Jtatic Samuel’s Legacy

Samuel Ruiz

by Ana Luisa Anza

Samuel Ruiz was known as the Bishop of the Indians and became a symbol of struggle for oppressed people in Chiapas, Mexico. Ruiz, who died Jan. 24, came originally from the Catholic Church’s conservative diocese of León, Guanajuato, in the central part of México.

Everything indicated that he would follow the path of an extremely conservative Church. But the social upheavals of 1968, as well as new streams of thought that emerged within the Catholic Church, influenced him considerably and he opted to work — like Church bishops Hélder Cámara in Brazil and Óscar Romero in El Salvador — with the poor.

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Afromestizo Musical Tradition Falters

In her third in a series of reports from Mexico, Lindajoy Fenley explores the Afromestizo traditions of southern Mexico’s Costa Chica that includes parts of the states of Guerrero and Oaxaca.


               video by Lindajoy Fenley

by Lindajoy Fenley

Silvestre Tiburcio Noyola is one of the few remaining son de artesa musicians on the Costa Chica of southern Mexico. I recently sat with Tiburcio in his front yard in the dusty town of San Nicolas Tolontino near Cuajinicuilapa, Guerrero, on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. “You don’t know my life story,” he said, and then, as if he could summarize it this way, he added, “In 2001, I won the Premio Nacional [the national award for science and the arts.]”

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Fight for Records Access Scrutinized

by Leslie Layton

When Glenn County newspaper publisher Tim Crews gave a seminar in Chico on Saturday, he wore his standard fare — suspenders over a Sacramento Valley Mirror t-shirt. Had Crews worn a cautionary button on his lapel, it might have read: “Lie to me and I’ll ask for the goods.”

During the seminar at Cal Northern School of Law, “Getting Access to Public Records,” Crews mentioned that he hates being lied to. Incidentally, this is a man who can recite, by heart, sections of the California Public Records Act that gives citizens access to official documents. And he can recite the entire Ralph M. Brown Act, the state’s Open Meeting Law.

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American Journalist Covered Social Movements in Mexico

JOHN ROSS
1938-2011

by Mary Jo McConahay, Elizabeth Bell and Sandina Robbins

Journalist, investigative poet, and social activist John Ross died peacefully Jan. 17 at Lake Patzcuaro in Mexico, where he had lived on and off for the past 50 years. He was 72. The cause was liver cancer.

A young generation Beat poet and the national award-winning author of 10 books of fiction and nonfiction and nine chapbooks of poetry, Ross received the American Book Award (1995) for “Rebellion from the Roots: Zapatista Uprising in Chiapas,” and the coveted Upton Sinclair Award (2005) for “Murdered By Capitalism: 150 Years of Life and Death on the American Left.”

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Sick and Struggling in Butte County

Sugar Spot

photo by Leslie Layton

by Leslie Layton

Kenyatta Aarif knew her high blood-pressure reading had startled two student nurses from Chico State. The nursing students were conducting a public-health outreach project in Oroville’s depressed Southside neighborhood, checking the blood pressure of the willing every Thursday during their fall semester.

She assured the students, stationed across the street from her small soul-food restaurant, that she’d refill her prescription for medication right away. “I scared those kids to death,” Aarif said of her first screening.

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