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tv   Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown  CNN  March 4, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm PST

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but for mississippi, the past is right there to see. still present. and coming to terms with it is not an abstract discussion, but the daily business of life. >> anthony: mexico is a country where everyday people fight to live. all too often, they lose that battle. a magnificent, heartbreakingly beautiful country. with music and food, and a uniquely mexican, darkly funny, deeply felt, worldview.
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right down there, cuddled up beneath us, our brother from another mother. ♪ i took a walk through this beautiful world ♪ ♪ felt the cool rain on my shoulder ♪ ♪ found something good in this beautiful world ♪ ♪ i felt the rain getting colder ♪ ♪ sha la la la la sha la la la la la ♪ ♪ sha la la la la sha la la la la la la ♪
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>> anthony: holy mother of santa muerte, please protect my stash of cocaine. let it not be interfered with by the cops. or the competition. let any who would mess with me be killed. my enemies destroyed. please forgive us our sins, for they are many. so, is business good? i mean, is there more murders? particularly narco murders.
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>> anthony: every day, mexico wakes up to count the dead. they are, after all, left out to be seen. often with a helpful note, identifying who done what and, generally speaking, why. there is a language to the never-ending violence. a coded message in the twists and marks of the bodies. and valente rosas is one of the many documenting them for the press. this is what he does every night. rides around, waiting for a phone call, or a radio message, telling him that there's another one. so, who's buying drugs? who's selling drugs to who?
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>> anthony: here you kill each other for a reason. it's business? >> valente: si. >> anthony: more mexican civilians have been killed since 2006 than all the american military lost in ten years of the vietnam war and eight years of wars in iraq. so what do you do if you're one of these cops? you're driving around one night, you see some guy outside of a bar beating somebody or disturbing the peace. you start to arrest him, and he's got a diamond-studded pistol, it's got his name on it. now you realize, you've just arrested somebody with serious powerful connections. what do you do? [ valente speaking in spanish ] >> anthony: you'll let him go? >> valente: si.
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>> anthony: why do they always pull their pants down? [ valente speaking in spanish ] >> anthony: our local fixer, alex, is here to translate. >> alex: in this case, he thinks that they pull the pants down so -- check him for weapons. >> anthony: they're loading him into the sheet. >> alex: this is the csi team. so when they were pulling his pants off, money and jewelry started falling from the pockets. basically, they took the money out of his pockets and that was the only available spot. >> anthony: to show that they didn't take anything. >> alex: yeah, exactly. so this is also a drug dealer. the thing here in mexico is as soon as someone is killed, normally they get candles just right next to it, sometimes santa muerte is related to drug dealings and criminals. >> anthony: how long have you been doing this? [ valente speaking in spanish ] >> alex: about 9 years. >> anthony: how many bodies, do you think? >> valente: no lo se. >> anthony: hundreds? >> valente: si, quiza. >> anthony: how do you push them out of your mind when you're not working? [ valente speaking in spanish ]
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>> alex: a lot of people ask him about this, but he said, like, it's a job. not like any other kind of job, but as soon as he gets home, he just takes this cover off and just keep living. >> anthony: that's a terrible picture. it's just -- that's sad. what happened here? [ valente speaking in spanish ] >> alex: there was an elephant called ilda. she ran away from a circus. so, she basically was crossing the highway, and a big bus just ran over it. >> anthony: the world we live in now, of all of these pictures, this is the one that would get people most upset, you'd get the most mail, the most, "oh, my god," you know, "what a -- what kind of a world do we live in?" >> alex: this was probably the most viewed picture from different media around the world. >> anthony: 80,000 mexicans have died in the last seven, what, seven years? in narco violence? >> alex: and this is the most important picture. >> anthony: as our crew gets ready to crawl back to our hotel, valente gets the call we thought we'd been waiting for --
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one dead male shot in head, a note pinned to his chest. [ valente speaking in spanish ] >> anthony: in mexico, people fight to live, everyday. one man stands alone, facing another man. his intent? to beat his opponent with his fists until he can resist no more. a match, yes. but more accurately, a fight. jorge lacierva is a former bantamweight titleholder. with his father, jorge sr., and his son, alexis, he trains aspiring fighters in this gym in the santa anita neighborhood of
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mexico city. he knows that these young men, like generations of boxers everywhere, from other neighborhoods like this, are looking for a way out. >> jorge: in mexico city, boxing is kind of like saving lives. you know what i mean? in boxing, they give you, like, a little discipline. >> anthony: let's say you're good, but you're not that good. can you make a living just being a contender? >> jorge: no, but a lot of fighters, they try to make it. tons of boxers. they want to be a champion. >> anthony: so, everybody wants to be a champion. >> jorge: everybody. everybody wants to get for the big shot, but you know, you just want. >> anthony: those are bad odds. the history of boxing is not kind. i mean, most managers and promoters, they don't really give a shit about the fighters. >> jorge: they don't. >> anthony: they use them up, but at the end, they leave a guy all broken down, no money and scrambled brain. >> jorge: we're just like a -- like prostitutes. you know what i mean? >> anthony: in this area, what
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are your options? if you drop out of high school? >> jorge: nothing, it's just like being on the street, snatching, you know, robbing, and a lot of kids in the hood, they're going to say, "hey, let's go kidnap that guy." >> anthony: big industry. >> jorge: everybody here now wants to be a soccer player or a boxer, because they make money here. >> anthony: who's got a longer career? a narco or a boxer? >> jorge: i don't know. might be 50/50. i mean, narco, you can last longer. >> anthony: you can. >> jorge: you know, you're protected by the police, you just pay it off. nobody's going to touch you. >> anthony: expensive protein shakes and dietary supplements? not so much. boxers here eat what they can afford. >> jorge: the food in here is good and it's cheap. you know, in mexico, there's no middle class here. >> anthony: you're either poor or you're really, really rich. >> jorge: i mean, it's a crazy thing. the minimum wage here is like
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50, 60 pesos, which is like five bucks. not an hour. a day. >> anthony: but, on the other hand, that's why mexican fighters are so exciting. they're hungry. >> jorge: exactly. we're hungry. it's everything you've ialways wanted. and you work hard to keep it that way. sometimes... ...maybe too hard. get claim rateguard® from allstate. it helps keep your homeowners' rate from going up just because of a claim. so protect your home and your rates. talk to a local allstate agent and discover how much more their personal service can do for you.
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back guarantee. that's always discreet. ♪ >> anthony: tepito is a city within a city, its own thing. either the dark center, or the beating heart of mexico city, depending on your point of view. it's the home of santa muerte, the skeletal saint death.
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this is where they come -- the impoverished, the oppressed, the marginalized, the criminal. people for whom the traditional church has less relevancy. for the unforgiven, and the unforgiveable, for those on whom the catholic saints have turned their backs, there is santa muerte. this is a place and santa muerte is a saint that accepts everybody. "death to my enemies," written on a votive candle. let's face it. we've all prayed for that at one point or another. tepito is a poor neighborhood for sure, and a tough one. a center of commerce, both above board and not. [ yelling in spanish ] [ honking air horn ] [ crowd cheering ]
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>> anthony: but perhaps a breakfast beverage first. a michelada -- one giant beer with lemon, chili powder, salt, and maggi sauce. that's a sizeable morning beverage. my companion, blogger and chronicler of the city, jorge pedro. wow, the whole season of "the walking dead" for 25 cents. you want to buy something? tepito's got it. looking for some cheap underwear, pirated copies of "man versus food" seasons one through five? this is where you find them. so, this all seems very wholesome. i mean, you know, where can i buy a gun, some heroin, and a prostitute? i was looking forward to that. >> jorge: let's say that tepito has many layers, right? and we are on the surface. we are among movies, clothing, families, but i don't think it's as easy as to be candid to ask, "where can i get a gun?" probably, they will kill you if you ask that.
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you know san juditas? san juditas. >> anthony: patron saint of -- >> jorge: hopeless cases. >> anthony: ah, lost causes. >> jorge: it's become very popular in the last years. >> anthony: a lot of good smells here, man. and a lot of good-looking food. my happy place is somewhere in here. oh, there it is. >> jorge: yeah, we're already here, migas. >> anthony: beautiful. >> jorge: la guera. >> anthony: wherever there's bones and guts simmering in broth, chances are i'll be happy. writer, sociologist, and lifelong resident of tepito alfonso hernandez apparently feels the same way. so, this is supposed to be a bad neighborhood, and this is the best. i love this neighborhood. [ alfonso speaking in spanish ] >> jorge: it is known for being the lost souls' neighborhood. it is called angeles neighborhood, like angels -- >> anthony: right.
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>> jorge: -- being there, but in tepito, there are no angels, but lost souls. >> anthony: what's the saying? >> alfonso: comer bien. >> anthony: eat well. >> alfonso: coger fuerte. >> jorge: -- hard. >> alfonso: enseñar los huevos a la muerte. >> jorge: and showing los huevos to the death. >> anthony: show your balls to the devil? or to -- >> jorge: to death. >> anthony: on the menu, migas. the base comes from boiling cracked ham bones to release the marrow, to which garlic, onion, cascabel peppers and epazote is added. thickened with stale bread and leftover tortillas. when you got nothing, you make something really awesome out of nothing. >> jorge: the grandmothers have the creativity to taking advantage of the bones of pigs. and now it's a gourmet dish. >> anthony: any great, old culture where there's poverty, there's something like this. yeah, by the way, if you're watching this, after you do this, you really gotta wash your hands before you touch your --. okay?
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that's a rookie mistake, going to take a piss right after. [ woman speaking in spanish ] >> jorge: she's asking you if you like the migas. if you enjoy it. >> anthony: yeah, it's good. delicious. so these guys have been open, what 65 years? >> jorge: all the members of the crew are relatives. >> anthony: is there hope for social change in this country? >> alfonso: lamentablemente. >> jorge: unfortunately, mexico has become the tepito of the world. tepito is still the synthesis of the mexican. >> anthony: not a lot of upward mobility here. the rich get richer, the poor get ground slowly under the wheel. eduardo garcia has hacked his way up the ladder to become chef, owner of the city's hottest restaurant. >> eduardo: i grew up in the states. i was a migrant worker picking fruits and vegetables as a kid. my parents didn't earn a lot of money, so i decided to work, rather than go to school.
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>> anthony: the restaurant business, as i well know, ain't no picnic. and in mexico city, it's particularly rough. >> eduardo: mexico has a reputation where we all know that the country is run by corrupt politics. you have to stand up for what you believe. if you don't, people will run you over. you won't last a minute. i don't let people bully me around. >> anthony: garcia runs maximo bistrot with his wife, gabriella. here's the kind of extra helping of crap you got to deal with if you run the hottest restaurant in mexico city. in 2013, the spoiled daughter of the head of mexico's consumer protection agency walks in and demands a table when there's, unsurprisingly, no table available. when garcia says, "sorry, no can do," she pulls a, "you know who i am?" and then calls daddy and gets the health inspectors in to
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shut the place down. so, your other customers basically started taking pictures of them with their cell phones. >> eduardo: next thing you know, we have the media outside, and this is friday. >> anthony: right. >> eduardo: sunday morning, we're front page of one of the most important newspapers in mexico. >> anthony: well, it was very embarrassing to the government. >> eduardo: and they should be. >> anthony: because they got caught doing what they do all the time. but if you were not the hottest restaurant in town, if you were just running a cantina, you know, a few blocks away. >> eduardo: i would've been -- >> anthony: they would've closed you down and that's that. right now, a defiant, young, creative generation of mexican chefs like eduardo are performing some of the most exciting new cooking anywhere on earth. a mixing of the very old and traditional, with the very new. so, you worked at le bernardin. >> eduardo: ah, as a kid, yes. one of the jokes throughout the whole time that i worked is, "how old are you?" "i'm 18." "you've been 18 for 3 years."
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[ anthony laughs ] >> eduardo: those are abalone from baja. i told you i love butter. i use it even for some mexican dishes, and then just some roasted chile serrano, just to give it a nice little kick for me. >> anthony: they're finished with lemon, and of course, brown butter. beautiful. mm, very delicious. very mexican, very french. brown butter, it's awesome. makes everything better. >> eduardo: of course. i think the most important thing about mexican cuisine in general, if it's traditional, it's the ingredients. >> anthony: confit of suckling pig, topped with grandma's salsa. an instant classic. >> eduardo: have at it. now, you do it like the mexican way. pick it up and go. >> anthony: wow. pretty hard to imagine anything better than that. yeah, you're stuck with this dish forever, man. >> eduardo: forever.
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>> anthony: you're going to be like mick jagger, you know, 50 years from now, singing "satisfaction". there's no getting away from it, man, this is so good. this is a classic. but even now, with all his success, garcia is still fighting a struggle most mexicans are all too familiar with. >> eduardo: what happened that day, happens every day. and the promise always is, "we're going to shut you down. you don't know who i am," and for me, i'd rather close my restaurant than live like that. if you close my restaurant, i will go across the street. i will go to another state, or i will go to another country. and i still will make a good restaurant. think you know t-mobile's coverage? think again! in the last year we've doubled our lte coverage. our new extended-range lte now reaches twice as far... ...and is 4 times better in buildings. see for yourself at slash coverage.
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one very brave journalist has uncovered exactly how deep the rot of corruption and dirty money has penetrated into every level of mexican institutions. >> anabel: my grandmother is from oaxaca, so how we used to drink the mescal is never with lemon. it's with orange. >> anthony: it was not what a lot of people wanted to hear, much less see published. today, anabel hernandez, author of the groundbreaking expose "los señores del narco," lives under guard in a secret location. the threat very, very real, and very explicit. do you think there ever was a minute when the calderón war on drugs -- >> anabel: yeah. >> anthony: -- was it ever genuine? >> anabel: no, who really start the war against the drug cartels was vicente fox. felipe calderón just followed that instruction, but he didn't
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really do anything new. he just did it worse. since the beginning, the plan of the government was to protect sinaloa cartel and fight against the enemies of sinaloa cartel. >> anthony: of the seven major mexican cartels, the sinaloa cartel is considered the most powerful, with the farthest reaching and most pervasive tentacles extending deep into every corner of government, banking and private industry. its rivals? the tijuana cartel, the gulf cartel, the juarez cartel, the beltran-levya, la familia michoacana, and the particularly murderous los zetas. the cartels are responsible for importing roughly three-quarters of all illegal narcotics to america. in your work, you've uncovered what had to be some very
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embarrassing and incriminating associations and connections between very high elected offic -- the presidents, uh, and entire administrations and acts of incredible criminality. how did that change your life? >> anabel: well, when i start to make this investigation on 2005, and i really understand that it would be very dangerous, i have to say that it wasn't really a surprise for me what happened after i published my book. what i didn't expect is that the threats came from the federal government. >> anthony: anabel says that one of her sources warned her that the biggest threat was from within, that one of the most highly placed, most senior law enforcement officials in mexico had ordered her killed. >> anabel: because in my book, i
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put his name and also show some documents that proves that he was involved. he was in the payroll of the sinaloa cartel. >> anthony: what happened to this man? >> anabel: right now, he's very happy. drinking rum, i think. building many "enterprises", fake "enterprises", laundering his money. >> anthony: to me, the weak link are the bankers. a banker who launders money -- he's got a family, he's got a reputation, he gives money to charity, his neighbors think he's great, his kids think he's wonderful. he's got something to lose. so i wouldn't be prosecuting drug dealers. i'd be prosecuting bankers. >> anabel: the name of my book is "los señores del narco," because los señores el narco are not only el chapo guzman, and the leaders of these cartels, no. los señores el narco are also this -- the politicians and the -- and bankers and the businessmen. the people have to know who are
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these people name by name. >> anthony: you've been a journalist for how long? since -- >> anabel: 20 -- 20 years. >> anthony: for 20 years. your father was killed -- kidnapped and killed in 2000? >> anabel: my father was a businessman. in that year, many gangs used to kidnap to the businessman just for money. so, when we went to the police and asked them to investigate, they said, "well, if you pay us, we will -- we will -- we will make the investigation." so, as family, we decide don't pay, because you cannot buy the justice. since that i really tried to fight against corruption. that's why i'm doing what i do, because i think that corruption is the worst problem in méxico. the drug cartels are maybe the worst face of that problem, but the problem in the deep is the corruption. the corruption is the mother of
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all of our problems in méxico. >> anthony: it should be pointed out how that some 88 journalists -- how many journalists have been killed in this country? >> anabel: 90. 90 now. >> anthony: 90 journalists have now -- >> anabel: yes. >> anthony: -- have been killed, or disappeared over the last few years. >> anabel: yeah. >> anthony: here, you can kill a journalist and get away with it. why are you still here? >> anabel: i have lost many things in my life. my father was the most important person in my life. i already lost everything. i don't have any life anymore. i don't have a social life. i don't have a sentimental life. i don't have anything. i just have my work and my family. and my work of journalist is everything for me. i really believe that good journalists can change the world. i have received many offers to go outside to france, to sweden,
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>> anthony: i came to oaxaca for mescal. i like mescal more and more these days. and this guy, ron cooper, finds and sells some of the best mescal in the world. we're at the zapotec ruins of monte albán. >> cooper: in pre-conquest mexico, there were gods and goddesses of intoxication and ecstasy. the touch of a lover, the smell of a flower, the a-ha of an idea, all had gods and goddesses that took responsibility for those things. >> anthony: all of your mescals come from different villages, and only that village. >> cooper: and only one maker in that village. we call our stuff "single village mescal," because most
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mescals are made with a blend of different villages all put together. no one goes home and has a cocktail in these indian villages. they wait until there's a special occasion. ♪ every birth, death, confirmation, baptism, there's a fiesta. a wedding is eight days. you invite 200 people. you feed 'em breakfast, lunch, and dinner. you have a band every day. and then they really consume. don't drink yet. for mother earth and our ancestors. then you say, stee chi beu. >> anthony: stee chi beu. that's extraordinary.
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back in the day, it was cheap stuff with a worm in it, and there were rumors that if you ate the worm, you'd start tripping, that there was a hallucinogenic component to mescal. now, is there a particular kind of a high? is this an enlightening high? is this a good high? >> cooper: the high is humorous. you have these funny thoughts dancing around the back of your head. >> anthony: happy, witty drunk. >> cooper: yes. >> anthony: in oaxaca, ancient indigenous traditions and ingredients define not only the mescal, but also the food. >> alejandro: one of the main reasons people visit our city is to eat. >> anthony: this is alejandro ruiz olmedo, one of mexico's best chefs. he started cooking young. when he was 12, his mother died, and it fell on him to raise and feed his five siblings. >> alejandro: this is what we call pasajo.
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>> anthony: today, he draws much of his inspiration from oaxaca's central market. >> anthony: probably america's beloved food is what they think is mexican food. >> alejandro: yes. >> anthony: and i think most american's view of mexican food is like beans, fried tortilla, melted cheese, some chicken. >> alejandro: yes. >> anthony: in fact, but particularly we're talking about oaxaca, this is a deep, really sophisticated cuisine. >> alejandro: that's correct. oaxaca has this different micro-climates all over our territory and that gives us this enormous amount of spices, products, fruits, chiles. >> anthony: like, 500,000 varieties of corn, something like that. i mean, this is really where the good shit grows. >> alejandro: ya estamos aqui. this is tons of barbacoa and this lady here is always making, like, the best. >> anthony: oh, tender. >> alejandro: yes. tender, tasty. >> anthony: oh, man. greens and crunch. >> alejandro: cabbage. and cilantro. [ woman speaking in spanish ] >> alejandro: buen provecho.
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>> anthony: oh, unbelievably good. just so tasty. >> alejandro: and they're gonna give us some consommé. >> anthony: man, deep. that's good. i'm gonna finish this. 'cause this is just too damn good. >> alejandro: people have this barbecue, especially on sundays. it's a tradition to have barbacoa. >> anthony: it's so tasty. >> alejandro: all this, ah, pasillo, it's full of chiles, no? people think that mexican food has to be necessarily spicy because of the chilies we use, and we go for flavors, not for the spiciness. >> anthony: what most people miss is how really deep and really sophisticated the sauces here can be. like lyon is to france, oaxaca is to mexico in my experience, you know? >> alejandro: you're right. also it's my experience. >> anthony: yeah. i'm not kissing your ass here. i was just in lyon. >> alejandro: please don't do that.
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>> anthony: this is vicki's place. she's been cooking up traditional oaxacan dishes in the market for 30 years. >> anthony: whoa, that's awesome what he's doing. he's cooking the egg right on the comal. oh man. so the guy working the comal. first of all, a lot of comal you see now are metal. that's old school, super old school. that's the way they did it in zapotec times, man. >> alejandro: yes, correct. >> anthony: on the clay comal, and i mean, i'm looking and he is doing our tortillas, and he's doing one of my favorite things, the zucchini flowers with the string cheese. ah, that's so pretty to see. olmedo's cooking, his focus, his passion, have very old, very deep roots. >> alejandro: my parents were farmers. in the small village like mine, since you are 6, 7, 8, you have a role to develop in the family. >> anthony: right. >> alejandro: so my role was to water the chile plantation, the tomato plantation, to milk the cows, and help my mom while she
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was making tortillas like that, she would give me directions and tell me, "okay, roll the chiles, roll the tomatoes, i'll tell you how to prepare the molcajete salsa." so that was the beginning of my profession. cooking, learning from the knowledge of how a tomato should taste like when you cut it directly from the plant. >> anthony: the way it should taste. >> alejandro: that's right. >> anthony: oh, man. happy. >> alejandro: this is what you should do. try the egg first, like this. >> anthony: right. i'll just grab a -- grab a hunk. >> alejandro: yes, and then put salsa. >> anthony: yeah. i haven't been anywhere in mexico where the cooking is better than here. >> alejandro: this is the way to preserve our culture, through our food. my son and i used to watch the red carpet shows on tv now, i'm walking them. life is unpredictable one thing i need to be predictable is to be flake free. because i have used head and shoulders for 20 years.
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>> anthony: the quiet little town of teotitlán del valle is about 15 miles outside of oaxaca. a town where the arts, crafts, and traditions of the pre-hispanic mexico are celebrated and packaged for consumption. abigail mendoza and her sister refina are zapotecan -- original people from mexico
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before the spanish. before the aztecs. this is her restaurant, where abigail has been grinding corn by hand, making masa, and moles like this, the ridiculously faithful time-consuming, difficult traditional way, she was taught to make these things. and the way she's been making them since she was 6 years old. look at her hands by the way. small, surprisingly delicate given all the hard work, all the pushing, kneading, grinding, stone against stone over the years. then look at her forearms. the power there. it's impressive, and beautiful. >> alejandro: every time you enter a house in oaxaca, especially in small villages, they always offer you a shot of mescal. >> anthony: mm, so good.
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seguesa. a mole and chicken dish. this mole sauce, like a lot of the real old-school moles made by masters like abigail, uses 35 different kinds of chile peppers and takes more than two weeks to make. do you think that, until recently, until guys like you, that mexicans were not looking back at their own food culture, they were looking elsewhere? what was going on? >> alejandro: we were conquered. we were also culture that was conquered first by the aztecs, and then we conquered by the spaniards. so, we were always told that everything that was good and excellent has to be imported, and what we have here, it was just not good. >> anthony: right. another zapotecan classic, chile agua. a simpler dish of cow and pork brains, cooked with chiles, tomatoes, and yerba santa. >> alejandro: as a cook, the
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main thing i learned was to develop a little bit my cuisine here. there was this space where nobody tried to innovate, still using the same techniques, the same ingredients, the same flavors, herbs, etc. but, you know, develop it a little bit. >> alejandro: muchas gracias. gracias. >> anthony: i mean, that's as old school as it gets. this is super ancient. >> alejandro: a finer dish than this one, you cannot have. this is something that you do not find anywhere else in mexico. >> anthony: a quiet night in the zocalo, the central square of oaxaca. ♪
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but even tonight, there's plenty of evidence of the struggle, the discontent boiling just under the surface. the graffiti and painting of this street artist who goes by the name yescka captures that spirit of oaxacan protest. >> anthony: "the last supper", for sure. >> yescka: it's the last supper, but mexican last supper. >> anthony: who are these people? >> yescka: these are the most powerful people of mexico, people that is driving mexico. this is peña nieto, the president right now. this is felipe calderón, the last president, and that guy is like the economy guy who is moving the economy in mexico. and this is the army. this is a prostitute. this is represented because they
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are like prostitutes, you know? >> anthony: right. and uh -- >> yescka: in middle this is the narco traffic. >> anthony: ah, the middle. >> yescka: so, yeah, he is like the god in mexico, you know? because he is like over -- >> anthony: all of it. >> yescka: yeah. >> anthony: so, this is the way mexico works? >> yescka: yeah. for me, the most problem in mexico is the corruption. >> anthony: mexico can be a dangerous place for journalists, for politicians, for police. is it a dangerous place for artists? >> yescka: yeah, i think so. yeah, because if you no agree with the government you're like enemy.
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10:56 pm >> anthony: in 1936, the town of cuernavaca, 50 miles from mexico city, was visited by malcolm lowry. a tormented, self-loathing, brilliant and hopelessly alcoholic author. his life work, "under the volcano", was set here. it is widely believed to be one of the great novels of the 20th century. lowry saw symbolism and evil everywhere here. in the deep barrancas, the looming volcano that towered overhead. writer, poet javier sicilia, one of cuernavaca's most celebrated residents, has reason to see
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evil too. on march 28, 2011, narcos kidnapped and murdered his son, juan francisco, and six other equally blameless, innocent victims. sicilia found himself moved to march to mexico city to demand an end to the increasingly futile, so-called "war on drugs" that was mindlessly grinding up so many victims in the crossfire and in the margins. ♪ [ singing ] >> anthony: in "under the volcano", the evil that's coming is fascism, nazism. what is the heart of the infernal machine today?
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>> anthony: what does he want to say? what does he want people to hear? [ translator speaking in spanish ] >> anthony: can he think of one place on earth where the good guys are winning and where you are not ground under the wheels of the machine?
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>> anthony: have you written a poem since the death of your son? >> anthony: as i have come to know in my own life, drugs, even drug addiction, can be a survivable event. death is not. death is final.
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