Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mexico + France: Frenemies?

An International matter has come to my attention recently, it involves two countries I love: France and, of course, Mexico. As you may have heard -as it is all over the news in both places-, these two nations that have had an excellent relationship for so long, are now in not very good terms. with each other. Personally, this kind of upsets me because, for one, well Mexico is my Home Country, and France, well, you know how much I love it and I don't think breaking the relations with each other will be good for either one, and I also don't think the people of both nations even agree with this situation.

It all goes back to 2005, when French National Florence Cassez was arrested along with a few Mexicans for the crime of kidnapping. She is the girlfriend of the Kidnappers Band Leader, a Mexican National. The detention of Cassez, her boyfriend, Israel Vallarta, and the rest of the band is believed to be somewhat "fishy", as they showed it on TV but later on they said it wasn't the real one, which is quite odd because, if you come to think about it, why would the police re-create an arrest just to show it to the media? Well, there's actually a reason for that, which I will mention later on. That is fishy alright, however, that doesn't mean these criminals are to be found not guilty as there are various witnesses who assure having being under her and her band-mates' watch while they held them against her will, which is better -and, in Mexico, very well- known as kidnap. So, Cassez -as well as her band-mates- were arrested and went to court, where a judge gave her a sentence of 60 years! Which, if I understand correctly, is something that would never happen in France, which is a country just as Democratic as Mexico; maybe it wouldn't happen because it doesn't make sense, but in Mexico things are a bit different and I am not saying a 60-year sentence makes sense, not at all, that's just the way it is here. And, when you hear the Mexican Serial Killer known as "La Mataviejitas" (known as such because she used to kill only old ladies) was convicted for 300+ years...well, 60 suddenly don't sound that bad.

Sarcozy + Calderón

The thing with the re-enactment of facts regarding Cassez's -and accomplices- detention was not the right thing to do, but, that is something that is very important for people in Mexico, where perceptions are quite important. This is, whenever something like that happens, the Police/Governments/Authorities have the need to show the people they ARE doing something, which is their job and they shouldn't have to rub it on our noses or claim it our loud but, unfortunately, that's the way it has to happen due to the huge lack of trust Mexican people have in them. Therefore, in this particular case, they felt the uncontrollable need to show everyone not only that they were doing their job, but they were doing it even if it involved a foreigner -who Mexicans tend to exalt for some reason-; again, I am not justifying these acts, I'm just trying to give you all an insight of why things happen a certain way in Mexico.

Cassez during the arrest

Now, the legal system in Mexico is quite outdated and needs an urgent update as many laws don't make sense or apply properly to the current situation of the country, that I know and I'm sure many, many people are aware of that too. However, that does not mean the President of France -or any other country for that matter- can come and tell us "our justice is not justice" or request the extradition of a fellow national of him just because "he doesn't believe in our legal system" and he thinks he can do things for her "right" or "better" than us, and he definitely can't expect the President of Mexico to just sit, listen, nod and send her back to France, that's not how things work. He needs to respect Mexico's legal system, even if it's all fucked up, because whether he likes it or not, Cassez commited a crime and she did it in Mexico and not in France.

2011 was supposed to be the year where "The Year of Mexico in France" was to be held in the latter country, actually, some of the events related to this started happening a couple of weeks ago, up until Sarcozy said he wanted to dedicate the event to Cassez, which makes no sense at all -why would they wanna dedicate a cultural/touristic/educational/artistic/etc event to a criminal?-, then they started sabotaging some of the events to the point where Mexico had to take a stand and it was decided to cancel the whole thing, saying that "the conditions for the event were not optimum", nor the ones previously agreed, of course.

The media on Mexico's response to France

I went around and asked some of my French friends their opinion on the situation and this is where they stand:

"In France, a lot of people think she is not guilty. First of all, because of the conditions of her arrest, as the police finally said that the arrest on TV was not the real one... And in France, this kind of situation would have mean that she could not be judged because the arrest was not legal. Furthermore, in France, nobody can be convicted for 60 years.

And of course... she is french, and there is a nationalist reflex allowing us to consider that she must be innocent!
I find It a bit strange to be arrested like that, but I find It stranger to be with a criminal without knowing that he is a criminal ! So I think maybe she is not responsible for all the crimes of her boyfriend, but she is responsible for a part of us. And furthermore: when someone is found guilty in another democratic country, nobody has the right to say to this country that his justice is not a real justice... And finally... I can't see any relation between this story and the Mexican Year in France... " - Rémi B.

Florence Cassez + Boyfriend, Israel Vallarta

"Sarkozy is trying to get popularity by saving people from jails all over the world instead of making good policy. His popularity is worst than it has ever been he'd like to fool french people with something simple as Florence Cassez with no respect for the mexican law or court. You used to have the united states taking your country for a little child now you have France. I am quite embarrassed about politics in my country ..." - Christophe C.

Of course we are worried about the situation and it's very shocking. Our President always acts like a "Super President", he cares so much about his image on the media...I believe he made a mistake, and that his statements about Mexican Justice are of bad taste. Here in France, serious reports and national newspapers explain that there are dark zones in the detention of Florence (apparently, the story told on Mexican TV was built to manipulate the public opinion...) That, cannot be accepted in a democratic country and, in France, it'd be enough of a reason to cancel a (legal) process. (...)

I have no doubt Florence is responsible (of the crimes), however, I believe she deserves a fair process.
I disagree with Sarcozy's style: he doesn't help Florence and threatens the relation between Mexico and France. You can't criticize like that the quality of a democratic country's justice on the international scene. I find Mexico's reaction proportional to the offense committed. I just want justice, independent and just, for Florence." - Charline P.

The arrest by the AFI

My personal opinion is not far from the ones you've just read; like I said before, I believe Mexico needs an urgent update to its legal system as things doesn't seem to be working properly they way there are at the time, times change and so need the laws. Regarding the particular case of Cassez, I find it hard to believe she is not guilty at all; based on witnesses' declarations and evidence shown she does carry some responsibilities, being an accomplice as the least of them; but I also believe she deserved to have a fair trial and the right to make use of all of the resources she thought were adequate to her defense. What I completely disagree with, is the attitude of Sarcozy, who cares more about his popularity than what's actually going on, as well as the level this whole situation has reached as one thing has nothing to do with the other and this is definitely not enough of a reason to damage the International relations between the two countries. Even though, for the first time, I believe Mexico is doing the right thing and responding properly and with absolute diplomacy.


I certainly hope Sarcozy reconsiders his position and understands things will not change in the legal case no matter what he does, so this can be over soon. Most French people I know love Mexico and Mexicans love France, too so things should go back to normal ASAP, before this goes any further.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Alright, I admit it...

...Twitter got me! Yes, 7 months, tons of pushy people and media pressure later...I am now Twitting. Which, if you drop by this blog from time to time, will know I refused to do because for me it was more like "twat-ting" really, if you know what I mean. I even wrote a post about it ("I'm not Twitting") stating my opinion about it and how strong I felt about not wanting to Twit just to follow the trends everybody else was/is following.

I still think that sharing your everyday activities 24/7 is a bit too much, but I am now trying to cope with the idea and go with it thinking it is just merely for fun or to share important information happening around the world at the time; I guess it is like everything else: excessive is bad! I also believe that if it is used properly, it can be a great tool.

For some odd reason, whenever I told people I don't Twit they got kind of shocked, almost as if I said "I don't shower", pft! Some people said they thought it'd just be natural that I Twitted, some others even said they think I'd be a great Twitterer -I honestly don't know why, I definitely consider myself much more of a Blogger than a Twitterer, but oh well, I guess we'll have to wait and see and this works. In the meantime, I do have to admit I enjoy reading the Twits from people like Kim+Khloe Kardashian, Nicole Richie -who are all very funny, particularly Nicole- and some other things that interest me such as Museums, Art Galleries and stuff like that -I am definitely trying to make the most of it!

Once I remember myself saying something like "I like being followed rather than follow", and I think it
applies perfectly to this subject, so if you Twit...I'll see you in Twitterland! @diana_verdin

Oh, and please remember:

Sunday, February 6, 2011

333 Café en Facebook!

Sí, nos tardamos un poco pero 333 ya tiene página de Facebook, así que la puedesn visitar desde ya mismo y estar enterados de todo lo relacionado con el Café/Galería de Arte.

También pueden ver las fotografías que están a la Venta y que estarán expuestas hasta fines de Febrero, además, encontrarán también fotografías de las instalaciones por si no han tenido oportunidad de visitarnos. Pronto encontrarán también fotos de todas las bebidas y deliciosos snacks que tenemos porque bien dicen que "de la vista nace el amor", así es que si no nos han visitado, échenle un vistazo a nuestra página y seguro terminarán preguntándose por qué no han ido! Jaja

Y muy pronto, les esteremos platicando de nuestros nuevos proyectos, sorpresas y todo lo que ocurrirá en 333 durante los próximos meses, estamos en verdad muy emocionadas y entusiasmadas con todo este proyecto y lo que está por venir y, ciertamente, esperemos todos ustedes estén ahí para compartirlo!

Ah, y no olviden darle "Like" cuando visiten nuestra página! Gracias!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Some good Quotes to start the Month


"La rosca de reyes es como un embarazo no deseado; nadie quiere que salga el niño." - Random

"Normal life is not my cup of tea." - Random

"tal vez me voy a ver muy 'when parents text', pero...cooooorran que está la Bella y La Bestia en Disney!" - Gichef

"Mamona yo!? Mamona la vida que te hizo inferior a mi!" - Patty Montemayor

"...y para que sepas, hoy me puse lo mismo que desperté 45 minutos tarde" - Anonymous

"El buen juicio me persigue. Pero yo soy más rápida..." - Random

"No soy quien para llamar cochon a alguien (being one myself) pero Christina Aguilera qué te panso?!" - Ximena Sariñana

"We look like christmas noo?" - Sofía Vergara to Alexa Chung on their red dresses @ the Golden Globe Awards 2011

"More songwriting than tweetwriting at the moment. Can't believe I didn't wish you all a fabulous new year, though. #howrude" - Marit Larsen

"Winners make things happen Losers let things happen." - Khloe Kardashian

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What I Read + Watched in January

It's the end of the month and here I am, as I said I would, to tell you what I read and what I watched during January.

This is what I Watched:

You'll Meet a Tall Dark Stranger - Not as good as I was expecting and never as good as "Match Point. I don't really enjoy when (Woody) Allen has a third-party narrator telling the story/ies.

Airline Disaster - Caught this one on TV and got hooked, it is a decent action movie and it is always fun watching Gringos play heroes lol.

Keeping the Distance - I wanted to see this one for a while and when I did, I liked it. It is funny and even sort of cute, the worst part is how selfish the guy is 'till the end, but I liked it coz it's true, guys are usually that selfish in real life.

All Good Things - Weird movie, I hate Ryan Gosling on this one but it's just because how good he is at playing bad, he kinda creeped me out, and Kirsten Dunst, well, she is just the dull blonde she always is.

Te Presento a Laura - OMG, I wish I could get back the 2 hours of my life I wasted watching this crap! I should have known better, shame on me!

Mammoth - A bit weird but I like it, it's a simple story about simple people but the acting is good and is well directed, plus, it has Gael García on it, do I need to say more? In case this doesn't seem enough, it also has a great OST.

The King's Speech - Such good movie, no wonder Colin Firth has been so awarded and recognized about it, playing a stammering person takes preparation and he was brilliant at it, even Helena Bonham-Carter was good on it!

Love and Other Drugs - A Popcorn movie based in a real life story, decent acting and fun at times, although a bit longer than it should have been. Jake Gyllenhaal is a total hottie, love his deep-blue furby-like eyes hehe

Burlesque - For me, it's like "Devil Wears Prada" meets "Mouline Rouge" meets "Crossroads" lol For a musical, there's only one good song and that is Cher's, the girl who plays the bad girl is a lousy actress and not even that hot, they could have (and should have!) exploited the Burlesque concept so much more.

Blue Valentine - Loved it, although I didn't quite understand it for a (short) moment, Ryan Gosling's acting is impeccable as usual and Michelle Williams is also very good, they totally get you into their story from the beginning until the end.

Larnacœur (Heartbreaker) - Basically I watched this one because of Romain Duris (of course!) but I kinda liked it, its a French romantic comedy with a nice OST and some awesome landscapes. Although I still don't get how the lead actress landed the role with that huge space in between her front teeth.

The Fighter - Such good movie, I was reluctant to watch it as I'm not really into boxing and any of those boring "sports", but this one was good and Christian Bale was excellent on it, so were Marky Mark's abs haha

Somewhere - I think Sofia Coppola tried to do the same thing she did with Lost in Translation, I mean it goes beyond just her style, she tried to get people to think things were more than they seemed to be but she didn't do it right this time, it all felt quite forced to me.

The Tourist - I think this is a movie just for Angelia Jolie and Johnny Depp fans, honestly, it is really bad. It's just a bad action movie where Angelina plays her eternal role: a secret agent and Johnny plays his: a "cool" weirdo. The only think I kind of admire about her "acting", is how she speaks other languages.

Well, that is MY opinion on those movies. I only saw like 14 when I was planing on watching 30-31, but I realized watching one movie per day was not as easy as it sounds like, always too many things to do, places to be and stuff to take care of, still, I think one movie every other day is a pretty good number.

This is what I Read: The Analyst by John Katzenbach - A really good suspense book, it was like my everyday dose of "Law&Order: SUV" or "CSI" or any of those, it really kept me going and wanting to read more everyday, a good sit-on-edge-of-the-seat story, that's probably why I finished it in less than a week! Alright, so this is what I read + watched during January and I am now ready to do some more reading and watching for February, I'll tell you all about it in 27 days. Cheers!