Saturday, September 13, 2014



Note: One can only imagine the deals that were made.

Mexico closes customs checkpoint south of Nogales, Sonora
A banner at the Mexican customs checkpoint at Agua Zarca, 21 kilometers south of the U.S.-Mexico border, announces its closure.
Posted: Friday, September 12, 2014 4:47 pm | Updated: 5:58 pm, Fri Sep 12, 2014.
By Murphy Woodhouse
Nogales International

The Mexican government has closed its customs checkpoint on Highway 15 south of Nogales, Sonora, eliminating a second layer of inspection at the border that President Enrique Peña Nieto said had become unnecessary and cumbersome.

For southbound commercial and tourist vehicle traffic, the closure of the Agua Zarca checkpoint will likely mean shorter wait times for those headed south to Hermosillo and beyond. Immigration services at the facility, commonly known as Kilometer 21, will be unaffected.

Miguel Pacheco, owner of Nogales-based USA-Mex-Can Transport, said that the change will speed up the truckloads of heavy machinery his company takes into Mexico up to five times daily during peak months.
"It's going to be really good because there will be no more delays at Kilometer 21," he said.
According to Pacheco, those delays lasted up to two hours, on top of crossing delays near the border, depending on "how many trucks are to be inspected."

Two other interior Sonoran checkpoints, Cabullona south of Agua Prieta and San Antonio near Imuris, were also closed, as well six others in in the border states of Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, and Tamaulipas, according to an announcement Friday by Peña Nieto.

"Today we arrived at the last stage, the last step toward closing the last checkpoints that have no reason to be and which will make travel much faster, more comfortable and safer for those who previously had to pass through customs checkpoints," the president said during a speech in Reynosa, Tamaulipas.
The checkpoints are run by the Mexico's Tax Administration Service (SAT), the federal agency tasked with enforcing the country's customs laws.

Mexican customs revisions at the border itself – including those immediately south of the Dennis DeConcini and Mariposa ports of entry – are not affected by the change and travellers will still have to pass through them.

Also unchanged is the requirement that foreign travelers heading south of Kilometer 21 must obtain a tourist permit from Mexico's National Migration Institute (INM). Those who don't pick up a permit at the INM office on the south side on the DeConcini port can still apply at the office at Kilometer 21, according to INM Nogales delegate Carla Veronica Vazquez.

"Independently of the fact that there will no longer be a customs inspection, foreigners and nationals of other countries must come to the migration office to get documented," she said.

Vazquez said that she had received no word that indicated that the president's announcement will affect her agency's work south of Nogales.

"As of right now, we have not received any other instruction," she said. "We will remain at Kilometer 21 issuing permits to foreigners and nationals of the United States or any other country."

Vazquez said that Banjercito, the agency that issues vehicle import permits for drivers traveling outside of Sonora's permit-free zone, will also continue its operations at Kilometer 21. A woman who answered the phone Friday at Banjercito's Agua Zarca office also said operations there remain unchanged.

In a speech in May in Cancun announcing the closure of several customs checkpoints in Southern Mexico, Peña Nieto said the days of drivers being "daily bothered by having to pass through (interior) customs checkpoints" are over. According to a news release posted Friday on the SAT website, 26 of the nation's 40 interior customs checkpoints have now been eliminated since Peña Nieto took office in 2012.

On Friday in Reynosa, Peña Nieto also announced the lifting of a $14,000 cap on monthly U.S. dollar deposits from border-area Mexican businesses, an anti-money laundering measure that had been in place since 2010.


Note: and then we have this:

Feds to fly in radiation expert
In this file photo from January, a Border Patrol agent shows how the X-ray van at the Interstate 19 checkpoint detects contraband.

Posted: Friday, September 12, 2014 8:04 am | Updated: 9:18 am, Fri Sep 12, 2014.
By Curt Prendergast
Nogales International

In response to concerns aired by the Nogales City Council, the federal government plans to fly a radiation expert to Nogales to explain whether radiation levels at local ports of entry pose a health risk to residents, customs officers and border-crossers.

At issue is the Z-Portal that was deployed at the Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry earlier this year. The system, which uses low energy X-rays to scan vehicles for contraband, was first used at the San Ysidro, Calif. port of entry in 2008. Since then, CBP has expanded its use along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The City of Nogales is the first border town government to complain about the radiation, said Joe Agosttini, assistant port director for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, at the council's regular meeting Wednesday.
"We appreciate that opportunity for us to give you that proof and the study so that everybody can feel comfortable and at ease," he said.
"We will fly an expert from Washington, D.C. who has an extensive background," Agosttini said. "He has a history of all the research that we conducted throughout the Mexican land border."

The item was put on the meeting's agenda by Mayor Arturo Garino, who said residents had approached him with worries about the equipment used by CBP to X-ray vehicles.
"Even if we have one concerned citizen, as a council we should address the issue," Garino said.
Nogales resident Marvin Yamamoto, who said he operated nuclear reactors for the U.S. Navy, asked why no radiation warning signs are on the equipment at local ports of entry.
"What are the levels? They're not telling us and I'd like to know what they are," Yamamoto said.
He also questioned the safety of CBP vans equipped with "backscatter" technology that can inspect cars on the street.
"If I'm standing on the street, I'm going to get zapped," he said.

The "controlled area" from a van equipped with the system extends 24 feet from the side where the X-ray beam is located and 5 feet from the other three sides, according to the environmental assessment conducted by CBP in 2008.
The vans also raise questions about illegal searches, Yamamoto said. "Isn't that search without a warrant? What's the justification for that?" he asked.

The European Union banned such scanners from their ports for safety reasons, he said, adding: "I'd like to hear why it's allowed in the United States, but it's unsafe in Europe."
After reading a story in the NI in which Garino floated the idea of the city conducting a study of health risks posed by the Z-Portal, Agosttini said, he decided to address the council.
"A study of radiation is going to be a very expensive project for the city," he said.
Private companies, in conjunction with federal nuclear regulators, conducted a study of potential radiation exposure and the expert will explain the systems that monitor pedestrians, private vehicles, and cargo, he said.

Vice Mayor Nubar Hanessian asked if the expert could speak to the council members at their next meeting, slated for Oct. 1. Agosttini said he could not commit to that date without speaking with his superiors at CBP.

Reports on risks
X-rays give off ionizing radiation that strips electrons from molecules. Those electrons then damage other cells, which in high doses can cause cancer, as well as mental disabilities in children whose mothers were exposed to radiation while pregnant, according to a 2006 report by the National Academy of Sciences.
No negative health effects have been shown among workers exposed to low doses of radiation for long periods of time, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. However, any radiation may pose some risk for causing cancer.

So far, Agosttini said, he has not received reports of health problems arising from the equipment.
Customs officers carry a radiation detection device on their belts for the dual purpose of monitoring the Z-Portal's radiation and any nuclear contraband that drivers may attempt to smuggle, he said.

Massachusetts-based American Science and Engineering, Inc. supplies CBP with the Z-Portal systems.
The company says the amount of radiation received by a person going through a Z-Portal is equivalent to one minute of flying in an airplane at 30,000 feet, due to increased exposure to cosmic rays at high altitudes, or 1 percent of what an average person receives on any given day.

The machine can handle 80 trucks, or 120 passenger vehicles, per hour, according to ASE. The machine automatically shuts off if the speed of a vehicle drops below a certain level, which would increase the amount of exposure.

The 2008 environmental assessment concluded the system would not create measurable health risks for border crossers or CBP employees operating the system.

Vehicle occupants would have to pass through the Z-Portal 33,333 times in a year to exceed exposure limits set by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Radiation exposure from the vans would be even less, according to the CBP assessment, given that occupants exit the vehicle before it is scanned. For people hidden inside vehicles, the radiation exposure would be 118,000 times below permissible levels.

However, van operators face the greatest risk, reaching one-fourth of the permissible levels if they run the system 2,000 hours in a year.

Built-in shielding in the stationary Z-Portal and a "controlled area" line that customs officers stand behind while operating the system will protect officers and port employees, the assessment says. The controlled area extends 10 feet from the exit and entrance, where the shielding does not protect from radiation.

More Coverage
Radiation at local ports on city's agenda


Note: Background.

Publicado septiembre 12, 2014, 11:33 pm
Anuncia Peña el cierre de garitas
enrique peña Nieto
Reynosa, Tamaulipas - Nuevo Día

El presidente Enrique Peña Nieto anunció el cierre definitivo de la garita aduanal de Anáhuac, Nuevo León, llamada "Camarón", así como las del kilómetro 26 en la carretera a Nuevo Laredo y la del kilómetro 30 en la vía a Reynosa, entre otras.
En un evento celebrado en el Parque Cultural de Reynosa, denominado Mejoramiento del Régimen para Operaciones con Dólares en Efectivo y Cierre de Garitas", Peña arrancó un fuerte aplauso de más de mil 200 invitados cuando anunció el cierre de garitas de Reynosa y otros municipios tamaulipecos.
Además, también informó sobre el cierre de las garitas de Matamoros, Ciudad
Victoria, denominadas "Las Yescas", y la garita de la carretera Reynosa-San
Tres puntos de inspección aduaneros en Sonora, la garita Cabullona, la de Nogales y la carretera San Antonio, también cerrarán.
Dijo que era una decisión gubernamental cerrar las garitas del interior, pero ahora también las de la frontera están cerradas para incentivar el comercio internacional y agilizar el tráfico de mercancías.


Libre cruce por el Km 21 oficial cierre de garita
Detalles Publicado el Sabado 13 de Septiembre de 2014,
Escrito por Cesar Barragan / El Diario


Desde la mañana de ayer, miles de vehículos han cruzado libremente por la garita Agua Zarca, ubicada en el kilometro 21 de esta frontera, ante el cierre definitivo de este punto de revisión, por parte del Gobierno Federal.

Esto se pudo apreciar desde las 10:30 horas de ayer, cuando personal que labora en dichas instalaciones se retiró del lugar, quedando solo oficiales de Comercio Exterior para el resguardo del inmueble.
Por tal motivo vehículos nacionales, fronterizos y extranjeros, así como de transporte de carga y pasajeros, han tenido libre paso por los carriles externos de la aduana, desviados por una simple línea de conos y cinta de precaución.
En el lugar se tuvo conocimiento de que las oficinas de Banjercito siguen funcionando normalmente y al cien por ciento, para los trámites regulares, pues todo cruce de vehículo debe de realizar sus trámites correspondientes.
"Vehículos extranjeros deben de realizar su importación temporal al país al igual que los fronterizos su internación temporal (180 días en el transcurso por un año)", establece el reglamento.
Por otra parte, de manera oficial no se ha informado si a raíz del cierre de la garita se intensificarán los retenes de Comercio Exterior que se instalan en varios puntos de la carretera rumbo a Hermosillo, mismos que se dan a la tarea de detectar vehículos 'chocolates'.

No sabía del cierre de garita: Administrador
El actual Administrador de la Aduana en Nogales, Rodolfo Aguilera Colón, dijo a través de su secretaria particular que no tenía conocimiento de que alguna garita de Nogales estuviera cerrada.
Momentos después la ejecutiva del funcionario señaló que sería el gobierno federal quien se encargaría de dar a conocer los detalles y de hacer oficial el cierre, pues ellos ignoran tal situación.


Publicado septiembre 13, 2014, 3:13 am
Llega nuevo administrador de la Aduana
Surtieron cambios los nombramientos de varios titulares de direcciones de Aduanas del SAT en el país, incluyendo Nogales.
Rodolfo Aguilera Colón inicia la nueva era en Nogales con el cierre de garita intermedia

Hiram G. Machi
Nogales, Sonora - Nuevo Día

Cambios recientes en las administraciones de Aduanas en el país surtieron efecto entre los que destacan los nombramientos del nuevo titular en esta ciudad.
La Administración General de Aduanas del SAT, designó a José Julián Dip Leos, como administrador de Aduanas en Tijuana, quien estuvo anteriormente en las administraciones de Colima y Tamaulipas.
Sustituye a González Guilbot quien se desempeñó en el cargo desde el 16 de marzo de 2013. Los cambios se registraron junto con otras plazas del país en los que destacan algunos nombres como: Arturo Alejandro de la Vega, en Mexicali; Roberto Gabriel Vera Azar, en San Luis Río Colorado; Rodolfo Aguilera Colón, de Nogales y Patricio Arturo Elizondo León, del Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México, confirmaron autoridades del SAT. Cabe destacar que en esta ciudad, después de la renuncia de Rigoberto Valenzuela Pereyra, fue nombrado Rodolfo Aguilera Colón, así mismo, el que fuera Subadministrador Mario Alberto Rodríguez, ocupó la titularidad en de San Luis Río Colorado.


Publicado septiembre 13, 2014, 3:13 am
Avala Alcalde eliminación de revisión
El Presidente Municipal, Ramón Guzmán Muñoz, avaló el cierre de la garita del kilómetro 21, decretado por el Presidente, Enrique Peña Nieto.
Decretado por el Presidente, Enrique Peña Nieto en Nogales

Nogales, Sonora - Nuevo Día

El Alcalde, Ramón Guzmán Muñoz, avaló el decreto del Presidente de México, Enrique Peña Nieto, para el cierre de la garita "Agua Zarca" del kilómetro 21, que se ubica en Nogales.
El Presidente Municipal manifestó que esto beneficiará y mejorará la política de internación, ya que agilizará el comercio y el turismo, además, anunció que sólo quedarán las aduanas que están al ingresar a territorio mexicano en la Línea Fronteriza.
"Esto, definitivamente dará competitividad a esta frontera, definitivamente tenía que ocurrir, por eso, desde que se dio a conocer por el Presidente Peña Nieto, en noviembre de 2013, nosotros aplaudimos esta decisión", expresó Guzmán Muñoz.
El Alcalde expresó que también cerrarán en diferentes puntos otras ocho garitas internas, mencionó que pidió al nuevo administrador de la Aduana en Nogales Rodolfo Aguilera Colón platicar en su momento de manera amplia sobre lo que significa este cierre para que la gente sepa todos los detalles sobre esto.


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