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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ambassador Jeff Davidow honored as he leaves
Institute of the Americas to work for Cohen Group

Honored Monday at the institute's eighth science journalism workshop, Davidow will be succeeded as president in October by career diplomat Charles Shapiro, like Davidow a former ambassador to Venezuela. >>>rest of story>>>

Tijuana newspaper seeks applicants to be Chica Frontera 2011

chica frontera adFrontera put a full-page ad in the paper Tuesday seeking a good-looking high school or university student to be Chica Frontera 2011, with the winner getting a vacation for two, a laptop and a $500 wardrobe, in addition to appearing in a Frontera calendar.


salvador ruiz encisoMonday, May 30, 2011

Church officials say they think child porn, bestiality videos
were planted in home of slain priest
in Tijuana

El Mexicano quotes the Tijuana diocese's secretary, Carlos Castillo, as saying of child porn and bestiality videos found in the home of Divino Rostro parish priest Salvador Ruiz Enciso (left): "The archbishop says the videos were planted there and I agree. And regardless of whether it is is true or not, it does not justify the sadistic and vile manner of his death."
<<<Rest of story>>>


Chinese consul-designate says China is interested
in investing in Baja California mines

Zhang Shanli, named to be China's next consul in Tijuana, told El Mexicano that China is interested in investing in mining operations in Baja California. He said there are more than 25,000 people of Chinese descent in Baja California, with 10,000 in Tijuana and more than 15,000 in Mexicali. Story, El Mexicano.

Columnist says Interior Minister Francisco Blake Mora
"best illustrates Calderón's mediocre team"

Blake Mora, from Tijuana, could run for Baja California governor in 2013

jose francisco blake mora mugColumnist Rafael Loret de Mora writes that Interior Minister Francisco Blake Mora, "without a doubt, is the person who best illustrates Calderón's mediocre team."

Loret de Mola wrote: "Of all the men of talent who live along the border, the man picked to direct the country's domestic politics was the most obscure of all," calling him an irrelevant person.

President Felipe Calderón has been criticized for picking top officials for their loyalty or because he knows them rather than finding the best person for the job. Blake Mora, 45, served as a federal deputy with Calderón from 2000-2003.

"Everything has fallen through his hands, starting with the political reform, which is indispensable for the country," Loret de Mola wrote of Blake Mora.

Loret de Mola likened Blake Mora to his predecessor as interior minister, Fernando Gómez Mont, saying both men, although touted as "flame dousers," kept "blowing and blowing on the blazing flames of violence."

Blake Mora is a lawyer who graduated from the Autonomous University of Baja California. The National Action Party politician became Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán's government secretary in 2007. He was elevated to the Interior Ministry last year. He was a Tijuana councilman from 1995-98 and a state legislator from 2004-2007. Some blamed him in part for the PAN's poor showing in state elections last year, where the PAN lost every mayor's race and was soundly thrashed in elections for the state legislature.

Previous MexicoPerspective story on Loret de Mola's handicapping of 2012 presidential race.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Child porn, bestiality videos found in home of slain priest

Gun also was found in house behind Tijuana church

>>>rest of story>>>

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tijuana priest's body found bound, burned

The burned body of missing priest Salvador Ruiz Enciso has been found. The body was picked up around 2:30 a.m. Monday along the Boulevard 2000; DNA tests determined that it was his. He was priest at the Divino Rostro de Jesús parish, where he had performed Mass on Sunday. He was tied up with electrical and duct tape, El Mexicano reported. His brother thought he recognized the body on Thursday. >>>rest of story>>>


Friday, May 27, 2011

Andrés Manuel López Obrador says return of PRI
to presidency would be like return of Santa Anna

Politician plans Morena rally in Los Angeles on June 12

Rally in Tijuana features acarreados from Rosarito, Ensenada and San Quintín

>>>Rest of story>>>

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Earl Anthony Wayne appears to have the experience
to move U.S.-Mexican relations forward

The designation of Earl Anthony Wayne as ambassador to Mexico could have a little something for everybody. ear-lanythony-wayne-mugWayne has experience with drug trafficking, trafficking in persons, money laundering, terrorism, economics, the push for financial transparency, energy issues, Wikileaks and smoothing feathers — all experience that can come in handy in Mexico. President Felipe Calderón of the National Action Party was angered by the Wikileaks cables on the drug war from Ambassador Carlos Pascual, contributing to Pascual's untimely departure.

Wayne also is married, unlike the past two ambassadors, which raised eyebrows when Tony Garza dated and then married one of Mexico's richest women and when Pascual dated the daughter of a top Institutional Revolutionary Party official. >>>rest of story>>>


Priest disappears in Tijuana

Father Salvador Ruiz Enciso, the priest for the Divino Rostro parish in Tijuana, has disappeared, leaving many puzzled. He performed Mass on Sunday. Story, Frontera. Other items on priest

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tourism to Tijuana, once 19 million a year, now at 3 million, official says

Tijuana Convention & Visitors Bureau President Mariano Escobedo lamented that tourism to Tijuana has dropped to 3 million from 19 million in the 1970s and said not even the Xolos' soccer team ascension to the first division and a proposed duty-free area being called the Strategic Economic Zone (ZEE in Spanish) is likely to boost the tourism numbers significantly. A figure of 100,000 crossing the border to see the Xolos play teams such as América, Chivas and Cruz Azul was cited. Story, El Mexicano.

Bar selling beer, tequila and vodka dismantled in Chihuahua prison

Officials dismanted a bar that was operating in a low-security prison in Chihuahua. Officials seized 200 bottles of beer, 12 bottles of tequila and 20 bottles of vodka. Story, El Mexicano. Jump page.

Baja California governor, Tijuana mayor to head to Paris air show

Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán and Tijuana Mayor Carlos Bustamante plan to attend the Paris Air Show, which takes place June 20-26. Frontera said Baja California has the aerospace employment in Mexico. Also attending will be state Economic Development Secretary Alejandro Mungaray and Paulo Alfonso Carrillo, subsecretary for Economic Promotion for the state. An International Aerospace Forum will take place in Tijuana July 20-22. Item, Frontera.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It's time to stop exaggerating drug money numbers

It is time for some more sensible numbers on the billions of dollars involved in the Mexican drug trade. According to former Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castañeda, U.S. and Mexican officials have been meeting to try to hash out the numbers. >>>more>>>

Monday, May 23, 2011

UPDATE, May 31: Mayor Bustamante says the 15 police will not return to work.

UPDATE, May 24: 15 Tijuana police in stripper video suspended. Jump page.

UPDATE, May 25: Suspended station police chief says he was not involved in stripper performance, saying he left station at 11:45 p.m. and the table dance occurred at 2 a.m. Jump.
Mayor Bustamante expresses disappointment with media coverage of stripper scandal.

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders to discuss
Tijuana police force with Mayor Bustamante

El Mexicano reports that Tijuana police station
was site of strip act, groping

Jerry SandersFrontera has a two-page interview with San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders in which the mayor says he and police chief William Lansdowne will be meeting with Tijuana Mayor Carlos Bustamante to discuss the Tijuana police force's image. Sanders said he has spoken more with Bustamante during the first six months of Bustamante's three-year term than he has with any other mayor of Tijuana. Interview, Frontera. Second page.

San Diego's 2,100-strong police force has been going through a rough patch itself, with one policeman accused in a rape case and others involved in drunken driving, spousal abuse, burglary and other cases. Story, San Diego Union-Tribune.

Meanwhile, Tijuana's El Mexicano newspaper has a front-page story Monday about a strip show that took place at the Presa Rural police station, showing a policeman groping the stripper's breasts and other revealing photos taken from a video. Front page, El Mexicano. Jump page.

Upodate, Dec. 9: 13 police fired in case.


Sunday, May 22, 2011xolos logo

Who wins, loses with ascension
of Tijuana Xolos to first division?

The Tijuana Xolos advanced to the first division of Mexican soccer on Saturday with a 2-1 victory over the Irapuato Freseros (Strawberry Growers).

Who wins — and who loses — as a result? >>>Rest of story>>>


Friday, May 20, 2011

José Cuervo president says town of Tequila, Mexico
could see 1.5 million visitors in 2020

Tequila industry leader says he only observed, and did not celebrate,
last year's anniversary of the Mexican Revolution

The president of Mexico's leading tequila maker sees tourism as one of Mexico's "great, great gold mines" and says the town of Tequila, Mexico could see 1.5 million visitors in the year 2020.

juan-beckmann-vidalJuan Beckmann Vidal, president of the tequila maker José Cuervo, told the Institute of the Americas in San Diego on May 10 that Tequila has been put on the tourism map by the soap opera "Destilando Amor" (Distilling Love). The 2007 soap opera starred Angélica Rivera, now the wife of Mexico state Gov. Enrique Peña Nieto, the odds-on favorite to become Mexico's next president. >>>rest of story>>>


Tijuana archbishop, interior minister tour south of country

Tijuana archbishop Rafael Romo Muñoz has been accompanying Interior Minister Francisco Blake Mora on a tour of migration hotspots in Oaxaca, Chiapas and Veracruz in the south of the country. Blake Mora is from Baja California. Story, Frontera. Story, El Mexicano. Jump page.

Poder360 reports that Blake Mora says entire areas of country are controlled by organized crime.

María Elvia de Hank to start charitable activities again

Shakira concert on June 30 to raise money to fight breast, uterine cancer

María Elvia Amaya de Hank, the wife of former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon, told El Mexicano she will be resuming her work with her charitable organization Fundación por Ayudar (The Foundation to Help) following her recovery from an illness that led to her having a bone-marrow transplant in Switzerland.

She said Shakira will perform in a concert June 30 at Estadio Caliente to raise money to fight breast and uterine cancer. Tickets will cost from 600 to 2500 pesos ($52 to $215).

She said that to give thanks for her recovery, a special thanksgiving mass will be held in the Espíritu Santo church at 8 tonight presided by Archbishop Rafael Romo Muñoz, who will have returned from his tour visiting migrants from Central America in southern Mexico (see above story).

Story, El Mexicano. Jump page.

Oregon woman wanted in fatal arson arrested in Tijuana

An Oregon woman wanted in a fatal arson was arrested in Tijuana on Wednesday and deported across the border to San Diego. Tijuana newspapers appeared to have numerous inaccuracies in shray lynne thompson  mugtheir stories, including reporting that Shray Lynne Thompson, 34, had killed her boyfriend and father-in-law. Oregon media said an arson fire she is suspected of setting in Salem on Feb. 18 killed a 64-year-old man unrelated to her. She, the man and several other people were living in the house. The Tijuana newspaper El Mexicano ran pictures of Thompson, including one showing tattoos on her back, one of which was dedicated to her mother, who apparently was born in 1957 and died in 2006, and one with the 23rd psalm "Yea, tho I walk through the valley of the shadow of death." The fire victim, who died of smoke inhalation, was pictured in a 2004 booking photo with tattoos all over his head, neck and chest at the website. Thompson apparently was booked on Dec. 10, 2010 and her mug was posted on story. story. El Mexicano's story and pictures. Frontera's story.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Free wifi offered at Tecate border crossing area

As part of Internet Day on Tuesday, the city of Tecate and Telnor began offering free wifi Internet service in the area of the border crossing, El Mexicano reported. The story says people seeking to cross the border now can access the Internet while they wait.

34.9 million Mexicans use the Internet, but that still only is one-third the population


Governor of Sinaloa prohibits playing of narcocorridos in bars and nightclubs

The governor of Sinaloa state, Mario López Valdez, has prohibited the playing of narcocorridos in bars and nightclubs in the state.

Story, El Mexicano. Jump page.

UPDATE, May 20: Columnist Eduardo Ruiz-Healy writes that the governor is confusing the symptoms (narcocorridos) with the cause of the disease of drug trafficking (poverty, ignorance, broken families, social violence, lack of social and economic opportunity, among others.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Columnist writes that PRD candidate does not meet residency requirements to run for governor of Mexico state

Eduardo Ruiz-Healy writes that Alejandro Encinas, 57, does not meet the residency alejandro-encinasrequirements to be the Democratic Revolution Party's candidate for governor of Mexico state, but that the state electoral institute approved his candidacy anyway. Ruiz-Healy said Andrés Manuel López Obrador also had not met the residency requirements to run for mayor of Mexico City in 2000, but that his candidacy for the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) also was approved . López Obrador ran in 2000, and when he resigned to run for president in 2005, Encinas served the rest of López Obrador's term. >>>rest of story>>>

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Former Tijuana Mayor Federico Valdés said to be very ill

Frontera reported on Tuesday that Federico Valdés, Tijuana's mayor from 1986-1989, is very ill at the Hospital del Carmen. Valdés, 72, was reported to have had a heart attack and breathing problems.

Officials protest military's confiscation of 116,000 pesos from Ensenada legislator and councilman at roadblock

claudia agaton logoBaja California officials are up in arms about the military's treatment of an Ensenada legislator who had 116,000 pesos confiscated at a roadblock Saturday, Frontera reported. Claudia Agatón, who represents the Workers Party in the state legislature, said the money was to go to celebrate Ensenada mothers at Sunday's Festival for Mothers in Ensenada's Revolution Park. The amount is about U.S. $10,000. >>>rest of story>>>

UPDATE, May 19: El Mexicano reports that the money was returned on Monday, but that Agatón may file a formal complaint against Gen. Alfonso Duarte Mújica.


Salma Hayek portrays dancer in private Tijuana club in new movie

salma hayekSalma Hayek portrays a dancer in a private club in the movie "Americano," scheduled to be out in December, El Universal newspaper reported. Story, El Mexicano. The film, set in Los Angeles, Paris and Tijuana, is being directed by French actor Mathieu Demy and will be distributed by the French company Bac Films. "Americano" is the name of the private club. Story, Frontera.
Story, Variety.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Xolos disappoint fans with ticket-selling snafu

One would hope that if the Tijuana Xolos have a home playoff game again, the team management can devise a better way to sell tickets for the event. On Monday, hundreds of people who had waited six hours for soccer tickets were abruptly told that they wouldn't be getting any and to get out of line and go home. The club incredibly had only one ticket window open for non-Xolo Pass fans in the Pueblo Amigo shopping center; last week, it had two ticket windows operating. On Monday, many people were allowed to cut into line, further angering those left ticketless.

El Mexicano writes about the long lines formed to buy tickets.

Sewage treatment to rise to 97% this year
for Tijuana and Rosarito Beach

Hernando Durán Cabrera, director of the State Public Works Commission Tijuana office, told El Mexicano newspaper that the Tecolote-La Gloria treatment plant that will come on line this year will boost to 97 percent the amount of sewage treatment in Tijuana and Rosarito Beach.

He was quoted as saying the figure is 90% now.

The paper quoted him as saying Tijuana is leagues ahead of Guadalajara in sewage treatment, which he said dumps most of its sewage into the river. However, two wastewater treatment plants expected to treat 100% of the Guadalajara area's sewage are expected to be finished in the next two years. The Mitsui subsidiary Atlatec in 2008 signed an agreement to build a sewage treatment plant for Guadalajara.

Durán Cabrera was quoted as saying the national sewage treatment level is under 50%.

Story, El Mexicano.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Notimex reports that "Miss Bala" well-received at Cannes Film Festival

miss balaNotimex reported that Mexican director Gerardo Naranjo's film "Miss Bala" was well-received at the 6th annual Cannes Film Festival. In the film, Stephanie Sigman plays the role of Miss Baja California, who gets caught up in Mexico's drug violence. "Miss Bala" means "Miss Bullet." Twentieth Century Fox plans to release the film in the U.S. in September. Story, Frontera. The Wrap Covering Hollywood. The Hollywood Reporter. Motion Captured. Slantmagazine. Scenes and interview with Naranjo.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

U.S. government rejects calling drug cartels terrorist organizations

Story, Justice in Mexico Project from University of San Diego's Trans-Border Institute

* * * *

Xolos lose to Irapuato, 1-0, must play Irapuato again in 2-game series
to see which team advances to 1st division

Tickets for Saturday's game in Tijuana go on sale Monday at 9 a.m.

Story outlines how Mexico's third-largest city
may get into the big leagues of soccer

Tijuana's population passed that of Guadalajara and Puebla in the last decade;
its metropolitan area still is smaller, however, and ranks sixth nationwide

Article includes table of Mexico's top cities and metropolitan areas

<<<

Friday, May 13, 2011

Envoys from China, South Korea say Mexico risks falling behind if it does not sign free-trade agreements

Remarks come at Baja California-Asia forum at Tijuana's Cetys University, which establishes the Asia-Pacific Institute

By David Gaddis Smith

Envoys from China and South Korea said Thursday in Tijuana that Mexico may lose out on economic benefits if it does not sign free-trade agreements with their countries.

>>>rest of story>>>

Tijuana's mayor says his administration
never planned to cut off advertising to Zeta

carlos-bustamante-mugMayor Carlos Bustamante, in a letter published in Zeta on Friday, said there never was any meeting of officials of his administration to stop advertising with Zeta, contrary to reports published in Zeta last week. He said his administration never had interest in canceling any advertising contract with Zeta. "We regret but respect your decision not to accept advertising" from the city, the mayor wrote in a lengthy letter.

Zeta responded with a note saying that sources in the mayor's Cabinet told the paper that an advertising cutoff was discussed, also saying that government officials did not seem to understand that Zeta's editorial decisions are independent of advertising.
Last week's story.

adela navarro belloZeta's Adela Navarro wins
International Women's Media Foundation
"Courage in Journalism" award

Zeta editor Adela Navarro (right) was one of three women awarded the International Women's Media Foundation "Courage in Journalism" prize. The foundation wrote: "Adela Navarro Bello, general director and columnist for Zeta news magazine in Mexico, who reports on the escalating violence and corruption in the border city of Tijuana. Navarro Bello, 42, has refused to remain silent, despite repeated warnings that she is being targeted by drug cartels." The other two winners were Parisa Hafezi, 41, bureau chief for Reuters in Iran, and Chiranuch Premchaiporn, 43, director and webmaster of Prachatai online newspaper in Thailand.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

"El Güicho" was responsible for 46 killings in Tijuana
and 23 more in Rosarito, authorities say

He was behind attack that killed 13 at drug rehab center in Tijuana last year, officials say

Héctor Eduardo "El Güicho" Guajardo Hernández was responsible for 46 slayings in Tijuana and 23 in Rosarito, authorities said Wednesday. Guajardo, an alleged lieutenant for Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, was arrested Monday in Mexicali. Story, El Mexicano. Jump page. Story, Frontera

Update, May 20: Héctor Eduardo "El Güicho" Guajardo Hernández placed under 40-day detention order after being transferred to Mexico City. Story, Frontera. Story, El Mexicano.

Update, May 15: Héctor Eduardo "El Güicho" Guajardo Hernández remains hospitalized.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Xolos tie, 1-1; if they win Saturday in Irapuato,
they advance to first division — See Sports

Seats were oversold in Caliente stadium


Calderón wins U.N. Champion of the Earth award

President Felipe Calderón was one of five people given United Nations' Champions of the Earth awards in New York on Monday for their work to save the environment. The United Nations Environment Program award comes with a $40,000 prize. Story, Peoples Daily. Inner City Press story with a critique of the ceremony and prize winner. Story, Frontera.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mexico needs its citizens to keep their eyes on how governors spend their money, former foreign minister says

jorge castaneda mugMexican democracy has meant that there is less corruption on a grand scale in Mexico than ever, former Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castañeda said Monday in Tijuana. But large amounts of money are now being transferred to state governments, and citizens need to organize themselves in order to examine the books and curtail corruption there, Castañeda said. >>>rest of story>>>

Fans wait two hours plus to buy Xolos tickets — See Sports

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mexico marches against violence;
Catón cautions against overreacting

The columnist Catón, or Armando Fuentes Aguirre, devoted his column Monday to the marches against violence that were held or concluded Sunday across Mexico. The driving force behind the marches was poet Javier Sicilia, whose 24-year-old son and six others were killed in March in Cuernavaca, apparently by drug cartel members. Authorities say some of those killed, but not Juan Francisco Sicilia, may have had a run-in with the cartel members in the days before slayings. Three men are under arrest in the case.

Catón wrote: "The march and protest that Javier Sicilia assembled served to congregate large numbers of groups with new demands, and old demands, relating to acts of injustice and to inaction generally blamed on the authorities. From this point of view the movement is exemplary, and shows the growing irritation of the citizenry for a series of grievances that the various levels of government have not attended to as they should have. Among the requests surging from these organizations, however, is one that worries me: the demand that the military withdraw from the fight against crime and return to its barracks. This demand very easily could have been underwritten by the criminals. In the fight against crime, the army and the navy are the only forces that the public sees as trustworthy, seeing how corruption has infiltrated many police forces, which then hardly represent the law but rather often are part of the groups the public fears.... There are those who talk of human rights violations by the military.... But in the current circumstances, the withdrawal of these forces would leave communities with worse protection than what they currently suffer under." Catón's column.

UPDATE, May 11: Catón writes that he thinks Sicilia's movement's is making a mistake in its focus on demanding the firing or resignation of Public Safety Minister Genaro García Luna. Catón writes: "Certainly this man is very replaceable or dismissible. You only have to cite his actions in the so-called "michoacanazo" (where mayors in Michoacán state were arrested, then later released for lack of evidence), and the case of (Florence) Cassez (where a Frenchwoman who was the girlfriend of an alleged kidnapper has been sentenced to prison in what has become a cause celebre for France). Either of these two cases would have been sufficient, in a country of laws, for the resignation or removal of an office holder. But to make just one man the main focus of a citizens movement weakens the movement, and puts it in danger of becoming irrelevant."


Mexico to look into disbanding
Grupo Beta migrant rescue force

Move would come after creation of new border police

Mexican officials are considering disbanding the Grupo Beta migrant rescue force that operates along the border, federal Deputy Oscar Arce Paniagua told El Mexicano. Grupo Beta may become unnecessary once a new border police force comes into existence. Story, El Mexicano. Previous story on legislation calling for new border police force.

Body found hanging from bridge

A body with a narcomensaje — drug-trafficking message — was found hanging late Sunday night from the bridge on the road to Rosarito. Story, Frontera.

rolex adMexico watch: There is money to be made — and spent

And why not spend it on mom, or your wife?

There is obviously a lot of money to be made, and spent, in Mexico, as a recent advertising campaign for Rolex watches in Tijuana newspapers shows. Rolex has been putting full page ads for its watches in the dailies. The ad for the Datejust Lady 3, placed ahead of Tuesday's observance of Mother's Day in Mexico, says, in English: "Live for Greatness." A sample ad.

Social development official pays for trip back home
for kidnapped would-be migrants from Quintana Roo

david saul guakil mugA couple who traveled from Quintana Roo state to Tijuana to cross the border illegally was kidnapped, robbed of their money, and held hostage for ransom from relatives in the U.S. before being freed, El Mexicano reported. Tijuana's top social development official, David Saúl Guakil, (left) paid for Jhonathan Orlando Deanda Solís and his girlfriend to take buses back to their home state, the paper reported. The couple, upon arrival at Tijuana's bus station, was "befriended" by a man who promised their passage across the border. The couple and others also being held for ransom in a downtown hotel were freed in an operation by authorities, the paper said.
Previous story about a would-be female border crosser being held hostage in hotel, then bound and dumped on street

Previous story about woman being held hostage in Rosarito hotel room

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Xolos defeat León 2-0 to advance to finals — See Sports

Saturday, May 7, 2011

L.A. Times writes about how Mexico
is wrestling with U.S. travel warnings

Article cites drop in bookings at Tijuana's Pueblo Amigo,
but does not mention this week's fatal shooting outside the hotel

The Los Angeles Times business section had a story on its cover Saturday, "Mexico woos tourists as U.S. advises travelers to avoid parts of the violence-plagued country." The article quotes Americans as saying they feel safe traveling in Mexico. But it said international visitors fell to 79.8 million in 2010 from 91.5 million in 2008 and that the number of day-trippers crossing the U.S. border into Mexico in January was down 16% from the same month in 2011, a drop of 16%.

The article quotes Salvador Gonzalez, owner of Baja Adventures & ATV Tours in San Diego, as saying "unfortunately only the bad news gets out." The article says bookings at the Hotel Pueblo Amigo Plaza & Casino in Tijuana fell more than 15 percentage points to around 51%, but does not mention that a man was shot and killed outside the hotel this week. See previous story about the shooting below. This drop and El Mexicano newspaper operator Eligio Valencia's relationship with Pueblo Amigo owner Jorge Hank Rhon may explain why El Mexicano newspaper did not even run a story about the shooting, which was covered by the rest of Tijuana's media.

Last month's State Department alert said Americans should exercise caution while while traveling in Baja California and urged Americans to postpone non-essential travel to Tamaulipas and Michoacan states and parts of Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Sinaloa, Durango, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi and Jalisco.

Friday, May 6, 2011

UPDATE, May 13: Mayor Bustamante, in a letter published in Zeta on May 13, said there never was any meeting of officials of his administration to stop advertising with Zeta. He said his administration never had interest in canceling any advertising contract with Zeta. "We regret but respect your decision not to accept advertising" from the city. Story above.

Zeta to refuse advertising
from Bustamante administration

City of Tijuana, upset with coverage, doesn't want to give paper any anyway

zeta coverThe Tijuana newsweekly Zeta said in its Friday edition that it would refuse advertising from the Tijuana government of Mayor Carlos Bustamante. It previously refused advertising from the 2004-2007 Tijuana government of Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon, saying it could not in good conscience accept money from the man whose employees killed Zeta journalist Héctor "El Gato" Félix in 1988. In a Page 2 story entitled "Libertad," or "Freedom," Rosario Mosso Castro wrote that Tijuana officials had recently held a meeting on stopping advertising in the paper, with the justification "We shouldn't keep advertising each week if every week they keep hitting us." Mosso Castro wrote that "this means that the media with which the city signed 'millionaire' agreements 'don't hit them' and therefore are given a good part of the city's budget. There's no two ways about it."

The article went on to say that "Don Carlos Bustamante and his team don't get that this weekly's duty is to its readers and to freedom of expression."

Zeta has been a thorn in the side of the city government, pointing out that its advertising campaign blaming former Mayor Jorge Ramos for Tijuana's potholes used a photo of a Guadalajara pothole and also that Bustamante's administration is spending heavily on advertising and public relations.

Jaime Flores discusses Bustamante's anger with Zeta
Gilberto Lavenant discusses the Jalisco pothole issue

Mexicali woman's murder sentence
in abortion case is annulled

Woman, 21, claimed she had had a spontaneous abortion

A Mexicali woman who had been sentenced to 23 years in prison for the murder of her unborn child in an abortion case has had her sentence annulled, El Mexicano reported. Lesly Karina Díaz Zamora, 21, had spent three years behind bars, although she was only sentenced in January. She said she had had a spontaneous abortion. Story, El Mexicano. Story, Frontera.
Previous mention of case in

UPDATE, May7: State Attorney General Rommel Moreno Manjarrez says he will not appeal the decision freeing Díaz Zamora.
Díaz Zamora discusses her time in prison.

Oliver Stone visits Tijuana

oliver stoneOliver Stone was given a tour of the Caliente racetrack and gambling facilities on Thursday, Frontera reported. He did not talk with the media. An item in Frontera said: "If a famous director like Oliver Stone walks around the city as if there were nothing to it, why can't the tourists come? Hopefully he will make a film here, so that it can help Tijuana improve its image internationally." (Nicolas Genin photo)

Thursday, May 5, 2001

¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Comprehensive report on 2010 Baja California census

The Union-Tribune's San Dibble has a good, comprehensive front-page story on results of the 2010 census on Tijuana and Baja California. The story.

Wednesday, May 4, 2001

Xolos defeat Leon, 1-0; must win or tie Saturday to advance — see Sports

Man shot and killed outside Pueblo Amigo hotel in Tijuana's Río Zone

A man was shot and killed outside the Pueblo Amigo hotel in Tijuana's Río Zone about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Frontera reported. The front driveway entrance was blocked with police tape. El Sol de joshua-emmanuel-abregoTijuana's report. Frontera's online story. The story was not to be found in El Mexicano, in the print edition or online. has a photo of Xolos player Joshua Emmanuel Ábrego (right) looking out of his room observing the slaying scene. The article is entitled, "De fútbol y de muerte," or "Of Soccer and Death." Hotel Pueblo Amigo is owned by Jorge Hank Rhon, as is the Xolos team.

Story, photos on Agencia Fronteriza de Noticias website.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mexico plans new border police force

Federal Deputy Óscar Arce Paniagua said Monday that a new federal border police force may come into effect next year to protect migrants from being kidnapped, extorted or otherwise maltreated in human trafficking schemes. In a press conference at the National Action Party's Tijuana headquarters with federal deputies Gastón Luken and Gerardo Cortez, Arce Paniagua said a new migration law allows the new force. Arce Paniagua said legislators will have to work out a budget for the force in the next legislative session, which starts in September.

Mexico already has Grupo Beta, part of the National Migration Institute, which helps rescue migrants who are at risk. A recent El Universal story said Grupo Beta rescued 1,000 people at risk along the border in the first two months of this year and aided 35,000.

The border police would be part of the federal police force and try to work in hand in hand with the National Migration Institute and the U.S. Border Patrol, officials said.

Meantime, El Mexicano ran a story Tuesday about a woman who said she wanted to cross the border, was held hostage in a hotel room while her kidnappers threatened to rape or kill her and sought $6,000 from her family for her freedom. The paper said she was eventually bound with tape and dumped on Ernesto Riedel street in the Pedregal de Santa Julia neighborhood Sunday.

Arce Pianagua, Luken and Cortez also lamented that political and other reforms did not pass in the session that ended last week and blamed the Institutional Revolutionary Party. Luken said nothing is passing unless state of Mexico Gov. Enrique Peña Nieto, the PRI's front-runner for the presidency, gives his OK.

UPDATE, May 4: Former PRI deputy Carlos Barboza Castillo criticizes the local PAN legislators' criticism, saying the legislators were sheep following a national PAN campaign to discredit Peña Nieto. Item in Frontera.

Six schools vandalized over Easter vacation

The state education ministry said six schools were vandalized over Easter vacation in Tijuana, bringing to 17 the number vandalized this year. Copper wiring and computer equipment were among items taken, Frontera reported.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama bin Laden and what his death may mean for Mexico

chapo guzman mugSome speculate most-wanted man now could be "El Chapo" Guzmán;
it is more likely to be al-Qaeda's No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, however

osama bin laden mug

Ten years ago, Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge Castañeda was aiming for the "big enchilada" — a comprehensive migration reform package with the U.S. — when the Sept. 11 attacks happened. Although President Bush and other U.S. officials already were applying the brakes on Castañeda's idea, the Sept. 11 attacks — masterminded by Osama bin Laden — ensured that such reform was not going to happen anytime soon. Ironically, the attacks occurred just days after President George W. Bush's state dinner for President Vicente Fox.

The attacks brought about a tsunami of change in U.S. border security. This in turn helped bring about a situation where many Americans seem unable to distinguish between Mexicans seeking a better livelihood and terrorists bent on attacking the United States. President Barack Obama is continuing the security push, making immigration reform appear to be far on the horizon. The reaction of Osama bin Laden's followers to his death in Pakistan on Monday, and their short- and long-term effect on security measures, remains to be seen. >>>rest of story>>>


María Elvia Amaya de Hank makes appearance

She shows up, along with her husband, Jorge Hank, at Xolos 5-1 soccer victory

María Elvia de Hank, who had been seriously ill and had a bone-marrow transplant in Switzerland, made an appearance at Sunday's Xolos soccer game in Tijuana with her husband, former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon. The Xolos, who have the opportunity to move up to Mexico's top soccer division, won to advance to a two-game series with León starting Wednesday. Story, Frontera. Item about María Elvia Amaya de Hank, Frontera. Xolos win, 5-1, over Cruz Azul Hidalgo.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

UABC professor dies in car accident

The head of the Autonomous University of Baja California's humanities department in Tijuana, Ramón Mundo Muñoz, died in an accident Friday night when his car ran off a curve on a trip to a UABC meeting in the Valle de Guadalupe in the state's wine country, Frontera reported. Frontera said he had taught many Baja California journalists and public relations experts. Funeral plans and tributes. Rector pays tribute to Mundo Muñoz.

Proceso runs article on Enedina Arellano

enedina arellanoWhat is left of the Arellano Félix cartel is now run by the Arellanos' cousin, Fernando Sánchez Arellano, and their sister, Enedina, who just turned 50. Story about Enedina Arellano in Proceso. Proceso's article says Enedina Arellano had won a contest to be Mazatlán's beauty queen at age 16, in 1977, but then elected not to wear the crown because her brothers, working for Pacific Cartel chief Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, were wanted by authorities. She later studied accounting in a private university in Guadalajara.

April 30, 2011

Benjamín Arellano extradited to San Diego,
but dragon of drug trafficking
still breathing fire in Tijuana

By David Gaddis Smith

benjamin-arellano-mugIn a 2000 column entitled "Who will slay the dragon in Tijuana?" I wrote about how the brutal Arellano Félix drug-trafficking gang would someday be brought down to earth.
It might have happened sooner than many expected, with the 2002 death of cartel enforcer Ramón Arellano in Mazatlán and the 2002 capture of the gang's financial brains, Benjamín Arellano, (left) in Puebla. Then came the capture of Javier Arellano by the U.S. when he was boating off Baja California Sur in 2006.
The United States, whose tracking of Benjamín Arellano's daughter was a key element in his capture, finally has him in hand as he was extradited to San Diego on Friday. >>>rest of story>>>

MexicoPerspective files for April for March for February

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