“I feel like an idiot” — the words of Michoacán self-defense group leader Hipólito Mora after he was formally remanded to prison last Saturday. He faces homicide charges for his part in a December shootout with a rival gang that left 11 dead, five of them his own men, six of them his rival’s. Mora wasn’t expressing remorse for his actions, but rather disbelief at his consignment: “I had understood that it is legal to defend yourself. Or is it better to just let them kill you?”
BUT CAN YOU STILL PAY FOR AN ELECTRIC SHOCK?
“You can’t imagine how much this has hurt us. The view of the plaza has been shut off by the museum, and the ambience has gone. The customers no longer come.” — mariachi union rep Mario Vargas describing the effect of the 200 million-peso rehabilitation project that plopped a modernist two-story Tequila Museum in the middle of Mexico City’s historic Garibaldi Plaza. The head of the Cuauhtémoc borough is considering a proposal to demolish the museum, opened in 2010. . . . “There’s a lot of discontent, so we had to find some way for the people to vent.” — Monterrey piñata maker Martha Aguilera, explaining the popularity over the holidays of the “peñata,” a piñata in the likeness of the president.
A WHITER SHADE OF PALE
“Judging from the billboards along the Periférico, Mexico is Switzerland.” — Enrique Krauze. The historian’s point is that discrimination based on skin tone is alive and well in the Mexican media. . . . “They love their rituals, their forms, their language, how they walk, how they eat. They’re not better or worse than others, just a separate species. I’m not part of that.” — Jorge Castañeda, foreign relations secretary in the Vicente Fox administration, describing members of the PRI as he explained why he decided against seeking a position in President Peña Nieto’s cabinet.