Man convicted in Tucson of human trafficking
The Associated Press | Posted: Friday, February 3, 2012 9:02 am
A Mexican man has been convicted in a human smuggling case in Arizona.
Berlain Galvez-Lopez, 26, was found guilty Wednesday in U.S. District
Court in Tucson on three counts of smuggling immigrants for private
financial gain. He's scheduled to be sentenced on April 12, federal
U.S. Border Patrol agents in the Casa Grande area discovered several
footprints after responding to detection technology while patrolling
in the west desert last November.
Agents tracked the footprints for several miles before encountering a
group of individuals who had entered Arizona illegally.
During processing, agents identified Galvez-Lopez as the foot guide
or "coyote." A records check also revealed Galvez-Lopez had been
deported twice before for being in the country illegally.
Read more: http://azstarnet.com/news/local/crime/man-convicted-in-
Mexico migrants send home 7% more money
by Diana Washington Valdez \ El Paso Times
Posted: 02/03/2012 12:00:00 AM MST
The amount of money migrants sent home to Mexico increased by nearly
7 percent in 2011, according to Mexico's central bank.
It is the first increase in remittances reported by the Banco Central
de Mexico since the U.S. recession in 2008, the bank reported on
Remittances last year totaled about $22.7 billion, compared with
$21.27 billion in 2010. Remittances to Mexico had dropped 15.5
percent between 2008 and 2009.
The improving U.S. economy probably contributed to this increase,
said Tom Fullerton, J.P. Morgan Chase economics professor at the
University of Texas at El Paso, on Thursday.
Migrant workers Fernandez Gamez and Isidro Mancha said they've
managed to find work by following harvests in West Texas, New Mexico,
Colorado and Nebraska.
"I've been sending money to relatives in the state of Durango for
more than 30 years," Mancha said. "They never had any trouble
receiving it. The amount varies depending on how much I make. I've
sent $150 to $500 at a time."
Gamez, who has family in the border state of Coahuila, said his
average remittance is $300, whenever he saves that much after paying
for his living expenses.
"I've worked in farm fields since 1988, and I've sent money back home
since then," Gamez said. "It's not always easy to find work, but that
only means you have to try harder."
Gamez and Mancha, who after a long day of work were cleaning up at
the Border Farm Workers Center in South El Paso, said they use
Western Union for their money transfers.
The top five receiving states for remittances in Mexico in the last
quarter of 2011 were Michoacan, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Puebla and
Oaxaca, in that order.
Fullerton said the growth in services that enable people to make
money transfers to foreign countries has led to a drop in the fees.
"There is more competition, which means in a lot of cases they're
paying lower fees to transfer those funds back home," Fullerton said.
"This service has become much more competitive as the dollar volume
surpassed the $10 billion per year mark."
Banks, the U.S. Postal Service, MoneyGram, Western Union, pre-paid
credit cards, money orders and Internet services like PayPal are some
of the ways that remitters are using to send money to other countries.
The World Bank's website shows how much it can cost to send $200 or
$500 from the United States to Mexico or other countries, depending
on the service and how fast the money needs to arrive at the other
end. A previous study by the Pew Hispanic Center found that the
average remittance to Mexico was $300.
For example, one of the services may charge $20 for next-day service,
$25 for money to arrive in an hour, or $8 if the transfer can take
place over three to five days. The site is at
Globally, remittances totaled about $440 billion in 2010, according
to the World Bank, with $325 billion of that received by developing
countries. Due to the informal economy, the true flows of money
around the world are thought to be much higher.
Two years ago, the top receiving countries for remittances were
India, China, Mexico and the Philippines, and the top source
countries were the United States, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland and Russia.
"Remittances are one of Mexico's principal sources of foreign
exchange, which in a way is a little bit surprising for an economy
the size of Mexico's," Fullerton said, "and it looks like it's going
to continue this way in the absence of any meaningful structural
reforms that will allow the economy to operate more efficiently."
Remittances as a whole account for Mexico's second-largest source of
revenue after oil exports.
Diana Washington Valdez may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org;
Immigrant Rights March Starts Along US-Mexico Border
The group will start in San Diego, head to Arizona and then to
Sacramento to lobby for migrants & farm workers rights.
By Marissa Cabrera
Thursday, February 2, 2012
SAN DIEGO — A march to remember migrants who died along the U.S.-
Mexico border gets underway Feb. 2 in San Diego.
Immigrant rights activists plan to caravan to several destinations
within the next 10 days. The event starts at Cesar Chavez Park in the
Barrio Logan neighborhood.
From there, they'll caravan to a cemetery in the Imperial Valley
where unidentified migrants, who have died crossing the border, have
been laid to rest.
They also plan to meet with the family of famed labor leader Cesar
Chavez during a visit to Yuma, Arizona. This year marks the 50th
anniversary since Chavez founded the United Farm Workers.
Enrique Morones is with the group Border Angels. The organization,
which sets out water in the desert for migrants crossing the border,
has been organizing the event for seven years.
The poster for the 7th annual Marcha Migrante (Immigrant Rights
March) which starts Feb. 2 in San Diego.
"The Marcha Migrantes have been very important," Morones said. "The
first one, we went to 40 cities in 27 days, and that was to help
spark the national marches."
This year, the march will focus on the legacy of Cesar Chavez.
"We will be promoting Cesar's 10 principles," Morones said.
The schedule also includes a trip to Sacramento, where activist plan
to meet with lawmakers to discuss farm workers rights and immigration
Organizers expect more than 100 people to participate. The march is
scheduled to end Feb. 11 with a ceremony at Friendship Park along the
U.S.-Mexico border near San Diego.