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

Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014

Ann Coulter on Hannity screenshotAnn Coulter's remarks about wishing Netanyahu was in charge of U.S.-Mexico border cause belated stir in Tijuana

Paper nips back at pundit with unflattering cartoon

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tijuana's El Mexicano newspaper runs society page feature on same-sex couple's marriage vows

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Frontera spikes column critical of paper's redesign written by longtime op-ed contributor Benedicto Ruiz

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

toros logodiablos rojosTijuana Toros and Mexico City Diablos Rojos to play game in San Diego's Petco Park following Padres-Braves game on Sunday, Aug. 3

        Tijuana's new professional baseball team, the Toros, will play the Diablos Rojos (Red Devils) of Mexico City in San Diego's Petco Park on Sunday, Aug. 3, following the Padres' afternoon game against the Atlanta Braves. The Diablos Rojos are currently in first place in the Mexican Baseball League's Northern Division with a 55-34 record; the Toros are in sixth place with a 43-48 record, 13 games back. The Toros end their regular season on Aug. 14 against the Red Devils in Mexico City.
Update: Red Devils beat Toros at Petco Park, 9-3.
Pre-game story, El Mexicano (PDF).
Tijuana Toros celebrate entry into Mexican Baseball League.
Toros website.

Road reducing distance between Tecate and Ensenada from 115 to 90 kilometers expected to be finished this year

       The Testarazo road link expected to be finished this year will reduce the distance between Tecate and Ensenada from 115 to 90 kilometers (71.5 to 56 miles), El Mexicano newspaper reported. Work being done or planned on the El Sauzal-Ojos Negros and Ojos Negros-Cañon Buenavista roads in the Ensenada municipality also was discussed by Mayor Gilberto Antonio Hirata Chico and the federal Transportation Ministry's representative in Baja California, Alfonso Padrés Pesqueira; the latter work may be done through a public-private partnership. Progress on road work improving la Ruta del Vino (Wine Route) also was discussed.
        In recent years, Baja California has been engaged in an enormous effort to improve its infrastructure.

Former state legislator takes office as federal consumer agency's delegate to Baja California; picture page featuring event also is dominated by photos of newspaper operator's son, age 19 when he took office as a Rosarito councilman last year

         Former Baja California legislator Julio Felipe García took office as the federal consumer protection agency's delegate to Baja California on Monday. El Mexicano's picture page of the event was also dominated by photos of Playas de Rosarito councilman Eligio Valencia López, the son of the paper's operator, Eligio Valencia Roque. The page had seven photos of the Profeco delegate and three — all at the top of page — of Valencia López, a university student who was the youngest council member in the state when he took office at age 19 last year as a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
         Not to be outdone in his own newspaper, however, Valencia Roque, also a top state labor leader, saw his photo featured four times on a picture page involving a meeting between Ensenada Mayor Gilberto Antonio Hirata Chico and transportation worker representatives. The page had two photos of the mayor.
Profeco ceremony picture page (PDF). Transportation picture page (PDF).
Milenio story on Valencia Roque taking office at age 19.          

Monday, July 21, 2014

totoabaBaja California to spend $54,000 on restoring totoaba population; illegally caught totoabas seized near San Felipe

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Mexicali Rocky Mountain fever deaths rise to 14

       The number of deaths caused by Rocky Mountain fever in Mexicali this year has risen to 14, authorities said. Authorities are urging the populace to go to the Mexicali General Hospital at the first sign of displaying symptoms of the disease, caused by the bite of dog-borne ticks carrying Rickettsia. Half the victims were male, and half female, ages 5 to 64, El Mexicano newspaper reported.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control says symptoms can include fever, headache, abdominal pain, vomiting, muscle pain and a rash; it says it is imperative to get treated within the few first days of symptoms.  
Update, July 23: El Mexicano editorial says more government, and individual, action is needed to combat the problem, which it described as essentially one of poverty and inattention to hygiene.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Possible 8th case of year involving blind-mule drugs

       Eight packets of crystal meth that authorities thought might have been destined to be planted on some unsuspecting border crosser's vehicle were discovered in Las California neighborhood in Otay Mesa late Sunday night. They were found after police received reports of a quarrel in the area.
      It is possibly the eighth case discovered this year involving "blind-mule" drugs, where an unsuspecting "mule" would carry drugs across the border.
      The seventh case occurred July 8, when packages of marijuana with magnets attached to hold the bundles onto the underside of a vehicle were found in Colonia Cacho.
Tuesday's El Mexicano story.
The seventh "blind-mule" case, with photo. Jump page.

3 new national political parties, including AMLO's Morena

pfh logo       morena amloThree new political parties have been approved, including two-time presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador's Morena, giving Mexico a total of 10. An El Mexicano editorial on Tuesday noted that the nation's new electoral body, the National Electoral Institute, says that this will not mean more public spending on elections, because the total pie of public monies going to parties will now be pes logosplit among 10 parties instead of seven. The Tijuana paper lamented that the new parties will receive an average of 9 million pesos ($694,000) a month, money that could go toward resolving Mexico's many problems. The other two parties are the Humanist Front Party and the Social Encounter Party. Editorial, El Mexicano (PDF).
A list of Mexico's 10 political parties, logos and their founding dates.
AMLO says he will run for president in 2018.
Photo shows ad in Tijuana paper seeking voters to register with Morena last year.

tijuana arch clockMonday, July 14, 2014

Mayor to renovate Tijuana clock

        Tijuana Mayor Jorge Astiazarán plans to renovate the emblematic Tijuana clock, built as part of a monumental arch downtown, El Mexicano reported. The clock, the signature achievement of Francisco Mayor when he was mayor from 1998-2001, has not been maintained by successor administrations and does not work. Some thought the nonoperation of the clock hanging from the arch might hurt Vega in his gubernatorial run last year, but the National Action Party politician still wound up defeating Fernando Castro Trenti of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Astiazarán, also elected last year, is a member of the PRI. El Mexicano said it hoped the mayor would install a giant video screen for Tijuana residents to view on special occasions.

'The judge for El Chapo' removed from post

        Excélsior columnist Jorge Fernández Menéndez writes that José Guadalupe Luna Altamirano has been removed from his post, nearly a decade after becoming known as "The judge for El Chapo." Fernández said Luna was removed after "millions were found deposited in his accounts without explanation." Fernández said Luna let Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán's son go free, let a group found guarding $3.15 million in Veracruz go free, and granted an injunction to Sandra Ávila, also known as the (drug-trafficking) Queen of the Pacific Coast.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Baja California to synchronize state and local elections with federal ones beginning in 2021; re-election also approved

In 2019, governor, state legislators, mayors and council members to be elected to only 2-year terms;
In 2021, governor to be elected to regular 6-year term, and legislators, mayors and council members to regular 3-year terms

Update, July 12: Business leader says electoral reform does not go far enough

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Dog park opens in Tijuana's Parque Morelos

       A dog park has opened in Tijuana's Parque Morelos, and around 600 people and their dogs attended a festival marking the occasion. Iván Márquez of ProvidAnimal TJ told Frontera newspaper that it is the first such park in Baja California.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Tijuana's CECUT parking being expanded

       Parking for the Tijuana Cultural Center (CECUT) is being expanded, Frontera reported. The center is being heavily used, and sometimes there is not enough parking, center director Pedro Ochoa told the paper. The paper said a three-level structure was being built.

Mountain lion captured at UABC campus in Ensenada

       A small mountain lion was captured at the Autonomous University of Baja California Valle Dorado campus in Ensenada, Frontera reported. It was first seen in a tree near a pedestrian bridge on Reforma Avenue by a guard who said he at first thought it was just a regular cat. The mountain lion was placed in a cage and handed over to federal environmental authorities.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Woman to be director of Tijuana police department

      Patricia Sida Wilkes has been named director of the Tijuana police department, to serve under public safety chief Alejandro Lares. She succeeds Reyes Montilla López.
      El Mexicano said she will be in command of more than 2,000 police.
      She has been with the force more than 10 years.
Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Update, July 5: Frontera political page says some Tijuana police may fear Sida Wilkes more than the criminals, because of her reputation for running things with a firm hand.

Tijuana's basketball Zonkeys win title

      Tijuana's basketball Zonkeys took the seventh and decisive game to win Mexico's Pacific Coast basketball league championship, 84-74, in Culiacán. James Penny and Robert
Hornsby both scored 23 for the victors.
Sports section front, Frontera (PDF). Game story.

Update, July 5: Victorious Zonkeys parade around city in open-air tourbus.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Leader of remnant of Arellano cartel captured

    Authorities confirmed that Fernando Sánchez Arellano, the leader of the remnant of the Arellano Félix cartel in Tijuana, had been captured. Like many Mexicans, he had been watching the Mexican national soccer teams advance to the second round of the World Cup with a 3-1 win against Croatia.
      The cartel had been eclipsed in recent years in Tijuana by the Pacific Cartel, and it was unclear the effect Sánchez Arellano's capture would have. No shots were fired during the arrest.
Wednesday's front-page story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Tuesday's front-page story, El Mexicano (PDF). Jump.
Story, U-T San Diego.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Former top Tijuana police official killed; he had become a police chief in Jalisco state

     Ricardo Hernández Garduño, the former No. 2 police official in Tijuana, has been shot to death in Jalisco state, where he was the police chief of Ahualulco de Mercado. Tijuana's El Mexicano newspaper said he reportedly had been kidnapped with a young woman on Thursday.
     Hernández Garduño was the top lieutenant in Tijuana to police chief Alberto Capella Ibarra from 2011 to 2013. Capella now heads the state public safety agency in Morelos state; in a recent appearance in Tijuana, Capella said he has been subject to threats.
2011 mention of Hernández Garduño interview with Frontera newspaper.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Farmers blockade wheat-buying companies over prices

       Mexicali and San Luis Río Colorado farmers have blockaded three wheat-buying companies with agricultural equipment in a dispute over prices, El Mexicano newspaper reported.

Michoacán governor resigns

He has been in poor health, a son was pictured with an organized-crime figure, and the federal government has taken over security matters in the state

      Michoacán Gov. Fausto Vallejo submitted his resignation for health reasons. He already had taken a long leave of absence for health reasons. In addition, his son was pictured with the organized crime figure known as "La Tuta" (Servando Gómez), and the federal government has taken over security matters in the conflict-ridden state. President Enrique Peña Nieto said the federal government will work with whomever the state legislature chooses to replace him.
      Now how would have things worked out had then-President Felipe Calderón's sister, now a National Action Party senator, been elected governor in place of the Institutional Revolutionary Party's Vallejo in 2011?
Carlos Loret de Mola column on governor's departure.

Jay Leno, no longer zinging Mexico from late-night, wins Mark Twain humor award

Tijuana's El Mexicano newspaper runs Leno story by Associated Press, which makes no mention of how he used to skewer Mexico

       Tijuana's El Mexicano newspaper on Thursday ran a story on comedian Jay Leno being named this year's winner of the Mark Twain humor award, which he will receive Oct. 19 in Washington. The Associated Press story made no mention of how Leno used to zing Mexico from his perch on "The Tonight Show," which he ceded to Jimmy Fallon this year.
Jay Leno border jokes.
Jay Leno on former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner.
Jay Leno mischaracterizes bill.




Saturday, June 14, 2014

Rosarito's 'rebel priest' has been jailed in San Diego since November for trying to cross border with migrant hidden in vehicle he was driving

       Rosarito's "rebel priest" Raymundo Figueroa, removed from his Santísimo Sacramento parish by Catholic Archbishop Rafael Romo Muñoz for disobedience, has been jailed in San Diego since November for attempting to cross the border with a person hidden in the vehicle he was driving.
       Figueroa's spin-off church, Misioneros Guadalupanos del Santísimo Sacramento, had previously said he was in the United States for medical treatment, Frontera newspaper reported. Church spokeswoman Marcela Lara said he was being treated for diabetes in the jail.
Jan. 2012: Figueroa told by Vatican that he cannot perform rites.
Feb. 3, 2012: Figueroa jailed for continuing to hold mass at church despite his having been removed from his post.
Feb. 14, 2012: Figueroa says he is forming new church.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Mexican population has 'staggering genetic diversity'

     The Mexican population has a "staggering genetic diversity," the Los Angeles Times reported, citing a study published Thursday in the journal Science. The article said the diversity may have disease risk implications; the Times quoted other researchers as saying social class may still be far more important. Story, Los Angeles Times.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

El Mexicano editorial agrees with Gov. Vega that Baja California needs a rescue helicopter

       An editorial in El Mexicano newspaper on Wednesday agreed with Baja California Gov. Francisco Vega that the state needs a rescue helicopter. It said there were several situations recently where one is needed, and said one also is needed for migrant rescue. Story, El Mexicano.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Bridge connecting new Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana to freeway closed after major crack develops in roadway

Update: Bridge reopens Wednesday night after steel plate inserted in expansion joint

       The bridge connecting Mexico's new El Chaparral border crossing in Tijuana to the Vía Rápida freeway was closed Tuesday evening after a major separation developed in the roadway. The separation was described as being between 12 and 15 centimeters (4 3/4 to 6 inches).
Front-page story, El Mexicano. Jump.
Update, June 5: Bridge reopens Wednesday night after a steel plate was inserted into the expansion joint where the road separated.
Update, June 6: Bridge was reclosed for further repairs before finally reopening.

Bound bodies of 2 women, man dumped on Tijuana's Bulevar 2000; 1 person survives

Update:  4th person dies in hospital; he had bullet wound to head

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Kidnapping now can bring sentences of up to 140 years

       People convicted of kidnapping in Mexico now can receive sentences of up to 140 years in prison, Mexican media reported. The sentence generally will be from 40 to 80 years; it previously was 20 to 40 years, although it can be less depending on circumstances. The maximum sentence of 60 years in the penal code does not apply under the new law published in the federal diary on Tuesday, media said. Story in El Mexicano. Jump.

Teachers union leader Elba Esther Gordillo, after getting two injunctions, is ordered to be continued held in prison on money laundering and racketeering charges

       Teachers union leader Elba Esther Gordillo was ordered to be continued held in prison on money laundering involving 2 million pesos ($155,000) and racketeering charges on Tuesday by federal Judge Alejando Caballero Vértiz in Mexico City. Gordillo has won injunctions, or amparos, against two previous orders by the judge. Gordillo was arrested shortly after President Enrique Peña Nieto took office and as he was trying to carry out a major education reform. Story in El Mexicano. Jump.

Family of 5 — with girls ages 5, 8, and 10 — rescued during failed border crossing attempt

     Mexico's Grupo Beta on Tuesday rescued a family — including girls ages 5, 8, and 10 — apparently abandoned at El Centinela mountain by a coyote they paid to illegally cross the border into the United States, El Mexicano reported. It said the family, from the southern part of Mexico, had arrived in the Mexicali area on Monday and made arrangements to pay a substantial sum of money to cross the border. The family was instructed to wait at a canyon on the other side of El Centinela canyon and wait for someone to help them the rest of the way, but waited 36 hours and no one came, and in the meantime ran out of food and water in the desert area.
Front-page story, picture, El Mexicano. Jump.

Narcocorrido singer Tito Torbellino, shot to death last week, said he had no fear of singing songs that might offend rival cartels

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

4 killed at home being built in Rosarito;
Tecate railroad rails stolen, 3 arrested

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6 Baja California PANistas form part of national PAN committee

         El Mexicano reported Tuesday that six Baja California members of the National Action Party (PAN) are playing roles in the national PAN committee under recently re-elected PAN President Gustavo Madero. The paper said Baja California's PAN, and specifically former state PAN leader Salvador Morales Riubí, played a major role in Madero's election win last month over Sen. Ernesto Cordero.
        Riubí, former state legislator Lizbeth Mata Lozano of Ensenada and former federal deputy Eloisa Talavera of Ensenada are all on the 40-member permanent commission. Gov. Francisco Vega's chief executive officer (oficialía mayor), Loreto Quintero Quintero, is part of Madero's cabinet. State legislator Mónica Bedoya of Mexicali is on the Order Commission and businessman Aníbal Cáñez of Mexicali on the Jurisdiction Commission.
Story, El Mexicano political page.

120,000 signatures seek Obama intervention in case of jailed ex-Marine who crossed border with guns

        A group has gathered 120,000 signatures seeking President Barack Obama's intervention to free an ex-Marine jailed in Mexico who crossed the border with guns, El Mexicano reported. Guns are generally illegal in Mexico.
       Andrew Tahmooressi, who recently moved to the San Diego area from Florida, said he accidentally crossed the border, but Mexican officials have provided evidence that Tahmooressi had crossed into Mexico previously. Story, El Mexicano. Jump.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Agricultural workers owed back wages paid in San Quintín

     Agricultural workers owed back wages have been paid in San Quintín in southern Baja California, El Mexicano newspaper reported. It said workers on the San Simón ranch had complained to authorities about being owed money; a state official said about 200 workers received their back pay in one setting last week, and that the rest of the employees were to be paid Friday. Story, El Mexicano.
     Earlier this year, workers repairing the section of the Tijuana-Ensenada that collapsed in December stopped work in protest of not receiving their wages. Officials now say they plan to reopen the roadway in September.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

New water pipeline to serve Ensenada inaugurated; officials say it and a second nearly finished well should end city's water rationing

      Gov. Francisco Vega on Saturday inaugurated a new water pipeline that can handle 130 liters per second to serve Ensenada. Officials said it should bring about the end of the port's water rationing.
      Officials said cost of constructing the 4.5-kilometer pipeline, termed the Acueducto Cañón de Doña Petra-Los Encinos, and the digging of two 110-meter-deep wells was 25 million pesos ($1.94 million). One well still is in the process of being dug.
Story, El Mexicano. Jump.
Update, June 11: Ensenada Coparmex President Adrián Olea Escabosa says the long-term needed solution is a Colorado River-Guadalupe Valley aquedecut. Story, El Mexicano.



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