Category Archives: MX Culture/News

Border Rock Fights

In the six-mile stretch between San Ysidro port of entry and Otay Mountain, Border Patrol agents arrested 108 people crossing on a foggy night in December. One agent was hit with a large rock that night as smugglers tried to distract agents, adding to visibility issues. (Nelvin C. Cepeda / San Diego Union-Tribune)


On a foggy Saturday night at the end of December, a Border Patrol agent drove an all-terrain vehicle close to the border fence between San Diego and Tijuana, looking for footprints.

To his left, a rust red, 7-foot metal barrier made of landing mats from the Vietnam War separated him from Colonia Libertad, a neighborhood whose gritty northern edges have long been known for smuggling activity.

To his right, rocks, dirt and sand stretched north to an all-weather road. Beyond the road, another fence, an 18-foot steel mesh barricade topped with razor wire, stood between him and the country he had taken an oath to protect.

In the loose soil near the primary fence, he could see signs of a breach better than he would on the road, where his ride would have been smoother and safer.

As he traveled at about 20 mph, a dodge-ball size rock struck him in the chest.

The agent fell, and the ATV flipped on top of him.

On the day the agent was attacked, Border Patrol arrested 108 people crossing illegally in the six-mile stretch where the assault happened, according to Michael Scappechio, a spokesman for Border Patrol in the San Diego Sector.

That’s not uncommon in the fog, Scappechio said.

‘Rockings’ affect border security

While Congress and the White House debate whether and where to add security measures along the southwest border, Border Patrol agents in San Diego hope that the result will help mitigate complications caused by fog.

Smuggling organizations know that Border Patrol’s surveillance cameras don’t work well in the thick fog that rolls in from the ocean around San Diego, so they often use it as a cover to bring larger numbers of people into the U.S.

Border Patrol has almost 2,000 fewer agents than it is supposed to, which means any assault can have an impact on border security.

An assault that injures an agent requires others to respond, spreading them thin along the border. Smuggling organizations try to use this to their advantage, especially in the fog.

Joshua Wilson, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 1613, said agents fear being debilitated by a rock, which could leave them unable to defend themselves or the weapons they carry.

“People say, ‘Oh it was just a rock.’ It wasn’t just a rock. It was a deadly weapon,” Wilson said. “Agents just want to go home at the end of their shift.”

In fiscal 2017, Border Patrol agents in the San Diego Sector reported 83 assaults, according to Scappechio. That’s almost seven assaults per month.

Rockings on agents in the San Diego Sector are not as frequent as they were a decade ago.

In 2008, the same year that construction of border fencing ramped up, reports of assaults on local agents peaked at 377.

Rockings are the predominant type of assault that San Diego agents encounter.

“Unfortunately, it’s the reality of our profession,” said Roy Villareal, deputy chief of the San Diego Sector. “Just like law enforcement as a whole, it’s part and parcel of the job.”

Tough terrain and a place to hide

Large rocks are in ample supply in the terrain along the San Diego Sector.

The area’s hills and primary fence add to the danger because a height advantage compounds the damage a rock can cause.

Mark Conover, a deputy U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California, has been working on border cases for over a decade.

“It does appear as though our Border Patrol agents are regularly under attack at the border,” Conover said, when asked about rocking assaults.

In 2017, his office prosecuted 43 assaults on federal officers. Most of those involved Border Patrol agents, he said.

Several agents voiced frustration that many rock throwers were never prosecuted, meaning there’s little to deter them.

If the rock thrower is on the south side of the fence, catching that person to charge with assault can be difficult.

Border Patrol can call Mexican authorities for help, but the logistics of maneuvering along the steep, pot hole-stricken dirt roads near the border in places like Colonia Libertad make it difficult for Mexican officials to respond in time.

Every agent has a story

“Most of the agents I know have been rocked,” Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Scappechio said. “Everyone with some time in would have a rocking story to tell.”

Scappechio still remembers his scariest rocking experience with vivid detail.

He was working in the Campo area and was sent to respond to a group detected jumping the fence.

When the crossers saw Scappechio and his partner, they turned and tried to climb back to Mexico.

Scappechio and his partner caught one man still on the fence and tried to get him down.

“I look up, and there’s a guy right over top of me and my partner holding a big rock,” Scappechio said. “I pulled my weapon, and the guy dropped it.”

The agents arrested the man they caught on the fence, and as soon as they put the man in the back of their SUV, it began to get “pummeled” with rocks, Scappechio said. The agents were still outside.

Scappechio and other agents recalled using “war wagons,” or Border Patrol vehicles with windshields and windows reinforced by metal mesh, in 2008 to protect themselves from rockings.

The reinforced vehicles are still used in some parts of the border, but not in San Diego.

Better technology to enhance security

Deputy Chief Villareal hopes that private industry will be able to develop technology to help the San Diego Sector combat challenges imposed by fog that increase the likelihood of rockings.

Some surveillance solutions used in other parts of the border, particularly those that fly, won’t work in San Diego because Border Patrol hasn’t been able to get clearance for use of the needed air space, Villareal said.

Surveillance technology used by the U.S. Coast Guard isn’t equipped to handle “noise” created by people and cars moving around in areas near the border, he said.

“We’re always in pursuit of new technology,” Villareal said. “The largest snag is always funding.”

Agent Wilson said that the union believes President Donald Trump’s promised border wall will solve the fog and rocking issue.

Increasing the number of agents along the border would also help, he said.

“We’re feeling the crunch,” Wilson said. “In terms of manpower, what we’re able to deploy every day to the line is really depleted.”

Vicki Gaubeca, a policy strategist at Southern Border Communities Coalition, an organization that has protested Trump’s border policies, said technology would be a better solution than the wall.

“I think that what it boils down to is that they need truly data-driven resources that are really going to be effective on the border, not just to throw good money at bad solutions,” Gaubeca said.

She emphasized that surveillance added for border security should come with privacy protections.

“I think the vast majority of Americans would feel like their private information should be safeguarded,” Gaubeca said.

She also called for more accountability and oversight of the agency, especially with hiring increases.

“My hope is that that’s what the agency is doing all the time, looking at every single incident whether there has been an injury or death and to evaluate what they could’ve done differently,” Gaubeca said. “Even in cases where the injury or the death happened to the person who they were encountering, I would hope there is some kind of review to ensure that there is some kind of prevention on both sides, on the agent’s welfare and life as well as the public’s safety.”


Carriage Horse Abuse ENSENADA, Baja California(GH)

Social networks circulated again a video which shows how a horse is forced to carry the weight of a calandria, however, despite the municipal government recognized since last year calenders operate erratically, so far no it has implemented actions to regulate that activity.

The video shows how two people pushing a mangle at the rear and a man pulls a rope the horse, however, the animal is weak and reluctant to continue pulling the carriage, which has caused the trouble of rescuers they have demanded better treatment for these animals.

Spokeswoman civil association They are the reason, Ana Daniela Garcia Salgado, recalled that this is the fifth documented through a video or photo, in which the abuse given to horses is displayed if transiting in tourist area.

He noted that it is the responsibility of the Urban Ecology and Environment Administration Directorate to oversee the regulation of animal protection, while the Municipal Transport Unit (UMT) should ensure that they have a permit or concession.

“There are thirteen calenders operating erratically without any permission in the tourist area and about 30 horses in the Playa Hermosa that are armarrados and are rented for walks, since last year recognized by the municipal government and so far has not been any response , “he said.

García Salgado said it is unacceptable that the municipal government does not carry out any action, although it has been documented animal abuse, because the horses remain for long hours under the sun or rain, carry excess weight, do not receive medical care and a few months ago were not worthy to drink water drinkers.

“The authority has turned a blind eye, it’s time to be put to do their job and give us response, corresponding legally is close activity immediately because they do not have permits, however they did not want do it , “he said.

The rescuer warned that if they do not see progress in the coming weeks on the subject, will choose to organize a march or demonstration at a council meeting in order that the mayor and aldermen aware about it.

Ordering Eggs in Mexico

foto por Bajadock @ Casa Marcelo, Ensenada


One of the lesser, but frequent challenges for the expat in Mexico is ordering eggs in a restaurant. If you are fussy about how you want them cooked, as many are, you should read the following primer about getting your eggs the way you want.

But before anything else, I want to confront head on the nearly apocryphal mysteries of the double meaning of the word, “huevos”. While it’s true that it also has a second meaning of “testicles”, or more accurately, “balls”, the visiting gringo or savvy expat should not worry about evoking snickers or even guffaws from the waitstaff. The staff deals with eggs all morning, and if they were constantly snickering, they’d have no time or energy left to serve customers. That sort of humor, and also about chiles (a potent phallic symbol) is best relegated to the humorous repertoire of small boys and barely pubescent adolescents.

Nota bien: if you accompany your ordering with sign language, you may provoke humor. If you personalize your order, you run further risks. For example, don’t say, “I’ll have youreggs, fried, and over easy.”
That’s personalizing it. You just want “huevos estrellados.”

Common Pitfalls In Ordering Eggs
1. “Huevos al Gusto”, literally, “eggs to your pleasure”, but really “eggs to order”.
Don’t make the mistake of a one of our visiting friends and say, “I’ll have the huevos al gusto.” The waiter will have to ask you again how you want them prepared.

2. “Huevos Estrellados”, or eggs, sunnyside up. These are among the most popular. You need not accompany your request with elaborate sign language, making what seem to the waiter to be confusing and possibly humorous gestures. You have a better chance of getting them as you like if you use those two simple words. And, “por favor”, of course.

3. “Huevos a la Mexicana”: eggs scrambled with chopped chiles, tomatoes and onions. Simply, “eggs in the style of a Mexican woman”. Try not to say, “huevos al MexicanO”, which gives a simple order a new, special meaning.

4. “Eggs, over easy” aren’t easy to order. Many restaurants don’t get the concept. You have to ask for “huevos fritos volteados”. I once mistakenly said, trying to be helpful to another breakfaster, “huevos revolcados”, or something like, “knocked down eggs”. Where did I get that?

If you are lucky, one of your breakfast companions will order eggs sunnyside up, using gestures, and his eggs will arrive revolcados, umm, volteados, and you can swap.

Let’s move along quickly now. The following egg dishes are less fraught with peril:
5. “Huevos Rancheros”: eggs sunnyside up, on top of a lightly fried tortilla or two, covered with a salsa picante. Why this is totally snigger free is a mystery.

6. “Huevos Divorciados.” Sounds spicy, and they are: two eggs, estrellados, one in salsa verde and the other in salsa roja, on top of tortillas. This is a gringo favorite, especially those who have been in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

7. “Huevos revueltos”: I almost forgot them! Scrambled eggs. They are seldom cooked as I like, so I do not order them while breakfasting out.

8. “Omeleta” Sounds like “omelet”, and it is. Usually made with two eggs, and filled “al gusto”. What does “al gusto” mean? Class???
“As you like.”, that’s right. Muy bien.

So, you will need to specify what you want in it. “Tocino” (bacon), “queso”, (cheese); “cebolla” (onion), et cetera. Omelets are usually attractively garnished with onion, tomato and avocado, so you get a bonus for your breakfast pesos.

Special hint: The Omeleta de espárragos, cebolla, nopal y queso at the Gran Hotel Café in Pátzcuaro is a delight.

9. “Huevos Albañil”, or “Stonemason’s eggs”; scrambled eggs drowned in a very spicy sauce. Order this, as I do, when you want to be a cool, Old Mexico Hand.

10. Poached eggs: in general, don’t even try, unless you are in the restaurant of an international hotel. My Spanish-English digital dictionary yields the word, “escalfar” for “poached”, but we have had some limited success with “huevos pocheados”. Don’t get your hopes up. Please, whatever you do don’t call them “huevos pochos“.

There are other ways of preparing eggs, but the above listed are among the most commonly encountered. For further information, sign up for our advanced Huevos Clase.

Always be polite, and say “Por favor” and “gracias” at appropriate times. Try to keep gestures and especially sign language to the minimum. They look rude.

Finally, try to remember that Patience Is A Virtue, and that glitches in service do not occur only in Mexico. I’ll end with a video drama, made in an American diner, to keep things in perspective.

This is probably my last post of 2008. We’ll be travelling to México D.F., Puebla, and then spending a couple of weeks on Oaxaca. I hope to be observing, tasting and even cooking while we are there. With luck and energy, I’ll report back on our experiences.
May you have una Feliz Navidad y Provechoso Año Nuevo 2009!


4% Electricity Increase

Bajadock: Last week’s announced 200%+ increases were deemed a “calculating error”.  Hmmm, a calculated error makes the actual 4.3% increase quite mild.  How to boil a frog?

Multiplier factor and reduced electricity prices will increase only 4.3 percent 

After they were announced new tariffs for the Federal Electricity Commission in Baja California which increased the cost of service twice, businessmen and representatives of the CESPE whose supply depends on pumping, they held two meeting with executives of the CFE Mexico City.

At this meeting productive enterprise of state agreed he made a mistake in the factors used to calculate the new rate, for this reason it was agreed that 300 companies Ensenada and CESPE will not be suspended supplies Monday, court date.

Canacintra reported that the CFE issue a new bill in line with reality and reduce all multipliers in basic, intermediate and peak above the receipt had a multiplier factor called distribution and capacity, which caused the dreaded “tarifazo”.

While the last receipt of businesses 100 percent increases were recorded CFE ensures that changing the multiplier factors alone will increase by 4 percent annualized.

Welcome to Ensenada

Arriba Ensenada Facebook

Hello good afternoon I want to mention the bus terminal here in Ensenada, being a port city and tourism, I express my displeasure and that of many people who need your service which is a neglected, dirty, the treatment of staff Most of the time it is the most mediocre and disrespectful. The smell of the bathrooms comes from when you enter and you have to put up with it the whole time you are sitting, some people have to be more than an hour, they have a very despota staff (not all). I mention this because I regularly take this service and because of the muddy mud they have outside, even a wood or even pieces of cardboard could put is the last straw that did not have that minimal attention by customers, I saw a lady from the elderly very old with their tennis full of mud. I would have liked to have time to talk to the person in charge. I just wanted to mention it, thanks.

CFE Forgives Electricity Increase Payment

Entrepreneurs reject the new charging scheme in electricity tariffs.

CFE agreed not to cut the power companies not to pay Baja California. Entrepreneurs reject the new charging scheme in electricity tariffs.

In December a new charging scheme consumption of electricity for commercial and industrial sector throughout the country, which could cause companies to pay up to 300% compared to the previous year entered into force.

For companies in Mexicali the new collection has a greater impact since it is determined based on the maximum consumption and during the summer electricity consumption soars, compared to other months.

The new scheme, warned the Secretary of INDEX in Mexicali, Joaquin Jimenez is invaluable for businesses, and can bring as direct consequences, increases in commodity prices and that many bajacalifornianos lose their jobs.

At a press conference the representatives of the agencies that make up the Business Coordinating Mexicali Council warned that this situation mainly affects Baja California, and for this reason several businessmen traveled with the Governor of the City of Mexico to raise the issue in a meeting with directors of the National Energy Commission.

As we reach a solution agreed not to cut the CFE light to companies that do not pay.

Border Wall for Garbage

The county’s first significant winter storm has prompted a 72-hour general advisory for San Diego’s coastal waters and beach closures for the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge and Border Field State Park.

The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health (DEH) issued the general advisory, warning swimmers, surfers and other ocean users to stay out of the water for 72 hours, because rains can significantly increase bacteria levels in ocean and bay waters — especially near storm drains, creeks, rivers and lagoon outlets. Rains create “urban runoff” that washes pollution from streets, landscapes, homes and roads to the ocean and bay.

This includes all coastal beaches and all of Mission Bay and San Diego Bay. Elevated bacteria levels can persist after a rainstorm depending upon the intensity of the storm, volume of runoff and ocean and current conditions.

Urban runoff may contain large amounts of bacteria from a variety of sources such as animal waste, soil, and decomposing vegetation. While many coastal storm drains within San Diego County are permanently posted with white metal warning signs, additional temporary warning signs are not posted for general advisories.

Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge and Border Field Park

DEH also issued a water contact closure for the ocean shoreline at Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge and Border Field State Park due to sewage-contaminated flows from the Tijuana River entering the United States. The closure area includes the beach-line from the south end of Seacoast Drive to the International Border. Signs will remain in place until sample results indicate the ocean water is safe for recreational use and DEH will continue to monitor water quality at other beaches in the area. Please be advised that the access road to Friendship Park, within Border Field State Park, may also be affected with sewage-impacted runoff and should be avoided. map
Screenshot image as of 2:00pm January 9, 2018.

For more information about the Tijuana River, please call the U.S. International Boundary & Water Commission at 619-662-7600. For updates on beach closure information please visit our website at or call the 24-hr. hotline at (619) 338-2073.

Source: County of San Diego News Center

140% Electricity Rate Increase


ENSENADA BC JANUARY 7, 2018 (AFN) .- The president of the National Chamber of the Transformation Industry (Canacintra) Ensenada, Jorge Eduardo Cortés Ríos, considered that the excessive increase in the price of electricity will have a negative effect on the regional and national development, the increase in inflation and the lack of competitiveness of companies.

“We should not be surprised by the closure of companies, the loss of jobs and the deterioration of the quality of life, informality and the increase in poverty rates,” he said.

He explained that according to comparative calculations made by the Canacintra Ensenada, prices for electricity will increase up to 140 percent from next receipts.

To the disproportionate increase for this 2018 are added the March 2017 increases of between 13.3 and 17.2 percent to the commercial and industrial rates that were not enough for the parastatals operated by the federal government, he said.

Cortés Ríos regretted that the Federal Government has abandoned its role as promoter of the country’s economy to become a real obstacle to the development of micro and small enterprises, instead of encouraging their growth.

Therefore, he called on the Federal Government to rectify its policy of pauperization of the national economy and allow the Mexican industry to survive, maintain the productive plant and jobs.

Tortilla and Gasoline Price Hikes


MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s government on Wednesday denounced forecast price hikes by fuel retailers and tortilla makers, saying increases were unjustified as it sought to allay public concern about high inflation at the start of a presidential election year.

Prices for corn tortillas, the Mexican staple, are forecast to rise in the coming days by between nearly 11 and 21 percent, according to figures from the National Union of Industrial Mills and Tortillas.

Meanwhile, gasoline and diesel prices are seen by one retail association rising an average of about 7 percent this year due to tax changes, volatility of the peso currency and higher crude prices.

“That they say they are now going to hike prices is unjustified. We don’t see the market conditions for this to happen,” said Jose Rogelio Garza, a deputy economy minister.

The forecast from the Mexican Association of Gasoline Businesses (AMEGAS) was quickly dismissed as false in a statement by state-run oil company Pemex, but that did not stop complaints.

“My suppliers bring me the dough by car and if gasoline prices go up then obviously they are going to have to adjust their prices,” said Jorge Garcia, the owner of a Mexico City bakery.

The price of liquefied natural gas, used for cooking, rose by an average of 25 percent in 2017, while electricity rates have also inched up, according to government data.

“With increasing gas prices we’re going to have to make adjustments… I can’t work without gas,” said Garcia.

As inflation hovers near a 16-year high at just below 7 percent, officials insisted the forecast price spikes, which have triggered social media outrage and threats of protests, are not warranted.

“In 2018, variations in international fuel prices will continue to be cushioned,” the finance ministry said in a statement on Tuesday, emphasizing a scheme that allows it to reduce a key excise tax applied to fuel sales.

With presidential elections looming in July, the government is especially sensitive to the possibility that protests could further erode its support among voters.

But beyond rhetoric, the government is mostly powerless to force the hands of gas station owners as its ability to set prices ended in late November after it finalized a gradual, nationwide fuel liberalization.

The move to market prices, part of sweeping 2013-2014 energy reform, ending a transitional period during which it still set maximum gasoline and diesel prices.

The fuel regulator, or CRE, said in a statement that prices in central Mexico for Pemex’s Magna gasoline, which makes up more than 80 percent of total sales, have only risen 1.3 percent compared to average prices at the end of November, an increase it described as stable.

The CRE reported that the average nationwide price on Tuesday for Magna stood at 16.13 pesos per liter.

That works out to about $3.15 per gallon at the current exchange rate.

For many years prior to the passage of the energy reform, fuel prices in Mexico were set by the government and were the same across the country.

($1 = 19.3710 Mexican pesos)

(Additional reporting by Alberto Fajardo and Adriana Barrera; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Ensenada Murders Up 200%


Ensenada; 2017 was the most violent of the last 13 years, as he concluded with a number of 191 homicides reported figures Citizen Council for Public Security (CCSP) of Baja California.

The Attorney General of the State (PGJE) investigates a total of 191 violent homicides recorded between January and December last year.

The latter number of violent deaths is higher than those recorded in Ensenada since 2004, the year ended with 44 homicides, said national statistics agency.

Between 2004-2016, the second year was much more homicides 2008 to record 66 violent killings, the third place is 2016 with 63 dead victims, said CCSP numbers.

Last December, the PGJE recorded a total of 16 homicides in the city, a figure that is too high compared with that obtained in December 2016 with five murders.

October 2016 was the month with the highest number of violent deaths by recording 22, including eight fatalities found in different sites of the city on 19.

In the southern part of town, in the area of San Quintin, this house publishing accounted for about 94 homicides between January and December 2017.

in December, the San Quintin area totaled about eight violent deaths, the latest recorded 29 in the town of Jaramillo, where police found lifeless Oscar Dellemesse Jesus Martinez, 57.

Saturday 30, rescue teams with investigating authorities stopped the maneuver to remove the body from a well located in the Valley of the Trinity.

At the time, the State Attorney has not determined whether this death is a violent death.

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