About Secret History

Commentary on Latin America.
Mostly about Mexico - but not always.
Designed to encourage readers to learn about
the apparently "secret history" of 500 million people
spread across two continents
- but not always.
You can always count on a little snark.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Margarita Zavala - And the Curse of Wikipedia

With Michelle Obama touching down in DF this week and the US planning a State Dinner for Mexico in May, I thought I'd brush up on the wife of Felipe Calderon, Margarita Zavala. I'm good with starting with a tertiary source for basics, so I read the Wikipedia entry. Ok, clearly some pre-election propaganda up there, and with no sources cited, I wanted to find out a little more. Site after site after site, however, repeated the same trite little facts from Wikipedia - some times taking the language directly from the page (and looking at the dates, Wikipedia came first). A leftie think-tank, a right wing blog, and an established paper all decided to plagiarize a tertiary source and then add insult to injury by failing to add anything new. I think we have a good example of how most folks in the US have a very limited knowledge of Mexico, and how some times the knowledge they do have is mostly second rate and third hand. And just for fun... here is the wikipedia commons photo of Margarita Zavala.


El Aguila said...

So now that we know what you know, where do we go for more reliable information about her?

JHD said...

Interamerican Development Bank has a short but interesting interview with her about her views of women in the work force and discrimination (Spanish). Chicago Tribune on April 11 had a good article that interviewed Sarukhan on his views of her. DIF has an interview with her, and she does work for DIF. (Spanish) In fact, her work on rehab centers "centro de nueva vida" got a nod from Michelle Obama... but I am still looking for more on those centers (they have been operational for a few years now).