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El Crimen del Padre Amaro
21st century Mexico Liberation Theology Drug Lords Gael García Bernal
The film is set in 2002, but based on a novel written in 1875 by the Portuguese writer José María Eça de Queiroz.
Mexican bus system
Traveling by bus is economical, efficient and comfortable. There are a number of options, and “classes” of buses. De lujo or Ejecutivo—Luxury lines reclining seats, headphones for the films shown, air conditioning, fewer and wider seats Primera clase—1st class AC, movies, non-stop service to larger towns and popular destinations Segunda clase—2nd class Usually there are no reserved seats. The bus stops for passengers who wave them down [along with stopping at regular stations]. These busses are used for shorter trips, are often crowded, and may be filled with people coming and going to markets. They may be called “chicken busses” and yes, there may be chickens [but not running freely]. These busses may be decorated and even named.
All bus travel should be during daylight hours and on first-class buses if possible. Although there have been several reports of bus hijackings and robberies on toll roads (de cuota), buses on toll roads have a markedly lower rate of incidents than buses (second and third class) that travel the less secure "free" (libre) roads. Although most first-class bus companies perform security checks when passengers' board buses, armed robberies of entire bus loads of passengers still occur. Be vigilant; watch your hand luggage. Long distance bus travelers should stay alert.
Mexico and drug trafficking
The US is the main customer for the marijuana, heroin and cocaine crossing the border, somewhere between 8 and 24 billion dollars/year. In return, the US sells 90% of the guns used by drug traffickers in Mexico. In the first 2 months of 2009, more than 1000 people were killed, either by the drug cartels or by the Mexican military and police operations. MOST of this violence takes place on the border. In an effort to stem violence and control the power of the cartels, Mexico has decriminalized small amounts of marijuana, heroin and cocaine. But if the US doesn’t do the same, the drug trade will continue. Traffickers make enormous amounts of money, and are able to bribe officials on both sides of the border. The maximum amount of marijuana for "personal use" under the new law is 5 grams — the equivalent of about four joints. The limit is a half gram for cocaine, the equivalent of about 4 "lines." For other drugs, the limits are 50 milligrams of heroin, 40 milligrams for methamphetamine and 0.015 milligrams for LSD.
Drug lords and philanthropy
There are many cases of drug lords “giving back” to their communities, fund schools, clinics, even anti-drug campaigns. Mexican drug lords are no different. Apatzingan, Mexico - They hand out Bibles to the poor in the rural foothills of the state of Michoacán. They forbid drug use, build schools and drainage systems, and declare themselves the protectors of women and children. But this is no church group. http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/1123/p12s01-woam.html This is La Familia Michoacána, Mexico's newest drug-trafficking gang, which now reigns over Mexico's methamphetamine trade. What began as a self-declared vigilante group doing "the work of God," now is seen as the nation's most
All over Central America in the 1970s, priests and nuns were re-evaluating their traditional role within the Church, and the role the Church should play in effecting social change. They were calling for a “theology of liberation,” and their call has had serious consequences, threatening to divide the Church irreparably. It had also affected them on a personal level. By 1980 more than 50 priests had been killed for their activities, including an archbishop. Liberation theology draws the Church into an active role, demanding that it help the poor meet social and economic needs and liberate the oppressed from authoritarian regimes. Some priests, supported by dissident bishops, argued that only through establishing communist governments can the poor and oppressed be liberated. A few had gone so far as to join guerrilla movements. Most followed a more moderate line, contending that neither communism nor capitalism is suited for Latin America, and that a new political and economic order is needed.
In the mid-1960s, with guerrilla activity spreading throughout the continent, young theologians began to question their traditional view of Latin American Catholicism. They turned to Marxism as an analytical tool to help them understand the causes of economic and social under-development on the continent that seemed to underlie the growing revolt. Marx was respected as a sociologist in many parts of the Third World, and the use of Marxian analysis was dominant among scholars from countries with colonial backgrounds. But an acceptance of Marx the sociologist did not necessarily lead to support for a Marxist ideology, much less communism, which most liberation theologians rejected as a political system incompatible with Christianity. What attracted the theologians was not Marx’s formulas for a new society, but his suggestion of the interrelationship of experience and theory – that one supported and furthered understanding of the other. As a result, the dissident theologians developed a series of new religious and sociological insights based on Latin America’s historical condition as an economically and politically dependent continent. The work that resulted became known as the “theology of liberation.”
Guerrillas in Mexico
Popular Revolutionary Army (EPR)
A Marxist-Leninist guerrilla group in Mexico that advocates a socialist revolution. The group announced its existence on June 28, 1996, at the one-year anniversary memorial of the Aguas Blancas Massacre, in Aguas Blancas, Guerrero. During this announcement, the group read from its manifesto in which they described their origins: “We come from the sadness of widows and orphans, from the absence created by our disappeared loved ones." Then they called for the overthrow of the "unjust and illegitimate" Mexican government.
Los Zapatistas [EZNL]
According to the Catholic Church, excommunication is not a penalty. Excommunication is never a merely "vindictive penalty" (designed solely to punish), but is always used as a "medicinal penalty" intended to pressure the person into changing their behavior or statements, repent and return to full communion. Excommunicated persons are barred from participating in the liturgy in a ministerial capacity and from receiving the Eucharist or the other Sacraments, but is normally not barred from attending these (for instance, an excommunicated person may not receive Communion, but would not be barred from attending Mass). Certain other rights and privileges are revoked, such as holding Examples of people excommunicated: ecclesiastical office. Eduardo Aguirre, Guatemalan Catholic priest, now bishop of the Brazilian Catholic Apostolic Church Mother of a nine-year old Brazilian rape victim, for obtaining an abortion for her daughter. Also the doctors performing the abortion. Pius XII excommunicated all Catholic supporters of Communism
Priests and celibacy
Catholic theologian Edward Schillebeeckx in The Church with a Human Face asserts that clerical celibacy originated in "a partly pagan notion of ritual purity." Schillebeeckx says that in the fourth century came a law that forbade a married priest from having sexual intercourse the night before celebrating the Eucharist. However, when the Western Church began celebrating a daily mass, abstinence became a permanent factor for married priests. In 1139, the Second Lateran Council forbade the marriage of priests altogether and declared all existing marriages involving priests null and void. As the Church began acquiring his own property, there was a real danger that legitimate children of priests could inherit and deprive the Church of its land. At the time, common law prevented illegitimate children from inheriting property.
Since the Council of Trent [mid 1500s], celibacy has remained Church law, specifically upheld by Pope Paul VI in his 1967 encyclical Sacerdotalis Caelibatus. Despite opposition from half of the bishops attending the Synod of 1971, requests from bishops in the United States, France, and Latin America in 1988, Pope John Paul II did not budge from his opposition to a married priesthood. According to A.W. Richard Sipe, a study in 1984 suggested that the modern-day candidate for the are inclined to have dependency problems, low libido, low athletic and/or mechanical interest, and have experienced "mother dominance." Some complex surveys indicate that only 2% of all priests are completely true to their vows of celibacy during their lives as priests. (And, as the joke goes, that two percent probably did not understand the question.) Some of the polled priests contended that their was a difference between being unmarried and celibate. Others drew distinctions between being on-duty priests and off-duty priests. something he calls "splitting” which he views as A.W. Richard Sipe points to being more harmful that the acts that actually constitute breaking the vows of celibacy. The duality, the secrecy, the associated fear and paranoia of living two lives can be detrimental to the emotional stability of a priest.
Rationalizing infidelity to one's vows can also cause some major problems. Some common forms of rationalization are: 1) sex is good, clean; not evil, dirty; 2) sex makes me a better priest; 3) no one is being harmed; 4) helps me to understand and love others better. Those priests who break their vows fall into a number of categories. A good number of them, perhaps as many as twenty percent of them have heterosexual relationships with single women. Others have relationships with housekeepers, married friends of friends of the family, or with female religious. Socially, some priests go off on vacation posing as laymen either individually or in groups.
A few related statistics
In 2002 there was 1 priest for every 10,000 people in Mexico. Many live in base communities / comunidades de base [part of Liberation Theology].
40% of the priests were foreign.
Abortion in Mexico It’s [mostly] illegal.
A new national study shows that the number of abortions performed in Mexico increased by one-third between 1990 and 2006 (from 533,000 to 875,000), despite legal restrictions that virtually ban the procedure in most parts of the country. (In 2007, the federal district of Mexico City legalized abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy; the procedure remains illegal in other Mexican states.) Mexico’s 2006 abortion rate (33 per 1,000 women) was more than 40% higher than the abortion rate in the United States (19.4 per 1,000 women), where abortion is broadly legal and available. The study, conducted by El Colegio de Mexico, the Population Council Mexico Office and the Guttmacher Institute, found that many abortions in Mexico take place under unsafe conditions, resulting in serious health consequences for women. Seventeen percent of the Mexican women who obtained abortions in 2006 were treated in public hospitals for complications. In comparison, fewer than 0.3% of abortion patients in the U.S. have complications requiring hospitalization. “These findings confirm research from other parts of the world – that making abortion illegal does not significantly decrease its frequency, it just makes it unsafe and puts women’s lives at risk,” said Fatima Juarez, the study’s lead
She appears to be a descendent of one of the 200,000 African slaves brought by the Spaniards to Mexico. As we saw earlier with the Aztecs, she has combined Catholic practices with non-Catholic practices [and added a few of her own] to create a new religion to fit her own circumstances and beliefs.
Dionisia and syncretic religion
A star-studded cast
Gael García Bernal Today [30 November[ is his birthday! He’s 31. Like many, he started in telenovelas [soap operas]. He’s one of the most popular Mexican actors ever. Amores perros Y tú mamá también Diarios de motocicleta/Motorcycle Diaries Mala educación / Bad Education Babel
Ana Claudia Talancón
She also started in telenovelas.
Fast Food Nation Love in the Time of Cholera
From Madrid. His career dates back to 1963.
The Guns of the Magnificent Seven The Call of the Wild Martín [Hache} 800 Bullets
Pedro Armendáriz Jr.
The son of legendary actor Pedro Armendáriz, his career dates back 40+ years with more than 200 roles. Earthquake The Magnificent Seven Ride! Colombo The Passion of Berenice The Love Boat Knight Rider Old Gringo The Mask of Zorro Before Night Falls/Antes que anochezca The Mexican Once Upon a Time in Mexico
Sexton/S acristán in Canoa
What to watch for/ think about
Just what is the “crime” of Padre Amaro? What other crimes were committed during the film, and how would you rate their severity?
What do you think happens next to: Padre Amaro Rubén La Sanjuanera Padre Benito What do you think the role or importance of Dionisia and Getsemaní is?
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