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Ancient Mexico provides lesson on human unity, experts sayTarahumara Indians in a community in Mexico. EFE/H. Montaño/INAH

Scientists have found substantial genomic differences among Mexico's indigenous populations that persist despite the widely popular concept of a homogeneous mestizo "la raza," experts say.

"There is a high degree of differentiation among indigenous populations, and more so between those who are more isolated," Victor Acuna Alonzo, an anthropologist at the National School of Anthropology and History, told Efe.

An international team of researchers analyzed genome samples taken from more than 1,000 individuals representing 20 indigenous and 11 mestizo, or mixed, population groups, the journal Science reported recently.

The greatest differences were found between the Seri ethnic group living in northwest Mexico and the Lacandones in the southeast, with genomic differences wider than those existing between European and Chinese people.

The Mexican Constitution states that the country's population is multicultural and rooted in its indigenous populations, but the diversity has tended to be hidden or shunned in mainstream discourse that favors the concept of a monolithic culture.

The National Council for the Prevention of Discrimination says one of the main reasons for this is the "mestizo myth" based on the emergence of a national identity that integrates all the distinct components of Mexico's population.

The 2012 report by the council said it was Mexican philosopher Jose Vasconcelos (1882-1959) "who best defined this narrative."

Vasconcelos's 1925 book, "The Cosmic Race," posited the idea that the "assimilation of the diverse origins coinciding in Mexico and in Latin America place the mestizo as the principal unit."

"Neither the 'cosmic race' nor the government's pro-mestizo propaganda managed to erase the multicultural and multiethnic nature of the country," the report said. "Vasconcelos was wrong: today in Mexico there are many races - not one - and all express themselves through a vast pleiad of spirits, just like that, in plural not in singular."

Paradoxically, both the argument for homogenization through miscegenation and its opposite, the vindication of diversity, have been used to refute racist positions.

The first argues that it is impossible to define clear boundaries among the races since they are so intertwined, while the second highlights each group's contributions to universal human culture.

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The acquisition includes companies that operate under the name Nextel Mexico, spectrum licenses, network assets, retail stores and about 3 million customers, Dallas-based AT&T said in a statement Monday. The purchase price doesn’t include an unspecified amount of debt from NII, which filed for bankruptcy in September.

Nextel Mexico’s high-paying monthly subscribers will help AT&T accelerate a plan to offer its first cross-border service in the U.S. and Mexico. AT&T’s pending takeover of DirecTV, which has operations in Mexico, marked the company’s first push outside the U.S. in more than a decade as growth slows at home. The company has since added to that expansion with the $2.5 billion acquisition of Grupo Iusacell SA in Mexico, which closed earlier this month.

The deal strengthens AT&T’s efforts in Mexico by adding Nextel’s “more highly-valued postpaid customers and some additional infrastructure,” Walt Piecyk, an analyst at BTIG LLC, said in a phone interview from New York. “Nextel’s spectrum bolsters what Iusacell has to offer: wireless data services, the key element of AT&T’s growth strategy.”

Nextel Mexico’s network covers about 76 million people. AT&T said it plans to combine Nextel Mexico with Iusacell, which will help improve service for people living outside major metropolitan areas. The deal is expected to close in the middle of this year, AT&T and NII said.

America Movil

“The acquisition of Nextel Mexico will support AT&T’s plans to bring greater competition and faster mobile Internet speeds to the Mexican wireless market,” AT&T said in the statement.

This is AT&T’s third deal that hasn’t involved Mexico’s largest wireless-service provider, America Movil SAB. Carlos Slim’s company has been looking to sell a large portion of its business to comply with new laws that penalize it for being a dominant phone company.

AT&T shares fell 0.7 percent to $33.13 at 9:38 a.m. New York time. America Movil dropped 2.1 percent to 16.89 pesos in Mexico City.

AT&T has been on the prowl specifically for deals in Latin America and Mexico. In September, Chief Strategy Officer John Stankey said that Mexico was poised for investment and that he sees a lot of options in Latin America.

NII, which has been in bankruptcy protection, said it will use the proceeds of the Nextel Mexico sale to help emerge from Chapter 11 and fund its Brazilian unit. The deal requires approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

“The sale of Nextel Mexico represents an opportunity to reduce our operational risk, deliver value to our stakeholders and provide the liquidity that will position us to emerge from Chapter 11 reorganization,” NII Chief Executive Officer Steve Shindler said in a statement.

--With assistance from Kenneth Wong in Berlin.

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Petrol price increase 2

Increase reflects rebound in international crude prices

Fuel prices went up today in response to a recent increase in the price of crude oil. It was the second time in two months that gasoline prices have risen.

Magna gasoline is now priced at a maximum of 13.96 pesos per liter, up 56 centavos, premium is 14.81 pesos, an increase of 44 centavos, and diesel, 13.98 pesos, which is up 21 centavos. Gasoline prices are now 3% higher than they were a year ago.

In announcing the increase, the Finance Secretariat said the price hikes were within the range established for this year by Congress, which allows for prices to be adjusted according to international oil prices, but not by more than 3%.



According to a State of México business organization, most of the impact will be felt in small corner stores, or abarrotes, due to the cost of delivering dairy, bread and meat products. The Industrial Union of the State of México, or Unidem, said a typical delivery route in urban areas has as many as 22 such stores to service.

The additional fuel costs could mean those products will cost 2%-4% more for such stores within one or two months, said Unidem director Francisco Cuevas Dobarganes.

He said the government is hiking fuel and electricity prices because it has pledged not to increase taxes during the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto. The price increases, which are needed to help balance spending in the wake of economic damage caused by low oil prices and other factors, represent a hidden tax, Cuevas said.

 

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1414624139154 wps 32 This May 22 2014 photo re

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A years-long exploration of a tunnel sealed almost 2,000 years ago at the ancient city of Teotihuacan yielded thousands of relics and the discovery of three chambers that could hold more important finds, Mexican archaeologists said Wednesday.

Project leader Sergio Gomez said researchers recently reached the end of the 340-foot (103-meter) tunnel after meticulously working their way down its length, collecting relics from seeds to pottery to animal bones.

A large offering found near the entrance to the chambers, some 59 feet (18 meters) below the Temple of the Plumed Serpent, suggests they could be the tombs of the city's elite.

"Because this is one of the most sacred places in all Teotihuacan, we believe that it could have been used for the rulers to ... acquire divine endowment allowing them to rule on the surface," Gomez said.

Unlike at other pre-Columbian ruins in Mexico, archaeologists have never found any remains believed to belong to Teotihuacan's rulers. Such a discovery could help shine light on the leadership structure of the city, including whether rule was hereditary.

"We have not lost hope of finding that, and if they are there, they must be from someone very, very important," Gomez said.

So far Gomez's team has excavated only about 2 feet (60 centimeters) into the chambers. A full exploration will take at least another year.

Initial studies by the National Institute of Anthropology and History show the tunnel functioned until around A.D. 250, when it was closed off.

Teotihuacan long dominated central Mexico and had its apex between 100 B.C. and A.D. 750. It is believed to have been home to more than 100,000 people, but was abandoned before the rise of the Aztecs in the 14th century.

Today it is an important archaeological site on the outskirts of Mexico City and a major tourist draw known for its broad avenues and massive pyramids.

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Health officials closed a dozen plastic surgery clinics in Tijuana, a border city in the northwestern Mexican state of Baja California, the Federal Commission for Health Risks Oversight, or Cofepris, said.

Expired and unregistered medicines were seized in the raids by Baja California health inspectors.

Health officials shut down 10 clinics and two other establishments that were selling expired and unregistered medical products with English labels.

Massage oils, creams, hypodermic needles and improperly handled botox products were seized in the raids.

The federal agency recommended that people looking to have plastic surgery verify that the clinic they visit is properly licensed, the doctor is a specialist, the facility follows proper medical protocols and the equipment is registered with the health department.

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anti smoking laws

Puerto Vallarta, Jal.- The regulations for the application of the anti-smoking law in Puerto Vallarta is a step away to enter into effect, informed María Candelaria Villanueva Sánchez, City counselor and head of the Health Committee.

Villanueva Sanchez explained that the regulations were discussed at the last meeting. Some corrections and observations, considered relevant, were made. Regulations are ready to go in such a way that they expect the Health Committee to approve it at the next meeting, and then submitted to Town Hall officials for its final approval.

"It is a100 percent done, it only needs to be approved. All the articles from 8 to 30 have already been written, discussed and corrected; all we are waiting is for them to meet and approve it".

As for the possibility of any more changes, yes, it is possible. Some of the aldermen were not present at the meeting where the law was discussed. We did send a copy to them, but at the time of the approval, if they think some changes need to be done, they are in the position of making those changes. Their ideas should be taken into account.

With respect to the restrictions of this regulation and the question of whether there will be fines for those who do not respect it, Villanueva Sanchez said that economic sanctions “are the core part, that’s what is going to hurt those who do not respect the regulation. We need to remember that health is for all of us and everyone should take care of it".

She explained that subpoenas will come first, then fines; but in the case of recidivism, greater sanctions will be applied. In addition, smokers who do not abide by the rules and procedure will run the risk to be removed from the area where they are breaking the law.

In this context, Villanueva Sánchez said that, it is considered that this is the only way to gradually change the culture of smoking in spaces shared with non-smokers, taking into consideration that, at the end, they, the non-smoker, are the ones that most suffer the consequences.

Finally, concerning whether it is believed that this can affect the economy of establishments, which restrict the consumption of tobacco in their places, she noted, "at the beginning there will be discomfort, but I think it is good for everyone in general. Businesses eventually will set up areas for their clients. She insisted that is the only way to change the culture and to improve everyone’s health".

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Puerto Vallarta, Jal.- The popular Mexican singer died on Wednesday morning after a car crash

Regional pop star Ariel Camacho has died in a car crash while on tour.

Camacho, 22, died in an accident on a motorway outside of his hometown, Los Ranchitos in Sinaloa. The artist, signed to Del Records, had been on the road promoting his album El Karma.

Tributes have poured in for the singer. "My heart is broken by the loss of Ariel Camacho," president and founder of the Regional Mexican label, Angel Del Villar, said. "I knew he was going to transform the genre in Mexico and the United States. Millions of people would have become fans and would have gotten to know the man I did."

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January 30th, Charity Night with guest host Candace of Fishing With Carolina for Autism02 was a smashing success we raised $5910 pesos!!!!!!!!!!! that buys a large tank of oxygen. The evening was even more fun as we also celebrated Candace's daughter Savannah's 16th birthday.

The prizes for the raffle were generously donated by:CASSANDRA SHAW JEWELRY, Mama Dolores Diner, Encanto Restaurant, Clerese Hair and Body Care, Archies Wok, Lucy's Cucu Cabana, Kathy Lowther Reflexology, Encuentros Lounge and Pizza Bar and Quimixto.

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 puerto-vallarta-s-elIt could be any day along the Pacific coast of Mexico, but on this day it's Puerto Vallarta. The morning broke with a puff of clouds lolling upon the Pacific, casting a veil across the fishing boat dropping anchor in Banderas Bay. Tourists drop their lines into the water, prop their poles on the side and pop open a beer. These tourists are hoping to catch fish -- dorado, bonito, yellow fin, mahi-mahi, even marlin -- but I can't help but wonder if some are here to catch something else as they unwind on the gentle waters.

You can hear the first party boat before the clouds have a chance to break. Music rises over the waves as voices surf the high notes. A catamaran, its bronzed passengers gripping the sidelines with one hand and a drink in the other, rushes along the coast in a race against outbound schedules. These tourists are fishing also -- not for the fruit of the sea, but for pleasure, experience, thrills, relaxation. Anything that steals the stress even for an hour revives the soul in ways not yet known.

By 10 a.m. the morning clouds have broken, their edges now laced with blue like a doily thrown against the sky. The bay responds to the sun with slivers of sapphire gleaming upon the gentle swells.

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0712 volcano

Ash from the Popocatepetl volcano fell Monday on eight Mexico City boroughs and six municipalities in neighboring Mexico state, covering streets and roofs, the Cenapred national disaster management agency said.

Popocatepetl, located 85 kilometers (52 miles) southeast of Mexico City, began emitting steam, gas and ash on Sunday afternoon, with the emissions continuing into the early hours of Monday, the agency said in a bulletin.

Ash was reported on the ground and on buildings in the Mexico City boroughs of Milpa Alta, Xochimilco, Tlalpan, Cuajimalpa, Magdalena Contreras, Alvaro Obregon, Tlahuac and Iztapalapa.

Six cities – Ozumba, Atlautla, Tlalmanalco, Ecatzingo, Tepetlixpa and Amecameca – in Mexico state, which surrounds the Federal District and forms part of the Mexico City metropolitan area, also reported ash from the volcano.

The national disaster management agency extended the volcanic alert for the region, warning residents to be prepared for an eventual evacuation.

In areas where ash is falling, there could be precipitation of incandescent fragments, steam and gas fumes, and mudslides, the Cenapred said.

The agency recommended that residents of areas affected by ash cover their noses and mouths with wet bandanas or wear masks, close windows and remain indoors as much as possible, rinsing their eyes and throats with clean water.

About 25 million people live less than 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Popocateptl, which is located where the states of Mexico, Puebla and Morelos meet.

Popocatepetl, which rises 5,452 meters (17,875 feet) above sea level, is one of the world’s most monitored volcanoes because of its recurring activity over the past 22 years.

 

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Federal-PoliceDoes your car have insurance? No? Well, from now on you will need to insure it if you want to hit the road.

Last week the House of Representatives approved amendments to the Law on Roads, Bridges and Federal Motor Carrier that makes it mandatory for all vehicles traveling on toll roads, federal roads and bridges to have insurance for third party liability.

So if you live in a state where insurance is not mandatory (it is in Yucatán), you will need to obtain insurance coverage to drive on a federal highway.

Juan Carlos Muñoz Márquez, president of the Transport Committee of the Chamber of Deputies, said in an interview that since it was previously approved by the Senate, the amendment only requires enactment by the President to take effect immediately.

The amendments establish penalties and fines of between 20 and 40 days of minimum wage to those driving without an insurance policy that covers third parties for damages arising from an accident. The fine would be waived if the motorist obtains insurance within 45 days.