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Bubble on a Budget: Mexican Basketball in the Time of Coronavirus

Nathaniel Janowitz : September 25, 2020 3:12 pm : Blog/News/Updates/Whatever

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My new investigation with BuzzFeed News about the strange relationship between the Mexican government and BP

Nathaniel Janowitz : September 28, 2018 7:55 pm : Blog/News/Updates/Whatever

A two-year-long investigation by BuzzFeed News and the corporate transparency initiative PODER can reveal for the first time that:

  • The Mexican government quietly settled a five-year-long lawsuit against BP in return for a $25.5 million payment; over $15 million has already been paid even though they’ve never made a public announcement about the dismissal of the lawsuit or payment.
  • This agreement released BP from responsibility for any damages caused by the spill in Mexican waters.
  • Mexico said it could find no evidence of pollution caused by BP — potentially ignoring research submitted at least twice by some of Mexico’s most respected scientists.
  • The government spent millions funding 22 scientific studies that it did not introduce as evidence in its lawsuit. It also withheld them from the public.
  • The Mexican government simultaneously handed numerous lucrative energy contracts to BP, including five oil-drilling sites, two natural gas pipeline contracts, and a plan to build 1,500 BP-branded gas stations.

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My latest for ESPN about Mexican wrestling’s ‘Microestrellas’

Nathaniel Janowitz : July 19, 2018 5:36 pm : Blog/News/Updates/Whatever

Little People in the Lucha Libre are the main event.

The man in a red mask with a silver M on the side of his head claimed he’s the smallest lucha libre wrestler in Mexico. The 19-year-old measures in at one meter (a little over 3 feet) and he chose a name to honor his size: Microman.

Microman grew up in the lucha libre, Mexico’s colorful brand of professional wrestling. His father, KeMonito, is one of the sport’s biggest stars, although he isn’t considered a wrestler. KeMonito dons a blue, full-body monkey suit reminiscent of an Ewok and has worked since the 1980s as a sidekick, known as a mascota, which translates to English as both mascot and pet.

Microman is following in his father’s footsteps, sort of.

He is one of eight microestrellas, or microstars, taking part in a new program in Mexico’s most prominent wrestling federation, the Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL). Under the microestrellas program, founded by a popular lucha libre star, the wrestlers train to compete at the highest level, deploying turnbuckle maneuvers and aerial techniques; this is characteristic of larger-sized wrestlers rather than mascotas, who are often tossed around in the ring.

“There’s people that support us, there’s people that like our matches,” Microman said as he prepared for that night’s 3-on-3 tag-team battle in one of the featured lucha libre cards. “There’s people that don’t like it, people who simply insult us, that don’t like this concept. They say that we shouldn’t be here.”


Photos by Jonathan Levinson

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My investigation into “the Loyal Ones”, a secret police disappearance unit

Nathaniel Janowitz : May 20, 2018 3:29 pm : Blog/News/Updates/Whatever

“The officers took Murrieta behind a gas station where Trujillo interrogated him as two of his men beat him. Trujillo made a phone call, then instructed his men to take Murrieta to Xalapa’s Lencero Police Academy and transfer him to a secret special unit named Los Fieles, or “the Loyal Ones.” Murrieta’s mother never saw him again.

In Mexico, at least 33,000 people are believed to have disappeared at the hands of cartels or corrupt state forces since the war on drugs was declared in 2006. Impunity is the norm, and Bermúdez is possibly the highest ranking Mexican official to be charged with the human rights crime. The entire country is watching the case to see if the charges will reach even higher up the chain of command to Javier Duarte, Veracruz’s ex-governor, who is currently awaiting trial for corruption charges. Last week, the current state governor said that his predecessor Duarte had personally known of at least 19 disappearances that took place during his term.”

Maria del Carmen’s son Hugo was disappeared by the Loyal Ones

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I went to Uruguay for High Times Magazine

Nathaniel Janowitz : May 20, 2018 3:18 pm : Blog/News/Updates/Whatever

I’ve got 2 pieces in this month’s edition of High Times magazine; an interview with former President Jose “Pepe” Mujica about his successful legalization of marijuana & the failures of the war on drugs, and a feature where I wander around Uruguay enjoying the law. Go grab a copy on newsstands now!

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Writer, photographer, lover, hater.