Saturday, November 14, 2009

Frontera NorteSur, Denver's Festival de Cine Mexicano, y un chiste

La Bloga readers have various reasons for coming here, not the least of which is news we share from the Spanish-speaking world--from Spain's Semana Negra to cultural news from all over the Southwest. Despite being primarily an arts/literary blog, real-world events necessarily affect our art and how we live in each of our niches.

The Internet, the WWW have provided us with floods of information--as countless as the over a billion Tweets or two hundred million blogs in existence (incl. Chinese). But the reliability of news and searches for "the truth" threaten to be buried by the staggering number of pieces out there. At the same time, mainstream sources of reliable journalism are declining. We the public, Chicano and otherwise, don't necessarily know as much as we once did.

For instance, how many know there have been at least ten suicides at Ft. Hood this year, an increase in domestic violence on-base and a rise in local crime? And who in the world of journalism is analyzing that for us and tying it to Obama's adding another 40,000 troops to "our" wars?

Information on Mexico and the shared border is important to us, not only because of our proximity or cultural ties, but the nature of that border is changing. Narco violence has crossed the river and no one can say how far north it will travel or how it might change our lives in Phoenix, San Antonio and even Denver.

None of this relates to you? Heading south of the border for an affordable vacation soon? Do you know which beaches are hygienically dangerous, unfit for swimming?

Are you an academic whose dissertation or published piece suffers because your pocho Spanish won't let you navigate la idioma journalistic waters?

Or are you in education and public service where you daily work with Mexican immigrants, but lack info about what it is that made them leave their mother country?

I speak only for myself when I say that my world revolves around the Southwest. I tend not to realize I need to encompass more to understand how and why things are transforming around me.

Luckily, years ago I found Frontera NorteSur. Their purpose: "FNS provides on-line news coverage of the US-Mexico border." They do this by analyzing and summarizing U.S., Mexican and other news agencies each week, providing sources at the end of each post.

Spend a few minutes on their website and you might come to realize how little the mainstream press tells us, how volatile conditions have become in Mexico, and how abruptly we might learn how intertwined our lives are with those who live on the border and southward.

You don't need to read many of their articles to understand this. Here's a sampling of headlines:

The Summer of Sewage?
Pollution Flows into the Rio Grande
Tomato Pickers Demand Bilingual Education
The Lost Daughters of the Rio Grande
Will Mexico Recuperate from the Tourism Crash?
From Narco War to War of Extermination

I include the letter below because it would be detrimental to an informed public to no longer have access to Frontera NorteSur's service. I leave it to La Bloga readers to decide for themselves how valuable a site this is.

Dear Esteemed Reader,

Although some declare the recession over now, tight budgets continue to be a reality for the foreseeable future. We know you appreciate receiving Frontera NorteSur, and we know you value journalism that provides an informed lens on critical stories, issues and personalities. In the case of the US-Mexico border, the issues are more important than ever. Immigration, the narco war in Ciudad Juarez and other places, economic challenges, and environmental crises are among the burning issues that will define the border region in the year to come and beyond.

Unfortunately, getting the information you need to know is not getting easier. In the El Paso-New Mexico region alone, a major Internet news service has recently suspended its service, while a Spanish-language newspaper has disappeared from the streets in recent months. Major international media like the New York Times continue to hemorrhage journalists, and news reporting in Mexico and many other places in the world remains a risky endeavor.

With our very limited resources, Frontera NorteSur does its modest part in helping fill the information gap. In previous years, reader donations assisted us in overcoming budgetary challenges and actually helping to expand this news service to some degree. In 2009, now more than ever, we are counting on you, the reader, to step up to the plate and help us into the new year. We know times are tough for everyone and really appreciate any donations that you can afford. After all, every little bit helps. Donations of $25, $50, $100 or more are especially appreciated.

Any contributions to Frontera NorteSur are tax-deductible.

We are also exploring a possibility of matching larger donations with a sizeable grant, which would lead to a much bigger expansion of Frontera NorteSur as a news service. If you know of any foundations or individuals willing to assist in this project, please contact Dr. Neil Harvey at

Again, thank you so much for your generous support and interest. We know you cannot afford not to be informed about US-Mexico border and related issues. If you would like to support us, please follow the instructions below for making a contribution.

Dr. Neil Harvey, Director
Kent Paterson, Editor, Frontera NorteSur
Center for Latin American and
Link Border Studies,
New Mexico State University

If you prefer to donate online, please go to the Foundation’s website.
Click on "Tell us how you want your gift applied" and the amount. Please insert “Frontera Norte Sur” in the box that opens below.

You can donate by sending a check or money order to:
NMSU Advancement
Attn: Nick Franklin, VP for University Advancement, Box 3590, Las Cruces, NM 88003

Checks and money orders should be made payable to: New Mexico State University Foundation Inc.
On the memo line of the check, in the bottom left hand corner, put: Frontera NorteSur
Include a brief cover letter with the check that states you are donating to Frontera Norte Sur, NMSU and includes your name, address, daytime phone and email address. Also please state if you graduated from NMSU (with year of graduation and degree if applicable).


Festival de Cine Mexicano

32nd Starz Denver Film Festival will showcase many of Mexico's most recent and influential films. The festival began Thursday Nov. 12 and runs through Nov. 22, 2009.

From contemporary films such as Rudo y Cursi, Sin Nombre, Y Tu Mamá También, and numerous others, the Mexican film industry is making its cinematic presence known.

is a beautiful film and the director of La Ultima y Nos Vamos will be in attendance for her entertaining film following the lives of three friends in Mexico City. Below are films and times that will be presented as a part of the program:

(Crossing) - When hapless Manuel, a janitor at a Mexican strip club, hears that his father is about to be executed in Texas, he embarks on a picaresque trek for the border with his pal Diego in a quirky road movie that is by turns comedy and tragedy.

Wed. Nov 18 6:45 pm

Thurs. Nov 19 9:15pm

Corazón del Tiempo
(Heart of Time) In this political narrative styled as a documentary, a young woman in the volatile Mexican state of Chiapas brings the threat of chaos to her community when she breaks her engagement with a local boy in order to pursue her love for a Zapatista rebel.

Sun. Nov 15 6:45pm

Norteado (Northless) In Oaxacan-born director Rigoberto Perezcano's first feature, Andrés, a young farmer from the south of Mexico, has made several attempts to cross the border into the United States - all dashed by the danger of the desert. On the verge of giving up, he decides to try one last brilliant if surrealistic plan.
Sun. Nov 15 7:15pm

Mon. Nov 16 9:15pm

La Ultima y Nos Vamos
(One for the Road) Three well-heeled young men looking for action in Mexico City and find it when they cross the boundaries that divide them from the city's working classes to discover an entirely new world. Director Eva López-Sánchez based her drama on the real-life experiences of her coauthor, Alfredo Mier y Terán.

Sun. Nov 15 9:30pm

Mon. Nov 16 6:45 pm

Rabioso Sol, Rabioso Cielo
(Raging Sun, Raging Sky) In the experimental filmmaker Julián Hernández's mystical celebration of sexual desire, two young lovers are torn apart by circumstance and seek divine guidance to help bring them back together. On the brink of reunion, tragedy strikes again, but their passion is so pure that the gods immortalize them in myth.

Sun. Nov 15 12:30pm

Mon. Nov 16 6pm

El Arból
(The Tree) Santiago, a Madrileño bartender, is trying to come to terms with the deteriorating circumstances of his life. Thrown out by his wife, barred from seeing his children, and fired from his job, he walks the streets searching for salvation - which he might just find on a high bridge in the middle of the city.

Tues Nov. 17 8:45pm

Wed. Nov. 18 5pm

Wed. Nov. 18 7pm

The Festival de Cine Mexicano program will also include a special presentation of the feature film, Up, in Spanish subtitles, as a part of the Saturday-at-the-Movies program Saturday, Nov. 21 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

Sponsors of this program: Cinema Latino, Consulate General of Mexico in Denver, Festival Internacional de Cine en Guadalajara, Idea Marketing, Mexican Cultural Center, Mezcal, Museo de las Americas, Que Bueno 1280AM, Tambien, Telefutura, University of Guadalajara and Univision Colorado.

To purchase tickets or for more information visit

Nos vemos en los movies!


Lover's advice, translated from the Spanish:

If your lover trembles when you embrace him,
If his body flames with desire at your touch,
And if he chokes up when you tell him you love him,
Get rid of the sucker--he's got H1N1.


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