A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.
McClatchy Newspaper's Tim Johnson writes about the relative calm that has come over Tijuana, quoting observers as saying the likely reason for it is that drug traffickers likely are working together, rather than against each other. His story.
Raúl Garza Sloan, the former head of the National Action Party in Nuevo León state, and other PANistas are complaining that the PAN national committee imposed federal candidates on the state PAN.
Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Side note: Although the PAN is in favor of re-election in Mexico, one argument that is made is that re-election would not make much difference in Mexico because the party leaderships hold such a stranglehold on candidate choices. A politician who might seek re-election might find himself or herself out in the cold if he or she angered that leadership.
A woman who bought and sold seafood and also ran a restaurant was shot dead late Sunday night or early Monday morning in Ensenada, bringing to 12 the number of murders in the port city this year. Camelia Mancilla Alcocer, 42, was shot when she left her home in the Azteca neighborhood, El Mexicano newspaper reported. The paper said she did business in Bahía de los Ángeles, where she bought seafood to bring to Ensenada, where she managed a restaurant on First Street. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Southwestern College journalism professor Max Branscomb got his start in newspapers by accident, Tijuana's Frontera newspaper reported Tuesday. It said one of his elementary school teachers sent his essay to a local paper, which published it and then demanded more material from him. Branscomb has taught at Southwestern 16 years, and attended Southwestern and San Diego State University as an undergraduate, where he also received a master's degree. He also worked at various newspapers in San Diego County. He is the adviser to the college's award-winning Sun newspaper, which was named the nation's top community college newspaper. He also is a playwright.
Frontera's profile of Branscomb (PDF). It is entitled "Journalist by Accident."
Institutional Revolutionary Party presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto has the most followers of Mexico's three main candidates, Reforma newspaper reported. He has
416,516 Twitter follows, to the National Action Party's Josefina Vázquez Mota's
322,716 and the Democratic Revolution Party's Andrés Manuel López Obrador's
President Felipe Calderón is the Mexican politician with the most followers, 1,469,180. Story in Frontera (PDF).
A three-month, 7 million peso ($544,000) project to widen and pave with hydraulic concrete Sebastián Vizcaíno street in Tijuana has resulted in the renaming of the street as Politécnico Nacional. The street leads to the campus of institution of higher learning, as well as the Cetis 156 technical high school near the Otay Mesa crossing.
Story, Frontera (PDF).
Mexican actor Demián Bichir was not awarded the best-actor Oscar on Sunday night for his performance in "A Better Life," but he did write a nice first-person article that appeared in the Los Angeles Times the same day. He talks of growing up in a theater family and beginning to perform at the age of 3. Winning the Oscar was French actor Jean Dujardin, who starred in "The Artist." Bichir's first person article, Los Angeles Times. Story on Bichir, Frontera (PDF). Oscar story focusing on Bichir, Frontera (PDF).
The New York Times reports that Arizona may be undergoing a sort of immigrant-bashing fatigue, saying the immigration issue has receded in the state. Story, New York Times.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times reported that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's endorsement of Gov. Mitt Romney might help in Tuesday's Republican presidential primary, but could hurt him in the long run with Latinos. Story, Los Angeles Times.
Travel writer Paul Theroux writes about visiting Nogales in Sonora state. While he mentions numerous sad stories, he says, "Nogales is a border town trying to save itself, and I think succeeding."
Story, New York Times.
The State Department's Feb. 8 travel warning about Mexico had this to say about the Nogales area: "You should defer non-essential travel between the city of Nogales and the cities of Sonoyta and Caborca (which area also includes the smaller cities of Saric, Tubutama, and Altar)."
A bus carrying 22 Carnival Splendor cruise ship tourists was robbed in the Puerto Vallarta area of Jalisco state Thursday night, The Associated Press reported. The bus was intercepted by armed, masked men, and the tourists, who had been on a jungle hike, were robbed of their valuables. No one was reported hurt. The cruise ship left Long Beach on Feb. 19 and returned Feb. 26, the Los Angeles Times reported. Princess Cruises, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp., suspended cruises to Puerto Vallarta last year but had poised to resume them this month, the paper said.
Associated Press story in Frontera (PDF).
Story, Los Angeles Times.
State Department Feb. 8 travel warning for Mexico: For Jalisco state, it warned against traveling to areas bordering Michoacán and Zacatecas states, and said: "You should also exercise caution when traveling at night outside of cities in the remaining portions of this state."
A primary school named for the late Baja California Gov. Milton Castellanos in Ensenada has been closed after a 10-meter hole developed on the property. Students will be shifted to other locations while authorities determine whether the school is structurally safe. Officials said students who attend the morning session would attend classes in the police association building, while afternoon session students would go to a nearby primary school where there is no afternoon session. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Feb. 28: El Mexicano (PDF) says school built more than 50 years ago.
Update, Feb. 29: Two more holes found at school, one under a wing. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Update, March 3: Classes to resume March 5 after classroom wing, library found not to be in danger; other areas of school still being examined. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
The Tijuana Xolos continued their tradition of not winning at home, playing to a 1-1 tie with Toluca. Former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon's Grupo Caliente sponsors the Xolos; Toluca was his team when he grew up in Mexico state. <<<Read more>>>
An expansion of the Cecyte La Presa High School has allowed it to return to double session. A lack of space and high demand had caused the relatively new high school to go on triple session, with a morning, intermediate and afternoon sessions. New classrooms include a computer lab. Present at the computer lab's inauguration this week was Emma Mora Retamoza, mother of former Interior Minister Francisco Blake Mora, who died in a helicopter crash in November. The lab is named for him.
Principal Juan Martín Alcibia Martínez said the school was originally to built to house 300 students in two sessions, but almost immediately faced a demand for 800 students. It now has 822 students, Frontera reported.
Cecyte stands for Colegio de Estudios Científicos y Tecnológicos, or the School for Scientific and Technological Studies. It has nine campuses in Tijuana, seven in Mexicali, two each in Ensenada and Rosarito, and one in Tecate. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Feb. 27: The Cecyte system is the leader in obtaining scholarships/grants for high school students to be able to continue their education.
Three people have been arrested in the Jan. 28 slaying of five people, including a San Ysidro 13-year-old, in a Tijuana house. State police said one of those arrested, Martha Lizeth "La Noemí" Osegueda Rodríguez, 24, ordered the killings after drugs were allegedly stolen from one of her operations. Among the dead were San Ysidro Middle School student Ulysses Castrejón and his grandfather, Hipólito Beltrán. Castro had gone to the home to attend a birthday party. Also arrested were Erick Arzáte García, 28, and Marco Antonio López Carmona, 24. García, also wanted on theft charges, was picked up following a tip. That led authorities to a home where Osegueda and López were seized, along with a gun and crystal meth. Authorities said Osegueda ordered the slaying after getting permission from higher-ups; one was identified as Octavio
Leal Uriarte, a cousin of the now-jailed Raydel "El Muletas" López Uriarte, who works for the Sinaloa cartel of
Chapo" Guzmán. Story, U-T San Diego. Story, Frontera (PDF). Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Update, Feb. 28: Follow-up story, Frontera (PDF).
President Felipe Calderón caused a stir when he said a Feb. 19 poll showed the National Action Party only four points behind for the July 1 election. The Institutional Revolutionary Party, whose presidential candidate leads by double digits in other polls, asked the president not to comment on political matters.
Meanwhile, Democratic Revolution Party candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador said polls showing him far behind in third place don't reflect reality.
Story in Frontera (PDF). Editorial, El Mexicano (PDF).
El Universal poll from earlier this week.
Update, Feb. 25: Calderón says Friday that he will avoid making comments about the political campaign; PRI, PRD blast him for his Thursday remarks; López Obrador says he is leading race. Stories in Frontera (PDF). Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Update, Feb. 27: Columnist Leo Zuckermann wonders (PDF) where Calderón got his poll and where López Obrador is getting his figures, too.
Journalist Antonio Heras, who writes a column in El Mexicano and is a correspondent for La Jornada in Mexicali, reported that he was beaten so badly by at least three men Thursday he had to be treated for bruising and bleeding in a hospital.
Tijuana has closed 30 recycling centers operating outside of the law, authorities told Frontera newspaper. Many centers take metal objects that have been stolen to be recycled. Police chief Alberto Capella Ibarra said cables stolen from private companies and government facilities had been recovered. Story, Frontera (PDF).
A theater named for Carlos Monsiváis has been opened in the Centro Cultural Universitario in Mexico City, La Jornada reported. The "Julio Bracho" y "José Revueltas" theaters also were reopened. Monsiváis was one of Mexico's leading intellectuals and a film historian and critic; Bracho directed movies; and Revueltas composed music for them.
Last year, a theater complex at the Tijuana Cultural Center was named for Monsiváis.
Story, La Jornada.
El Mexicano newspaper on Thursday praised that no kidnapping were reported to authorities in Baja California in January. It said this is good news, even though it said civil organizations said there had been kidnappings, but that they had not reported because families of the victims did not trust police. It said authorities now need to crack down more on petty crime. Editorial, El Mexicano (PDF).
A deaf-mute slaying victim was laid to rest Wednesday in Tijuana. The case has caused an uproar in the community because one of its most vulnerable members was believed to have been killed by a Cuban emigre. The Cuban said he had been living in Mexico for two years and had been deported after unsuccessfully trying to cross into the U.S. Officials said Henry José Puentes Padilla, 33, confessed to killing Itzel Jaqueline Fontes Ortiz, 17, whose body parts were found in a sewer. Authorities said Puentes said he and Itzel had recently become friendly, but that when she rejected his sexual advances and used a knife to defend herself in his home, he disarmed her, killed her, cut her up and dumped her body parts. Her family, who denied that she had become friends with him, began looking for her the evening of Feb. 9 after she did not return home after going out to sell bread in the streets. The family is originally from Los Mochis in Sinaloa state. State authorities said they would seek the maximum 50-year sentence against the Cuban, whose hometown was reported as Huanabacoa. He told authorities he had arrived in Cancún from Cuba and came to Tijuana to cross into the United States, but failed in the attempt and was deported back to Mexico. Reports said he claimed to be a musician who made a living selling Cuban cigars.
Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump. Story, Frontera (PDF). Jump.
Story, La Voz de la Frontera.
Tijuana is still planning to return to an electronic speeding ticket system operated by Global Corporation, councilman Eduardo
Enrique Parra Romero said. The system may have been the worst decision made during Jorge Hank Rhon's 2004-2007 mayorship as he tried to impose a European-type traffic order on Tijuana's unruly drivers. The system had problems and was eventually abandoned and the city stopped paying Global. The accumulated debt, however, is a major issue for the city. Whose fault is it? Jorge Hank and his Institutional Revolutionary Party? Frontera reported in November that after Hank resigned for his unsuccessful 2007 run for governor, payments stopped under interim mayor Kurt Honold. The next mayor, Jorge Ramos of the National Action Party, also did not pay Global. The matter is now in the laps of PRI Mayor Carlos Bustamante and the council.
Parra, a member of the PRI, told El Mexicano: "We know that many people are going to make complaints, because they are going to say it is an eminently economic matter and not a public safety one, but the intention is that there be more order in the city." Bustamante's theme at his state-of-the-city address in October was "A City with Order."
Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
Previous mention of the matter.
Former finance minister and presidential candidate Ernesto Cordero has been placed in the No. 1 spot on the National Action Party's plurinominal (at-large) Senate list. President Felipe Calderón's sister, Luisa María "Cocoa" Calderón, who lost the Michoacán state governor's race last fall, was placed at No. 4 on the list. Alonso Lujambio, the education minister who dropped out of the presidential race late last summer and who has been undergoing treatment for cancer, was placed at No. 7 on the list. Story in Frontera (PDF).
If the PAN gets a third of the vote for Senate, it likely will get 10 or 11 of the at-large Senate seats. Frontera said that in 2006, with 33.63% of the vote, it got 11 such seats.
Update, Feb. 26: The list of PAN at-large candidates: It includes, at No. 28, Baja California federal Deputy Oscar Arce; at No. 3, Roberto Gil Zuarth, presidential candidate Josefina Vázquez Mota's campaign manager; and No. 11, former national PAN president Luis Felipe Bravo Mena, who lost the governor's race in Mexico state last year.
Story, Frontera (PDF). Political page commentary, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Feb. 29: Tijuana columnist Óscar Genel does not have kind words for Cordero, Cocoa Calderón and Lujambio getting free passes into the Senate thanks to President Calderón. Genel's column (PDF).
José Alfredo Villanueva, 52, died after losing control of his motorcycle in Mexicali on Monday night, El Mexicano newspaper reported. Villanueva was carrying identification identifying him as a Border Patrol employee, the paper said. He was going north on Calzada López Mateos, which is undergoing construction work, El Mexicano reported. The paper said three motorcyclists have died in the municipality in the last week. Story, El Mexicano. PDF version of story: Page 7AA. Jump.
El Universal/Buendía & Laredo poll puts Institutional Revolutionary Party candidate Enrique Peña Nieto at 48%, National Action Party candidate Josefina Vázquez Mota at 32% and Democratic Revolution Party candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador at 20% for the July 1 election.
Story in Frontera (PDF). Jump.
The New Alliance Party in Baja California decided against nominating Mexico City Deputy Jorge Kahwagi for the Senate. Instead it nominated Amado Ovidio Gil Villarello and Serafín González Juárez. Neither are given a chance of winning. Story, Frontera (PDF).
The Los Angeles County supervisors apologized Monday for Depression-era deportations of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, the Los Angeles Times reported. It said scholars estimate that 60% of those deported actually were U.S. citizens.
Gen. Alfonso Duarte Mújica, commander of the Second Military Region, has been made a division general. He is responsible for Sonora, Baja California
Sur and Baja California, and has helped oversee a reduction in violence in Baja California.
Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Previous story about his not being promoted in November following a spat with a Baja California state official.
A prison riot in Monterrey killed 44 people on Sunday. Authorities said the clash may have occurred between Gulf Cartel inmates and prisoners belonging to the Zetas organized crime group, once aligned with the Gulf Cartel. Story, MSNBC.
Update, Feb. 21: Thirty Zeta prisoners escape during riot; guards are placed under detention. Story in Frontera (PDF).
A watchdog group that is to monitor how various agencies respond to public-safety issues was formed on Thursday. The group, heavy on university leaders, is called the Citizens Public Safety Monitoring Center (Observatorio Ciudadano de Seguridad Pública). Baja California officials touted it as the first such group in the country. Story, Frontera (PDF).
The president is Autonomous University of Baja California Rector Felipe Cuamea. Members include CETYS University Rector Fernando León García; Iberomericana University Rector Carlos Alberto Serra Martínez; Polytechnic University Rector Navor Rosas González; Colegio de la Frontera Norte President Tonatiuh Guillén (representing, presumably, Rosarito); Tecate Business Coordination Council leader Gerardo Manuel Sosa Olachea; Mexicali Citizens Public Safety Committee President José Carlos Vizcarra Lomelí; State Development Planning Committee Director Rogelio Lara Valle; Mexicali Bar Association President Herman José López Frank. The secretary is state Public Safety Ministry head Daniel de la Rosa.
Claudia González López, a federal Attorney General's Office official in Coahuila state, has been arrested, officials said. She is suspected of working to protect the Zetas organized crime group. Story in Frontera (PDF).
The "period of silence" for Mexican political campaigns began Thursday. Candidates are not to make public appearances nor run advertising until the campaign officially begins March 30. The election is Sunday, July 1.
Update, Feb. 17: The humor columnist Catón rhymes about
No campaigning is now allowed.
But this required silence seems absurd,
because I have never heard
a quiet quite so loud.
The original, and far better, Spanish (PDF)
Sustainable development economist Gabriel Quadri de la Torre registered to be the New Alliance Party's presidential candidate on Wednesday, El Universal reported. He said he did not know party founder and teachers union leader Elba Esther Gordillo, but expressed confidence that the PANAL could reach the 2% mark it needs to stay registered as national political party despite his being a political unknown. Present at his registration were party President Luis Castro and Secretary General Mónica Arriola Gordillo, Gordillo's daughter. Last month, the PANAL and the Institutional Revolutionary Party ended their pact to support a joint candidate, the PRI's Enrique Peña Nieto.
Quadri, in his Twitter account, recently made fierce criticisms of Democratic Revolution Party presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador, apparently before the possibility emerged for him to become the PANAL's presidential candidate. He erased one Twitter message where he called "genial" an obscene suggestion another Twitterer made about López Obrador's proposal to create a Ministry of Honesty.
Story, El Universal. Twitter story, El Universal.
Eduardo Ruiz-Healy says this election will be the end of the PANAL. His column in Frontera (PDF).
Update, Feb. 17: Columnist Sergio Sarmiento says Quadri's ideas such as repurposing energy subsidies to develop more wind and solar power are a breath of fresh air, but that he has no chance of winning. Column (PDF).
The Institutional Revolutionary Party held a rally in the Tijuana Municipal Auditorium to back its candidates for the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. The auditorium was nearly fully,
meaning the PRI wound up putting a lot more people in the seats than National Action Party presidential candidate Josefina Vázquez Mota did Monday night in the same venue.
Picture pages, El Mexicano (PDF). Second page. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Story, Frontera (PDF): It says the PRI blamed the PAN for many of the state's and country's ills. Political page (PDF).
Baja California Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán announced Wednesday that the state was giving El Trompo science museum 6 million pesos ($468,000) to continue building exhibit halls and to pay for children to visit the facility. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
More than 2,000 couples were married in a mass ceremony presided over by Tijuana Mayor Carlos Bustamante on Tuesday, Valentine's Day, Frontera reported. The mass ceremony helps couples dramatically cut wedding costs. Story, Frontera (PDF).
630 couples marry in Ensenada. Story, Frontera (PDF).
157 couples marry in Rosarito. Story, Frontera (PDF).
The Baja California state legislature voted 16-4 Tuesday to ask the federal attorney general's office to investigate former Baja California governors Ernesto Ruffo (1989-1995, left) and Eugenio Elorduy (2001-2007, right) for links to organized crime, Frontera reported.
Legislators from the PRI, Green Party, Workers Party, Democratic Revolution Party and State Party of Baja California voted for the resolution against the National Action Party politicians; the four PAN legislators voted against it, and the New Alliance Party abstained. PRI legislator Carlos Murguía presented no proof of ill-doing and only cited press reports and
common public knowledge as the basis for the legislature's actions. The move could be partly in retaliation for the current investigation into former Tamaulipas state governors for illegal enrichment and links to organized crime, and to damage Ruffo's chances in the July 1 Senate race.
Ruffo was lauded by PAN presidential nominee Josefina Vázquez Mota in Tijuana on Monday. During her appearance at the Municipal Auditorium, she made a point of noting that Ruffo had not had connections with organized crime.
Update, Feb. 22: National PAN defends Ruffo, Elorduy. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Mention of issue in The Week in Mexico.
Federal Electoral Institute President Leonardo Valdés Zurita, in Tijuana to give a workshop, says Mexico has around 80 million on its voter rolls, with 3.5 million new young voters and 10.5 million young voters who have never voted for president. Item, Frontera (PDF). Story, Frontera (PDF).
Last year's story about Valdés's talk at UCSD.
"Rebel priest" Raymundo Figueroa Pérez, ousted from his parish in Rosarito Beach by Tijuana Archbishop Rafael Romo, says he will open a new one Wednesday, Frontera reported. A picture accompanying the story showed construction work under way. His new church is to be called Parroquia
del Santísimo Sacramento; the old is
Santísimo Sacramento. The new property is at the intersection of Chihuahua and Artículo Tercero in Colonia Constitución, a few streets away from his old church. Figueroa told the paper that confirmations and other rites that must be performed by the archbishop will be matters that will be dealt with later. Story, Frontera (PDF).
The group Museo del
Policía de Tijuana is hoping it will be able to stop the sale of the site of Tijuana's former police headquarters by the city. The group would like to build a police museum on the site. Story, Frontera (PDF).
New York Times story about the conflict: "A Cultural Clash Over the Bad Old Days."
U-T San Diego has a question-and-answer with Jorge Meraz, host of the "Crossing South" travel show about Baja California. The show can be seen online at the KPBS website. It also will be airing on KPBS.
The Los Angeles Times on Saturday editorialized against Arizona's disallowing a San Luis woman whose English is poor from running for city council. The paper says the Arizona Supreme Court, in upholding a judge's ruling, made the wrong decision: Alejandrina Cabrera's "fitness for office should be judged by the voters," the editorial said.
Previous mention of case.
A specialized map of the Easter 2010 Mexicali earthquake has been published in the magazine Science. The article is entitled "Near-Field deformation
from the El Mayor Cucapáh
earthquake revealed by differential Lidar." Among the authors is John Fletcher, Alejandro Hinojosa Corona, J. Javier González García and Orlando J. Terán of CICESE (Centro de Investigación Científica y Educación Superior— the Center for Scientific Study and Higher Learning) in Ensenada. The lead author was listed as Michael E. Oskin of the University of California at Davis.
LIDAR stands for light detecting and ranging and produces high resolution three-dimensional images.
Story, Frontera (PDF). Science magazine abstract.
Fletcher gave a standing-room only talk about the earthquake last year at the University of San Diego.
Eduardo Ruiz-Healy writes in his column that a recent Ipsos Bimsa poll gave the PRI's Enrique Peña Nieto 36% support, Vázquez Mota 24% y Andrés Manuel López Obrador 16%. Other polls have Peña Nieto much further ahead.
Meanwhile, a Mitofsky poll conducted Feb. 6-8, after Vázquez Mota won the PAN's nomination process, did not give her much of a bump. The poll put Peña Nieto at 40.4%, Vázquez Mota at 24% (up 1.5 points over the previous month) and Andrés Manuel López Obrador at 17.7%. Since a December Mitofsky poll, Vázquez Mota has gained 5 points on Peña Nieto.
Ruiz-Healy's column (PDF). El Financiero on the Mitofsky poll.
The front-runner for Mexico's presidency, Institutional Revolutionary Party candidate Enrique Peña Nieto, shot a TV ad about migration at the border in Playas de Tijuana on Wednesday. <<<Read more>>>
President Felipe Calderón on Wednesday signed reforms making high school attendance mandatory. The government also will be obligated to pay for public school students' educations. As it is now, high school students often have had to pay a portion of their education costs.
The reforms will be phased in over time, becoming 100% effective in 2022.
The measures are long overdue in Mexico, which lags behind most Western countries in educational attainment, although it looks far better compared with most other Latin American countries. Story, Frontera (PDF). El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Previous story on Senate action to require high school education.
Reforma reports that nationwide satellite Internet system for schools never worked properly. Story in Frontera (PDF).
Update, Feb. 10: Columnist Sergio Sarmiento writes that this educational reform, like legislation calling for universal health coverage and decade-old legislation preschool for all, lacks the funding to make it a reality. He called the whole process deceptive. His column (PDF).
Frontera reports that Josefina Vázquez Mota, who won the National Action Party presidential nomination Sunday, is to speak at Tijuana's Municipal Auditorium at 6 p.m. Monday.
Last item on political page, Frontera (PDF).
Former health minister José Ángel Córdova Villalobos, who lost the PAN gubernatorial nomination Sunday to Miguel Márquez Márquez, won't run as the candidate for any other party, PAN Gov. Juan Manuel Oliva Ramírez. said Wednesday.
Update, Feb. 25: Córdova is No. 20 on the PAN's at-large (plurinominal) list for the Senate.
Columnist Sergio Sarmiento writes that Mexico City is seeing the return of the old, authoritarian Institutional Revolutionary Party. He said that while the much-respected Beatriz Paredes is the PRI's mayoral candidate, a fierce battle is being waged for whom will be the candidates for other posts. He said part of the problem stems from Cristian Vargas, whom he referred to as a "dipuhooligan." In November, Rosario Guerra and her supporters were beaten when they tried to register an alternative ticket at PRI headquarters in the nation's capital.
Sarmiento's column (PDF).
Beginning Feb. 15 until March 30, Mexico's presidential candidates will not be able to air ads and apparently will not be able to make campaign appearances, columnist Leo Zuckermann writes. This "period of silence" gives an advantage to Institutional Revolutionary Party candidate Enrique Peña Nieto, who has a large lead in the polls, Zuckermann says.
Until Feb. 15, candidates can make appearances to gain the backing of their party. On March 30, the general election campaign for the July 1 vote begins. Zuckermann said this period of silence is likely to reduce the bounce Josefina Vázquez Mota is getting from winning the National Action Party's presidential nomination on Sunday. Zuckermann said Peña Nieto has a 20-point lead on Vázquez Mota and a 30-point lead on Democratic Revolution Party candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Zuckermann's column.
Sergio Sarmiento also has a column addressing the issue on the same page.
Former Mexico City Mayor and three-time presidential candidate Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas has come onboard Andrés Manuel López Obrador's presidential campaign. Cárdenas's reticence to back López Obrador in the 2006 presidential race likely contributed to López Obrador's narrow electoral loss to the National Action Party's Felipe Calderón. Cárdenas had hoped to run for a fourth time in 2006 but was completely outflanked by AMLO. López Obrador was elected Mexico City mayor in 2000 after Cárdenas left the post to run for president, where he finished third in the race won by the PAN's Vicente Fox. Cárdenas, like López Obrador a former member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, is the son of former President Lázaro Cárdenas. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Analyst José Antonio Crespo says López Obrador should have reached out to Cárdenas in 2006. Story, Radioformula.
Update, Feb. 10: Catón writes, in rhyme (PDF):
"López Obrador and Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Reconcile... ":
I'll try to make it clear.
This will be brief, I think.
For Cárdenas the engineer
This must have been a bitter drink
Mexican meat exports to Russia have increased sevenfold, from 3,848 tons in 2010 to 28,541 in 2011, the Agricultural Ministry reported. The exports included beef and horse meat. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Last year, the U.S. lifted a 5-year ban on funding horse meat inspections. USA Today story.
Frontera newspaper said Tuesday that reports of extortion phone calls have dropped in half, perhaps because many people now realize the calls are mainly empty threats. In the scheme, people are called and told to pay out money or they or their property or their family will be hurt. In some cases, the calls are made out of Mexican prisons; Baja California prisons, however, block cell phone calls. Story, Frontera (PDF). Jump.
The Tijuana newspaper Frontera gave a progress report on the state legislature's actions in January. Although it could have provided more detail about various bills that were carried and/or passed were about, the paper still provided far more information about what the legislature was up to than media have provided in the past. Story, Frontera (PDF). Jump.
Although Ernesto Cordero moved up significantly in National Action Party voter preferences, Josefina Vázquez Mota still won a convincing majority of votes Sunday to become the PAN's presidential nominee for the July 1 election.
Two more centers dedicated to the election of Institutional Revolutionary Party presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto have opened in Tijuana. The latest "Casas Peña Nieto" opened in the Horóscopo neighborhood in the Cerro Colorado district. The centers also will work to increase PRI voter rolls and turn out the vote for other PRI candidates on July 1, according to the story in El Mexicano (PDF).
An Arizona judge has barred Alejandrina Cabrera from running for city council because she does not speak English well enough. Most people in San Luis, on the border with Mexico, speak Spanish; a linguist found she spoke English at the "survival" level.
Story, Los Angeles Times.
Update, Feb. 8: Arizona Supreme Court upholds judge's ruling barring Cabrera from office. Story, Los Angeles Times.
Update, Feb. 11: Los Angeles Times editorializes against ruling.
Sandra Dibble of U-T San Diego has a comprehensive front-page story about Tijuana's troubles dealing with deportees, many of them with criminal records. Story, U-T San Diego.
A pilot ready lane for pedestrians will open at the Otay Mesa port of entry on Feb. 23. It will be for pedestrians who have forms of identification with radio frequency devices that are accepted by the U.S. for border crossings. Ready lanes for vehicles have helped speed up crossings for many drivers and passengers. The lanes would be open from 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends, the paper said. Story, Frontera (PDF). Story, U-T San Diego.
Chris López, who has been the city administrator of the San Antonio de los Buenos district and who has garnered more publicity than other such administrator, resigned his post to run for Institutional Revolutionary Party-Green Party nomination for the federal legislature's Sixth District seat for Baja California. He formerly served in the state legislature; last year, Mayor Carlos Bustamante, who was present at López's last act as administrator Friday, said he thought López would make a good candidate for mayor. Bustamante's term ends in 2013; the federal Chamber of Deputies is renewed every three years.
López likely will face Alejandro Monraz of the National Action Party, who lost out on the PAN nomination for mayor in 2010.
Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Story, Frontera (PDF).
El Mexicano story on Bustamante and López touring San Antonio de los Buenos (PDF).
U.S. authorities broke up a ring that used African-Americans to smuggle immigrants across the border. Smugglers apparently realized that African-Americans crossing the border in vehicles were low on the U.S. government's radar in terms of profiling for smuggling suspects. Notimex story, El Mexicano (PDF). Story, Los Angeles Times.
A bicyclist who was run over and killed around kilometer 103 on the Ensenada-Tecate federal highway on Tuesday was identified as Claudio Hernández
Mendoza, 29, originally from Chiapas. The hit-and-run accident occurred around 5:55 p.m., which would be after sunset.
Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
Raymundo Figueroa Pérez, Rosarito Beach's "rebel priest," was jailed for having continued to hold Mass at a church the diocese had removed him from. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
El Mexicano editorial (PDF). Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Feb. 4: Figueroa is released. Frontera (PDF). El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Update, Feb. 8: Lot donated for Figueroa to form new church. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Update, Feb. 10: Figueroa is exonerated of charge, Frontera reports (PDF).
Update, Feb. 11: Figueroa still faces one charge, Frontera reports (PDF).
Josefina Vázquez Mota's presidential campaign said she would present three complaints against National Action Party rival Ernesto Cordero's campaign because of the release of illegally recorded telephone conversations that were leaked to the media. Cordero said he would like to know who was responsible for the leak. The moves come as PAN members vote Sunday to choose their presidential candidate.
Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Previous mention of leak.
A federal electoral tribunal in Jalisco state has ruled that Manuel Jesús Clouthier Carrillo should be allowed to be a PAN candidate for Senate in Sinaloa state. The national PAN had rejected his candidacy, but the tribunal overturned that rejection, saying insufficient justification was provided for the decision. Clouthier, who often has been critical of the PAN, is the son of Manuel J. "Maquío" Clouthier, the PAN candidate for president in 1988. That election was won by Carlos Salinas de Gortari of the PRI.
Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Update, March 7: Clouthier announces he will run for president as an independent, but Federal Electoral Institute says that is not possible. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Scholarships of up to 6,000 pesos ($468) a month have been offered to Tijuana police who would like to further their educations, El Mexicano reported. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
A movie about the 1994 assassination of PRI presidential candidate Luis Donald Colosio in Tijuana is in its third week of filming, Notimex reported. Seven weeks of filming are planned, including the re-creation of Tijuana's Lomas Taurinas neighborhood where the killing took place on March 23, 1994. The conspiracy-minded re-creation is taking place in the state of Mexico. The film, featuring Kate del Castillo, José María Yazpik and Daniel Giménez Cacho, is expected to be released this year. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
Last year's memorial at Lomas Taurinas of the Colosio slaying.
Kate del Castillo asks El Chapo Guzmán to do good for Mexico.
Tijuana social development director David Saúl Guakil published a full-page ad in El Mexicano rebutting Monday's Cicuta column, which alleged that Guakil apparently tried to bribe the national Institutional Revolutionary Party to make Guakil one the the PRI's two Baja California Senate candidates in place of El Mexicano director Eligio Valencia. <<<Read more>>>
The Mexican news agency Notimex published an article on Wednesday's Los Angeles Times editorial decrying Republican presidential candidates' positions on immigration. The editorial said Mitt Romney nor Newt Gingrich nor Rick Santorum have realistic proposals. Notimex story, in El Mexicano (PDF). Los Angeles Times editorial: "GOP candidates' immigration fantasies."
Previous item on Gingrich and immigration.
TV anchorman and columnist Jorge Ramos Avalos says Republicans cannot win in November without the Latino vote. He said Gingrich told him Romney's theory that illegal immigrants will self-deport is a fantasy and said Gingrich's position on immigration has softened somewhat. Ramos's column (PDF). ,
Update, Feb. 3: New York Times article says Romney's harsh immigration views clash with those of Mormon church.
Update, Feb. 3: Los Angeles Time article on Romney and Mormon church.
Update, Feb. 4: Profile of Romney from Reforma (PDF).
Update, Feb. 9: Univision's Jorge Ramos writes about theory that GOP cannot win without 40% of Latino vote. Column, in Frontera (PDF).
El Mexicano reported that PRI presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto will visit Mexicali on Tuesday. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
Ernesto Cordero, still far behind Josefina Vázquez Mota with just days to go before National Action Party members vote on their presidential candidate, focused on her poor congressional attendance record at the beginning of last year in Tuesday night's debate.
<<<Rest of story>>>
Officials said 55% of vehicles inspected under Baja California's new smog check program lack catalytic converters. Authorities indicated the state will help car owners buy the converters, which are relatively expensive and necessary for vehicles to pass the smog check.
Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Previous story on program.
Update, Feb. 2: Frontera publishes two-page article on pollution in Tijuana. Story, Frontera (PDF). Jump.
Update, Feb. 5: Full-page ad explaining program (PDF).
U.S. tourism to Tijuana rose 14% in 2011 over 2010, the Tijuana Tourism and Convention bureau said. About three-quarters of the tourists were males, many in the city seeking medical care, attending sports events or visiting relatives. Story, Frontera (PDF). Story, El Mexicano (PDF).