A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.

Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011

Demolition begins
of old Tijuana police HQ

The demolition of the old Tijuana police headquarters at 8th Street and Constitucion began Friday, paving the way for the property to be sold. Some had sought to save the building as a museum. Front page, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Jan. 5: What is the value of the demolished property? Story, Frontera.

María Juana Cohen dies

María Juana Cohen, wife of the president of the board of directors of Tijuana's World Trade Center, Salomón Cohen, died Friday. Story, Frontera (PDF).
She helped bring a version of "Mainly Mozart" concerts to Tijuana. The newspaper Frontera said she supported the Asociación Gilberto, the Fundación Castro Limón, belonged to the San Diego chapter of the Jewish organization WIZO and supported El Trompo museum.
Cohen also is a co-founder of the Dorian's department store chain.

Paid tribute (esquela) to her from Mayor Carlos Bustamante (PDF).
Full-page esquela from her husband (PDF)
Full-page esquela from her friends (PDF)

Update, Jan. 6: The esquela tributes to María Juana Cohen continue to pour in, day after day: Here is one from Frontera.
Update, Jan. 7: Another esquela, in Frontera (PDF).

Architect Ricardo Legorreta dies

Famed Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta has died at 80. Known for his bold use of color, he designed the Camino Real hotel in Mexico City in the 1960s and oversaw the 1990s redesign of Pershing Square in Los Angeles.
Story, Frontera
(PDF). Story, El Mundo.
Story, Washington Post.

Tijuana is city with greatest debt per inhabitant in Mexico, study says

State of Baja California to introduce austerity plan

Tijuana is the city with the greatest debt per inhabitant in Mexico, a study says. Story, Frontera (PDF). The Mexican Competitiveness Institute said Mexicali ranked eighth.

Meanwhile, Frontera reported that the state of Baja California will be introducing an austerity plan in 2012 in an attempt to make ends meet. Story, Frontera (PDF).

Baja California state police arrested
72 Americans sought by U.S. in 2011

Baja California state police arrested 72 Americans who were sought by U.S. authorities in 2001, El Mexicano reported.

Five men linked to 32 slayings
ordered by "El Teo" sentenced

Five men linked to 32 slayings ordered by Teodoro "El Teo" García Simental were sentenced to 25 to 35 years in prison by a judge in Tijuana, El Mexicano reported. Those sentenced were Luis Enrique Medina Aguilar, also known as Adrián Zamora Solórzano or "La Burra"; Luis Enrique Medina Aguilar, aka "Isabel Medina Aguilar" or "Chabelo"; Abraham Castro Medina, "El Gáfer"; Alejandro José Sandoval Romero, "El Largo"; and Alejandro Valentín Saldaña Méndez, aka "El Greñas." They were captured July 13, 2010 by state police while carrying weapons in a parked vehicle in a shopping center in the Zona Río of Tijuana.

Friday, Dec. 30, 2011

María Elvia de Hank to sponsor
Three Kings parade

maria elvia de hank three kings parade adMaría Elvia de Hank and her charitable foundation will sponsor a Three Kings parade for the children of Tijuana at 5 p.m. Jan. 5 on Paseo de los Heroes. The three kings bring gifts to children the morning of the next day.
María Elvia de Hank is married to former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon, who plans to run for governor in 2013. A group affiliated with the Institutional Revolutionary Party recently backed María Elvia de Hank for a PRI nomination for the federal Senate election that takes place July 1, 2012.

The parade also is sponsored by Hank's Caliente group, Casas Geo and El Mexicano.

Unpdate, Jan. 6: Frontera's picture of Three King's Parade (PDF).

Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011

PRI's Morelia mayor's race win annulled

Boxer wearing PRI logo during nationally televised match night before election was factor in decision

The mayor's race in Morelia in Michoacan state, which was won by a narrow margin by the Institutional Revolutionary Party on Nov. 13, was annulled by a regional panel of the federal electoral tribunal. The 2-1 vote by the panel in Toluca in Mexico state backed the National Action Party's contention that PRI candidate Wilfrido Lázaro Medina's appearance at closing campaign rally by the PRI gubernatorial candidate that was televised as part of a contract and that Juan Manuel Márquez's wearing the PRI logo on his boxing shorts during a nationally televised boxing match Nov. 12 gave the PRI-Green Party candidate an unfair advantage. The match took place Las Vegas. Story in Frontera (PDF).
Sergio Sarmiento questions the rationale of the court.
The election was held Nov. 13.
Update, Jan. 11: PRIista Fausto Vallejo's gubernatorial victory confirmed by state electoral tribunal. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Jan. 16: Boxer tells IFE PRI did not ask him to wear logo, and says he would wear it again. Story, CNN.
Update, July 2: PRI wins election rerun.

Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011

Peña Nieto says he will challenge IFE ruling
that disallows candidates who have won
their parties' nominations from running ads

Peña Nieto, AMLO to be allowed
to hold campaign rallies, however

Institutional Revolutionary Party candidate Enrique Peña Nieto said Tuesday that he will challenge a Federal Electoral Institute ruling that does not allow candidates that have won their parties' nominations from running advertising until the general election campaign begins. The ruling allows the three candidates for the National Action Party nomination to run advertising.

Peña Nieto and Andrés Manuel López Obrador, meanwhile, will be allowed to hold rallies in public plazas in the runup to the general election. López Obrador is the candidate of the Democratic Revolution Party and other leftist parties . López Obrador, who held meetings in Tabasco state on Tuesday, said he would not challenge the no-advertising rule because he did not want to appear as the candidate of "no."

Update, Dec. 29: PAN to challenge ruling allowing rallies (PDF). Dec. 30: Second story on challenge (PDF).
Denise Dresser's proposed holiday gifts for the candidates.

State human rights commission leader
wants to reduce high-school dropout rate

Baja California human rights commission leader Heriberto García García says a 40% dropout rate for high-school students is too high and wants to help the state education system devise a way to retain more students. He said much of the problems stems from economic want, where students cannot afford to go to school or take a job to help their families.
Previous story on high school dropout rate.

Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011

Gov. Moreira's escorts attacked

Vehicles that escort Coahuila Gov. Rubén Moreira were attacked Monday. No one was hurt. Moreira was elected to succeed his brother, Humberto, who resigned the presidency of the Institutional Revolutionary Party this month as a result of the debt run up during his governorship.

Actor Pedro Armendáriz dies

pedro armendarizActor Pedro Armendáriz Pardo died of cancer in New York at age 71, media reported. Armendáriz appeared in more than 100 movies, including portraying Pancho Villa in "The Old Gringo" with Jane Fonda; "The Mask of Zorro" with Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek; "La Ley de Herodes"; "Once Upon a Time in Mexico"; and "Tombstone."

He was the son of Pedro Armendáriz (Hastings), a famous actor in the golden age of Mexican movies.
. Story, Frontera (PDF).

Christmas moon, and arrest,
at Playas de Tijuana-U.S. border

Two men who appeared to have been drinking briefly crossed over the boundary at the Playas de Tijuana-U.S. border on Christmas Day and razzed and shouted obscenities at U.S. border agents in the area, Frontera reported Tuesday. One of the men mooned the agents, the paper said. Mexican authorities detained one of the men, to the applause of the gathered crowd; the other vanished into the crowd, the paper reported. Story, photo, Frontera.

Editor's Note: Dec. 28 in Mexico is "El Día de Los Santos Inocentes," a day for people, and newspapers, to play practical jokes.

Update, Dec. 28: Frontera's "Día de Los Santos Inocentes" page: Enrique Peña Nieto and Andrés Manuel López Obrador decide to run as a coalition; border lines vanish as the U.S. accedes to President Felipe Calderón's request to stop placing agents at border crossings; top Mexican star Chicharito to play for Tijuana Xolos professional soccer team; Lady Gaga to perform in Tijuana.  “Inocente palomita que te dejaste engañar.” The fake stories, Frontera (PDF). Frontera also had a fake editorial page, in which Jorge Hank Rhon declines to run for governor in favor of his wife, María Elvia, and in which Hank's archrival, Sen. Fernando Castro Trenti, is made state tourism minister and whose first trip is to visit Middle East to promote travel to Baja California. Fake editorial page, Frontera (PDF).


Man killed by robber after car gets
flat tire on Christmas Day in Tijuana

A 38-year-old man was killed in front of his family on Christmas Day after the car he was riding in had a flat tire on the Corredor 2000 in eastern Tijuana and he and others refused to give up their valuables to a man who came along with a gun, Frontera reported. A second man was wounded. Samuel de León Martínez, 38, was killed, and José Manuel Mora, 59, was wounded, the paper said; the gunman fled.
Story, Frontera (PDF).

Monday, Dec. 26, 2011

Denise Dresser's gifts for Mexican politicians

Columnist Denise Dresser came up with a gift list for Mexican politicians, including former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon, presidential frontrunner Enrique Peña Nieto and others. <<<Rest of story>>>

Paper reports that El Chapo Guzmán
flew to Ensenada area 3 times

Top lieutenant in Durango arrested

The newspaper El Mexicano reported that Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán flew to the Ensenada area three times. The sightings came from campesinos working on a huge marijuana plantation in the San Quintín area of Ensenada that was raided in July. The story says workers on the plantation told the military they had come to Baja California to harvest onions, but said the workers did not count on the military having a "Detector Molecular" GT200 device that could tell whether they had been handling marijuana.
From Dec. 5: 55 who worked on megaplantation freed.
Meanwhile, a top lieutenant to Guzmán was arrested Dec. 23, officials said. Felipe Cabrera Sarabia, also known as "El Inge," headed the Sinaloa Cartel's operations in Durango and southern Chihuahua and often served as an escort for Guzmán, officials said.  Story, Europa Press.
Story, Frontera (PDF).

Update, Dec. 29: General says it is not clear whether Guzmán was in Baja California or not. Story, Frontera (PDF).

Sunday, Dec. 25, 2011

New York Times reviews
Luis Alberto Urrea's "Queen of America"

The New York Times reviews Luis Alberto Urrea's "Queen of America," about Urrea's ancestor Teresa of Cabora, and says: "Having left behind Mexico's rich landscape and languages, the Urreas — Tomás and Teresita, and the author as well — grasp for inspiration." Review, New York Times.

Last month's Los Angeles Times review was much more complimentary. Previous mention of "Queen of America."

Saturday, Dec. 24, 2011

Condoleezza Rice says she wishes she had focused more
on Mexico, but Sept. 11 and its aftermath intervened

condi riceFormer National Security Adviser and Secretary of State told CNN that she wishes she had focused more on Mexico, but that that the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and their aftermath intervened. story.

New York Times profiles Juarez police chief;
Julián Leyzaola previously was Tijuana police chief

The New York Times' Saturday profile this week is on Julián Leyzaola, the Ciudad Juárez police chief. Violence has gone down since his tenure began earlier this year, but so have complaints about police human rights violations. Leyzaola told the paper that José Antonio "El Diego" Acosta Hernández of La Línea crime group called him early in his tenure to suggest a deal, but that Leyzaola said no. "El Diego" was arrested in July. Leyzaola's tactics also were criticized in Tijuana, where he also faced allegations of human rights violations. Story, New York Times.



Friday, Dec. 23, 2011

More than 43 tons of meth precursors
seized in Ensenada

The Mexican military, the federal Attorney General's Office and customs in Ensenada seized more than 43 tons of meth precursors. The precursors were in containers from China and headed for Ciudad Obregón in Sonora state.
Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Dec. 24: More than 229 tons of meth precursors seized at Pacific port of Lázaro Cárdenas in Michoacán state. Story, Frontera (PDF).

Customs and Border Patrol Chief Alan Bersin leaving office

alan bersinCustoms and Border Patrol Chief Alan Bersin, who was never confirmed by Congress, is leaving office, he and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said. He had recently been featured speaking in Spanish on the main Televisa TV news show.
Story, Frontera (PDF). Story, San Diego Union-Tribune.
Previous story on Bersin.

11 civilians killed in Veracruz, 7 in attacks
on buses; 5 attackers killed

Eleven civilians were killed in Veracruz state, seven of them in attacks on buses, authorities said. Five attackers were killed. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Dec. 24: El Mexicano has editorial about violence in Veracruz.
10 bodies found in north of Veracruz. Story, Frontera (PDF)

Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011

Apparently fake survey taker
killed by police in Tijuana robbery

One of the latest crime schemes in Tijuana is to pose as survey takers, gain entrance to someone's home and then rob them. On Wednesday, one apparent such survey taker was killed by police as he and a partner allegedly were robbing a home containing three family members. The partner was arrested.
Robberies are what state prosecutor is most worried about these days.

PAN presidential hopeful Ernesto Cordero
visits Mexicali, Tijuana

ernesto corderoNational Action Party presidential hopeful Ernesto Cordero met with other PANistas, including Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán, during a visit to Baja California on Wednesday. Cordero, who badly trails Josefina Vázquez Mota in the polls, said he and Vázquez Mota were close because Cordero only submitted 5,000 fewer signatures than she did to register as a candidate.
Update, Dec. 23: Frontera political page names some of those present at Cordero event in Tijuana. Among them: Carlos Torres Torres, the Social Development Ministry representative who lost the mayor's race to Carlos Bustamante last year. Story, Frontera (PDF).

Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011

Reporting kidnappings in Baja California fall to 62
from 257 over four years, state attorney general says

State Attorney General Rommel Moreno told Frontera newspaper that the number of reported kidnappings has fallen from 257 to 62 in the last four years. He said robberies are what worry his office more these days. Interview with Moreno, Frontera (PDF). Jump.
Update, Dec. 23: Woman freed in Mexicali after 25 days in captivity. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Dec. 27: Tijuana ranked sixth among Mexican cities with 34 registered kidnappings from January to August. Story, Frontera (PDF).

Building used to house kidnapping victims
is turned into a Boys and Girls Club in Tijuana

A building used to house kidnapping victims was formally inaugurated Tuesday as a Boys and Girls Club in Tijuana. Story, Frontera (PDF).

Group pushes for former Tijuana Mayor René Treviño Arredondo to get PRI senatorial nomination;
others promote David Saúl Guakil

rene trevinoThe Agrupación Política de Baja California, in a letter published in Frontera, pushes the nomination of former Tijuana Mayor René Treviño Arredondo to be a PRI nominee for the federal Senate in the July 1 election. Full page ad, in Frontera (PDF).

david saul guakilMeanwhile, former Tijuana Mayor Fernando Márquez Arce published an ad backing Tijuana social development official David Saúl Guakil for Senate. Ad (PDF). Another ad from 12 former presidents of the Tijuana CANACO Chamber of Commerce business group, including Mario Escobeda Carrignan and César Cázares Díaz de León, also backed Guakil.


Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011

Colosio case videos ordered released

The Federal Institute for Access to Information ordered the Attorney General's Office to make public 13 videos involving the 1994 assassinations of PRI presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio in Tijuana and PRI leader José Francisco Ruiz Massieu. El Universal story, Frontera (PDF).
Story on this year's anniversary of Colosio's death.

López Obrador names possible Cabinet members

2 of them have put in a number of appearances at UCSD


Presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador has named three men whom he says would serve in his Cabinet if he is elected July 1. Former National Autonomous University of Mexico President Juan Ramón de la Fuente would be education minister; Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard, whom López Obrador defeated for the Democratic Revolution Party presidential nomination, would be interior minister; and Rogelio Ramírez de la O would be finance minister. Ramírez de la O also was López Obrador's economics adviser in 2006. Both de la Fuente and Ramírez de la O have made a number of appearances at the University of California San Diego, at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies and also at the Institute of the Americas.

Monday, Dec. 19, 2011

Peña Nieto moves to put positive spin on book flap

Enrique Peña Nieto is finally moving to put a positive spin on his inability to name three books that influenced him and for mixing up authors' names. Story.

60th anniversary of Tijuana fire that killed more than 100 observed

Mario Ortiz Villacorta writes about the 60th anniversary of the El Coliseo fire that killed more than 100 people and injured more than 100 others. The posada gathering on a third floor of El Coliseo building (which had been described as a fire trap since its construction) on Dec. 22, 1951 was held to distribute gifts to poor families. His column.
Frontera's story on remembrance (PDF).
2004 article written by head of Tijuana Archive.

Home of Tijuana police commander attacked, but no one hurt; home also was attacked in 2008

Gunmen attacked the home of Tijuana police commander Jesús Alberto Hurtado Estrada for the second time, but Hurtado Estrada and his family escaped unhurt. The home is is the colonia El Pípila in the city's La Presa district. Hurtado Estrada is commander in the Centenario area of the city. No gunmen were detained, El Mexicano reported.
The paper said this is the third attack against an official during the term of Mayor Carlos Bustamante, who took office a year ago; the paper said that during the 2007-2010 term of Mayor Jorge Ramos, more than 40 police were killed.

Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011

El Mexicano runs Proceso story about families' search
for remains of bodies dissolved by El Pozolero

El Mexicano ran on a full page Proceso magazine's story about Baja California families search for remains of bodies dissolved in barrels by organized crime member Santiago Meza López, who came to be nicknamed El Pozolero, pozole being a Mexican stew. The story focuses on the group United for the Disappeared founded by Fernando Ocegueda Flores, whose son Fernando Ocegueda Ruelas has been missing since 2007.
Previous mention of Ocegueda during visit of Javier Sicilia.
Earlier mention.

javier siciliaJavier Sicilia profiled as part of Time magazine's naming
worldwide protest movements as man of the year

Story in Time
Carmen Aristeguia writes about the honor (PDF, Frontera)


Miguel de la Madrid's family says reports
of his death are exaggerated

miguel de la madridReports were issued Saturday by Institutional Revolutionary Party politicians that former President Miguel de la Madrid (1982-1988) had died or was near death. His family said Saturday that he was still alive. He turned 77 Monday, also the day of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
mark twainDe la Madrid now joins the ranks of Mark Twain and many others whose deaths have been announced prematurely.
Story, Los Angeles Times.
Reforma story, in Frontera.


false impression jeffrey archerWhich is Peña Nieto's favorite Jeffrey Archer book?


Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011

Benjamin Arellano Félix offered plea deal

The alleged financial brains of the Arellano Félix cartel, Benjamín Arellano Félix, has been offered a plea bargain by U.S. prosecutors in San Diego, media reported.
Story, San Diego Union-Tribune.
Frontera story on Arellano's attorney, Anthony Colombo (PDF).
Lawyer seeks change of venue.


el chamuco cover december 12
Friday, Dec. 16, 2011

El Chamuco magazine says Peña Nieto book favorites
include "La Sombra del Cepillo"
and author favorites include Hank Christian Rhonderson

<<<rest of story>>>



• Former L.A. gang member tied to 16 slayings arrested
• 3 tied to La Familia arrested with 50 kilos of pot
• Military says it seized $263 million in drugs this year

• Gerardo "El Kon" Rodríguez Pérez, 31, who authorities said was a former Los Angeles street gang member who was deported, has been arrested. He was sought in 16 slayings; authorities tied him to the Sinaloa Cartel. He said, however, that he was just a gang member defending his drug sales territory and not a member of organized crime. Authorities said he sold drugs in Modulos de Otay. Story, Frontera (PDF).
• Authorities said three men linked to the La Familia Michoacana cartel were arrested during a seizure of 50 pounds of marijuana. Arrested were Miguel Ángel Luna Rodríguez, 23, Juan Luis Dueñas Guerrero, 23, and Arnulfo Álvarez Aguilar, 37. Officials said the arrests were made by state and city police after a vehicle the two younger men were in was stopped for speeding and marijuana was spotted under the seats; information they gave authorities led them to Álvarez Aguilar and more marijuana. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Dec. 17: 2 more tied to La Familia arrested, crystal meth seized. Story, Frontera (PDF).
• The Mexican military reported that in 3,000 operations in Baja California this year, it had seized more than $263 million worth of drugs. Story, Frontera (PDF).

Dozens of families removed from Arroyo Alamar

Dozens of families, many living in makeshift shacks, were removed from the Arroyo Alamar in Tijuana on Thursday. State officials are lining the tributary of the Tijuana River with concrete and have major development plans for the area. <<<rest of story>>>

Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011

3 new IFE counselors named

After a 14-month wait, the Mexican Congress on Thursday voted in three new Federal Electoral Institute. The organization running the July 1 presidential election now will have the nine counselors it is supposed to have.

It certainly looks like the legislature selected three impartial candidates, despite Judge Sergio García Ramírez's long association with the PRI.
<<<rest of story>>>

Relatives who cannot visit inmates at El Hongo prison
now can have videoconferences with them

Lawyers also will be able to use system to talk with clients

Relatives who cannot make it to Tecate to visit inmates at El Hongo state prison now can have videoconferences with them from a facility near the La Mesa state prison in Tijuana. The videoconference center was inaugurated Wednesday at 4841-C and -D Madre Antonio Brenner Avenue, two blocks from La Mesa prison, El Mexicano reported. Lawyers will also be able to talk with their clients using the system, officials said.

vicente foxcarlos fuentesenrique krauzeVicente Fox criticizes Carlos Fuentes for criticizing Peña Nieto over book flap; Enrique Krauze, whom Peña Nieto confused for Fuentes, dismisses the mixup

Rest of story

Columnist Catón says if Calderón keeps up machinations to get Cordero nominated by hook or by crook, the PAN will wind up with another Madrazo

<<<Rest of story>>>

Former Baja California Gov. Ernesto Ruffo,
former Mexicali Mayor Víctor Hermosillo
seen as top Senate candidates for PAN

ernesto ruffoFormer Baja California Ernesto Ruffo and former Mexicali Mayor Víctor Hermosillo Celada are seen as the top Senate candidates for the National Action Party. Ruffo, a former Ensenada mayor, was governor from 1989-1995.
Story, Frontera (Dec. 16, PDF)
Story on Frontera's political page (Dec. 15, PDF).

Peso closes at 14.05: Frontera (PDF)

Nov. 24: Peso at 14.24


UCSD economist Gordon Hanson has
lead article in Mexican magazine Nexos

<<<Rest of story>>>

Tijuana bus driver who picked up carpet
alongside street discovers body inside

A Tijuana bus driver (calafiero) who picked up a carpet alongside the road discovered, when he got the carpet home, that there was a body inside, El Mexicano reported. The driver said he saw the carpet, which looked new, on the side of Manuel Clouthier boulevard during his runs, and on his last trip, had a passenger helped him put it in his small bus. Although it was heavy, he thought that was because it had gotten wet in rains this week. The victim was identified as Gutenberg Roblero Morales, 29. The driver, Antonio Jaúregui Sandoval, 63, called authorities after he unrolled the carpet and discovered the body.

Lawyer seeks change of venue
for Benjamín Arellano Félix trial

Defense lawyer Anthony Colombo is seeking a change of venue for the federal trial in San Diego against Benjamín Arellano Félix, considered to have been the financial brains behind the Arellano Félix drug cartel. Colombo says Arellano has received too much pretrial publicity in the border region and has proposed Chicago, New York and San Francisco as possible venues. Story, Frontera (PDF). Jump.

Javier Lozano leaves Labor Ministry to run for senator

javier lozanoLabor Minister Javier Lozano resigned Wednesday to run for senator from Puebla. Lozano, who earlier this year dropped out of the race to be the National Action Party's presidential nominee, lamented that a comprehensive labor reform has not been passed. "I can't depart without expressing my profound disappointment that pettiness y political calculation outdid reason and basic social justice in freezing the labor reform in the Chamber of Deputies."
The new minister will be Rosalinda Vélez Juárez, the first woman to hold the post.
Also resigning to run for the Senate from Michoacán was Salvador Vega Casillas, who had headed the Secretaría de la Función Pública, which roughly translates as the Mexican Ministry of Public Administration and which investigates wrongdoing by public servants. Calderón's secretary, Roberto Gil Zuarth, also left to run for the Senate from Chiapas. Last year, he lost the contest for the presidency of National Action Party to Gustavo Madero.
Story, El Universal.
Story, Frontera (PDF).


Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011

Senate leaves municipal re-election
out of political reform bill

The Senate did not reach the two-thirds majority needed to give states the authority to allow the re-election of mayors and municipal council members. The vote was 51-28 in the political reform bill that returns to the Chamber of Deputies. The re-election of legislators and allowing the holding of popular referendums, previously rejected by the House, were placed back into the bill.
Reforma story, in Frontera.

Re-election is a controversial subject in Mexico, even though most experts believe it is a necessary measure to give citizens a greater ability to make their representatives more accountable. The Mexican Revolution, which began 101 years ago, was fought in part for the idea of "Effective Suffrage, No Re-election," in reaction to the decades-long dictatorship of President Porfirio Díaz. Polls have shown a majority of Mexicans oppose re-election, even though the absence of re-election seems to benefit political parties and not the general populace and political experts see the idea of no re-election as an anachronism.
¡Como México no hay dos!

Frontera has contest to name most handsome official

Those in running include Tijuana mayor's daughter; mayor's girlfriend; councilwoman; councilman; and U.S. Consulate public affairs officer in Tijuana

The Tijuana newspaper Frontera has started a contest for people to vote online to name the most handsome official. Those whose pictures were listed included Carolina Bustamante de García, who is Mayor Carlos Bustamante's lourdes inzunzadaughter; Lourdes Inzunza, Bustamante's girlfriend and head of the city's Women's Institute (pictured at left); Councilwoman Najla Wehbe Dipp of the New Alliance Party; Councilman Marcos San Román Flores of the Green Party; federal Deputy Gastón Luken, who represents the National Action Party; and Joe Crook, public affairs officer for the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana.
Story in Frontera (PDF).
When the contest was announced in October, some respondents thought it was a cruel joke, and one person nominated state legislator Gregorio Barreto, whom few, if any, would consider one of Baja California's most handsome men.

Conference on jai-alai fronton history to be held

The Tijuana Archive will hold a conference on the history of the Tijuana jai-alai fronton Thursday night. Dr. Alberto Álvarez Melero will make the presentation at 6 p.m. Story, Frontera (PDF).

State legislature classifies human trafficking as grave crime subject to 22 years' imprisonment

The Baja California state legislature passed a bill introduced ricardo maganaby Ricardo Magaña Mosqueda classifying human trafficking as a grave crime subject to 22 years' imprisonment. Magaña Mosqueda is a representative of the National Action Party from Tijuana.

Ready lanes at San Ysidro to open Dec. 20

Ready lanes for border crossers with RFID (radio frequency ID) chip-embedded documents will open Dec. 20, El Mexicano reported. The lanes have been a success for people crossing into the U.S. at the Otay Mesa port of entry. The lanes move more quickly because inspectors can pull up information about border crossers on computers rather than have to physically look at the documents and enter information manually.
San Diego Union-Tribune editorial praising the ready lanes (Dec. 17)

Rains cause suspension of classes

Rains in Tijuana caused the suspension of afternoon-session classes in schools on Tuesday. Rains also caused the suspension of classes in Mexicalim El Mexicano reported.

Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011

Former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Ramos tells Proceso
how he thinks Vázquez Mota will win PAN nomination

jorge-ramosFormer Tijuana Mayor Jorge Ramos, in an interview with Proceso magazine, said he thought PAN presidential hopeful Josefina Vázquez Mota would win the nomination on Feb. 5, the first of the PAN's first two primary date. The Feb. 19 round will be canceled if one of three candidates gets 37% of the vote with a margin of at least 5% over the second-place candidate.

Cordero attacks Vázquez Mota

Peña Nieto commits another apparent goof

Columnist Leo Zuckermann examines PAN presidential hopeful Ernesto Cordero's attacks on PAN josefina vazquez motaernesto corderofrontrunner Josefina Vázquez Mota. He notes that they are coming because Cordero remains so far behind. He said Vázquez Mota, who initially counterattacked, has now decided to take a higher road.
Meanwhile, columnist Sergio Sarmiento writes about how PRI enrique pena nietopresidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto has been subject to ridicule for not knowing the minimum wage in Mexico. Sarmiento said he didn't know it either, but said he also has not been able to hire anyone to do work for him at less than double the minimum wage.
Their columns (PDF). One of the latest polls.
Columnist Jorge Fernández Menéndez also writes about Cordero, who he said was a friend, but one who uncharacteristically and mistakenly is going on the attack.
Fernández Menéndez's column (PDF).
Update, Dec. 14: Peña Nieto apologizes for saying price of tortillas is something just housewives should know. Reforma's story in Frontera (PDF).
Peña Nieto's offending interview with El País.

Hank's wife for Senate?

maria elvia de hank for senate facebookA Facebook account has been created seeking a federal Senate candidacy for María Elvia de Hank, the wife of former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon. Her nomination is being sought by a new group, "Mujeres Priístas por Baja California," whose membership and leadership is unknown.
Her husband plans to run for the Institutional Revolutionary Party nomination for governor in 2013.
The Facebook page.
Hank ally Gregorio Barreto, currently in the state legislature, reportedly is considering a run for the federal Chamber of Deputies. Political page, Frontera (Dec. 15, PDF). Some in the PRI don't like the idea that he would leave office more than a year early to run and are proposing that the former leader of the PRI in Tijuana, Carlos Barboza, run instead. Political page, Frontera (Dec. 18, PDF)
Registration for PRI Senate hopefuls begins Jan. 21.
alcide roberto beltronesUpdate, Dec. 14: Columnist Jaime Flores Martínez, in his Cicuta (Hemlock) column, says Alcide Roberto Beltrones (right), a top aide to Tijuana Mayor Carlos Bustamante and brother of Sonora Sen. Manlio Fabio Beltrones, thinks he will get one of the PRI nominations for senator from Baja California.
Editor's note: It is sometimes hard to figure out what to trust in the Cicuta column: On Tuesday, El Mexicano ran a full-column letter from the city outlining inaccuracies in the column.
Update, Dec. 14: Baja California state legislator Nancy Sánchez of Mexicali says she hopes to run for nancy sanchezthe federal Senate on a Institutional Revolutionary Party ticket with Eligio Valencia Roque of Tijuana, who operates El Mexicano newspaper.
Update, Dec. 15: Guillermo Aldrete Haas of Mexicali is seen as a strong contender for a PRI Senate nomination, as is David Saúl Guakil, head of Tijuana's social development department.

A founder of Zetas captured

raul lucio hernandez lechuga Raúl Lucio "El Lucky" Hernández Lechuga, one of the founders of the Zetas organized crime group, has been captured in Veracruz, authorities said. Hernández Lechuga reportedly founded the group along with Heriberto Lazcano y Miguel Ángel Treviño.

Authorities said that of the 34 former soldiers who formed the Zetas, 10 are still active, while the rest have been arrested or have died. Lazcano and Treviño are still on the loose. Story in Frontera (PDF).
Secretaría de Marina press release on attack.
Update, July 16, 2013: Lazcano was killed in 2012, and Treviño was captured on July 15, 2013.


Monday, Dec. 12, 2011

Mexico Power Group may start generating
72 megawatts in wind energy next fall

Frontera quotes Mexican Power Group's executive John Prock as saying his company, which is planning to build a wind farm in the La Rumorosa area of Baja California, may start generating 72 megawatts next fall.
<<<rest of story>>>


Bill Keller column praises
Gingrich on immigration

New York Times columnist also calls analysis by UCSD's Gordon Hanson
"The most scrupulous study I've seen of the economic impact of illegal immigration"

bill kellerNew York Times columnist and former editor Bill Keller, in a column entitled "The Good Newt," newt gingrichpraises Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich for his more even-handed and practical approach on illegal immigration. He said that although Gingrich also employs "red-meat rhetoric" on the issue, it is worthwhile to go to Gingrich's web site,, to see the broader outline of what Gingrich is saying.

gordon hansonKeller also had high praise for a 2007 analysis on the costs of immigration by University of California San Diego economist Gordon Hanson. Keller called it "The most scrupulous study I've seen of the economic impact of illegal immigration." He said Hanson's study weighing the costs against benefits to U.S. society "concluded that the difference was 'close enough to zero to be essentially a wash.' "
Keller's column
The study Keller cited: "The Economic Logic of Illegal Immigration," April 2007, Council on Foreign Relations
nexos cover dec 2011 gordon hanson articleAlso this month, Hanson has the lead article in the Mexican magazine Nexos. The cover of the magazine has the title, "¿Por qué NO somos ricos?" (Why aren't we rich?") Hanson's article is an adaptation of a piece he published in 2010, "Why Isn't Mexico Rich?" in the Journal of Economic Literature. The article in Nexos is entitled "El Misterio Mexicano," or "The Mexican Mystery."
Previous item on Hanson, about his "Why Isn't Mexico Rich" article.

Tunnel found at Nogales border

The third tunnel in a month was found at the Nogales border, Mexican military officials said. Authorities said a man guarding the entrance was detained. The tunnel was 50 meters long and had not yet crossed the border, officials said. Story, Frontera (PDF).

pope benedict XVIvirgin of guadalupeVirgin of Guadalupe Day News

Pope says he will visit Mexico,
and Cuba, before Easter

Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011

tigers logoUANL Tigers win
first title in 29 years

The Tigers of the Autonomous University of Nuevo León won their first Mexican soccer title in 29 years by defeating Santos Laguna 3-1 on Sunday. Story, Sports.

Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011

2 men who allegedly kidnapped migrants arrested in Tijuana

2 men who alleged kidnapped migrants seeking to cross the border and then held them for ransom payments from their families were arrested in Tijuana. Armando Carranza Cárdenas, 50, and José Angel Maldonado Castañeda, 35, were detained, authorities told El Mexicano newspaper.

10 detained on suspicion of human trafficking
at Tijuana table-dance bars

The 10 later are released on bail

Ten people were detained on suspicion of human trafficking at Tijuana table-dance bars around 2 a.m. Friday, officials told Tijuana media. Adelitas, Hong Kong and Las Chavelas bars in the Zona Norte were raided by 90 to 100 federal agents, Frontera and El Mexicano reported. El Mexicano said 10 dancers were being questioned. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Dec. 12: The 10 men are released on bail, Frontera reports. The 10 dancers were not minors and do not seem to have been psychologically damaged, and the cases thus appear not to meet the threshold for human trafficking. Story, Frontera (PDF).

AMLO registers before PRD panel
as presidential candidate

Andrés Manuel López Obrador registered as a amlopresidential candidate Friday before the Democratic Revolution Party's electoral commission. He also is the candidate for the Workers Party and the Citizens Movement (previously Convergencia). The populist politician said he would work for economic growth of 6% and employment growth of 1.2 million. In 2000, Vicente Fox of the National Action Party campaigned on a platform of 7% economic growth and in 2006 the PAN's Felipe Calderón campaigned to be the "jobs president": Neither happened.
Story in Frontera (PDF).
López Obrador will later formally register as a candidate before the Federal Electoral Institute, which he blamed for his narrow loss to Calderón in the 2006 election.

Update, Dec. 12: Columnist Leo Zuckermann analyzes López Obrador's "República Amorosa" (Amorous Republic, or Loving Republic) hope-based theme for his campaign. He concludes by quoting a Facebook friend as saying that it appears López Obrador, rather than wanting to be president, wants to be the archbishop primate of Mexico. Zuckermann's column (PDF).
Update, Dec. 12: Columnist Eduardo Ruiz-Healy says López Obrador's invocation that honesty is part of his Amorous Republic is a farce, calling the former Mexico City mayor's speech "false, full of lies and populist." Ruiz-Healy's column (PDF).
Ruiz-Healy column, Part II (PDF).

Salma Hayek again says she asked God
for big breasts and a shapely body

salma hayekMexican actress Salma Hayek, in an appearance on the Graham Norton Show, said that when other girls in her school starting developing and she was relatively flat-chested, she asked God for big breasts and a shapely figure. Her appearance promoted her role in the movie "Puss in Boots." Story in Frontera (PDF).
Although the story says her statement was surprising, Hayek has made similar "revelations" several times before.
Update, Dec. 13: Jay Leno addressed the Hayek issue Monday, saying: "Actress jay lenoSalma Hayek told British talk show host Graham Norton that as a young girl, she put her hands in holy water and asked Jesus to give her boobs. Boy, you thought that turning water into wine was cool!"
Other Jay Leno jokes involving Mexico.


Friday, Dec. 9, 2011

Pedro Joaquín Coldwell named president of PRI

Quintana Roo Sen. Pedro Joaquín Coldwell was named president of the Institutional Revolutionary Party and promised to work to elect former Mexico state Gov. Enrique Peña Nieto as president of Mexico. Story in Frontera (PDF).
Previous mention of his likelihood to take post after resignation of Humberto Moreira.

Carlos Monsivais theater inaugurated at Tijuana Cultural Center

The Carlos Monsiváis theater was inaugurated at the Tijuana Cultural Center, Frontera reported. It is part of the new Cineteca Tijuana, associated with the Cineteca Nacional in Mexico City. Story in Frontera (PDF).

13 police involved in strip show at police station fired

Thirteen policemen involved in a strip show that took place at their police station in eastern Tijuana in March have been definitively fired after a monthslong investigation. The case involved a woman found with stolen credit cards who was allowed to perform a striptease instead of being charged. The woman testified that she performed oral sex on two policemen. Former police commander Víctor Manuel de la Cruz Candelaria has obtained an injunction against his firing.

In May, a cellphone video of the striptease was released and gained worldwide fame; a top city official's delay in taking action in the case led to her being investigated by the state legislature. Síndica procurador Yolanda Enríquez de la Fuente still retains the confidence of Mayor Carlos Bustamante and the investigation into her actions, which could have led to her being removed from office, has stalled.
El Mexicano, in an editorial today, said she should suffer the same fate as the 13 police.

Councilman Eduardo Enrique Parra Romero said he hoped the actions against the 13 policemen will be a lesson to other police to clean up their act and not jeopardize their livelihoods. He noted that police pay has risen significantly in Tijuana and said the firings mean the 13 policemen in question cannot be hired by any other police department.
Original stories.

2 from India held in human trafficking case in Tijuana: Frontera (PDF)

3 counterfeit Thrifty stores closed; 15 are being investigated

The newspaper Frontera reported that three counterfeit Thrifty stores had been closed, two in Tijuana and one in San Luis Río Colorado, and that 15 other possible counterfeit stores were being investigated. Story, Frontera (PDF).

Public transport cost to rise a peso in Tijuana

Mayor Carlos Bustamante said public transport companies will be allowed to raise their prices for a ride by one peso before the end of the year. Transportation is a major cost for Tijuana residents and workers, even if a ride usually costs less than dollar. Many times, residents must take two different vehicles to get where they are going, and costs add up.
Update, Dec. 26: City Council, meeting Dec. 24, voted to allow price to go up one peso on Jan. 1 and another peso in June. Story, Frontera (PDF).

Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011

Reforma puts Vazquez Mota at 40%,
Creel at 15% and Cordero at 14%

Reforma reported that a new poll puts former Education Minister Josefina Vázquez Mota at 40%, former Interior Minister Santiago Creel at 25% and former Finance Minister Ernesto Cordero at 14% in the polls as they seek the National Action Party nomination for president. In a poll of Mexico City residents, Vázquez Mota did better than Creel or Cordero would against frontrunning PRI candidate Enrique Peña Nieto and PRD candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador, but she still was far, far behind the PRI and PRD candidates in the capital.
Story in Frontera (PDF). Jump.

Another activist in Sicilia's Movement for Peace with Dignity killed

The body of José Trinidad de la Cruz Crisóforo was found in the Michoacán state municipality of Aquila, close to his home community of Xayakalan. The Nahua Indian who fought for indigenous rights and against drug trafficking violence had been kidnapped the day before. He was an activist in Javier Sicilia's Movement for Peace with Justice. It appeared that Trinidad, who was over 70, had been tortured. Trinidad had been threatened in the summer and left his community for a time.
Last month, Pedro Leyva Domínguez, who like Trinidad fought for the rights of the Santa María de Os tu la community and also participated in Sicilia's movement, was killed.
Another activist was killed in Sonora state last month.

Guadalajara gets new archbishop,
Cardinal José Francisco Robles Ortega, archbishop of Monterrey since 2003

Archbishop Cardinal Juan Sandoval had to retire at mandatory age of 75:
He was often involved in controversy, and demanded
that a conspiracy be found in 1993 slaying of Cardinal Posadas

jose francisco robles ortegaPope Benedict XVI has named a new archbishop for Guadalajara, Cardinal José Francisco Robles Ortega. Robles Ortega was born March 2, 1949 in Mascota in Jalisco state (although it was part of the Tepic diocese). He studied philosophy at the Guadalajara seminary and theology at the Zamora seminary. He was ordained in 1976 and also studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. In 1991 he was named bishop of the titular see (no longer functioning) of Bossa, Tunisia and auxiliary bishop of Toluca. He became bishop of Toluca in 1996. In 2003 he became archbishop of Monterrey. He became a cardinal in 2007 under Pope Benedict XVI.

Cardinal Juan Sandoval had to retire as archbishop of Guadalajara because he had reached the mandatory retirement age of 75. He was often involved in controversy, and demanded that a conspiracy be found in the 1993 slaying of Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo, while never offering up any credible evidence of such. Posadas was killed in the Guadalajara airport parking lot while riding in his white Grand Marquis at the same time the Arellano Félix cartel was hunting down Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán there. Arellano Félix gunmen say they were told Guzmán would be traveling in a white Grand Marquis.

Posadas Ocampo served as bishop of Tijuana from 1970-1982 before moving to Cuernavaca and then Guadalajara. The Arellano Félix cartel operated out of Tijuana.
Some facts about the Tijuana archdiocese.

Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011

Baja California hires bus to take
deported migrants closer to home

Repatriations to Tijuana reported down 40%

Tijuana mayor's daughter issues report on aid
to migrants, elderly, handicapped, families in need

The Baja California social development department on Tuesday put 44 deported migrants on a bus that will take them closer to their home areas. The bus was to let off migrants in Guadalajara and Mexico City. The cost of the operation was put at 100,000 pesos ($7,400).
Those who got on the bus were people who received services at migrant shelters, church soup kitchens and other non-profits that directed them to register for the bus trip.
Meanwhile, a federal official said repatriations to Tijuana were down 40% this year. Story, Frontera (PDF)
carolina-bustamanteMeanwhile, Carolina Bustamante de García, the daughter of Mayor Carlos Bustamante, gave her first annual report of her activities as head of the city social services agency, DIF (Comprehensive Family Development system, or Sistema para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia). The post traditionally is filled in Mexico by the mayor's wife, but because Carlos Bustamante and Carolina Aubanel de Bustamante are divorced, their daughter is doing the job.
Carolina Bustamante de García said the city attended to 2,185 migrants and 6,184 handicapped persons and 54,330 elderly residents in need of some form of help. She also said she thought the program against human trafficking, "You are not Merchandise," was bearing fruit.
. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Frontera notes that she was a key element in her father's unexpected win last year (PDF).
carolina aubanel riedelAlso Tuesday, the mayor's ex-wife, who has been spearheading an effort to create a plaza next to City Hall that will include a high-rise for public meetings and bridges to the Tijuana Cultural Center and the Plaza Río shopping center, said the project could be done by the end of 2013. That also is when the mayor's term ends; he will not be able to seek re-election under Mexican law.
Previous story on 11 de Julio project.

Calderón, in interview with Televisa, repeats that he
is worried about the influence of organized crime in elections

He also says he is not backing Cordero for PAN nomination for president

lopez doriga calderonPresident Felipe Calderón, in an interview that aired Tuesday night on the Televisa TV network, told anchor Joaquín López-Doriga that he is worried about the influence of organized crime in next year's elections. He said organized crime played in a role in dissuading people from voting against his sister in last month's gubernatorial elections in Michoacán state and said it would be up to an electoral tribunal to determine whether that was enough to sway the results of that election, which wound up being relatively close and which the PRI won.
Calderón had made similar charges Sunday about organized crime during a visit to the Camp Marte military base. Reforma's Monday story in Frontera (PDF).

The president also told López Doriga he is not backing former finance minister Ernesto Cordero for the National Action Party nomination for president; that is a statement most political analysts would say vastly stretches the truth. Part II of the interview airs Wednesday night.
Update, Dec. 15: The columnist Catón says Calderón, while saying he is not backing Cordero, is backing him to the hilt. Catón says Calderón is as hard-headed as Venustiano Carranza, who became president during the Mexican Revolution, and quoted a historian saying of Carranza: "He was so hard-headed that not even an ax could enter." (Although Carranza did wind up assassinated in 1920). Catón laments that Calderón does not put as much thought into governing as he does trying to manipulate his party, and says that if he keeps it up and wangles the PAN presidential nomination for Cordero, the PAN will wind up with another Madrazo (who finished a distant third in the 2006 presidential race).

Update, Dec. 8: Columnists Sergio Sarmiento and Leo Zuckermann both ask the same, valid question: How, specifically, did organized crime affect the election. Sarmiento points out that the PAN handily won in La Piedad, where the PAN mayor was killed before the election, and wondered whether the PAN would want those results thrown out. Zuckermann worried that Calderón is only setting the stage for an electoral strategy to try to link the PRI with organized crime.
Their columns (PDF).
Update, Dec. 12: Víctor Meza column wonders whether Calderón's statement about organized crime in Michoacán was made more to assuage his sister's feelings than anything else.

Gunman, 68, arrested after he allegedly tries to steal
purse of woman in car waiting to cross at San Ysidro

A 68-year-old man posing as a beggar was arrested after he allegedly tried to steal the purse of a woman as she was waiting to cross the San Ysidro port of entry in a car, El Mexicano reported. The paper said the man fled and later fired a gun at a policeman, who then subdued the suspect, identified as Evaristo Ramírez Hernández.

Closing of border lanes causes some problems,
but papers report it was mostly business as usual

The closing of 12 lanes for construction work at the San Ysidro port of entry caused some delays at the border on Tuesday, including for SENTRI pass holders, but El Mexicano and Frontera newspapers said it was mostly business as usual at the border.
Some border crossers were delayed, and cross: Frontera (PDF)
State Tourism Minister Juan Titos Funcke said the work should not affect tourism too badly as this is not a high tourist season. He said the construction work, by creating a better crossing facility, should help tourism in the long run.

Casino absolved in fatal fire

A report absolved The Casino Royale of all blame in the arson that killed 52 people Aug. 25 in Monterrey. The arson was set by members of the Zetas gang in an apparent extortion attempt. While some had claimed that the casino was operating in possible violation of fire codes, state and federal authorities said the fire, set off by lighting 200 liters of gasoline thrown into the casino, became such an inferno so quickly that those who started it deserved all the blame in the deaths. Others wondered whether if that was the case, why had the casino owner fled to Miami?
Story in Frontera (PDF).


Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011

40% of Baja California students who enter high school
drop out, state schools chief tells Frontera

javier santillanState schools chief Javier Santillán told Frontera newspaper that 40% of students who enter high school in Baja California drop out. He said the rate has been falling during the term of Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán, and because of the lower dropout rate and greater desire of students to attend high school, the state needs to create 1,000 new slots for students annually the next five years. He said 45,000 students have been entering high school but only 27,000 have been graduating. He said some students drop out to take jobs and others drop out because their families cannot afford it. Story in Frontera.
Previous Frontera interview with Santillán about 2011-2012 school year issues.
High school costs dropping in Baja California.
Mexican Senate votes high school education for all.
Mexico school desertion rates published.
Cobach Florido high school opens.
New high school satellite campus in Tijuana.
Osuna Millán calls education a top priority.

PRI presidential candidate has Sarah Palin moment

Enrique Peña Nieto can't name 3 books that most influenced him

enriuqe pena nietoEnrique Peña Nieto, the leading candidate for in next year's presidential election, stumbled at the Guadalajara book fair when he could not quickly name three books that influenced him.
<<<Rest of story>>>

Monday, Dec. 5, 2011

55 who worked on marijuana megaplantation
are freed on 275,000-peso bail by judge

A judge has freed 55 people who worked on a marijuana megaplantation in southern Baja California that was raided by the military in July. They had been in the El Hongo state prison since Aug. 1. Bail of 275,000 pesos ($20,000) was posted.
El Mexicano said that although many of the workers declared that they long had been sowing and harvesting marijuana, the judge considered that they had little education and "extreme economic necessity."
Earlier reports said most or all of the workers were from Sinaloa, the home state of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, who authorities said likely financed the 120-hectare growing site.
Story, Frontera (Dec. 7, PDF)
Previous mention of the megaplantation. Megaplantation pot burned.

Cousin of "El Muletas" captured

José Luis "El Güero Chompas" Mendoza Uriarte, cousin of Raydel "El Muletas" López Uriarte, was detained along with two others in a stolen car at the intersection of Boulevard Sánchez Taboada and Antonio Caso in Tijuana on Friday, authorities said Sunday. Mendoza Uriarte is wanted in a number of murders. "El Muletas" allegedly worked with Teodoro "El Teo" Simental when a fierce gang war was taking place between the Sinaloa Cartel and the remnants of the Arellano Félix Cartel. "El Teo" was captured in January 2010 in La Paz and "El Muletas" in February 2010 in the same Baja California Sur city. "El Muletas" reportedly got his nickname (Crutches) because people he reportedly killed showed signs of torture in their legs. His men apparently even wore uniforms with a skull and crutches.
"El Chompas" would mean "The Sweater" or "The Jacket": His arrest photo shows him wearing a jacket, but the two detained with him also were wearing jackets.
Story on Friday's arrests, Frontera (PDF). Story, El Sol de Tijuana.

One of the few teams Tijuana Xolos beat are in championship match: See sports

Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011

adela navarroPaper profiles Zeta's Adela Navarro

Her muckraking weekly also puts up billboard ad

The San Diego Union-Tribune's Peter Rowe profiles Adela Navarro, a top editor and writer for the Tijuana muckraking newsweekly Zeta, who won an International Women's Media Foundation "Courage in Journalism" award this year. His story says she received a tip from U.S. law-enforcement sources in January 2010 that drug traffickers were planning to kill her and a fellow editor, the son of the late Zeta cofounder Jesús Blancornelas, and that she was guarded 24 hours a day by soldiers for the next three months.
Rowe's story in the Union-Tribune.

Zeta recently put up advertising on a billboard in Tijuana saying:
"There are certain politicians who can't sleep on Thursday nights.
"Zeta: It comes out on Fridays with what you want investigated."

zeta billboard with trafficzeta billboard close up


DEA launders Mexican drug cartel money

The Drug Enforcement Administration has been laundering Mexican drug cartel money as part of its efforts to find out where drug proceeds are going, the New York Times reported. Former DEA officials told the paper the effort does not carry the risk that allowing guns to be sold to cartels entailed. The paper said, "And unlike guns, it (laundering) can lead more directly to the top ranks of criminal organizations." Story, New York Times
Update, Dec. 6: U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa of Vista tells Fox News that the DEA violated an agreement with Mexico by laundering money. Story in Frontera (PDF).
Update, Dec. 10: U.S. says DEA has been laundering money since 1984. Story in Frontera (PDF).
Update, Dec. 12: Calderón spokeswoman says Calderón administration did not know about laundering. Story in Frontera (PDF).

250 marry in mass wedding ceremony in Tijuana

PDF, Frontera

Ton of marijuana seized, 2 arrested in Sonoyta
after 2 arrested with pot, guns in Mexicali


Ciudad Juárez activist Norma Andrade shot
outside her home; her daughter was slain in 2001

Norma Andrade, the mother of a girl killed in Ciudad Juárez who has been a strong voice against violence in the border city, was shot twice outside her home. Authorities were treating the incident as a robbery attempt, The Associated Press reported. Andrade was featured in the film "On the Edge." Her daughter was tortured, raped and killed in 2001.

Saturday, Dec. 3, 2001

Man jailed for more than a month in police slaying
released after ex-convict confesses to crime in Ensenada

José Antonio Arredondo Morán says he was beaten, tortured by police

A man who had been jailed in the Oct. 25 shooting death of a state policeman has been released after an ex-convict confessed in the killing. José Antonio Arredondo Morán, 29, was released from a state prison in Ensenada after José Santos Guzmán Bañuelos confessed to killing police commander Carlos Hernández García. Arredondo said police had tortured him in trying to get him to confess to the slaying. "The only thing I want to do now is go home and see my 5-year-old girl," Arredondo said. El Mexicano reported that Arredondo was charged despite the fact that no murder weapon was found and that he tested negative for having fired a gun. He also was beaten by police, El Mexicano said.
Guzmán Bañuelos was arrested earlier this week after he allegedly threatened to rape his sister-in-law and then fled in a bus. When police surrounded the bus, he shot the driver and a passenger before being subdued. Authorities said he was high on crystal meth. Ballistics tests showed that Guzmán Bañuelos' gun had been used in the slaying of the police commander.
Story, Frontera (PDF).
Previous story on the bus hostage-taking incident.

Catón weighs in on Moreira's resignation as head of PRI

Pedro Joaquín Coldwell seen as likely successor

humberto moreiraThe Mexican humor columnist Catón, who is from Coahuila, writes in his "Politics and Worse Things" column about Friday's resignation of Humberto Moreira as president of the Institutional Revolutionary Party. Catón recalls how former Gov. Óscar Flores Tapia was apparently railroaded out of office by President José Lopez Portillo and hopes that the PRI has not acted too hastily again in the Moreira case. A scandal involving a mushrooming of the state debt involving the use of false statements is emeequis coverthe main cause of Moreira's departure; Moreira says it happened after he left the governor's post to become the PRI's candidate. However, the magazine emeequis in its Nov. 14 edition says it has a main document in question and that it was signed in December 2010, well before Moreira left the governor's post. Catón said he thought the PRD would benefit far more than the PAN from the Moreira affair. Catón's column.

Update, Dec. 7: It was reported that the Hank Rhon family's bank lent the most money to Coahuila. Story, Frontera (PDF).

Moreira's brother Rubén was elected Coahuila governor earlier this year and took office Thursday.

pedro joaquin coldwellQuintana Roo Sen. Pedro Joaquin Coldwell is seen as a likely candidate to become the next PRI president Thursday; a former tourism minister and ambassador to Cuba, he was involved in unsuccessful efforts in the 1990s to return the PRI to power in Baja California.
Update, Dec. 4: Baja California PRIistas place full-page ad backing Coldwell.

Previous story on Sen. Francisco Labastida saying Moreira is damaging party (Nov. 19).
Columnist Denise Dresser called for Moreira's resignation (Nov. 14

Friday, Dec. 2, 2001

New York Times focuses on Tijuana cross-border tunnel history

telemundo truck in front of drug tunnel warehouseThursday, Dec. 1, 2011

Photos of surroundings
of drug-tunnel warehouse
near Tijuana airport

36 tons of marijuana found; entrance
to nearby tunnel is 1/10th mile away

<<<Story, photos>>>



2 recyclers closed for accepting stolen goods

Two recycling centers in Tijuana were closed for accepting stolen goods, including metal that protects trees along city sidewalks, El Mexicano reported.
Some of the plaques honoring the 1911 defenders of Tijuana were stolen, presumably to be made into scrap metal. While some were reproduced in time for the 100th anniversary of the defense of Tijuana on June 22, others were not.

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