By David Agren - Monday, December 17, 2012 - 0 Comments
A small effort to find more than 25,000 men, women and children
In the U.S., milk cartons carrying smiling images of missing children once served as grim reminders of the unimaginable each morning around the breakfast table. Mexicans eat tortillas the way Americans drink milk; now tortilla wrappers are being used to drum up information on Mexico’s missing men, women and children. This month, three dozen tortilla mills in Ciudad Juárez’s bad barrios began wrapping their hot tortillas in paper ads pleading for information on the missing. Over the course of the drug wars, the border city has become notorious for brutal murders and disappearances. “The disappearances in Juárez have to disappear,” read the government-sponsored wrappers.
The scourge of disappearances there—once the murder capital of the hemisphere, but now calm enough to have recorded its first murder-free weekend in five years—dates back two decades, and has included hundreds of young women, whose cases have gone mostly unsolved. The tortilla industry seems anxious to be of assistance. “A friend of mine has been unable to find her daughter for a few years,” Esperanza Lozoya, a shop owner, told media. “We have to help out.”
The problem of missing persons in Mexico goes beyond Ciudad Juárez. New government data estimates a staggering 25,000 Mexicans have gone missing in the last six years. The government list, obtained by Maclean’s, collates physical characteristics—nose shape, tattoos and piercings—but often gives little more information than the missing person’s name, address and birthdate. “Went out to buy cigarettes, but never returned,” is the extent of information relating to a woman who went missing in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas. Her case remains unresolved, like so many in Mexico, where the country’s human rights commission estimates that just one per cent of murders result in a conviction.
By Julia McKinnell - Monday, March 22, 2010 at 12:12 PM - 30 Comments
When debts start piling up, two teachers decide to drastically reduce their grocery bill
Looking for ways to save on groceries? There are plenty of tips in a new book written by a pair of California schoolteachers who detail their month-long experiment to live on just a dollar a day. For 30 days, Kerri Leonard and her boyfriend Christopher Greenslate lived on oatmeal porridge for six cents a serving and lunches of homemade bread filled with five cents’ worth of peanut butter, and a favourite dinner dish, chana masala, a kind of chickpea curry that came in at 25 cents a serving.
In their book, On a Dollar a Day: One Couple’s Unlikely Adventures in Eating in America, Leonard writes that “car payments, mortgage payments, and credit card payments” drove them to attempt the project. Her proposed solutions to economizing, she writes, “ran along the lines of more reasonable grocery lists and better planning. That was when Christopher volunteered the information that a portion of the world eats on a dollar a day or less. ‘Why don’t we try it?’ he asked.”
The couple embarked on the project after purchasing an out-of-date copy of a book called Eat Well on a Dollar a Day. The book is older than the couple, who are both in their thirties, yet it outlines “key strategies for making every penny count,” writes Leonard. “Buy in bulk, shop around, eat smaller portions and forage.”