Photographer's Note

An old one, which has been scanned off a slide - so the quality is not the best.

I lived in México from 1994 until 2002 and it is a country which is close to my heart - beautiful, colourful; with wonderful, generous, fun people.

In the last four years 30 000 Mexicans have died in a Drug War which has now spilled over from cartels vs army to senseless massacres. The Méxican drug of choice is typically tequila - the main market for the stuff that people are dying over is slightly further north. The semi-automatic rifles that are doing much of the killing are also not produced in México - but are fairly easy to buy across the counter not too far north. The open veins of Latin America continue to flow.

OK, I will lighten up a little now - one of my favourite Méxican stories, and a nice little encapsulation of how history is applied in many parts of the world. The church shown is in Tlaxcala. To get there from D.F. (Mexico City), one drives South on a three lane road, then turns off for four kilometers of pot-holed, narrow, truck infested, horrible road before picking up some nice dual carriageway again. The first bit is National highway, the last bit is Tlaxcala State Highway - the four kilometers in between is in the state of Puebla - and its only real function is to get to Tlaxcala.

500 years ago, during the Spanish conquest of México, Cortes was able to take advantage of the unpopularity of the Aztecs in many areas to build alliances with local leaders. The Tlaxcalans allied with Cortes and fought against the Aztecs, the Pueblans fought against the European invaders. 500 years later, the Pueblans will still not repair the road, or allow the Tlaxcalans to extend their highway, at their own expense across Pueblan land because the Tlaxcalans are 'traitors'.

Nice story, but anyone who thinks it could only happen in México needs to have a good look at the history of where they are living now: this is probably more the rule than the exception.

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Additional Photos by Iain Pearson (iainsp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 482 W: 0 N: 698] (3298)
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