A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.
The National Action Party has traditionally been seen as the party of the Roman Catholic church. Thus it came as a great surprise when the weekly newspaper of the Mexico City Archdiocese, Desde la Fe, dedicated four pages Sunday to the country's presidential candidates but left out the PAN's Josefina Vázquez Mota. The paper ran duplicate pages of Institutional Revolutionary Party Enrique Peña Nieto instead. The archdiocese apologized for what it called a technical error. The pages synthesized the candidates' appearances before the April 17-20 Mexican Bishops Conference.
The error is the Catholic church's, but falls into a narrative of many things not going right, technically and otherwise, for the PAN candidate, who trails Peña Nieto. Story (PDF).
National Action Party presidential candidate Josefina Vázquez Mota, in danger of being passed in the polls by third-place candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador, said in a campaign stop in Taxco that Mexico does not a messiah to progress. López Obrador has been said to have a messiah complex, at least by some of his detractors. López Obrador, who narrowly lost the 2006 presidential election to the PAN's Felipe Calderón, will be in downtown Tijuana at 4 p.m. Tuesday (May 1). Vázquez Mota remains far behind front-runner Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party and has dropped to the point where López Obrador is only two points behind her in some polls.
Vázquez Mota also addressed the national teachers union's rejection of an evaluation system for teachers, and said what Mexico needs is good teachers "and not caciques." Cacique is a form of political boss; teachers union leader Elba Esther Gordillo could be considered to be a cacique.
Story, Frontera (PDF). Story on López Obrador visit to Tijuana (PDF). Story whereby teachers are urged to take part in the universal evaluation June 24 (PDF). Story, Sol.
Former Mexico City Mayor Rosario Robles, who became Mexico City mayor for the Democratic Revolution Party after Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas resigned to run for president in 1999, is backing Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party for president. She said she knows him personally and said his platform would help Mexico further develop. She was succeeded as mayor by the PRD's Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Robles, a former party president who resigned as a member of the PRD in 2004 following a videotaped money scandal, said she was not going to join the PRI. She also said she remains a woman of the left. Story, El Sol de Tijuana.
Frontera profiles Ensenada's Hussong's bar, founded in 1892. The bar claims to be the birthplace of the Margarita in the 1940s. Some claim that the bar (and that others also claiming they invented the Margarita) merely perfected an American drink, the Daisy, by substituting brandy for tequila. In Spanish, daisy is margarita. Hans Derek Hussong
Maymes, a great-grandson of bar founder Johann Hussong who now runs the bar, said that while the bar attracts foreign tourists (many of whom come off cruise ships), Hussong's main customers are local residents.
He said Hussong's also produces wine and tequila, and that there is a Hussong's in the Mandalay Bay casino in Las Vegas.
Story, Frontera (PDF). Wikipedia on the Margarita.
State health minister José Guadalupa Bustamante said 51% of vehicle occupants do not use seat belts. He spoke Thursday as part of a State Council for Accident Prevention campaign in Baja California high schools to encourage students to use seat belts. Bustamante also said 69% of children under 4 travel in vehicles without baby seats. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Frontera reported that even though Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán says he will work to ensure that the current southbound San Ysidro border crossing is not closed when the new El Chaparral port of entry opens in Tijuana in the fall, federal officials are saying Puerta México will be shut down Oct. 1.
Tijuana business officials fear that long waits will discourage people from crossing the border, costing the Tijuana economy dearly. Businessman Oscar Escobedo, who met with federal officials from Mexico City to discuss the matter, said the new crossing on a jerry-built road along the border fence from Interstate 5 to the El Chaparral crossing under construction next to the Tijuana River means longer border waits. He said federal officials predicted 15 to 20 to 28 minute waits, while a Caltrans and Sandag study predicted waits could be 2 1/2 hours. "There were some tense moments in the meeting, but they are going back to Mexico City, while we remain here (with the possible problem on our hands)," Escobedo said.
He said officials from Foreign Ministry and Communications and Transportation Ministry agreed to come back in two weeks with an alternative plan that would not generate such long wait times that people will decide not to visit Tijuana. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Second story, El Mexicano (PDF).
Thursday's story on Osuna Millán position on the border crossing.
Baja California Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán said Thursday that he will ensure that the existing Puerta México port of entry stays open when the new El Chaparral port of entry opens in Tijuana in the fall, Frontera newspaper reported. Osuna Millán said it would not be a good idea to close Puerta México, which directly connects with southbound Interstate 5 at San Ysidro, because the new I-5 connection to El Chaparral has not been built. Story, Frontera.
Previous story this week on the issue.
Overview of the issue.
Excélsior columnist Leo Zuckermann said he likes the new victims law passed by the Mexican Senate on Wednesday for several reasons. Two of them were:
• The obligation of the state to create a registry of victims
• That public pressure caused the creation of the law.
He lamented that he heard activist Emilio Álvarez Icaza say Wednesday that it is easier to find a list of stolen vehicles than one of humans who have disappeared in Mexico. "This cannot be," Zuckermann wrote. He said the media reported that relatives of victims who were in the Senate cried when the bill passed. " 'Saúl Armando Romo remembered his 29-year-old son, who shares the same name and disappeared in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, in July of last year. He said he was confident that the legislation would help avoid cases like his.' "
Zuckermann's column (PDF). Story in Frontera on the bill passing (PDF).
Meanwhile, Frontera reported that a team from a Mexican agency fighting organized crime had arrived in Tijuana to check out 16 sites where bodies or body parts of victims of organized crime might be buried. Story, Frontera (PDF).
The Federal Electoral Tribunal rejected Manuel Clouthier's independent candidacy for president on Monday, but said the Mexican Congress should establish rules so that independents can run. Clouthier, whose father ran for president for the National Action Party in 1988, said he would continue his campaign. He made an appearance in Tijuana last week.
Story, Frontera (PDF). Story on last week's appearance in Tijuana.
A Reforma poll showed Institutional Revolutionary Party presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto dropping three points to 42% and National Action Party candidate Josefina Vázquez Mota dropping three points to 29% while Democratic Revolution Party candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador gained five points to 27%. The teachers union-backed New Alliance Party candidate, Gabriel Quadri, also saw his support rise to 2% from 1% last month.
In voter preferences for the Chamber of Deputies, PRI support rose from 37% to 42%, PAN support fell from 32% to 27% and PRD support remained the same at 17%. In Senate races, PRI support rose from from 36% to 41%, PAN support fell from 32% to 26% and PRD support rose from 15% to 17%. The PRI's election partner, the Green Party, saw its Senate candidates' support fall from 8% to 5%, while New Alliance support rose from 2% to 4%.
Story in Frontera (PDF).
Presidential front-runner Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party has risen in recent polls while Josefina Vázquez Mota has fallen to the point where Andrés Manuel López Obrador might pass her for second place.
Monday's Buendía-Laredo poll for El Universal had Peña Nieto at 54%, 4 points higher than last month, while Vázquez Mota fell to 23% from 28%. López Obrador was at 21%.
Parametría's poll for El Sol de México had Peña rising four points to 51% and Vázquez Mota falling six points to 25%. López Obrador was at 23%.
Excélsior columnist Leo Zuckermann said that if the PAN fell to third place in the July 1 voting, it would be a major embarrassment for President Felipe Calderón's party. Zuckermann's column on the polls. Sergio Sarmiento also reported that GEA/ISA's poll in Milenio gave 48% to Peña Nieto, 28% to Vázquez Mota and 23% to López Obrador.
The Mexican stock market fell 393 points to 38,887 Monday, the first time it fell below 39,000 since March 26. The 12% drop was attributed to Sunday's New York Times report that Wal-Mart de México paid $24 million in bribes to get stores approved in Mexico. Story (PDF).
Update, April 25: Columnist Sergio Sarmiento says the larger story is not that Wal-Mart paid bribes, but that bribes have to be paid in the first place for normal business to be done in Mexico. He said this institutionalized corruption explains why Mexico remains a country with so many poor people. His column (PDF).
Update, April 27: Federal Attorney General's Office reverses course, says it will investigate bribery allegations. Story in El Mexicano (PDF).
The Mexican military has eight months to add 1,852 women to its ranks to meet its goal of having at least 13,662 female service members, Reforma newspaper reported. The military has 11,810 women out of 211,000, or 5.6%. There were 6,831 women in the military in 2007. Six women have reached the rank of general. The paper said 45,000 service members are engaged in the fight against organized crime. Story in Frontera (PDF).
Although some polls have indicated that the Institutional Revolutionary Party is leading in the presidential and Senate races in Baja California, the state's National Action Party president says his party's polls say Baja California voters still prefer the PAN over the PRI generally by a 9-point margin. The PAN leader, Sócrates Bastida, spoke at an event in Tijuana marking the 40th anniversary of the death of PAN founder Manuel Gómez Morín. Candidates in attendance were former Gov. Ernesto Ruffo, now running for the federal Senate, and Juan Manuel Gastélum, a candidate for the Chamber of Deputies. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
April 9: Explora poll gives PRI lead in Baja California.
Frontera newspaper reported that a Colegio de la Frontera Norte study says the opening of the new El Chaparral southbound port of entry this year and closure of the existing Puerta Mexico entry at San Ysidro could cost Tijuana up to $3 billion a year. The drop in income would apparently come because people would decide not to visit to Mexico if they had to wait long periods of time to get into Mexico as well as to get out of the country. Mexican government officials have said they do not think the border waits will be as bad as the study indicates they could be. Mexico is planning to open its new port of entry this fall, just before the end of President Felipe Calderón's six-year term, even though the United States does not plan to reroute Interstate 5 to meet up with El Chaparral until 2016. The Colef study was based on data from the San Diego Association of Governments and Mexico's statistics agency, Inegi.
Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Story, Frontera (PDF). Jump.
Update, April 25: Officials from the city of Tijuana and the Tijuana Economic Development Council traveled to Mexico City and told the Mexican Foreign Ministry that opening El Chaparral and closing Puerta México could cause major damage to Tijuana's economy. The city's top economic development official, Miguel Velasco Bustamante, said it could cost the city $2 billion. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, April 26: Business officials from Tijuana and San Diego meet with Sen. Alejandro González Alcocer to urge against closing Puerta México. Story, Frontera (PDF). Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Second story, El Mexicano (PDF).
Previous story on how traffic would get moved to El Chaparral.
NBC political analyst Chuck Todd, in an appearance on "Meet the Press" Sunday, said the Hispanic vote could cost likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney electoral wins in New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada. Todd said that could mean that President Barack Obama could still lose Florida or Ohio's electoral college votes and win the election. "And that's what's scary if you are Mitt Romney. This map, when you are down by 40 points among Hispanics, this map is a very big problem for him." Todd said this could mean that Romney would have to put Pennsylvania into play for the Republicans, something Todd said has not happened in two decades.
Previous mention of Romney and the Hispanic vote: Romney has encouraged illegal immigrants to self-deport themselves.
Update, April 23: L.A. Times: "Are illegal immigrants taking Mitt Romney's advice?"
Update, April 24: L.A. Times story on Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, touted as a possible vice presidential candidate, helping Romney with Latinos. An analyst on "Meet the Press" said Rubio actually might hurt Romney's numbers in Florida.
Dr. Fernando Angelo, a surgical pathologist at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, has concluded that Mexican artist Friday Kahlo was unable to have children because a streetcar accident when she was 18 damaged her uterus, giving her Asherman's syndrome. Angelo presented his findings Sunday at a meeting of the American Association of Anatomists in San Diego, MSNBC reported. Her condition possibly could have been reversed today, but the technology to do so did not exist back then, Angelo said. She died at age 47 in 1954. Story, MSNBC.
Former federal deputy Manuel Clouthier visited Tijuana on Friday and said he expects a decision on his independent presidential candidacy within two weeks, Frontera newspaper reports. He said although the Federal Electoral Institute did not approve his candidacy, he started campaigning anyway in Puebla on April 10 and has visited Monterrey, Torreón, Mazatlán, Culiacán, Los Mochis, and Hermosillo, among other places. Clouthier served as deputy for the National Action Party from Sinaloa state; his father finished third in the 1988 presidential campaign for the PAN.
The national leadership of the PAN told Clouthier he could not run for Senate for the party, but an electoral court reversed that decision. Clouthier decided instead, however, to run for president, and left the PAN, which he called the "new PRI" (Institutional Revolutionary Party). He said undecideds are ahead in the presidential race and that is the group he is going for. He said more must be done to combat money laundering, which he said is not being much pursued because politicians have their money laundered, too. He said he would remove the military from the streets if elected president.
Story, Frontera (PDF). Interview (PDF). Jump.
Previous story on Clouthier.
A debate for candidates for the federal Chamber of Deputies is to take place at next month's COPARMEX breakfast meeting on May 16 at the Grand Hotel Tijuana, Frontera reported. A debate for federal Senate candidates is to take place May 24 around 6 p.m. in the same venue. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Reforma newspaper reported on how the main presidential candidates are traveling. Front-runner Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party is renting planes and helicopters that cost from $3,500 to $10,000 per hour. Second-place candidate Josefina Vázquez Mota is traveling in a Learjet for $1,550 per hour, but whose normal price is $2,500 per hour, the paper said. Meanwhile, Democratic Revolution Party candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador is traveling on commercial flights. Story in Frontera (PDF). Humorist Catón on AMLO's travel costs.
The latest Ulises Beltrán poll published in Excélsior on Monday put Peña Nieto at 50%, Vázquez Mota at 29% and López Obrador at 20%. Mention in Leo Zuckermann column (PDF).
Federal police who arrived in Tijuana last week left on Monday. Frontera reported that more than 200 federal police flew away Monday. More than 200 federal police had arrived last week. Authorities did not say why the police agents arrived in the first place other than to say that they were security reinforcements.
El Sol de Tijuana newspaper said federal agents leaving La Cueva del Peludo bar struck another vehicle and that one of them brandished a gun when a man demanded compensation for the damage late Sunday night. State and municipal police arrived and detained the police agent, his companions and other federal police who later came on the scene, the paper reported. It said all the federal agents were later released to their supervisor and the vehicle owner decided not to press charges. The paper also reported that other federal police who arrived last week had allegedly extorted people to get spending money. Story, Frontera (PDF). Story, El Sol de Tijuana.
Story about bar incident, El Mexicano (PDF).
Mention of arrival last week.
José Santiago Gaspar Prado, a top Rosarito Beach police official, was suspended after being detained at a Tijuana sobriety checkpoint. The former military man was stopped around 3 a.m. Sunday, a Tijuana official said. The official said Gaspar Prado's alcohol level was .177 and a half-empty bottle of Bacardi Solera and a glass containing what appeared to be the same liquid was found in his police vehicle, which did not have license plates, El Sol de Tijuana reported.
Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
An official said the Baja California aerospace cluster grew 17% in the first quarter of 2012. Tomás Sibaja, president of Cluster Aeroespacial in Baja California, said another aerospace company, which he did not name, plans to open in the state later this year. He said the sector employs 13,500 in Baja California. Story, Frontera (PDF). Jump.
Eight schools were vandalized over Easter vacation in Tijuana. Damage included broken windows and theft of electrical cable. Vandalism has been an ongoing problem in Baja California schools. Damaged were elementary schools 15
de Septiembre and Corregidora de Querétaro; middle schools Técnica No. 1 and
State 214; kindergartens Castillo de Rosas,
Ignacio Comonfort, Año
Internacional and Kumiai. A suspect was arrested in the Corregidora de Querétaro vandalism in the San Bern an do neighborhood. Story, Frontera (PDF). In Rosarito, the elementary school Independencia and middle school Técnica No. 13 also were affected. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, April 17: El Mexicano says 27 schools were vandalized statewide. Story (PDF). Jump.
Cruise ship visits to Mexican ports dropped in the first two months of 2012 compared with the first two months of last year, Mexican media reported. It said port visits fell to 419 from 539. It listed the percentage of cruise ship visits Mexican ports got. They were: 1) Cozumel, Quintana Roo, 57% 2) Majahual, Quintana Roo, 11.50% 3) Cabo San Lucas,
8.9% 4) Puerto Vallarta, 7.6%; 5) Ensenada, 7.3% 6) Progreso, Yucatán, 4.9% 7) Huatulco, Oaxaca, 1.1% 8) Manzanillo, Colima 0.9%. It appears that cruise ships have stopped visiting Mazatlán as a result of travel warnings and crime incidents that took place there.
September: Disney cruise ship visits Ensenada.
February: Bus carrying cruise ship tourists robbed near Puerto Vallarta.
Mexicali's chapter of the National Chamber of the Industry of Transformation (Canacintra) says the fees set for day care by the Mexican Social Security Institute are not enough to cover costs, and complained specifically about the price of electricity. There are 15 day-care centers associated with Canacintra Mexicali that take care of the children of working parents, El Mexicano newspaper said (PDF).
Frontera profiled Rob Sidner, director of the Mingei International Museum in San Diego's Balboa Park. The Ohio native was a priest for 22 years before becoming an art gallery owner in San Diego, which is how he met the founder of the Mingei. In 2010, the museum had an exhibit in honor of the centennial of the Mexican Revolution and bicentennial of Mexico's cry for independence and also held a conference on the subject. Story about one of the conference's speeches.
Story, Frontera (PDF).
An official involved in the construction of Tijuana's new cathedral across from City Hall said it will begin offering pay parking next month to help raise funds for the religious structure. Money the Catholic church has received from donations and from the sale of crypts has not been enough to finish the project. Parking in the area, which includes a state government complex, often is at a premium. Jorge Echegoyén Flores, the official in question, said a 20-peso ($1.50) per day parking fee would be charged.
Story, Frontera (PDF).
The idea for the new cathedral came from Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo, who got the federal government to donate land for it in 1978. The first stone was taken to Guadalajara to be blessed by Pope John Paul II in 1979. Posadas later was posted to Guadalajara, where he was shot in apparent confusion by drug traffickers in 1993. In 1983, the Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe church was built on the site; over the years, the Tijuana archdiocese has acquired adjacent parcels of land for the cathedral.
Website for new cathedral.
The price of regular gasoline went up to 10.09 pesos per liter in Tijuana today. That converts to 38.14 pesos per gallon, or $2.99 at an exchange rate of 13.16 pesos per dollar. SanDiegoGasPrices.com appeared to put the San Diego average at over $4 per gallon.
Although Mexicans have loudly complained about gas price increases, the Mexican government is losing billions in subsidizing consumer gasoline sales.
The Federal Electorial Institute agreed on a format for the presidential debates ahead of the July 1 election. The first debate will take place Saturday, May 6, at 8 p.m. (6 p.m. Pacific time) at the World Trade Center in Mexico City. A second debate will take place in Guadalajara on June 10.
The debates will last two hours, with three rounds of questions for each candidate. Topics will will be the economy and jobs; the security situation and justice; sustainable development; social development; domestic affairs, government and foreign affairs.
Story in Frontera (PDF).
Update, April 17: Journalist Guadalupe Juárez will be the moderator for the first debate. Story, Frontera (PDF). Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Federal deputies asked that a short video with children portraying criminals and crime victims be taken off the air and Internet. The Nuestro México del Futuro organization, which is concerned about the nation's future, produced the video to represent today's Mexico.
Deputies from the National Action Party, Institutional Revolutionary Party and the Workers Party may have not liked a scene that showed a TV image of Mexico's Congress in session with a sleeping (boy) deputy. The film starts off with a news anchorwoman warning that air pollution was very bad for the day. After various robberies and a kidnapping,the four-minute video ends with a girl saying the country has hit bottom, and "If this is the future that awaits me, I don't want it. Enough with parties working just for themselves and not for us." She asks the nation's four presidential candidates, by name, whether they are just going for the seat of power, or to change the country's future."
Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Update, April 13: Nuestro México del Futuro full-page newspaper ad, El Mexicano (PDF).
Update, April 17: Lydia Cacho, who made her name exposing the exploitation of children, dissects the video. Her column in Frontera (PDF).
Mention of her visit to Tijuana in February.
President Felipe Calderón visited Cuba on Wednesday and Thursday while on his way to the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia. Relations between Mexico and Cuba, which deteriorated under President Vicente Fox, are on the upswing again. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Unions representing researchers at the Colegio de la Frontera Norte in Tijuana and the Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior in Ensenada published an ad in El Mexicano saying a 3.8% raise was inadequate and that a boost of at least 12.4% was necessary. Ad, El Mexicano (PDF).
Aircraft flew into Tijuana on Tuesday carrying 204 federal police, who are to help back up the city police force, Mexican media reported. It was unclear why the federal police were brought in.
Story, photo, El Mexicano (PDF). Story, Agencia Fronteriza de Noticias.
Update, April 13: Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, April 14: El Mexicano reports that at least 27 of the agents have been assigned to Ensenada. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Caliente Stadium's Xolo mascot was overseeing a battle between a dinosaur and a gorilla at the Galerías Hipódromo shopping center in Tijuana on Tuesday. The inflatable dinosaur and gorilla are part of a children's slide. But could the gorilla and dinosaur also represent the soccer teams Toluca and Cruz Azul? With three games left in in the Clausura 2012 regular season, the ninth-place teams trail the seventh-place Xolos by five points, and face each other Sunday. The first eight teams make the playoffs; a loss by either Toluca or Cruz Azul would likely mean that the losing team would not be able to knock the Xolos out of the playoffs. And a tie in the Toluca-Cruz Azul game would greatly increase the odds of the Xolos making the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Xolos play the Jaguares, who trail Tijuana by three points, in Chiapas on Friday. A victory counts three points, and a tie one point. Story, and table, on the Xolos' playoff hopes.
Update, April 15: Cruz Azul beats Toluca, 3-0, virtually knocks Toluca out of playoffs; Tijuana ties Jaguares, 0-0, remains in good position to make playoffs.
The body of missing kayaker Frank Weller, 78, was found floating in the Sea of Cortez by a fisherman near the Douglas fishing camp near San Luis Gonzaga, a community near Puertecitos. His wife was still missing. Both left on a kayaking trip Saturday. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
In what may be a sign that tourists now understand that violence in Baja California has gone down dramatically in recent years, Baja California had its best week for tourism in five years, officials said. Story, Frontera (PDF).
A Parametría poll published in the Sol newspapers had Institutional Revolutionary Party presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto gaining four points, from 47% to 51%, desde while National Action Party candidate Josefina Vázquez Mota lost three points, from 31% to 28%. Democratic Revolution Party candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador lost two points, and dropped from 21% to 19%. Sergio Sarmiento column (PDF).
An Explora poll in El Mexicano gives Institutional Revolutionary Party candidate Enrique Peña Nieto an eight-point lead over National Action Party candidate Josefina Vázquez Mota, 29% to 21%. Democratic Revolution Party candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador has 7.4% and New Alliance Party candidate Gabriel Quadri 1%.
In 2006, the PAN's Felipe Calderón got more than 48%, the PRD's López Obrador 24%, the PRI's Roberto Madrazo 22% and New Alliance's Roberto Campa 1.5%.
Poll, El Mexicano (PDF).
Baja California media reported two Americans were missing after leaving on a kayaking excursion Saturday in the Sea of Cortez from the Huerfanitos camp. It is at kilometer 103 on the Puertecitos-Chapala road in the municipality of Ensenada. The missing couple was identified as Frank Weller, 77, and Bonnie Weller, 55. They were reported to be in separate kayaks. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Update, April 11: Body of missing man found by fisherman. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
The federal Attorney General's Office said more minors are being arrested for involvement in organized crime, according to its statistics. It said 1,857 minors were brought before federal prosectors in 2011, as compared with 768 in 2006.
It said that from 2006-2011, 7,738 adolescents, 700 of them girls, were linked to organized crime. The number brought before federal prosecutors in Baja California was 253.
Story in Frontera (PDF).
In good news for Mexico's tourism industry, Cancún has registered at 92% hotel occupancy rate for Easter week, its highest in years. Earlier, it was reported that San Felipe in Baja California was completed booked up. Story on Cancún in Reforma (PDF). El Mexicano had a report that Acapulco was at 98% occupancy (PDF). El Mexicano also said Tijuana's Avenida Revolución and many other areas of Tijuana were seeing very little traffic. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
Meanwhile, The Mexican humor columnist wrote about "Beach hotels are very expensive..."
You need a lot of cash / To afford a luxurious beach bash
It's foreigners who have the money / To enjoy our coast where it's so sunny. Catón's Manganitas (PDF).
Frontera published a two-page article Saturday on Mexicans who live in Mexicali and cross back and forth across the border daily to work in Imperial County agricultural fields. It said two brothers cross seven days a week to make $8 an hour connecting irrigation pipes and doing other work.
Story, Frontera (PDF). Second page.
Manuel Clouthier, the former federal legislator from Sinaloa state who left the National Action Party to run for president as an independent, said he will begin campaigning Tuesday even thought the Federal Electoral Institute won't register his candidacy. He said he will start off in Puebla and have an austere campaign in the old tradition of the PAN, citing the three S's of the party's 1958 presidential candidate, Luis H. Álvarez: sweat, saliva and (shoe) sole (sudor, saliva y suela). Story in Frontera (PDF).
Update, April 10: Clouthier outlines in a column why he is running for president, saying "Mexico is in a hurry and the political class is not." His column (PDF).
Former Gov. Ernesto Ruffo calls Clouthier "a bullet without direction."
Maritza Díaz, who says she had a nine-year affair with Institutional Revolutionary Party candidate Enrique Peña Nieto, posted a photo of her, Peña Nieto and their son on her Twitter account, @MartzaDiazHdz. The photo only shows part of the son's face to protect his identity. She recently said Peña Nieto met with their son in December and planned to meet with him again after the July 1 presidential election.
Story in Frontera.
Peña Nieto will be visiting Tijuana on May 11. He is expected to visit Rosarito in June. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
Update, April 9: He also is expected to visit Ensenada the same month. Item, political page, El Mexicano (PDF).
The Federal Electoral Tribunal has ordered an investigation into Miguel Ángel Yunes's allegation that teachers union leader Elba Esther Gordillo asked him to help fund her New Alliance Party with money from the Institute for Social Security and State Services for State Workers (ISSSTE). Yunes had been named to head the ISSSTE at the behest of Gordillo, whose support helped elect Felipe Calderón president in 2006. Story in El Mexicano (PDF).
Story on last year's allegation about the request, which Yunes said took place in San Diego County.
Meanwhile, a regional panel of the electoral tribunal ruled that Yunes's son Fernando cannot be the Nation Action Party's Senate candidate in Veracruz state because of irregularities in the way he was selected. Story in El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Previous story on national committee of PAN revoking Fernando Yunes's candidacy.
National Action Party presidential candidate Josefina Vázquez Mota, in an interview with the Tijuana newspaper Frontera, expressed concern with border wait times. She said she has crossed the Tijuana-San Diego border without special privileges and says border-crossing problems going north and south need to be resolved differently. She is using the word "different" to distinguish herself from President Felipe Calderón, also a PAN member. Vázquez Mota campaigned in Ensenada on Tuesday and Tijuana on Wednesday. She also said that in the battle against organized crime, she would focus more on following the money and on speeding up judicial reforms. Interview, Frontera (PDF). Jump. She continues to support the Border Economic Zone: Story, Frontera (PDF).
The Casa del Migrante in Tijuana today celebrates its 25th anniversary, Frontera newspaper reported. The Escalabrini Center, as it is also known, says it has helped 200,000 migrants with shelter, food and legal advice. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, April 9: El Mexicano (PDF) says anniversary is April 15, and that a forum about it will be held at the Tijuana Cultural Center at 7 p.m. Friday and a Mass at the center on Sunday officiated by Tijuana Archbishop Rafael Romo Muñoz. The center is at Galileo 239 in the Postal neighborhood.
Update, April 10: Casa del Migrante official says El Mexicano report on anniversary was correct.
National Action Party candidate Josefina Vázquez Mota made her promised trip to Ensenada on Tuesday, after canceling her campaign kickoff there in part because of a conflict with a PRI rally at the same time last week.
Frontera reported that although she arrived late at the Tijuana airport and then ate lobster in Puerto Nuevo with former Gov. Ernesto Ruffo, she arrived for her Ensenada events on time.
In a meeting with representatives from the fisheries and wine industries, she said she would stock the Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry and the National Water Commission with experts rather than with politicians. She told non-profits she would bow down before organized crime and in a mass rally, said she could win the election if the spirit prevails that made former former Ensenada mayor Ruffo the first elected opposition governor under the Institutional Revolutionary Party in 1989. Ruffo is now running for Senate, and running her Baja California campaign. The rally closed at 9:40 p.m. with fireworks, Frontera reported.
Stories, Frontera (PDF). Jump.
She says she is a woman with pants. El Mexicano (PDF).
The first Mexican presidential debate will take place on May 6. It will be at 8 p.m. Mexico City time, and 6 p.m. Baja California time. Story, Frontera (PDF).
National Action Party presidential candidate Josefina Vázquez Mota suffered a dizziness of sorts at a Mexico SOS forum on crime in Mexico City on Monday afternoon. At 12:38 p.m., a 6.0-magnitude quake centered in Guerrero state was felt in Mexico City. Asked at the Mexico SOS event how she had come through the quake, she replied, "It's still trembling," although all shaking had stopped. She delivered part of her talk from her seat rather than from the podium. She later attributed the problem to her low blood pressure. Her campaign said she was suffering from a cold and and from the effects of heat and sun exposure at an earlier open-air event in Huejutla in Hidalgo state. She also had been campaigning heavily in Chiapas the previous day.
Vázquez Mota said that although the Calderón administration has registered successes in the drug war, she would fight crime in a different way if elected. Mexico SOS is a group set up by Alejandro Martí, a businessman whose son was kidnapped and killed.
The other three presidential candidates also appeared before the group's "Agenda México 12.18" forum at different points earlier in the day. The PRI's Enrique Peña Nieto said he was increase funding for law enforcement. Stories in Frontera (PDF). Story, MexicoEnterado.com.
Vázquez Mota is scheduled to be in Baja California today.
Update, April 4: Vázquez Mota's campaign says her low blood pressure will not affect her activities. Story in Frontera (PDF).
Sergio Sarmiento, in item at bottom of his column, says she can ill afford to present the image of weakness or sickness. His column (PDF).
Update, April 5: Frontera publishes photo of Vázquez Mota working out in gym on her Ensenada hotel. Story, photo, Frontera (PDF).
Update, April 6: Vázquez Mota to rejigger campaign after series of embarrassing incidents. Stories in Frontera (PDF).
Raquel Pomplun, a model who was born in San Diego and raised in Tijuana, is on the cover of April's Playboy. She said it is the first time she has posed nude. She said that after spending two years under contract with Playboy in Los Angeles, she hopes to study biology at the University of California San Diego, a story in Frontera reported (PDF).
Benjamín Arellano Félix was given a 25-year sentence on racketeering and conspiracy to launder money charges on Monday in federal court in San Diego. He also was ordered to forfeit $100 million. Many officials previously expressed dismay that Arellano, 58, would only get a 25-year term. It also was reported that Arellano had fired the attorney who negotiated the plea deal two weeks ago.
Francisco Javier Arellano Félix, arrested on a boat off Baja California Sur in 2006, was sentenced in San Diego to life in prison in 2007 and Arellano lieutenant Jesús Labra was given 40 years in 2010. Benjamín was arrested in Puebla in 2002 and extradited last year. Associated Press story.
Armando Rogelio Lara Valle, head of the Planning Committee for State Development (Comité de Planeación para el
Desarrollo del Estado, or Coplade), said 404 babies were born to mothers 14 and under in Baja California last year. He said that 20.1% of the state's 65,000 annual births are to adolescent mothers. He said the state has dropped from ranking first in the percentage of births to adolescent mothers nationally to seventh, even though its percentage rose from 20.0%. Chihuahua state has the worst rate, at 22.4%.
He said many girls are not taking precautions when having sex, and said a study indicates that young girls taking the least precautions are migrants from other states. He said 91% of the young mothers drop out of school.
Dr. Alma Yadira Zazueta Zazueta, president and founder of the group Protection of Pregnancy in Adolescents, said more needs to be done to reduce teen pregnancy. She said her group has aided 2,000 pregnant girls, given presentations to 10,000 middle and high-school students as well as given talks in factories and other businesses that have predominantly young, female work forces.
Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump. Second story (PDF).
Story on Dr. Zazueta, El Mexicano (PDF).
January story on high percentage of adolescents giving birth in Baja California; percentages in stories do not match, perhaps because the January figures largely dealt with state hospitals.
Oscar Vega Marín, who heads the National System of Public Security and who might run for governor of Baja California next year, was interviewed by Frontera. The former state education minister said new federal monies should help improve security forces in Baja California. He said Mexico has defined crimes of high impact: robbery with violence, extortion, murder, kidnapping and human trafficking. He said statistics are still forthcoming on human trafficking, but said extortion, murder and kidnapping dropped roughly 30% in the state last year and robbery with violence dropped 1%.
Interview, Frontera (PDF). Jump.
The Federal Institute for Access to Information is asking the Mexican White House to go back over its records and document its alcohol purchases for events held there during President Felipe Calderón's term. The National Action Party president's administration previously said the information on alcohol purchases for Los Pinos does not exist.
Calderón has been portrayed in the past as a drinker, and journalist Carmen Aristegui was knocked off the airwaves for a time last year after bringing up the matter.
Story in Frontera (PDF).
Last year's stories on Aristegui.
Institute's December request for Colosio assassination case videos.
The Tijuana bus station was full of people Saturday who are traveling for Easter Week. Story, Frontera (PDF).