Last updateFri, 29 Apr 2016 3pm

Expats unable to vote

Many British expats were unable to vote in the May 7 general election as ballot papers failed to arrive in time for their postal vote to be counted.   Meanwhile, the re-election of the Conservative government has meant that expats who have been outside of the country for more than 15 years may now be allowed to vote, in a proposed change to the law set up under Tony Blair’s government. 


Mexican garden in UK

A surrealist Mexican garden inspired by the master work of English painter Edward James has won gold at the prestigious Chelsea Flower show in London, England.   The garden, titled “The Surrealist Pillars of Mexico,” featured iconic Mexican plants and a host of multi-colored dalias. It was a tribute to “Las Pozas” (the Pools), a garden in the sub-tropical rainforest near San Luis Potosi, created by eccentric English artist Edward James.

Son of famed Colombian drug capo explains how to tackle narco threat

The son of infamous Colombian cartel leader Pablo Escobar visited Guadalajara last week to speak about how to combat drug violence. Sebastian Marroquin, 38, delivered a talk for the “Youth Launch” forum at the Instituto Alpes Cumbres. Speaking to a packed lecture theater, Marroquin said that culture, sport and education were the weapons to tackle drugs and drug trafficking, not guns. 

Marroquin also said that if his father had been given an education, he could have had a positive impact in Colombia and his abilities might have been used for the common good.

Pablo Escobar was shot dead by police in 1993 after making a phone call to his son that gave away his location. He is regarded as the wealthiest criminal in history, having made an estimated US$30 billion trafficking cocaine. Following his death, 16-year-old Marroquin told a Colombian radio station that he would take revenge for his father and kill all those responsible. 

Yet after moving to Argentina, Marroquin settled into a very different life, working as an architect, marrying and raising a family. He was featured in the 2009 documentary “Sins of My Father,” for which he revisited Colombia and met with the families of the victims Escobar had ordered assassinated. 

Using his birth name of Juan Pablo Escobar, Marroquin published the 2014 book “Pablo Escobar: Mi Padre,” (Pablo Escobar: My Father). The book has not yet been translated into English but has become a bestseller in Latin America.

Ex-PM Tony Blair bullish on Mexico

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said Mexico’s traditions and culture could help the country become a major hub for foreign investment. 

Speaking at the Tianguis Turistico in Acapulco, Blair praised President Enrique Peña Nieto’s reforms. “Mexico is moving in the right direction and has introduced important changes needed to become a first-world country,” he said. 

Blair said that it “was a great moment” for Mexico and that Mexicans “should trust in the reforms and the necessary changes.” 

He also said that many leaders have faced opposition to structural reforms but that the changes had transformed their economies. 

Nevertheless, Blair, who was Prime Minister for ten years, noted that “Mexico still needed to adjust certain elements of its democracy so it could elevate its potential.”

With regards to tourism, Blair said “Mexico was very well positioned” for the future and destinations like Acapulco were experiencing “a comeback” after security fears had kept tourists away.