The New York Times needed info. Then they needed a scapegoat.

Driven insane by unjust captivity, I have unexpectedly emerged to exact revenge against the wicked and mediocre

In search of the elusive press apology

Barrett Brown

I suppose you remember me from 2011?

I was with Anonymous, and you came to me for info on OpCartel.

Then you ran an article stating the kidnapping as fact, which, as is now better established, it actually was.

At the time, I wrote to you, regarding the question of whether such a thing should be reported as fact, “Obviously if I were functioning as a journalist, that wouldn’t be sufficient.”

Barrett Brown
Later you expressed regret on Twitter that you’d reported it as fact.

Barrett Brown
A few days after that you wrote another article with Ravi in which you note that there’s been contradictory information about all this, etc, and it’s all quite a mystery, though you never get around to stating that you yourself reported it as fact, and did so after talking to some of the same people I did, whom I’d directed you to.

Barrett Brown
Then, based on ideas you note to have seen on Twitter, you claim me to be the “self-appointed Anonymous spokesman”, which is not actually a fact, as I’d noted for months and months, in magazine articles and TV interviews, etc; and suggest that my “book contract to write about Anonymous” is relevant to my attempt to do something with whatever materials I could get from the Mexican Anons.

Barrett Brown
Technically I did have that contract, but it was to serve as co-writer on a book about Gregg Housh, the guy who originally asked me to help deal with the press, and his own life and history with Anonymous, as could have been determined rather easily from the book announcements and articles from other reporters who actually did manage to determine that. And that might well have made it clear that I obviously had little to gain in that instance from things I did myself.

Also, this passage: “Why, some might wonder, would Mr. Brown, presumably a real person using his a real name, go public with this information, given the risk?” … seems to imply that you’re not entirely certain that I’m a real person with a real name, even though I was, at that time, a journalist who’d written for a large number of publications, in addition to the work I was doing for free, like trying to get NYT to pay closer attention to Palantir and Archimedes and other firms I’d been researching which later went on to undermine the 2016 election.

Anyway, I went to prison, got out, and found that Adrian Chen was somehow now writing about these same subjects.

Barrett Brown

Despite this:

[Link to 2014 piece on Adrian Chen showing his attempts to buy stolen emails from hackers, whom he’d later criticize without noting this]

Barrett Brown

Anyway, I hope you’ll try to be more careful in the future. Also if there’s someone at The New York Times who might be interested in a heads-up, I’ve found several demonstrable errors in his work — aside the half-dozen articles he wrote about me, some of which he admitted not to believe in a recording I’ve made public — and I’m in talks with The New Yorker today to give them a chance to do an internal review of his work for them, since I’m writing at length about it in my upcoming book from FSG.

Also: [Excerpt from the convo we had when he approached *
me for info in 2011]

5:37 PM [redacted]: Ha — I can understand your frustration, but the NYT’s news sense and yours will not always align.
me: That’s true.

Barrett Brown

That’s for fucking well sure, isn’t it?

[No reply…]

October 2011 — The Original Exchange

  1. [redacted]: Hey , hope you’re well.
  2. me: indeed
  3. [redacted]: Just wondering if this Mexico thing today is bullshit. Have you heard anything?
  4. me: it’s not at all bullshit
  5. 5:19 PM [redacted]: I mean the rumour that a woman has been released by the Zetas.
  6. me: I don’t know about it being a woman, necessarily, but the release did apparently occur, but not in response to the op; the person was not known by the Zetas to be the Anon
  7. 5:20 PM This person can tell you more
  8. [e-mail redacted]
  9. I’m not sure what other details I can give out at this point
  10. [redacted]: Who is that person?
  11. The email address, I mean
  12. 5:21 PM me: a Mexican Anon whom I’ve been working with on this
  13. [description redacted]
  14. 5:22 PM [redacted]: Can you tell me, off the record, any details about the person who was taken? I’m not going to publish even the hint of a detail, as I don’t want to endanger a life. But it would help in researching.
  15. me: and perhaps more as other informants come to me as a result of the media coverage
  16. I cannot, you’ll have to ask this Mexican Anon
  17. 5:23 PM [redacted]: What evidence have you seen that the kidnap really happened?
  18. 5:24 PM me: None, nor would I have expected to as we have no intention of providing a chance that the person could be identified
  19. however, this other person might be able to tell you more.
  20. [redacted]: But if the person couldn’t be identified, how could the Zetas respond to the threat?
  21. 5:25 PM me: These Anons assumed that the Zetas knew who it was
  22. But obviously they had no way of knowing the exact situation
  23. 5:27 PM [redacted]: So, just to clarify: an Anon was taken by the Zetas. The video was released, then the Anon was released, but because the Anon was never identified it is not clear if it is linked to the op.
  24. me: That’s basically it, yes. But you really should check with [redacted]
  25. 5:28 PM [redacted]: I definitely will, thanks for the email address.
  26. me: no problem
  27. [redacted]: I’m going to ask a stupid question.
  28. If no one has any evidence a person was kidnapped, how do you know a person was kidnapped?
  29. 5:29 PM me: I’m relying on the account of someone I’ve known and worked with in the past and whom I believe to be telling the truth based on the nature of her responses as well as other details I can’t go into due to the present situation
  30. 5:30 PM Obviously if I were functioning as a journalist, that wouldn’t be sufficient. But in this case…
  31. 5:31 PM We already have journalists looking too fucking closely into who the person is, including a review of Mexican records, and as such we’re very reluctant to assist them in finding out more.
  32. [redacted]: But a responsible journalist won’t run the name.
  33. So what difference does it make?
  34. 5:32 PM me: If you take a few minutes to think about the process by which such a name would come up and the nature of the situation in Mexico, and concede that mistakes occur in journalism, you can probably guess.
  35. [redacted]: True.
  36. 5:33 PM me: Again, this would be of greater concern to me if the U.S. media bothered to pay attention to those larger issues on which I have already produced evidence.
  37. As it is, we don’t really need the trust of the media insomuch as that most of our operations are fait accompli when reported
  38. 5:34 PM So, we are confronted with the decision between risking someone’s life and proving that a person exists to reporters with whom we already have an ambivalent relationship
  39. [redacted]: I can see your argument.
  40. 5:35 PM But if you take me, for example, I don’t think I’ve ever done anything that might make you think I’m not trustworthy with sensitive information.
  41. me: At any rate, even I have few details on this, so even if I wanted to — and of course I’d be happy to have this confirmed rather than have my outlets deem me untrustworthy — there’s nothing I could do.
  42. 5:36 PM No, you’re the exact opposite.
  43. The Times can be trusted to withhold even information that is of public concern.
  44. 5:37 PM [redacted]: Ha — I can understand your frustration, but the NYT’s news sense and yours will not always align.
  45. me: That’s true.
  46. [redacted]: But sometimes it will, obviously.
  47. 5:38 PM me: But again, I have few details to provide anyway, so I don’t want to waste your time on that particular issue.
  48. 5:39 PM [redacted]: Fair enough. Any details whatsoever — however minor — would be appreciated if you are so minded.
  49. me: Nothing more I can say about the kidnapping victim. I suggest you talk to [redacted] about it.

[Note: Despite consistent explanations to the Times and other outlets that no one was in a position to confirm the kidnappings, they were reported as fact by the paper — a decision the reporter later expressed regret for on his Twitter account, thereby helping to spawn a narrative to the effect that the original claims were now somehow under dispute. They were later claimed to be a hoax by at least one outlet, Gawker. Months later, Anonymous Veracruz participants would reveal to the Mexican press why they were initially reluctant to provide identifying details about the kidnap victim, who had spoken via webcam with several prominent activists after being released — that he had been involved in selling marijuana and his kidnapping stemmed from a dispute with a “minor” Zeta operative]

What to look for in 2018 — Presidential Elections, Trends and Recommendations

A good conversation is like a dinner party, the host provides the main courses and the guests usually bring a sometimes exquisite complement a.k.a wine. Think of this post as the appetizer, I am trying to get things rolling. The main course is the conversation generated by the post itself. Sure! Food is important, but the difference between a good dinner party and a GREAT dinner party is not the food, is the interaction between people and the idea mingling that goes on.

So, as I get ready to slide into the new year as Germans usually say, it is the right time to reflect on the year and look into the new one with hope. This 2017 saw me stumble through some obstacles before finding my footing and deciding to bet on myself. I recently became a proud owner of a German company, which made me refocus on what is possible to accomplish for 2018, I’ll get into my business in another post.

There are A LOT of issues to tackle at every scale, but personally, the most important thing to watch in 2018 is the presidential election in Mexico. We are such at a critical juncture in global politics, that what happens July 1st at the ballot boxes will have personal ramifications that I would like to have an influence, no matter how insignificant. Having watched the US elections this year made me disgusted at what will happen to my home country if misinformation spreads to every corner. It is folk knowledge, that if the US sneezes, Mexico gets pneumonia. Most troubling is the use of social media in influencing public opinion and the propaganda role it plays in front of our noses. I have already started to see one-minute videos being shared from people with little knowledge of the issues and their stance on it, demonizing the opposition candidate in a propaganda style clip. If you are getting your news from Facebook you are losing and you are making your own bed to lay on when the candidate that gets elected turns into a shitshow. Social media algorithms are structured on monetizing these type of information, and they will dictate a big chunk of the political conversation If I can contribute anything to the public discourse, it is that everyone needs to be informed and involved beyond your personal social circle.

So, politics aside I have to jump to the biggest trend affecting almost every business today — Digitalization. This means everything from automating jobs to making it easier to ordering from the corner shop. This change in value creation processes will keep disrupting industries just like Uber, Airbnb and Amazon have been doing like pros for a while. If you are in Germany and would like to jump on this train, the Digital Hub Logistics Hamburg is well on its way to becoming a key node in this exciting journey. Everyone and their grandmas are looking for the best way to implement a coherent digital strategy but it is still too early to judge results. If you are not in Germany, there are many ways to get involved such as meetups and conferences but we have to keep this conversation blazing as red-hot as possible — How and to what extent is Digitalization impacting our lives? That is how incumbents will find gems to implement in their strategy and will give insurgents tools to keep chipping away. This 2018, being in the middle of developing concepts such as Blockchain & IoT will be key towards implementing business cases, as these technologies get closer and closer to a mature stage.

Finally, I recommend everyone to leave fear aside and decide to grow on all fronts. In business, reach out where you have not dare to look before, and in a personal level make sure to always speak the truth and act on it. More practically, I would recommend the following books, podcasts and articles that influenced me the most this year:

  • Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman — Including 10 More Years of Business Unusual by Yvon Chouinard
  • Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
  • The Butterfly Effect by Ron Jonson
  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind — by Yuval Noah Harari
  • Ants Swarm Like Brains Think: A Neuroscientist studies ant colonies to understand feedbak in the brain by Carrie Arnold

I hope everyone closes the year out with a bang but make sure to stay safe while celebrating. Looking forward to a defining and crucial 2018.

The Mexican Devotion: Our Lady of Guadalupe, the brown-skinned virgin

Though Catholicism is practiced by around 83% of the population, Mexicans are commonly called “Guadalupans”. What does this mean?

In the early morning of Tuesday, 12th December 1531, “La Virgen de Guadalupe” made her fourth appearance to Juan Diego, while he was looking for help for his sick uncle, and ordered him to collect roses, which were out of season, in his tilmátli, a kind of cloak made of cactus fibres. Juan took the roses to the bishop and when he opened his cloak, dozens of roses fell to the floor, revealing the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe imprinted on the inside. The tilmátli with the image is now on display in the Basilica de Guadalupe.

Peregrinos or “yatris” on their pilgrimage

Very similar to the Indian tradition of conducting “yatra” to pilgrimage spots, on this day people from all over Mexico, and peregrinos or pilgrims (yatris) from all over the world, travel to the chapel in Tepayac Hill, near Mexico City, to pray and join the celebrations. Colourful fiestas are held in Mexico and Central Americas for this occasion.

The revolutionary banner carried by Miguel Hidalgo and his insurgent army during the Mexican War of Independence

The armed forces of Miguel Hidalgo, in the Mexican War of Independence 1810, and of Emiliano Zapata, in the Mexican Revolution 1910, carried Guadalupan flags bearing an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and the battle cry was “Long Live Our Lady of Guadalupe”.

In 2002, Pope John Paul II canonized Juan Diego, making him the first indigenous American saint, and Our Lady of Guadalupe was declared the Patroness of the Americas, the Empress of Latin America, and the Protectress of Unborn Children.

  • Instead of the typical “white” Madonna, Our Lady of Guadalupe appears with the dark complexion of the indigenous people. She is a mestizo, a combination of Mexican and Spanish.
  • She is pictured in prayer, dressed from neck to feet in a pink robe and blue-green cerulean mantle, emblazoned with eight-point stars with two black tassels tied at the waist.
  • A feathered cherubic angel with outstretched arms carries the robe on her exposed feet.
  • Straight and wavy gold rays of sun interchange behind her.
  • She stands upon a crescent moon, allegedly coloured silver in the past, but now has turned dark.

The Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes once said that “you cannot truly be considered a Mexican unless you believe in the Virgin of Guadalupe”.

Nobel Literature laureate Octavio Paz, former Ambassador of Mexico to India, wrote in 1974 that, “the Mexican people, after more than two centuries of experiments, have faith only in the Virgin of Guadalupe and the National Lottery”.

La Familia Michoacana: The Violent Narco-Cult That Wrought Havoc on Mexico

Religious extremists are often looked at as being almost the polar opposite to regular common or garden criminals. In the public perception, the former is governed purely by their beliefs, whereas the latter is motivated by wealth and status. In reality, this isn’t always the case though, and Mexico’s La Familia Michoacana narco-cult were a case in point until they eventually disbanded in 2011. Although they operated as a drug cartel, they also had their own holy book, and the head honcho consulted a mystic known as “The Wizard” when it came to making key decisions. Anti-corruption investigator Eduardo Salcedo-Albarán extensively studied the group, and wrote about them in his book on organised crime Drug Trafficking, Corruption and States. I got in touch with him to find out more.

Nick: How prominent were La Familia Michoacana?

Eduardo: La Familia and their splinter group Knight Templars operated in both Michoacana and several states beyond it, including Chiapas, Mexico State, and Guanajuato. They had a major international impact, because they controlled the seaport of Lázaro Cárdenas, which is one of the most important Mexican ports on the Pacific.

Were they the only narco-cult in Mexico?

Religion is highly important and popular in Mexico. Therefore, it’s very common for criminal bosses to give money to churches, build churches, and go to mass. However, most criminal groups acknowledge that they’re sinners. Only La Familia and the Knight Templars have used religion to validate their acts. La Familia is a unique and highly interesting anthropological phenomenon.

What’s the deal with The Wizard?

When Servando “La Tuta” Martínez was the leader of La Familia Michoacana, he asked The Wizard who had to die. After this consultation, La Tuta ordered several murders.

I heard The Wizard also consulted tarot cards and interpreted the stars in order to make decisions about some fairly serious criminal matters.

Tarot reading was the main technique that The Wizard used to let La Tuta know who was supposedly a traitor and deserved to die. For La Tuta, a single confirmation from The Wizard was enough reason to execute mass murders. As with most Mexicans, La Tuta was highly religious. In fact, religious messages and superstition are critical for understanding La Familia Michoacana. Just consider these three facts: firstly, the group evolved into another group called “Knight Templars” after a confrontation between La Tuta and El Chango [the leader of La Familia Michoacana]. The name “Knights Templar” is clearly a religious reference. Secondly, sometimes they used blood to write the words “This is divine justice” on white blankets, right next to piles of dismembered bodies. Thirdly, they used a “gospel” book written by another Familia Michoacana member known as “The Craziest”, with recommendations and instructions about how to be a good and happy person in it. As crazy and ridiculous as it sounds, it promoted Christian values.

That does sound a little on the crazy side!

Yes, but religion is highly relevant in popular culture in Central America and Mexico, so it’s no surprise that drug traffickers and hit men are also religious. There are several stories about hit men and drug traffickers praying before executing horrendous crimes. Narco culture in Mexico involves strong elements of religion and superstition.

When they weren’t preaching the gospel, I heard La Familia Michoacana were pretty fond of decapitating people. Can you say a bit about that?

Unfortunately, decapitations are highly common in Mexico, and are carried out not only by La Familia Michoacana, but also by other groups. Decapitations carried out by ISIS have had a global impact, but decapitations and other barbaric acts executed by Mexican criminals usually don’t gain international attention. Decapitations, mass murders, piles of bodies, and corpses hanging from bridges in the middle of crowded cities are common in various regions of the country. However, La Familia was the only criminal network invoking a message of “divine justice” or “God’s love” when committing its barbaric acts. They presented themselves as God’s warriors, fighting against evil and protecting the population.

There was a famous incident in which they threw the severed heads of people onto a crowded dance floor as a warning to others. What were the circumstances surrounding that?

Maybe the situation you’re referring to is one of the first decapitations executed by them, around 2006? The case was later known as “Sol y Sombra”, [Sun and Shadow], because that was the name of the bar where the severed heads were thrown. They also left a note stating that La Familia didn’t kill innocent people, and that they only killed those who had to die according to “divine justice”.

Even in the city of Acapulco, which received thousands of international visitors until a few years ago, severed heads have been found in taxis or public places. Piles of heads, burned bodies, and hanging corpses aren’t very common in Mexico City, Cancun, and other beautiful municipalities that are still untouched by horrendous violence. However, in some regions, the scenes clearly exceed the most grotesque script of a bizarre thriller. A week before last Day of the Dead, a hanging body was found in Mexico City. The tortured body was covered with white blankets so that people thought that it was part of the celebration.

There are rumours that La Familia makes new recruits undergo initiation rites involving cannibalism and torturing their enemies. Can you say a bit about that?

It’s been said that some members have has to eat human parts, especially in ceremonies in which The Craziest participated. However, there’s only anecdotal evidence of this, and it isn’t conclusive. In any case, torture is a common practice across Mexico and Central America.

Thanks, Eduardo. It’s been morbid yet interesting!


Elecciones 2018 / Puigdemont / Venezuela / TLC / Salvador Mundi / Tom Brady

16 Octubre 2017


Datos duros: El PAN se fue por un tobogán de derrotas con FCH, y hasta 2016–2017 asomó la cabeza. En el 2000, el PAN llegó a la Presidencia de la República con ocho gobiernos locales en su bolsillo, 206 diputaciones y 46 senadurías.

El Gobierno federal da a Virgilio Andrade el reparto de tarjetas con dinero para los damnificados. Cuando fue nombrado Secretario de la Función Pública se distinguió por un dato personal. Era –aún lo es– amigo de Luis Videgaray Caso, en ese momento Secretario de Hacienda y el hombre más cercano al Presidente Enrique Peña Nieto.

Activista y promotor de López Obrador en Guerrero, asesinado. Ranferi Hernández Acevedo, miembro de la Coordinadora Estatal del Movimiento Pro AMLO en Guerrero, murió calcinado junto con su esposa, suegra y chofer en el crucero de la localidad de Nejapa, entre los municipios de Ahuacuotzingo y Chilapa, en la Montaña Baja, confirmó ayer el vocero del Grupo de Coordinación Guerrero, Roberto Álvarez Heredia.

40 independientes inician la recolección de firmas. Hoy arrancaron los 120 días que tienen de plazo 40 de los 86 aspirantes a una candidatura independiente para la Presidencia de la República, para obtener al menos 866 mil 593 firmas de apoyo ciudadano, de modo que en febrero puedan solicitar su registro como candidatos independientes, obtener recursos públicos e iniciar sus campañas el 30 de marzo de 2018.


El Gobierno duda de la oferta de diálogo de Puigdemont y pone en marcha el segundo requerimiento. La vicepresidenta del Gobierno, Soraya Saénz de Santamaría, ha puesto en duda la “oferta de diálogo” de Puigdemont que ha planteado este lunes y ha anunciado que empieza a correr el reloj para el segundo requerimiento.

El chavismo obtiene una polémica victoria en las elecciones de gobernadores en Venezuela. El Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) ha proclamado que los candidatos del oficialista Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV) obtuvieron 17 de los 23 Estados en disputa.

Canoniza Papa a niños mártires de Tlaxcala. Crstóbal, Antonio y Juan, los niños mártires de Tlaxcala, serán declarados santos hoy, luego de un proceso eclesiástico extraordinario que reconoció sus virtudes cristianas sin cumplir con los requerimientos de un milagro y de las reliquias de sus restos.


Aún hay tiempo; México sigue en el TLC: Guajardo. El secretario de Economía, Ildefonso Guajardo, aseguró que México se mantiene en la mesa de renegociaciones del Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte (TLC) en la posición constructiva para modernizarlo, y es probable que las siente rondas no sean las únicas.

Este es el sector que menos ‘resentiría’ el fin del TLCAN. En caso de que terminara el Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte, las aduanas y sus procedimientos apenas tendrían un impacto menor, pues sólo sería en aranceles, consideran expertos.


¿Necesito realmente un ‘smartwatch’?. Los relojes inteligentes son lo último tras la inagotable crecimiento de los móviles, pero con esta pequeña joya de la tecnología sucede algo inesperado: el grueso de los compradores no saben, a ciencia cierta, para qué sirven realmente.


Javier Sierra lleva al Planeta al territorio del ‘thriller’ conspirativo. ‘El fuego invisible’, con el Grial como eje de la trama, gana el galardón mejor dotado de las letras en español. Cristina López Barrio queda finalista con ‘Niebla en Tánger’.

Leonardo da Vinci, ‘Salvator Mundi’ y la mayor estafa del siglo. Ya es la venta más desastrosa de una de las piezas más codiciadas por el mercado del arte: el dueño de la obra perderá cerca de 30 millones de dólares tras la subasta. ¿Por qué vende?

¿Cuál es el secreto de las mejores series de 2017? La literatura. Aunque Better Call Saul roce la perfección en su tercera temporada, tal vez sea la excepción que confirma la regla: las mejores series norteamericanas de este 2017 son adaptaciones de novelas. Me refiero a The Leftovers, I love Dick, Game of Thrones y The Handmaid’s Tale.


Otro récord más para Tom Brady. Tom Brady impone récord en el número de victorias en temporada regular para un mariscal de campo en la historia de la NFL, con 187, después de que New England se impuso 24–17 a los Jets.


Quince razones para demostrar que, en Coahuila, las elecciones no siempre ‘se ganan en las urnas’


I was pumped. There are four sections of seating in the stadium: Central (behind the plate) 1st and 3rd base preferred (infield), 1st and 3rd base regular (down the foul lines) and General (outfield), and you buy a ticket for the section, and within that it’s first come-first served. Got myself a 3rd base preferred ticket for 75 pesos (about $5) and found a seat about three quarters of the way up in the lower section, in time to see the bottom of the first inning. I sat next to a big-time Pericos fan in his late twenties, who had come with his wife and mother to root on the home team, and he was great about explaining things to me about the team and its traditions.

The game between the lines is familiar, played generally the same way as north of the border, though perhaps with a bit more flair and panache. I’d put the skill level somewhere around AAA (the highest minor league in the states). But it’s what goes on off the field that made this game different than any baseball game I’d attended.

The fans of the Pericos are serious and passionate about their team, and are in no way reserved in their expression of this passion. This was a minor-league sized stadium, seating 12,000, but when it was rockin’, which it was most of the contest, it got louder than some major league parks I’ve been in. That was the first thing I noticed: the noise. Baseball is not a passive spectator sport down here, and there was a constant panoply of sound running through the park.

Fans had sirens, blow-up thunder sticks, air horns, brass horns, bass drums, spinners, all of which were sounded liberally. There were chants of various kinds: my favorite was “a la vio — a la vau — a la bim bom ba, Pericos, Pericos, ra-ra-ra!” which was easily the best baseball chant I’ve heard, and blows “Let’s go — — -s (clap clap clap-clap-clap)” right out of the water. It was summoned every time the team needed a big play, and crowed after they succeeded in doing so. But there were others: with two outs and two strikes on the other team, the whole crowd would call out “Pon-che! Pon-che!” (their word for strikeout), and with three balls on a Pericos player, they would yell “BolBolBol!”. Never heard baseball fans so excited for a potential ball four.

There were old men leading the chants, and old ladies yelling out profanities at the opposition and their fans: Putas Tigres! Pendejo! There was dancing in the aisles, vendors and fans alike, and every time the Tigres made an out or the Pericos got on base, the place got LOUD, with all manner of sonic devices broken out. The Tigres had brought fans too, with giant flags waving behind their dugout, and this game was both serious business and a hell of a lot of fun. The Pericos have a cheerleading-dance team (which you generally will not find in US baseball) and they perform routines on the infield grass between innings. No one involved seems to have been informed that baseball is supposed to be a quiet, staid and dignified game.

Likewise, they missed the memo that stadium food is supposed to be of an inferior quality than elsewhere. For very reasonable prices, vendors and food stands in the walkway were offering a variety of delicacies. Arabes, moletes, tostadas with grilled meats, chalupas, deep-fried quesadillas, elotes, and the local specialty: cemitas. This king of the Mexican sandwich deserves a brief pause for its description. There are fantastic tortas all around Mexico, but a good cemita is in a different category. Served on a brioche-like, soft and rich sweet roll, the cemita typically features either tinga (pulled chicken), milanesa (fried pork or beef) or chuletas of pork. This excellent base of delicious bread and meat is complemented with about an entire avocado, Quesillo (in other parts referred to as Oaxaca cheese)- a salty, stringy, melty mozzarella, whole marinated chipotle peppers, and onions. Nothing in any way revolutionary, but for whatever reason all the ingredients are consistently excellent. This may be due to the overall quality of cuisine in the city that gave the world Poblano peppers, Mole Poblano (the sauce with chiles and chocolate) and Chiles en Nogada, perhaps the highest peak in a country rich in culinary life. It’s probably worth going to Puebla just for the cemitas. They’re that good.

Both starting pitchers were former major leaguers in their late thirties, and to an American fan the idea of pitching in the Mexican League probably would seem to be no badge of honor, likely a last stop for an over-the-hill hurler. But there was nothing second-rate about the energy on this field, and it was apparent that these pitchers were taking this start very seriously. Josh Roenicke for the Pericos pitched in 290 games in the majors from 2008 to 2013, all of them as a reliever, but this year became the ace starter for Puebla in his first year in the LMB. Kameron Loe, the starter for the Tigres, pitched ten years off and on in the majors as a starter and reliever with checkered results, and after several years in the minors and an independent league, landed with Quintana Roo.

The Pericos broke through with two runs in the bottom of the second inning on two doubles and a single, and the stadium is completely electric and ringing with noise. An old man with a big green mohawk hat is leading the ra-ra-ra chants and dancing with the cellphone model girls.

They are threatening again with two runners on and two out in the third, when Endy Chavez, another former major leaguer, lays down a bunt with two strikes. He makes it safely to first, but is called out by the home plate umpire and he is incredulous, runs back to home to take issue with the call. The crowd is ready for blood, the Pericos manager is out to argue too, and the opposing fans are screaming at each other. All six umpires meet to discuss the situation, and the original call stands. Apparently the ball hit the batter after he’d bunted it as he was running by, and was thus foul, but a fouled bunt with two strikes is an out, and the inning was over.

The Tigres respond in the fourth, drawing two consecutive walks to open the inning, and load the bases with one out. Roenicke battles back, and leaves the bases loaded while allowing just one run. The Pericos starter pitches around more trouble in the 6th, and then in the 7th Los Tigres have runners at first and third with one out, and Roenicke has just taken a line drive off his leg. But he digs deep and gets the next two hitters to hit popups, and it is still 2–1 Pericos, a tense, taut game, going into the bottom of that inning. In Mexico, or at least in Puebla, there is no seventh inning stretch — I was very disappointed not to learn the spanish version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” — but instead the Pericos’ mascot, a female parrot, did a sultry interpretative dance up the first base line.

In the bottom of the 7th, the Pericos put together a rally which would swing the game decisively in their favor. The number nine hitter led off with a solid single up the middle, and then Julio Borbon, who had a respectable major league career as an outfielder over 294 games with the Rangers, Cubs and Orioles, got a bunt single. Endy Chavez laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt up the first base line, and moved the runners over to 2nd and 3rd. Next up was Issmael Salas, the number three hitter, a former prospect with the Cubs who never made it past double A ball. He worked the count to three balls and two strikes, and the ballpark was shaking with the noise. Salas fouls off four consecutive full-count pitches, and eventually works a walk to load the bases, ending the day for Tigres pitcher Loe.

And now it’s the cleanup hitter, Jesus Arredondo with una casa llena– a full house, which is a great way to describe the bases loaded, and he answers the pleas of the frenzied fans with a single in the hole between first and second, two runs score, crowd is out of their minds with joy, Pericos- Pericos- ra- ra…but wait. The umpires are calling the runners back, conferring with the livid Pericos manager, and saying that the runner at second is out. I can’t figure out what could have happened, but the guy next to me explains the call: the ball hit the runner on his way from first to second, and he is out, and the play is dead. The two runners that scored are sent back to second and third, there are two outs, and the game is still very much in question. The crowd, as you might imagine, is deeply unhappy with this call, and a shower of boos and obscenities rain down on the umpires, while the Tigres fans jeer and gloat and wave their flags.

The Tigres’ joy was to be short-lived though, as the next batter, first baseman Ricky Rodriguez, perhaps still a prospect at age 24, leaves nothing to chance or disputed call, and hits the first pitch on a line over the left-field wall. Grande Eslam! Honron! Utter mayhem, joy and delirium, people are crying, the Tigres’ flags nowhere to be seen, 6–1 Pericos.

In the 9th the Pericos bring in their closer, Deunte Heath, who made it into eight games in the majors, and he makes it interesting by loading the bases with two outs, but he strikes out the Tigres’ third baseman, and that was it. Reggaeton, confetti, dancing in the aisles, more chanting, we make our way to the gates. This has to be the most fun I’ve had at a baseball game among teams of which I have no affiliation or previous affection. If you ever have the chance, go see a baseball game in Mexico.

The Pericos go on to sweep the series from their rivals the Tigres, beat the Leones de Yucatan decisively in the semifinals, but are unable to defend their LMB title. In five games in early September they are beaten in the championship round by the Toros de Tijuana. I go on the next day to Xalapa in the state of Veracruz, while the Crete Street Riot lose in the first round of the inaugural PBL playoffs. So it goes.

Honoring the Color and Joy of Life in Mexico

Talking to the World Project

Mexican botanical garden at sunset. Andes Sanz on Upsplash.

The Talking to the World Project

I started this project in 2014 as a personal challenge. I wanted to see if it was possible to speak to one person in each country of the world. Talk to them about their daily lives. Our commonalities, rather than our differences. I assured them they could respond in any way they chose. Because the focus is on their words, I only identify them by their first names. To date, I have spoken with people in 60 plus countries with the help of friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues. I still have a long way to go.

When I began looking for a contact in Mexico, fellow blogger Teresa Puente (Chicanisma Chicago) reached out to me. Teresa’s long and distinguished career includes being a freelance writer, college professor, and journalist. Although she has covered many different stories, she is best known for her writing on immigration and the Latino community. In 2000, Puente was awarded the Studs Terkel Award for coverage of Chicago’s diverse communities.

Thanks to Teresa, I was able to interview Myriam, the subject of this post.

About Myriam

Myriam lives in México City where she runs the marketing department of a large publishing house. She and her husband have two children and two cats.

Myriam’s Interview

Please look out a window in your home and describe what you see.

I see buildings, trees, and the mountains that surround the valley in the back.

Which languages do you speak?

English, French, and Spanish.

What do you want the rest of the world to know about your country?

That we will overcome the violence that the government and the corruption have imposed upon us.

Which myth or stereotype about your country is inaccurate?

That we are a bunch of lazy people.

Please tell the world what you think of the issues that arose between your country and mine during the 2016 political campaign.

I am enraged that the political agenda in America denies the importance of migrants from Mexico to the sustainability of America’s economy. I am furious about the racist and ignorant rhetoric on how Mexicans act and live.

What aspect of your culture do you identify with the most?

Joy and color

Mexican pottery. Sidney Pearce on Upsplash

Please describe your favorite time of year in your country.

My favorite time is autumn because it does not rain and we have extraordinary light and wonderful moons in the night. It is still brisk but not cold. Trees and flowers still bloom.

What brings you joy?

Music, reading, being idle, walking.

What frightens you?

Violence, especially the one targeted against women because of who we are.

If I were to come to your home for dinner, what traditional meal would you serve to me?

Mole, arroz, and frijoles. Accompanied by tortillas, panela, and chicharrones as an appetizer.

What does your city/country do well? What do you wish it did better?

My country is amazing for its solidarity, even during times that are tough to survive.

I wish we were better at understanding that democracy and corruption can only be erased if we start by applying these ideas at home, and then in our neighborhood, and then in school, and then so on. . .

What is your opinion of the United States?

The United States is a very powerful and complex country. I think it is many nations in one, that struggle to get along, and that have created fascinating cultures, cities, and peculiar ways of life.

For Mexico, the United States is a great beast that we are sitting beside, that sometimes behaves nicely, and sometimes bites, but in any case, it affects us with every movement.

Who or what inspires you?

People are my main inspiration. Music, and books. Lots of books, which at the end are kind of people too.

Mexico City library. Angel Vallarta on Pixabay.

What, in your opinion, are the most remarkable things about your country?

Our capacity for bringing ourselves up despite tragedy. That is the force that keeps this country together.

What ONE word best describes your country and its people?


Su Real Estate, Amigos.

Art work by Brad Kendall & Art Director, David Gardiner.

The All-Inclusive Church of Cancun is probably my best novel from a technical perspective. It’s also .99 cents on Kindle now. I can’t make it free for a variety of reasons. I can make it free on Smashwords if .99 cents is too rich for you. Head on over to Smashwords for free. A few interesting facts. The main character Boo Black is modeled on a friend of mine. I’ve taken certain parts of my friend’s personality and merged it with my own. I’ve also taken a third friend from childhood and blended him in too. You get three South Shore dudes for the price of one. Boo Black also appears as a pirate-witch in my novel Coffin Island. Boo Black is a bit of a pirate-ninja. One of those impossibilities that cannot exist. He’s two different fictional characters created out of components of three real people. I sent him with Professor Calico another Coffin Island character to Mexico on The Day of the Dead to search for God at a heavy metal concert at an unfinished airport in the jungle. Sounds like I stacked the deck a bit, right? Why would I do such a thing? I wanted to write about the surrealistic possibilities of life. What’s lurking just outside the frame of reality? Can you catch a glimpse of unreality for a split second before it escapes your grasp? To personalize what my characters were chasing: I made it a magical burro. You can’t catch that wily beast. He’s The Tijuana Burro™. I trademarked him to make him even more absurd. Sounds totally insane, right? That’s the point. Life can be magical, absurd and insane. Some people read that kind of unreality as a kind of religious experience. The shaman on magic mushrooms chatting up the snake in the desert. Have you heard of that one? I’d personally like to hear that conversation. Or just craft it myself which I did. Let’s take that magic snake for a ride. And crash him too. That sounds like fun. Why should the snake get to tell us what to do? We’ll fix his wagon. I wanted my characters to botch their mystical experience. I also figured it would be a lot of fun to write about religious mad men gleefully making a mess of the mystical world. Stomping their way right through The Underworld. So why not wake up a couple of old Gods over The Day of the Dead down in Mexico? We might even pull it off.



La miseria y el hambre, los virgo intactus de EPN

Cuenta la historia medieval que no hay escándalo, orgía, hijos ilegítimos, incestos, fratricidios, misteriosos venenos que no dejan huella, cadáveres flotando en el Tíber y en el Arno, trapicheos y corruptelas de todos los calibres que no se le hayan atribuido a la familia Borgia.

Pero los Borgia tenían algo de lo que carecían otros clanes como los Habsburgos, los Austrias, los Hohenlohe, Kennedy o Grimaldi: un cabeza de familia que no era un padre cualquiera, sino el Santo Padre, el portador del Báculo de Pedro, ejemplo moral y guía indiscutible de toda la cristiandad y del inmenso poder financiero del Vaticano.

Gracias a su mediación financiera y política, Fernando de Aragón e Isabel de Castilla expulsan a moros y judíos de Granada y Toledo, y propicia el descubrimiento de América, tomando en sus manos decretar la famosa Bula Alejandrina que permite a los portugueses conquistar Brasil y dejar todo lo demás a los vasallos del Imperio español.

Rodrigo Borgia, como Papa —llamado Alejandro VI— es el ejemplo emblemático de todo monarca absoluto y de todo padrino o pezzonovante que se respete. A pesar de haber casado a Lucrecia, su hija, con un financiero milanés de la casa Sforza, el Papa hizo una jugada maestra.

Y es que cuando Lucrecia se encontraba encinta de seis meses, su padre logra que el tribunal que conocía del caso de la separación eclesiástica declarara que Lucrecia jamás había sido tocada por mano de hombre, pues también logró que Sforza se declarara impotente, o sea, se trataba de un sorprendente caso de Virgo Intactus, o sea una virgen que, sin perder el himen, había sido preñada sobrenaturalmente.

Algo así como el Espíritu Santo que, de acuerdo al Nuevo Testamento, escogió a María de Jerusalén llegó hasta la alcoba de Lucrecia. La verdad es que su hijo era de espermas de un criado seducido, cuyo cadáver apareció después flotando en el Tíber, para que no hubiera marcha atrás en la decisión judicial florentina.

Así la seductora y apetitosa Lucrecia Borgia pudo contraer nupcias con el nuevo príncipe de Nápoles, un tal Alfonso de Aragón,‎ lo que permitió a Alejandro VI ser dueño del mundo conocido, incluyendo América, hasta que la malaria acabó con su vida, no sin antes poner a su hijo César como el modelo de El Príncipe, de Nicolás Maquiavelo.

Miente EPN, sí hay pobreza y miseria extendidas en todo el país

Virgo intactus fue sin duda la referencia más utilizada por monarcas absolutos, señores feudales, empresarios financieros del Mediterráneo para justificar todas sus decisiones tratándose de asuntos de familia. Lástima que ahora, que todo se pervierte, el concepto se aplique para un barrido y trapeado de poca monta y baja estofa.

‎Para cualquier gobernante de tercer talón, basta declarar que han desaparecido todos los males, plagas, enfermedades, azotes y corrupciones para lavarse la cara frente a teleprompters que solo certifican la ignorancia y la inconsciencia de quien esgrime argumentos que los titiriteros tras el trono ordenan repetir cómo retintines de chachalacas.

Hace unos meses, el mexiquita Enrique Peña Nieto declaró con bombo y platillo que los tolucos y pachuquitas habían logrado por fin desaparecer la pobreza de los mexicanos. De inmediato, los estudiosos de la materia le reclamaron su insolencia recordándole que en México existían ciento un millones de pobres extremos y de personas al borde del hambre.

‎El terremoto que acaba de devastar en un minuto el sureste mexicano desmiente las ligerezas declarativas del presidentito. Han aflorado necesidades que en Los Pinos ni sabían que existían. Al visitar la zona de Tonalá, en Chiapas, y ofrecer que sus habitantes serían atendidos por los centros de salud, los damnificados le contestaron: aquí no existe eso.

Insultos a Anahí, por su insolencia ante los damnificados en Chiapas

Los gobernadores se montan sobre las desgracias de los que se quedaron sin techo y sin cama de hospital prometiendo el oro y el moro, y derrochando en publicidad quizá lo único que tengan para ofrecer agua, medicina y víveres. Inmediatamente ponen sus nombres a las campañas de resarcimiento: Yunes y Velasco, en plena campaña electoral.

Copiando a su marido, la primera dama chiapaneca, que dudo conozca la Floresta, aparece desmelenada, sin maquillaje ni capas de pintura sobre el rostro, ufanándose de estar ahí antes de que los damnificados le pidan que baile o cante para ellos. Una improvisada y oportunista de tercer huarache. Lo que logra es muy sencillo de deducir:

‎Le piden en sus narices y ante los medios acreditados, que ella y su marido devuelvan todo el dinero robado de las arcas chiapanecas; que se aclaren los desvíos de recursos para desastres naturales que desde hace cuatro meses desaparecieron.

Que el supuesto cónyuge, Manuel Velasco Coello devuelva todo el dinero tirado a la basura en una campaña multimillonaria que provocó asco y repudio. La podredumbre salta a la vista, la de ustedes como políticos rapaces haciendo circo del dolor que ha provocado esta tragedia.

Estúpida sin neuronas, le dicen a Anahí, no nos interesa si estás o no peinada o arreglada… tú, mejor sigue haciendo lo que sí sabes y por lo que te contrataron: actuar ser la esposa del gobernador de Chiapas… ve a tu tocador y que te maquillan para que no le falles al serrallo más grande de los políticos, Televisa.

Y rematan los damnificados chiapanecos: ¡Basta de burlas al pueblo!

Rodrigo Borgia privilegió a El Vaticano; Peña Nieto, a Estados Unidos

‎Desgraciadamente, en México no hay escándalo, asesinato, complicidad con las corruptelas, hijos ilegítimos, incestos, fratricidios, cadáveres destazados y previamente torturados, masacres genocidas, levantones, secuestros, extorsiones, arreglos gubernamentales con el narcotráfico, que no se atribuyan a esta nueva versión de los Borgia de huarache que son el grupo toluco y pachuquita en el poder.

Y aunque Rodrigo Borgia, el Papa Alejandro VI, siempre puso por delante de todas sus macabras intrigas la integridad y el pasmoso Imperio del Vaticano, los mexiquitas trabajan para el triunfo de sus aliados, los esquizoides gabachos repudiados en todo el mundo.

Aquí solo se sigue la voz del amo, pues es la que deja dividendos mayores, ya que los locales de huarache no saben hacer nada, ni se les ocurre nada en beneficio de un país hambriento, desplazado, deportado y perseguido. Hasta la fecha no logran entender que sus principales aliados serían los pobres, ésos que han asesinado y de los que se han burlado a dos carrillos.

Se les ha dicho hasta la saciedad que van en el barco equivocado, pues al triunfar los intereses yanquis, ellos serán los primeros traidores llamados a cuentas por los que con toda seguridad se sienten traicionados por su ambición rastacuera y meteca.

Ignorancia y rapiña del gobiernito cobran muy caras sus facturas

No falta mucho para que acaben de entregar un país miserable, saqueado, asesinado y burlado hasta límites escandalosos que horrorizan al mundo civilizado. Nuestro nivel de desarrollo solo es comparable a los países africanos del Subsahara… a Zimbabue.

Pero como no hay peor sordo que el que no quiere oír, allá ellos. Que después no se llamen a engañados. Nacieron para perder ganando. Están capicúa desde que iniciaron a rematar la soberanía nacional y a rendir pleitesía a los peores verdugos de nuestro pueblo. La ignorancia y la rapiña cobran muy caras sus facturas.

¿Usted qué haría?, pregunta quien desde Los Pinos sabe que está perdido y no sabe qué camino lo trajo hasta aquí.

Índice Flamígero: Y a propósito de actuaciones, la señora Angélica Rivera también ha aportado su dosis de protagonismo en el drama del sureste mexicano, no como villana, sino como mujer bondadosa, que se debe a sus admiradores, a su pueblo. Está de visita en México —ella vive en Estados Unidos— y durante los últimos días ha enviado boletines de prensa en los que se destaca su altruismo… con recursos de IUSA, la empresa de Carlos Peralta diagonal Raúl Salinas de Gortari, favorecidos con multimillonarios contratos de la CFE, entre otras dependencias gubernamentales. || Comenta don Alfredo Álvarez Barrón un discurso de EPN, durante la entrega de infraestructura en el muy favorecido Estado de México, en el que dijo que bajaron los precios del petróleo y nuestro peso se cayó, se desplomó, lo que El Poeta del Nopal aprovecha para enviar el siguiente epigrama:

«Son argumentos pedestres
para un gobierno fallido:
nuestro peso fue abducido
¡por unos extraterrestres!»

Mientras EPN juega a que tomará en cuenta a los ilusos senadores para decidir quién será postulado por el PRI como sucesor, la sociedad todavía tiene que aguantar 443 días de este malhadado sexenio. / / @pacorodriguez

Here We Go…Mueller Now Has A Grand Jury For His Trump Probe

The Wall Street Journal broke the story that Mueller impaneled and is now working through a grand jury in Washington, DC. The thrust of the investigation: Russia’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 Presidential elections.

But the Washington Post, which confirms the existence of the grand jury, says the investigation has expanded beyond that and “now includes a look at whether President Trump obstructed justice by firing FBI Director James B. Comey, as well as deep dives into financial and other dealings of former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.” We have pointed out that most of the members Mueller has brought to his team have expertise in chasing money trails.

Reuters further reports that a grand jury has issued subpoenas related to the meeting with Donald Trump, Jr and a Russian lawyer. It does not, however, specify who exactly has gotten a subpoena.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s point out while it certainly indicates Mueller’s investigation is intensifying, it does not necessarily mean criminal charges against anybody are coming soon. As the Post points out: “In federal cases, a grand jury is not necessarily an indication that an indictment is imminent or even likely. Instead, it is a powerful investigative tool that prosecutors use to compel witnesses to testify or force people or companies to turn over documents.”

Mueller and his team, who appear to be operating in a relatively leak-free environment (except, possibly to Reuters), had nothing to say about the reports. As we’ve pointed out before, when subpoenas are issued, it’s often the recipients that leak that info. In this case that might be because they don’t want to be seen as “ratting out” the President.

Trump traveled to West Virginia for the second time in as many weeks, holding a campaign-style rally in the city of Huntington. West Virginia’s a great state for him: close enough to DC he can travel home after and sleep in his own bed; lots of support.

The President gleefully asked the crowd if there were any “Russians here tonight”? Receiving a resounding negative, he also asked: “Have you seen any Russians in West Virginia, or Ohio, or Pennsylvania?” The clip is here:

The rally nearly took on the tone of a religious revival, as the Governor of West Virginia, Jim Justice, converted before the crowd’s eyes…from Democrat to Republican. The coal tycoon has a lot in common with Trump: ran as an outsider, inherited his business from his dad, owns a famous country club that hosts prestigious professional golf events.

The transcripts, obtained by the Washington Post, give detailed accounts of phone conversations that took place between Trump and the President of Mexico, and Trump and the Prime Minister of Australia. The Post says it got them from “White House staffers.”

These Trump conversations, which happened right after he took office, had already been widely reported on as a result of earlier, partial leaks. Originally, Trump came across as brash and undisciplined, perhaps reckless, but with some righteous indigence. The perspective of the full transcripts paint a very different picture: a President woefully and willfully unprepared, and unwilling to listen, focused entirely on his own appearance. For instance, in his conversation with the President of Mexico, Trump’s singular focus is coaxing him to stop saying Mexico won’t pay for “the wall”, because it’s making Trump look bad.

New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait’s piece on the calls is ungraciously titled: “Australia’s Prime Minister Slowly Realizes Trump Is a Complete Idiot.” Seems to us like Trump just didn’t bother doing his homework, and then doesn’t bother with the fine points: only hearing he’s on the hook for taking in some refugees (he calls them “prisoners”.)

The Atlantic’s David Frum approaches from a very different angle, calling the leak “unprecedented, shocking, and dangerous” and suggesting there ought to be hell to pay for whomever leaked it. He argues that “no leader will again speak candidly on the phone to Washington” since they no longer can assume any confidentiality.

While we agree with him to some extent, we do feel we are temporarily operating under different parameters these days, because Trump, and our global partners will understand that.

Senators will be on vacation today til Labor Day, but the Senate won’t be in recess. That’s to head off any recess appointments by President Trump. Pushing controversial appointments through during recesses is a favorite tool of Presidents because they bypass the normal approval process.

Republicans ran this play before: preventing President Obama from doing stuff. It generally involves a Senator from a nearby state like Delaware or Maryland popping in for a few minutes every few days to open and then immediately close a session.

He can’t sell it. His argument that the payouts amount to “BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies” isn’t sticking. It just looks like the President is taking insurance away from poor people out of spite.

The President has other, “better” options for making Obamacare implode. Like formally ordering the IRS to stop enforcing the individual and corporate mandates. Those are the penalties imposed if people and companies don’t buy insurance. He could argue that with premiums skyrocketing, it’s unfair to burden hard working Americans with those mandatory higher premiums. (While failing to mention that part of the reason premiums are going higher is uncertainty about what the President might try to pull.) This could resonate, especially with his base.

We won’t go so far as to predict that’s what will happen, because an angry President may be brazen enough to try anything and everything.

The Secret Service has moved out of Trump Tower, and into a trailer on the street in a long-running dispute with the Trump Organization over rent. Don’t know much more really needs to be said about this.

And here they are, for your weekend listening pleasure:

If you like this, please subscribe to The Chaos Report newsletter.