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


Darts and Laurels

March 25, 2012

Laurel: To the Tijuana Xolos soccer team, whose 2-0 victory over Atlas on Saturday (March 24) means the team will stay in Mexico's top soccer division. The Estudiantes Tecos is the team that probably will be relegated to the second division; Atlas is the other team with possibilities of being sent down. Story.

Dart: To Mexican bishops, for not requesting that the pope meet with victims of sexual abuse in Mexico, as has happened in other countries. Story.

[Editor's note on the following Dart: The following dart appears not to have been deserved and to have been based on incomplete information, as it turned out that Ensenada (like many cities in the country) was the site of a midnight March 30 rally where PRI presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto's speech was piped in. Thus it made perfect sense for the PRI to reserve the Plaza Cívica de la Patria, even though the PAN wanted to also use it as a national showcase.]
Dart: To Ensenada Mayor Enrique Pelayo of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, for following the dictum "All's fair in love, war and politics" by planning a competing rally in the city at the same time National Action Party presidential candidate Josefina Vázquez Mota was going to kick off her campaign, shortly after midnight on March 30. The PRI reserved the grounds Vázquez Mota was going to use to launch her effort to win the July 1 election. Story on the cancellation.
The PRI's March 30 rally in Ensenada (PDF).

Dart: To PAN Senate candidate Ernesto Ruffo for not reserving the Ensenada plaza in a timely fashion. In a recent appearance at the University of San Diego, he had called some of Vázquez Mota's campaign team rookies because their mistakes caused her recent speech at the Estadio Azul to be delivered before many empty seats. Ruffo also is a former Baja California governor and Ensenada mayor.

Laurel: To Ruffo, for his candid remarks at his USD appearance. They included saying, in response to a question, that Baja California would not be well served by having a governor who does not have a visa to cross into the United States. Former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, who plans to run for governor next year, said last year that he did not have a visa. Story on Ruffo's appearance.

caras coverDart: To magazine vendors on the Mexican side of the San Ysidro port of entry who sold the Caras magazine whose cover featured Hank, a large snake, and Hank's wife, María Elvia Amaya de Hank, for three times the magazine's face value. The magazine sold out quickly in Tijuana stores and still sold out, albeit more slowly, at the border.

Laurel: To U.S. and Mexican officials who are part of the  United States-Mexico Executive Steering Committee on Twenty-First Century Border Management for including non-governmental organizations as part of their deliberations at the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana on Thursday. Story, U-T San Diego

Laurel: To the Institute of the Americas in San Diego, for getting Matthew Rooney, the deputy assistant secretary for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the State Department, to make an appearance before the organization on Wednesday ahead of Thursday's meeting in Tijuana.

Laurel: To Rooney, for his relatively frank comments on why Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stopped using the term insurgency to describe Mexican drug cartels. Story on his talk

Dart: To the Mexican government, for continuing to move full steam ahead on its El Chaparral port of entry, even though it has been known for years that the United States does not plan to connect Interstate 5 to the facility until 2016. Many Tijuana officials are worried about the jury-rigged way traffic would go to El Chaparral: Mario López, director of Tijuana’s Economic Development Council, called the proposed opening of El Chaparral in the fall and possible closing of the current Puerta Mexico entryway a time bomb. MexicoPerspective analysis of issue. On Sunday, Frontera published a story in which the U.S. consul in Tijuana, Steven Kashkett, said he is confident a satisfactory solution can be reached. Story in Frontera (PDF).

Laurel: To President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, for allowing their daughter Malia to take a school trip to Oaxaca. Her presence in the country became widely known after an earthquake hit Mexico. Story.