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Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

800 cars towed from Tijuana checkpoints; most drivers did not have licenses

El Mexicano editorial says that if checkpoints were set up around certain police stations, they would find police driving to work in vehicles without license plates and with cracked windshields

      El Mexicano newspaper reported Tuesday that 800 cars have been towed from Tijuana checkpoints in recent days; the paper said most of the drivers did not have licenses.

      Tijuana public safety chief Alejandro Lares Valladares told the paper that citizens concerned about vehicles driving around without license plates and with cracked windshields had sought action from police.

       Lares said vehicles whose tax status may be under dispute from the federal tax agency were not being towed. Many vehicles with California plates are being driven by Tijuana residents; the federal agency says those vehicles need to be registered, and their taxes paid, in Mexico. Many other vehicles have evaded the proper registration process. Many of these vehicles are known as "autos chocolate," literally "chocolate vehicles" but actually meaning "illegal vehicles" or, perhaps to be more generous to the owners, "vehicles of questionable provenance." The vehicles, being older, contribute to pollution and also hurt the profits of car dealers in Mexico. Because of the amount of money involved, they also have been enticements for government corruption and shady dealings.

Front-page story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.

Gaston LukenFormer Baja California congressman Gastón Luken Garza expresses outrage over judge who granted injunction to car dealers selling "autos chocolate."  
In a June 23 item below his column, Luken announces that he is joining the National Action Party, the party he represented while in Congress. He even ran for the PAN nomination for governor without being a party member (Francisco Vega won the nomination and the governor's race in 2013).  

Editorial lauds checkpoints, says it hopes they aren't of a transitory nature, and says that if checkpoints are set up around police stations, they could catch police driving to work in vehicles without license plates and cracked windshields:
An El Mexicano editorial on Tuesday said drivers who keep up to date on their documents and vehicle maintenance should be pleased with the checkpoints and said it hoped the checkpoints are not just a passing fancy. The editorial concluded by saying, however, that if checkpoints were set up around police stations, they would find police arriving at work driving vehicles without license plates and with cracked windshields!