Mexico City’s Lucha Libre Hero Comes to Pedestrians’ Rescue

Mexico City has a lot of things going for it, but it’s not a great place to walk. It has one of the highest pedestrian fatality rates in the world: there were approximately 1,000 pedestrian deaths in 2014, compared to 132 in New York City and 64 in London. (Each city has a population around 8.5 million.)

But Mexico City residents have a secret weapon: 29-year-old civil servant Jorge Cañez, who moonlights as Peatónito, a lucha libre defender of pedestrian rights. (Pedestrians are peatones in Spanish.)

Cañez told The Huffington Post that he started out as an activist both at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, where he studied, and the state government’s Institute for Transportation Policy (ITDP). A lifelong urban planning wonk and avid cyclist, he was part of a group of guerrilla pedestrian activists during his last semester at the Institute in 2009.

Read more at HuffPost Latino Voices.

Featured image of Peatónito (YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Pochos in Chilangolandia

Commentator Daniel Hernandez is a pocho, a Mexican-American, living in Mexico City. But lately he’s noticed he’s not the only one, and the line between pochos and chilangos, what Mexico City natives call themselves, is blurring.

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Screen-Shot-2012-06-07-at-6.00.08-PMDaniel Hernandez is a freelance journalist based in Mexico City and a news assistant in the Los Angeles Times bureau in Mexico. He’s been a staff writer at the L.A. Times and LA Weekly. A native of San Diego, Calif., Daniel is author of the 2011 book “Down & Delirious in Mexico City.”

NOTICIANDO: MEXICAN MEDIA

Silencing the Mexican media has become a key strategy for organized crime in the ongoing drug war. And it remains so after the killing of 55 journalists and a total of 60,000 people across the country. We speak to Ana Arana, director of the MEPI Foundation in Mexico City and co-author of a new report that highlights the devastating effect of the drug war on the Mexican media.

[audio:http://latinousa.org/audio/1249seg04.mp3]
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Ana Arana is an U.S. investigative journalist and director of the Fundacion MEPI, an independent journalism project based at the Tecnologico de Monterry in Mexico City. MEPI promotes binational and regional investigations. Arana is a former Knight International Journalism Fellow in Mexico, where she trained investigative units at various news outlets. One of the investigative teams at the daily El Universal won Mexico’s National Press Award in 2008.

Arana´s work has appeared in Foreign Affairs, Newsweek, Salon., The Columbia Journalism Review, the New York Daily News, Business Week, and the Village Voice. The Miami Herald, CBS News. She is a former reporter for the San Jose Mercury News and was a foreign correspondent for The Miami Herald in Central America and Colombia in the 1980s and 1990s. She is a graduate of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and San Francisco State University.

Adios, Chavelita

Singer Chavela Vargas was beloved throughout the continent for her rough yet tender voice singing songs of love gained and lost. She died August 5. Reporter Daniel Hernandez attended her very public wake in her adopted home, Mexico City.

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Click here to download this week’s show. Photo courtesy of flickr.

Daniel Hernandez is a freelance journalist based in Mexico City and a news assistant in the Los Angeles Times bureau in Mexico. He’s been a staff writer at the L.A. Times and LA Weekly. A native of San Diego, Calif., Daniel is author of the 2011 book “Down & Delirious in Mexico City.”