The problem of human trafficking continues in Tijuana and Mexicali

The problem of human trafficking continues in Tijuana and Mexicali

Sep 25, 2017

“During 2017, only 14 cases for the crime of human trafficking in its different forms have been reported in Baja California, according to the records of the investigating authorities”, said the director of the Binational Red Hearts Foundation (Fundación Red Binacional de Corazones AC), Alma Tucker. In the framework of the International Day Against Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking of Women and Children September 23rd, (Día Internacional Contra la Explotación Sexual y el Tráfico de Mujeres, Niños y Niñas) it was revealed that the UN elaborated a national diagnosis on the situation of human trafficking in Mexico, placing Tijuana and Mexicali under the spotlight regarding this problem. In a press release, she expressed the discontent of civil associations, such as the one she leads, in the absence of a clear strategy to reduce and eradicate Sexual Exploitation and People Trafficking, ensuring that there is a lack of budget and political will to address the issue. In a period of time between 2011 and 2017, a total of 262 cases have been registered in the state of Baja California. Although the General Law to Prevent, Punish and Eradicate Trafficking in Persons was instituted in Baja California back in 2011, for the protection and assistance to victims of these crimes , it has not generated the expected impact. Tucker underlined that active campaigns are needed both for the location of victims and for prevention of these crimes, such as in 2012, when the City of Tijuana conducted a large campaign that was able to release a total of 100 victims. The activist said that this problem continues and it is necessary to raise awareness among authorities of the three orders of government along with the civil society, on the negative consequences that this crime brings, such as the separation of families, and the total destruction of the victim’s lives. Alma Tucker made a call to the authorities to address the problem, and come up with solutions....

A home in Tijuana is a refuge for deported U.S. veterans

A home in Tijuana is a refuge for deported U.S. veterans

Sep 25, 2017

They call it the bunker. From the street in this working-class neighborhood, people passing by the two-story house can look through the window and glimpse a peace sign and various iterations of the Stars and Stripes. The formal name is emblazoned in English on a banner above the entrance: “Deported Veterans Support House.” It’s a meeting venue, crash pad, information hub and hangout for a distinct group: U.S. military veterans expelled from the very country they served. Most came to the United States as children and became permanent legal residents before joining the military. But after returning to civilian life they committed crimes that led to deportation. Advocates for immigrants say there may be thousands of deported veterans now scattered across the globe. Hector Barajas, who founded the support house four years ago, has identified 350 deported U.S. veterans born in more than 30 countries, including India, Italy, Mexico and the nations of Central America. Scores have passed through the support house. The veterans there speak English like Americans, reminisce about school days back in the United States, watch U.S. sports on television and share war stories. Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July are big holidays for them. All have families in the United States. Many veterans carry wallet-sized snapshots of sons, daughters, siblings and grandchildren from whom they are now separated. Still, the vibe at the house is not self-pity or regret, but repentance for missteps and a quest for redemption. The veterans are well aware that there is little sympathy in the U.S. for ex-convicts. But they argue that they have done their time, paid their debts to society, and are now serving what amounts to life sentences — permanent banishment from the country they regard as home. Click here for full article on the LA Times Source:...

Heading to San Diego this weekend? Prepare to wait at busiest US border crossing

Heading to San Diego this weekend? Prepare to wait at busiest US border crossing

Sep 22, 2017

The busiest border crossing in the United States will close this weekend to the more than 40,000 cars that pass through it daily to Mexico. The closure between San Diego and Tijuana for work on a $741 million expansion project presents a monumental headache for border businesses, workers, tourists and Christopher Enjambre. His band, Minor Gems, plays gigs in Tijuana. “It’s already hectic now, so … damn,” he said, shaking his head in disbelief. “It’s going to be crazy.” Travelers have been enduring hours-long waits on the Mexican side of the border to enter the U.S. with the constant addition of security measures since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Frequent crossers, like Enjambre, 28, of Chula Vista, south of downtown San Diego, worry they will now face long lines on both sides, making trips through the San Ysidro crossing intolerable. The expansion is believed to be the largest renovation of a crossing along the nearly 2,000-mile-long U.S.-Mexico border. It has been in the works for years to ease congestion and boost cross-border commerce. Photo: Gregory Bull, AP In this Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017 photo, construction continues on a new curve along California’s Interstate 5, as it approaches the border with Tijuana, Mexico, in San Diego. The San Diego to Tijuana border. U.S. officials are warning people to avoid driving to Baja California from 3 a.m. Saturday until noon Monday, hoping to ease what is feared will be a massive traffic jam on the U.S. side as Mexico-bound cars are detoured to the much smaller Otay Mesa crossing to the east. “Don’t even think about going across in a vehicle,” said Jason M-B Wells, executive director of the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce. “It’s going to be a standstill.” Wells and other business leaders want people to cross on foot and are planning a festival with live music and food trucks to greet those who do. San Ysidro’s pedestrian crossing, where 22 inspection lanes into the U.S. were added this summer, will be open in both directions. Vehicles from Mexico into the U.S. also can cross. Leaders in Baja California’s tourism industry are concerned about the disruption that could continue well past the weekend as...

Clandestine outlets found in PEMEX pipelines on the Tijuana-Mexicali highway

Clandestine outlets found in PEMEX pipelines on the Tijuana-Mexicali highway

Sep 21, 2017

Tijuana, Baja California.- Three clandestine outlets in Petróleos Mexicanos pipelines (Pemex) were located on the Tecate stretch of the Tijuana-Mexicali highway. Agents of the Federal Police reinforced the safety and patrolling operations in the area to avoid oil leaks that could lead to an explosion. One of the illegal taps was found in the rural area of Ciénega Redonda, in Tecate. An illegal substraction valve was found in an excavation about three feet deep. The second one was located on a dirt road in the rural area of ​​Rancho El Encinal. As in the first case, a clandestine duct and a subtraction valve were found. Just a few kilometers ahead the third illegal pipeline was detecte by the law enforcement agents.   The discoveries were reported to Pemex’s technical staff in the Rosarito-Mexicali branch, so they could send experts to disable these clandestine outlets. In addition, the case was turned to the Federal Public Prosecutor....

Tijuana sewage, wastewater spills contaminate San Diego region

Tijuana sewage, wastewater spills contaminate San Diego region

Sep 19, 2017

According to the San Diego Union Tribune, hundreds of thousands of gallons of polluted water often carrying sewage and other contaminants have flowed over the Mexico border into the San Diego region every month this year — including a nearly four million gallon spill on Sunday September 17, according to federal records. The continued flows come in the wake of a massive spill in Tijuana that polluted beaches as far north as Coronado in February. The contamination came as sewer pipes cracked and manhole covers bubble over amid winter storms, which caused 256 million gallons of wastewater to go unaccounted for south of the border. There were 11 spills from April through June totaling more than 7.4 million gallons of water often polluted with sewage and other contaminants, according to a report from the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board released Wednesday. Records from the U.S. side of the International Boundary and Water Commission — which oversees water treaties between Mexico and the United States and tracks trans-boundary spills — show another five spills since July, accounting for an additional more than 6.5 million gallons. At the same time, elected officials from San Diego have raised concerns that the federal government could nix funding for the agencies and programs intended to address the issue. A spending package passed in by the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday would eliminate the U.S.-Mexico Border Water Infrastructure Grant Program, which has helped facilitate infrastructure upgrades to prevent sewage spills in Tijuana. Ending the grant program is part of a roughly 7 percent cut to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that would drastically limit resources to protect clean air and water, said Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego. “Eliminating this program would take away one of our tools to improve sewage infrastructure along the border and prevent these constant spills that threaten public health and damage our quality of life,” Peters said in a statement. “It also threatens the cross-border cooperation and leadership that is necessary to keep sewage out of American waterways.”   The IBWC would see a more than $5 million cut to its annual budget, down to $72 million, under the House spending blueprint. The package now goes to Senate hearings...

Rosarito’s Víctor Loza is homicide victim

Rosarito’s Víctor Loza is homicide victim

Sep 12, 2017

The founder and president of the Baja Sand festival in Rosarito, Baja California, was assassinated this week. The body of businessman-real estate broker Víctor Loza was found in a hotel in Ensenada on Wednesday, but wasn’t identified until yesterday because no identification was found on his body. Preliminary reports indicate he had been stabbed to death. Loza had been missing since Tuesday and his family had circulated notices to try to locate him. He had told a friend in Rosarito on Tuesday that he was going to do some work in San Felipe on Thursday and return Friday. But he was not seen again. Many hundreds of comments were posted in tribute today on Loza’s Facebook page, indicating he had made a positive and lasting impression in the community and that his death was a great loss. The longtime Rosarito resident was coordinator of the sand sculpture festival called Baja Sand, whose most recent edition was held last month and drew more than 20,000 spectators. Loza said in a report after the event that he anticipated the festival would be even bigger next year. Source: Mexico News...