A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.
The lining with concrete of the Arroyo Alamar is advancing, El Mexicano reported. The paper quoted officials as saying more than 40,000 Tijuana residents will benefit from the project, El Mexicano reported.
Update, Nov. 16: Officials outline travel time savings in El Mexicano story.
June 18 story on Arroyo Alamar.
A man detained for driving a tanker without license plates in the Villa del Prado area of Tijuana was arrested after 6,000 liters (1,585 gallons) of gasoline was found in the tanker. The man, Guillermo Eduardo Fernández Chong, 24, said he had taken the fuel from a Pemex pipeline in Tecate and then sold it clandestinely to motorists; three tanks capable of holding 1,000 liters of gasoline each also were found at his home. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Oct. 31: Truck with 2,000 liters of gasoline abandoned in Mexicali; officials suspect another theft from Pemex.
A serviceman in the Mexican navy and a criminal suspect were killed in a shootout between Mexican government forces and an armed gang in Los Cabos.. Two police were wounded in the confrontation, which started about 11 p.m. Friday and ended around 2 a.m. Saturday, Frontera reported.
On Tuesday, Commander Martín Márquez Ruiz was assassinated; he had been investigating four killings that took place in August; his investigation involved questioning detained suspects.
A second shootout, was reported Saturday afternoon near a Soriana supermarket shopping center in the Brisas del Pacífico area of Los Cabos. No injuries were reported.
Stories in Frontera.
Authorities seized an ultralight aircraft presumably used to transport drugs across the border in addition to cocaine and meth in Mexicali. Four men were arrested.
Story, Frontera (PDF).
Two people waiting to cross the border at San Ysidro reported that they were robbed Friday morning of 97,000 pesos ($7,400) that had just been withdrawn from a bank, El Mexicano reported. The money had been withdrawn from a Bancomer in the Zona Río. One person also had 300 pesos ($23) in a wallet and a Blackberry taken. The second person in the car had 2,000 ($153) pesos, a Blackberry and a laser visa stolen, the paper said. The robbery took place near where the Via Rápida merges into border crossing lanes. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
A judge ordered that pretrial detention continue for 10 suspects in the Casino Royale arson that killed 52 people in Monterrey on Aug. 25. The 10 suspects are Roberto Carlos López Castro, José Alberto Loera Rodríguez, Julio Tadeo Berrones Ramírez, Javier Alonso Martínez Morales, Jonathan Jair Reyna Gutiérrez, Luis Carlos Carranza Mendoza, Tomás Barbosa Sánchez, José Alfredo Grimaldo Rodríguez and Gerardo Alejandro de León Jiménez. Story in Frontera.
The United States gave 10 "All Terrain VACIS Imaging System" pickup trucks to the Mexican military in Tijuana to aid in the fight against organized crime. Equipment in the SAIC-equipped trucks is able to show most everything present in other vehicles they scan. The trucks were donated as part of the Mérida Initiative. Officials said the gamma ray images will find hidden drugs and weapons more quickly than normal inspections.
Among those present at the handover ceremony at the 28th Infantry Battalion headquarters was U.S. Consul Steven Kashkett.
Story, Frontera (PDF).
A break in a 52-inch water main has caused Tijuana to shut off water to a major portion of the city. Frontera reported that while while work continues on fixing the main, water was being shut off in 43% of the city, in the Canalización del Río zone to Playas de Tijuana and in Rosarito. Some major thoroughfares also were being closed as part of the work. The state water agency said the break occurred around bulevar El Refugio and likely would not be repaired until Sunday afternoon.
Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Oct. 30: Residents complain about water shortage. Story, Frontera (PDF)
Update, Oct. 31: Water service returns to many areas, El Mexicano reports.
Update, Nov. 1: Another water shutoff planned. Frontera (PDF)
Update, Nov. 2: Water service is still out in parts of Rosarito. Frontera (PDF).
Water still out for some residents, and pressure low for others, El Mexicano reports.
14 suspected criminals died in three shootouts with federal forces in Michoacán state: one shootout was in Pátzcuaro, one in Nocupétaro and one on La Piedad-Guadalajara federal highway.
Also, six were killed in a shootout in Sinaloa state, including a family of three caught in the crossfire. The bodies of three suspected criminals killed were later seized from the morgue, presumably by the suspects' families or organization, El Mexicano reported.
Two Ciudad Juárez policemen also were killed Friday.
Stories, Frontera (PDF)
Columnist Sergio Sarmiento writes that journalist Miguel Ángel Granados Chapa, who died Oct. 16 at age 70, took his own life. It had been previously reported that it was thought that Granados Chapa was suffering from cancer.
Sarmiento's column (PDF).
Previous mention of Granados Chapa's death.
This week's issue of Proceso magazine has a number of articles on Granados Chapa, including a moving one from journalist-playwright Vicente Leñero about his relationship with him going back to the 1970s at Excélsior newspaper before a number of journalists, under pressure from the government, left the paper and formed Proceso.
Óscar Emilio Núñez López, an alleged operator for Armando "El Gordo" Villarreal, was arrested in six kidnapping cases. Núñez López, 36, originally from Sinaloa, said he had been kidnapping for five years, getting $10,000 to $20,000 per victim. He said his brother Alberto led the kidnapping band until he was captured.
Villarreal, originally from San Diego, was captured July 9 in Hermosillo. Villarreal reportedly worked for Fernando "El Ingeniero" Sánchez Arellano. Story in Frontera (PDF).
July mention of Villarreal capture.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Homeland Security is buying three more drones for the border even though it does not have enough pilots for the seven Predators it already has. A Homeland Security source told the paper it did not ask for the drones; onus for the purchase was placed on the Southern California drone lobby.
The Times also editorialized on what it essentially termed illogical and unreasonably expensive positions that Republican candidates are taking on border enforcement, such as calling for alligator moats and double border fences. It said such calls, while border enforcement may be "more stringent now than perhaps any other time in U.S. history," make the GOP "the party of nada."
Story, Los Angeles Times.
Editorial, Los Angeles Times.
Former Mexico City Mayor and three-time presidential candidate CuauhtémocCárdenas today received the Belisario Domínguez Prize for his service to the nation. Cárdenas, 77, a founder of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party, broke from the Institutional Revolutionary Party in 1987. The son of former President Lázaro Cárdenas, he served as a PRI governor of Michoacán state from 1980-1986. Many believe that if it he wasn't cheated out of victory in the 1988 presidential election, that then at least the election was patently unfair. (See Sergio Sarmiento's column on Cárdenas (PDF).
On Friday, the man who won the 1988 presidential election, Carlos Salinas de Gortari, is to speak at CETYS University in Mexicali as part of that institution's 50th anniversary celebrations.
Cárdenas' honors come shortly after a previous Belisario Domínguez Prize recipient, Miguel Angel Granados Chapa, died at age 70.
Tijuana Mayor Carlos Bustamante on Tuesday encouraged the construction of the July 11 plaza project next to city hall. The project, which would would provide a building for community meetings and link the site over the Tijuana River to the Tijuana Cultural Center and the Plaza del Rio shopping center, is being spearheaded by Bustamante's former wife, Carolina Aubanel. Story in Frontera (PDF).
Previous mention of Oct. 22 rally for plaza.
Columnist Sergio Sarmiento wrote about Mexican corn and how he believes Mexico must use transgenic corn to get better yields. He said Greenpeace is attacking Maices Mexicanos, the Corns of Mexico, because it has received money from Monsanto, a leader in the introduction of transgenic grains. Sarmiento said it is not a question of whether transgenic corn will be used in Mexico, but how it will be used. He said higher yielding U.S. corn has been displacing Mexican farmers from the market, and that by stopping or slowing the use of transgenic corn in Mexico, Greenpeace is actually helping U.S. farmers and hurting Mexican ones.
Sarmiento said it is unfortunate that Raul Hernández Garciadiego, who won the Iniciativa México prize in 2010 without anyone objecting to his philosophical positions on transgenic corn, now is attacking another for his ideas. Maices Mexicanos also is being presented to Iniciativa Mexico. Sarmiento said Monsanto, in addition to to introducing transgenic corn, has financed programs to preserve Mexico's indigenous corn germoplasms. Hernández won a 10 million peso prize for his project "Agua para Siempre" (Water Forever). Sarmiento's column (PDF).
Four murders in 24 hours pushed the number of killings in Mexicali well above 100 for the year. The Baja California capital had registered 102 slayings through September, up from 72 during the same time period in 2010, 76 in 2009 and 83 in 2008, Frontera reported. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Julián Alejandro Manzano Paniagua, 20, killed his half brother and half sister, ages 13 and 14, because he felt they were getting more favorable treatment, Tijuana police said. Killed were Grisel Gutiérrez Paniagua, 13, and Ignacio Gutiérrez Paniagua, 14, Frontera reported. They lived in Foviste Segunda Sección in the
Centenario district of the city. Manzano Paniagua reportedly killed his half brother with a hammer and his half sister with a rock.
Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Oct. 25: Funeral for the siblings (PDF).
Update, Oct. 31: Zeta reports that Julián Alejandro Manzano Paniagua's father, Juan Manzano Cohen, has been in Tijuana's La Mesa prison since 2005 for murder.
Excélsior Columnist Leo Zuckermann says Enrique Peña Nieto, the Institutional Revolutionary Party politician who is leading in the polls for next year's presidential election, has begun to reveal more of his positions on the issues.
Zuckermann said Peña Nieto last week bucked his party somewhat on investment in the oil sector, saying that while Mexico needs to retain ownership of the country's oil, it also needs more foreign investment in the oil sector. Peña Nieto said this could help the country economically. Zuckermann wrote: "I celebrate that the PRI presidential hopeful has a modern and bold vision on this issue." Zuckermann said that when President Felipe Calderón tried to open up the petroleum sector, he was beaten to pieces by nationalist dinosaurs, in the PRI and elsewhere.
Zuckermann said Peña Nieto supported Calderón's use of the military in the fight against organized crime and attempts to better train police. Although many politicians have railed against the use of the military, polls show the public widely has confidence in the armed forces. Zuckermann said Peña Nieto offered up nothing new on education.
Zuckermann said Peña Nieto proposed a new social security and health system with "four fundamental elements: health care for all Mexicans; workmen's compensation for injuries; unemployment insurance; and retirement pensions." Zuckermann said Peña Nieto did not provide the necessary details to fully understand his proposal, however.
Zuckermann said Peña Nieto was most bold with his proposal to make it easier for a party to obtain a majority in Congress, reducing the number of at-large seats in the Chamber of Deputies from 200 to 100, and changing the constitution to limit overrepresentation to no more than 8% of the national vote of a party.
Zuckermann's column, in Frontera (PDF)
Saturday's mention of Peña Nieto's proposal on at-large deputies
Previous story mentioning Peña Nieto's desire to reduce at-large legislators
By David Gaddis Smith
On Friday, the first Mexican truck crossed the border to head for the U.S interior under the North American Free Trade Agreement.
How did this take 17 years? I once wrote a column saying the event would have to take place after the 1996 U.S. presidential election for political reasons, but who would have thought it would have taken 15 more years after that? There were also safety and labor concerns.
By waiting until now, there is much greater technology to track Mexican (and U.S.) trucks, setting it up so that it is likely that only well-funded Mexican transportation firms with state-of-the-art trucks cross the border. The Olympic company truck hauling a steel drilling structure entered at Laredo.
Story in Frontera (PDF).
July story about agreement on truck entry.
Enrique Peña Nieto, the former Mexico state governor who has a wide lead in the race for president, called Friday for the elimination of 100 at-large seats in the federal Chamber of Deputies to make it easier for a party to gain a majority in Congress and pass legislation. Story in Frontera.
Previous story mentioning Peña Nieto's desire to reduce at-large legislators
National Action Party presidential hopeful Josefina Vázquez Mota wrote party President Gustavo Madero and asked him to reconsider the way many candidates for the federal legislature are picked. Many are chosen from on high rather than a more competitive electoral process.
Story in Frontera (PDF).
The PAN also recently decided to choose its presidential candidate through a vote of registered PAN members, rather than through a direct primary in which all Mexicans could participate. This more closed process favors the candidate seen as President Felipe Calderón's choice, former finance minister Ernesto Cordero. The PRI will be holding an open primary in February. Benedicto Ruiz writes that the Democratic Revolution Party will use an as-yet undefined poll to select its candidate. Ruiz's analysis on how parties are selecting their candidates, in Frontera (PDF).
Former Tijuana Mayor and current federal Deputy Francisco Vega de Lamadrid says on his Facebook page that a poll shows he is the leading candidate for the National Action Party for governor of Baja California in 2013, Frontera reported. Second was federal Interior Minister Francisco Blake Mora and third was former Tijuana Mayor Héctor Osuna Jaime. Frontera's political tidbits column kind of laughed at the poll, saying Blake Mora was the odds-on favorite. Frontera's item, near the end of the column (PDF).
Previous mention of Vega and the 2012 presidential race
Vega, Santiago Creel meet with Elba Esther Gordillo
Previous mention of Kiko Vega and Tijuana's arch and clock.
Aéreo Calafia said it was starting a direct flight between Tijuana and Loreto today, at an introductory cost of 1,300 pesos one-way ($99). The Cessna plane with room for 30 passengers will fly on Wednesday, Friday and Sundays.
Story, Frontera. The airline's website. (The story says flights are on Thursdays, but the airline says they are on Fridays)
The New York Times has published a story on what border fence options might cost in light of Republican presidential candidates' call for increased border enforcement. Candidate Herbert Cain has called for an electrified border fence and Michelle Bachmann has called for a double border fence all along the border. Story, New York Times.
One of the best analyses of the cost of border enforcement comes from University of California San Diego political scientist Gordon Hanson in a paper he wrote in 2009 for the Migration Policy Institute. Using a cost-benefit analysis, he found that the cost of completely shutting off the border could only be beneficial to the United States if new costs were less than $10 billion, noting that an annual cost of $10 billion to $15 billion for border enforcement in the 2000-2010 decade still was allowing in half a million illegal immigrants a year. Gordon Hanson, "The Economics and Policy of Illegal Immigration in the United States." Page 12.
Cost of Cain's alligator moat proposal.
Update, Oct. 21: New York Times story on how tough GOP proposals for border could help President Barack Obama keep the conservative Hispanic vote and win swing states of Colorado, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico again.
Residents of San Quintín have joined together to form a committee that would allow their Baja California community, now a part of Ensenada, to become its own municipality. The committee is made up of residents of the districts of Punta de Colonet, Camalú, Vicente Guerrero, San Quintín and el Rosario. The committee says residents are tired of being treated like second-class citizens.
San Felipe, on the Sea of Cortez, is also seeking status as a municipality.
Story in Frontera (PDF).
Tijuana boxer Jackie Nava, who defeated the Argentine boxer Edith Soledad Matthysse earlier this month in Tijuana, met with National Action Party politician Josefina Vázquez Mota in Mexico City, gave her the gloves from the match and said she was backing Vázquez Mota for president. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Story on the boxing match.
Luis Rubio on Josefina Vázquez Mota.
A home in the Camino Verde neighborhood that had been used by organized crime is now going to be home to a branch of the Boys and Girls Club of Tijuana. Story, Frontera (PDF)
Columnist Miguel Ángel Granados Chapa died Sunday, two days after saying farewell to his readers. He was 70.
He had written the Plaza Pública column for 34 years. The Senate awarded him the Belisario Domínguez prize for lifetime achievement in 2008. He was part of a group of journalists that left Excélsior newspaper in 1976 to form the newsweekly Proceso. Story in Frontera (PDF).
Sergio Sarmiento column on Granados Chapa (PDF). Los Angeles Times story.
Previous mention of his retirement.
Update, Oct. 18: Reforma looks back on Granados Chapa's life. PDF, Frontera.
61 men who had been kidnapped were rescued by the military in a safe house in Piedras Negras, Coahuila. One was a Honduran migrant. Authorities said members of organized were trying to forcibly recruit them to join their organization. Story in Frontera.
President Felipe Calderón, in an interview with the New York Times, defended the drug war and highlighted job creation in Mexico.
The paper reported that Calderón met with U.S. legislators and discussed the drug issue, and that Rep. Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican, said afterward: "He said the PRI candidate is going to be weak on this issue and sleep in the same bed as the cartels."
<<<Rest of story>>>
Frontera has a question-and-answer interview with new Tijuana police director
Ricardo H. Garduño, who is serving under new police chief Alberto Capella Ibarra. Garduño, a retired military officer, has less than a year with the Tijuana police force. He said he came to Tijuana because he has some family here, but basically knew no one else in the area. He started as district chief in Sanchez Taboada in November 2010 and then was transferred to the Cerro Colorado district, where he strove to meet with community leaders and other residents. Garduño, who is relatively young, called himself green (inexperienced) but also very blue (the police uniform color). He said he hopes the police force can gain the confidence of Tijuana residents.
Q&A, in Frontera (PDF).
Frontera has a question-and-answer interview with National Action Party presidential hopeful Ernesto Cordero, who visited Mexicali on Friday. He noted that he has gone from 5% to 17% in the polls since leaving his Cabinet post as finance minister last month, while still trailing the other two PAN candidates, former congressional leader Josefina Vázquez Mota and former interior minister and senator Santiago Creel. He said the country is in relatively good shape because of the financial reserves it has built up. He said he could not promise Mexicali residents that their electricity rates would go down. He said he hoped that more and more civilian police could be trained to supplant military forces doing police duties in many municipalities.
Q&A, in Frontera (PDF).
Miguel Ángel Granados Chapa, three-time winner of the national journalism prize and author of the column Plaza Pública since 1977, has retired. Granados Chapa, 70, wrote the column for Reforma newspaper since the paper began in 1993. He was director of the magazine Proceso in 1976-77 and director of the newspaper La Jornada from 1988-1990. He also unsuccessfully ran for governor of Hidalgo state in 1999 on a leftist ticket but finished third with less than 14% of the vote. Story in Frontera.
Gail Collins' column in the New York Times quotes an expert as saying that Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's proposal to build a moat along the U.S.-Mexico border and fill it with alligators would have an astronomical cost. It would be very difficult to keep alligators in that dry climate, University of Florida expert Frank Mazzotti said. The column: "Here's the Herminator".
Update, Oct. 16: Cain, Michele Bachmann "deliver blistering attacks on illegal immigration": New York Times.
Associated Press story in Frontera.
Update, Oct. 20: New York Times story on cost of border fence, published after Cain called for an electrified fence and Bachmann called for a double-fence all along the border.
Mother Antonio Brenner, the "prison nun," was recognized for her altruism by the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana on Thursday for her work with U.S. convicts in the La Mesa prison. The former Beverly Hills socialite began her work in the prison in 1978, Frontera reported. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Mother Antonia was subject of a documentary, "La Mama: An American Nun’s Life in a Mexican Prison."
An anonymous tip of people carrying packages led the Mexican military to a trailer with 16 tons of marijuana in Tijuana's Otay Constituyentes neighborhood, Frontera reported. Packages were labeled with superhero logos such as Batman and Captain America, in addition to Homer Simpson. Authorities said they believed the drugs came through Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán.
Story, photo, Frontera (PDF).
Mexicali drug busts (PDF).
Carlos "La Rana" Oliva Castillo, head of the Zetas in Mexico's northeast, was taken into custody in Saltillo on Thursday. Authorities said he ordered the attack on the Casino Royale in Monterrey that killed 52 people Aug. 25 as part of an alleged extortion attempt. Story, Frontera (PDF)
Update, Oct. 16: Alleged leaders of Zetas in Monterrey captured. Story, Frontera (PDF)
Construction is moving along on the Caracol aquarium and science museum in Ensenada and the building is expected to open in November 2012, Frontera reported. The project is costing 167 million pesos ($12.5 million), of which 53% is coming from the federal government and 43% from the state government, the paper reported. Story, Frontera.
The president of Coparmex's branch in Tijuana, Juan Manuel Hernández Niebla, lamented that the political reform being considered by the Chamber of Deputies on Thursday does not allow consecutive re-election of candidates. Still, the question of allowing consecutive re-election may be put forward to voters as a referendum question. Two of the major candidates for president, Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party and Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the Democratic Revolution Party, oppose consecutive re-election. The reform would allow independent candidacies but does nothing to reduce at-large candidacies. The lack of consecutive re-election and the large number of at-large candidacies are seen as factors that benefit political parties, but not voters. Story, Frontera.
Meanwhile, State Department official Philip Goldberg told the U.S. Congress that political rivalries in Mexico are blocking Mexico's progress on economic and judicial reforms. Political reforms such as consecutive re-election also are seen as important elements in moving Mexico forward.
Story, El Universal.
The Tijuana Walk of Fame, designed to show the positive side of Tijuana, inducted 12 more individual members and a professional sports organization Wednesday. Only one new inductee was a woman. They include:
• Raúl Plascencia Villanueva, (left) head of the national human rights commission.
• The Tijuana Xolos soccer team, and its president, Jorgealberto Hank and vice president, Alberto Murguía.
<<<Rest of story>>>
Two Tijuana tourist policemen have been suspended for allegedly extorting 1,000 pesos ($75) from a 17-year-old U.S. tourist, Frontera and El Mexicano reported. The policemen accompanied the tourist to an ATM, where 1,000 pesos were reportedly withdrawn. Bank employees notified police authorities of the suspicious action by calling the 066 emergency number, and other police quickly arrived on the scene the papers said. The policemen involved were Jesús Gustavo Cañedo
Fonseca, 30, with seven years on the force, and
Ricardo Ignot Gapi, 25, with five years' experience, the papers said. El Mexicano reported that the two policemen allegedly had taken documents from the youth and gave them back in exchange for the money, while also pressuring him by telling him he could be arrrested for possessing a marijuana pipe. El Mexicano said no such pipe was found.
Story, Frontera (PDF).
New police chief Alberto Capella Ibarra said he is not going to tolerate corrupt actions on his force.
Two men were shot to death in their van parked at a gas station convenience store in Rosarito Beach around 11 p.m. Monday. The victims were identified as Ramón "El Gordo" Guerrero Victoria, 31, and Antonio "Tony" Chávez, 37. A woman who was with them survived because she was in the convenience store when the attack occurred.
Meanwhile, former Tecate policeman José
Amador Ortiz Morfin, 50, was found shot to death in a vehicle with California plates on the Tecate-Mexicali free road. Stories, Frontera (PDF).
Studies show Tijuana and Mexicali to have high air contamination levels. Mexicali registered the highest particulate count in the nation, according to news reports. This was attributed in part to its large number of unpaved roads, wind and because the desert city has relatively few green areas. Tijuana's poor readings were attributed to vehicle pollution. The studies were done by the Secretaría de Protección al Ambiente del Estado with the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (Semarnat), El Mexicano newspaper said. Measures being taken to improve the situation in Mexicali include reducing factory pollution, paving roads, using less-polluting buses and reforestation.
Starting next year, vehicles registered in Baja California must be shown to have working antipollution devices in order to be renewed.
Tijuana-Rosarito pollution study (July 2010, PDF).
2009 Mexicali pollution study (Autonomous University of Baja California).
Mexicali pollution study (2005, PDF)
Mexicali appoints air-quality committee (Aug. 12) New committee, with photo.
Former Baja California Gov. Milton Castellanos Everardo died at age 91 early Monday at his home in Mexicali. His grandson, Milton Castellanos García, said he died of natural causes.
The Institutional Revolutionary Party politician governed from 1971-1977. El Mexicano said that because Castellanos was an inclusive politician, many consider him to have been the best governor the state has had.
During his term, the Río Tijuana was lined with concrete, ending flooding along the riverbank and doing away with Cartolandia, shacks made of cardboard that people lived in along the riverbank.
He was born March 23, 1920, in Copainalá in Chiapas state. Trained as a lawyer, he moved to Mexicali in the 1950s. He headed the state Supreme Court from 1959-1965; during his term a courtroom complex was built in Tijuana.
Former Tijuana Mayor Fernando Márquez Arce has kind words for Castellanos in Arce's recent book, "Memorias de Un Presidente." He said Castellanos helped bring greater impartiality to the Baja California legal system. Márquez Arce was selected to be the PRI candidate for mayor during Castellanos' term.
Castellanos is survived by his wife, five children, 27 grandchildren and 28 great-grandchildren. Son Milton Castellanos Gout served as mayor of Mexicali from 1989-1992.
Story, Frontera (PDF) (paper got his age off by 20 years, perhaps by confusing the starting year of his gubernatorial term with his age).
Esquela ad lamenting his death from Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán.
El Mexicano has several articles and an editorial Monday indicating an increase in petty crime, auto theft and extortion in Tijuana. An editorial entitled "Thousands of stolen cars" said 15,200 vehicles had been stolen in Tijuana as of August, and said Gen. Alfonso Duarte Mújica had said auto theft had risen 300% recently. The story said whatever the statistics, Tijuana residents don't have the resources to go out and buy new cars. It said cars are being stolen in shopping center parking lots, busy streets and even in front of government offices, The editorial said the vehicles must be going somewhere, and that authorities should get on the case. It also said that when people report the thefts of their vehicles, they face a long wait before they then find out there is little chance they will get their auto back. Editorial, El Mexicano. Editorial in El Mexicano. (PDF)
The paper also reported on the Chamber of Commerce's call for Tijuana's new police chief, Alberto Capella Ibarra, to clamp down on the extortion attempts and robberies against businesses in eastern Tijuana. Chamber President Karim Chalita Rodríguez said that while crime seems to have lessened in the center of Tijuana, extortion and robberies have been on the rise in eastern Tijuana. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump page.
Last month, former Rosarito Beach Mayor Hugo Torres Chabert was quoted in El Sol de Tijuana as saying police extortion of tourists and vehicle break-ins were discouraging tourists from returning to Baja California. He is now coordinator of the Comité de Imagen de Baja California.
Update, Oct. 11: State schools representative
César Sánchez Frehem says half of vandalized schools are in eastern Tijuana, El Mexicano reports.
A crocodile that escaped its enclosure at the Mexicali zoo and wooded park has been recaptured on the park grounds after 12 days. Zoo director Alberto Monge gave the crocodile the name Houdini. The walls of the crocodile enclosure are being raised and a roof is being put on to prevent a second escape. Officials said that although the crocodile put up quite a fight, no one was hurt. Story, photo, Frontera (PDF).
The only apparent previous mention of the escape in El Mexicano or Frontera newspapers was in the Stampede of the Buffaloes column in El Mexicano on Oct. 6. Columnist Víctor Islas Parra wrote there that the zoo director's nickname is "El Oso" (the bear). That column (PDF).
It was not clear what kind of crocodile it was, but the photo in the newspaper made it appear to be a cocodrilo americano. According to Banderas News, there were three crocodile attacks around Puerto Vallarta last year, including a fatal one involving a fisherman who had apparently been drinking.
The Zacatecas state attorney general said nine bodies were found around rural roads near Valparaíso, six of them policemen inside their burned police car.Story in Frontera (PDF).
A Randstad Holding survey of Mexican workers found that 3 of 10 have a woman for a boss and that four in 10 would like to have a woman as their boss, according to a Notimex story in El Mexicano).
Authorities said they had dismantled luxury prison cells in Ciudad Juárez. The dismantling took place after the prison was transferred from city to state control two weeks ago. Last week, weapons, including an AK-47, were seized from the prisoners, El Mexicano reported.
The group putting together the Plaza 11 de Julio project that would build a large public space next to City Hall and connect it via bridges over the Tijuana River with the Plaza del Río shopping center and the Tijuana Cultural Center hopes to get a broad showing of public support with a rally on Saturday, Oct. 22. People opposed to the project have been camping out outside City Hall for a year, El Mexicano reported.
A superhighway being built from Mazatlán to Durango may help bring more progress to Mexico, but the magazine Proceso says it may help drug traffickers move their products as well. The highway, when finished, will mean Mexico will have a direct highway link from Mazatlán on the Pacific Coast to Tampico on the Gulf of Mexico.
Proceso said El Baluarte bridge (photo at right by Tradeco) above the Baluarte River at El Palmito in Sinaloa state will be the highest cable-stayed bridge in Latin America and third-highest in the world. It is held up with 152 steel cables and opens next year. It is in an area known as the Devil's Backbone in the Sierra Madre Occidental.
Update, Jan. 6: Reports say the bridge actually is the highest cable-stayed bridge in the world, with a maximum drop of 1,321 feet from the deck to the bottom of the gorge below. Story, Guinnessworldrecords.com.
Update, Jan. 7: Humor writer Catón's take on the bridge (PDF).
Catholics filled up downtown Tijuana streets near the cathedral for the closing ceremonies of the fifth National Eucharistic Congress on Saturday. A march took place from downtown to the CREA sports center near the Hospital General in the Río Zone, and back. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Oct. 10: Mass was held in the Playas de Tijuana bullring. Story, Frontera.
Two men and a woman were arrested for aiding the July 27 escape of drug-trafficking suspect Héctor "El Güicho" Guajardo Hernández. Guajardo was recaptured last month.
Three tons of marijuana were seized in Tijuana and Ensenada, the military announced. A crystal meth also was found in Playas de Tijuana.
Story, Frontera (PDF).
Students in private schools in Tijuana got better test scores than public schools on junior high nationally standardized tests known as ENLACE. The results were poorer than expected, with only 10% of students posting excellent scores; more than 50% of primary school students posted such scores. Story, Frontera.
Alleged members of the Matazetas group were captured and presented to the media in Veracruz by the Mexican navy. Some had thought the group was a paramilitary force, but officials said the eight captured were members of the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generación, engaged in a battle with the Zetas over the Veracruz plaza for drug trafficking. After their capture, 32 presumed Zetas were discovered dead in three houses. Last month, 35 bodies of presumed Zetas were dumped in broad daylight in front of a shopping center in Boca del Río.
Meanwhile, Reynaldo Escobar resigned as state attorney general.
Proceso, in its Oct. 2 issue, says some issues of its magazines are being bought in bulk to prevent news from reaching readers. The magazine, in a story on Pages 6-8, says 53,000 copies have been bought in bulk between 2007 and this month. It blamed the National Action Party government of President Felipe Calderón, although it provided no proof that the federal government was behind it. It said young men bought up 5,491 copies of the Sept. 25 issue about 35 bodies being dumped by a possible paramilitary grouping in Veracruz state (and 32 more bodies were found in three homes in the state Thursday). It said nearly 7,000 copies of its Sept. 11 issue about casino operator Juan José Rojas Cardona were bought up in Monterrey, Durango, León and Puebla. The magazine said a number of issues about organized crime in Tamaulipas state also have been bought up. The three main states involved, Veracruz, Nuevo León and Tamaulipas, have governors from the Institutional Revolutionary Party.
The magazine quoted an Interior Ministry official, Héctor Villareal Ordoñez, as saying the bulk purchase of issues is not a crime, but also denying that the federal government was behind any such buy ups.
Proceso said each copy of the magazine is read, on average, by four people, so it figured that more than 22,000 readers in Veracruz state may have been denied the opportunity to be more fully informed.
Proceso's articles can be read online in full after a period of time; for now, however, only the first paragraph can be. That paragraph, from Proceso's website.
Construction of a cross-border pedestrian toll bridge to the Tijuana airport is expected to begin in around two months, Frontera reported. It said the 'Transborder Facility' may start operation by the end of next year. The story quoted San Diego City Councilman David Alvarez. Story, Frontera.
Previous mention of proposed facility.
Julio César Vázquez Castillo, a Tijuana council member for the Workers Party, was shot at in his vehicle after withdrawing money from an ATM in eastern Tijuana on Wednesday afternoon, El Mexicano reported. He said people in another vehicle tried to stop him and then shot at him when he wouldn't. His vehicle has a bullet hole in it, but Vásquez Castillo (left) was not wounded, police said. Vázquez Castillo said he had withdrawn money from an ATM on Insurgentes boulevard and after being shot at, drove furiously to the city's La Presa district offices in the Villa Fontana neighborhood, where there also is a police station.
Story, ciudadtijuana.info. Story, Balun Canan.
Last week, a man who withdrew money from an ATM in eastern Tijuana and then boarded a bus was shot and killed by robbers. Story in MexicoPerspective.
Also last week, men tried to rob a driver in line to cross the border at the Otay Mesa port of entry.
Mention in MexicoPerspective.
What can new police chief do about this type of crime? These incidents show what Tijuana's new police chief, Alberto Capella Ibarra, is up against. Capella says he will fight ordinary crime as fiercely as organized crime. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Wednesday's story on the naming of Capella, with updated reactions and council approval.
A founder of "La Familia" drug-trafficking organization, Martín
Rosales "El Terry" Magaña, was arrested in Mexico state, while Noel Salgueiro "El Flaco" Nevárez, a top lieutenant to Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán, was arrested in Sinaloa state. Stories, Frontera (PDF).
Journalists Ana María Marcela Yarce Viveros and Rocío González Trápaga were killed Sept. 1 by men they knew after the women had withdrawn a million pesos (more than $72,000) from a money exchange González Trápaga ran, police said. Óscar Yahir Quiñones Emer, 29, and Lázaro Hernández Ángeles, 26, have confessed, police said. Authorities said Quiñones Emer knew Yarce Viveros and persuaded her that he wanted to make a peso-dollar exchange below the market rate, causing Yarce Viveros and González Trápaga to believe they would make a profit. Yarce Viveros knew Quiñones Emer because he worked in a parking business where she normally left her car. The business was half a block from the Contralínea magazine where the women worked. Quiñones Emer had done Yarce Viveros some favors involving her car on various occasions.
Authorities said Quiñones Emer confessed that the women met with him at a home, where he pulled a gun on them and made them strip. He said Yarce Viveros was forced to go to the second story, and when she was brought back, her companion had been strangled with a rope. She then suffered the same fate. The bodies also were shot, and dumped in a park. The men also moved González Trápaga's vehicle and authorities said their fingerprints were found in it. Police also said an exchange of cellphone calls with the women incriminated the men.
Previous story in MexicoPerspective.
A process for selecting 250 students for a municipal high school in the Santa Fe zone began Monday. The school is to start this month and will be housed in seven temporary classrooms in the Cascadas park in the Quinta del Cedro II neighborhood in southwestern Tijuana. The school would be considered to be an extension of CBTIS 146 of Playas de Tijuana. Tijuana, like many municipalities in Mexico, has been unable to meet demand for high school classrooms.
When Jorge Hank Rhon was mayor of Tijuana from 2004-2007, he had the bright idea to set up a system he had seen in Europe where electronic devices issue tickets to speeding drivers. Many of those ticketed refused to pay and the system was abandoned during the 2007-2010 term of National Action Party Mayor Jorge Ramos. Now, the system may be revived under Mayor Carlos Bustamante, like Hank a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party. City government official Antonio Cano said the system will be fine-tuned. He also said the purpose of the system was not to provide income to the cash-strapped municipality, but to provide order in a locality where many take no heed of speed limits, stop signs and stoplights, among other things.
Update, Nov. 17: Tijuana owes Global Corporation, which built the system, 8 billion pesos ($584 million) because of an interest accumulation after payments were not made, Frontera reports. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Interior Minister Francisco Blake Mora called Monday for Congress to elect the final three members of the Federal Electoral Institute. The positions have been open since last year.
The Institutional Revolutionary Party and its ally, the Green Ecologist Party, wants to name two of the members, while the National Action Party and the Democratic Revolution Party don't want that to happen.
"The game can't begin without all the referees, as it would be risky for the electoral game and for democracy," Blake said. Mexico's presidential election takes place July 1. Story in Frontera (PDF).
Previous story on the impasse
Baja California's five municipalities have backed constitutional changes sought by the state legislature that would allow plebiscites and coalition governments. The changes also would create a District 17 legislative seat that ensures that Rosarito Beach gets its own representative in the legislature. The changes would eliminate the pocket veto, allow for the sanctioning of representatives who do not comply with their promises and allow elected candidates to be removed from office under certain conditions. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Oct. 6: Analyst Víctor Espinoza of the Colegio de la Frontera Norte points out that the original package of changes was more ambitious. Independent candidacies were orginally included but then taken out, he writes. His column in Frontera (PDF). He said that on paper, it appears to be a move forward in the political life of the state.
He pointed out that in 2001, state legislators passed a law of public participation that included the possibility of holding referendums, plebiscites and citizens' initiatives. He said the law, similar to laws passed in other states, was a dead letter, presumably because federal law did not allow states to enact such laws. Espinoza said consulta popular, which also means referendum, has now been added and the measures are now enshrined in the state constitution.
A tire recycling center will open this month in Tijuana. Residents can take their used tires there without having to pay a recycling fee. Some of the tires will be burned to produce energy and others will be used to make flooring material, El Mexicano reported.
Previous mention of recycling program in San Luis Rio Colorado.
National Action Party presidential candidate Josefina Vázquez Mota visited Mexicali, Rosarito and Ensenada on Sunday. She said she was leading in the polls for the PAN nomination and said Mexico has to change the way it is going so it can better serve the will of the people. Story, Frontera(PDF).
Meanwhile, PAN candidate Santiago Creel said in Leon, Guanajuato, that Institutional Revolutionary Party President Humberto Moreira should be investigated for the debt he ran up as governor of Coahuila state. Story in Frontera (PDF). The Notimex story that El Mexicano ran focused on Creel and the 2005 law he pushed as interior minister that allowed casinos to operate in a wide manner in the country. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump page.
Ken Ellingwood's Sept. 22 analysis in L.A. Times on how casino issue has hurt PAN
The New York Times writes about Mexicans who cross the border several times to get back to U.S. It has a photo of the border fence at Playas de Tijuana and talks with Mexicans deported back to Tijuana. Story, New York Times.
Authorities said 1.2 tons of marijuana was found in a speeding Ford Econoline van on the Tijuana-Ensenada toll road. The vehicle was going south around kilometer 65. Driver Juan Santiago Sauceda Montes, in his 30s, of Tecate and originally from Culiacán, Sinaloa, was arrested.
Story, photo, Ensenada.net.
Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán gave his fourth state-of-the-state address in Mexicali and focused on the improvements that have been made and that he plans to make during his six-year term.
Story, Frontera (PDF file). Next page (PDF).
Federal Sen. Fernando Castro Trenti, who has aspirations to be the Institutional Revolutionary Party gubernatorial candidate in 2013, attended the event and recognized the leadership and bipartisanship that the National Action Party governor has been exercising. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Two men with a gun tried to rob a driver in a pickup that was in line to cross the border at the Otay Mesa port of entry, Frontera reported. The 2002 pickup belonged to a company the driver, 68, worked for. When the driver told the men he did not have any money, one of them fired at the vehicle, the paper reporter. The driver then ran away and one of the would-be robbers tried to run after him, unsuccessfully. The would-be robbers then fled. Story, Frontera (PDF).
The head of the group United for the Disappeared in Tijuana said federal authorities will examine seven lots for remains of the disappeared in Tijuana. Fernando Ocegueda said his group has about 200 members, about half of whom also belong to the Citizens Association Against Impunity led by Cristina Palacios de Hodoyán. He said the groups have the same aims, but that his group is more inclined to lead protests and marches, while he said Palacios is more inclined for diplomacy.
The Border Patrol found 14 tons of pot in a tractor-trailer near Salton City on Wednesday night, the biggest haul ever in the El Cajon sector. The truck had been stopped at an inspection point on Route 86 near Salton City about 60 miles north of the border . The driver, 35, was arrested.
Story, photo, Frontera (PDF). Associated Press story.
A Testa Marketing poll found 46% of those surveyed in Baja California oppose abortion, with 46% partially in favor and 12% completely in favor.
Laura Gutiérrez, president of the United Women organization, denounced the Mexican Supreme Court's decision this week not to invalidate an amendment to the Baja California state Constitution that says life begins at conception.
Previous story on Supreme Court ruling.
Comedian Gaspar Henaine, better known as Capulina, died at age 85. He made 84 films.
Story, Frontera (PDF).
Roberto Carlos López Castro, also known as "El Comandante Toruño" and believed to have been involved in the planning of the arson of the Casino Royale in Monterrey that killed 52 people, was captured in Jalisco state.
Story in Frontera (PDF).