May 07, 2008

The immigration tide is reversing...we are exporting something again..."The best birds are the gringos"...

Georgia-bred birds dominate Mexican cockfighting ring | "Here at San Marcos's annual fair, a 10-day folk bacchanalia of rodeos, dances and drinking, it is the big, bad fighting cocks from the United States - and Georgia in particular - that win the most matches.

Cockfighting has an honored - and legal - tradition in Mexico, especially in rural areas, where no town fair is without its 'palenque,' or cockfighting ring. But roosters from the United States, not the local talent, are most prized.

'The best birds are the gringos,' said Ricardo Chavez, whose family organized this year's cockfighting matches at the fair. 'All the best bloodlines are from up north.'"

Javier Meza, a migrant from San Marcos who worked as a laborer in Atlanta until he returned two months ago, brought about 40 birds he bought from a farm in Rome, Ga. His cherished roosters took part in this year's town fair, which ended on April 30.

"The birds from Georgia are superior, superior," he said.

American fighting cocks are a staple at town fairs throughout Mexico, said Nicolas Zedillo, who edits a Mexican cockfighting magazine. The American birds are prized both for their healthy breeding and what many consider a ferocious spirit.

"It's the way they are raised," Zedillo said. "They get good nutrition and good medicine. The American birds are characterized by being of the finest stock. They just keep fighting."

On paper, Mexico does not allow the importation of gamecocks unless they meet certain requirements, but cockfighting experts say there are always ways to get across the border. Handlers say the transportation costs about $60 per bird and top American birds go for about $350 to $400, depending on the age."

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