Category Archives: MX Culture/News

Crime Hits Home

Colonia Puerto Escondido, center right, is my neighborhood.  We are on the south side of Ensenada Bay in Baja California.

My morning usually begins around 6AM with coffee, music and reading.  This Wednesday morning added a new ingredient.

Heard some noise as if a worker was doing some type of construction around 7:15.  Walked out to my 2nd floor patio to see a white van and 2 guys taking stuff from my lower level.

Shouted at them and stupidly went down the stairs to confront them.  One more guy was half asleep in the back of the van.  They took off.

What was stupid was me not having any weapon at hand and attempting to do what??? My lucky news was that only one of the three, the lead dude, appeared to pose a physical threat.  Number two was scraggly with a bandage on his neck. #2 was Tommy Chong’s brother.  Number three was nearly in dream state.  Guessing they were drugees.

Called 911 and gave them all of the information.  Approx 1990s Quest(Nissan) van, smashed in right rear and side, California plates.  The 911 call was at 7:40.

Called a friend/neighbor for whatever reason after that.  I was surprised at how upset I was and still had adrenaline running 30 minutes after the confrontation.

7:15 in the morning?

Saw running water coming from under my garage doors.  My lower level has an apartment and a 2 car garage. Unbelievably, these guys tried to detach my water pump, which was now spraying water from its location in my garage.  More good news was that they did not break the connections.

I have been away much of the spring and had not visited that lower level apartment in months.  When I looked around, I realized that I had lost quite a few items, including 2 bicycles, a Yamaha keyboard, a table saw, a spare water pump and lots of hand tools.  It will take a while to realize the inventory missing.

But, I also understood that to get all of that stuff, this morning’s shopping was not their first at my house.

Stuff is low on my list, so I really don’t care about losing it.

My peace and health and that of my friends and neighbors is vital.

I would change many things on my behavior yesterday morning.  WTF, no photos?  I was in full defense/fright/flight mode and was not cool under the pressure.  Told a friend that I would have an embellished story in 10 years about my bravery and how I took down 6 thugs with my bare hands, hah!

Our neighborhood, Colonia Puerto Escondido is a rural, secluded, quiet spot.  There are approx 40 homes with less than half of the houses being occupied full time.

We have been discussing neighborhood security a lot recently as crime has increased in Northern Baja, Ensenada and our area.  There have been at least 5 buglaries in our neighborhood in June.

More good news is that we are working on our overall neighborhood security.  Any and all layers of security are good ideas.

Lighting in our hood is weak.  At night, the entry to the neighborhood is very dark with only a few exterior lights lit on houses.  I added dusk to dawn lights to my house this spring and will add more.

We are working on radio communication, walkie talkie, push to talk(PTT) smart phone apps, individual alarms, individual protection and more.  Heck, what took us so long?  Well, you have to start some time.

We also hope to get an access gate with entry technology that will meet our needs.

Colonia Puerto Escondido housing map

Back to that 911 call, I saw a police car roll by my house at 1PM.  Because my shouting talent from my terrace worked so well at 7:30AM, I thought I could shout down the patrol car.  Nada.

Called the police # in Maneadero at 154-1724.  “No, call this number, 154-0088”.

For police press 1.  For trouble press 2.  For big trouble, press 3.  For really big shit trouble press 4.  Ok, I’m kidding.  But, why can’t the police main # handle my burglary report? Obviously, my 911 call went nowhere.

Patrol car showed up in approx 25 minutes.  It was great Spanglish practice for me and handled all well, except that I could not come up with “bandage” in Spanish as the one unique characteristic on Tommy Chong’s neck.  Vendage!  “Cinta para sangre” could have worked.

The police questioning took on a repetitive nature.  My guess is that they were trying to catch me in a lie, because there was no sign of damage or forced entry.  I had left the door to my apt unlocked.  My fault, youbetcha.

At one point, one of the cops was so interested in my story that he was checking out his teeth in the driver’s side exterior mirror of the cop car.  Must have a hot date that afternoon.

They took my residente permanente ID info, phone #, address… .  BTW, they indicated that there was no info on my 911 call at Maneadero police station.

After much chatter throughout Wednesday, two neighbors saw the van approaching.  Two other neighbors walked right by the van in front of my house, including 1 seeing the guys getting out of the van.  No blame here at all.  Looks like workers starting their day at a house.

Careful and good luck out there.

Mexico Legalizes Medical Marijuana

A decree issued by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto today confirmed that Mexico has legalized cannabis for medicinal use after overwhelming support from Mexico’s Lower House of Congress.

Peña Nieto was once a vehement opponent of cannabis legalization, but has since called for a re-examination of global drug policy after a nationwide public debate on legalization in early 2016. “So far, the solutions [to control drugs and crime] implemented by the international community have been frankly insufficient,” Peña Nieto told the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Sessions in April 2016. “We must move beyond prohibition to effective prevention.”

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto 

Last year, Peña Nieto even went so far as to introduce a measure that would allow Mexican citizens to possess up to an ounce of cannabis without repercussions, but the bill stalled in Congress.

The medical marijuana bill sailed through the Senate with ease in December 2016, and Mexico’s lower house in parliament passed the bill in April with a vote of 347-7 in favor of approval. Mexico’s Secretary of Health, Dr. José Narro Robles, voiced his support for the measure, saying, “I welcome the approval of the therapeutic use of cannabis in Mexico.”

The decree was issued by the president today and specifies that the Ministry of Health will be tasked with drafting and implementing the regulations of “public policies regulating the medicinal use of pharmacological derivatives of cannabis sativa, indica and Americana or marijuana, including tetrahydrocannabinol, its isomers and stereochemical variants, as well as how to regulate the research and national production of them.”

Peña Nieto’s decree effectively eliminates the criminalization of the medicinal use of cannabis, THC, CBD, and all cannabis derivatives, as well as legalizing the production and distribution of cannabis for medicinal and therapeutic uses.

“The ruling eliminates the prohibition and criminalization of acts related to the medicinal use of marijuana and its scientific research, and those relating to the production and distribution of the plant for these purposes,” stated the Lower House of Parliament, known as La Cámara de Diputados.

Currently, the only cannabis that will be permitted must contain 1% or less of tetrahydrocannabinol, and the Ministry of Health will be required to study the medicinal and therapeutic effects of cannabis before creating the framework for a medical marijuana program infrastructure.

There will certainly still be hurdles to overcome on the bumpy road to medical marijuana, but Mexico just surpassed the biggest obstacle so far.

San Pedro Martir Video

Faros de Esperanza – Sierra San Pedro Mártir from Barranca Studio on Vimeo.

Ensenada’s Abused Horses

After a horse pulling a faded calandria in the tourist area, theAnimal Protection Association They are the reason propose prohibit or regulate such activity.

The vecera of the association, Ana Daniela Garcia Salgado, said that in January a video that can be viewed as a horse faintswhile he was pulling a calender full of people, also last week hewas disseminated to know that another horse fell to the grounddue to wear spurs.

Since we received the first video we have focused on work onthe subject, it is very sad to see that these horses are all daymaking an effort to pull people at leisure have them tied up in the sun with his eyes covered, even some malnourished will see, “he said.

The rescuer said that the next meeting of the Council of AnimalProtection for the Municipality of Ensenada, pose two options to improve the quality of life of horses that are used for this purpose.
The first option would prohibit the use of calenders as in the state of Guerrero, considering that it is an activity of animal exploitation, because horses do not receive the necessary medical care, they have a schedule that allows them to restbetween walks and owners do not limit the weight they carry.

However, he said he aware that it is an activity that represents the income of some families and not sought to damage the economy of these people.

There are other options for tourism to enjoy this kind of walks around the city, there calenders using motorbikes or bicycles, you can find the way through a federal appeal may lose a resource to purchase equipment that will enable them to further develop his work , he said.
The second option to be presented before the council is to regulate the activity so that the horses count with specifictimetables, a veterinary doctor and the weight they can carry is determined.
We have seen that these horses come to pull the weight of sixfamilies and even overweight, we are talking about more than 500 kilos, is a great effort for an animal and it is unfair,” he argued.

The spokeswoman said that unfortunately Mexico ranks third inabuse, however, Ensenada has been a city with great progress on the issue, since in the past administration circuses withanimals are banned, income juvenile barred events where there are animals suffering as bullfights and penalties for animal abusewere approved.

Ensenada Fires Burn

Bajadock:  Smoke is definitely in the air this Saturday morning after Friday’s significant fire near Maneadero.  Noticed the burn yesterday at approx 11AM, as it looked like a fog bank.  But, fog banks don’t happen randomly that far inland.  My photo is at 5PM Friday from my Pub.  Map below.  There were several other fires in Baja Friday.  I’ll call this one the King Kong Fire, as that’s whom I spot in the cloud formation. 

Careful out there.

More than 100 hectares of vegetation were consumed by the fire until yesterday afternoon, as a result of a forest fire registered in the López Portillo ejido, which is located towards the Maneadero delegation, said Sergio Montes de Oca Ramos.

The head of the Forest Fire Department of the National Forestry Commission (Conafor) reported that 80 hectares of shrubland were of shrub, while the remaining 20 were of pasture.

At the close of the edition, fighters of different corporations and volunteers, achieved 50 percent control and 50 percent containment, with no reported material damage to homes or injured persons.

It was at 09:27 hours yesterday, when the flames began to spread in the area of ​​hills that is located to the east of the town, which is why an operation was activated with the participation of Conafor elements.

To enable the fire to be fought without major risks, as well as to prevent possible damage to the electricity supply system, employees of the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) participated in the morning.

To the operativity were added elements of the Fire Department, with fire extinguishing machines from two stations, with the objective of providing protection to citizens living in the area nearby.

It should be added that, at the same time, a fire was recorded at Cerro del Vigia, also along the ramp leading to the Cetys campus, which were completely new when they were completely controlled and suffocated.

It was at 09:27 hours yesterday, when the flames began to spread in the area of ​​hills that is located to the east of the town, which is why an operation was activated with the participation of Conafor elements

Ensenada Aeropuerto Mañana

Bajadock: we have been hearing about this airport plan for at least two years(2015 post).  With all of the infrastructure needs of Baja and lack of money, this boondoggle’s progress will be interesting to watch.  Following article certainly offers a pessimistic and mocking tone.  Mañana does not mean tomorrow.  It just means not today.

Kiko Vega continued this day with his circus on the construction of an airport for Ensenada, installed in Ojos Negros.

This day he set up a paraphernalia in this port to launch what he called the procedure to select the builder, financier and operator of the Ojos Negros airport, in which he addressed a sense of discourse to the ensenadenses, who were cold when he said that it would be done in a way Jointly with the private initiative, which immediately generated all kinds of comments, and even jokes that the state partner will be one of Kiko’s friends or Kiko himself.

The reality is that according to experts consulted in IATA (International Air Transport Association) the construction of an airport, as it should, takes about seven years, so if Kiko meets this cantaleta that brings since he began work as governor , We will hardly see him in his period unless they come out with one of his accustomed flops.

The experts consulted said that following the announcement of Kiko should prepare a master plan with long projections and construction is established by parts, before which the experts indicated that eventually to get out of step what would Vega is to stay in this stage of Launch which speaks of having a land of 700 hectares, but the movement of passengers takes time for logistics that involved especially if it speaks of international flights, which have barely managed mature airports such as Tijuana and Mexicali Kiko invited his businessmen and said that the federal government will support him, but throughout his speech never managed figures, nor gave deadlines, only that it is a society with a majority share of the State, with investment of the Private sector “, which worried given the poor handling of PPPs in Baja California, although it was defended on the grounds that its government has bu In qualification in transparency, something that in reality is very questioned.

Meanwhile SIDUE followed suit and announced that from today until June 28th, all national companies specialized in airport operation, construction and maintenance, interested in partnering with Baja California, can present their proposals Since the presentation of the same will be the 28 of July.

He explained that the Airport Project consists of a 3km runway, a runway, general service platform, hangar areas, a passenger terminal, control tower, Rescue and Fire Extinguishing Corps, fuel plant, parking lots and Depending on the volume being handled could become international airport in a period of 5 years (?).

Total that with this announcement Kiko hopes that they stop pressuring it by unfulfilled promise, but to two years of leaving the government this generates more doubts than uncertainty because it is not the first time that makes an announcement of this type.

On July 3, 2015, he said exactly the same thing that today “the airport for Ensenada, today is a reality, since it has the approval of the feasibility and the lands where it will be built are already owned by the state.” He added: “I already have the feasibility and they gave it to me in Ojos Negros, they revised El Tigre, they reviewed Santo Tomás and they revised Ojos Negros and the SCT through their measurements and others indicated that Ojos Negros fulfills all the conditions that are required for At the time Ensenada has an international airport and I already bought the land and these are in the public patrimony that is the state and the state is of us all, “said Vega de Lamadrid.

“The construction of the international airport will be open to tender in the near future yet to be defined, but once completed the work will provide employment to a significant number of people and will also motivate the economic growth of the state with tourism that will visit the Wine Route, Said two years ago. It should be recalled that the federation has cut back resources for projects after the collapses in revenues and so far has not been indicated in any budget that has allocated resources.

Anyway, someone said, “who does not know Kiko to buy it” and here we see in two years.


Tramo de Muerte Repair?

Bajadock: The 2015-16 repair and repavement from Baja Country Club north through Chapultepec Hill was a big improvement.  But, the potholes and rubble from B.C.C. south though Maneadero is dangerous.  

Just spotted the pothole left over from covering up the above road slide in December 2016.  The coverup of dirt over asphalt on the incline southbound, just south of Maneadero’s Calimax is a lane to avoid.

There was a small work of patches on Tramo de Muerte this spring, but, this was a superficial repair.

Yep, I’m using Google Translater.  But, can anyone decipher whattheheck is going on in the last part of the article below my map.  Commission?  Public Works?  Councilor?  Initiative?

Regents of the XXII City Council, approved the creation of a commission to search for resources and repair the so-called “death knell”, because of the risk involved for users and the importance of roads.

The initial regidor, Orlando Toscano Montaño, emphasized that the City does not have the resources to rehabilitate and improve that stretch of the Transpeninsular highway, so it is necessary to resort to different instances for the collection of resources to address the problem.

This commission, he explained, will be in the middle where the regidores that converge with the state, ejidatarios, delegates and other authorities to seek a solution.

“We know that the State Government already has an elaborate project,” he said.
Orlando Toscano lamented that, so far this year, there have been 34 traffic accidents with a fatal victim.

Referring to part of the justifications, mentioned that in the area of ​​Maneadero, there are more than 31 thousand inhabitants, in addition to more than 650 thousand tourists in the area, only for the area of ​​La Bufadora.

He also said that in the Maneadero delegation, the agricultural area, an activity that generates some 5,000 direct jobs, is growing in an area of ​​200 hectares.

The movement of workers and trucks, he added, is permanent.

Toscano Montaño recalled that the Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT), ceded the referred section for what is competence maintenance and monitoring.

These conditions make it imperative to repair the artery.

Non-regulation commission
Prior to the vote, the respect Bertha Martínez Villalobos noted that the creation of the commission contravenes municipal regulations.
He also said that the commission would be carrying out actions that are the responsibility of the Public Works and Services Commission (which coordinates).
“The point of agreement has no regulatory basis,” he insisted, after reading the articles.
He also observed that, if approved despite the irregularity, the mayor has the authority to determine and appoint the councilor who should coordinate it.
However, he insisted, “the point of agreement should be dismissed.”
The point of agreement was approved in what corresponds to the creation of the commission, as well as for the councilor Orlando Toscano who coordinates it.
The mayor Cristian Vázquez recognized the initiative of Toscano, but considered that one must be more careful in what corresponds to the attributions of each commission
The governor Bertha Martínez Villalobos, abstained from voting, however, expressed her willingness to work on the newly created commission.

Puerto de Ensenada Drone

Ensenada Scenic Road Report

Bajadock has been away past few weeks.  Was surprised to see the soutbound 2 lanes(sea side) torn up just south of Bajamar, approx Km 80.  Traffic was squeezed into 1 lane each for south and north drivers for about 2 miles, then rejoining the normal southbound flow at the SEMPRA gas plant.

The 1 lane squeeze just south of El Mirador in Salsipuedes has been on for approx 1 year?  This is at approx k87-k91, southbound after the drop down from El Mirador.

For some reason during my southbound drive home Friday, I noticed something new.  At K88, K90 and K95 there looked like new terracing on the hills above highway.  These slopes appeared to be mini versions of the big terracing at the K93 landslide.

Perhaps this has been reported many times and my coffee was not strong enough during my morning reads.  The only thing I have been reading about the Scenic Highway in this area is the endless fault studies and the continued discussion of the Bajamar alternate route possibility.

No, I did not stop for photos of these newly terraced hills, as home and happy hour were calling at approx 5:30PM yesterday evening.  But, at 5:30PM, the big honkin earth moving vehicles were still seriously engaged with the dirt. Will snap some photos in the next couple of week.

Anyone have any news on this?

Also, the humps and bumps from patches in the Salsipuedes stretch are getting worse.  That rumble strip at K96 southbound is beginning to catch my anger.

Did notice a few cops set up on shoulders south of La Mision.  None were engaged with drivers during my drive.

One last note was that the Tijuana El Chaparral border southbound crossing was easy at 4PM-is Friday.  It took approx 7 minutes to cross and add another 5 minutes delay to due the slow merge after the “U” bridge to Av Internacional.  And somebody fixed the huge pothole just before the “U” bridge.  For a Friday afternoon, that was an easy an uneventful border crossing.

Thrilled to be home.  And I’m loving the June gloom gray clouds.  CHEERS.

Pemex Stolen Gasoline Sale

The phenomenon has become so widespread that officials say entire towns have been involved in protecting fuel thieves or benefiting from the trade.  (Reuters) 

Mexico closed seven service stations Thursday for allegedly selling gasoline and diesel stolen from state-run pipelines, the first confirmation that large amounts of fuel siphoned from illegal pipeline taps are being sold through officially sanctioned gas stations.

An official of the state-run Pemex oil company said authorities had caught red-handed such sales at a total of 14 stations — seven in Puebla, one of the states hit hardest by pipelines thefts, and seven elsewhere in Mexico. The official didn’t say why only seven had been shut down.

The thefts were especially brazen, given that the stations were selling fuel stolen from their own supplier. Pemex runs Mexico’s pipelines and supplies the approximately 12,000 official gas stations under a concessionary agreement. Thus, the company knows about how much a station and pump dispatches and whether that matches up with what was supplied.

At the 14 stations, the numbers didn’t add up.

“They stopped buying (gasoline) and they continued selling it,” said the Pemex official, who was not authorized to be quoted by name.

Observers have long said the amount of fuel taken in widespread pipeline thefts is too much to be sold from plastic containers by the side of the road. Many experts have long believed some of the gasoline and diesel siphoned off by illegal pipeline taps is being sold to businesses or at gas stations.

The phenomenon has become so widespread that officials say entire towns have been involved in protecting fuel thieves or benefiting from the trade.

In May, gunmen used residents of a small Puebla town as human shields and opened fire on army patrols investigating pipeline thefts. Four soldiers and six suspected criminals were killed in the clashes.

Treasury Secretary Jose Antonio Meade said this week that more than 6,000 illegal pipeline taps had been found in 2016 and officials have been detecting an average of about 20 taps a day this year. Earlier, he estimated that fuel theft costs the country about $1 billion a year.

The closure announcement Thursday was the first significant crackdown on such stations, though at least one station had been detected in the northern city of Monterrey as early as 2012.

There have been suggestions before that fuel theft was occurring on an industrial scale in Mexico.

In June 2012, the Mexican navy seized a Mexican-flagged ship in the Gulf of Mexico heading toward Honduras with nearly 80,000 gallons (300,000 liters) of stolen diesel aboard, presumably from Pemex. The next month, the navy caught another ship in the Gulf with nearly 106,000 gallons (400,000 liters) of presumably stolen diesel.

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