A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.
The Tijuana Xolos won the first of the home-and-away championship series for Mexico's top soccer league 2-1 Thursday night in Caliente Stadium. If the Xolos win or tie at Toluca on Sunday, they are the champions. If they lose by one, there will be overtime and if neither team wins the overtime, then penalty kicks, U-T San Diego reported. All the scoring Thursday came in the first half: Tijuana's Fidel Martínez scored in the 23rd minute, Toluca's Edgar Benítez scored in the 26th and Tijuana's Pablo Aguilar scored in the
39th. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Why was U.S. broadcast of first game so limited? Walkup to championship.
Excélsior columnist Leo Zuckermann says he backs President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto's move to return the security portfolio back to the Interior Ministry, but says Peña Nieto and the Institutional Revolutionary Party should allow changes sought by the National Action Party and left-of-center parties for there to be more advice and consent by the Senate on top Interior Ministry officials.
Former President Vicente Fox, who moved the security portolio out of the Interior Ministry, said last week that placing security back in the hands of the Interior Ministry could cause problems for the country. Zuckermann said, however, that removing the security portfolio had made the Interior Ministry the poorer, weak, and uninformed. Zuckermann's column. Mention of Fox's stand.
U.S. officials, in a presentation on Wednesday at El Trompo museum in Tijuana, said part of the U.S. Mérida Initiative money is being used to help poor Tijuana neighborhoods better themselves. Consul Andrew S.E. Erickson and USAID Mexico Director Tom Delaney told Frontera newspaper that the Mérida Initiative is not just providing resources and training to Mexico's police forces, but also trying to improve social conditions in order to prevent youths from entering lives of crime. Social projects are taking place in the Camino Verde, Mariano Matamoros and Granjas Familiares areas of the city. The projects are focusing on preventing teen pregnancy, helping youths make good use of their free time, helping students stay in school and encouraging citizen participation. Channel 33 interviewed a woman at a park in Camino Verde who said she thought the programs were helping her community. Story, Frontera (PDF).
The Tijuana Xolos host the first game of the two-game championship of Mexico's top professional soccer league Thursday night agains Toluca. The game is sold out, and only available for viewing in the United State on Univision Deportes, which is available only on a tier customers have to pay extra for on AT&T U-Verse and Dish Network. Cox Cable, which helps sponsor the Xolos, doesn't even carry the games. Sunday's game will be available for watching on the regular Univision channel.
The Xolos' English-language website.
U-T San Diego story on the Xolos: "Successful soccer team gives a lift to Tijuana"
Story on Xolos reaching championship series.
Miss Sinaloa 2012, María Susana Flores Gámez, apparently died in a confrontation between the military and an armed group in the state Saturday, El Universal newspaper reported. Details of the matter were sketchy early Monday. Story, El Universal.
Former President Vicente Fox said Saturday that President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto's decision to place the nation's security agencies back under the Interior Ministry does not augur well for the country, because it makes it more easy for politics to be mixed with law-enforcement and the judicial system. Story, El Universal.
Story on public safety agencies likely returning to Interior Ministry as a result of a congressional vote, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Peña Nieto, in a visit to Washington, is to meet with President Barack Obama on Tuesday. Peña Nieto's inauguration is this week.
San Diego Mayor-elect Bob Filner has said he plans to open an office in Tijuana to promote cross-border relations, U-T San Diego reported.
U-T San Diego: "Filner to open San Diego office in Tijuana: Mayor-elect said he will make cross-border ties a priority"
On Sunday, the paper ran a "San Diego's Voting Compass" analysis of voter data showing how Filner won the election on the strength of the vote in southern San Diego, home to a large number on Mexican-Americans. It ran on Page B3 of SD In Depth. The Compass graphic, on Flickr.
MexicoPerspective's look at Filner's election.
Mexico's version of Black Friday, called "Buen Fin," or "Happy Ending," has seen a big rise in sales, Tijuana media reported. Merchants reported a 30% increase in sales, Frontera newspaper said. The four-day sales event began Friday and ends Monday. Deep discounts on merchandise are intended to get Mexicans into stores and also dissuade them from spending their money in the United States on Black Friday, which falls on Nov. 23 this year. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Tijuana Opina President Rafael Licéaga, in a column in Frontera newspaper entitled "The disaster of El Chaparral," criticized the way the Mexican federal government moved ahead on the new El Chaparral border crossing even though the United States was not going to build a permanent connection to it until 2016.
Licéaga said the hasty move by President Felipe Calderón to open the new port of entry before his term ends Dec. 1, without thinking about the consequences, has devastated Tijuana businesses that depended on the old vehicular and pedestrian border crossing. Tijuana companies that sold vehicular insurance to drivers once they crossed the border now are bereft of clients, Licéaga said. He said it is likely that a lot of the insurance business likely will go now to U.S. companies located in San Ysidro. The move to El Chaparral meant destroying the old pedestrian crossing west of Interstate 5; that has badly hurt the taxi business in the area, and taxis are said to be racing through the Colonia Federal neighborhood to try to pick up business. The temporary pedestrian crossing that Mexico is using for the new eastern pedestrian crossing is considered to be dangerous by many, he said. Licéaga's column (PDF).
Tijuana tenor Maximino Melchor Vázquez got a nine-year sentence Friday after pleading guilty to smuggling drugs in a vehicle. About 44 pounds of crystal meth were found hidden in a vehicle he was driving Sept 19 near Camp Pendleton.
U-T San Diego: "Tijuana singer sentenced for drug trafficking."
Oct. 5 U-T story in which Tijuana residents defended him as an artist, not a criminal: "Tijuana singer charged with drug trafficking."
Journalist Lydia Cacho, who fled Mexico after receiving a threat during the summer, is to speak at El Trompo museum in Tijuana on Friday. Her talk on "Tools to Prevent Human Trafficking" is to take place at 7 p.m. and costs 200 pesos, or $15.
The talk is being sponsored by Manos Entrelazadas (Hand in Hand) foundation (story, Frontera, PDF) and apparently also by Frontera newspaper. Frontera's ad for the talk (PDF).
Cacho spoke earlier this year to the Coparmex business group in Tijuana, and said some things that Tijuana officials said were not true but also made some very important points about what families and society can do to prevent human trafficking.
The Guardian's Aug. 31 story on her fleeing the country.
Update, Nov. 16: Frontera reports that the conference has been postponed for 10 days because of illness. Story, Frontera (PDF). The new date is Nov. 27, at 7 p.m. Frontera (PDF).
El Mexicano reported that last week's work to repair El Carrizo reservoir's sluicegates was not completed and that water service to Tijuana and Rosarito will be shut off again at some future point.
Story, El Mexicano (PDF).
Mention of how outlying Tijuana neighborhood did not get full water service back for four days.
The Quinta del Cedro neighborhood of Tijuana's San Antonio de los Buenos district had water service restored Sunday after going without water for four days. Water service to the region was cut for 12 hours Wednesday in order for repairs to be made to El Carrizo reservoir sluicegates, but for some reason water did not flow to Quinta del Cedro until Sunday.
Hernando Durán Cabrera, director of the state water agency for Tijuana and Rosarito, said the neighborhood is in the far reaches of the city and its water tanks did not fill with water. He said water that might have reached Quinta del Cedro instead got diverted by users in closer-in neighborhoods. He said Playas de Rosarito was supplied with water through another route and generally did not suffer, but that many Quinta del Cedro households had to wait until the neighborhood's water tanks filled with water in order to get service.
Story, Frontera (PDF).
Thursday's story on the water shutoff.
Former interior minister Francisco Blake Mora was remembered Sunday on the first anniversary of his death in a helicopter crash in Mexico state.
On Friday, a government report on the crash came out. It said the 8:55 a.m. crash was caused by pilot error and was complicated by foggy conditions, Televisa said. The report said the pilots, instead of using GPS to follow their route, flew by sight and got off course just enough not to be able to react in time when the helicopter came upon rising land in an uninhabited area of Chalco. Blake Mora and the seven others who died had been headed to a meeting in Cuernavaca. Anniversary story, Frontera (PDF). Accident report story, Frontera (PDF). Family accepts that pilot error caused crash, Frontera (PDF).
Blake Mora had been expected to run for governor of Baja California for the National Action Party next year. Now the nomination is up for grabs among a number of contenders.
Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán visited the Baja California trade office for Asia in Taiwan run by Gerardo Hernández Molina. It was the third stop of the governor's Asia trip, following visits to Japan and South Korea. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Nov. 13: Osuna Millán, upon return to Baja California, says trip paid off; he Dymamic Micro Special Technology (DMT) will invest $28 million over the next 15 years and generate 620 jobs. He said Hyundai is constructing a factory to build engine blocks and will employ 550. He said Samsung plans to invest an additional $14 million to $17 million in TV production. He said the state is looking into connecting a rail line Toyota would use to the U.S. rail system at Campo. Story, Frontera (PDF). Political page, Frontera (PDF).
Mention of Osuna Millán's September 2011 Asia trip.
A Tijuana policeman who was filmed receiving money from drivers of public transporation has been fired, Frontera newspaper reported. Officials said Guillermo Núñez Robles entered the force in February 1994. The paper said he had been suspended from the force in 2002, but reinstated in 2006 following an appeal. Story, Frontera (PDF).
The new El Chaparral border crossing into Mexico had two-hour waits again Friday, Frontera newspaper reported. Mexican officials had said a maximum rush-hour wait would be less than half an hour. Picture, Frontera (PDF).
Last week's mention of two-hour waits.
Update, Nov. 14: El Mexicano reports that weekend waits were only five to 10 minutes (PDF).
Democratic Revolution Party leader Gerardo Fernández Noroña said Friday that the only promise he expects President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto to fulfill is for Mexicans to lose weight. Fernández Noroña (left) said he expected Peña Nieto to fulfill that promise only by sending more Mexicans into poverty, creating conditions for them to be unable to afford to eat. Story in Frontera (PDF).
Fernández Noroña has a reputation as a fierce partisan, but he did show up for then-Baja California Deputy Oscar Arce's final state-of-Congress report in Tijuana in August. Arce had developed a reputation for working across the aisle and served as president of the Chamber of the Deputies this year until the next Congress elected July 1 took over.
Meanwhile, a study showed that 70% of Mexicans are overweight. Story in Frontera (PDF).
Said Omar Juárez, the alleged Zeta chief in Saltillo, was captured Thursday in the Coahuila state capital by the Mexican navy, officials said. He is believed to have had direct communications with Miguel Treviño Morales, the top leader of the Zetas. With Juárez's capture and the recent killing of the other top Zeta leader, Heriberto Lazcano, could the government really be making the headway it has long needed to make against the Zetas? Did it have to take last month's killing of former Gov. Humberto Moreira's son, in apparent retaliation for state police having killed the nephew of Treviño Morales, for these breakthroughs to take place?
Also captured Thursday, in Aguascalientes, was alleged top Zeta lieutenant Samuel
"El Chikano" Rodríguez Solórzano. Story in Frontera (PDF).
Most Tijuana and Rosarito schools stayed open Wednesday despite a water shutoff caused by a planned repair of sluicegates at El Carrizo reservoir, officials said.
Many residents were not affected because of water stored in tanks that served their neighborhoods and schools. Some schools filled barrels ahead of the shutoff so that they would be able to have water for their bathrooms and not have to close. More schools were shut in the afternoon, when the amount of stored water had dropped significantly.
Story on Tijuana schools, Frontera (PDF). Story on Rosarito schools, Frontera (PDF).
Previous story on shutoff.
While major changes are being made for the benefit of people crossing the border by vehicle, people crossing the border on foot appear to have been left out of the equation, o a front-page story by U-T San Diego's Sandra Dibble indicates.
Northbound pedestrians have often been enduring two-hour waits or even much longer and the United States does not plan to open a new pedestrian crossing at the El Chaparral port of entry until 2015. Story, U-T San Diego.
Mexico was lucky that the United States was building a new pedestrian crossing to the east of Interstate 5 this year, as this allowed Mexico and the United States to run pavement over the long-used pedestrian crossing to the west of I-5 to finish the hastily constructed connector to the new port of entry. The new port of entry permanently opened Nov. 1, and a day later, Friday, Nov. 2, lines to enter Mexico by vehicle at El Chaparral were as long as two hours. It remains to be seen whether that situation will repeat itself.
Mexico does not plan to open its new pedestrian crossing building until March; meantime, southbound border crossers must negotiate a narrow walkway and cross northbound pedestrian traffic to get where they want to go.
A Testa poll shows 66% of Baja Californians oppose bullfighting, while 34% support it. While bullfighting has been a tradition in Baja California for more than a century, there has been a move afoot to restrict minors from attending. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Last year's story on bullfighting.
Vehicle crossings into Mexico through the new El Chaparral port of entry were taking up to two hours on Friday, Frontera newspaper reported. That was far more than Mexican officials predicted, but in line with fears from the Tijuana business community. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Nov. 4: Tijuana officials ask federal government to keep Puerta Mexico open to ease traffic jam getting into Mexico. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Ramos (left) said he will not run for the National Action Party nomination for Baja California governor next year and instead will back former Mayor Francisco "Kiko" Vega ( right).
Ramos was defeated by the Institutional Revolutionary Party's Jorge Hank Rhon in 2004 mayor election but came back to win the race in 2007. Vega served from 1998-2001.
He left office early to run for the PAN nomination in the 2001 governor's race, but lost to Eugenio Elorduy, who went on to win the general election. The man who assumed Vega's duties as mayor while Vega was running for the nomination was Juan Manuel Gastélum, who on July 1 won the only directly elected federal deputy seat in the state for the PAN. Vega also served as a federal congressman from 2009-2012. Story, Frontera (PDF).
President Felipe Calderón on Wednesday inaugurated the El Chaparral port of entry in Tijuana, which opens permanently today (Thursday).
Traffic moved relatively smoothly Thursday. However, it appears that is would be a good idea to put rumble strips on Interstate 5 before it begins a relatively sharp curve onto a connecting road to the new port. Some vehicles on Thursday morning drove much too quickly, crossing over into other vehicles' lanes and nearly hitting the other vehicles. A sharp curve into El Chaparral also could prove to be a problem.
Story, Frontera (PDF). Story, U-T San Diego.
Update, Nov. 2: Frontera (PDF) reports that maximum wait on Thursday was 10 minutes.
Update, Nov. 3: Frontera reported waits of two hours to cross the border at El Chaparral on Friday.