed the Trade deal as a blow to the interests of the EU, and French economy and agricultural sector: “And it continues ! The workers will have more to swallow. It should be noted that #Mexique negotiated its commercial agreements as a powerful, while France, it is deprived of this crucial competence (to protect) its national interests. #Frexit #AccordUEMexiqude”

Europol: wildlife crimes

The Spanish Guardia Civil, with the support of Europol and in close cooperation with Mexico, has carried out Operation SUZAKU, resulting in 29 arrests in Spain and in other countries. All of the arrestees have been charged with crimes of smuggling, wildlife crime and animal abuses, as well as being part of a criminal infrastructure.

Over 2,000 animal were seized during Operation SUKAZU, and the expected benefits that could have been obtained by the trafficking of species have been estimated to be above half a million euro. International trafficking of species is identified as a priority in the fight against organised crime within the EU Policy Cycle for the next four years.

The organised crime group controlled a network of operators, who were transporting birds of a large variety of species to Spain from different places in Africa and Latin America by using mules. International collaboration has taken place with police authorities and other bodies from 18 different countries.

Using various concealment techniques, the criminal group trafficked birds that are classified under different types of protection and that were included in the CITES Convention and in the national protection laws of the countries of origin. Many of the birds died during the transit and sometimes the death rate reached 50%. The criminal group used several points of entry in Spain, using the airports of Madrid-Barajas, Pamplona and Bilbao.

Operation SUZAKU has been mainly carried out by the Nature Protection Service (SEPRONA) of the Guardia Civil. Europol supported the operation and facilitated the exchange of operational information. AMERIPOL coordinated the activities with the different Latin American countries involved.

Europol birds

EU-Mexico towards a new agreement

10.07.2017. Brussels. Delegations of the EU and Mexico met in Brussels on 10 July to hold the third round of negotiations on the political and cooperation aspects of the modernisation of the Global Agreement. Ambassador Carlos de Icaza, Mexico’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, headed the Mexican delegation, along with Ambassador Agustín García-López Loaeza, Executive Director of the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation. Edita Hrdá, EU Chief Negotiator and EEAS Managing Director for the Americas, led the EU side, accompanied by Jolita Butkeviciene, Director for Latin America and the Caribbean in DG DEVCO.

The negotiations will result in a new agreement, which will replace the existing Economic Partnership, Political Coordination and Cooperation Agreement (Global Agreement), signed in 1997 and which entered into force in 2000.

The two sides discussed a broad range of issues to be covered by the new agreement, ranging from political dialogue and human rights, to migration, sustainable development, and environment. For the first time, the talks also covered the institutional and final provisions.

Merkel's 'catastrophic mistake'


As a “catastrophic mistake” assessed US President-elect Donald Trump  German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open doors migration policy, letting to her country more than a million asylum-seekers from Middle East and Africa. The evaluation was made during a joint interview, published on Sunday, 15/01/2017.

In the same interview given to the Times of London and German Bild, Trump underlined that the European Union had become “a vehicle for Germany”, but he continued making a somber prediction of more EU member states would be leaving the block in referendums similar to Brexit.

“I think she made one very catastrophic mistake, and that was taking all of these illegals,” – concluded Trump. During election campaign he promised tight immigration control and construction of a wall between the USA and Mexico.

(Source: The Times, Bild)