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

el mexicano front pageel mexicano oscarsMonday, February 28, 2011

"Mexico Without an Oscar"

Monday's headline in El Mexicano on the Oscars is: "Mexico Without an Oscar."
El Mexicano's front page also reports that "La Familia" drug-trafficking organization of Michoacán state and the Sinaloa cartel of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán are doing battle in Tijuana, and that the Arellano Félix cartel continues to be on the decline. The outcome could be greater violence for Tijuana. Stories, El Mexicano


cambio coverTourism minister touts bold agenda
in interview with Cambio magazine

Cambio magazine interviews Gloria Guevara Manzo, Mexico's new tourism minister, who points out that tourism to Mexico rose last year, despite the country's violence. The increase came from U.S., Canadian and European travelers. Tourists, however, in general appear to be avoiding Mexico's more violent north. Guevara tells the magazine that the infrastructure exists to duplicate, in eight years, the number of foreigners visiting Mexico. MORE


Friday, Feb. 25, 2011

Tijuana doctors protest kidnapping of cardiologist

Doctors in Tijuana are protesting this week's kidnapping of a cardiologist from his office in the Río zone. Jaime Sánchez Salazar was kidnapped Wednesday by two women and a man reportedly armed with assault rifles.

Sánchez Salazar was the second person named on list of doctors and dentists provided for the benefit of U.S. citizens by the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana. The list

The newspaper Frontera did not name the doctor who was taken in its reports, but other media did, such as El Mexicano.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Former Tijuana mayor's wife has
bone-marrow transplant, Frontera reports

Frontera reported that Maria Elvia de Hank, the wife of former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon, had a bone marrow transplant in Geneva, Switzerland as part of her battle against leukemia. The story said Hank Rhon and some of their children were with her.
Story, Frontera

Previous story in


Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011

heraldo munozChilean discusses his attempts to oust Pinochet, Mexico's role in the resistance to the dictator and efforts to reduce inequality today in Mexico, Chile and elsewhere

By David Gaddis Smith

Chilean U.N. assistant secretary-general Heraldo Muñoz said in San Diego last week that Chileans who were granted asylum in Mexico after Gen. Augusto Pinochet's 1973 coup in Chile "are the biggest lobbyists for Mexico that you can find in Chile."

He added, "They are heavy lobbyists for Mexican culture and food etc."

He noted that Hortensia Bussi, the widow of overthrown Socialist President Salvador Allende, "ended up living all her exile in Mexico" after a brief stop in Cuba. Allende died during Pinochet's Sept. 11, 1973 coup.

Muñoz also noted that when he was head of Chile's socialists in the United States, his chief was in Mexico.

munoz book coverMuñoz gave two talks Friday at the Institute of Americas in San Diego. One talk was about "The Dictator's Shadow: Life Under Augusto Pinochet." The second talk was about inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean.

One gripping story Muñoz told involved a Chilean who later lived in exile
in Mexico. ... MORE




March 10, 2001

Juarez Mayor announces he has hired Leyzaola.
Story, El Paso Times.

* * * * *

San Diego Union-Tribune reports on Monday, Feb. 21 that Juarez mayor says he has not hired Leyzaola.

* * * * *

Tuesday, Feb. 22:

El Diario of Ciudad Juarez reports that the hiring of Leyzaola has been frozen, perhaps because of his salary request and demands for armored vehicles, a house and that he be given carte blanche to hire 22 people to work with. Story, El Diario.

Weekend of February 19-20, 2011

Former Tijuana police chief heading for Juárez?

The former Tijuana police chief, retired military Lt. Col. Julián Leyzaola Pérez, is going to become police chief of Ciudad Juárez in Chihuahua state, El Mexicano newspaper reported. Leyzaola left the Tijuana post to work for the Baja California state government when Mayor Carlos Bustamante took office last year. Leyzaola has been much lauded for his crime-fighting actions but has come under fire for some of his interrogration methods.
Story, El Mexicano on Saturday.
Story, El Mexicano on Sunday



Catón gives advice to Radio exec
in firing, rehiring of Aristegui

The Mexican humor columnist Catón, who also has a very serious side, wrote about his long journalist career in Friday's column and had this advice for the MVS Radio executive who fired — and then rehired — radio journalist Carmen Aristegui after she demanded on the air that President Felipe Calderon respond to rumors that he has a drinking problem.

Catón's advice: Nobody is perfect and "Tomorrow is another day!" The column

otay crossing flags half staff

ICE police questioned drivers as U.S., Homeland
Security and U.S. Customs flags flew at half-staff
Saturday in honor of slain ICE agent Jaime Zapata.

Border crossing slows as ICE agents question drivers

It took more than an hour and half to get to the gate at the Otay Mesa border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana at midday Saturday as ICE agents were out in force at every lane to question drivers and try to stanch the flow of drugs in response to Tuesday's slaying of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Special Agent Jaime Zapata in San Luis Potosi state. He was killed by two carloads of traffickers who forced him and another agent off a toll road.

That the attack took place on a major federal highway-- generally considered a safe place to travel -- is a cause for major concern, among many others.

otay border

A vendor sells items on Saturday, Feb. 19 while U.S.
flags fly at half staff at the Otay Mesa crossing

Thursday, February 17, 2011

El Mexicano dedicates full page to gala
honoring Walther-Meades community work

Walther-MeadesTijuana's El Mexicano newspaper devoted a full page Thursday to the Feb. 5 Dos Aguilas/Two Eagles Binational Gala honoring Yolanda Walther-Meade and her daughter, Yolanda Selene Walther-Meade, for their cross-border volunteer work.  The gala supports the San Diego Natural History Museum’s research and education programs along the border. The Walther-Meades are on the board of the Fundación Internacional de la Comunidad. Yolanda Selene Walther-Meade also is on the board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tijuana, which was honored in a front-page story on Thursday. Front page. Jump page. Yolanda Selene Walther-Meade also volunteered her time to provide translation services at last week's "Mexico Moving Forward" symposium at the University of California San Diego.

13-year-old, 18-year-old
arrested in more than 20 rapes

The front page also led with the story of a 13-year-old and a 18-year-old arrested in more than 20 rapes, many of them of junior-high and high-school girls in eastern Tijuana.
Front page. Jump page. The papers reported that the 13-year-old said there was a third member of the gang and that the 13-year-old claimed to be the gang's leader. Frontera's story.


Another 18-year-old and 13-year-old were arrested in the cases on Thursday. Authorities told Frontera that the 18-year-old, Cristian "El Bimbino" Madrid Castro, was the leader of the group, and that his mother was jailed for selling drugs and that his father was a heroin addict.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

10 gay couples marry, symbolically, in Tijuana

Ten gay couples were married in a symbolic act in Tijuana on Velentines Day on Monday, El Mexicano newspaper reported Wednesday. Gay marriage has been legalized in Mexico City, but nowhere else in Mexico.

The paper quoted Lorenzo Herrera María, president of the AIDS Assistance Fund, as saying that in past three years 32 gay couples have exchanged symbolic vows in a bar at the Plaza Santa Cecilia.
Story in El Mexicano (pdf file).

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

(Poisonous) monarch butterflies on the comeback

monarchA new study says monarch butterflies have made a partial recovery following a 75% drop in the population in 2009. The study was sponsored by the WWF's Mexico program and the Mexican government's National Commision for Natural Protected Areas.
Story and pictures, Frontera (pdf file). The population had dropped due to cold weather and a loss of habitat due to illegal logging.

rodolfo dirzoAt last week's Mexico Moving Forward conference at the University of California San Diego, ecologist Rodolfo Dirzo (right) drew a big laugh from the audience when he talked about how the monarch has evolved, in a fantastic way, to eat poisonous plants. Dirzo, a scientist with a broad sense of humor, joked, "This precious thing that inspires and enlivens you actually is a flying package of poison." He deadpanned that what many consider to be "the most beautiful thing on the planet" actually is "the most terrible."
More comments from Dirzo at the conference

Monday, February 14, 2011sebastian

Sculptor says he will finish his monument
in Ciudad Juarez, "come what may"

The Mexican sculptor Sebastián tells the Mexico Moving Forward symposium that he is working on a 40-meter sculpture in crime-ridden Ciudad Juarez. He vowed to finish the work despite the violence, "Pase lo que pase," "Happen what may."


Friday, February 11, 2011

Three op-eds on one page help make sense of Mexico

For people trying to make sense of Mexico's justice system, of last week's firing of MVS Radio journalist Carmen Aristegui (see story below) and of Undersecretary of the Army Joseph Westphal's comments this week likening Mexico's drug traffickers to an insurgency, the Tijuana newspaper Frontera's op-ed page on Friday could provide some help.

Columnist Sergio Sarmiento sheds light on how the oral trial system Mexico is moving to helped prove the innocence of José Antonio Zúñiga in a murder case. A documentary, "Presunto Culpable," (Presumed Guilty) has been made about the case.

Leo Zuckermann does not take sides in the Aristegui case but wonders whether the original rumors that President Felipe Calderón has a drinking problem were political in nature rather than fact-based. He said he has seen no evidence of such a problem. Aristegui was fired last week after bringing up the rumors.

Ana María Salazar addresses Westphal and others' comments likening traffickers to an insurgency and tells readers that the reason the United States seems to speak with so many divergent voices about Mexico is there is no consensus in the government. She says making statements like that of an insurgency can hurt Calderón, and that it is in the U.S. interest to help Calderón. She concludes by saying, "Denounce or be quiet? Sometimes it is better to confound."


Thursday, February 10, 2011

"Don't scorn Mexico. At least it has a cuisine."

"Don't scorn Mexico. At least it has a cuisine."

Plant ecologist Exequiel Ezcurra used this quote from the late Argentine writer Tomás Eloy Martínez on Thursday in counterpoint to the recent "Top Gear" BBC TV show in which Mexico and its food were mercilessly ridiculed. The cuisine was called "refried sick."

Mexico has been under fire from many quarters recently, not least of which from drug traffickers.Mexico Moving Forward The Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California San Diego, in an effort to focus debate on issues other than crime and violence, on Wednesday held a symposium entitled "Mexico Moving Forward."

"This symposium is not an exercise in denial," said center Director Alberto Díaz-Cayeros. He said, "Many of us are working to try to understand why Mexico went so bad so quickly." ... more


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Cineteca Tijuana movie theater
to be named for Carlos Monsiváis

Carlos MonsiváisThe director general of the Tijuana Cultural Center, Virgilio Muñoz, told El Mexicano newspaper that the Cineteca Tijuana movie theater complex will open March 10 and have a screen for 35mm films named after the late Mexican writer Carlos Monsiváis, seen at left. The Cineteca Tijuana will be the first satellite of the Cineteca Nacional in Mexico City. Story in El Mexicano.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Wife of Jorge Hank Rhon travels
to Switzerland for medical treatment

María Elvia de Hank, wife of former Tijuana mayor and gambling magnate Jorge Hank Rhon, was to depart today for medical treatment in Switzerland. The mention came in Juanita Jiménez's "Jet Set Tijuanense" column in today's Frontera. There have been many reports of her poor health. María Elvia de Hank, who made an unsuccessful campaign to become mayor last year, also has been the subject of a photo essay by Yvonne Venegas. Venegas received her master of fine arts from the University of California San Diego in 2009 and her essay won the 2010 Expression Photography Award sponsored by Magnum Photos and HP.


Franciso I. Madero Decena Trágica"Decena Tragica" — Exhibit on
"The 10 Tragic Days" of the Mexican Revolution

The Tijuana Cultural Center (CECUT) has opened an exhibit on "La Decena Trágica" — the Tragic Ten Days of conflict during the Mexican Revolution in Mexico City that included the assassination of President Francisco I. Madero (left). The decena took place from Feb. 9-18, 1913. The exhibit is being shown on the heels of the centennial of the 1910-1920 Revolution. See story, Frontera.