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

rene mendivilMonday, Dec. 31, 2012

Baja California PRI leader outlines his party's goals for 2013

René Mendívil says alliances could be key in gubernatorial race, says he would like to be nominated for Tijuana mayor's post

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Frontera's Insecurity Barometer reports only one violent death for week

Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012

Coahuila becomes 3rd state to ratify education reform, after Chiapas and Baja California

      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.

First mayor of Rosarito resigns state social development post to seek PAN mayoral nomination again

Update, Jan. 20: Silvano Abarca Macklís faces sex harassment charges

      Silvano 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).

Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012

Drug tunnel found in Nogales, Sonora

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Friday, Dec. 28, 2012

Xolos lose title because of sponsor's gambling ties — NOT!

Tijuana papers have fun with fake headlines, stories on Día de los Santos Inocentes, the Spanish-speaking world's version of April Fool's Day

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Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012

L.A. Times story finds that independents, and not Mexican cartels, appear to be those growing marijuana in U.S. national forests

      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."

Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012

Querétaro, Mérida and Hermosillo rated as top Mexican cities in quality of life by their own residents

Mexicali is 7th; its ranking is pulled down by air pollution (it went on red alert for air quality on Tuesday)

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Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012

Inmate who escaped from Piedras Negras prison in September recaptured; 54 of 129 who escaped have been recaptured or killed

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End-of-world predictions said to have brought 150,000 tourists to Mexico

        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.

Monday, Dec. 24, 2012

Hank to hold Three Kings Day event at racetrack on Jan. 6

Update, Jan. 1: Three Kings parade in memory of late María Elvia Amaya de Hank to be held on Jan. 5

     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).

19 killed, including 7 police, in Jalisco, Michoacán and Sinaloa

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Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012

Group of 4, including a female cashier for the city government, arrested in recent Tijuana slayings, which included a dismemberment

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Mexicali police official says 130 smugglers of border crossers have been arrested in last 3 years

     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).

Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012

New articulated-bus trunk line planned for Tijuana

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Friday, Dec. 21, 2012

Tijuana slayings in 2012 at 359, a drop of 120, official says

Drop in homicides backs Baja California officials' statements that state is safe for tourism;
However, U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter is now calling for a tourism boycott because of the monthslong jailing of a former Marine for bringing an antique weapon across border in Matamoros

Update, Dec. 22: Ex-Marine is released, crosses border

Update, Dec. 23: Baja California governor criticizes Hunter's methods

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Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012

Mexican satellite sent into orbit

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Alejandro Monraz wins PAN poll, to become PAN nominee for Tijuana mayor

     alejandro monraz billboardFor 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.

Chapo Guzmán's pregnant daughter deported

     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.
Previous story.

Pot-filled Cessna seized in Trinidad Valley

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Former Tijuana policeman sought in kidnappings and slayings captured

He was believed to have worked for Arellano Félix cartel and had operated in Mexicali and Ensenada because El Gordo Villarreal conducted Tijuana kidnappings until his July 2011 capture

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Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012

Some top PRD state officials back Castro Trenti for governor

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Columnist addresses alleged Wal-Mart corruption

     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).

Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012

Deportations to Baja California drop dramatically, although state still gets more deportees than any other

Tamaulipas is a close second

<<<Read more>>>   State-by-state deportation table

Head dumped at Mexicali ejido; governor says state is among safest in Mexico

     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.

Monday, Dec. 17, 2012

National columnist writes about how Tijuana Xolos' soccer championship has helped restore Baja California's pride

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Frontera reports northbound pedestrian border wait of up to 5 hours

     Frontera newspaper reported a pedestrian border wait of up to five hours Sunday to cross into the United States. The paper said mario escobedo aguinaldo billboardmany 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).

Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012

fernando castro trentiCastro Trenti backed by Confederation of Mexican Workers for Baja California governor

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Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012

Fox does not renew PAN membership

vicente fox     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).

Beltrones asks Napolitano to delink drug trafficking from being the major force in U.S.-Mexico relations

      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.

Ensenada councilman's wife dies in crash

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.

Friday, Dec. 14, 2012

Rain causes chaos in Tijuana; indigenous couple rescued from Tijuana River

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Ice rink opens at state government complex in Tijuana

        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).

Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012

Peña Nieto, in visit to Tijuana, says Baja California will be on his radar and that he will look into measures to improve the state's economymayor bob filner shakes hands with president enrique pena nieto

He inaugurates music center and avoids appearing to favor political candidates ahead of next year's state and municipal elections

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner meets with president

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Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012

Education minister says reforms will emilio chuayffettake place with or without teachers union leader's support; columnists express elation and amazement that nation's 3 major parties are working together for good of nation

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Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012

Peña Nieto seeks to create autonomous National Institute for Educational Evaluation through constitutional change, wants more federal control over educational policy

Columnist Sergio Sarmiento questions need for revision of constitution for what he termed a "secondary law"

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Peña Nieto to visit Tijuana on Wednesday

       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).

El Cubo architect gets six-month U.S federal jail term in drug smuggling

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Monday, Dec. 10, 2012

3 PAN candidates for Tijuana mayor back Francisco Vega for governor

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Tijuana was "second home" of singer Jenni Rivera, who died in plane crash Sunday, newspaper reports

She married Tijuana native and former baseball pitcher Esteban Loaiza in 2010, although they separated this year

     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.

Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012

Rosarito plans to make formal complaint against Ensenada for blocking billboard welcoming people to Rosarito

      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.

Officials hope to get a million snowbird visits to Algodones

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).

Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012

Industrial Boulevard in Tijuana renamed for the late businessman and philanthropist Alberto Limón Padilla

     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  

3 arrested after shootout in Tijuana parking lot on city's main drag   

        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). 

Friday, Dec. 7, 2012

Tunnel found in Tecate a block from U.S. port of entry

       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.

Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012

Bus hijacked in Mexico state; six female passengers raped, others forced to perform oral sex

Officials at first showed indifference to their plight

Update, Dec. 7: 5 arrested in case

       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,
      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.

Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012

State investigative police in Tijuana run out of gas, halt investigative work

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.


hector osuna jaimefrancisco vegaPAN survey has former Tijuana mayors Héctor Osuna Jaime, Francisco Vega in lead for Baja California governor's race nomination

Dropping out of race are former intelligence official Oscar Vega Marín and former Sen. Jaime Díaz Ochoa

Although state PAN president Sócrates Bastida indicates former deputy Gastón Luken is dropping out, Luken apparently is still in; former state official Cuauhtémoc Cardona and former deputy Oscar Arce also are hopefuls

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Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012

Excélsior columnist tries to put Saturday's inauguration, Sunday's Pacto por México in perspective

He says protests are causing people not to see the conciliatory moves President Enrique Peña Nieto is making

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Monday, Dec. 3, 2012

bronwyn ingram watches as bob filner is sworn in as san diego mayor by state treasurer john chiangBob Filner sworn in as San Diego mayor, promises outreach to Mexico

mark kerseyNew council member Mark Kersey also promotes Mexico ties and says he has obtained Sentri fast-crossing pass so he can cross border more easily

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Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012

Tijuana Xolos win soccer championship with 2-0 victory over Toluca

Tijuana goes wild over win

Who would have thought Tijuana would deliver the border region's first major sports championship? No San Diego major league baseball, NFL or NBA team has ever won the ultimate title

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Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012

Punta Colonet port project canceled

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Peña Nieto inaugurated amid violent protests

        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)

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