A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.
Coahuila became the third state to ratify President Enrique Peña Nieto's education reform, following Chiapas and Baja California. The reform modifies Articles 3 and 73 of the Constitution. During the special-session vote in Saltillo, there were two abstentions, one from the Institutional Revolutionary Party's Guadalupe Rodríguez and one from the teachers union-allied New Alliance Party's Simón Hiram
Vargas. The teachers union has taken a stand against the reforms.
Story in Frontera (PDF).
Story on Peña Nieto's drive for education reform.
Update, Jan. 6: Campeche and Mexico state also have approved reform; legislatures of Tamaulipas, Veracruz and Oaxaca are discussing it.
Abarca Macklís, who became the first mayor of Rosarito Beach, has resigned his post heading the state's social development office in the city to seek the National Action Party nomination for mayor again. The lawyer served as mayor from 1998-2001, after Rosarito Beach was carved out of Tijuana, and as a state legislator from 2004-2007.
Story, Frontera (PDF).
Also considering running for the PAN nomination is Mirna Rincón Vargas, who heads the Popular Insurance agency and has gotten widespread publicity with the column that she writes.
Update, Jan. 20, 2013: Abarca Macklís faces sexual harassment or sexual abuse allegations, Frontera reports. He claimed the allegations were political. Story, Frontera (PDF).
A Los Angeles Times story found that independent groups of Mexicans, and not Mexican cartels, appear to be those growing marijuana in U.S. national forests. The groups often use undocumented Mexican fieldworkers.
Joe Mozingo's story was entitled: "Roots of pot cultivation in national forests are hard to trace: Mexican cartels' role seems smaller than once believed."
The end-of-the-world predictions associated with the end of one Mayan calendar era and the beginning of another were reported to have brought 150,000 tourists to Mexico by El Universal.
Story on slew of books printed about end of Mayan calendar.
Former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon's Caliente Group and the Tijuana Xolos championship soccer team will hold a Three Kings Day event for children where toys will be given away Jan. 6, according to a full-page ad in El Mexicano newspaper. Hank last year and in other recent years had sponsored a Three Kings Day parade with his wife, Maria Elvia Amaya, who died in September. Hank still hopes to win the Institutional Revolutionary Party nomination for the 2012 Baja California governor's race. The ad, El Mexicano (PDF).
Update, Jan. 1: Ad published in Frontera says Three Kings parade will be held on Avenida Paseo de los Héroes at 5 p.m. Jan. 5 (a Saturday). Ad, in Frontera (PDF).
Mexicali police official Alejandro Roa told El Mexicano newspaper that 130 smugglers of border crossers have been arrested in the last three years. He said the smugglers no longer operate so openly in the city center.
The paper said many smugglers, or polleros, hook their customers in the Héroes de Chapultepec park. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
For Alejandro Monraz, a former consumer protection official who missed out on the National Action Party nomination for mayor in 2007 and 2010, the third time is the charm. Frontera's political page reported that he had placed first in the PAN's internal poll against state Deputy Max García and migration official Antonio Valladolid and will become the party's candidate in 2013, according to an agreement reached before the poll was taken.
Frontera's political page (PDF). AFN story which says intrigue may take place before a candidate is named
Update, Dec. 21: El Mexicano (PDF): Monraz travels to Mexico City in attempt to form an alliance with the Democratic Revolution Party.
Update, Dec. 22: Monraz is officially declared the poll winner.
Previous story mentioning race, and the above billboard.
Alejandrina Giselle Guzmán Salazar pleaded guilty Monday in San Diego to entering the United States Oct. 12 with a fake visa and was deported to Tijuana. She is the daughter of top Mexican drug trafficker Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán.
Story, U-T San Diego. Story, Frontera.
Columnist Sergio Sarmiento devoted his column to the New York Times' story that $341,000 in bribes allegedly were paid to get a Sam's Club opened near the Basilica de Guadalupe. He said if corruption occurred, those responsible must be punished. Sarmiento also wryly noted that the story said that some of those who protested against a Wal-Mart built near the Teotihuacan pyramids now shop there. His column (PDF).
A man's head was dumped at a Mexicali ejido, El Mexicano reported. What was believed a drug-trafficking message was found at a vacant lot on the Oaxaca ejido. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Story, Frontera, along with another story about a body being dumped at the Morelia ejido.
While violence has dropped in Tijuana, it has risen in Mexicali. Still, Baja California Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán called the state one of the safest in Mexico. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Indeed, a recent State Department travel warning continued to give a green light for Americans to visit Baja California. That did not stop Baja California officials from blasting the warning, however.
Frontera newspaper reported a pedestrian border wait of up to five hours Sunday to cross into the United States. The paper said many were going to San Diego to buy Christmas gifts. Meanwhile, some two miles away, a billboard from would-be mayoral candidate Mario Escobedo urged residents to spend their Christmas bonuses in Tijuana. Escobedo is a Tijuana business leader who is seeking the Institutional Revolutionary Party nomination for mayor. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Jan. 12, 2013: Odilón García's La Víbora del Mar column in El Mexicano said Escobedo was spotted before Christmas carrying a shopping bag outside Bloomingdales in the Fashion Valley mall. Column, El Mexicano (PDF).
Former President Vicente Fox, who came under fierce criticism from the National Action Party for backing the Institutional Revolutionary Party's Enrique Peña Nieto in the July 1 election, did not renew his PAN membership on Friday. Some in the PAN had wanted to kick Fox out of the party. Former President Felipe Calderón was among the many PANistas who did renew their membership. Story in Frontera (PDF).
Update, Dec. 18: In Tijuana, 3,455 PANistas renew membership; that was 86% of registered members, officials said. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
Manlio Fabio Beltrones, the Institutional Revolutionary Party's leader in the federal Chamber of Deputies, on Friday asked U.S. Homeland Security Minister Janet Napolitano to delink drug trafficking ("denarcotizar") from being the major force in U.S.-Mexico relations. He said Mexicans would rather be discussing economic cooperation and U.S. immigration reform. Story in Frontera (PDF).
Beltrones's brother, a top Tijuana official, has been ill.
María Guadalupe León Silva, the wife of an Ensenada councilman, and another woman were killed in a head-on collision. León Silva, 60, was the wife of councilman Macario Díaz of the Institutional Revolutionary Party. The accident occurred around 10:30 p.m. near the Estado 29 community on the transpeninsular highway between San Quintín and El Rosario. León Silva and Marisol Camacho Pérez, 28, were in a vehicle that collided with one driven by Marco Calderón, who was badly injured. Story, Frontera (PDF). Story, El Mexicano.
An ice rink opened at the state government complex in Tijuana on Thursday. Ice skating will be free. The rink, called the biggest in Mexico's northwest, is to stay open until Jan. 13. Story, Frontera (PDF).
President Enrique Peña Nieto was to visit Tijuana on Wednesday, to perform an inauguration of sorts of the Centro de Artes Musicales de BC, to address business leaders at Mayor Carlos Bustamante's Grand Hotel, and to meet with Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán and the state's mayors. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Frontera newspaper reported that Tijuana was the "second home" of singer Jenni Rivera, who died in a plane crash Sunday. The story said her concert at the Plaza Monumental de Tijuana bullring this year set a new attendance record. Rivera, born in Long Beach on July 2, 1969, married Tijuana native Esteban Loaiza in 2010, but she and the former major-league pitcher recently separated. Story, Frontera (PDF). The paper devoted more than five pages to the singer, plus its front page.
Update, Dec. 13: The Los Angeles Times reported that the 1969 Learjet that crashed had previously suffered damage, was piloted by a 78-year-old and was was owned by a company run by a Mexican man, Christian Esquino Nunez, who had been convicted in the United State for falsifying the history of planes he sold. He said Rivera was planning to buy the plane. Story, Los Angeles Times.
Rosarito, which has a longstanding territorial dispute with Ensenada, plans to file a complaint against Ensenada for having its police block a billboard welcoming people to Rosarito, Frontera newspaper reported.
The paper quoted Rosarito Mayor Javier Robles as saying the billboard is not even in territory under dispute. It is, however, near the disputed populace of Santa Anita. Last year, there was a confrontation between Robles's escorts and Ensenada police in Santa Anita, and in January, Ensenada police prevented Rosarito from finishing the construction of a guard house in Santa Anita. Story, Frontera (PDF). Second story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Dec. 11: Follow-up story in Frontera (PDF).
Last year's mention of dispute.
Baja California officials are hoping to get a million snowbird visits to Algodones during the next four months. Many Americans and Canadians fleeing cold weather go to Algodones to get medical care. Merchants told Frontera, however, that tourism has been down dramatically in the last three years. As part of an effort to dress up the community along the border east of Mexicali, a Plaza Fundadores (Founders Plaza) has been created. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Previous mention on medical tourism to Mexicali (Algodones is part of Mexicali).
Tijuana's Industrial Boulevard was renamed Friday for the late businessman and philanthropist Alberto Limón Padilla. Limón Padilla, who was born in Los Angeles but grew up in Tijuana, died in August at age 86.
Story, Frontera (PDF). Story on his death, El Mexicano
Tijuana police arrested three men who allegedly shot at a man who was getting into his vehicle in a restaurant parking lot along Caliente Boulevard and Avenida Jalisco shortly after midday Friday.
Police arrested Rogelio Morones, 32, and Félix Armando Rubio Cuadras and Joaquín Silva Morales, both 22, in the attempted shooting of a man who fled the scene in a bullet-ridden Jeep. Police later caught up with that man and questioned him. It appeared that no one was injured.
Frontera, which often (maddeningly) will not name the place an event takes place, whether it be a conference or a crime, did not mention that the restaurant in question was Giuseppi's. Story, Frontera (PDF).
A sophisticated, unfinished tunnel was found underneath a water-purification plant in Tecate a block from the U.S. port of entry, Frontera newspaper reported. Eight people were detained. The tunnel was underneath the Agua y Ya business. Authorities told the paper the tunnel was discovered after military personnel eyed a man removing tools from a vehicle. The man then ran; when he was caught, marijuana was found in his possession.
Story, Frontera (PDF). Story, Milenio.
A bus was hijacked in Mexico state's Toluca Valley and six female passengers were raped, a representative of the Servicio Intermetropolitano bus line said. Officials said a group of armed men dressed in black and with body piercings took the bus to a sparsely populated area near Toluca International Airport on Nov. 30 and robbed and raped the women, El Universal reported. It said it was the third such attack in the area in a month. Story, El Universal.
Update, Dec. 7: Five men arrested in case were identified as Julio César "El Nayuribe" Nava
Zarco” , 25; Filiberto "“El Beto" Montaño Romero, 33; Jesús Alejandro “El Alex” Pérez Guerrero, 31; Francisco Javier "El Santana" López Hernández, 41, and Misael “El Loco” Jaciel Ávila, 25. Story, Provincia.com.mx
Some women were forced to perform oral sex on the men, included one woman who pleaded with the attackers not to harm her because she was pregnant, passengers said. Around 35 passengers were finally released around midnight, El Universal said. The passengers then had tremendous problems getting help, and said officials told them to come back another day after 10 a.m. to file their complaint because the officials did not have the personnel to deal with so many people.
In July, a group of armed men invaded a Christian camp in the Mexico state area of Chalco and also raped young women. Arrests were made in that case.
Baja California investigative state police force (Policía
Ministerial del Estado ) in Tijuana ran out of their gas allotment and halted investigative work, Tijuana's El Mexicano newspaper reported on its front page Wednesday. The paper said investigators were sitting around their offices watching TV or playing on their computers. Story, El Mexicano.
President Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party was inaugurated Satuday amid protests, which including the breaking of plate glass windows of Mexico City businesses.
In his inaugural address, he promised a more peaceful Mexico, although it was unclear exactly how he planned to accomplish that.
Top officials in his Cabinet include:
• Finance: Luis Videgaray (who was his campaign manager)
• Interior: Miguel Angel Osorio Chong (former Hidalgo governor)
• Defense: Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda (who may be advised by Colombian Gen. Oscar Naranjo)
• Energy: Pedro Joaquin Coldwell (who has been PRI leader)
• Foreign: José Antonio Meade (had been interior minister under former President Felipe Calderón)