A leading source for news and analysis about Mexico and the U.S.-Mexican border.
The number of peope repatriated to Tijuana so far this year is 100,622, a significant drop from the 145,163 repatriated last year, a National Migration Institute official said Monday.
Antonio Valladolid, who represents the institute in Baja California, made the remarks to the Canacintra business chamber group. He said Grupo Beta, which helps migrants, has rescued 469 migrants from dangerous situations this year and also paid half the transportation costs for 7,485 Mexicans to return to their homes in the country's interior. Story in Frontera (PDF).
El Paso immigration attorney Carlos Spector is trying to widen the basis for asylum cases involving Mexicans fleeing organized-crime violence, the Los Angeles Times reported. The paper said Mexicans ranked 23rd in nationalities granted asylum last U.S. fiscal year. The paper said it was the first Mexicans had made it into the top 25 in five years. It traditionally has been very difficult for Mexicans to win asylum cases in the United States, and fleeing overall violent conditions alone is not a sufficient basis to get asylum.
Spector, 58, was able to help a former mayor win asylum in 1991 in one of the first cases where a Mexican was granted asylum in the United States. The Times said the mayor had exposed involvement of Mexican officials in drug trafficking, but then was falsely accused by the Chihuahua state governor of drug trafficking. The story said that out of 76 cases Spector has handled since 2008, Mexicans been granted asylum in only five. Those five cases involved 15 people.
Story, Los Angeles Times.
Around 500 parents received training this week to serve on councils that help out schools in Baja California, Frontera newspaper reported. The Second Participatory Congress of School Councils took place in Tijuana. The congress paid particular attention to training parents who work on school councils involving health and security issues, state officials told the paper. Top state officials in attendance included Education Minister Javier Santillán Pérez, Health Minister José Guadalupe Bustamante and Public Safety Minister Daniel de la Rosa
Santillán said it is important for parents to work with principals to help decide how schools spend grant money they receive from the Progreso grant program. Santillán has previously said that the councils help make sure school funds are spent properly, and that, say, toilet paper bought for a school doesn't somehow walk off the premises or actually was bought.
Story, Frontera (PDF).
Last year's story when then-national Education Minister Alonso Lujambio visited Tijuana and discussed parent participation in school advisory groups.
The Baja California state legislature threw out the impeachment process against top Tijuana official Yolanda Enríquez on Thursday. The case had to do with how quickly she took action against police who forced a women to strip last year. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Dec. 9, 2011 story on case. July 14, 2011 story on case.
Suzuki vehicles will be sold in Tijuana beginning next month, Frontera newspaper reported. Business manager Alejandra
Landey said the dealership will generate at least 25 jobs. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Meanwhile, new U.S. Consul Andrew S.E. Erickson told the media he was impressed with Tijuana's dynamism. Political page, Frontera (PDF).
One lane connecting Interstate 5 to Mexico's new El Chaparral port of entry opened for testing Wednesday morning ahead of the grand opening of the border crossing Nov. 1. Frontera newspaper reported that traffic moved smoothly and that 10 gates were open. The new connector was blocked off at at least one point Wednesday afternoon by traffic cones. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Tijuana congresswoman Elia Cabañas (right) of the Institutional Revolutionary Party was finally taking over the state deputy post vacated when Gregorio Barreto died July 19. Cabañas was elected as Barreto's official substitute in 2010 elections for the state legislature, but also won a three-year term as a federal deputy in the July 1 elections. She chose to first be sworn in for her federal deputy's post so that she resume her duties as a federal congresswoman once the remainder of Barreto's three-year term ends late next year.
Virginia Martínez, Cabañas's official substitute, is taking over the federal deputy's post, at least until Cabañas's state duties are over. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Oct. 24: Frontera's political page on Cabañas's switch (PDF).
Cabañas only became the PRI congressional candidate because the PRI did not have enough female candidates to meet federal requirements.
Mexico got nary a mention in the U.S. presidential debate on foreign policy. Debate moderate Bob Schieffer, a CBS newsman, at one point in recent years expressed concern about the violence in Mexico, but made no question about the U.S. neighbor to the south in Monday night's debate. The Middle East and China dominated the questions; most of the rest of the world got short shrift, or no mention at all.
Romney did mention that he saw a business opportunity for the United States in Latin America, but appeared to grossly ovestimated Latin America's GDP compared with China.
President Barack Obama has focused on the Middle East, terrorism and China during his term. Republican candidate Mitt Romney has focused on attacking Obama's Middle East policy, even though their policies appear quite similar. Mexico has been mentioned by Romney in the context of having Mexicans self-deport themselves; he also made a joke saying that if his grandparents had been Mexicans, rather than having moved to Mexico, he might have greater Latino support in the United States. Romney's grandparents moved to Mexico to escape U.S. anti-polygamy laws, and Romney's father was born there. The family later moved back to the United States.
Update, Oct. 23: Story on Mexico not being mentioned, Christian Science Monitor.
Esther Gordillo Morales was elected president of the new council that is now the top decision-maker for the national teachers union. She received 3,205 votes of the 3,287 delegates attending the union's convention in Cancún. The vote took three hours and 40 minutes.
Media reported that there 22 null votes; her Innovation ticket ran unopposed. She is to serve a six-year term. She had led the union since 1989.
Also Saturday, Sen. Carlos Romero Deschamps was re-elected leader of the national oil workers union. He was elected by all 108 delegates representing 36 union sections. He was unopposed, and has led the union since 1997.
Both votes were seen as victories for Old Guard labor leaders who allow little transparency in the operation of their organizations. Stories in Frontera (PDF). Both have long been associated with the Institutional Revolutionary Party, although Gordillo later formed the New Alliance Party, which helped Felipe Calderón get elected president in 2006.
Update, Oct. 22: Denise Dresser says it is time for Gordillo to go. Column, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Oct. 23: Columnist Sergio Sarmiento says the overwhelming vote totals for Gordillo and Romero Deschamps show that something is very rotten in the unions, and laments that the national labor law proposed by President Felipe Calderón was stripped of its provisions calling for greater transparency in union elections and their operations. Sarmiento's column (PDF).
Update, Oct. 26: Chamber of Deputies puts labor reform on hold because of what Chamber PRI leader Manuel Fabio Beltrones called radical positions in the just-passed Senate version. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Tijuana police on Friday identified Raúl Quintero Beltrán and his wife, María Antonieta Beltrán
Carrillo, as the alleged killers of policeman Enrique Pérez González on Sunday. The couple is being sought. Story, Frontera (PDF).
The body of Tijuana photojournalist Abel López was found dumped Monday morning on a sidewalk in El Lago subdivision in the Cerro Colorado district. López, who ran the Tijuana Informativo website, had been shot. A man reported to be López's son-in-law reported that López had been attacked by armed men after being refused treatment at a hospital; however, police suspected that the son-in-law, whose hand tested positive for having fired a gun, was responsible, Frontera newspaper reported. López, a former photographer for El Sol de Tijuana, had been drinking into the wee hours of the morning with Raúl Velázquez
Hernández, 22. Police indicated to Frontera newspaper that the drinking digressed into a violent argument. López was 53. Story, Frontera (PDF).
Update, Oct 17: Authorities say Velázquez took López to a hospital but decided not to complete the hospital admission process because medical officials told him the incident would have to be reported to police, Frontera reported. The paper again called Velázquez the son-in-law (yerno) of López, but then referred to Velázquez as having a noviazgo (relationship) with López's daughter. Story, Frontera (PDF).
A Tijuana policeman was killed and a second was wounded when they were shot at while trying to stop a suspicious vehicle Sunday evening, Frontera newspaper reported. Enrique Pérez González was killed in the confrontation in El Triunfo neighborhood in the San Antonio de los Buenos district. The attackers escaped.
Story, Frontera (PDF).
Arturo González Cruz, a business leader who heads the Tijuana Country Club, took exception to some remarks made by Tijuana Innovadora founder José Galicot last week and published a full-page ad in Frontera newspaper Monday taking Galicot to task. The ad seems incongruous, as the whole idea behind Tijuana Innovadora is to highlight the great strides Tijuana has made and try to alter the negative perceptions many in the world have of the city. MexicoPerspective has not seen or heard what Galicot said, but it seems in extremely poor taste for González Cruz to publish an ad saying he loves Tijuana more than Galicot does during the giant tribute to Tijuana that Galicot is putting on. There are a lot of things Galicot can be criticized for, but this does not seem to be the right criticism at the right time nor the right place, particularly from a man who once served as the nation's border commissioner under President Vicente Fox. The ad (PDF).
Update: Galicot said Monday that González Cruz had misunderstood his remarks, where he noted that Tijuana had come a long way and now is a manufacturing powerhouse and no longer the brothel it was for U.S. troops in World War II. Analysts say that prostitution, once a major money earner for Tijuana, now has turned into a niche market. San Diego State University's Paul Ganster wrote about the subject in his and David Lorey's 2005 book, "Borders and Border Politics in a Globalizing World."
Meanwhile, Frontera continued its heavy coverage of Tijuana Innovadora:
Story on sculptors Sebastián and Rivelino (PDF). Story on fashion designers (PDF).
Story on Tijuana trying to become a furniture center again (PDF). Story on gastronomy (PDF). Second story (PDF).
Story on design and economic development (PDF). Story on social media (PDF).
The Tijuana Innovadora website.
Ignacio Anaya Barriguete arrived in Tijuana on Sunday after a journey across the United States that began in New York's Central Park on Sept. 15. Frontera newspaper dedicated six pages to his arrival, not mentioning the splash the tabloid gave him on its front page.
Anaya, a Tijuana lawyer, is no stranger to athletic feats. In 2010, he climbed up Mount Everest.
Story, Frontera (PDF). Second page.
The General Services administration said Saturday that three southbound lanes of Interstate 5 at the border will be closed from 10 p.m. Monday to 10 a.m. Tuesday for road work.
The GSA press release says: "The U.S. General Services Administration will temporarily close three I-5 Southbound lanes (south of Camino De La Plaza) at the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry in order to complete required road work. Lanes 4, 5, and 6 will be closed for a twelve-hour period while crews repair asphalt. Motorists are asked to use the easternmost lanes (lanes 1, 2 and 3).
"When: Starting Monday, October 15, 2012 at 10 P.M. – Tuesday, October 16, 2012 at 10 A.M."
The GSA is currently building a curve at the end of I-5 to connect to what is billed as a temporary road going to Mexico's new El Chaparral port of entry, due to open Nov. 1.
A blackout hit Baja California and the second day of the Tijuana Innovadora conference on Friday. The power blackout lasted more than than an hour and affected more than 760,000 customers in Tijuana,
Tecate, Rosarito, Ensenada and
San Felipe, Frontera newspaper reported.
Before the blackout hit at 3:20 p.m., the Tijuana Innovadora conference heard speakers from around the world address educational issues in Mexico.
Story, Frontera (PDF). Front page photo (PDF).
The Tijuana Innovadora website.
The outage meant that the word apagón, which usually means "power outage" or " blackout," dominated Tijuana front pages for two straight days. On Friday, papers reported about how Tijuana would be the first city in the nation to have an apagón, or "switch-off," of analog TV transmissions next year as the country moves more deeply into the digital age.
On Wednesday, Frontera ran an interview with Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán where he talked about the transparency oral trials are bringing to the justice system in Baja California. On Thursday, as if to prove his point, the paper published a story about testimony from 11 witnesses in a murder trial in Mexicali. In the case, Roberto Villar is accused of killing his girlfriend, teacher Alexandra
Martínez Jaime, on April 20, 2011. The paper said 64 witnesses have been called for the trial.
Meanwhile, three patrol cars were burned in various parts of the state capital in what authorities called an attempt to intimidate law enforcement.
Stories, Frontera (PDF).
President Barack Obama on Monday dedicated the Cesar Chavez National Monument in Keene in Kern County. The United Farm Workers cofounder spent the last 22 years of his life at the 187-acre property. UFW Co-founder Dolores Huerta, awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom earlier this year, told NPR that Obama told her that Chavez's story had been an inspiration to him. The UFW slogan “Sí se puede” inspired Obama’s 2008 campaign slogan, “Yes, we can.”
The dedication was seen in part as a campaign move to further increase Obama's large lead among Latinos in the presidential race against Republican Mitt Romney.
The presidential race has tightened, with Romney leading in some polls, following last week's presidential debate in Denver.
Story, Los Angeles Times. Story in Frontera (PDF).
Editor's note: Accents are not used on Cesar Chavez's name in this mention of him as he did not use them when signing his name.
The Entijuanarte arts festival kicked off Friday in Tijuana. It is the eighth such festival. Story, Frontera (PDF).
The dollar fell to its weakest point against the peso since early April, buying 12.37 pesos and selling for 12.87 pesos Thursday. The fall was attributed to a Central European Bank decision to leave its interest rate unchanged. The dollar interbank rate dropped 7.84 cents Thursday to 12.7585.
Story in Frontera (PDF).
After months of construction, the Ermita interchange was inaugurated Tuesday in Tijuana by Baja California Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán and Mayor Carlos Bustamante. It connects with the Ermita Norte street and with the new highway being built along the Arroyo Alamar, which also has been lined with concrete. The interchange is expected to reduce traffic on the Vía Rápida freeway by about 20%. Story, El Sol de Tijuana.
The Los Angeles Times was full of news dealing with Mexico, border, immigration and Latino issues Wednesday.
Its "Romney, Obama to get Latino voters moving" story on the front page dealt with President Barack Obama's decision to attend a ceremony next week designating Cesar Chavez's home as a national monument and Romney's statement "that he would honor Obama's order blocking the deportation of hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants." The candidates hold their first debate in Denver tonight.
Its "A U.S.-Mexico tomato fight is about to burst" story on the business section front dealt with the U.S. Commerce Department's decision last week to allow Florida tomato growers to "formally accuse Mexican producers of illegal dumping." The paper indicated that the decision could be election-related; Florida is a key swing state in the presidential vote. It also pointed out that tomatoes are Mexico's biggest legal agricultural export, and that tomato- and marijuana-producing state Sinaloa has a tomato on its license plate.
It also has a story: "Illegal immigrant deportation flights to Mexico scaled back"
and a story on the U.S. border agent who was shot in Arizona Tuesday.
Update: Although it was thought at first that the agent had been shot by Mexican drug traffickers, it appears to have turned out to have been the result of friendly fire in the dark. Story, L.A. times, Oct. 6. Story, L.A. Times, Oct. 5.
Baja California federal Sen. Marco Antonio Blásquez said Monday in Mexicali that the Workers Party would form a coalition with the Institutional Revolutionary Party for next year's Baja California governor's race if PRI federal Deputy Fernando Castro Trenti is the candidate.
Blásquez was elected July 1 as the candidate of the Citizens Movement but then switched to the Workers Party for procedural reasons. The longtime radio talk show host ran as part of presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador's left of center coalition composed of the Democratic Revolution Party, the Workers Party and the Citizens Movement. Blásquez only won his seat as a result of a massive ballot confusion by tens of thousands of PRI voters.
Blásquez's statement appeared to be saying that former Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon would be an unacceptable candidate. It also follows much debate about whether the conservative National Action Party, which has held the state governorship since 1989, would run a joint candidate with the PRD.
Blásquez, in Mexicali for PAN Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán's state-of-the-state address, said, "Fernando Castro Trenti has been building important alliances with progressive leaders and with the left at the national level." Story, Frontera (PDF).
The Tijuana municipal school system will open a new high school with portable classrooms in eastern Tijuana by the end of the year, top education official Juana Laura Pérez told Frontera newspaper. She said the school will open in January and already has 80 applicants.
The city school system just observed its 55th anniversary. The opening of the school would fulfill a promise by Mayor Carlos Bustamante to open two new high schools during his 2010-2013 term.
Story, Frontera (PDF).
Story mentioning the previous school opening.