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COVER STORY: WINDS OF CHANGE President-elect AMLO unseats long-ruling PRI

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MERIDA UNDERGOES FACELIFT

RULO’S MERIDA PERSPECTIVE

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228 Centro façades restored in $10M-peso program

EDITION

12 YEAR 1 JULY 2018


WELCOME

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WELCOME…. The outcome of Mexico’s presidential election on July 1 promises to shake up the country’s government and possibly Mexican society in general. When President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador formally takes office on Dec. 1, many changes will be in store. Mid-Point Yucatán Staff ADMINISTRATION Mauricio Valenzuela M.

EDITORIAL DIRECTION Alejandro Fitzmaurice C.

CONTENT / EDITING Robert Adams

DESIGN Arbee Antonio José Ramírez

PRODUCTION Noé Moguel

PHOTOGRAPHY Gael Medina

EDITORIAL ART Raúl Mendoza (El Rulos Bar)

ADVERTISING Carolina Barrera

CIRCULATION Paul Alfaro M.

Editorial/Advertising/Circulation Offices Calle 64 #436 between Calles 49 and 53 Colonia Centro, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico

In this issue of MID-POINT, we offer two articles on the election: the first about how AMLO was unable to unseat the long-ruling PRI party, and the second on what AMLO’s election may mean for Mexico’s battered peso and the economy in general. We also bring you in this edition a wide variety of other content, from artist Rulo’s unique illustration of Merida’s oldest Colonial building to a report on delays in the clearing of La Plancha for the start of work on the proposed park there. We hope you find Mid-Point #12 interesting and enlightening. Enjoy, and thanks for reading! Robert Adams Content Manager / Editor www.puntomedio.mx/category/midpoint/ midpoint.yucatan@gmail.com 999 249 7100

Mid-Point Yucatán is a free twice-monthly news magazine. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of content through any means without previous permission is prohibited. Certificates of ownership and title in process. Certificates of legality and content in process. Opinions expressed herein are those of their authors and do not necessarily represent the editors or publishers of Mid-Point Yucatán. Advertisements are responsibility of the advertisers.


MERIDA CHRONICLES

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on Tammekand is a geologist, businessman and world traveler who says he is on a spiritually-inspired journey. This journey has taken him from his native Australia to Africa, Europe, and Asia. Work in the mining industry in Australia and Africa, plus a romantic interest, led him to move to Mexico in 1979. After five years with a government geological agency in Mexico City, Tammekand moved to Sinaloa, where for more than a decade he operated the San José de Gracia gold mine and later owned a tuna cannery in Mazatlán.

“I had a million-dollar home on the beach, I thought I was set for life,” said Tammekand in an interview at Blue Bag Coffee, a café on Calle 66 in Merida’s Centro that is his current base of operations. In the year 2000, a chance meeting with a Mayan shaman on a trip to Chiapas radically changed Tammekand’s life. Then followed a decade of spiritual growth as he “followed the shaman around the world.” The shaman, who Tammekand says is also a Tibetan Buddhist monk, sent him to study in a Buddhist monastery in Japan. There,

Text: ROBERT ADAMS

a teacher planted a seed of inspiration in his mind: “Coffee will be your guide.” Tammekand returned to Mexico, settling in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, where in 2010 he founded Blue Bag Coffee. The company buys Arabica coffees from local growers in Chiapas and roasts, blends and distributes the coffee to about 200 clients throughout Mexico. Blue Bag has seven employees in Chiapas who buy organic, shadegrown coffee beans and run the roasting, blending and distribution operations. Tammekand spends


Photos: ROBERT ADAMS

MERIDA CHRONICLES

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'SPIRITUAL JOURNEY'

LEADS TO MERIDA

FOR RON TAMMEKAND AND BLUE BAG COFFEE

his mornings processing Blue Bag’s orders on his computer and sending instructions to Chiapas. He is also trying to organize a Bitcoin-based offering to raise a half-million dollars for Blue Bag expansion. Bitcoin transactions also dovetail with Tammekand’s conviction that the world’s financial systems are on the brink of collapse. This conviction is at least partially inspired by Mayan teaching that the world is now at the start of a new era, he said. Tammekand said his fundamental belief is that

“everything is connected to everything.” This principle is embodied in the Hindi expression “namaste” and the Mayan concept of “In Lak’ech.” “I have no dogma. All religions are correct,” he commented. “The problem arises with fanaticism, when one religion tries to impose itself on others.” Mayan and Buddhist principles have come to dominate life for Tammekand, who meditates and practices yoga daily. He occasionally teaches a Shambala seminar based on the 12 steps of Buddha,

and he will offer a threeday course in Bacalár, Quintana Roo July 27-29. Meanwhile, he and several associates keep the café at Blue Bag Coffee in Merida operating smoothly, also offering delivery service and envisioning expansion in the historic building at the corner of Calles 66 and 47. If you run into Ron at the café, he will probably offer you a “namaste” salute, and maybe provide you a kernel of sage thought to accompany your cup of savory coffee. --ROBERT ADAMS


COVER STORY

Text: AGENCIES

MEXICO'S PRI PARTY IN DISARRAY AFTER DRUBBING BY POTENTIAL

'STRONGMAN' AMLO

Mexico’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, was one of the most successful brands in 20th-century politics, but a record defeat in the July 1 presidential election has left its future hanging in the balance. Reuters correspondent Dave Graham writes that pushed into third place with its worst-ever showing, PRI candidate Jose Antonio Meade won just over 16 percent of the vote, less than a third of that garnered by the winner, veteran leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

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he wipeout swept the country, shattering the centrist PRI in many traditional strongholds, even including the hometown of the party’s outgoing President Enrique Peña Nieto. The PRI, which governed continuously from 1929 to 2000, and again from 2012, also lost all nine gubernatorial races on Sunday. Until 1989, the PRI had never lost a governorship. Sunday’s results mean that Mexico’s 31 states are set to be governed by five different parties and one independent. Yucatan will

be helmed by the PAN party under new Gov. Mauricio Vila, former Merida mayor. THE LANDSCAPE The PRI’s precipitous decline leaves a void in the fractured political landscape, which López Obrador and his National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) party want to fill.

Rampant gang violence, patchy economic growth and a slew of corruption scandals have battered the PRI’s standing. Peña Nieto had the lowest approval rating of any president in Mexico’s 21st century history. “The new PRI, whether it’s called the PRI, or it changes its name, has to get rid of all the rubbish,


COVER STORY

Photos: AGENCIES

all the parasites who have done so much damage to the party,” said Heriberto Galindo, a party veteran and former lawmaker. Founded to consolidate political control after the bloodshed of the 1910-1920 Mexican Revolution, the PRI was, in part, a reaction against the excessive concentration of power in one man under the long rule of dictator Porfirio Diaz. Keeping a tight rein on the country through a mix of corporatism, political patronage and corruption, the party initially had notable successes. But eventually, currency devaluations and overspending took their toll, and Mexico defaulted on its foreign debt in 1982. The PRI held on, but its image was tarnished.

Another major financial crisis in 1994-95 helped pave the way for the party’s first presidential election loss in 2000. Rising drug-cartel violence under its conservative successors opened the door to a PRI comeback in 2012, though with its power and prestige diminished. Now only a rump of the current PRI will remain in the next Congress. López Obrador traversed the remotest provinces to create a base of support among Mexico’s neediest -- a sector that its technocratic leaders of recent years may have lost touch with. “We need to look toward the left again,” said Maria de los Angeles Moreno, a former national

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leader of the PRI, pointing to the personal rapport López Obrador established with voters. THE FUTURE? Though the PRI’s early leaders had been generals, Mexico never descended into military dictatorship. "It was a kind of hereditary monarchy,” said Mexican historian Enrique Krauze. López Obrador, Krauze worries, could rule as a “caudillo” or strongman after his landslide win. “This is a country that abhors a power vacuum,” Krauze said. "But obviously I’m concerned there’s such enormous power invested in one person.” TEXT: REUTERS NEWS AGENCY


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COVER STORY

TEXT: AGENCIES

ELECTION ECONOMIC IMPACT

AMLO'S FINANCE SECRETARY-NOMINEE FORESEES DOLLAR AT 18 PESOS Carlos Urzúa, nominated by López Obrador to lead the country’s public finances, said that if NAFTA is achieved this year, the peso will be strengthened...

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iting AFP and Reuters news agencies, Expansion/CNN reports that Carlos Urzúa, nominated to the Ministry of Finance by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, said recently that the peso can be strengthened in such a way until the dollar falls to 18 pesos at the end of 2018 if an agreement is reached in

the revision of the Treaty of Free Trade of North America (NAFTA). However, for 2019 the man chosen to lead the public finances of the country in the next six years sees the dollar trading at 19 pesos on average. He projected that in the next year, the Mexican economy will expand by 2.5% and that

the price of a barrel of oil will be around 70 dollars. After his meeting with the current president, Enrique Peña Nieto, López Obrador said that several of his proposals will be included in the economic package of 2019, which estimates the government’s projections for these economic variables.


COVER STORY

PHOTOS: AGENCIES

“President Trump said that they will have to pass the elections, but we believe that after the November elections, it can accelerate very quickly,” Urzúa said in an interview with Televisa. "If everything is ready, it is nothing more than for President Trump says go forward,” added the academic, who will occupy the Treasury post in the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who triumphed in the presidential elections July 1. In an interview, Trump said he will postpone the signing of a NAFTA pact until after the November 6 U.S. legislative elections. Urzúa also said that there will be a very close collaboration between the

current Mexican negotiating team and the incoming government. “At this moment they are the ones who should take the baton,” he said, adding that the peso could be strengthened to levels of 18 per dollar if an agreement is reached before the end of the year. Currently the negotiations are stuck on the United States demands of benefits for its automotive sector and its requirement to review the agreement every five years. In mid-June, Mexican Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo said there would be a ministerial meeting on NAFTA in July, although he did not specify an exact date.

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The oil contracts granted under the energy reform will remain in the new government in case a review does not reveal irregularities, said Carlos Urzúa. “If this looks good, go ahead, it’s a contract that we have to respect,” Urzúa told Televisa. The leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador won a landslide victory in the July 1 elections. In his campaign, the 64-year-old politician promised to review oil contracts granted to local and foreign oil companies on suspicion of corruption. However, Urzúa said until now they have not detected any irregularities. TEXT: Expansion/CNN


LOCAL NEWS

Text: PUNTO MEDIO

228 HISTORIC CENTRO FAÇADES RESTORED IN MERIDA CITY HALL RENOVATIONS Buildings rescued in $10M-peso program

the intervention. However, they are looking for agreements that allow them to he program to rescue reach these homes. deteriorating facades “The rehabilitations in Mérida’s Centro al- improve the facades by ready accomplished 90% painting and replace of its proposed plan for some finishes. We have this year, with the improve- found on this occasion ment of 228 properties and several properties that for an investment of around a long time had not been 10 million pesos, said the intervened, and we had to director of Urban Develop- remove all the front and ment, Aref Karam Esposito. replace all the details with The municipal official the original materials so as said they are in the sec- not to damage the quality ond stage of the program, of the property,” he said. which will be concluded He said that this operin the next several weeks. ation has invested approx“This is a program that imately 10 million pesos, is applied for the first time, which includes labor, maand we have done every- terials, supervision and all thing together in a single the necessary implements area, which allows us to to carry out the work. be more efficient, given He stressed that this that we are concentrated by sectors and homes, not in an isolated way as had been done in other occasions,” he said. He said that they now are rescuing 20 facades, and they would avoid properties that cannot be recovered because they are abandoned or they have not been able to convince the owner of

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is a permanent program,, since the Centro has between 3,000 and 4,000 properties with historical value. Throughout the 25 years that the program has been in force 950 properties have been improved, while this administration alone has carried out 450, almost 50% of what had done before. “We have achieved an important advance, but the challenge of maintaining and reviving the Historic Center is not over, so it is very likely that this work will continue throughout the future administrations,” he concluded. Text and photo: Roberto Ojeda


Text: ROBERT ADAMS

CASA DE MONTEJO: VESTIGE OF YUCATAN'S SPANISH CONQUISTADORES

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he Casa de Montejo, built in the late 1540s as the home of Merida’s original Spanish-colonial founders, is one of the few examples in the Americas of the Plateresque architectural style. This style flourished in Spain in the period between the late Gothic and early Renaissance The Montejo family, which acquired the right to conquer Yucatan due to Francisco de Montejo’s service to Hernán Cortés’

LEISURE PURSUITS: LANDMARKS

conquest of Mexico, built the Casa Montejo on a plaza they laid out over the Mayan city of T’Hó. The plaza also included the cathedral that would be completed in 1598. The Casa Montejo apparently remained through inheritance in the Montejo family’s hands through the 1830s, when it was sold to another prominent Merida family. Although the original property had occupied the entire block, successive sales and modifications of the house diminished its scale over time. In 1981, the National Bank of Mexico (Banamex) acquired the Casa Montejo property and adapted it for bank offices. In 2010, the Banamex Foundation and the National Institute of Anthropology and His-

tory (INAH) transformed the property into a House of Culture and Museum. The museum consists of a temporary exhibition hall, which hosts arts events, and a museum, where furniture and objects mainly from the late 19th and early 20th centuries are exhibited. A close look at the building’s facade reveals images of conquistadores standing on the heads of smaller indigenous figures, typical of symbolism in Spanish colonial statuary. Also gazing across the plaza from the facade are busts of Francisco de Montejo and his wife and daughter. --Robert Adams with information from Wikipedia and other sources


RULO’S MERIDA PERSPECTIVE ILLUSTRATION BY RULO LA CASA DE MONTEJO

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This is not only the entrance to the home of the conqueror of Yucatรกn, but it is also an entrance to the mindset of the conquerors about the conquered, as represented in the faรงade.... Saludos, --RULO


FOR YOUR INFORMATION

BY MID-POINT NEWSROOM

CONSUMER COMPLAINTS (PROFECO) 999 923 2323 POLICE Emergency 066 (from landline) 911 (from cellular)

NETHERLANDS 999 924 0362

CONSULATES MERIDA

SPAIN 999 948 3489

BELGIUM 998 892 2512

UNITED STATES 999 942 5700

Tourist Police 999 930 3200 ext. 462

CONSULATES CANCUN CANADA 998 883 3360

Yucatan State Police 999 930 3200 Merida Mun. Police 999 942 0060

BELIZE 999 928 5421

Federal Police 999 946 1223

CUBA 999 944 4215

BRITAIN 551 670 3200

CYPRUS 999 924 6821 FRANCE 999 930 1500 FIRE STATION 999 924 9242 RED CROSS 999 924 9813 ROAD ASSISTANCE (Ángeles Verdes) 999 983 1184 MEXICAN IMMIGRATION OFFICE (INM) 999 925 5009

GERMANY 999 944 3252 GREECE 999 982 3271 HONDURAS 999 926 1962 KOREA 999 166 6464 LUXEMBOURG 999 926 1725

HOSPITALS IN MERIDA Centro de Especialidades Médicas (CEM) 999 920 4040 Centro Médico de las Américas (CMA) 999 926 2111 Clínica Merida 999 942 1800 Star Médica 999 930 2880


LOCAL NEWS 15

TEXT: PUNTO MEDIO

LA PLANCHA

DISCARDED RAILS IMPEDE PARK WORK 80% of these train rails must be removed to start working on the irrigation system, lighting and arborization of the area...

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he President of the association “Gran Parque La Plancha”, Felix Rubio Villanueva, said that there is a delay in the removal of the iron material located in the former maneuvering yards.. He said that it is necessary to remove 80% of the rails to start with the system of irrigation and arborization.. “Yes, it’s still very slow (the removal). It is working 12 hours, but the crane can only take two trips per day

because the rails are very long, almost 20 meters. They move up to 30 rails that are deposited in Poxilá, Umán,” he commented. This has delayed the work of tree planting for 60 days, since as long as most of the rails are not moving, it is not possible to start with the next stage contemplated for the terrain, since the rails cover part of where the pockets of large trees will be located. he explained. It is expected that in the next 15 days, workers

will begin to plant the trees, start the excavation work and the irrigation system, as well as the installation of the lighting system. “We did not want to start. We wanted to start with the tree planting first in conjunction with the excavations, and the irrigation system, but I think it will start. Although this will have to be defined by the engineers and technicians who will do the job,” he said. “What is behind, is late; what has not started, has not started; what they are working on, they are doing it slowly and they continue despite the limitations,” he added. Rubio Villanueva said there are currently between 2,000 and 3,000 rails on the grounds of the former train station. Text/photo: Jesús Gómez


NEWS FROM HOME Courtney Beale is the new principal officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Merida. As the top U.S. official in the Yucatan Peninsula, Beale is responsible for American interests in the states of Yucatan, Campeche and Quintana Roo. In the position with the U.S.

Consulate in Merida, Beale succeeds David Mico, who served for three years as U.S. Consul General in Merida. Mico has moved to a

TEXT: MIDPOINT NEWSROOM

COURTNEY BEALE: NEW U.S. CONSUL IN MERIDA position in the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. Previously, Beale was the Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Havana. Prior to Havana, she served as Senior Director of the Global Engagement Office and Special Assistant to the President at the National Security Council. Beale served in overseas assignments in Mon-

terrey, Mexico; Islamabad, Pakistan; Bogota, Colombia; and New Delhi, India. In Washington, she was the Office Director for Strategic Planning in the Public Affairs Bureau, a Special Assistant to the Secretary of State, and a member of the Line in the Executive Secretariat. Beale graduated with a Masters in Public Policy from Princeton University and a Bachelors of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.  She is a term member in the Council of Foreign Relations and fluent in Spanish, Hindi, and Urdu.  She and her husband Scott have two young sons. U.S. Consulate Merida Calle 60 No. 338-K x Calle 29 Col. Alcalá Martín, Merida, Yucatan, C.P. 97050 Phone: 999-942-5700 Fax: 999-942-5758

Text: Mid-Point newsroom Photo: Facebook


TEXT/PHOTOS: AGENCIES

NEWS FROM HOME

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U.S. JUDGE BLOCKS FAMILY SEPARATIONS AT MEXICAN BORDER CROSSINGS A federal judge in California ordered a halt to most family separations at the US border and the reunification of all families that have been separated in the first major rebuke to the Trump administration during ongoing furor over these family separations.

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NN reports the court order specifically requires federal officials to stop detaining parents apart from their minor children, absent a determination the parent is unfit or the parent declines reunification; reunify all parents with their minor children who are under the age of 5 within 14 days and reunify all parents with their minor children age 5 and older within 30 days. The order also mandates that officials provide parents contact with their children by phone within 10 days, if the parent is not already in contact with his or her child.

US District Court Judge Dana Sabraw’s order does not mean the Trump administration must stop prosecuting people who cross the border illegally. The American Civil Liberties Union originally filed the case against the Trump administration in February on behalf of a Congolese woman seeking asylum in the US who was separated from her 7-year-old daughter. The group now represents a wider class of plaintiffs. “This ruling is an enormous victory for parents and children who thought they may never see each other again. Tears will be flowing in detention cen-

ters across the country when the families learn they will be reunited,” said Lee Gelernt, the Deputy Director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, who argued the case. A Justice Department spokesperson said the decision “makes it even more imperative that Congress finally act to give federal law enforcement the ability to simultaneously enforce the law and keep families together. “Without this action by Congress, lawlessness at the border will continue," the spokesperson said. Text: CNN


BEACHES NEWS

TEXT/PHOTO: PUNTO MEDIO

JULIÁN ZACARÍAS CURI IS NEW PROGRESO MAYOR The flag bearer of the PAN and Movimiento Ciudadano beat his closest competitor by 1,136 votes… PROGRESO -- During the electronic tally held in the port, the Municipal Electoral Council of Iepac confirmed that based on the preliminary results the winner of the Mayoral contest July 1 was Julián Zacarías Curi. The flag bearer of the PAN and Movimiento Ciudadano had a margin in his favor of 1,136 votes with respect to his closest competitor, María María del Carmen Ordaz Martínez, who won a total of 9,890 votes. As for the rest of the candidates, Raúl Alvarado Naal of the Morena-PTPES coalition achieved a total of 3,214 votes and Magaly Alférez only obtained 178 votes in favor. In this way, the results of the preliminary count were as follows: PAN (10,590), PRI (9,338), PRD

(178), PVEM (113), MC (198), PANAL (142), MORENA (2,173), PES ( 119). The ballots where people marked more than one option but that also account for their contention in coalition were PRI-PVEM-Panal (118), PRI-PVEM (100), PAN and MC (238), PRI-Panal (72), PVEM-Panal (7), PT-Morena-PES (83), PT-Morena (52), Morena-PES (32). The campaign coor-

dinator of the winner Zacarías Curi confirmed that the celebration of his triumph would be delayed several days in an orderly and respectful way to the adversaries, after he received his confirmation of the majority on the part of the electoral authority at the municipal level. Text and photo: José Luis Chavarría


BEACHES NEWS

TEXT/PHOTO: PUNTO MEDIO

PROGRESO — A group of residents from the western part of the city expressed their opposition to the delimitation and appropriation of the beach by families with residences in the Punta Tortugas area. “The outsiders are taking over our beaches, making an area called “Punta Tortugas”, which ranges from 104 to 136 Streets, and the Progreseños are against these actions, knowing that on the west side of our beaches turtles do not arrive to spawn,” said resident Valente Pérez Zúñiga. “The problem is that this access has been closed to us Progreseños, to cars, motorcycles, horses, bicycles, runners, etc.”, he said. Pérez Zuñiga commented that a group held a small meeting with a good response but not enough, so they want to make another assembly soon on 116th Street at the beach, in order to recover beach use peacefully.

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PROGRESO GROUP OPPOSES BEACH REGULATIONS SAID TO PROTECT TURTLES Punta Tortugas, popularly known as “El Playón,” runs from Calle 104 to 136. It was inaugurated in February as a sea turtle refuge. That ceremony was attended by local residents, personalities and a candidate for the state legislature. About three weeks ago, Profepa — the federal

environmental protection agency — placed signs and barriers around west-side beachfront designated as Punta Tortugas to protect nesting sea turtles. Some Punta Tortugas residents, however, deny that turtles nest there. Text and photo: José Luis Chavarría


20 TRAVEL

TEXT/PHOTOS: EL UNIVERSAL

MASK OF CALAKMUL, A JADE TREASURE, RETURNS TO CAMPECHE MUSEUM With this piece at the center, this exhibition highlights each element that makes up the grave contents and the funeral offering of the Mayan sovereign, found in Tomb I of Structure VII of Calakmul...

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n the buildings of Calakmul, capital of the Cuchcabal or territory of the Serpent Head, one of the most prominent Mayan lineages of the Classic pe-

riod, nine funerary masks have been located so far, the largest number within the sites of this ancient culture. The ceremonial mosaic found in the Tomb I of Structure VII in 1984 is so outstanding that it is known as “the Mask of Calakmul”, according to the  National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH). After an almost uninterrupted absence between March 2007 and December 2015, during which it was presented in four exhibitions, the Mask of Calakmul now occupies a permanent room at the Museum of

Maya Architecture, Baluarte de la Soledad, in the city of Campeche, which has been renovated and opened to the public on July 6, to feature this magnificent face of jade manufactured more than 1,200 years ago, between 660 and 750 AD. The new exhibition with which the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) presents this piece highlights each element that makes up the funerary trousseau of the ancient Mayan sovereign, as well as the offering that accompanied it. It should be remem-


21 TRAVEL 21

TEXT/PHOTOS: EL UNIVERSAL

bered that for the ancient Mayans, their rulers were a manifestation of the divinity on Earth, so that the ceremonial masks with which they were buried gave them the face of the corn god in their transit through the underworld and for their rebirth. The educator Claudia Escalante, director of Museums of the INAH Campeche Center, says that the piece returned to its site, Room 4 of the Museum of Maya Architecture, Baluarte de la Soledad, in December 2016. However, after an absence of more a decade, “the mask had acquired a monumental importance, not only as part of the cultural heritage of the state of Campeche, but for the country and beyond national borders, so that its original display had been too small for its significance. The digital resources and curatorial elements presented in the exhibition “La Máscara de Calakmul” were incorporated into this new assembly for the Campeche museum.  The piece previously had been presented at the National Museum of Anthropology in 2015, with the curatorship of the educator María del Pilar Cuairán Chavarría. “Accompanying all the jade trousseau and its of-

fering on display, the room has eight digital dispalys and two animated videos to explain the mask in its relationship with the ancient Mayan worldview, as well as several tactile stations with four different types of jade,” said Pilar Cuairán. This accessibility project incorporated elements that facilitate travel and visits for people with disabilities, such as ramps, Braille text and audios with contents for the blind and visually impaired, as well as videos in Mexican Sign Language. In its new room, the Mask of Calakmul, the funerary trousseau of jade and the ceramic offering that accompanies it shine in all their complexity and beauty.  The former sovereign was covered from head to toe with garments

composed of countless jade beads, such as bracelets, anklets, front band, kilt and five-strand necklace. Its ceremonial belt also has small jade plates. As a central element of the trousseau, a necklace with large round beads holds a rectangular imperial jade breastplate with the Mayan character ik’ (symbol of the wind that evokes the vital breath and the flow between the different levels of the cosmos).  The beauty of jade also shines in the wide, round ring that adorned his hand. The exhibition hall was inaugurated Friday, July 6.  The Maya Architecture Museum in the Baluarte de la Soledad, in the fortified city of Campeche, is open from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, Tuesday - Sunday. Text: El Universal Photos: Courtesy


22 HEALTH

TEXT/PHOTO: PUNTO MEDIO

Basics to reduce risk of Chagas disease

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horoughly cleaning patios and using sleeping pavilions could significantly reduce Chagas disease in Yucatan, said Juan Ortiz Rivera, state manager of the Chagas program of the Ministry of Health of Yucatan (SSY). The specialist said that these traditional habits have been forgotten little by little, increasing the risk of the presence of the parasites that generate this disease, which puts thousands of people in risk in Yucatan. “It is important to keep the patio clean and you can also fumigate houses, a practice that has been left undone. This helps up to 60% to reduce contact with the bug. You can also return to the use of pavil-

ions, since this avoids contact with the insect, mainly in children,” he explained. The specialist explained that the parasite feeds on blood, so it tends to prey on backyard animals and other domestic animals, although he said that it can also consume human blood. “When there are backyard animals there is a possibility that there may be bed bugs, especially in the interior of the state. It is recommended to keep animals away, as well as cleaning items in the house,” he said. He mentioned that the insects carrying the parasite that causes Chagas disease transmit it through their feces when the host scratches, causing the in-

oculation, although he explained that not all insects are carriers. He explained that in its acute phase, the parasite begins to reproduce for 45 days in which there are some symptoms such as high temperature, weight loss or discomfort, although not all cases present them. In the asymptomatic phase, he mentioned, there are no symptoms for up to 20 years, although in the chronic phase, the parasite has already lodged in an organ such as the heart or liver, which can lead to the death of the person. Text/Photo: PUNTO MEDIO/ ACOM


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