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9 Facts about Mexico

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1. British banking giant HSBC admitted to laundering billions of dollars for Colombian and Mexican drug cartels and violating a host of important banking laws (from the Bank Secrecy Act to the Trading With the Enemy Act), but there were no criminal charges and no one went to prison

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2. María Santos Gorrostieta Salazar, the mayor of Tiquicheo Mexico, survived three assassination attempts, and despite her wounds, refused to resign. In 2011, her term as mayor ended and her police protection was withdrawn. In November 2012, she was abducted, stabbed and brutally beaten to death

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3. Residents of the US, particularly those living near the Mexican border, now routinely cross the border into Mexico for medical care. Mexican dentists often charge 20 to 25 percent of US prices, while other procedures typically cost a third of what they would cost in the US

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4. On September 4, 2008, the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice ruled that Wal-Mart de Mexico, the Mexican subsidiary of Wal-Mart, must cease paying its employees in part with vouchers redeemable only at Wal-Mart stores

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5. In 2009, a man who was an expert on how to avoid being kidnapped in Mexico was kidnapped in Mexico after giving a lecture on “How To Not Be Kidnapped in Mexico”

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6. The inspiration for “Nacho Libre” was Fray Tormenta, a Mexican priest who turned to wrestling to raise money for an orphanage, but he himself got the idea and name from a 1963 film…about a priest who turns to wrestling to raise money for an orphanage

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7. On New Year’s Eve 1999, Brad Pitt rented a Mexican resort, filled it with his friends, and at midnight, had the government cut the power and phone lines and send in troops to raid the compound and “arrest” one of his best friends on drug charges – all as a practical joke!

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8. Mexican shamans began to use Coca-Cola in their religious rituals to heal worshippers. When PepsiCo discovered this, they offered commissions to shamans for using Pepsi instead. When Coca-Cola began paying too, rival religious groups were formed based on which soft drink they use

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9. In 1907, a Mexican railroad brakeman named Jesus Garcia saved the entire town of Nacozari, Sonora by singlehandedly driving a damaged and burning train containing dynamite six kilometers away from the town before it finally exploded, killing him

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