Category Archives: Travel

Baja Prominent in Most Dangerous Cities in the World

In 2017, Latin America retained the ignominious distinction of having the most cities on Mexico’s Citizens’ Council for Public Security’s annual ranking of the world’s most violent cities.

Of the 50 cities on the list, 42 are in Latin America, including 17 in Brazil, 12 in Mexico, and five in Venezuela. Colombia had three, Honduras had two, and El Salvador, Guatemala, and Jamaica all had one.

The region’s violence is in large part driven by drug trafficking and organized crime— in Mexico, fragmentation of criminal groups has stoked more bloodshed in recent months. Insecurity is also exacerbated by political instabilitypoverty, and poor economic conditions. Corruption, abuses by officials, and impunity also facilitate crime.

The ranking contains cities with populations of more than 300,000 and does not count deaths in combat zones or cities with unavailable data, so some dangerous cities don’t appear on the list

The Council also estimates homicide rates for some cities based on incomplete data.

In Venezuela, for example, the government has not consistently released homicide data (though it did for 2016), and in the past the Council has estimated based on entries at the Bello Monte morgue, which draws from an area larger than Caracas and doesn’t only include homicides. The Council was also unable to gather 2017 full-year data for the city, leading it to calculate last year’s tally based on previous estimates. Two other cities in Venezuela were excluded from this year’s ranking because there was no reliable homicide data for them.

Here’s the top 50:

View As: One Page Slides
50. Cucuta, Colombia, had 34.78 homicides per 100,000 residents.
49. Vitoria, Brazil, had 36.07 homicides per 100,000 residents.
48. Teresina, Brazil, had 37.05 homicides per 100,000 residents.
47. Campina Grande, Brazil, had 37.29 homicides per 100,000 residents.
46. Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa, had 37.53 homicides per 100,000 residents.
45. Campos dos Goytacazes, Brazil, had 37.53 homicides per 100,000 residents.
44. Durban, South Africa, had 38.12 homicides per 100,000 residents.
43. Mazatlan, Mexico, had 39.32 homicides per 100,000 residents.
43. Mazatlan, Mexico, had 39.32 homicides per 100,000 residents.
The hands of a dead man on a sidewalk in Mazatlan, Sinaloa state, October 22, 2011. A man was shot dead outside his home by two gunmen, according to local media.

In 2017, Mazatlan had a population of 488,281 people and 192 homicides.

42. Detroit had 39.69 homicides per 100,000 residents.

41. New Orleans had 40.10 homicides per 100,000 residents.

40. Macapa, Brazil, had 40.24 homicides per 100,000 residents.

39. Porto Alegre, Brazil, had 40.96 homicides per 100,000 residents.
38. Reynosa, Mexico, had 41.95 homicides per 100,000 residents.
38. Reynosa, Mexico, had 41.95 homicides per 100,000 residents.
Mexican federal police patrol the border city of Reynosa, Mexico, January 10, 2008.
 AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills

In 2017, Reynosa had a population of 701,525 people and 294 homicides.

37. Palmira, Colombia, had 46.65 homicides per 100,000 residents.

36. Tepic, Mexico, had 47.09 homicides per 100,000 residents.

36. Tepic, Mexico, had 47.09 homicides per 100,000 residents.
A bullet-ridden SUV after a gun battle in which a man identified as head of the Beltran Leyva drug cartel and several accomplices were killed by Mexican marines, in Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico, February 10, 2017.
 (AP Photo/Chris Arias)

In 2017, Tepic had a population of 503,330 people and 237 homicides.

35. Distrito Central, Honduras, had 48 homicides per 100,000 residents.

34. Manaus, Brazil, had 48.07 homicides per 100,000 residents.

33. Barquisimeto, Venezuela, had 48.23 homicides per 100,000 residents.
32. San Juan, Puerto Rico, had 48.70 homicides per 100,000 residents.
31. Ciudad Obregón, Mexico, had 48.96 homicides per 100,000 residents.
31. Ciudad Obregón, Mexico, had 48.96 homicides per 100,000 residents.
Patrons eat at a taco stand next to the body of a man on the pavement, in Ciudad Obregon, August 10, 2010. According to local media, the man died after a heart attack.

In 2017, Ciudad Obregon had a population of 339,000 people and 166 homicides.

30. João Pessoa, Brazil, had 49.17 homicides per 100,000 residents.

29. Chihuahua, Mexico, had 49.48 homicides per 100,000 residents.

29. Chihuahua, Mexico, had 49.48 homicides per 100,000 residents.
Demonstrators wearing paper masks with the name of one of the missing 43 Ayotzinapa trainee teachers march in Chihuahua, November 15, 2014.
 REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

In 2017, Chihuahua had a population of 929,884 people and 460 homicides.

28. Cali, Colombia, had 49.59 homicides per 100,000 residents.

27. Valencia, Venezuela, had 49.74 homicides per 100,000 residents.

26. San Pedro Sula, Honduras, had 51.18 homicides per 100,000 residents.

25. Salvador, Brazil, had 51.58 homicides per 100,000 residents.
24. Guatemala City, Guatemala, had 53.49 homicides per 100,000 residents.

23. Maturin, Venezuela, had 54.43 homicides per 100,000 residents.

22. Recife, Brazil, had 54.96 homicides per 100,000 residents.

21. Baltimore had 55.48 homicides per 100,000 residents.
20. Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, had 56.16 homicides per 100,000.
20. Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, had 56.16 homicides per 100,000.
Forensic technicians at a crime scene where unknown assailants left the body of a man wrapped in blankets on the side of a road on the outskirts of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, November 22, 2017.
 REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

In 2017, Ciudad Juarez had a population of 1,448,859 people and 814 homicides.

19. Feira de Santana, Brazil, had 58.81 homicides per 100,000 residents.

18. Aracaju, Brazil, had 58.88 homicides per 100,000 residents.

17. San Salvador, El Salvador, had 59.06 homicides per 100,000 residents.

16. Kingston, Jamaica, had 59.71 homicides per 100,000 residents.
15. Cape Town, South Africa, had 62.25 homicides per 100,000 residents.
14. Maceio, Brazil, had 63.94 homicides per 100,000 residents.

13. St. Louis had 65.83 homicides per 100,000 residents.

12. Culiacan, Mexico, had 70.10 homicides per 100,000 residents.
12. Culiacan, Mexico, had 70.10 homicides per 100,000 residents.
A Mexican marine looks at the body of a gunman next to a vehicle after a gun fight in Culiacan, Mexico, February 7, 2017.
(AP Photo/Rashide Frias)

In 2017, Culiacan had a population of 957,613 people and 671 homicides.

11. Vitoria da Conquista, Brazil, had 70.26 homicides per 100,000 residents.

10. Belem, Brazil, had 71.38 homicides per 100,000 residents.

 9. Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela, had 80.28 homicides per 100,000 residents.
8. Ciudad Victoria, Mexico, had 83.32 homicides per 100,000 residents.
8. Ciudad Victoria, Mexico, had 83.32 homicides per 100,000 residents.
A soldier standing guard at the site of a car-bomb attack outside the broadcaster Televisa in Ciudad Victoria, Mexico.

In 2017, Ciudad Victoria had a population of 361,078 people and 301 homicides.

7. Fortaleza, Brazil, had 83.48 homicides per 100,000 residents.

6. La Paz, Mexico, had 84.79 homicides per 100,000 residents.

6. La Paz, Mexico, had 84.79 homicides per 100,000 residents.
La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur state in northwest Mexico, February 8, 2017.
 Cvmontuy/Wikimedia Commons

In 2017, La Paz had a population of 305,455 people and 259 homicides.

5. Tijuana, Mexico, had 100.77 homicides per 100,000 residents.

5. Tijuana, Mexico, had 100.77 homicides per 100,000 residents.
Policemen stand guard as forensic investigators work on the exhumation of a mass grave believed to have been used to bury unidentified victims of drug violence, in Tijuana, Mexico, August 16, 2017.
 REUTERS/Jorge Duenes

In 2017, Tijuana had a population of 1,882,492 people and 1,897 homicides.

4. Natal, Brazil, had 102.56 homicides per 100,000 residents.

3. Acapulco, Mexico, had 106.63 homicides per 100,000 residents.

3. Acapulco, Mexico, had 106.63 homicides per 100,000 residents.
A police officer inspects a body as another body is carried away after they were shot in central Acapulco, Mexico, August 29, 2017.
 AP Photo/Bernandino Hernandez

In 2017, Acapulco had a population of 853,646 people and 910 homicides.

2. Caracas, Venezuela, had 111.19 homicides per 100,000 residents.

1. Los Cabos, Mexico, had 111.33 homicides per 100,000 residents.

1. Los Cabos, Mexico, had 111.33 homicides per 100,000 residents.
Soldiers walk near tourists on the beach in Los Cabos, June 16, 2012. G20 leaders gathered for two days of meetings in the Pacific resort.
 REUTERS/Oswaldo Rivas

In 2017, Los Cabos had a population of 328,245 people and 365 homicides.


Baja 1949 Documentary Video

Scenic Road Bypass Discussion Continues

The construction of an alternate route to the Scenic Highway is necessary to avoid road deterioration due to the passage of heavy trucks, said César Ramos García, president of the Mexican Chamber of Construction Industry (CMIC) in Ensenada.

“The stage was never designed to withstand the passage of such vehicles, never, therefore deterioration and constant repairs suffered by the road,” he said.

Specialists in soil CMIC announced on the basis of technical studies that the scenic road suffers its worst deterioration by the passage of heavy trucks, both cargo and passengers, so it is urgent that they be diverted as soon as possible.

He gave as an example San Francisco, California, where on one of its stretches it passes along the coast, like Ensenada, but heavy traffic is forbidden there.

“Studies of soil have shown that the passage of each truck is equivalent to the same damage and wear that would generate 50 sedans; at that level is the wear of the Scenic, making it also dangerous to move in areas closed by these heavy units, “he said.

The president of CMIC emphasized to continue investing in the realization of the alternate route and to do it with professional technical studies to get the project out as soon as possible.

“It is time to see road investments as a growth opportunity before spending, since the alternate route will be developed, will also be promoting the creation of industrial parks, of which Ensenada lacks and of which the state is urgent”, express.

For this reason, he insisted that it is urgent to continue with the Alternate to Scenic section because it will be a pole of industrial development and will immediately stop the passage of heavy vehicles through the Scenic, as they generate terrible and constant damage to the asphalt belt.

Industrial area To
allocate one thousand 750 million pesos in the construction of the alternate route to the Scenic, it has to be seen as an investment for the creation of a pole of industrial development.

The businessman said that the 24.6-kilometer road would connect Bajamar with El Sauzal and could become the industrial area that suffers the city, because when a new industry seeks to settle in a city, it does not look for if its streets are paved or bumpy, Look for connectivity, industrial zones, water and electricity.

“The alternate highway offers that possibility, ample spaces to develop companies and adequate road services, only lack long-term vision,” he said.

Tijuana Threshold of the Americas

Above YouTube shows the 2016 construction of the Puente Vehicular Centro Histórico-Puerta México(PVCHPM) San Ysidro 2018 Directions bridge discussed in yesterday’s post.  Below is the concept plan that includes the vehicular bridge and the arched pedestrian bridge.

The project covers a 3/4 mile route from the PedWest pedestrian entrance at the San Ysidro Port of Entry to the giant arch at the north end of Revolución Avenue (Los Angeles Times) 

Dec 26, 2017

Closed storefronts, broken sidewalks and dark staircases have welcomed for years, the pedestrians who are heading from the border to downtown Tijuana. Now the promoters of the city want to drastically change that disturbing first impression.

A $ 13 million project called “Threshold of the Americas”, provides for a renovated entrance, with plazas, new lighting, well-designed ramps and a wide bridge over the Tijuana river channel to connect the border with Avenida Revolución, the tourist district traditional of the city.

“We want to develop a place where tourists want to stay, entertain themselves, instead of a place where they just want to walk fast,” said Aaron Victorio, executive director of the Economic Development Council of Tijuana.

Just in front of San Ysidro, the project encompasses a 3/4 mile route from the PedWest pedestrian entrance at the San Ysidro Port of Entry to the giant arch at the north end of Avenida Revolución. The road crosses an area in transition, at the same time that it grows with activity and new constructions and struggles with an ugly image of urban decay, with empty shops, a homeless population and a persistent stench that rises from the Tijuana River channel.

The goal is to make walking in Tijuana a safer and more pleasant experience, both for tourists and for visitors to the city. The changes are part of a larger effort to revitalize the historic city center near the US border, an area that is slowly transforming with new living spaces, cultural venues, breweries, restaurants and cafes.

The opening of PedWest in 2016 underscored the need for a better pedestrian connection from the border to downtown Tijuana. US Customs and Border Protection figures UU they show an average of 12,000 people crossing north daily through Pedwest, about 60 percent of total foot traffic to the north, and an estimated number cross to the south.

“It should be better,” said David Bernal, a 22-year-old Tijuana resident who crosses the border at PedWest to and from work at the Northgate market in San Diego. “After dark, I do not pass by,” he said as he headed home at dusk.

Funding for the project so far comes from a variety of government sources, including the state government of Baja California and the municipal government of Tijuana. With approximately a quarter of the funds already in hand, the first phase is scheduled to move forward early next year and will be completed in September. This will involve the reconstruction of a pedestrian corridor lined with small shops known as Callejon Articulo 123, and includes putting the electrical wiring underground and offering incentives to the merchants to rebuild their facades.

“Everything that can help the center of Tijuana will be useful for future development,” said Genaro Valladolid, a real estate agent from Tijuana who has defended the developments of commercial use and housing in the area. “At this moment, when you cross this area it’s an unpleasant experience.”

The centerpiece of the project is in the second phase and involves the reconstruction of the United Nations pedestrian bridge that spans the Tijuana River, expanding it and building “cultural plazas” at each end. The structure includes giant steel tubes that support the bridge that will form a giant X, an allusion to the “x” of Mexico. The final phase includes a connection path to PedWest.

“This project will allow us to show that yes, we can improve, we can change and we can renew all the way from the entrance of Tijuana to other areas” of the city, said Gabriel Camarena, president of CDT.

While at this time the funds to complete the project are uncertain, the CDT is confident that they will be obtained, said Victorio, the executive director.

And although an entry redesigned the city center can not solve all the problems of the area, the Threshold project is an important first step, proponents say the project. “It’s part of the solution, although not complete the solution,” said Arturo Echanove, an architect of Tijuana who helped select the current design.

Threshold of the Americas is one of the five projects adopted by CDT of a long-term metropolitan strategic plan that lists 214 priority projects for the region that covers Tijuana, Tecate and Playas de Rosarito.

The need for such a project was mentioned for the first time in the plan in 2012, said Victorio. In 2014, the council collaborated with a publication on Mexican architecture, Arquine, asking for conceptual designs to redevelop the area. Approximately 400 proposals from around the world were sent, including Uruguay, France and China, and the winning design was presented by a team from the USA. UU

“It was a great concept, but it was not really feasible,” said Victorio, adding that the estimated cost of $ 70 million was too high. “We said, let’s do something that is feasible to our reality”

Earlier this year, a new invitation to receive proposals was issued, this time from eight local companies and in August a winning team was selected by a jury that included CDT; agencies of the government of Baja California, the city of Tijuana, the federal government and the main architectural and engineering groups of the city.

“The idea is to renovate the area, make it habitable, passable and safe,” said Sergio Celis, an engineer from Tijuana. who leads the 12-member interdisciplinary team that was selected. “It’s the entrance to Mexico, it must be the right one”.

For Elba Palos, the changes will not come too soon. His curio shop on the edge of the Tijuana Handicraft Market has seen few clients in recent years. “They do not come anymore,” he said. “It’s a real fight and we want more people to come.”

Avenida Reforma Floods


Reforma Avenue, in the stretch between Calle Hierro and Avenida de las Rosas, was flooded yesterday morning for several hours because the flow of rainwater in that area was blocked by the construction of a dam on a site particular.

The barrier constructed with stones and earth had to be demolished by personnel of Civil Protection and Municipal Public Services, who broke a padlock that closed the access door to the property and proceeded to remove the materials that prevented the flow of rainwater to the area known as La Lagunita.

The intervention of Civil Protection was protected by elements of Municipal Public Safety, and as explained, this was done to prevent vehicular traffic on Reforma Avenue from being affected by the accumulation of rainwater at that point of the road.

It was also reported that several of the businesses surrounding the site where the dam was placed were affected in their operations and goods by the flood caused by the aforementioned wall, which prevented rainwater from reaching La Lagunita or the ocean.

On February 7 in the Official Gazette of the Federation the National Property Declaration # 1/2017 of the waters of the Don Diego and La Laguna Stream, also known as La Lagunita, Laguna El Ciprés, Laguna Formex Ibarra and / or Laguna El Naranjo

Said declaration also includes the channels, glass and federal zone in the extension established by the Law of National Waters, in this case the so-called Arroyo Don Diego.

The decree ensures that the characteristics of national waters referred to in articles 27 and 16 of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States are met, because: “because they are waters that from their starting point flow and form currents that give origin to other declared of national property until emptying to the sea “.

The declaration establishes that it will come into force as of the day following its publication, that is to say on February 9, so that the blockade of the Arroyo Don Diego channel could be considered as damage to the Don Diego Creek.

The declaration is signed by Roberto Ramírez de la Parra, director of the National Water Commission and is accompanied by the technical annexes that establish the location and coordinates of the sites included in said declaration.

a) Its waters originate at 1,231 meters northeast of the Government Center of Ensenada, in the Ex-Ejido Chapultepec, Municipality of Ensenada, State of Baja California, at the point with the geographical coordinates Latitud Norte 31 ° 48′ 51.05 “and West Length 116 ° 35′ 02.27 “, according to its location in the topographic chart of INEGI, ENSENADA H11B12.
b) They are of intermittent regime and drain in a well-defined channel.
c) They follow a Northwest course.
d) They cover a total length of 1,960 meters.
e) 1,279 meters approximately downstream of the origin, they change their course to the Southwest.

Living Abroad for More Freedom?

Bajadock: Freedom of your mind and improved critical thinking can be a benefit of living away from the USA.  But, some expat communities, mainstream media and social media can imprison your mind as if you were still living in the 48 states.

Tested my scold detector with glee a couple of years ago by wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat at a social function of mostly ex-pats on Baja.  The scolds came out in force, letting me know what an offensive person I was, though they had no idea of my political views. 

Social Media?  Geezo, what a war zone that can be with threats, censorship and name calling.  GASP!   Imagine the tragedy of being unfriended from someone you have never met.  

My chosen location is quieter, more free, less hassle and by far less expensive than any place I have enjoyed living in the USA.  Make mine tacos, beer, wine, music and exploration of this paradise. 


There’s a vast world outside of the U.S. waiting for you to discover it. You know that but aren’t sure about leaving what’s familiar to you.

There are many ways you can get around the overreaching laws and regulations, the political manipulation, and the social pressure. You can change your domestic lifestyle, work toward a freer life in the U.S.

But if you have the itch to go global, there are nearly 200 countries out there and a multitude of alternative routes leading to personal freedom.

1. Cheap Healthcare

When you leave the U.S., you don’t leave “first world” healthcare behind. The World Health Organization (WHO) ranks the U.S. healthcare system a lackluster 37th worldwide. Compare that to 22nd ranked Columbia, where copays average about $3 for people who possess a national ID card and monthly premiums range from $70 to $85.

There’s quality care in many countries. In 2016, Malaysia had more than 1 million medical tourists. Most doctors there speak English and were trained in institutions in the U.S., Australia, or the U.K. It also costs a fraction of the care in the U.S.

In India, healthcare facilities and hospitals in major cities attract hundreds of thousands of people per year.

Every major city in Mexico has at least one high-quality hospital and insurance costs around $350 to $450 dollars a year.

2. Lower Taxes

Depending on your work situation abroad, you can legally avoid some or all state and federal taxes.

Whether you are an employee of a foreign firm with a residence permit or are self-employed with a travel or business visa, you still need to file with the IRS.

But if you work and live abroad, you will be eligible for the U.S. Foreign Income Tax Exclusion, which, as of 2017, applies to incomes of up to $102,100. Even if you work online for a U.S. business or have U.S. based customers, you can still avoid paying taxes on the first $102,000 you earn. And then there is a housing exemption on top of that.

Depending on where you go, taxes may be very low or non-existent. Territories like the Caymans, Bahamas, and the Virgin Islands don’t tax, but might be too expensive for those who can’t afford to plop down hundreds of thousands of dollars in a bank account or on a property.

Costa Rica and Anguila, a lesser known British territory, are much more affordable, tax-free island destinations. None of these five beautiful destinations tax foreign-sourced income, so you can continue to work remotely and worry-free.

Georgia, Guatemala, and Paraguay are all low national-tax options (10% or less) and don’t tax foreign-sourced income. For those not averse to living in the often politically volatile Middle East, a slew of countries including Oman, the UAE, and Qatar, have no national income tax.

3. Lower Cost of Living and Transportation

As of 2018, the U.S. ranks 25th out of 115 countries in Cost of Living Index. That means at least 90 countries are cheaper to live in compared to the United States.

In the U.S. people spend a lot on their transportation–registration and inspection laws, excise taxes, car loan/insurance payments, and maintenance and gas expenses.

Plan your move abroad based on a city with cheap public transportation.

Purchasing prepaid subway, bus, and taxi cards frees you from the litany of arbitrary, revenue-hungry regulations, and saves thousands of dollars per year.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is one of the cheapest cities for transport. It’s close to Singapore, but without low cost of living. Panama City, Panama is another worth looking into.

And you get a bonus on top of the savings: no more petty, competitive urges to “keep up with the Joneses.” These distract you with temporary comforts while ensnaring you to liabilities dependent on future payments.

4. Perspective, and freedom from social pressure

Freedom isn’t all about shrewd financial maneuvering. It’s also about the mind. Six months, 12 months, two years or longer — how long you live abroad depends on how deep you want the experience to be. You will have the opportunity to step back and see your native country objectively.

U.S. citizens have less confidence in their government than ever before.

If you were to become used to a different kind of freedom in a foreign country, you could become a dual citizen of get a second passport.

Learning a new language and enjoying another culture is a fool-proof way to gain a wider perspective, increase your self-reliance, and meet interesting people.

Missing a U.S. election cycle or two could facilitate your independent, outsider perspective by sparing you exposure — especially in the heat of campaign seasons — to the shrill, divisive political conversation centered around the corrupt, two-party system.

Finally, pursuing your own happiness by living in another country entails something harsh but beneficial: Leaving a lot of familiar people behind. Unless you go with friends or have a partner, spouse and/or children, you will be on your own. Even as a team or family, expatriate life requires self-starting and perseverance because you no longer have the local community you always counted on at home.

If you go alone, you will be your own motivator, problem solver, and emotional stabilizer. You will have the chance to expand your people skills and build up your self-reliance.

Perhaps the biggest potential benefit would be getting away from the influence of people who don’t value freedom the way you do. Sometimes your peers can hold you back. Taking off to a new country for a while can give you some breathing room without permanently severing ties.

Are you tired of the financial, political and social obstacles in your life? Living abroad may be the answer. It doesn’t have to be a “forever” commitment, it only takes months to prepare for, and the social and material benefits can serve you for the rest of your life.


Cruise Ship Visitors Fall

Bajadock: These floating buffet tables incent their passengers to stay afloat and avoid disembarkation into downtown Ensenada.  The trickle of passengers coming off these ships at 8:30AM is sad.  Take a typical Carnival ship with 3,000 passengers, guessing that 10%(300) or less get on the ground and experience Ensenada.  3,000 sea lions may have more of a positive economic effect in Ensenada harbor compared with cruise ship visitors.

Ensenada, Baja California, February 19.- During 2017 the arrival of visitors on cruises to Ensenada continued in a tailspin, showing the lowest number of the last four years, according to figures from the General Coordination of Ports and Merchant Marine of the Secretariat of Communications and Transport.

The official information indicates that in the January-December period, 647 thousand 757 cruise passengers arrived at the port, the lowest figure since 2014 when it stood at 697,375. In addition, it was again below the level it had in 2008, that is when the Great Recession broke out in the State.

It is worth mentioning that the arrival of visitors to Ensenada continues to be affected by the insecurity and the limited recreational offer for cruise passengers.

It is worth remembering that other indicators that continue badly are those of hotel occupancy. With data from Datatur, 2017 was not a favorable year and it is striking that for the first time since the Great Recession, the state capital presented negative figures in the average occupation, being slightly below San Felipe, while Rosarito presented the greater contraction.

In that sense, the capital reported a contraction of 0.38%, while Rosarito and San Felipe had falls of 1.97% and 0.37%, respectively. On the other hand, Tecate and Tijuana had slight increases of 2.84% and 1.0%, respectively.

It should be noted that San Felipe and Rosarito continue among the places with the lowest hotel occupancy nationwide.

Valle de Guadalupe Over Napa

Bajadock: complete article lists 19 trendy spots replacing more popular trendy spots…click here for complete article. 

For my friends in the Valle de Guadalupe/Ensenada wine and food industry, hope prosperity continues.  Selfishly, I enjoy quiet quaffing away from the qwouds of tourists.

Once a destination, city, or country is established as the place to be, it’s hard to change that. It’s covered in every travel magazine and woven through everyone’s Instagram feed. So tourists flock to it in droves and that part of the world may ultimately change because of it. But there are SO MANY other places to experience—so many cuisines to savor, so many activities to try, so many adventures to have. This year, choose the unfamiliar over the popular. Travel to new cities, lesser known regions, and off-the-beaten-path spots. If you’re wondering what such a spirited travel plan might look like, we’re put together a pretty radical list to get you started on your journeys.

Valle de Guadalupe INSTEAD of Napa

Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico

You already know what to expect from Napa. Even people who don’t care for wine could probably describe what Napa’s like. It’s time to try somewhere new, somewhere like Valle de Guadalupe. A wine region in Baja California, Valle de Guadalupe is one heck of a place to—you guessed it—drink wine (and eat like crazy). Just over an hour south of San Diego, this region of Mexico has been seriously gaining ground in the culinary game. We’re talking much-talked-about wines, olive oils, and cheeses, amidst highly touted restaurants. It’s a tremendous area to unwind, dotted with vineyards, ranches, and an eco-lodge or two. Eating and drink around these parts is no joke, and it’s likely spots your friends and family back home have never tried or even heard of.

See All Hotels in Valle de Guadalupe

Feb 8-13 Carnaval Road Closures


Ensenada, Baja California, February 3.- Due to the festivities on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Carnival 2018, starting this Sunday, February 4, at night, it will begin with the assembly of stages, stalls and mechanical games on the Coastal Buklevard

Rodolfo Lizárraga, general director of the event said that “the only road that will be closed is Blvd. Costero, from Miramar Avenue to Castillo Street, as well as Virgilio Uribe Street between Miramar Avenue and Gastélum Avenue.

He said that the entrance to the city of Ensenada, through the port, at no time will be closed, but said that if you want to avoid some delay, “motorists have the option of taking the entrance on the street Diez.”

The Carnival celebrations will be from February 8 to 13 in the tourist area of ​​the port and it is estimated that they will attract more than 250 thousand people during these six days.

The start will be Thursday with the “burning of the bad mood” at 8:30 at night, in the main temple that will be located in the Civic Plaza of the Fatherland (Tres Cabezas).

Bajadock: The 9th/10th street bypass route is advised this coming week:

Ice Tracks License Plates

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has officially gained agency-wide access to a nationwide license plate recognition database, according to a contract finalized earlier this month. The system gives the agency access to billions of license plate records and new powers of real-time location tracking, raising significant concerns from civil libertarians.

The source of the data is not named in the contract, but an ICE representative said the data came from Vigilant Solutions, the leading network for license plate recognition data. “Like most other law enforcement agencies, ICE uses information obtained from license plate readers as one tool in support of its investigations,” spokesperson Dani Bennett said in a statement. “ICE is not seeking to build a license plate reader database, and will not collect nor contribute any data to a national public or private database through this contract.”

Reached by The Verge, Vigilant declined to confirm any contract with ICE. “As policy, Vigilant Solutions is not at liberty to share any contractual details,” the company said in a statement. “This is a standard agreement between our company, our partners, and our clients.”

While it collects few photos itself, Vigilant Solutions has amassed a database of more than 2 billion license plate photos by ingesting data from partners like vehicle repossession agencies and other private groups. Vigilant also partners with local law enforcement agencies, often collecting even more data from camera-equipped police cars. The result is a massive vehicle-tracking network generating as many as 100 million sightings per month, each tagged with a date, time, and GPS coordinates of the sighting.

ICE agents would be able to query that database in two ways. A historical search would turn up every place a given license plate has been spotted in the last five years, a detailed record of the target’s movements. That data could be used to find a given subject’s residence or even identify associates if a given car is regularly spotted in a specific parking lot.

“Knowing the previous locations of a vehicle can help determine the whereabouts of subjects of criminal investigations or priority aliens to facilitate their interdiction and removal,” an official privacy assessment explains. “In some cases, when other leads have gone cold, the availability of commercial LPR data may be the only viable way to find a subject.”

ICE agents can also receive instantaneous email alerts whenever a new record of a particular plate is found — a system known internally as a “hot list.” (The same alerts can also be funneled to the Vigilant’s iOS app.) According to the privacy assessment, as many as 2,500 license plates could be uploaded to the hot list in a single batch, although the assessment does not detail how often new batches can be added. With sightings flooding in from police dashcams and stationary readers on bridges and toll booths, it would be hard for anyone on the list to stay unnoticed for long.

Those powers are particularly troubling given ICE’s recent move to expand deportations beyond criminal offenders, fueling concerns of politically motivated enforcement. In California, state officials have braced for rumored deportation sweeps targeted at sanctuary cities. In New York, community leaders say they’ve been specifically targeted for deportationas a result of their activism. With automated license plate recognition, that targeting would only grow more powerful.

For civil liberties groups, the implications go far beyond immigration. “There are people circulating in our society who are undocumented,” says senior policy analyst Jay Stanley, who studies license plate readers with the ACLU. “Are we as a society, out of our desire to find those people, willing to let our government create an infrastructure that will track all of us?”

The new license plate reader contract comes after years of internal lobbying by the agency. ICE first tested Vigilant’s system in 2012, gauging how effective it was at locating undocumented immigrants. Two years later, the agency issued an open solicitation for the technology, sparking an outcry from civil liberties group. Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson canceled the solicitation shortly afterward, citing privacy concerns, although two field offices subsequently formed rogue contracts with Vigilant in apparent violation of Johnson’s policy. In 2015, Homeland Security issued another call for bids, although an ICE representative said no contract resulted from that solicitation.

As a result, this new contract is the first agency-wide contract ICE has completed with the company, a fact that is reflected in accompanying documents. On December 27th, 2017, Homeland Security issued an updated privacy assessment of license plate reader technology, a move it explained was necessary because “ICE has now entered into a contract with a vendor.”

The new system places some limits on ICE surveillance, but not enough to quiet privacy concerns. Unlike many agencies, ICE won’t upload new data to Vigilant’s system but simply scan through the data that’s already there. In practical terms, that means driving past a Vigilant-linked camera might flag a car to ICE, but driving past an ICE camera won’t flag a car to everyone else using the system. License plates on the hot list will also expire after one year, and the system retains extensive audit logs to help supervisors trace back any abuse of the system.

Still, the biggest concern for critics is the sheer scale of Vigilant’s network, assembled almost entirely outside of public accountability. “If ICE were to propose a system that would do what Vigilant does, there would be a huge privacy uproar and I don’t think Congress would approve it,” Stanley says. “But because it’s a private contract, they can sidestep that process.”

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