Absolut Campaign

April 9, 2008

Corruption and hypocrisy ought not to be inevitable products of democracy, as they undoubtedly are today
~Mahatma Gandhi

Absolut Vodka has a series of marketing posters portraying what they call an “Absolut World”, and in a particular case, they show a map of Mexico (Inaccurate in its southern border with Central America) from 1840. The map includes all the territories that were then occupied and annexed by USA during the Texas Independence, The Mexican-American War, and the Gadsden Purchase. The ad was “based upon historical perspectives and was created with a Mexican sensibility. In no way was this meant to offend or disparage, nor does it advocate an altering of borders, nor does it lend support to any anti-American sentiment, nor does it reflect immigration issues. Instead, it hearkens to a time which the population of Mexico may feel was more ideal” (http://www.absolut.com/iaaw/blog/in-an-absolut-world-according-to-mexico)

Mexico US Absolut Ads

The ad stirred angry in USA, but it was well received in Mexico. It is a fact that Mexico encompassed a territory of 5 million KM2 previous to the USA Invasion, that the USA occupied the country several times, that they took the territory while Mexico City was under occupation by the foreign army, and that they paid a symbolic sum of USD $15,000,000 for the 3 million KM2 they decided were theirs.

I keep wondering, why people in the USA are so mad about? The United States of America did take the territory, it did declare war to Mexico, it did occupy and slaughter Mexican population in a similar way it did with the Indians (Native Americans in hypocritical Political Correct Language) from the Appalachians to the Pacific Ocean. Why then the US People are so upset when somebody exploits these facts? It is just hypocrite to feel offended when Mexicans remember the war. The ad is not intended to stir Anti-USA feelings within Mexico, and there is not documented case on the contrary. In any case, any USA citizen should be compelled to review their history and to understand the role his nation has played in the World Stage, for better and for worse.

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Repercussions on Raising Prices for Commodities.

January 19, 2007

 

O son of man! If thine eyes be turned towards mercy, forsake the things that profit thee, and cleave unto that which will profit mankind. And if thine eyes be turned towards justice, choose thou for thy neighbor that which thou choosest for thyself.

 

Bahá’u’lláh

We have been learning how the power of the market affects supply and demand. We have also see how Fair Trade may be utilized to raise the price of a commodity, like coffee or chocolate. But what happen when the price of a commodity rises naturally because demand raises? Since the price of oil has been in all times high, the ethanol is now being using as an alternative to produce fuel. Ethanol happens to come from yellow corn, which also may be used for human consumption. The pressure over the demand of ethanol has made the price of corn raise:

Supply and Demand IV

This should be good news. The ecologists should be happy because a renewable, less pollutant material is being used to fuel cars. Fair traders advocates should be happy because corn farmers have now increased their income.

But that is an incomplete point of view from the westerns.

In Mexico, Corn is used to made tortillas. Tortillas are not a simple food sold in fast food restaurants; it’s a basic food and part of that country’s culture. According to the National Institute of Nutrition, 40% of the poorest families get 50% of their calories from tortillas. Tortillas are basically mashed corn, no other ingredient but water is used. Last year, the price of a kilogram of tortillas was 60 cents (USD), then it was raised to 80 cents, but in January the Mexican Government announced that no further subsidies could be given to the tortilla, and the price for a kilogram was set at $1.60. In a country where the minimum wage lays between $6.00 and $8.00 a day this is nothing more that a national tragedy.

Thousands of families are being affected by the raise of the price of corn and tortillas. Then, chickens eat corn, so the price has been raised for eggs and poultry. Now the food in Mexico is more expensive than in last November.

Economic law dictates that the higher price of corn will be an incentive to corn production, but the Mexican capacity of cultivate more corn is limited and close to its edge, so they need to import more corn from the United States, where corn farms are hardly owned by small farmers but huge multinationals using pesticides and genetically modified corn, which is forbidben in Mexico.

Some producers thus have been beneficiated by the high price of corn, but the vast majority of Mexicans now will have to work more to have food in their table.

An unthought consequence of higher prices on commodities!


Right Clash Left, Right Clash death

October 2, 2006

Where did they throw our dead?
Where did they toss our dead?
Where the shit did they throw our dead?
Elena Poniatowska

Right clash with Left. Right clash with death. I posted before what happened Sep 11, 1973, when intolerant left clashed with intolerant right. Today is one more anniversary of another massacre that happened when the conservative government of Mexico tried to advert the demonstration of students involved in the same world movement than those students in the May of Paris or those demonstrating against the Vietnam War in USA.

June, 22, 1968, the police intervined in a conflict between students from highschools Vocacional 2 and Issac Ochoterena, in Mexico City. The brutally of the intervention shifted the students’ demonstrations against the Mexican Government, headed by Gustavo Díaz Ordaz. The movement grouped students and workers from unions and non-unions. The evening of October the 2nd, 4,000 people gather in Tlatelolco to demonstrate against the oppressive government. The Olimpia elite group was sent by the government to infiltrate the group and to detain the heads of the movement. Policemen were on the roof of the surrounding high rises with orders to shoot the students.

As the demonstration went on, 8,000 members of the Mexican Army surrounded the plaza. One helicopter flew over the crowd, firing a light as a signal to start the massacre. The attack started at 18:10 and lasted two hours. The soldiers and policeman started shooting against the multitude. The dawn of October the 3rd, the plaza was cleaned of bodies, but the mark of blood was everywhere. Díaz Ordaz stated that the death toll was more than 30 but less than 40, meanwhile, journalist from USA calculated 150.

Least we forget October the 2nd.