Why Can't Mexico Cash in IOUs for its Stolen Culture?

Dear Mexican: I was wondering about the Spanish going into Mexico and taking the gold and artifacts away from the Indians. Could the Mexican government ask for the gold back? Raider of the Lost Chonis

Why doesn't Mexico's president demand that all nations and/or entities return stolen artifacts taken from Mexico and its indigenous people? If the Jews got back their stolen goods taken during World War II, Mexico should be able to get its culture back! El Mexiking

Dear Wabs: While I like the thinking of ustedes (save for El Mexiking's Jewish example — the Nazis stole from specific individuals whose descendants could provide proof of ownership), I'm afraid we don't have much ground to stand on. Although the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property protects newly found artifacts from tomb raiders, it doesn't apply retroactively to artifacts looted during the days of empire. You could conceivably build a case if, say, a bona fide descendant of Nezahualcoyotl could show that his family's treasures were looted, but all Mexico and other nations whose cultural treasures were looted centuries ago have going for them is appeals to sympathy — and when has Spain ever given a shit about Mexico?


Ask a Mexican

My question is something I think is unique to the Mexican male population that I haven't seen back East: Why do Mexican men wear pants so tight you can see every inch (or lack of) of what God gave them? I assume they're straight. But I have gay friends that don't wear their pants so tight that they have to lie down to put them on. Is it a macho thing? Mariposa de Nueva Jersey

Dear New Jersey Gay Guy: You obviously haven't been to Brooklyn in a while, eh? And not the Mexican part, but rather the gentrified areas, where hipsters wear jeans tighter than the face of Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto's telenovela wife. In regards to actual hombres: The traditional Mexican man (as opposed to his cholo nephews) will never wear baggy pants, or even loose pants. We're a working class, and loose pants can get caught in machinery and generally get in the way of our jale, something blue-collar gabachos know well. If hipsters want to wear pants like Mexicans, we welcome them — but if ustedes try to appropriate Stetsons, cinto piteado and boots as well, prepare for a culo-kicking.


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