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

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

armed with impunity coverUSD Trans-Border Institute report faults Mexican military on rights abuses

In Tijuana, general in charge of Baja California named person of year by Grupo 21; base under command of that general comes under harsh criticism in report

Institute recommends that military turn over suspects to appropriate authorities more quickly and that it better train personnel on how to treat civilians

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Former Tijuana Mayor Jesús González Reyes finishes out of running for at-large seat in Congress

Former Tijuana Mayor Jesús "Chuy" González Reyes of the National Action Party finished out of the running for an at-large seat in the federal Congress, Frontera reported. There will be one PANista representing Baja California as an at-large deputy: Andrés de la Rosa Anaya, who headed the state party in 2010 when it lost all five of the state's mayoral races and was battered in elections for the state legislature.
It was the performance of González Reyes' 2001-2004 administration that opened the door for the Institutional Revolutionary Party's Jorge Hank Rhon to win a narrow victory in the 2004 mayoral race.
The PAN also will be represented in Congress by Juan Manuel Gastelum, who won the District 5 race. The PRI won the other seven directly elected seats.
Rrepresenting Baja California as at-large deputies for the PRI will be Hank Rhon's wife, María Elvia Amaya de Hank, and Fernando Castro Trenti, currently a federal senator.
Jaime Bonilla will be an at-large deputy for the Progressive Movement.
Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Aug. 25: El Mexicano reports on Gónzalez Reyes formally being out of the running. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Frontera's story, and one about PAN in Baja California trying to reunify (PDF).

El Norte newspaper attacked for sixth time; Sierra Madre edition building burned

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Tax Administration Service spokesman says El Chaparral to be ready for business in October

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

9 face charges in 2009 Hermosillo day-care fire

A judge has issued warrants for nine people in the 2009 day-care center fire that killed 49 children in 2009. The charges are "por el delito de lesiones por omisión culposa," roughly causing injury through neglect. The nine were not named.
Last year, Wilebaldo Alatriste Candiani, who was the state civil protection director, was charged in the children's deaths. Two other state officials and a city official also face charges. Story in Frontera (PDF).

2.2 tons of marijuana found in cemetery

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La Bufadora restaurant owner dies in car crash

Manuel Rodríguez Ayala, 72, owner of the Celias restaurant at La Bufadora blowhole attraction near Ensenada, died in a car accident. He was 72. He is survived by his wife, Celia Treviño. It took six hours, and three tow trucks, to retrieve his vehicle, which had gone off a road with a steep precipice. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Federal Deputy-elect Elía Cabañas decides to fill out rest of term of Gregorio Barreto's state legislative post instead

Cabañas's substitute to take her spot in the federal legislature allegedly pressured to allow someone else to fill post

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#YoSoy132 student movement blocks off access to Televisa studios in Tijuana

the #YoSoy132 student movement blocked off access to the Televisa TV studios in Tijuana, as well as other cities. One placard read, "Televisa brainwashes like the PRI launders money." The movement claims that Televisa's "brainwashing" paved the way for Institutional Revolutionary Party presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto to be elected president; the PRI has been accused of laundering money to pay for votes during the campaign. Tijuana story, Frontera (PDF). National story, in Frontera (PDF).
Update, July 31: Columnist Sergio Sarmiento points out that Mexico City police are blocking traffic in support on the #YoSoy132 protest in front of Televisa offices but disperse another protest against superhighway construction. He notes that the #YoSoy132 protest is preventing many from arriving at work in a timely manner. Column in Frontera (PDF).

Around 50 new cars don't pass smog test in Baja California; state says owners need to get dealers to fix problem

Around 50 new cars did not pass the new smog testing being instituted in Baja California, Frontera reported. State officials said the owners of the cars need to get their dealers to fix the problem. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, July 29: Starting Sept. 17, smog check will cost 302 pesos ($23) for 2008-2012 model cars, and 242 pesos ($18) for older cars. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
Update, Aug. 1: Computer error shuts down state's 10 smog-check centers. Story, Frontera (PDF).
New smog check free-inspection period ending.
New smog check program being instituted in Baja California.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sergio Vazquez RuizLate Tijuana Historical Society President Sergio Vázquez Ruiz honored at history symposium; Veracruz native's story parallels that of many who moved to Tijuana

It was different in that not that many get to marry the sister of a beauty queen representing Mexico

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Double booths greatly reduce wait times at San Ysidro border crossing, U-T San Diego reports

U.S. border crossing officials found that having double inspection booths for each lane crossing the border over the weekend greatly reduced border wait times. There were 41 inspection booths for 21 northbound lanes in a large-scale experiment over the weekend. The paper's Sandra Dibble quoted top Customs and Border Patrol official Chris Maston as saying, “The reduction in wait times was ... more dramatic than we thought it was going to be.”
The port of entry is being reconstructed, and the experiment took place during a break in the construction. The trial could be a harbinger of shorter waits to come once construction ends, if there is funding to staff all the double booths. The paper said that in 2014, there will be 46 booths and 25 lanes, and at some future point there are plans for 63 booths and 46 lanes. Story, U-T San Diego.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sergio Sarmiento writes about how PRI and left both apparently used "phantom businesses" to hide campaign spending

Update, July 27: López Obrador asks that election be annulled, interim president be appointed.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Baja California to increase number of full-day basic education schools from 68 to 121

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Sister of former Fox administration official and former Senate candidate for PAN arrested in kidnapping

The sister of a former Fox administration official has been arrested in a kidnapping case. Jaqueline Malinali Gálvez Ruiz, 42, is the sister of Xochitl Gálvez, who headed the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous People.
Xochitl Gálvez also ran for the Senate under the banner of the National Action Party in the July 1 election. She is a member of the Otomi tribe and rose from poor beginnings to become a successful businesswoman providing technology services.
Xochitl Gálvez said her sister lived a hand-to-mouth existence and should receive her day in court. Jaqueline Malinali Gálvez Ruiz was arrested in Zacatecas state and accused of being part of the Tolmex gang.
Xochitl Gálvez's PAN ticket finished third in the Hidalgo state Senate race with 23.6% of the vote to the Institutional Revolutionary Party's 35.9% and the Progressive Movement's 24.8%.
Story in Frontera (PDF). Columnist Sergio Sarmiento says Xochitl Gálvez should not be blamed for any crimes her sister may have committed (PDF).

Treasury Department prohibits people in U.S. from doing business with companies controlled by Juan José "El Azul" Esparragoza

The U.S. Treasury Department said it was attempting to freeze assets controlled by Sinaloa Cartel trafficker Juan José "El Azul" Esparragoza Moreno. The department is prohibiting people in the United States from doing business with companies he and his family operate, which include a housing development, shopping mall, gas stations and an industrial park.
The U.S. State Department is offering up to $5 million for information leading to Esparragoza's capture. Mexican authorities are offering $2 million.
Story, Frontera (PDF).

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Robert Redford touts Baja California

robert redford Actor Robert Redford met up with Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán at the Tijuana Cultural Center on Monday and praised Baja California. Frontera newspaper said Redford considered it to be unfortunate that the media concentrates on sensational issues, saying he hoped his speaking about the beautiful things Baja California has to offer would bring more tourists to the state. Redford said he has been enjoying the lobster at Puerto Nuevo, the Baja California wine country and the cultural center, the paper said. Redford has been in the state to act in the movie "All is Lost," about a man's survival at sea.
Redford, 75, said he grew up in the Los Angeles area surrounded by Mexican-Americans and came to love Mexico, particularly its history, the paper said.
Also present was the film's director, J.C. Chandor. Story, Frontera (PDF).

Mexican bean crop drops in half; drought blamed, imports grow 158%

Mexico's bean crop has dropped in half, the Agricultural Ministry reported. It dropped from 1,156,000 tons in 2010 to 567,000 tons in 2011. Bean harvests are likely to remain low this year, the department and experts told the media. The Grupo Consultor de Mercados Agrícolas said bean imports grew 158% in the first six months of 2012 compared with the first six months of 2011.
Sistema Producto Frijol President Abraham Morales blamed the decline on Mexico's drought, Reforma newspaper said. He said Mexico produced 2 million tons of beans a decade ago. In April, Notimex said El Frente Revolucionario de Campesinos y Trabajadores de México had reported that drought would lower the 2011 bean harvest by 600,000 tons. The story also reported a loss of 3.2 million tons of corn.
Zacatecas was one of the most affected states. El Norte newspaper earlier this year said 70,000 farming families in the state had been devastated by the drought.
Tuesday's story in Frontera newspaper (PDF). April's Notimex story. MexicoEnterado story on Zacatecas.

Monday, July 23, 2012

tijuana cathedral clock Tijuana cathedral given historic status;
clock returns to cathedral's tower
and chimes for first time in over a decade

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

X marks the PRI spot?

rene mendivilBaja California PRI leader explains why he thinks electoral tribunal will take Senate victory away from Progressive Movement candidate Marco Antonio Blásquez and award it to Eligio Valencia

Update, Aug. 2: Frontera reports that electoral tribunal rejects PRI's argument

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Gregorio Barreto portrait mourning ribbonBarreto's life honored by state legislature at ceremony at Tijuana City Hall

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

5 gunmen, policeman killed in Puerto Peñasco shootouts

3 federal police allegedly rob restaurant in Monterrey

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Friday, July 20. 2012

Xolos beat Puebla 2-0 to inaugurate new season

The Tijuana Xolos beat Puebla 2-0 Friday night to inaugurate their new season. Fernando Arce and Pablo César Aguilar scored for Tijuana. Story, Frontera.

Gregorio BarretoPRI legislator and transportation businessman Gregorio Barreto, 58, dies of heart attack

Jorge Hank Rhon ally had been kidnapped in 2008 and had 2 fingers cut off

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Grand opening celebration for completion of Route 905 held 12 days before its July 30 opening to motorists

truck breaks through 905 bannerFormer state Sen. Denise Ducheny, Sandag's Gary Gallegos, former Caltrans official Pedro Orso-Delgado, Congressman Bob Filner come in for praise for completion of route that should help greatly boost U.S.-Mexico trade

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

marta sahagun de fox Marta Sahagún de Fox says 50-50 ratio of women to men in Mexican universities bodes well for future of Mexico and equality

But in speech in Tijuana, she opposes requirement that 40% of Mexican candidates for Congress be women

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

pablo escobar el patron del mal caracol tv Writer for "Pablo Escobar, El Patrón del Mal," now airing on Telemundo, says Colombian TV show has lessons for today's Mexico

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Baja California state judges to take over drug-peddling cases

Baja California State Supreme Court Justice María Esther Rentería announced that state judges will be taking over drug-peddling cases, traditionally presided over by federal judges, Frontera newspaper reported. The state court will completely take over drug-peddling cases Aug. 22 the paper said. Story, Frontera (PDF).

María Elvia Amaya de Hank, who won an at-large seat in Chamber of Deputies, gives interview to Frontera newspaper

María Elvia Amaya de Hank, who won an at-large seat in the Chamber of Deputies for the Institutional Revolutionary Party in the July 1 election, told Frontera that she will work to help provide more jobs for her constituents. Amaya de Hank, the wife of former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon, was so high up on the PRI's list of at-large deputies that she did not have to worry about being elected, or even campaign. The story said she has emerged victorious from her battle with a rare blood disorder and is raring to get to work in the lower house of Congress. But she also told the paper she needed to pace herself and stay positive. She said Mexicans voted again this year for the PRI following 12 years of bad National Action Party rule in the presidency. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, July 20: Zeta reports that her health is much more precarious than indicated in Frontera, and that she reportedly had recently returned to Switzerland for treatment.
She had at first sought to run for senator, but declined when offered the No. 2 position on the PRI ticket after El Mexicano newspaper director Eligio Valencia, saying the ticket needed someone from outside Tijuana to provide geographical balance. State legislator Nancy Sánchez of Mexicali took the slot instead. Valencia was seen as a drag on the PRI ticket; however, it easily wuld have finished second in the Senate race had it not been for a foulup where voters cast ballots both for the PRI and Green Party Senate candidates, spoiling their votes. Valencia lost winning a Senate seat by 194 votes; the PRI plans to appeal its loss to the federal electoral tribunal. Baja California Senate race recount results.

Ex-federal policeman sought in slayings of 3 federal police at Mexico City airport captured

2 suspects still at large

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

uabc logo At least 16 Tijuana universities advertise for students on day UABC announces who was admitted to its programs

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

oscar vega marin campestre Despite Baja California governor's pleas, race for PAN nomination to succeed him is under way

Osuna Millán's top aide, Cuauhtémoc Cardona, resigns to run for top state post

PAN, PRD mull possibility of a coalition candidate against the PRI next year

Update, July 20: Zeta reports that governor may be backing Oscar Vega Marín behind the scenes.

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Two drug tunnels found in Tijuana

Two drug tunnels were found by the Mexican military in Tijuana, authorities said Thursday. A 150-meter-long tunnel was discovered east of the airport in a recycling business; it had not yet been completed. The second was in the Ejido Tampico neighborhood. The 350-meter long tunnel reached into the United States, but had no exit hole. It did have an altar to the Virgin Mary and to the patron saint of drug traffickers, Jesús Malverde, Frontera newspaper reported.
The military also found an estimated 40 tons of marijuana in trucks in the Granjas Familiares neighborhood of Otay Mesa; three men were detained, and information obtained from them apparently led to the discovery of the second drug tunnel, the paper said.
Story, Frontera (PDF). Jump. U-T San Diego story.
Los Angeles Times story on last week's discovery of a sophisticated drug tunnel between San Luis, Ariz., and San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora. Previous mention of that tunnel.

Bakers sign agreement to reduce salt in bread

Hypertension is a major health problem in Mexico, and to help reduce it, bakers signed an agreement at the Mexican White House on Thursday to reduce salt in white bread. President Felipe Calderón witnessed the signing of the agreement by baking industry representatives, an association of stores and Health Minister Salomón Chertorivski. Calderón said Chertorivski told him 75% to 85% of Mexicans' salt intake comes from white bread. Chertorivski said overconsumption of salt in Mexico is contributing to the nation's hypertension problem; Calderón said 37% of Mexican adults had hypertension.
Calderón said less salt means better health, and lower health spending. Under the agreement, bakers are to reduce by 10% the amount of salt in bread, with likely further reductions in the future.
Last year, the Health Ministry said Mexicans consumed more than double the amount of salt recommended by the World Health Organization.
Story in Frontera. Last year's story on Mexican salt intake.

aga informeOutgoing Sen. Alejandro González Alcocer delivers final state-of-the-Senate report, says Mexico's young democracy is progressing

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Francisco Castro Trenti becomes Rosarito police chief

Francisco Castro Trenti, brother of Institutional Revolutionary Party Sen. Fernando Castro Trenti, became police chief of Rosarito Beach on Thursday. The City Council voted 10-2 for his appointment. He replaces Magdaleno Vázquez, a former military officer. Some Rosarito residents were upset with the change, saying Vázquez had delivered results to the city. Story, Frontera (PDF).

Thursday, July 12, 2012

IFE says vote buying is an issue for the the special prosecutor for electoral crimes; Special prosecutor says no witnesses who agreed to exchange their vote for recompense have come forward

The Federal Electoral Institute on Wednesday said vote buying is an issue for the special prosecutor for electoral crimes, or Fepade. The special prosecutor, Imelda Calvillo, said no witnesses have come forward to say that they exchanged their vote for some recompense. She said such testimony is necessary to bring a vote-fraud case before a judge.
Meanwhile, the coordinator of the "Defend your vote for AMLO," Martí Batres, said 411 complaints will be brought to Fepade by backers of losing presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Stories in Frontera (PDF).
On Tuesday, winning presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party called vote buying charges a stunt after President Felipe Calderón said the previous day that they should be investigated.
Columnist Jorge Fernández Menéndez says (PDF) López Obrador backers will not make public the Soriana cards they used to make their fraud case: He said if they did, they likely would find the cards were for a store rewards program, not gift cards that had money on them.
Update, July 13: López Obrador repeats that he will challenge election, claims that PRI bought 5 million votes while only winning election by 3 million votes. Story in Frontera (PDF).
Previous story on how law calls for vote buying to be punished by fines, not election annulment
Update, July 14: Columnist José Roberto Vázquez writes that the vote buying allegations, and allegations by the PRI that López Obrador backers staged a situation to make it look like there was major vote buying, must be investigated.

Jay Leno on Mexican vote buying allegations

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What can Peña Nieto accomplish without a majority in Congress?

To accomplish his reforms, he likely will have to offer re-election to the PAN

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Table showing Congress breakdown

Public relations director who has worked closely with Jorge Hank Rhon reportedly called to Mexico City to work with Peña Nieto's transition team

Winning presidential candidate reportedly said to have been impressed with Miguel Angel Badiola's organization of Tijuana campaign event for Baja California women at old jai-alai fronton

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Drug tunnel found between San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora and San Luis, Ariz.

A sophisticated drug tunnel was found between San Luis Río Colorado, Sonora and San Luis, Arizona. Televisa reported Tuesday night that it might have been operating for more than a year. Story, Yuma Sun. Story, Univision.

Tijuana celebrates 123rd birthday

Tijuana celebrated its 123rd birthday with music and fireworks on Tuesday night.
Why July 11, 1889 was chosen as Tijuana's birthday, and why San Diego's Lucy Killea was part of the decision

14 killed in Torreón and federal forces return there; 3 slain in Michoacán and 2 in San Luis Potosí; grenade damages El Norte newspaper in Monterrey, but no one hurt; Tijuana policeman discovered driving stolen car

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Smog check free-inspection period ending, but only 40,000 of 1.4 million vehicles in Baja California have been examined

Update, July 13: Free inspection extended until Sept. 15

Only 40,000 of 1.4 million vehicles in Baja California have had their smog inspections, even though inspections done through July 15 are being conducted for free. Afterward, smog check will cost 320 pesos ($24), Frontera reported (PDF). Smog inspection will be mandatory next year.
Update, July 12: Waits of up to 10 hours to get into smog-inspection centers. Frontera (PDF). Jump.
January story on smog check program.
Update, July 13: Free inspection extended until Sept. 15. Story, Frontera (PDF). Ad in Frontera (PDF).

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Calderón says vote buying by PRI must be investigated

President Felipe Calderón said Monday in Aguascaliente that vote buying during the presidential election by the Institutional Revolutionary Party must be investigated. He said electoral authorities then should punish whomever is responsible. He also said changes need to be made to prevent this happening in future elections. Story in Frontera (PDF).
Columnist Leo Zuckermann said Calderón was throwing gasoline on the fire by saying the irregularities could affect Mexico's transition of power. He said the Calderón administration oversees the special prosecutor for electoral crimes, and wondered why Calderón just didn't pick up the phone to order an investigation. Zuckermann's column (PDF).
Update, July 11: Peña Nieto says opposition has pulled wool over eyes of Calderón, and that vote buying stories are a stunt. Story in Frontera (PDF).
El Mexicano, which on Monday did not run the results of the Senate recount race lost by the paper's director by 194 votes, on Tuesday ran no story on Calderón's remarks, although they were mentioned in a column by Francisco Ramírez (PDF). The director, Eligio Valencia, ran on the PRI ticket. Story on El Mexicano's non-coverage. It did run a story on Wednesday on Peña Nieto's response to Calderón's remarks. Story in El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.

La Mesa prison in Tijuana inaugurates 20.7-million peso building for visitors

Authorities on Monday inaugurated a 20.7-million peso ($1.5 million) building for visitors that state officials hope will curtail the introduction of contraband into the facility and shorten visitor waits. The new building has a full-body scanner, metal and explosives detectors, a reception area and lockers for lawyers to store their belongings, among other things. Story in Frontera (PDF).

43 reported dead across nation, including five in a Sonoita shootout with the military

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Monday, July 9, 2012

eligio valenciaEl Mexicano newspaper, whose director is Senate candidate who lost recount by 194 votes, does not mention recount results or the name of the candidate who finished ahead of him

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Manuel Bartlett Bartlett to be a Progressive Movement senator despite losing Senate election in Puebla state

While López Obrador finished first in the presidential voting in the state, Bartlett finished third, perhaps showing greater tendency for Mexicans to split their tickets

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Chinese-Mexican who came to Mexicali from Canton at age 10 in 1950 and founded restaurants across Baja California dies, columnist reports

Columnist also says federal police raced through Mexicali stoplights and stop signs to arrive at strip club Sunday

Mexicali restaurateur Fito Yee, also known as Chek Ng Yee, died Friday, columnist Antonio Magaña reported. Magaña reported that Yee, who was around 72, had joked on July 1, after the Institutional Revolutionary Party's Enrique Peña Nieto had won the presidency, that he could now die because his candidate had won. Magaña said Yee came to Mexicali at age 10 in 1950 but joked that he was from China-loa. Magaña said that along with the "extraordinary chef" Chiu Mun Kit, also known as "Tío Canuto," Yee founded the Pekín and La Misión Dragón restaurants in Mexicali and the "Dragón" restaurants in Mexicali, Tijuana and Rosarito.
Magaña also reported in the same column that two federal police cars went through all the stop signs and stoplights on Avenida Reforma in Mexicali around 1:30 p.m. Sunday in order to arrive at the "Miau Miau" table dance club, where, he said "they entered in uniform, with all their gear and guns."
Magaña column, titled, "The Dragon of the Desert," in Frontera (PDF).
Story on Yee, with photo of coffin draped with PRI banner, in El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

MARCO ANTONIO BLASQUEZIn shocker, Progressive Movement's Blásquez wins Baja California's third Senate seat by 194 votes after recount; PAN won other 2 seats

PRI loses out after voters mistakenly cast ballots for both it and Green Party candidate; more than 103,000 votes were nullified in Senate race

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Rosarito Beach seeks 12 million pesos so it can pay its police as well as Tijuana does

Rosarito Beach would like to come up with 12 million pesos ($890,000) so it can pay its police as well as Tijuana does. Councilman Diego Ramírez, who also heads the Public Safety Commission, said the city has not been able to fill more than 40 vacant positions because the city's police salaries are not attractive.

He said police on the lower end of the scale in Tijuana make 14,949 pesos ($1,110) a month, while the pay in Rosarito is 10,400 ($772) monthly. Police academy graduates make a beeline for Tijuana and avoid Rosarito, Ramírez said. Story, Frontera (PDF).

Saturday, July 7, 2012

jose woldenbergFormer IFE official analyzes the election

Jose Woldenberg lauds turnout, decries vote buying and López Obrador's non-recognition of the results

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Columnist and volunteer polling place official recounts his Sunday at the voting precinct and makes some recommendations

Columnist Cosme Collignon writes in Frontera about the process of a being a volunteer polling place official and how the new voting crayon-type pencils had to be replaced and sharpened over and over again. He concluded that López Obrador might have been better off pushing for a runoff instead of electing to keep the current system, where the first place finisher wins. He said any major problem in the election system does not rest with polling place officials. Collignon's column.
Previously: Collignon calls President Calderón Lipe, saying he has lost Fe. Collignon on Testa Marketing poll. Collignon on Baja female candidates.

Journalist who appeared at Tijuana Book Fair detained in Nuevo León

Sanjuana Martínez detained in family dispute after she requested that judge be taken off her case; the judge had been the subject of critical stories by Martínez in 2009

Sanjuana MartinezJournalist Sanjuana Martínez appealed the National Human Rights Commission for redress after a Nuevo León state judge had her placed in jail in a family dispute case. The judge in question had been the subject of critical stories by Martínez after ordering a raid on a center for domestic violence victims; Martínez had requested that another judge be assigned the family dispute case, fearing she would not be treated fairly. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists expressed concern about her detention.
Martínez spoke at the Tijuana Book Fair last month, where she encouraged people to vote against the Institutional Revolutionary Party in the July 1 presidential election and recounted close calls she had had with members of organized crime groups she writes about. She called Tamaulipas a narcostate while discussing her new book, "La Frontera del Narco." Story in El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Update: Martínez released; judge barred from dealing with case, which involves a divorce and child custody. Martínez's webpage.

General says capture of major figures linked to Arellano cartel this week shows the cartel still has life

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Hugo Chavez Hugo Chávez congratulates Peña Nieto

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez on Saturday congratulated the PRI's Enrique Peña Nieto for his victory in Sunday's election. The win has yet to be recognized by leftist candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who lost the 2006 presidential vote in part because he was likened to Chávez.

Church of the Light of the World inaugurates university campus in Tijuana

The Church of the Light of the World on Friday inaugurated the Tijuana campus of Samann University of Jalisco. The campus will open to students in September. Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump page.
In March, the church opened a temple in Mexicali.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Vote buying is penalized by fining of parties, not by annulment of election, columnist says; recount confirms Peña Nieto victory

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Gastelum holds onto win in Baja California District 5 Chamber of Deputies race; he is only PANista in state to win a seat in lower house

juan gastelum A recount of all votes in District 5 confirmed the victory of Juan Gastelum of the National Action Party in the Chamber of Deputies race in Tijuana. Gastelum is the only state PANista to win a seat in the lower house of Congress. The PAN had swept every seat in the state the past four elections. Gastelum won by 1,259 votes; in 2009, the PAN won by 15,000 votes, and in the last presidential election, in 2006, the PAN had won the district by 36,000 votes.
This year, Gastelum had 48,353 votes to the Institutional Revolutionary Party-Green Party coalition's 47,094. His door-to-door campaign may have been what saved him in the race against the Green Party's Mariano San Román, who is likely to return to his seat on the Tijuana City Council. Story in Frontera (PDF).
Update, July 7: Frontera reports that Gastelum stood watch outside IFE offices in the Zona Río as the vote count took place: He could not go inside because he was a candidate. The paper said he helped a reporter change her flat tire and went to get burritos for people observing the recount. It also said he took breaks in a vehicle parked outside as the vote count went through the night; one vehicle belonging to a member of the PAN group awaiting the final results got ticketed for being double parked, the paper said. Political page, Frontera (PDF).

Complete results from Mexicali District 1 indicate that PRI could win third Senate seat in Baja California; PRI gains 303 votes, while leftist coalition lost 337

Update, July 8: Mexicali votes were not enough as Blásquez beats PRI's Valencia by 194 votes.

Complete results from Mexicali District 1 gave a large boost to the vote total of the Institutional Revolutionary Party in the Senate race and a drop to the total of the leftist coalition, indicating that what appeared to be a neck-and-neck race for Baja California's third Senate seat now might go to the PRI.
The preliminary count had given the leftist coalition's Marco Antonio Blásquez a 160-vote lead statewide over the PRI's Eligio Valencia. Blásquez had said he thought he would make major gains in the Mexicali recount, claiming valid votes for him had been thrown out. Instead, he lost votes.
In District 1, the overall leader, the National Action Party, had 47,429 votes, a gain of 1,474 compared with 45,955 in the preliminary count. The PRI had 43,247 votes in the official count, a gain of 1,084 compared with 42,613 in the preliminary count, while Blásquez had 24,523 in the official count, a loss of 128 from the preliminary count of 24,651. The number of null votes actually rose to 13,461 from 12,241. The large number of null votes was largely due to voters mistakenly marking their ballots for both the PRI and Green Parties, which ran a joint candidate in the presidential and deputy races but not in the Senate race. Previous story on Senate race.
The Federal Electoral Institute is tallying up the other seven districts.

Mexico allows import of up to 132 tons of eggs to make up for 56% price increase due to avian flu epidemic

Mexico's Economy Ministry has decided to allow the importation of up 132 tons of eggs as a result of the avian flu that has hit Jalisco state. The importation should help reduce price increases of up to 56% that Economy Minister Bruno Ferrari said represent unjustified gouging by egg sellers. The imported eggs are to come from Turkey, China, Poland and Ukraine. Media reported that the H7N3 virus is affecting 2.5 million chickens. Story in Frontera (PDF).
Update, July 25: 4.9 chickens killed in Jalisco in effort to prevent spread of avian flu (PDF).

Governor, mayor open new road connection in northeastern Tijuana expected to benefit 120,000

Inaugura Gobernador Osuna Millán, Bulevar Casa Blanca-Liga corredor 2000. 
Baja California Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán (right) and Tijuana Mayor Carlos Bustamante on Thursday opened the 1.1-kilometer Bulevar Casa Blanca connection to the Corredor 2000. It is estimated that the 30 million peso (2.2 million) state project using hydraulic concrete will benefit more than 120,000 residents in the northeastern portion of the city and dramatically cut driving times for 28,000 motorists. It also will provide an improved connection to Rosarito. Areas of the city expected to directly benefit from the new connection are Villa Fontana, Mariano Matamoros, Tierra y Libertad, El Dorado, Villa del Real, Villa del Sol, El Bosque, and Colas del Matamoros.
Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Photo by state of Baja California.

Governor seems displeased with Cuauhtémoc Cardona's saying he would like to run for governor next year

cuauhtemoc cardonaGov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán seemed displeased Thursday with a statement by his top aide, Cuauhtémoc Cardona, that he would like to run for governor next year for the National Action Party. Cardona (right) made the comment Wednesday; Osuna said it was not the time to be discussing such matters, Tijuana media reported. In Sunday's election, the PAN finished third in presidential voting in Baja California for the first time since 1988 and lost seven of eight Chamber of Deputy districts in the state. It finished first in voting for the Senate, but apparently only because the Green Party ran its own candidate rather than running a joint candidate with the Institutional Revolutionary Party. Story, El Mexicano (PDF).

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Chamber of Deputies to have 186 women, an increase of 50

The new 500-member Chamber of Deputies will have 186 women, an increase of 50, El Universal reported. Of the 186, 95 were directly elected and 91 are at-large seats. In the current legislature, 52 were directly elected. The increase occurred largely because under new Mexican electoral rules, parties were required to have 40% of their candidates be women. Three of Baja California's eight new directly elected deputies are women: Fernanda Schroeder of District 2, Mexicali; Elia Cabañas of the 4th District, Tijuana; and Mayra Robles of the 8th District, Rosarito and Tijuana. All three are from the Institutional Revolutionary Party, as is María Elvia Amaya de Hank, who will represent Baja California as an at-large legislator. Robles is the sister of Rosarito Mayor Javier Robles; Amaya de Hank is the wife of former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon. Story (PDF).
Story on how parties had to substitute female candidates for male ones.

Humorist Catón on López Obrador challenging the election results

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#Yosoy132 group holds rally in Tijuana

The #Yosoy132 student protest group, which says it does not recognize Institutional Revolutionary Party candidate Enrique Peña Nieto's victory in Sunday's presidential election, held a demonstration at the Cuauhtémoc monument in Tijuana on Wednesday. Frontera reported that about 3,000 attend. Story, photos, Frontera (PDF).
#Yosoy132 rejects Peña Nieto victory. Frontera (PDF).

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


PRI says official tally should show its candidate ahead of leftist coalition for Baja California's third Senate seat; Leftist coalition's Marco Antonio Blásquez says he thinks he would gain votes in recount, because valid votes for him were thrown out by some polling officials

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In Mexico City area, Soriana supermarkets flooded with people using gift and discount cards handed out by PRI or its affiliate

Soriana supermarkets in the Mexico City area were flooded with people using 100-peso ($7.50) gift cards handed out by the Institutional Revolutionary Party or its union affiliate, the Mexican Workers Confederation (CTM), Mexican media reported. Many users told Reforma newspaper that they received the cards for voting for or canvassing for the PRI. The paper said some users said they had to prove how they voted by using a cellphone to take a picture of their ballot in the voting booth, but that many got the cards just by saying they voted for or would vote for the PRI. Reforma reported that on Sunday that Soriana, which normally closes at 10 p.m., did not close its doors until 2 a.m. because of the crush of customers. The Associated Press reported that some people were upset because they were told the cards had a greater value on them than turned out to be the case.
Reforma story, in Frontera (PDF).
Soriana runs full page ad trying to explain that it has had an agreement with the CTM for Soriana loyalty program discount cards since 2010, but not explaining why there were such a surge in Soriana cards around the election. Soriana said the CTM cards were not gift cards. Full page ad, in El Mexicano, Soriana (PDF).
Update, July 5: Mexico City, run by Democratic Revolution Party, closes two Soriana stores (PDF).
                       IFE asks Soriana for information about its loyalty program.
Previous mention of Soriana.

Baja California's Oscar Arce, the president of the Chamber of Deputies, says PAN will consider expelling Fox from the party

oscar arce Baja California Deputy Oscar Arce (left) said Tuesday that the National Action Party will consider expelling former President Vicente Fox from the party. Fox wound up backing the Institutional Revolutionary Party's Enrique Peña Nieto for president, largely out of fear that populist Andrés Manuel López Obrador would win the election. Arce represents District 8, which also covers Rosarito. Under Mexican law, he could not be re-elected; on Sunday, the PAN finished third behind the PRI and leftist coalitions in the district. Arce was recently named president of the Chamber of Deputies, a point of pride for many Baja Californians. Story, Frontera (PDF). Many think he plans to run for the PAN nomination for Baja California governor next year.
Announcement that Arce would serve as Chamber president.
Update, July 5: PAN will discuss expelling Fox on Aug. 11.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Peña Nieto writes op-ed in N.Y. Times that says he will push for reforms and change the drug war strategy

He says he will create 40,000 person rural police force

Enrique Peña Nieto, who won Sunday's presidential election, said in an op-ed article published in the New York Times on Tuesday that he will push for reforms that he hopes also will improve the performance of the Mexican economy. Reforms he will pursue.
As for combating Mexico's violence, he wrote: "There can be neither negotiation nor a truce with criminals. I respect President Felipe Calderón for his commitment to ending this scourge; I will continue the fight, but the strategy must change. With over 60,000 deaths in the past six years, considerable criticism from human-rights groups and debatable progress in stemming the flow of drugs, current policies must be re-examined." He said this includes creating "a 40,000-person National Gendarmerie, a police force similar to those in countries like Colombia, Italy and France, to focus on the most violent rural areas." Op-ed.

Exit polls show López Obrador wound up with advantage of youth vote, but that Peña Nieto won all age groups over 29

PRI has advantage among voters with just a basic education

Exit polls show populist candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador wound up with a 37%-36% advantage over the Institutional Revolutionary Party's Enrique Peña Nieto in voters 18-29, but that the PRIista had a double-digit in all age groups over 29. López Obrador had the advantage of voters with medium- and high-educational levels, but that was not enough to make up for Peña Nieto's advantage in those with just a basic education. Perhaps the most important number in the election was that voters said they voted for Peña Nieto over López Obrador by a 50% to 32% advantage because the PRIista "helps people." That should have been López Obrador's issue. Exit poll, in Frontera (PDF).

Monday, July 2, 2012

ernesto ruffoRuffo, Hermosillo win Senate seats for PAN; third Baja California Senate seat comes down to wire, with leftist coalition candidate leading

valid vote for pena nietoPRI does not win second, or perhaps even first, place because voters marked their ballots for both the PRI and the Green Party, causing them to be nullified; although the parties formed a coalition in other races, the parties' candidates ran separately for the Senate

PRI candidate Eligio carro completoValencia's newspaper, in "Dewey defeats Truman" moment, incorrectly said on front page Monday that PRI had won all the races at stake in the state

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enrique pena nietoPeña Nieto elected president

PRI wins 7 of 8 Baja California deputy posts, and is in tight race for third Senate seat; PAN Senate ticket led by former Gov. Ernesto Ruffo wins 2 seats

Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party won Mexico's presidency on Sunday, likely by a 6- to 7-point margin over populist Andrés Manuel López Obrador, according to a quick count by the Federal Electoral Institute. The PRI-Green Party coalition also won 48 of the 96 directly-elected Senate seats at stake; it was unclear what percentage of the 32 at-large seats the PRI coalition would get.
López Obrador said he would challenge the results.

Presidential candidate IFE quick count 99% of vote counted Baja Calif.   Baja California Senate ticket 99.5% of vote counted   Baja California deputy races % Seats won
Peña Nieto (PRI coalition) 37.93 to 38.55% 38.1% 37.0%   Eligio Valencia (PRI) 26.3%   38.6% 7
López Obrador (PRD coalition) 30.90 to 31.86 31.6% 31.1%   Marco Antonio Blásquez 26.4%   25%  
Vázquez Mota (PAN) 25.10 to 26.03 25.4% 27.2%   Ernesto Ruffo 31.4%   29.2% 1
Quadri (New Alliance) 2.27 to 2.57 2.3% 2.8%   Amado Gil 3.8%   4.5%  
Null votes - 2.4% 1.8%   Null votes 7.9%   2.5%  
Green Party, PRI formed coalition         Alfonso Blancafort, Green Party 3.9%   Greens, PRI in coalition  

In Baja California, former Gov. Ernesto Ruffo's PAN ticket finished first in the Senate race and won two seats, although Peña Nieto was winning the presidential race in the state by a big margin. It appeared that in the race for the state's third Senate seat, the PRI's Eligio Valencia was going to lose a squeaker to the leftist coalition's Marco Antonio Blásquez. There were 160 votes separating the candidates with 99.6% of the ballots counted. The PRI won seven of the state's eight federal deputy races; until Sunday, the PAN had not lost a congressional race in the state for 12 years. Juan Manuel Gastelum appeared to be the only PAN winner, in District 5, over Marcos San Román, a Green Party member who left the Tijuana city council to run for Congress on the PRI-Green Party coalition ticket. Gastelum appeared to have eked out a 755-vote victory out of more than 138,000 cast.
Baja California Senate candidates vote, Frontera (PDF). Story on Senate race.

electronic vote machineMexico experiments with electronic voting

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Final thoughts on the Mexican election

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June 2012 files

May 2012 files

April 2012 files

March 2012 files

February 2012 files

January 2012 files

December 2011 files

November 2011 files

October 2011 files

September 2011 files

August files

July files

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