Mexico's Image Problem

Friday, August 23, 2013


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 [3]

R. E. Porter

Although the BBC might bring to mind respectable journalism, the particular program cited in this episode can hardly be used as an example of what is "politically correct." Top Gear is a comedic, irreverent, and satirical program. The hosts can be relied upon to make shocking or disparaging comments in nearly every episode. Favorite targets of their barbs include France, Germany, America, and even parts of the UK. Wikipedia has a rather lengthy article titled "Top Gear Controversies." Although I agree that Mexico suffers from rather unfortunate stereotyping, using comments made by the hosts of Top Gear to demonstrate politically acceptable ideas is akin to using comments from Howard Stern for the same purpose.

Aug. 27 2013 07:59 AM
Fred Child from St Paul, MN

Brooke -- fascinating segment from Mexico (missed it last summer, glad I caught it this week). I especially appreciated your reaction to 'Cielito Lindo' (aka the "Frito Bandito" song). Wonderfully structured writing & sound at that point, capturing your response to hearing the street hurdy-gurdy player. As a North American media consumer of a certain age, *of course* you thought "oh no!" and associated the tune with Mel Blanc's voice: So great that you didn't stop there, though, and went on to learn about the original song, its history and variations. Thanks for "un-burying" it, for sharing your own process of discovery, and kudos for shaping the story in such a compelling way.

Aug. 25 2013 05:31 PM
deserthackberry from Belton, TX

The US' relationship with Mexico historically has its roots in Protestant England's relationship with Catholic Spain, so the prejudice exhibited in the BBC show is hardly a surprise to anyone with a knowledge of that history. Unfortunately, neither Mexican nor US citizens seem to learn much in the way of European history, or care to. They both seem to think the world began and ended with colonization of the Americas, a seriously misleading world view.

Added to that is the lack of information about our current relationship, as exemplified in this story. While Juarez' maquiladoras are mentioned in passing, there's no discussion of their effect on Mexican society over the last 30+ years, including the drug trafficking that grew there over the same period . . . coincidentally. Nor is there any discussion of maquiladoras' effect on US society during the same period, including the unemployment and drug addiction that grew here as jobs moved out of the country . . . coincidentally.

Aug. 25 2013 04:18 PM

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