Mexico's Image Problem

Friday, June 22, 2012


Mexico has an image problem around the world, exacerbated by stories of violence and corruption —not to mention lingering stereotypes from the era of the Frito Bandito. Brooke talks to a number of people grappling with Mexico's image problem.

Paco de Lucia & Rámon Algeciras - Cielito Lindo


Alfredo Alquisira, Ricardo Garcia and Jim Johnston

Hosted by:

Brooke Gladstone

Comments [5]

Norma Hawthorne from Oaxaca, Mexico

I always stay in Mexico City for several days on my way to/from Oaxaca, where I live and organize arts workshops. I travel back and forth from North Carolina, USA to Mexico on my own. I am a mature, single woman who depends on the kindness of others. More and more, Americans and Canadians, and often women traveling independently, are coming to Mexico who have never been here before. Next week, I am meeting a small group of women in Mexico City who will join me on an art history tour to discuss the murals of Diego Rivera. A Mexican art historian will guide us. I find the culture, archeology, history, food and art to be rich, varied, incredible. Mexico is a sophisticated country. People here are curious, intelligent, innovative, and kind. I appreciate that On The Media and Brooke Gladstone are attempting to break down the media barriers that portray Mexico as one-image-fits-al: poor, violent, stupid, "the other." We must overcome media fear-mongering and stererotypes.

Feb. 11 2014 09:41 AM

Debbie Polhemus can include all of these OTM stories about Mexico in educating women and her colleagues.

OTM's efforts should be part of a curriculum for Spanish, Mexican, and Latino students in the US (and/or any country) giving Mexico another look.

Jun. 27 2012 09:53 PM
Kevin McKenzie from Memphis, TN

Fabulous work. I think this reporting is Pulitzer Prize-level reporting.
It reinforces my thinking for some time that the U.S. is not paying enough attention to a failing state next door.

While protecting the border, undocumented workers and a failed effort to police gun trading to Mexican drug cartels are the focus of U.S. politicians, the real question is what the U.S. should be doing to help Mexico conquer drug cartels and develop healthy, growing economies and communities.

Also, as a journalist, I am awed by the courage and commitment of the journalists in Mexico, as highlighted in On the Media's reporting. Our troubles here with a declining industry pale in comparison. Perhaps sending U.S. journalists to Mexico to parachute in and report what local journalists cannot is one way to make our media worth sustaining in an increasingly global North America.

Again, fabulous work. Thank you.

Jun. 24 2012 05:17 PM

Brooke -
If you really want a version of Cielito Lindo to blow your socks off- go find it on the first "3 Tenors in concert" album.(Placido Domingo, if memory serves, sings it)

This will never bring up the Frito Bandito - part of it is the tone/timber of the HurdyGurdy v, well, one of the finest tenors that have been.

Jun. 24 2012 02:59 PM
Debbie Polhemus from Washington, DC

As director of the non-profit Spanish Education for Women, I have worked with Mexican colleagues for years to help US women improve their Spanish, understand Mexican culture and prepare to serve Latino immigrants here. We have found the best way to deal with image problems (whether our stereotypes of Mexico or theirs of the US) is to get to know each other as human beings. We have come to see our southern neighbors as hard-working, politically-astute proud people committed to their families and vibrant culture. We applaud their courage in the face of drug-related violence and recognize that the cartels' power depends on continued US consumption of their deadly products.

Jun. 23 2012 08:55 AM

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