Mexico

Mexico’s homicide rate hits new record high in 2019

Mexico’s homicide rate hit a new record high in 2019 at more than 35,500 murders, suggesting President Andrés Manuel López Obrador failed to significantly address the country’s violence during his first year in office. López Obrador has said previously that crime and violence are the toughest challenges Mexico faces. But on Tuesday, he said corruption is the country’s main problem. López Obrador said that white-collar criminals have done more damage to Mexico than the drug cartels responsible for many of the killings. “We are giving the almost the same weight to [fighting] white-collar crime, as we do to drug cartels,” López Obrador said. According to data released by the national public security system, the number of homicides in Mexico rose to 35,588 in 2019. But despite a record-high number of murders recorded last year, the overall increase – at 2.7 percent – was well below the double-digit growth in killings in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Over those years, homicides grew by year-over-year rates of 27 percent, 28 percent, and 17 percent, respectively. While it is not clear what percentage of homicides are related to drug gang violence, the fact that those gangs have expanded into extortion and kidnapping makes them Mexico’s main single source of violence.

Something to keep in mind if you’re making vacation plans…

 

Mexico halts caravan of 2,000 migrants bound for US; critics call roundup a ‘human hunt’

A caravan of roughly 2,000 migrants bound for the United States early Saturday was halted by Mexican authorities only a few hours into their journey, according to officials. The caravan, which consisted of migrants from Africa, the Caribbean, and Central America, left before dawn from Tapachula, a town in southern Mexico near the Guatemalan border, Reuters reported. Many of the migrants who departed from Tapachula early in the morning had been held up there for weeks or months, awaiting residency or transit papers from Mexican authorities. About 24 miles into their journey, federal police and national guardsmen blocked their path. Most of the group was detained and put on a bus back to Tapachula, while about 150 migrants returned by foot, witnesses said. The abrupt halt of the caravan stood in stark contrast to last year when waves of U.S.-bound caravans – including one of at least 7,000 people – drew widespread media coverage while immigration officials on both sides of the border struggled to stem the flow. Under pressure from Washington, the government has been taking a tougher stance in dealing with migrants, and many Mexicans are being less welcoming. President Trump, who frequently described the caravans an “invasion,” brokered a deal with Mexico in June, promising to avert tariffs on imports if Mexico clamped down on U.S.-bound migration. Salva Lacruz, from the Fray Matías de Córdova Human Rights Center in Tapachula, called the roundup on Sunday a “human hunt” and noted officials waited until the migrants had tired out before forcing them into vans. Sending the migrants back south was an “exercise in cruelty,” Lacruz said, saying the migrants have come to Mexico because “they need international protection.” Mexico’s export-driven economy is highly dependent on commerce with the U.S., and the government has become far less hospitable to migrants. Mexico has offered refugees the possibility of obtaining work and residency permits to stay in southern Mexico, far from the U.S. border. But those asylum permits are slow-coming in an overstretched immigration system.

Seems as if Mexico is coming to the same realization that we have; that we simply cannot take every person that just wants to come here.  Imagine that..

Mexican troops disarmed American soldiers on US side of the border

Armed Mexican troops disarmed two United States soldiers while they were on the American side of the border, U.S. defense officials have said. U.S. Northern Command said in a statement that “five to six Mexican military personnel questioned two U.S. Army soldiers who were conducting border support operations” this month. The U.S. soldiers were in an unmarked Customs and Border Protection [CBP] vehicle near the southwest border near Clint, Texas. Officials confirmed that the Mexican troops were armed with what seemed to be rifles. They raised their weapons when they saw the two U.S. soldiers, and then took a pistol from one and put it in the CBP vehicle. According to officials talking to CNN, the two Americans obliged “in an attempt to de-escalate a potential volatile situation.” “Throughout the incident, the U.S. soldiers followed all established procedures and protocols,” the statement said. The two U.S. troops were on the south side of the security perimeter but north of the Rio Grande and thus were in the U.S., according side American territory, it added. Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security officials demanded an explanation from the Mexican government. “An inquiry by CBP and DOD [Department of Defense] revealed that the Mexican military members believed that the US Army soldiers were south of the border,” the statement said. “Though they were south of the border fence, U.S. soldiers remained in U.S. territory, north of the actual border.”

Soo..  Is an official apology forthcoming from the Mexican government for this outrageous invasion onto our side, and the confrontation with our American soldiers?  Our politicians need to demand that official apology now!  Call, or email, your member of Congress and both of your U.S. Senators and demand that they secure that apology.  Major kudos to our troops who handled that with such class and professionalism.  They are a credit to their uniforms.  They could easily have turned the tables, and ended that nonsense real quick in a way that would have ended very differently.  Mexican troops make, on average, a couple hundred incursions onto U.S. soil each ear.  And, sometimes, they fire on U.S. Border Patrol agents, etc.  Yeah…  You read that correctly.  So, this is hardly an isolated incident.  That’s why our politicians need to really push back on the Mexican government.  If anything, it’s just another reason why we need to BUILD THE WALL NOW!!!..and put armed U.S. Army National Guard troops physically ON the border with Mexico to prevent would-be crossers from setting on foot on U.S. soil…as well as to deter these sorts of incursions onto our side by Mexican troops.

Largest known underwater cave on Earth discovered in Mexico; holds clues to Mayan civilization

A team of experts in Mexico has discovered two linked underwater caverns that are more than 4,000 years old and form the largest known such cave on earth. The discovery of the cave system, which stretches 215 miles, could hold valuable information about the ancient Mayan population, which inhabited parts of Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, and Guatemala, among other areas in the region. The cave holds hundreds of Mayan relics, according to Guillermo de Anda, the director of the Gran Acuifero Maya team, which is part of Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History. De Anda told Reuters that the caves are certain to shed light on how the Mayan civilization evolved. “Without a doubt, it’s the most important submerged archaeological site in the world,” de Anda said, according to Mexico Daily News. The linked caves are Sac Actun and Dos Ojos. “It allows us to appreciate much more clearly how the rituals, the pilgrimage sites and ultimately the great pre-Hispanic settlements that we know emerged,” de Anda told Reuters. Some caves had important religious meaning to the Maya. “We’ve recorded more than 100 archaeological elements: the remains of extinct fauna, early humans, Mayan archaeology, ceramics and Mayan graves,” de Anda is quoted as saying in the Mexico Daily News. “It’s also very significant that this discovery enables us to see the possible patterns of past settlement. From the Pleistocene through to the ancient Mayans and up to the colonial era, they developed parallel to this enormous flooded fresh-water cave.” The discovery caps nearly a year of intense exploration in the area. As exciting and significant as the finding is, it may be only part of something even larger, de Anda believes. There may be, for instance, other cave systems that are linked to Sac Actun, which means “White Cave” in the Yucatec Maya language.

Very cool!!  To see some pics, click on the text above.    🙂

State Department issues travel warning for Mexico

The U.S. Department of State issued a travel warning Tuesday for Americans traveling to certain parts of Mexico. The advisory cautions citizens to avoid traveling to certain locations due to increased criminal activity. Areas such as Baja California Sur, where the popular tourist destination Cabo San Lucas is, and Quintana Roo, where Cancun and Riviera Maya are located, have seen a spike in homicide rates this year. “U.S. citizens have been the victims of violent crimes, including homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery in various Mexican states,” the travel advisory states. The advisory notes that resort areas and tourist destinations in the country don’t typically have the same level of drug-related violence and crime seen in other parts of the country. The notice adds that “gun battles between rival criminal organizations or with Mexican authorities have taken place on streets and in public places during broad daylight,” but that there’s no evidence to show criminal groups in Mexico have targeted Americans based on their nationality. U.S. citizens traveling may come across government checkpoints, operated by military personnel or law enforcement officials, but in some areas, criminal organizations have created their own “unauthorized checkpoints” and have killed or abducted those who haven’t stopped at them. The warning states that Americans “should cooperate at all checkpoints.” The advisory follows a March warning that cautioned U.S. college students from traveling to Mexico during spring break.

Given these developments, that sounds smart..

Millions of gallons of Mexican waste threaten US Border Patrol agents

Millions of gallons of toxic chemicals and raw sewage are being dumped by Mexico into the Tijuana River, surrounding valleys and U.S. beaches at the U.S.-Mexico border, sickening border patrol agents, but those on the front lines say the U.S. has done little to force Mexico to literally clean up its act. Some 59 Border Patrol agents have reported getting sick in the last three months after exposure to pollutants while at work along the border. One agent suffered severe chemical burns on his feet after toxic chemicals burned through his boots, according to documentation provided by the U.S. Border Patrol Local 1613 Union. That union is threatening legal action that could result in all 300 people stationed at the Imperial Beach Border Patrol station to abandon their posts along the vast border between San Diego and Mexico. Border Patrol union leaders blame U.S. government agencies, Congress and the International Boundary and Water Commission for not aggressively addressing the continuing environmental pollution and health hazards. The organization is an independent U.S. commission directed by the State Department that oversees management of the river. Because it oversees sanitation, water quality and flood control in the border region, the IBWC has become the focus of outrage by local government officials as well as the Border Patrol. “It is going to get the point where they cannot patrol down there. That is a national security issue,” said Christopher Harris, secretary for the U.S. Border Patrol Local 1613 Union, which represents represent almost 2,000 US Border Patrol Bargaining Unit Employees in the San Diego Sector. “If a judge rules that our agents cannot work in that area, we are going to cede this back to no man’s land,” Harris warned, noting that this would leave a vast area of the border open to Mexican cartel smuggling fugitives putting local residents at risk. During a tour of the U.S.-Mexican border arranged by the union, Joel Sevilla, a U.S. Army veteran who has been a Border Patrol Agent for nine years, told Fox News that last week he had to halt his ATV patrols. “I like doing what I do, but now it has come to a point that every night I have headaches and every day I have headaches and nasal pain and I had to stop,” Sevilla said. Numerous agents have suffered from gas inhalation, chemical burns, lung damage and infections, said Terrance Shiggs, president of the National Board Patrol Council Local 1613. Serge Dedina, mayor of the City of Imperial Beach, one of the beachfront communities most impacted by the pollution, said that between 30 and 40 million gallons of sewage are discharged daily onto the beach from Mexico’s Punta Banderas sewage treatment plant six miles south of the border, and during south swells and south winds, the sewage washes up on U.S. beaches. Mexican sewage also flows into the U.S. from the Tijuana River. When there is a power outage affecting the sewage plant in Mexico, it is not uncommon for raw sewage to be discharged on to the U.S. side of the border, Dedina said. The City of Imperial Beach is planning its own legal action over Clean Water Act violations, Dedina added. “We can no longer tolerate our own government allowing this to happen,” he said. Dedina said residents, small business owners, and Border Agents are frustrated that the International Boundary and Water Commission doesn’t take aggressive and immediate action to keep Mexican sewage and toxic chemicals from flowing into ocean, area canyons, the Tijuana River and a protected estuary. “We want to make sure our residents and the Border Patrol agents … and United States Navy SEALs who live and train in our city and just North of Coronado are not harmed by this mess,” Dedina said. Dedina said the Department of Homeland Security should include new protections in the $200 million Congress just allocated for San Diego border wall upgrades. The trouble with Mexico’s broken sewage system came to the forefront in February, when 250 million gallons of raw sewage poured from Mexico into the Tijuana River and then into the ocean for 17 days after the City of Tijuana’s sanitation system broke down. No Mexican official disclosed the hazard, but the 200,000 people living in South San Diego, Imperial Beach and Chula Vista could smell the eye-watering, throat-burning smell of raw sewage from a mile away. The spill was the worst in the region in a decade, and resulted in several miles of beaches being closed for six weeks. Initially, the Mexican government pledged to fix the problem, but that changed. “We were told on Aug. 4 by highest level American officials that the Mexican federal government has abandoned its effort to support this issue,” Dedina said. “The U.S. government has to step up and help us stop this toxic waste and toxic sewage from coming across the border.” “I don’t think Mexico is doing this on purpose, but do I think they care – not a bit. The U-S government has to start doing some things to make Mexico care about its actions,” said Harris. “The U-S cannot solve this all alone, but we can mitigate the environmental hazards, and that is going to take the EPA and the International Boundary and Water Commission to get off the dime and start doing what they are supposed to.”

Agreed!  This is beyond disgusting and unacceptable!  EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, and other high-level Trump Administration officials need to publicly go after the Mexican government for this outrageous behavior.

Mexican Cartel Using Armored Trucks in War at Texas Border

Mexican cartel members are using armored trucks in their ongoing war for control of lucrative drug trafficking and human smuggling routes near the Texas border. Recently, Tamaulipas State Police officers seized a large truck outfitted with thick armor plating for firefights. The vehicles are commonly called “Mounstros” or monsters. According to information provided to Breitbart Texas by the Tamaulipas government, police officers were patrolling the rural areas near Camargo, Tamaulipas, when they came across an abandoned warehouse. Camargo is immediately south of Rio Grande City, Texas. When authorities inspected the warehouse they found a truck covered in armor plating as a makeshift combat vehicle. The truck had Texas license plates. It remains unclear if the vehicle was previously stolen. As Breitbart Texas reported, rival factions of the Gulf Cartel have gone to war for this region’s lucrative drug territories. The fighting spread terror through Reynosa as convoys of gunmen roamed the streets clashing with rivals. Official figures point to 20 individuals killed, while six were injured in the ongoing violence. Authorities seized armored vehicles, SUVs, grenades, machine guns, and other weapons tied to the violence.