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This Latin Life

Welcome to “This Latin Life” (formerly “This Week In Latin America“), a recurring feature in which we bring you the news from south of the border in quick, funny nugget form. Mmm, nuggets…

This past week, Diana Nyad, 61, attempted to swim the 103 miles from Cuba to Florida. Though incomplete, some saw her endeavor as a heroic triumph. If you ask me, she’s found the best way to illegally enter another country. Through sport, Nyad has made border crossing look like a testament to the human spirit. Sure, you can try to jump a border fence, but right-wingers are just going to shoot at you in the name of freedom. So try doing it Olympic style. Those crazed, anti-immigration minutemen will put down their guns, beers and first-cousins to cheer you on as you pole vault your way to the land of opportunity and prosperity … Canada.

In other news, according to the Mexican government, the net outflow of migrants leaving the country has fallen to nearly zero, with barely 1% of the country’s population leaving over the last year. Given the current U.S. economy, migrating to the country is as appealing as joining Friendster. I’m sure most would-be immigrants are asking, “why buy the cabra when you have the leche at home?” Oddly, if Mexicans stopped coming to the U.S., I’m sure many border patrollers would be out of a job. How’s that for irony: Mexicans taking jobs by not coming to this country?

Speaking of crazed border agents, Dario Castillo, 23, and Ramon Zuniga, 29, have been indicted on civil rights violations from events in 2008. The dynamic duo forced four suspected marijuana dealers to eat drugs, strip down to their underwear, and flee into the 40 degree desert. Is this a crime or how most of my blind dates go? In all seriousness, there’s nothing more American than a good old-fashioned frat hazing. Welcome to the U.S. If you’re too charged-up to read the story, don’t worry, I’m sure Cheech and Chong or Harold and Kumar will own the movie rights to this one before the end of the year.

Speaking of entertainment, “narco-movies” are becoming big business in Mexico. Much like Law and Order, these shows are gritty interpretations of the current headlines in the world of drug lords … drug lord? How regal. What’s next, drug dukes and drug duchesses? Sure cramming drug-filled condoms into various orifices is glamorous work, but calling yourself ‘drug lord’ is as flagrant as calling someone who needs rent money a ‘porn star.’ Settle down, Jesus Malverde. The only Lord I respect is the one tattooed on my neck. Regardless, the movies are finding a home in U.S. markets: Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston. Keep your eyes peeled.

And finally, now we have an answer to the old question: is that a calcified baby in your womb, or are you just happy to see me? I stumbled upon this story a few days ago: a 59-year-old Dominican woman recently discovered she had been carrying a mummified baby in her uterus for the last 30 years. While that might sound unbelievable, I can totally relate. Sometimes I forget where I put my keys, and then I find out they were in my pocket all along. The woman is expected to make a full recovery, and the calcified baby is currently in contract negotiations with Real Madrid.

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