San Quintin Slavery

foro por Estilo Sucio Promotions

Monitor Economico

Mexico City, March 30 (LACRÓNICADEHOY) .- In Mexico there are modern forms of slavery.A case occurs near the border with the United States that affects thousands of farm workers in the Valle de San Quintin in Baja California.

The laborers, mostly indigenous, protesting for weeks to improve degrading and inhumane working conditions that have been imposed upon them. The exploitation includes women and children, poverty wages and no social protection.

With the complicity of the authorities, agricultural entrepreneurs San Quentin violated for years, and systematically, the human rights of thousands of peasants. It is a situation that produces workers without rights, which contravenes the system of social guarantees established in our legal system.

The trouble is that labor exploitation is repeated in many other parts of the country, taking various forms of economic and social exclusion. Generally thought that slavery was abolished in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but it was not. In the XXI century there slaves everywhere. Today we do not speak of slaves as did the Greeks before the Christian era, or how it was conceived from the Middle Ages until the emancipation brought about by the French Revolution and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

Currently, the new slaves represent the human merchandise in the global economy.Unemployment and economic crisis encourage the development of various forms of social exploitation. It is the task of democracy combat manifestations of the uncivil and inhuman and uncivilized and inhuman nothing that the violation of the rights of individuals.Democracy, enforceability and solidarity are key concepts to establish a new ethical framework for coexistence, facing a reality characterized by poverty and deterioration of human development. Any political system committed to improving the lives of its people must be committed to ensuring the full and equal rights for all citizens.

The persistence of forms of modern slavery forced to ask the question: what kind of democracy are we building? The State must develop intervention strategies based on solidarity, cooperation, but especially in the rule of law and human rights, economic and social. We must not forget that the big issues for our political transition condense on the issue of inclusion and social justice.

Wealth is justified in the eyes of those who have nothing, if it produces development, employment and welfare for all. In other words, wealth is only legitimate if it reduces the field of poverty. Wealth is not derived from entrepreneurial talents of individuals, it is the product of the collective effort of society. Labor rights must be firmly protected by the state, because to do so, not only the risk of increasing the gap between rich and poor is running, already very large, but also the danger of moving towards new forms of exploitation and authoritarianism, have disappeared without old.

Punta Banda Virgin

Of the dozen photos taken on my Sunday hike, including waves, birds and panoramic ocean views, the Punta Banda virgin caught the most attention.  Gotta love pagan ritual.

Does anyone know from where she came?  Bonus points for adding dramatic touch to the folklore.  Below is the virgin’s view to the west.




My Neighborhood Gym




Yep, I am one of those rare birds that enjoys exercise.  Maybe I have a masochistic devil inside me, as I relish the suffering and accomplishment of high intensity interval training.  Lucky me, living on a hill an surrounded by hills, these little incline monsters provide plenty of variety for my little devil’s punishment.  This is my neighborhood gym.



Monday’s workouts are always vital to set an aggressive agenda for the week.  Yesterday’s workout started with a quick 20 minute chest and arm weight session.  Then it was off to the entry hill to my neigborhood.

High intensity interval training(HIIT) is much more efficient than long slow distance(LSD) training.  A bout of intense exercise(weights, bodyweight movement, swimming, running, bicycling) followed by a period of recovery and repeat is the formula for HIIT.

My knees estimate that I have run approximately 75,000 miles.  And those knees remind me of that every day.  But, I can still run uphill without pain.  Yesterday’s hill work at my neighborhood gym:

4 x 300 yds sprint uphill on 12 degree grade.  Rest is 300 yd “slog”(slow jog just past walking pace) down the hill.

4 x 200 yds uphill,  rest is same slog back downhill.

4 x 130 yds uphill, same slog rest/recovery.

2 mile slow walk final recovery.



Recent discussion on Bhuddism brought up the “have you experienced nirvana?” question from a friend.  I don’t think I have, but, workouts like these come close.

No, I am not as strong, fast and lean as 20/30 years ago, but still enjoy the exhilaration and pride of a bunz kicking workout.  And it provides today’s easy day workout to recover.

The best exercise equipment?  Mental attitude

What’s yours?

Baja Road Danger Points

Foto por El Vigia, “La Herradura” on Free Road hill above La Mision


El Mosquito y Tramo de la Muerte, mapa por Bajadock


Bajadock: My 8 years of experience here has witnessed two big hot spots for accidents in Ensenada.  One is El Mosquitothe curve 1/2 mile north of centro Ensenada.  I think those leaving Ensenada get excited to escape the congestion of centro and put pedal to metal at El Mosquito.   Mosquito?  Because it sucks blood?

Other spot is Tramo de la Muerte , south side of Ensenada and north of Maneadero.  This “flight of death” section has a hill, 80mph crazies mixed with slow moving trucks, potholes and big dropoffs where there are no shoulders.  I am always on high alert at these two danger zones in Ensenada.

When analyzing road accident statistics obtained based on calls to 066, the Ministry of State Security (SSPE) discloses the highway sections in Baja California with the highest number of vehicular mishaps have occurred in order that in the coming holidays citizens have driving prevention.

Since last Friday when thousands of students and parents out of holidays for Easter, families have gone on a trip to visit the various tourist spots in the state.

Therefore, as part of “Operation Safe Easter” State Government authorities, urging citizens to take special care when driving on any of the roads in the state, especially in certain sections identified as higher risk.

A key to road safety will not be driving under the influence of alcohol, as well as respecting speed limits and most importantly always wear a seatbelt.

Then disclosed the road sections where you have to exercise more caution:


Carretera San Luis, at the height of Puebla, Queretaro, Sinaloa, Cuernavaca suburbs

San Felipe Road, at the height of Chinero

Carretera Mexicali-La Rumorosa, up to La Salada


Carretera Libre Tijuana-Tecate, at the height of the colony El Refugio

Boulevard (Highway) 2000, at the height of the colony El Refugio, La Presa

Road to Airport

Road to Playas de Tijuana


Free Road Tecate – Mexicali, up to the town of San José at kilometer 124

Free Road Tecate kilometer 86, at the height of the town’s Rumorous

Road Tijuana-Tecate, at the height of the Loma Linda or North Charming colony

Tecate-Ensenada Free Road at kilometer 10


Ensenada-Ojos Negros, at the height of the colony April 17

Transpeninsular Ensenada-San Quintin

Playas de Rosarito

Carretera Libre Tijuana-Ensenada, at the height of ejido Primo Tapia at Kilometer 48

Carretera Libre Tijuana-Ensenada, at the height of Fox Studios, at Kilometer 34

Hike Punta Banda Puerto Escondido

Sunday tour of my back yard included pelicans, mini blowholes, a virgin, green stuff and the powerline climb from La Buf. Got in 1,500 feet of vertical climb to minimize my beer keg belly. Several friends declined joining me due to my advanced age and glacial hiking pace. Promise to leave my senior walker at home next time.


Photo spot is the bottom of the fisherman’s stairway where they are picked up by pangas to get out to the tuna feeding pens.  The swells were powerful today, blasting away at the rocks.


Rocks and waves were on display as time erodes the coast.


Found yet another of the many virgins in my neighborhood.  Flora and fauna are also abundant.

  pecaballosThere was a light, hazy fog in the air this Sunday morning at La bufadora.  Middle shot is of La Buf powerline climb, which is one of my favorites.  Whenever someone asks about exercise, I just point them to the many steep hills around here.  Those cacti bite, as I have two wounds for today.  “Who you lookin at?”.


Baja Farm Workers Caravan

UT San Diego

As thousands of farm workers headed for the strawberry fields of these low coastal valleys early Saturday, hundreds of others prepared to ride buses across Baja California, continuing the campaign launched this month for higher wages and improved working conditions in the region’s export-oriented farms.

Nearly two weeks after the launch of a farm workers’ strike that led to road blocks along the Transpeninsular Highway and threatened the output of one of Mexico’s most important agricultural regions, calm has returned to Colonet, Vicente Guerrero, San Quintin and other communities that grow strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes and other produce.

As the protesting farm workers made their way north Saturday, Baja California Gov. Francisco Vega de Lamadrid and top Cabinet officials gathered at state government offices in San Quintin with local business and civic leaders.Authorities reported that most striking workers were back on the job, despite the breakdown of talks on Friday between strike leaders and the growers.

..Rodrigo Sanchez, 17, works at the strawberry fields in El Emiliano Zapata while negotiations for higher wages take place in San Quintin. .. — Misael Virgen

Strike leaders are looking for new ways to keep pressure on the growers that are the region’s main employer, and are an important source of supply for U.S. consumers. Several hundred workers joined a 10-bus caravan aimed at generating support statewide, while a new alliance with the United Farm Workers was launched to provide visibility for the issue in the United States.

Throughout the conflict, the large growers have maintained a low profile, expressing their point of view through cautiously worded statements, saying they respect labor laws and are limited in their ability to raise workers’ salaries.

Following days of negotiations, the main growers group, the Agricultural Council of Baja California, on Friday offered a 15 percent wage hike, a percentage they said is unprecedented in Mexico — but far short of the increase demanded by the strikers, led by the National, State and Municipal Alliance for Social Justice.

The talks, mediated by the Baja California government, collapsed Friday when the growers’ representative, Alberto Muñoz, walked out after reading a statement. The wages paid in San Quintin “are superior to those established nationally by authorities charged with setting them,” the statement said. Raising them any higher “would lead to economic collapse,” it said.

On Saturday, a few dozen farm workers waited by an unpaved road off the Transpeninsular Highway in the community of Vicente Guerrero, preparing to join a caravan of buses that would take them to Ensenada, Tijuana and finally Mexicali, the state capital.

Though the most sensitive issue has been wages, the workers are making a number of other demand of the growers: that they recognize seniority, offer paid holidays and three months pregnancy leave, give workers social security benefits and ban sexual harassment of female workers.

“The truth is, at times we don’t have enough to buy shoes,” said Maurilia Ventura Jose, 37, a mother of three who said neither she nor her husband have worked since the strike began on March 17, surviving with the food they had in the house.

Ventura and other farm workers, many of them from indigenous communities in the southern state of Oaxaca, say the going rates paid by the growers, ranging from $6.50 to $10 for a day’s work, have left them struggling to pay bills and put food on the table.

Strike leaders originally called for establishment of a minimum wage for farm workers in the region of about $20 per day, or $2 per box of strawberries, but in negotiations this week, they lowered their demand to $13 per day, or about $1.30 per box of strawberries.

Strike leaders refused to change their final demand: “If it’s necessary to appear before Congress, we’ll do so,” said Fidel Sanchez, one of the main spokesmen, who has been sharply critical of the Baja California government and accused officials of siding with the growers.

Pablo Alejo Lopez, the state’s main negotiator, said the farm workers’ demands for $20 a day, “perhaps is just, but one has to understand that for a company, this generates a sharp increase, puts their finances at risk.” The government “is also concerned that the sources of jobs are not lost,” said Lopez. “And this should also be of concern to the workers.”

Jose Zavala, a researcher at the Colegio de la Frontera Norte in Tijuana, said the strike is the result of poverty and injustice that have long festered in the region.

Public institutions have been weak, he said, and the large growers are the “de facto authority in the region,” said Zavala, who has studied San Quintin for two decades. “The depressed living conditions have persisted for decades, we can say for generations,” he said.

Figures on the numbers of workers affected by the decision vary widely. Strike leaders say there are close to 80,000 agricultural workers in the region, though state officials say their tally shows that there are between 25,000 and 31,000 in the southern part of Baja California, with the total depending on the season.

If the large growers have strong U.S. connections, the striking workers have forged their own cross-border relationship, with the United Farm Workers. The UFW launched a petition this week “standing in solidarity with the workers from San Quintin” and naming one of the region’s largest growers, Berrymex, which supplies Driscoll’s, a major U.S. berry distributor.

Response to the petition “has been overwhelming,” with more than 25,000 signatures in three days, said Erik Nicholson, vice president of the UFW, which sent representatives to San Quintin to observe the negotiations. “We’ve been reaching out proactively to retailers to let them know of the situation,” Nicholson said.

Driscoll’s issued a response from Soren Bjorn, executive vice president for Driscoll’s of the Americas. He said “our contracts clearly state growers are required to follow all laws that protect employees … each and every grower is aware that non-compliance could result in termination of their association with Driscoll’s.”

The strike began on March 17, and over the next two days protesters established blockades along the Transpeninsular Highway, the Baja California peninsula’s main artery. Violence erupted at the initial stages, with rock-throwing incidents and the vandalizing and looting of local stores.

Baja California’s Public Safety Secretary, Daniel de la Rosa, said that about 1,000 police from various agency and Mexican soldiers converged in the region to establish order.

By Wednesday of this week, as strike leaders negotiated with the growers inside the salon of a restaurant in San Quintin, groups of farm workers continued to gather by the side of the road well into the night. Protesters held up signs, and asked for contributions, but waved vehicles through without incident.

On Thursday, as negotiations grew increasingly heated, some 2,000 protesters joined a peaceful 14-mile march to state government offices in San Quintin, heavily surrounded by police in riot gear. But many other workers reported to work, some picked up in company buses escorted by police patrols with flashing lights.

The strike has put workers on edge — both those who have been striking and those who have continued to work.

“I am a bit nervous that there’ll be retributions, that they’ll see us as problematic,” said Isabel Cruz Santiago, a 30-year-old mother of three who joined the strike.

Erick Jesus Peto Fuentes, 30, said he was forced to turn back twice from his job at Berrymex when the company bus was pelted with rocks. “I have a 9-year-old daughter and 7-month-old son. They don’t ask if there’s a strike, they just want food,” Peto said.

Peto said Thursday that he had seen his pay for picking raspberries rise from 91 cents per container to $1.18 since the strike began.

Ensenada Semana Santa Police

Bajadock: 6PM Friday, traffic was backed up from Ensenada’s north road construction zone for approx 1/4 mile and a 15 minute delay.  Why?  Semana Santa(Holy Week) vacationers are here.  The construction zone on Costero Blvd is no big deal and traffic runs smoothly there.  But, the entry choke point with extra tourist traffic was the reason.  Almost missed last evening’s fogset.  Thanks, Irene, for this photo of it: 

The operating Easter began Friday and will end on April 12, so that different corporations work together to achieve a white balance in this holiday period in the municipality of Ensenada.

The Municipal Public Security Bureau (DSPM) reported that tore the Security Operating occasion of Easter holiday period:

Ensenada, BC With the participation of Municipal and Federal Police and Fire and the Red Cross, on Friday the checkered flag to start the security operation that unfolds on the occasion of Easter holiday period occurred.

Traffic Commander Hector Ruiz López, who attended on behalf of the Director of Municipal Public Security, Enrique Villarreal Montemayor, reported that work by the Municipal Police will be strengthened from this weekend to provide security for locals and visitors .

He said that although the breathalyzer is applied permanently, from Wednesday will be taking place daily in different parts of the city, to avoid mixing alcohol with driving.

He said that they will also be using speed cameras for all drivers respect the limits indicated in each area.

Also, they will be performing filters to verify belt use and that infants are transported in special chairs.

Traffic Commander said that this will require intensified staff schedules and the number of elements in each shift and, in consequence-units Municipal Police circulating in the city will increase.

Coordination with the Federal Police

Coordination with the Federal Police shall at all times, either through the Control Center, Command, Communication and Computing (C-4) or directly between the elements, added the official Héctor López Ruiz.

It is noteworthy that the Federal Police will also carry out actions to ensure belt use, control the speed of road vehicles and provide support for those who remain stranded cars, all in federal highways, especially the Scenic.

ProVino Ensenada


Decided to find ProVino office to buy tickets for upcoming Conchas y Vinos Nuevos event at the Hotel Coral April 12.  One fun thing about Mex vs. US cultural differences is direction, address and maps.  I have mentioned in previous posts to be aware of Facebook map funk as it can get you lost in a minute.

You can buy most tickets for the Vendimia wine events online at ProVino, but, I like to have tix in hand.

From north of Ensenada, take 10th street bypass from UABC campus to 20 de Noviembre.  From south of Ensenada, take 9th street until it ends at 20 de Noviembre.  ProVino is on east side of 20 de Noviembre between 11th and 12th streets.



Drive through the gate and uphill to parking in rear.


Door is in corner and I was greeted with a helpful smile.  Don’t wait very long to get tickets for wine events when they are announced.  Sellouts occur quickly.

Hacienda del Corralito Restaurante


Enjoyed my first visit to Hacienda del Corralito last week.  This spot is very unique with a sprawling garden patio to enjoy the outdoors or hang under the eaves.  I was needing a spot for coffee and internet on north side of Ensenada.  HdC has been on my DOLIST for too long.



Hacienda tortillas.




I was served a complimentary torta and some bread.


Menu shows most every item in the 70-140 peso range.  That’s $5 – $10 USD for you gringos!  This is a breakfast and lunch spot, but beer and wine are available.  Closes at 5PM.

corrjardinLove this setting and will be back soon.  Map below shows approx 2 miles north of Hotel Corral.  Enter at Pemex El Sauzal and do a uturn around Pemex block clockwise to find Corralito’s parking and entrance.  If you are coming from Ensenada, there is a non-marked entry on south side.  I also use the 16 story Entremar condo building as a landmark(grey block on map) for all of Ensenada’s northern restaurant direction references.  CHEERS


San Quintin Thursday Miles de personas realizaron una marcha esta mañana en San Quintín. Se dirigieron al Centro de Gobierno del Estado, manifestaron su apoyo a la lucha de los jornaleros en el Valle, y abrieron un espacio de expresión a través de altavoces para todos los asistentes.

A la par, en estos momentos, los voceros de los jornaleros se encuentran discutiendo con los representantes de las empresas agrícolas, cómo mejorar las condiciones económicas y laborales de sus empleados. Uno de los puntos centrales, el incremento al salario de los trabajadores.

Les compartimos algunas imágenes de lo que se vive en las calles de San Quintín, una de las delegaciones del municipio de Ensenada, Baja California, México.

Fotografía: Rafael Blancas C.

Fotografía: Rafael Blancas C.

Fotografía: Rafael Blancas C.

Fotografía: Rafael Blancas C.

Fotografía: Rafael Blancas C.

Fotografía: Rafael Blancas C.

Fotografía: Rafael Blancas C.

Fotografía: Rafael Blancas C.

Fotografía: Rafael Blancas C.

Fotografía: Rafael Blancas C. Jornaleros de San Quintín se manifiestaron en forma pacífica con el propósito de buscar una solución a los asuntos laborales que viven. En diversos poblados los jornaleros sostuvieron pancartas con diversos textos pidiendo soluciones al Gobierno.

Fotografías: Rafael Blancas


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