Monday, February 11, 2008


It breaks my heart that the local newspaper, a.m., isn't available online, because merely describing an article like "Prostitution Grows Out of Control in Querétaro" can't begin to do it justice. It's an amazing microcosm of local queretano journalism: the questionable premise, the mixture of editorializing and reporting, the irrelevant tangents, and the missing-the-forest-for-the-trees compilation of pointless insignificant details.

Now, first of all, amigos, I lived for seven years in Hell's Kitchen - I'll let you know when prostitution has grown "out of control" here. Trust me, that moment is not on this side of the horizon, okay? But the article opens with a scathing denunciation of the "changing social values" and "incompetent local authorities" that are responsible for this scourge, but with no sense of the size or scope of the phenomenon, or any evidence that it is, in fact, growing.

Then, magnificently, the reporter, Ricardo Morales, dumps his notebook on you. Prostitution, it seems, is especially out of control on the far end of Universidad Ave, near Cinco de Febrero; in the Alemeda Central, and at some of the red lights on Constituyentes. If you're into trannies, you should check out a place called "El Venus" on the Autopista Querétaro-México. Gay cruisers should swing by the Jardin Guererro "after 8pm." If you'd rather order in, you might want to try or Coming up next: an article about the scourge of drugs in Querétaro, with detailed instructions for mixing up a batch of methamphetamine in your bathtub.

After the obligatory quote from the spokesman for the Archdiocese (in which he insists that "the church neither condemns nor recommends" prostitution, but merely "asks that those involved behave themselves." Clearly, the Church here is way, way cooler than I've given it credit for), the piece gets to the heart of the matter: AIDS! Seven long paragraphs of statistics, which the author make absolutely no effort to connect to the subject at hand. That 662 cases of AIDS have been diagnosed in this state over the last seven years is interesting (though shockingly low, given the 1.6 million population), what does this have to do with prostitution in Querétaro? "Returning to the subject of prostitution," he continues, anticipating my question, "it's worth mentioning that the Department of Health has registered 277 women and 18 men who work as prostitutes." Oh. Wait - what?

The article ends with a data culled from a Johns Hopkins study indicating that, generally speaking, sex between men can be risky. Duly noted.

Incidentally, if you're planning to cruise the Jardin Guererro, Burro Hall recommends dining first at El Archángel, conveniently located on the southwest corner of the Jardin, and owned by our landlord. Open daily until 10pm.


The prolix MexFiles guy said...

Mexican reporters are paid by the word, usually. They have to be creative. The crime reporters show a real flair for the art of stretching out the facts. "Deprived of his life without justification, the still-warm corpse of the late Juan Lopez Tal y Fulano was found..." sounds a lot better than "Juan Lopez was murdered." If the reporter is very lucky, he can include the full names of the responding officers, the make and model of the ambulance and the license tag number.

But thanks for the tourist tips on Queretaro.

Anonymous said...

I know the guy from El Arcangel, my family and I have being eating there since... well since it open.

On the article: They just want to sell papers, don't care about facts and truth, the goverment has a registration of prostitutes and gives them free healthcare, in order to avoid any AIDS problem. every two weeks they have aids tests.

Burro Hall said...

Any time, Mexfiles. Now that we know all the hotspots, you'll have to drop by sometime.

purplestateofmind said...

Frank, I want your life, and I'm willing to kill to get it. And humorously enough, after reading your blog, I'm almost certain I can find someone in Queretaro to do it within my very limited budget. But seriously, I believe that you have found the very best post-60 Minutes life imaginable. Viva la lucha! We're coming. John