February 13, 2010 |
History, it's often been observed, is written by victors, which might explain why an especially compelling chapter of the Mexican-American War remains so infrequently told, at least in the U.S. The chapter in question is about the San Patricios, a company of Irish immigrants pressed into service by the U.S. Army. Ideologically opposed to the fight, they switched sides, choosing to stand alongside the Mexican military rather than the forces of their newly adopted homeland. When the conflict ended, the members of the battalion were executed for their desertion.
January 24, 2010 |
For many foodies and their lefty amigos, Taco Bell belongs in the pantheon of all-time anti-Mexican conspiracies -- a notch below Lou Dobbs but more onerous than the swine flu. These custodians of cuisine and culture rail against the fast-food behemoth, bemoan how it mongrelizes one of the world's great food traditions with its chalupas and enchiritos, its Volcano Menu and cheese roll-ups. The chain's ubiquity makes it just another foot soldier in corporate America's drive toward nationwide blandness, they'll argue.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 17, 2010 |
Bobby Salcedo grew up in El Monte, his immigrant parents staking the family's future in the working-class suburb that felt worlds away from the Mexican farming towns of their roots. But like so many Mexican Americans, some of Salcedo's fondest memories were from the winter and summer vacations when his family would pack into the van and drive 1,300 miles south to the lands of their ancestors in Jalisco. The pace of life slowed there, with children hanging out in town plazas late into the night and young men handing flowers to pretty girls as they strolled in opposing circles.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 2, 2010 |
Joe R. Nevarez, a copy boy turned reporter for the Los Angeles Times who broke barriers as one of the newspaper's first Mexican American staff writers, died of natural causes Tuesday at his Monterey Park home, according to his daughter Margaret Nevarez. He was 97. A founding member of the California Chicano News Media Assn., Nevarez joined The Times as a copy boy in 1930 and began earning bylines in the early 1950s as a reporter in the business section. He specialized in coverage of the oil industry and corporate earnings over the next 26 years, until his retirement in 1977.
December 6, 2009 |
Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson, from "Self-Reliance" 'Imay not have changed the world," Alice McGrath once told me, "but I've lived a life I feel good about."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 29, 2009 |
Alice McGrath, a lifelong activist who first gained fame as a champion of the wrongly convicted young Mexican Americans in the 1942 Sleepy Lagoon trial, has died. She was 92. McGrath died Friday at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura of an infection resulting from a chronic illness, said her daughter, Laura D'Auri. McGrath was taken to the hospital on Thanksgiving. McGrath's role in the infamous trial was celebrated in Luis Valdez's play "Zoot Suit," which debuted at the Mark Taper Forum in 1978 and was made into a movie in 1981.
November 22, 2009 |
Around here, the grim joke goes, most people work for the government or the mafias. Or both. Richard Padilla Cramer apparently had bested the temptations that come with the territory. During three decades in border law enforcement, he made the most of his pitch-perfect Spanish and talent for undercover work. He locked up corrupt officials, racked up drug busts and rose through the ranks. He retired after a coveted stint as a U.S. attache for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Mexico, the land he had left as a child.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 29, 2009 |
Gustavo De La Vina, a former U.S. Border Patrol chief who worked to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the country, has died. He was 70. De La Vina died Monday in the Balkan nation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, where he worked as a private advisor, said Steve Cribby, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The El Paso Times reported that De La Vina died of natural causes. De La Vina joined the Border Patrol in 1970 at the Eagle Pass, Texas, port of entry. He taught Spanish at the agency's training academy in Georgia and rose through the ranks to become deputy El Paso sector chief, San Diego sector chief and the Western regional director.
October 10, 2009 |
Rafael Marquez and Charlie Davies are as different as chalk and cheese. One is a veteran Mexican defender who plays in Spain for European champion FC Barcelona. The other is a young American forward who plays in France for considerably less distinguished FC Sochaux. But today, if things go well for their respective national teams, Marquez and Davies can both look forward to playing in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa next year. To get there, Marquez and Mexico have only to defeat El Salvador at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City today (3 p.m., Telemundo)
September 17, 2009 |
He may have soared a gazillion miles in outer space, but back here on Earth, U.S. astronaut Jose Hernandez has stepped knee-deep in controversy. Hernandez, the California-born son of Mexican immigrants, is a full-fledged media star in Mexico. Fans here followed his every floating, gravity-free move during his two-week journey in space as he Twittered from the shuttle Discovery and gave live interviews to local TV programs. After the shuttle returned Friday, Hernandez told Mexican television that he thought the United States should legalize the millions of undocumented immigrants living there so that they can work openly because they are important to the American economy.