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