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MexicoPerspective.com

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

Friday, Aug. 31, 2012

el chaparral road to be built between fences4 of 5 new lanes connecting from I-5 to new El Chaparral port of entry in Tijuana to be 10 feet wide; Mexican planners say they think rush hour wait times will drop once traffic fans out to 22 inspection booths

Baja California official says that although current border crossing is to close Nov. 1, the government does have a Plan B in case projections on wait times prove to be overly optimistic

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enrique pena nietoFederal electoral tribunal ratifies Peña Nieto victory

The Mexican federal electoral tribunal voted unanimously Thursday and Friday to ratify the victory of the Institutional Revolutionary Party's Enrique Peña Nieto in the July 1 presidential election, rejecting accusations by losing populist candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador that fraud and vote buying illegally swayed the election.
Peña Nieto is to take office Dec. 1 following 12 years of National Action Party presidencies. The PRI previously held the presidency from 1929-2000.
López Obrador said he could not accept the ruling. At one point during his process of contesting the vote, he presented a goat, pig, ducks and chickens as proof of PRI giveaways in the election.
Thursday's story in Frontera (PDF). Friday's story in Frontera (PDF).


Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012

gaston luken Gastón Luken, in his final state of Congress report in Tijuana, announces he will run for governor of Baja California in 2013

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Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012

Sergio Sarmiento raises questions about shooting of U.S. Embassy vehicle

Use of arraigo is inappropriate, he indicates; why does navy have a shooting range in a landlocked state? Why weren't federal police in uniform?

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School troubles continue in Tijuana

Although school began again last week in Tijuana, a number of school or classrooms still are not holding classes. At a number of Tijuana schools, interim teachers reportedly have not shown up for class because they have not been paid; the school system says their pay is on its way. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
At the federal Lázaro Cárdenas high school, teachers did not show up first because no principal had been named and then because a principal (Martín Moreno Félix) was named whom they did not like. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Story, Frontera (PDF). Students and former students defended the principal, however. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
Meanwhile, state workers seeking pay increases held a work stoppage. Story, Frontera (PDF).

First stone laid for Hyundai plant in Tijuana

The first stone was laid for a Hyundai plant in Tijuana that is to employ 850 making transmissions and motors for Hyundai and Kia automobile factories in Alabama and Georgia, Frontera reported (PDF).

Sewage spill closes Playas de Tijuana beach

A sewage spill caused authorities to close beach at Playas de Tijuana. Story, Frontera (PDF). Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.


Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012

Televisa reverses ground in re-enactment of shooting of U.S. Embassy vehicle; while on Friday its re-enactment showed federal police in marked police cars in pursuit of the U.S. vehicle, on Monday it shows federal police in unmarked vehicles

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Tijuana, beset by theft of metal drain covers, is to start installing plastic-reinforced concrete ones that have no value to thieves

      The city of Tijuana has decided to start installing plastic-reinforced concrete manhole covers that have no value to thieves, Frontera reported.
The paper said thieves can get from 420 to 480 pesos ($32 to $36.50) per metal cover; city official Alejandro Cancino Escamilla said the city sometimes is able to locate clandestine recycling centers and recover the manhole covers.
     He said covers cost around $150, with installation costs running more than 4,500 pesos ($340).
     Not only are the covers costly to replace, but the openings left as a result of their thefts create a grave danger for motorists.
Story, Frontera (PDF).
Polycrete webpage on plastic-reinforced concrete covers.
Monument to the 1911 defense of Tijuana had its metal plaques stolen; they had to be replaced.

Archaeologists, historians protest changes made to Mexican historic, archaeological sites

Anthropologists and historians are protesting changes made to Mexican historic and archaeological sites, the Washington Post reports. In Hidalgo del Parral, Chihuahua, where Pancho Villa was killed in 1923, historians are protesting the removal of colonial buildings that authorities thought cluttered the city's plaza. The paper said archaeologists have been occupying the National Museum of Anthropology in protest of decisions to alter historic sites, including the placement of a "glass and steel facade on a portion of the historic Fort of Guadalupe in Puebla." Story, Washington Post


Monday, Aug. 27, 2012

Federal police who shot U.S. Embassy vehicle say they confused it with one used by Morelos kidnappers

U.S. vehicle had diplomatic plates, but it also did not stop when approached by federal police

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eligio valenciaPRI's Eligio Valencia finally admits defeat in Baja California Senate race, although he says he really won

He says López Obrador should concede in presidential race

El Mexicano newspaper, which Valencia directs, had previously virtually ignored the election results

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Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012

marco antonio blasquezProgressive Movement's Marco Antonio Blásquez takes symbolic oath of office, says he really feels like senator for first time; he won election by just 242 votes

While elected on the Citizens Movement ticket, he will join the Workers Party delegation so that it qualifies for a major infusion of federal funding

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Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012

Baja California drops out of top 10 most-violent states

Baja California has dropped out of the top 10 of Mexico's most violent states, falling to No. 12 in homicides in a list compiled by the Mexican statistics agency INEGI. State public security chief Daniel de la Rosa Anaya said kidnappings in the state have fallen 80% from 2007. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Columnist Sarmiento laments that federal government has stopped providing organized-crime violence statistics, but is glad that statistics agency continues to provide murder statistics. Sarmiento's column (PDF).
Eduardo Ruiz-Healy says there have been 95,632 violent deaths in Mexico during the first five years of President Felipe Calderón's six-year term. His column (PDF).
Story on INEGI murder statistics compilation: 27,199 murders in 2011. Story in Frontera (PDF).


Friday, Aug. 24, 2012

Deported Mexicans offered help at Otay Mesa port of entry

U.S. is repatriating Mexicans there because the work that is going to take place to build a new connection to Mexico's new El Chaparral port of entry is going to demolish the current pedestrian crossing east of I-5 in San Ysidro

More than 100 Mexicans deported or otherwise repatriated by the United States to Mexico were offered services by various agencies at the Otay Mesa port of entry on Thursday, Frontera newspaper reported. Mexicans are now being deported through the Otay Mesa port of entry because the current pedestrian crossing west of I-5 is going to be wiped out by the building of a new connection to Mexico's new El Chaparral port of entry a few blocks to the west of the current Puerta Mexico entry in San Ysidro.
A new pedestrian crossing is being built to the east of I-5.
Those repatriated were offered health services, food and shelter and aid to cover half the cost of returning to their points of origin in Mexico. The event was organized by the National Migration Institute. Story, Frontera (PDF).

Mexico's human rights chief lauds Supreme Court decision limiting the military's jurisdiction in trials involving human rights violations

raul plascenciaRaúl Plascencia, the president of Mexico's national human rights commission, lauded Tuesday's 8-2 Supreme Court decision limiting the military's jurisdiction in trials involving human rights violations of civilians. He made the remarks to MexicoPerspective in Tijuana after making a presentation about migrants' rights at a conference at the Colegio de la Frontera Norte, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
He said the ruling should aid his agency's work investigating human rights abuses allegedly committed by the military.
The court will need to take action in several other cases for its ruling to be binding, the Los Angeles Times reported.


Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012

Zacatecas prison director seized from her home

Fabiola Quiroz Zárate, director of the Cieneguillas prison in Zacatecas, was seized from her Fresnillo home along with two others by armed men around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, Mexican media reported. Authorities said they were investigating the motives for the kidnappings, and said recent operations at the prison confiscated alcohol, drugs, knives, cell phones, televisions and other electronic devices. Many prisoners in Zacatecas also have been transferred to more secure prisons, Noticiero "El Circo" reported.
Cieneguillas is the prison where a notorious mass escape took place three years ago.
Story, NTRZacatecas. Story, NoticieroElCirco. Story, Los Angeles Times.
Update, Aug. 24: Gov. Miguel Alonso Reyes says he will seek federal intervention in case. Story in Frontera (PDF).
Update, Aug. 29: Four dangerous inmates from Zacatecas prison transferred to federal prison in Monclova, Coahuila.


Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012

guadalupe loaezael caballero del titanic coverGuadalupe Loaeza to write new introduction for next edition of novel on Mexican Titanic victim to reflect that premise story is based on is untrue

She speaks at San Diego Natural History Museum

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Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012

2012-2013 school year begins

In Baja California, nearly 700,000 basic education students start classes; some, however, were told to go home because their classrooms did not have teachers

The 2012-2013 school year began Monday in Baja California, as 688,995 students began attending classes in 2,800 preschool, primary and middle schools.
Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán went to the Centro Integral de Ciudad Natura for the kickoff of classes and noted that the state has nearly 1 million students overall, nearly a third of the state's population.
He handed out 25,000 pesos ($1,900) worth of aid for students, ranging from grants for student achievement to school uniforms, and noted that schools no longer are allowed to charge students fees to attend. He said parent associations that help maintain schools also are receiving grants.
Osuna Millán also visited the Cecyte La Presa high school, where 1,300 students resumed classes. A second building was recently constructed at the school at a cost of 19.5 million pesos ($1.5 million); a third building and plaza are to be finished in February at a cost of 9.3 million pesos ($700,000).
Frontera reported that at some schools, parents were told to take their children home because their classrooms did not yet have assigned teachers.
Stories, Frontera (PDF). Story, El Mexicano.
Previous story on La Cecyte La Presa.

$99.9 million contract to detect ultralights carrying drugs across border awarded; 209 pounds of marijuana dropped from ultralight seized

The Los Angeles Times reported that the Department of Homeland Security had awarded a $99.9 million contract to the New York-based SRCTec company to detect ultralight aircraft that have been crossing the border from Mexico and dropping drugs. It often is difficult to detect ultralights with traditional radar.
Meanwhile, Customs and Border Patrol reported that an ultralight was detected Saturday night and that U.S. authorities had been able to seize a 209-pound drop worth $485.000.
CBP news release. Los Angeles Times story.
June 2011: Mention of ultralight, marijuana found in San Luis Río Colorado.
October 2011: Mention of ultralight, marijuana, meth, four men seized in Mexicali.
April 2012: Ultralight, drugs seized in Mexicali Valley.

National president of PAN says designation of Baja California gubernatorial, mayoral candidates next year will not come from on high

gustavo maderoGustavo Madero, the national president of the National Action Party, said in Tijuana on Monday that the party's candidates for governor and for mayors' posts in Baja California next year will be selected via a democratic process and not by designation from on high. The PAN prides itself on generally selecting its candidates through a vote of its members, although some PAN candidates who competed in the July 1 election were not selected through such a democratic process. They included the party's Senate candidates this year for Baja California, Ernesto Ruffo and Víctor Hermosillo. Both were elected. Story, Frontera (PDF).



Monday, Aug. 20, 2012

michael mathesW. Michael Mathes, a major historian of Baja California, dies

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Man referred to as mastermind of Casino Royale massacre said to be protected witness

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What's up, doc? CBP finds 761 pounds of pot in carrot shipment

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Letter to editor, columnist lament U.S., Mexican wine restrictions

In a letter to the editor in the U-T San Diego on Monday, Myles B. Traphagen of Point Loma laments that people can only bring one bottle of Mexican wine across the border before having to pay U.S. import duties. Traphagen said he is a part-time American resident of Baja California and says the new wine museum in the state's Valle de Guadalupe "is truly world-class and worth a visit." Traphagen does not mention that the one bottle limit is per month.
Also Monday, columnist Sergio Sarmiento lamented that Mexicans often don't get to appreciate Mexico's world-class wines because of the taxes the Mexican government imposes: a 25% special tax, and then a 16% value-added tax, which he said raises the cost of a bottle more than 45%. Sarmiento, who was attending this summer's wine festivities in Baja California, said the Mexican taxes mean that it is more expensive to buy Mexican wine in Mexico than in the United States. Sarmiento said that while Americans consume nearly 10 liters of wine a year, the Mexican average is less than half a liter per person. Sarmiento's column. U.S. wine restrictions. U-T San Diego story on wine museum inauguration.

Mexico, Turkey have worst university dropout rates in OECD

Mexico and Turkey have the worst university dropout rates in the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development at 38%. The United States had a dropout rate of 20%. Finland's was 0.5%. Story in Frontera (PDF).

 


Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012

El Mexicano political page speculates that Peña Nieto may opt for neither Castro Trenti or Hank Rhon as PRI candidate in next year's Baja California governor's race; PAN's Óscar Vega Marín throws hat in ring

El Mexicano's political page on Sunday speculated that incoming President Enrique Peña Nieto may opt for neither Sen. Fernando Castro Trenti or former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon as the Institutional Revolutionary Party's candidate for Baja California governor next year. It speculated that Tijuana Mayor Carlos Bustamante, Mexicali Mayor Francisco Pérez Tejada or even Netzahualcóyotl Pérez Román could be the PRI standard-bearer. It said Pérez Román, cofounder of the Urbi Desarrollos Urbanos housing development company, is close to Luis Videgaray, who was Peña Nieto's campaign manager. Pérez Román headed a group that helped organize Mexicali's centennial.
In 2007, the National Action Party's José Guadalupe Osuna Millán won the governorship with the support of teachers union leader Elba Esther Gordillo and her New Alliance Party. The political page item said both the PAN and PRI have been seeking Gordillo's support for next year's race; Gordillo and Peña Nieto have been on oscar vega marinrelatively good terms historically.
Meanwhile, the paper reported that top federal security official Óscar Vega Marín (right) had thrown his hat in the ring for the PAN gubernatorial nomination during an appearance in Mexicali. Other PANistas who have said they will seek the nomination are former Tijuana Mayor Francisco "Kiko" Vega and Osuna Millán's former right-hand man, Cuauhtémoc Cardona.
El Mexicano's political page (PDF). Gilberto Lavenant column on Pérez Román.
Story on Vega Marín (PDF). Frontera story on Vega Marín (PDF).

Baja California government runs full-page ad touting that state police is second such force in country to be trained under new accreditation standards

Baja California's government ran a full-page ad in newspapers on Sunday saying that its state police is the second such force in the country to be trained under new accreditation standards. The state police have been trained by federal police and the military. State police Commanders have been trained by the FBI. In July, Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán said 421 state police had specialized in tactical analysis, operations and investigation. Of the 421, 301 were active members of the force and 120 were newcomers. Full-page ad, Frontera (PDF). Full-page ad, El Mexicano (PDF). July 30 Zeta story on the accredited police.
It was unclear why Baja California's program was said to be the second in the nation, as it appears that both Sonora and Morelos states also have such programs.
Sonora's state accredited police force program began in November 2011.
Morelos state accredited police program began in May 2012.


Saturday, April 18, 2012

fernando marquez arceFormer Tijuana Mayor Fernando Márquez Arce dies at 81

Also a former state supreme court chief justice, he once disguised himself as a migrant to expose police extortion

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Friday, Aug. 17, 2012

3 Mexican service members convicted in killing of man at San Felipe in May, El Mexicano quotes military spokesman as saying

Official version, family's version of his detention radically differed

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Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012

maria de las heras Pollster María de las Heras eulogized

Her surveys for the 2012, 2000 elections were on target

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More arrested in May deaths of Veracruz photojournalists; those detained reportedly also admit involvement in June slaying of reporter

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Heads-up defense helps U.S. soccer team beat Mexico in Mexico for the first time

The U.S. soccer team beat Mexico in Mexico for the first time ever, 1-0, on Wednesday at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. Mexico controlled the ball but U.S. defenders, time after time, headed the ball out of danger. The goal came in the 79th minute by Michael Orozco Fiscal after he got a backheel pass from Terrence Boyd, who had received a pass from Brek Shea. Orozco Fiscal, from Orange, Calif., plays for San Luis Potosí. All three involved in the goal were substitutes. Story in Frontera (PDF).
The U.S. victory spoiled somewhat a halftime celebration of Mexico's medal winners at the London Olympics; the winners included the country's under-23 soccer team, which won gold for the first time.


Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012

Nine killed in attack on Monterrey bar; 4 were bar employees; 8 killed in violence elsewhere

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el caballero del titanic coverMexican author who wrote novel about Mexican who died aboard Titanic to present book at San Diego Natural History Museum

Guadalupe Loaeza, who wrote a novel about a Mexican who died aboard the Titanic, will present her book at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the San Diego Natural History Museum. The museum also has an exhibit on the Titanic. The presentation of "El Caballero del Titanic" is being co-sponsored by the Mexican Consulate in San Diego.
The novel is based on a premise, which has been shown to be false, that Manuel Uruchurtu gave up his seat on a lifeboat so that a female passenger might live.
Previous stories on the novel.

López-Doriga returns to Televisa newscast after vacation

In what appears to be a silly act of ego, show runs highlights of the news since he went on vacation: It's not news until López-Doriga reports it?

Televisa newscaster Joaquin López-Doriga returned to the anchor's post of the network's main news program on Tuesday after having been on vacation for two weeks. López-Doriga generally does not deserve the brickbats he gets as the main face of Televisa news. However, in what appears to be a silly act of ego, the show ran highlights of the news since he went on vacation at the beginning of the show rather than report immediately on what happened on Tuesday. Is it not considered news until López-Doriga reports it? The Wall Street Journal report that battlefield blimps now being used in Afghanistan and Iraq might be deployed on the U.S.-Mexico border was relegated to a spot later in the newscast.
In another development, the news show has returned to the air on Galavisión after a brief absence. The show also airs on Telemundo in the U.S., but sometimes some of its segments are trimmed out on that network.

tijuana innovadora logo Tijuana Innovadora hopes to attract 50,000 San Diegans this October

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Columnist explains Ricardo Monreal loyalty to López Obrador

      Excélsior columnist Leo Zuckerman on Wednesday writes about what he referred to as Ricardo Monreal's extreme loyalty to former presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Monreal was AMLO's campaign manager for the presidential election. Zuckermann said Monreal was a highly popular politician seeking the PRI gubernatorial nomination in Zacatecas in 1998 when President Ernesto Zedillo selected someone else to be the party's nominee. AMLO then tapped Monreal as the Democratic Revolution Party nominee and campaigned for him; Monreal won. Zuckermann said Monreal switched from being a PRD senator to a Workers Party senator in 2008 so that the Workers Party could receive greater benefits as a result of having three senators. (AMLO just ran for president on a joint PRD-Workers Party-Citizens Movement ticket).
     Zuckermann concludes that both López Obrador and Monreal are resorting to the fraud card to fend off attacks from others in the the left that they hold responsibility for López Obrador's defeat in the election. Zuckermann also concludes that Monreal hopes to inherit López Obrador supporters once AMLO is out of the picture. Zuckermann's column (PDF).

 

Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012

Columnist says Peña Nieto, to move Mexico forward, must fashion compromises with other parties

Eduardo Ruiz-Healy says he had backed Calderón in part because he thought, mistakenly, that Calderón would be a negotiator

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11 kilos of cocaine seized, 5 suspects detained on downtown Tijuana street

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Suspected trafficker captured with ID of newspaper worker slain with 3 Veracruz photojournalists

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Monday, Aug. 13, 2012

Insecurity barometer records 2 deaths last week in Tijuana

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Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012

Peace caravan against Mexico's violence begins journey to Washington with stop at border, University of San Diego

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Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012

Mexico wins Olympic soccer gold, 2-1, over Brazil

Oribe Peralta scored twice as Mexico's soccer team won Olympic soccer gold 2-1 over Brazil on Saturday. The first goal game 28 seconds into the match following a defensive mistake by Brazil.
Update, Aug. 12: Baja California runs ad congratulating two Baja California-connected players on the team, Héctor Herrera of Rosarito and Jorge "Chatón" Enríquez, who grew up in Nayarit but is originally from Mexicali. State ad, in Frontera (PDF). Story on the Baja California-related players, Frontera (PDF). Game story (PDF). Coca-Cola ad celebrating soccer gold (PDF).
Peralta touted for president of Mexico (PDF) (with photo of him as "president."

María del Rosario Espinoza wins bronze in taekwondo

Mexico's María del Rosario Espinoza won bronze in the Olympic taekwondo competition Saturday in London, defeating Cuban Glenhis Hernández. She won gold in Beijing in 2008, and is the first Mexican to win individual medals at two straight Olympic games. Story in Frontera (PDF).

Caravan for Peace to start Sunday at Friendship Park at San Diego-Tijuana border

javier sicilia The Caravan for Peace will start at noon Sunday at Friendship Park at the San Diego-Tijuana border. The caravan will stop in more than 20 U.S. cities on its way to Washington, D.C., where it is to arrive Sept. 10. The caravan will be led by Catholic poet Javier Sicilia of the Movement for Peace and Justice with Dignity, which he started after his son was slain in the Cuernavaca area last year. A Mass will be held at the University of San Diego at 3 p.m. and Sicilia will talk at the university at 4 p.m. A meeting also will be held at Chicano Park at 6:45 p.m.
Previous story on the caravan.
Update, Aug. 12: Sicilia, in news conference at La Casa del Migrante in Tijuana on Saturday, said he hopes the peace caravan will help light a spark in the U.S. population so that Americans might make more common cause with Latin America on key issues. Story, Frontera (PDF).


Friday, Aug. 10, 2012

Sandra Avila Beltrán, La Reina del Pacífico, extradited to U.S.

Sandra Avila Beltrán, La Reina del Pacífico or the Queen of the Pacific, was extradited to face trial in federal court in Florida on cocaine-trafficking charges. Story in Frontera (PDF).
Update, Aug. 11: Avila Beltrán makes appearance in U.S. court (PDF).
In June, judges approved her extradition, reversing the ruling of another judge, who was suspended. June 8 item.
August 2011: Avila Beltrán kept injunction against extradition.

Illegal weapons seized in Tijuana, ex-policeman detained; Fourteen bodies dumped in San Luis Potosí

Exhibit of historic postcards on display at Mexican Consulate in San Diego

An exhibit of historic postcards relating to the Tijuana-San Diego border went on display for two months Tuesday at the Mexican Consulate in San Diego. Consul Remedios Gómez Arnau said the exhibit helps mark the 133 anniversary of Tijuana and the 133rd anniversary of the consulate's opening in San Diego. The cards were collected by Andres Williams and Juan José Vidrio. Story, Frontera (PDF).


Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012

Tijuana Mayor Carlos Bustamante to travel to China, South Korea to try to drum up investment in October

Tijuana Mayor Carlos Bustamante plans to travel to China, South Korea and probably Taiwan in October to try to drum up investment, El Mexicano reported. He was quoted as saying, "Now we are more competitive than China, with the increase in ships' fuel costs, our speed (in which we can get goods to the U.S.) and how trained our workers are; what we want to do is bring in Chinese companies, instead of having them go from here to there." Story, El Mexicano (PDF).

Concrete lining of Arroyo Alamar comes under debate again

arroyo alamar artists The lining of the Arroyo Alamar with concrete in Tijuana came under debate at the Border 2020: U.S.-Mexico Environmental Program, El Mexicano newspaper reported. Diane Take-over, executive director of the Environmental Health Coalition, said flooding of the tributary of the Tijuana River can be controlled in other ways and said the lining will damage the environment.
Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán, meanwhile, extolled the flood-control benefits of the project.
A webpage seeking to preserve Arroyo Alamar, http://alamarsustentable.org/, has been created. Artists have been invited to contribute to the event "El Alamar es de Todos" to be held Sept. 8 in the Pasaje Rodríguez between Third and Fourth streets downtown.
Story, El Mexicano (PDF).

 


Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012

Ensenada's Daniel Corral finishes fifth in parallel bars;
Mexico beats Japan 3-1, will be in Olympics
soccer final

Ensenada gymnast Daniel Corral, who once trained at the Mission Valley YMCA in San Diego, finished fifth in the parallel bars at the London Olympics. Many have high hopes for him for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
Meanwhile, the Mexican under-23 soccer team defeated Japan, 3-1, to advance to the Olympics final for the first time. The three goals were the first that Japan gave up all tournament; two of them came off turnovers near the goal. Mexico will be playing Brazil in Saturday's 7 a.m. PDT final.
Front page picture of Corral, Frontera (PDF). Gymnastics stories, Frontera. Lead-up story, U-T San Diego.
Soccer story, Frontera (PDF).


Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012

4 generals, lieutenant colonel and major subjects of formal imprisonment order, bound over for trial

Federal Judge Raúl Valerio Ramírez on Monday issued a former imprisonment order for Mexican generals Tomás Ángeles Dauahare, Ricardo Escorcia Vargas, Rubén Pérez Ramírez, and Roberto Dawe González, who now face trial on organized crime charges. The judge also bound over for trial Lt. Col. Silvio Hernández Soto and Major Iván Reyna Muñoz. All are suspected of having worked with the Beltrán Leyva cartel.
May 17: Two detained generals had been under investigation since 2010.
May 24: "El Grande" Villarreal extradited to U.S.; alleged former Beltrán Leyva cartel leader made incriminating statements against recently detained Mexican generals

16 killed in accident involving van carrying Luz del Mundo church pilgrims from Rosarito

Sixteen people were killed Monday on the Caborca-Sonoyta highway in Sonora state in an accident involving a tractor-trailer and a van carrying Luz del Mundo church pilgrims from Rosarito around 4:45 a.m. Fourteen church members headed to Guadalajara for a convention were killed. Story, Frontera (PDF).

Update, Aug. 11: Bodies of 13 of those from Rosarito who died are being taken to Morelia, Michoacán, because that is where they or their families were originally from. One body was to be returned to Rosarito. Story, Frontera (PDF).

 


Monday, Aug. 6, 2012

Baja California to have 62 agents dedicated to drug peddling cases

Baja California will have 62 agents dedicated to drug peddling cases once the state takes over those cases Aug. 21, state Attorney General Rommel Moreno told Frontera newspaper. Story, Frontera (PDF).
July 16: Baja California judges to take over drug peddling cases.

Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012

Mexico's Laura Sánchez wins bronze in women's springboard diving

Mexico's Laura Sánchez, 26, edged out Italy's Tania Cognotto by 0.2 point to win bronze in women's springboard diving at the London Olympics on Sunday. Cognotto had been trying to follow in her father's footsteps, who won four Olympic medals.
Story in Frontera (PDF). Photo.


Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012

marco antonio blasquezBaja California to have its first senator from the left

Regional electoral tribunal rejects PRI arguments, awards Senate seat to Marco Antonio Blásquez of the Progressive Movement; his margin of victory rises from 194 to 242

El Mexicano newspaper, whose director lost the Senate seat, makes only the teeny-tiniest mention of Blásquez's victory

<<<Read more>>>

Calderón inaugurates wine museum

President Felipe Calderón on Friday inaugurated the Baja California wine museum in the Valle de Guadalupe near Ensenada. Frontera reported that the museum cost 101 million pesos, or $7.7 million. Story, Frontera (PDF).
He also announced that the value added tax for Baja California would not rise from 11% to 16%. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Aug. 6: Antonio Magaña writes about how many vintners turned their backs on the event, feeling it is more the Cetto museum than the state's wine museum. His column (PDF).
Update, Aug. 8: Magaña says Calderón then flew in a helicopter in Tijuana, where had a dinner with top PANistas in the state, including Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán; former governors Eugenio Elorduy Walther and Alejandro González Alcocer (also an exiting senator); state PAN leader Sócrates Bastida; federal deputies Oscar Arce (Rosarito) and Alejandro Bahena (Mexicali); former deputy candidate Ruth Hernández; Loreto Quintero; Juan Marcos Gutiérrez; David Preciado; and former top Osuna Millán aide Cuauhtémoc Cardona. Magaña's column (PDF).


Friday, Aug. 3, 2012

Mexican archers win silver and bronze

Mexico put two Olympians on the same awards podium for the first time since 1984 as Aída Román and Mariana Avitia won the silver and bronze archery medals on Thursday in London. Román lost the gold 6-5 in a one-arrow shootoff to Ki Bo-Bae of South Korea, where both shot 8s but the South Korean was closer to the bullseye. Avitia took the bronze 6-2 over American Kahtuna Lorig, who complained about the wind affecting her aim. Lorig had won the 2008 bronze in Beijing. The medals were Mexico's first ever in Olympic archery. Román defeated Avitia 6-2 in the semifinals. Avitia, 18, plans to study journalism. Bae Bi Ki helped South Korea win the team archery gold. Both Román and Avitia are coached by a South Korean, Song I-woo. Román, 24, said she decided to study psychology at the University of the Valley of Mexico after seeing the field's importance after losing in the round of 16 in 2008 Olympics. Stories, Frontera (PDF). Photo (PDF). Story in El Mexicano (PDF).
In 1984, Mexico won gold and silver in the men's 20-kilometer walk.

Former Quintana Roo governor found guilty of money laundering in U.S.

Former Quintana Roo governor Mario Villanueva pleaded guilty Thursday in a federal court in New York to money laundering charges. The former governor for the Institutional Revolutionary Party was extradited to the United States two years ago and faces up to 20 years in prison. Authorities said he accepted millions of dollars from the Juárez cartel. Story in Frontera (PDF).

Recently appointed Rosarito police chief says unpaid auxiliary police were being forced to pay superiors 100 to 300 pesos ($7.650 to $22.80) a week

Implicated in scheme is former police chief Jorge Eduardo Montero Álvarez, now a top state public security official

Francisco Castro Trenti, the recently appointed police chief in Rosarito, says he has stopped a practice whereby unpaid auxiliary police were being forced to pay superiors up to 300 pesos a week ($22.80). Columnist Odilón García wrote that the volunteers depend on small contributions from the public, only to see their superiors take some of that money. Castro Trenti apparently became aware of the problem after an auxiliary police officer complained about the quota being raised from 100 to 300 pesos. Castro Trenti said the practice apparently began under police chief Jorge Eduardo Montero Álvarez, a former army officer who served from 2007-2010 under an Institutional Revolutionary Party mayor and now is a top Baja California public security official in a National Action Party administration. Also implicated were Gabriel Téllez, former head of the auxiliary police; former Montero assistant Reynaldo Ruiz; and José Miguel Duarte, head of the auxiliary police until a few days ago. Castro Trenti is serving an Institutional Revolutionary Party mayor elected in 2010. Story, Frontera (PDF).


Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012

Encounter of Two Worlds monument, removed from Tijuana Cultural Center grounds last year, has new location: the Paseo de los Héroes median in front of center

Guillermo Castaño's Encounter of Two Worlds Monument, which had been installed at the Tijuana Cultural Center in 1992 and removed last year presumably because it was too heavy for the center's esplanade, has a new location in the median of the street in front of the center.
The Círculo Italiano de las Californias that had sponsored the monument had expressed great disappointment last year at its removal. The monument features Columbus, who has become persona non grata in many areas of Latin America.
El Mexicano reported that the sculpture, which was restored by the cultural center, weighs 10 tons and that its base weighs 6 tons. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
August 2011: Paper reports monument may be relocated to Paseo de los Héroes.
July 2011: Monument removed from Tijuana Cultural Center.

Baja California's El Hongo state prison seeks more companies to employ its inmates

Baja California's El Hongo state prison in Tecate is seeking more companies to employ its inmates. El Mexicano newspaper reported that El Hongo has eight plants operated by three companies employing more than 250 inmates. Companies include one that makes T-shirts, and one that makes decorative wood figures. The prison has room for 12 plants, the paper said. Inmates working for one U.S. company make 80 pesos ($6) a day, 30% of which is deducted to pay for the damages the inmates caused to society, the paper said. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).

Regional electoral tribunal rejects PRI argument that some ballots marked for both PRI and Green Party in Baja California Senate race should go to PRI, Frontera reports

Decision could confirm 194-vote victory for Marco Antonio Blásquez of the Progressive Movement for Baja California's third Senate seat; PRI still trying to get some of Blásquez's votes annulled; PAN won other two seats

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July is deadliest month in Mexicali in last 6 years

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Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012

Mexicali port of entry shut 4 hours after accounting firm owner, nephew shot in vehicle while waiting in line to cross border

Woman who been kidnapped last year, then freed after payment of a ransom, also was in vehicle

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Tijuana mayor, in interview with U-T San Diego, says he hopes Peña Nieto will help rebuild infrastructure in city

carlos bustamanteTijuana Mayor Carlos Bustamante met privately Tuesday with new U-T San Diego owner Douglas Manchester and then told reporter Sandra Dibble that he he hopes Enrique Peña Nieto, who won the July 1 presidential election, will help rebuild the city's infrastructure. Both are members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party. Bustamante said that when he took office in 2010, 93% of city streets "were destroyed, and I plan to leave with 60 percent of them fixed." He said he hopes to have the Route One rapid-transit bus route in place by the time he leaves office in 2013. He said he still thought the Puerta México port of entry would remain open when the new El Chaparral port of entry opens. The owner of the Grand Hotel said he lives in Tijuana but often stays at his San Diego apartment on weekends. Story, U-T San Diego.
Update, Aug. 2: Bustamante, in ad in Tijuana dailies, accuses Tijuana newsweekly Zeta of lying about his debt situation. Ad, El Mexicano (PDF). Ad, Frontera (PDF). Zeta's story.

Mexico wins silver medal in women's synchronized diving a day after winning silver in men's synchronized diving

Paola Espinosa celebrated her 26th birthday by winning the silver medal in women's synchronized diving with her partner Alejandra Orozco, who skipped her quinceañera (traditional 15th birthday celebration) this year to concentrate on training for the event at the London Olympics. Orozco, from Guadalajara, is Mexico's youngest-ever Olympics medal winner. Espinosa was born in La Paz. Stories in Frontera (PDF). Photo.
The day before, Germán Sánchez, 20, and Iván García, 18, also won silver in men's synchronized diving. García's parents had him take up diving to expend his energy after he was expelled from two elementary schools and diagnosed with hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder. Both went through the state's CODE sports system in Guadalajara. Story in Frontera (PDF). Photo. Story on García's background, El Mexicano (PDF).

Manager of News Divine nightclub, where 12 died in 2008 raid involving underage drinking, sentenced to 24 years, 9 months for corrupting minors

Alfredo Maya Ortiz was sentenced to 24 years and 9 months for corrupting minors by selling them alcoholic beverages at the News Divine nightclub in Mexico City. A 2008 raid on the club to investigate reports of underage drinking and drug use resulted in a stampede for the exits in which 12 people died, including three police. Maya Ortiz also was fined 216,000 pesos ($16,000). Story in El Mexicano (PDF).
Update, Aug. 2, 2012: Columnist Sergio Sarmiento says the sentence in this case shows that justice still does not exist in Mexico and that Maya Ortiz is being made a scapegoat. Prosecutions and courts exist just for political ends, he said. Sarmiento said police raided the club in order to extort the youths and that the police are largely to blame. He said witnesses testified that the bar required patrons to show their Federal Electoral Institute identification in order to buy drinks. Sarmiento's column (PDF).

UABC owes 100 million pesos to state water agency, official says

Hernando Durán Cabrera, the head of the state water agency for Tijuana, said the Autonomous University of Baja California owes the agency 100 million pesos ($7.5 million). He told the Journalists Association of Baja California that 70% of those who owe money are citizens, while 30% are corporations and organizations like UABC. El Mexicano newspaper said the UABC has not paid its bill for years, and obtained an amparo, a kind of injunction, against payment on its debt. The official name of the agency is Comisión Estatal de Servicios Públicos de Tijuana (CESPT). Story, Frontera (PDF). Jump.
Update, Aug. 2: CESPT closing westbound Vía Rápida exit to Avenida de las Américas to install new pipes. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).

Ton of marijuana being unloaded from boat at Esteban Cantú community south of Ensenada seized

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Shootouts in Veracruz state kill 10, including 5 police protecting money to distributed under the antipoverty program Oportunidades

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