Tuesday, January 31, 2017



Note: Several things.

"But for decades, the energy industry was poorly run and riven with corruption." Still is.

Important to note that most trucks and buses in Mexico use diesel, not gasoline.
The article below significantly understates how upset the Mexican people are right now.
For the gun guys, Mexico's harsh anti firearms laws are meant to prevent another successful revolution.

Focus on diesel fuel as it more important to the economy than gasoline. Although the rise in gasoline affects the consumer directly.
Average price of gallon of diesel in Mesa, AZ - $2.40 USD
Average price of a gallon of diesel in Mexico - $3.07 USD.


Focus Boiling over on the border: The reasons behind the gasoline protests in Mexico

Tijuana deals with gasoline spike in prices.
Rob Nikolewski Rob NikolewskiContact Reporter


At a gas station in Tijuana on Wednesday, cab driver Martín Canseco talked angrily about the dramatic spike in gasoline prices that has touched off protests that have sometimes turned deadly.

"I cannot feed my family, it's too hard," he said as the digits flew by on the pump filling up his van. "I don't have any money left no more."

His remarks echo those of millions across Mexico, where the government's decision to accelerate increases to gas prices is part of a larger, more ambitious effort to reform the entire country's inefficient and sclerotic state-run energy sector.

Most economists agree that a less regulated environment will better allocate resources and encourage much-needed investments.

The transformation was going to be difficult under ideal circumstances but conditions have quickly become more complicated in Mexico, where half the population lives in poverty and political leaders are churning through a new host of challenges, including one from the new U.S. president.

For many, the gas price increase was, in the words of a Mexican adage, the drop that made the glass spill over.

"People are already making miserable wages," said Tijuana resident Israel Lopez, speaking in Spanish as he took a walk near the beach with his wife. "Can you imagine a guy making 600 pesos ($29 U.S. dollars) at a factory and he has kids and a family? What are they going to do?"

Each weekend since the price spikes were announced, thousands of angry residents have taken to the streets, prompting authorities to block freeway access into Mexico from San Ysidro.

In nearby Rosarito, a man intentionally drove his pickup truck into a group of federal officers.

Demonstrators protesting gasoline hikes in Tijuana on January 7th are met by police presence in Rosarito. (Alejandro Tamayo / The San Diego Union-Tribune)
Across the country, at least four people have been killed and more than 1,500 arrested.

Mexicans call the price increase gasolinazo — literally, "gasoline blow" — and it has become a flashpoint for anger over much larger, long-simmering issues in Mexico that include chronic complaints about government patronage, favoritism and corruption.

Any bump in gas prices has an out-sized effect in Mexico. A recent study by Bloomberg found that along with South Africans, Mexicans spend the largest portion of their incomes on gasoline.

Even those who favor reforming Mexico's energy system have blasted the way the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto has handled the politics of the price increase.

"They simply threw the baby into the water and said, 'sink or swim,'" said Tony Payan, director of the Mexico Center at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University. "And of course, the baby is sinking."

Some reasons why

In 1938, Mexico's government nationalized the country's oil industry. The move pushed out foreign companies and created Pemex, the state petroleum company that became, for many, a source of national pride.

But for decades, the energy industry was poorly run and riven with corruption.

Oil refineries, for example, operate so unproductively that even though Mexico is one of the world's top producers of crude, one-third to one-half of the country's gasoline is imported from the United States.

In an increasingly globalized economy and international energy landscape, the Mexican government heeded the calls of most economists to break up its state-controlled system that bred economic inefficiencies and distorted markets.

An overhaul of energy laws in 2013 has led to a series of reforms that touch virtually every segment of the industry, including the state-controlled power company known as CFE.

Mexico has opened its energy markets to foreign investors, with companies like San Diego-based Sempra Energy expanding their profiles in areas such as installing natural gas pipelines as well as breaking ground on solar and wind farms.

Energy reform included eliminating price controls on gasoline, which had been subsidized for decades, leading to an artificially low price.

"All the money the (Mexican) treasury is putting into gasoline subsidies — and it was in the billions, depending on the year — wasn't going to education or infrastructure, public services, health care, you name it," said Jeremy Martin, vice president of energy and sustainability at the Institute of the Americas.

On Dec. 27, Mexico's finance ministry announced the price increase, which was expected. But the increase was not a small one. The price of premium gas would jump 20 percent and the price of regular gas 14 percent. And the increases would go into effect in just four days — Jan. 1.

What's more, prices will go up another 8 percent in February to help complete the process of more flexible pricing.

"They said, let's do it all at once, quickly and be done with it," Payan said.

People protesting Mexico's recent gasoline price increase cheer after they had taken over the customs patio as cars go through the Mexican border crossing, El Chaparral, without inspection on January 15, 2017, in Tijuana, Mexico.

Public outcry was swift and while Peña Nieto's political foes pounced and protests formed, people began hoarding fuel before the price spike went into effect.

And since then, some drivers without much money go to the pump, estimate how much fuel they can afford and hope it's enough to get them to their destinations.

The impact was even more pronounced in border cities such as Tijuana, Ciudad Juárez and Nogales because of a long-standing government policy that indexed gasoline prices in Mexico to prices across the U.S. border. By indexing, gasoline prices in border towns were even lower than they were in interior Mexico.

But the indexing regime is going by the wayside as well, Payan said.

Tijuana drivers like Canseco say the 20 percent increase is actually higher than that.
"It went up 50 percent more," he said.

Other issues

Another source of anger comes from the country's gas tax, which accounts for about 50 percent of the price at the pump. Even though prices went up in January, the government decided not to reduce the gas tax.

Payan said the tax was not touched because the Mexican economy is struggling. .

"Mexico needs to increase tax revenue, not lower it," Payan said. "So they're not going to give in on that."

When it comes to collecting tax revenue, Mexico ranks in last place among the 34 nations in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The daily minimum wage in Mexico is just 80 pesos ($3.60 in U.S. dollars) and the announcement of the gasoline price increase came just days after congressmen voted themselves Christmas bonuses that equaled about $11,000 per senator and $6,500 per congressman.

"They do that all the time here," said Alfred Avalos, who was getting his shoes shined on a Tijuana street corner Wednesday. "I think what really angers people is that this really came out of nowhere. People didn't know what was going on until (the government) announced it and everybody just got irate."

Many government officials also receive gasoline vouchers that are worth about $250 a month, Payan said. The voucher system is slated for the chopping block but still sticks in the craw of millions in Mexico, where the average household income equals $12,806 a year in U.S. dollars.

"The government, they're the ones keeping the money," said Canseco. "They said they have to raise gas prices … But they don't cut their own salaries."

Earlier this month, Peña Nieto appeared on national television, saying the government had to increase gasoline prices in order avoid raising taxes and cutting social programs.
"I ask you," he said to the camera, "what would you have done?"

Peña Nieto's approval numbers have dropped as low as 12 percent.

"The whole idea of increasing gasoline prices made sense from an economist's point of view," said George Baker, publisher of the Mexico Energy Intelligence newsletter. "However, it did not make sense from a political point of view."

Instead of increasing the price 20 percent, Baker said the government should have taken a more gradual approach, raising prices between 2 to 5 percent.

Payan suspects the Peña Nieto administration chose to opt for a big gas price increase as part of a political calculation.

"The presidential election is in June 2018 so I think they decided, let's just do it all at once, go through the pain this year, a year and a half away from the election, in the hope that the Mexican people quickly forget it," Payan said in a telephone interview.

Hard times and Trump

The gasoline protests come at difficult time for Mexico.

Global oil prices are creeping up while the peso is plunging in relation to the U.S. dollar.

Earlier this month, Ford announced it would stop construction of a manufacturing plant in Mexico that would have employed 3,600 and build the plant in Michigan instead. Ford's CEO said the decision was a "vote of confidence" in the pro-business environment promoted by Donald Trump.

Trump has vowed to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Wednesday Trump made good on his campaign promises to build a wall along the border and crack down on immigration enforcement.

Criticized by his political opponents for meeting with Trump before the new president took over, Peña Nieto responded to Trump's executive orders by canceling a visit with the new American president.

The hike in gas prices appears to be having an inflationary effect on the Mexican economy. The country's statistics institute reported this week that inflation in the 12 months through mid-January shot up to its highest rate in more than four years.

"In Mexico, everything moves by truck," said Baker, who is based in Houston. "Think about rural Mexico where there are no railroads. Think about the whole country where the delivery system is mainly a function of trucks. So gas prices go up and that price is passed along to all consumers."

Higher gasoline prices in Mexico may prompt more people who live in places like Tijuana to drive their vehicles across the border to fill up.

At an Arco station in San Ysidro, just two miles from the Mexican border, a steady stream of cars with Baja plates pulled up Wednesday afternoon. But some of the customers from Mexico said they usually fill up with U.S. gas, regardless of price, because they think it's of superior quality.

"It's way better," said Tijuana resident Angel Sanchez. "I can see the difference in power, the difference in (fuel) economy. I don't like (the gas) over there, for sure."

Adolfo Cortez, filling up his Toyota, said he watches the prices closely and said the prices in his hometown of Tijuana are about the same as in the U.S. "But maybe it will be cheaper here by March," he said, looking at what will happen when February's 8 percent increase takes full effect.

Such careful calculations don't surprise Payan.

"Border-landers are natural economists. They are natural hedgers. They consume medical services on the Mexican side because they're cheaper and and they consume clothing and other goods on the U.S. side because they're cheaper. Well, gasoline will enter the mix."

Martin at the Institute of the Americas said the government handled the gasoline spike poorly but said in the long run, energy reform will help Mexico and its people.

But he offered a caveat:
"Institutional development — transparency, removing corruption from the system — it all has to be done concurrently with the openings to private investments so there can be a full seizing of the opportunity."

Back in downtown Tijuana, Alan Mungia watched as an attendant at one of the omnipresent Pemex stations filled up his Dodge Ram.

An employee of a private security company, he said he's unhappy with the price increases and blames the government.

"They punch my bucket, take my money and go," he said, prompting a knowing laugh from a nearby motorist.


Saturday, January 28, 2017



Judge says Border Patrol hiding checkpoint details
By Howard Fischer Capitol Media Services
Jan 27, 2017 Updated 47 min ago (0)


PHOENIX — A federal magistrate is chiding the Border Patrol for trying to hide certain information from the public about its sometimes controversial checkpoints.

In a 55-page recommendation, Bernado Velasco said there is no valid reason for the Department of Homeland Security to refuse to provide records about the location of its checkpoints. The American Civil Liberties Union wants that as part of a broader look into the practices of the Border Patrol in stopping vehicles.

Velasco also rebuffed the contention by Homeland Security that requiring it to divulge information on the nationality and skin complexion of those who are stopped at either fixed checkpoints or roving patrols would be "an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.''

And he scoffed at a bid by the agency to hide information about how accurate the dogs their agents use are in sniffing out people and drugs being smuggled.

"As long as the government asserts that its canines are reliable, it should not be able to avoid producing records about their reliability,'' Velasco wrote.

The recommendation comes in a case the ACLU filed in 2014 on behalf of Derek and Jane Bambauer, professors at the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona after the plaintiffs said that Homeland Security has not fully responded to its requests for records under the federal Freedom of Information Act.

"The incidence of civil rights violations associated with Border Patrol's interior enforcement operations, which include interior checkpoints and 'roving patrol' stops, is a matter of pressing public concern,'' the ACLU wrote in filing the suit. It contends that the budget for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol more than doubled between 2006 and 2014, with a nearly commensurate increase in agents.

"As the agency has expanded, reports of Border Patrol abuses in the Arizona-Sonora region and throughout the nation have increased,'' the lawsuit states. "Plaintiffs seek the requested records in order to shed light on Border Patrol's extensive but largely opaque interior enforcement operations.''

Those checkpoints have been a continued source of contention between the agency and residents of Arivaca who say agency operations interfere with their lives.

After the lawsuit was filed, the case was put on hold. Attorneys for the government said during that time the agency produced more than 13,000 pages of information.

Based on some of what it got, the ACLU in 2015 issued a report saying that abuse of travelers at Southern Arizona checkpoints was at "epidemic levels.''

Homeland Security lawyers now want the FOIA lawsuit dismissed, contending they have provided everything they need to disclose.

The ACLU responded that the search was inadequate. So a federal judge hearing the case tasked Velasco with reviewing the claims and what had been produced and coming up with a recommendation.

One sought the maximum number of checkpoints, both permanent and tactical, the Border Patrol operated since 1976.

What the agency produced was checkpoint apprehension data for the Tucson and Yuma sectors — essentially the entire border region — but with the exact locations removed. And there was nothing about the 18 other border sectors.

Government attorneys argued that federal law allows them to withhold techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigation or prosecutions or guidelines that "could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law.''

Velasco sniffed at those contentions.

He pointed out that the U.S. Supreme Court, in upholding the constitutionality of checkpoints, has relied in part on their visibility to lessen "the fear and surprise engendered in law-abiding motorists'' concerns with the intrusiveness of the stop. Anyway, Velasco said, it's not like the location is a big secret to anyone, even smugglers.

"In this day and age, with the use of cell phones, and other electronic means, and even drones, the location of a checkpoint can hardly be kept secret,'' he wrote. "Even Border Patrol's own website announces the location of at least one checkpoint and nothing prohibits media or others from reporting locations as well.''

Velasco also noted that the ACLU wanted access to certain documents about some of the interactions between Border Patrol agents and those they stop and question, including citizenship, nationality and complexion of people who are taken into custody. He said the stated goal is to "help the public understand whether Latino citizens and legal residents are disproportionately burdened by Border Patrol roving patrol and checkpoint operations.''

The government rejected the request, citing privacy concerns. But Velasco said that's not what the ACLU is requesting.

"The government has not shown how release of citizenship, nationality and complexion issues without use of names, addresses, birth dates, gender, social security numbers, or other combination of information that would make the subject unique or vulnerable to identification, could logically or plausibly be reasonably expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy,'' he wrote.

In its 2015 report, the ACLU said the records it already had showed "recurring examples of Border Patrol agents detaining, searching and terrorizing individuals and entire families at interior checkpoints and in 'roving patrol' vehicle stops far into the interior of the country.''

Among the findings were:

Threatening motorists with assault rifles, electroshock weapons and knives;
Destroying and confiscating personal property;
Dozens of false alerts by Border Patrol drug dogs resulting in searches and detentions of innocent travelers;
Interfering with efforts by some community members to make video recordings of Border Patrol activities.

And ACLU attorney David Lyall, in releasing the report at the time said that the checkpoints appear to be ineffective in catching those who enter the country illegally.
He said two Tucson sector checkpoints account for 75 percent of all apprehensions with "nothing'' at others.

He specifically cited one checkpoint north of Yuma, 75 miles from the border on US 95, which he said took only one person into custody over a three-year period. But Lyall said that same checkpoint produced "multiple civil rights complaints during the same period.''

Velasco, in reviewing what the ACLU sought, said there is a good reason for the federal Freedom of Information Act which forms the basis of the lawsuit.

"Government transparency is critical to maintaining a functional democratic polity, where the people have the information needed to check public corruption, hold government leaders accountable, and elect leaders who will carry out their preferred policies,'' he wrote. The result, he said was FOIA which is designed "to facilitate public access to government documents by establishing a judicially enforce right to secure government information from possibly unwilling official hands.''


Coming Sunday: A two-story package on how Immigration and Customs Enforcement continues to balk at releasing information on who is released and detained at its detention centers, and a first-person account of a transgender woman being processed through the Eloy Detention Center.

Friday, January 27, 2017



Border Patrol agent's radio blocks knife in struggle near Tucson
Carmen Duarte Arizona Daily Star
Jan 26, 2017 Updated 1 hr ago


A Border Patrol agent struggled with an undocumented immigrant who attempted to stab the agent, but instead struck a handheld radio, authorities said.

The incident occurred shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday near Three Points, according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection news release.

The struggling agent received help from another agent who was in an Air and Marine Operations helicopter that landed in a clearing.

The suspect was arrested.

The incident began after the helicopter crew responded to a report of about 10 migrants walking in the desert near Three Points. The air crew spotted the group and was guiding Border Patrol agents on the ground toward the group's location, authorities said.

The air crew reported seeing one man fleeing from the group. A Border Patrol agent made contact with the man and both began to struggle.

During the struggle, the man pulled out a knife and tried to stab the agent, but struck the agent's handheld radio. The radio was attached to the agent's body armor, authorities said.

The agent called for help while struggling with the man. Once the helicopter landed, another agent went to his aid and both restrained and arrested the man, said authorities.

Contact reporter Carmen Duarte at cduarte@tucson.com or 573-4104. On Twitter: @cduartestar


Note: "You see a big substantial barrier instead." Wrong.

Cochise County Rancher and Sheriff react to Trump border plan
Like the commitment of people as much as fence
Craig Smith
7:07 PM, Jan 26, 2017


BISBEE, Ariz (KGUN9-TV) - With the President calling for better border walls and more border patrol, what do the people who live and work on the border think of what the President use promising?

Wide swaths of the Arizona border already have a border barrier but some border residents say the commitment they see behind the President's promises is at least as important as more border walls.

There was a time when a few strands of barbed wire was all that marked the US-Mexico border but you don't see much of that anymore. You see a big substantial barrier instead.

John Ladd's family has ranched Cochise County border land near Bisbee for 120 years. They've seen plenty of people cross illegally and pass through their land.

He says years ago they saw families crossing hoping for work. But the past few years they've seen mostly young men moving drugs.

"The cartel, it's a business and if you don't succeed what you're supposed to do, if anybody tries to confront them they're gonna shoot you."

Now workers are replacing the ten foot fence the government put on the edge of his land about ten years ago with an 18 foot fence topped by a slippery steel panel designed to make it harder to climb. The work started weeks before President Trump's latest orders.

John Ladd says the fence helps but someone determined enough can beat any fence. He's hoping the President's call for more Border Patrol will put more agents right on the border able to catch someone the moment they make it across.

"They need to be on the international boundary. They don't need to be in Washington. They don't need to be in 25 miles, they need to be right here and I think that deterrence is number one."

Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels says he's encouraged to see the President moving fast but understands some of the changes may take months or years. He says to be effective border barriers need more than just walls.

"If you put the right infrastructure behind that fence, staffing, technology, the right resources, the right plan, it slows them down."

The Sheriff says every border zone has its own unique challenges. He hopes as the administration develops its plans for the border it will listen to the people who live there.


Thursday, January 26, 2017



Note: still trying to get confirmation.

Border Patrol chief out day after Trump border fence decree
Thursday, January 26th 2017


WASHINGTON (AP) — The chief of the Border Patrol has left the agency that's in charge of securing America's borders with Mexico and Canada.

According to a U.S. official and a former official, Border Patrol agents have been told that Mark Morgan is no longer on the job. It's not immediately clear whether Morgan resigned or was asked to leave.

The U.S. official wasn't authorized to discuss the move before a public announcement and spoke on condition of anonymity. The former official asked not to be identified before a government announcement.
Morgan's departure comes a day after President Donald Trump announced plans to build a wall at the Mexican border and hire 5,000 Border Patrol agents.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017



Pena Nieto reiterates Mexico will not pay for Trump's border wall
Published January 26, 2017


Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto Wednesday condemned U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order to build a wall on the border betwen the two countries, and reiterated that his country will not pay for it.

"I regret and reject the decision of the U.S. to build the wall," Pena Nieto said in a nationally televised address.

Pena Nieto did not directly mention whether he would still make a planned trip to Washington on Jan. 31, but said he would await reports from the high-level team of Mexican officials currently meeting with Trump administration officials in Washington.
"Based on the final report from the Mexican officials who are in Washington right now ... I will make decisions about what to do next," he said.

After talking tough about the wall, he held out an olive branch, saying "Mexico re-affirms its friendship with the people of the United States, and its willingness to reach agreements with its government."

The decision to possibly rethink the visit comes amid growing outrage in Mexico, and a sense among many that Pena Nieto has been too weak in the face of Trump's tough policy stance.

The senior official, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press the administration "is considering" scrapping Pena Nieto's visit to the U.S. "That's what I can tell you."
It was not clear when a final decision may be made.

Trump's order came the same day Mexico's foreign relations and economy secretaries arrived in Washington, and its timing was seen by many in Mexico as a slap in the face.

Critics of Pena Nieto - whose approval ratings were just 12 percent in a recent survey, the lowest for any Mexican president in the polling era - have hammered him for his perceived weakness on Trump. Opposition politicians urged him Wednesday to call off the trip.

"The position is very clear," said Ricardo Anaya Cortes, president of the conservative opposition National Action Party. "Either one cancels the meeting with Donald Trump, or one attends it to say publicly and with absolute firmness that Mexico rejects the wall and we will not pay a single cent for it."

Trump has also promised to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Analyst Jorge Zepeda Patterson argued that Pena Nieto should keep the meeting as scheduled, saying Mexico should exhaust all possibilities for negotiating to minimize damage. He said Pena Nieto should try to reach an agreement that's enough to let Trump claim victory and then move on to another foil.
"Trump is more interested in boasting of an immediate success than an ambitious result. He is interested in appearances," Zepeda said.

The U.S. president has also promised to step up deportations. He launched his campaign with remarks calling immigrants crossing in illegally from Mexico criminals, drug dealers and "rapists." Trump added that "some" were presumably good people, but the comments nonetheless deeply offended many Mexicans.

Pena Nieto was roundly criticized after inviting candidate Trump to Mexico City last August and disappointed many of his countrymen by not publicly confronting Trump on the wall.

On Tuesday, ahead of their trip to Washington, the economy and foreign relations secretaries suggested that Mexico could leave NAFTA if negotiations with Washington are unsatisfactory - though that would not be the first choice.

Already Mexico is feeling the effects of the new tone from Washington. The Mexican peso has sharply devalued since Trump was elected, and several high-profile business ventures have been canceled amid threats to impose a border tax on goods made in Mexico and exported to the United States.


Note: "because Mexico does not believe in the walls". Will come as a surprise to those who have lived there. "Respect" seems to be a one way street.

Peña Nieto laments and rejects US decision to build wall
OEM Online
Wednesday, January 25, 2017 in Mexico
With information from Carlos Lara


President Enrique Peña Nieto lamented and disapproved of the United States decision on the construction of the border wall.

He ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE) to strengthen measures to protect nationals. "The 50 consulates will become authentic advocates for migrant rights. The government will provide legal advice to ensure their protection, "he said.

He emphasized that the decision of the United States "far from joining us, divides us because Mexico does not believe in the walls". He also insisted that our country will not pay for its construction.

He said that Donald Trump's executive orders also come at a time when "our country is initiating talks to negotiate new rules of cooperation, trade, investment, security and migration in the North American region."

The Chief Executive said that this negotiation is very important for the strength, certainty and future of our economy and our society.

"As President I fully assume the responsibility of defending and caring for the interests of Mexicans, it is my duty to face problems and face challenges.

"Based on a report by Mexican officials that at the moment is Washington, representation of the House of Senators and the National Conference of Governors (Conago) I will have to make decisions about the steps to follow; Mexico offers and demands respect as the fully sovereign nation we are. "
He also endorsed his friendship with the people of the United States and the will to reach agreements with his government that are in favor of the Mexicans.

Peña Nieto issued this message, hours after negotiators Luis Videgaray Caso, secretary of Foreign Affairs and Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, Secretary of Economy, held a dialogue with the envoys of the US president.

A message for all Mexicans: pic.twitter.com/EFcNh7fQtm

US President Donald Trump said he felt very happy, "like millions of Americans," for the next construction of the wall on the Mexican border, which will begin "immediately" after signing executive migration orders that "will save thousands of lives and millions of dollars. "

After this action, Mexican politicians asked Peña Nieto to cancel his visit to Washington next January 31 "without the necessary conditions of a respectful treatment."






fwd: Subject: Trump lowering the boom on illegals & sanctuary

Begin forwarded message:

Subject: Trump lowering the boom on illegals & sanctuary
Date: January 25, 2017 4:09:35 PM MST

Subject: Trump lowering the boom on illegals & sanctuary


The DHS Secretary will hire10,000 additional ERO officers and an additional 5,000 border patrol agents.
Text of Trump's executive order on interior immigration enforcement
Published January 25, 2017

The following is the executive order signed Wednesday by President Trump on enhancing public safety in the interior of the United States:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.), and in order to ensure the public safety of the American people in communities across the United States as well as to ensure that our Nation's immigration laws are faithfully executed, I hereby declare the policy of the executive branch to be, and order, as follows:

Section 1. Purpose. Interior enforcement of our Nation's immigration laws is critically important to the national security and public safety of the United States. Many aliens who illegally enter the United States and those who overstay or otherwise violate the terms of their visas present a significant threat to national security and public safety. This is particularly so for aliens who engage in criminal conduct in the United States.
Sanctuary jurisdictions across the United States willfully violate Federal law in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States. These jurisdictions have caused immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our Republic.
Tens of thousands of removable aliens have been released into communities across the country, solely because their home countries refuse to accept their repatriation. Many of these aliens are criminals who have served time in our Federal, State, and local jails. The presence of such individuals in the United States, and the practices of foreign nations that refuse the repatriation of their nationals, are contrary to the national interest.
Although Federal immigration law provides a framework for Federal-State partnerships in enforcing our immigration laws to ensure the removal of aliens who have no right to be in the United States, the Federal Government has failed to discharge this basic sovereign responsibility. We cannot faithfully execute the immigration laws of the United States if we exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. The purpose of this order is to direct executive departments and agencies (agencies) to employ all lawful means to enforce the immigration laws of the United States.

Sec. 2. Policy. It is the policy of the executive branch to:
(a) Ensure the faithful execution of the immigration laws of the United States, including the INA, against all removable aliens, consistent with Article II, Section 3 of the United States Constitution and section 3331 of title 5, United States Code;
(b) Make use of all available systems and resources to ensure the efficient and faithful execution of the immigration laws of the United States;
(c) Ensure that jurisdictions that fail to comply with applicable Federal law do not receive Federal funds, except as mandated by law;
(d) Ensure that aliens ordered removed from the United States are promptly removed; and
(e) Support victims, and the families of victims, of crimes committed by removable aliens.

Sec. 3. Definitions. The terms of this order, where applicable, shall have the meaning provided by section 1101 of title 8, United States Code.

Sec. 4. Enforcement of the Immigration Laws in the Interior of the United States. In furtherance of the policy described in section 2 of this order, I hereby direct agencies to employ all lawful means to ensure the faithful execution of the immigration laws of the United States against all removable aliens.

Sec. 5. Enforcement Priorities. In executing faithfully the immigration laws of the United States, the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) shall prioritize for removal those aliens described by the Congress in sections 212(a)(2), (a)(3), and (a)(6)(C), 235, and 237(a)(2) and (4) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(2), (a)(3), and (a)(6)(C), 1225, and 1227(a)(2) and (4)), as well as removable aliens who:
(a) Have been convicted of any criminal offense;
(b) Have been charged with any criminal offense, where such charge has not been resolved;
(c) Have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense;
(d) Have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter or application before a governmental agency;
(e) Have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits;
(f) Are subject to a final order of removal, but who have not complied with their legal obligation to depart the United States; or
(g) In the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security.

Sec. 6. Civil Fines and Penalties. As soon as practicable, and by no later than one year after the date of this order, the Secretary shall issue guidance and promulgate regulations, where required by law, to ensure the assessment and collection of all fines and penalties that the Secretary is authorized under the law to assess and collect from aliens unlawfully present in the United States and from those who facilitate their presence in the United States.

Sec. 7. Additional Enforcement and Removal Officers. The Secretary, through the Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, shall, to the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, take all appropriate action to hire 10,000 additional immigration officers, who shall complete relevant training and be authorized to perform the law enforcement functions described in section 287 of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1357).

Sec. 8. Federal-State Agreements. It is the policy of the executive branch to empower State and local law enforcement agencies across the country to perform the functions of an immigration officer in the interior of the United States to the maximum extent permitted by law.
(a) In furtherance of this policy, the Secretary shall immediately take appropriate action to engage with the Governors of the States, as well as local officials, for the purpose of preparing to enter into agreements under section 287(g) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1357(g)).
(b) To the extent permitted by law and with the consent of State or local officials, as appropriate, the Secretary shall take appropriate action, through agreements under section 287(g) of the INA, or otherwise, to authorize State and local law enforcement officials, as the Secretary determines are qualified and appropriate, to perform the functions of immigration officers in relation to the investigation, apprehension, or detention of aliens in the United States under the direction and the supervision of the Secretary. Such authorization shall be in addition to, rather than in place of, Federal performance of these duties.
(c) To the extent permitted by law, the Secretary may structure each agreement under section 287(g) of the INA in a manner that provides the most effective model for enforcing Federal immigration laws for that jurisdiction.

Sec. 9. Sanctuary Jurisdictions. It is the policy of the executive branch to ensure, to the fullest extent of the law, that a State, or a political subdivision of a State, shall comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373.
(a) In furtherance of this policy, the Attorney General and the Secretary, in their discretion and to the extent consistent with law, shall ensure that jurisdictions that willfully refuse to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373 (sanctuary jurisdictions) are not eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes by the Attorney General or the Secretary. The Secretary has the authority to designate, in his discretion and to the extent consistent with law, a jurisdiction as a sanctuary jurisdiction. The Attorney General shall take appropriate enforcement action against any entity that violates 8 U.S.C. 1373, or which has in effect a statute, policy, or practice that prevents or hinders the enforcement of Federal law.
(b) To better inform the public regarding the public safety threats associated with sanctuary jurisdictions, the Secretary shall utilize the Declined Detainer Outcome Report or its equivalent and, on a weekly basis, make public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens.
(c) The Director of the Office of Management and Budget is directed to obtain and provide relevant and responsive information on all Federal grant money that currently is received by any sanctuary jurisdiction

Sec. 10. Review of Previous Immigration Actions and Policies. (a) The Secretary shall immediately take all appropriate action to terminate the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) described in the memorandum issued by the Secretary on November 20, 2014, and to reinstitute the immigration program known as "Secure Communities" referenced in that memorandum.
(b) The Secretary shall review agency regulations, policies, and procedures for consistency with this order and, if required, publish for notice and comment proposed regulations rescinding or revising any regulations inconsistent with this order and shall consider whether to withdraw or modify any inconsistent policies and procedures, as appropriate and consistent with the law.
(c) To protect our communities and better facilitate the identification, detention, and removal of criminal aliens within constitutional and statutory parameters, the Secretary shall consolidate and revise any applicable forms to more effectively communicate with recipient law enforcement agencies.

Sec. 11. Department of Justice Prosecutions of Immigration Violators. The Attorney General and the Secretary shall work together to develop and implement a program that ensures that adequate resources are devoted to the prosecution of criminal immigration offenses in the United States, and to develop cooperative strategies to reduce violent crime and the reach of transnational criminal organizations into the United States.

Sec. 12. Recalcitrant Countries. The Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State shall cooperate to effectively implement the sanctions provided by section 243(d) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1253(d)), as appropriate. The Secretary of State shall, to the maximum extent permitted by law, ensure that diplomatic efforts and negotiations with foreign states include as a condition precedent the acceptance by those foreign states of their nationals who are subject to removal from the United States.

Sec. 13. Office for Victims of Crimes Committed by Removable Aliens. The Secretary shall direct the Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to take all appropriate and lawful action to establish within U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement an office to provide proactive, timely, adequate, and professional services to victims of crimes committed by removable aliens and the family members of such victims. This office shall provide quarterly reports studying the effects of the victimization by criminal aliens present in the United States.

Sec. 14. Privacy Act. Agencies shall, to the extent consistent with applicable law, ensure that their privacy policies exclude persons who are not United States citizens or lawful permanent residents from the protections of the Privacy Act regarding personally identifiable information.

Sec. 15. Reporting. Except as otherwise provided in this order, the Secretary and the Attorney General shall each submit to the President a report on the progress of the directives contained in this order within 90 days of the date of this order and again within 180 days of the date of this order.

Sec. 16. Transparency. To promote the transparency and situational awareness of criminal aliens in the United States, the Secretary and the Attorney General are hereby directed to collect relevant data and provide quarterly reports on the following:
(a) the immigration status of all aliens incarcerated under the supervision of the Federal Bureau of Prisons;
(b) the immigration status of all aliens incarcerated as Federal pretrial detainees under the supervision of the United States Marshals Service; and
(c) the immigration status of all convicted aliens incarcerated in State prisons and local detention centers throughout the United States.

Sec. 17. Personnel Actions. The Office of Personnel Management shall take appropriate and lawful action to facilitate hiring personnel to implement this order.

Sec. 18. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.



Note: local interest mostly. They expecting the situation to deteriorate?

Gendarmeria to guard Cajeme Sonora
Details Published on Wednesday 25 of January of 2017,
Written by Jesús Esquer / El Diario


The Executive Secretary of Public Security in Sonora advanced to request the presence of 200 elements of the National Gendarmerie to support about 300 agents of the State Police of Public Security.

Adolfo García Morales pointed out, after participating in the National Conference of Governors, that the agreement was reached to reactivate the coordinated mixed command, an initiative that was frozen and has not been accepted by many mayors, one of them being Cajeme.

"We have 10 days working an operational project, the Federal Police was to send 200 elements of Gendarmerie to cover the rural area, and us and the Army, the urban center," he said referring to the municipality of Cajeme, which is a red flag in homicides.

He said that about three months have passed that have raised the tone of criminal acts and that is why it is important to implement the special operation with the support of all law enforcement groups, including the 300 agents of the PESP that will reinforce security .

The state official admitted that the problems are registered in all areas, since one thing is the trade of drugs and another the problem of narcomenudeo in the city that has increased the problems between dealers.

"We are going to preventively set up checks, to work preventively so that the general population is not affected," he said, adding that the arrival of the agents of the National Gendarmerie will be in the coming days of this month.

The head of the SESP said that another agreement within the Conago included considering the possession of a weapon as a dangerous crime, so that this point will be taken to the Congress of the Union so that, as a serious crime, it will merit automatic preventive detention.


Note: San Luis Rio Colorado, (aka SLRC) south of Yuma.

The first deportees of the Trump era to SL arrive
Joel Olea Wednesday
January 25, 2017 in Local

The number of people repatriated to the border since Donald Trump assumed the presidency of the United States last Friday, there are already 226 compatriots who entered the country through this municipality, where officials from the National Institute of Migration confirmed that this number Is normal to the average that had been from previous years and each season.

TRIBUNA de San Luis went to the Border Port of Entry, where this unit is located, in which it found that only yesterday at the point of 13:00 hours, had already been six people deported. Late at night, between 20:00 and 21:00 hours, a bus arrived with about 35 migrants.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017



Posted in Agua Prieta
45 / a Military Zone; A year of work.
Jan 23, 2017


45 / a Military Zone; A year of work.
In order to maintain the welfare and social security of the Mexican people in the Northwest of the Country, the Secretariat of National Defense through the Commanders of the Second Military Region and 45 / a. Military Zone, reports on the work carried out in the period from January 1 to December 31, 2016.

The military personnel assigned to this territorial command, during the aforementioned period, arrested 222 criminals, as well as drugs, armaments, cash, vehicles, fuel, real estate, aircraft, which correspond to:

 48,575,468 Kilograms of marijuana.
 1,054,767 kilograms of cocaine.
 140,014 Kilograms of heroin.
 2,638,661 kilograms of methamphetamine.
 7,400 Kilograms of marijuana seeds.
 79 psychotropic pills.
 1 kilogram of opium gum.
 280 Vehicles.
 2 Aircraft.
 122 Long weapons.
 68 Short weapons.
 54,167 Cartridges of different sizes.
 636 Magazines.
 11 Grenades.
 $ 537,335.00 Dollars.
 85,366.00 Pesos.
 925 marijuana wrappers.
 1,878 Doses of cocaine.
 358 Dose of methamphetamine.
 170 liters of aviation gas.
 15,700 liters of gasoline.
 2 antennas.
 16 Properties.

In addition, 15 marijuana plantations with an area of ​​32,143 square meters were located and destroyed by the method of labor and incineration. Likewise, 42 areas that could be used as clandestine airstrips were disabled.

The detainees and the seizures were placed at the disposal of the corresponding authorities. With actions like these, the Armed Forces reaffirm their commitment to the people of Mexico to ensure and safeguard their well-being, through the activities that contribute to public needs in a prompt and timely manner.

Thank you for the collaboration of the population for their support in reporting anonymous and totally confidential illegal activities to the following telephone numbers and emails: Headquarters of the Military Region II (01) 686 557 1095 or to the email denuncia.45zm @ Mail.sedena.gob.mx, Headquarters of the 45 / a. Military Zone 01 (631) 3130316, (631) 3521252, 24 hours a day.


Men say they were kidnapped, tied to border fence
Nogales International
Jan 23, 2017 Updated Jan 23, 2017


This map shows the location where a group of Sonoran ranch hands were reportedly tied to the border fence on Jan. 19.

Authorities discovered two Mexican men tied to the border fence west of Nogales and three more who said they had received similar treatment at the hands of armed kidnappers.

The men were discovered Thursday night by agents operating a remote surveillance camera at the Nogales Border Patrol Station, who spotted them in an area known as Green Canyon near Border Monument 125, according to Santa Cruz County Sheriff Antonio Estrada.

Field agents dispatched to the scene encountered two men still tied to the U.S. side of the fence and three more who had managed to free themselves, Estrada said. A sixth member of the group had apparently fled the scene.

The men reportedly told agents they had been working at a ranch on the Mexican side of the border when they were accosted by a group of four-to-six unknown individuals armed with rifles. The assailants allegedly struck some of the ranch hands with their rifle butts before tying them to the fence.

Asked why the men would have been tied to the U.S. side of the fence if they were assaulted and kidnapped in Mexico, Estrada said: "They obviously wanted Border Patrol to pick them up."

The Border Patrol's Tucson Sector did not immediately respond to a request for information, and Estrada said the circumstances that led to alleged kidnapping weren't clear from the information received by his office.

"It could be a combination of things," he said. "It could be a rip-off, maybe they didn't pay their way through, maybe they didn't get permission to go through there, maybe they interfered… Who knows what the dynamics of that situation are."

The assault reportedly happened at around 6-7 p.m. and according to the sheriff's dispatch report, the Border Patrol encountered the victims at 9:45 p.m. that night.

All of the victims picked up by agents were from Sonora: two each from Nogales and Ciudad Obregon and one from Hermosillo, Estrada said. Four were taken to the hospital but he did not have information on their condition.

In June, three men were found tied to the fence west of Nogales after they apparently refused to cross drug loads.

Estrada said the incidents show how organized border crime activity in Mexico is "kind of spilling over to these mostly rural areas."


AZMEX I3 19-1-17

AZMEX I3 19 JAN 2017

Tucson churches to provide sanctuary to undocumented immigrants
Whitney Clark
10:29 PM, Jan 18, 2017
10:30 PM, Jan 18, 2017


TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) -- With just a few days until President-Elect Donald Trump takes office, about a dozen congregations came together in Tucson to voice support for undocumented immigrants.

"Right now there's a lot of fear in our communities, there's a lot of anxiety," said Reverend Alison Harrington. "The clergy in Southern Arizona really want to say strongly to folks who might be feeling that, that we are here, and we're not going anywhere."

The Southside Presbyterian Church hosted a ceremony Wednesday night. Other local churches all vowing to be sanctuaries for those under the threat of deportation.

Churches, along with schools and hospitals, are designated sensitive locations. That means U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents avoid them, and can only enforce law enforcement actions with special approval and under special circumstances.

Harrington says the church was the first to publicly announce sanctuary back in the 1980's. She says during that ten year span, the church helped an estimated 14,000 people who were fleeing violence in Central America.

There is no one seeking sanctuary at the church now, and Harrington is not expecting a huge influx of people when Trump takes office.

"What we are expecting is the need to do a lot of work in the community, to reassure people and to get people to understand their rights and to push for better local policies," Harrington said.

Proponents say that sanctuary policies make undocumented immigrants more likely to cooperate with police so law enforcement can crack down on more dangerous criminals. Critics however say those policies allow churches to help immigrants break the law and remain in the country illegally.

President-Elect Trump has vowed to crack down on sanctuary cities.

Rosa Robles Loreto attended Wednesday's gathering. She spent 15 months in sanctuary at the Southside Presbyterian Church, and now has a message for others.

"Ask for help, and demonstrate to the government that we are hardworking people," Loreto said. "We are not delinquents and we are here to fight for our families, and we need that opportunity."

Reverend Dr. Dottie Escobedo-Frank is the district superintendent with the United Methodist Church in Southern Arizona. She says their congregation can have up to 30 to 40 people staying with them. Typically, Escobedo-Frank says ICE officials bring immigrants to the church where they are taken care of while waiting to be taken to family.

Escobedo-Frank says many of the families include young children, and are running away from very dangerous situations in Central American countries.
"It's usually about life and death for them more than anything else," Escobedo-Frank said.

"We are all people together, and so there are problems in the world that are beyond us," Escobedo-Frank said. "And it's our job to help out when we can."


Note: and then this fun one. "Massachusetts man"? "Refugee"? Illegal alien?

Mass. man allegedly smuggled child into US for sex
Mina Abgoon
8:34 PM, Jan 18, 2017
8:41 PM, Jan 18, 2017

A 22-year-old Massachusetts man has reportedly been arrested after allegedly smuggling a young girl from El Salvador into the U.S. for sexual purposes.

According to Time, which cites prosecutors and police, Luis Santos brought 14-year-old back "to be his woman and have sex with her." He allegedly paid $5,000 to have the child "illegally smuggled" across the border in December 2016 after first speaking with her over Facebook, the Worcester Police Department said in a statement.

Santos was charged late las week with multiple crimes that include kidnapping, rape of a child with force and human trafficking of a minor, the police department added.

Authorities said Santos forced the young girl to sleep in the same bed as him, where he forcefully touched her.

Time reports that Santos also locked the victim in a bedroom at times and refused to let her use the phone.

"It's extremely troubling, on a number of levels" Worcester Police Sgt. Michael Hanlon said, according to NECN.

"Obviously the 14-year-old female had no idea where to go when she became a victim. She doesn't speak English, she didn't really know anyone here, so I'm sure she was in fear and had nowhere to run."

Santos denies any allegations of sexual assault against the victim.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017



Note: long overdue.

Law would cut off aid to countries that refuse to accept illegal immigrant criminals
By Malia Zimmerman
Published January 16, 2017

A proposed law that would punish countries that refuse to take back their illegal immigrant criminals is two years too late to save Casey Chadwick, but the Texas congressman behind it figures it's the least Washington can do.

Chadwick was murdered in 2015 by Jean Jacques, an illegal immigrant from Haiti and one of thousands freed onto U.S. streets each year after they serve prison time because their homelands refuse deportation. But a proposal by Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, the Criminal Alien Deportation Enforcement Act, would force such countries to take back their citizens or risk losing foreign aid and travel visa privileges.

"The problem is hundreds of Americans are being robbed, assaulted, raped or murdered every year by criminal aliens who are then released back onto the streets because their countries of origins refuse to take them back," Babin said. "I have personally met with a number of these victims, or if the victim is deceased, I have met with their families. It is heart-wrenching."

When Haiti refused to admit Jacques, ICE was forced to free him under a 2001 Supreme Court ruling.
Chadwick's case is among the most egregious, Babin said. Jacques was sentenced to 60 years in prison last year for stabbing Chadwick, 25, to death in her Norwich apartment. The killer had been in the U.S. illegally since 1992, had already spent 17 years in prison for attempted murder and possession of a firearm without a permit.

He was not deported after serving time, but it was not for lack of U.S. effort. Jacques was listed as a passenger on three charter flights to Haiti in June, August and October of 2012, but each time the Haitian government refused to repatriate him.

A 2001 Supreme Court ruling, Zadvydas v. Davis, held that illegal immigrants ticketed for deportation but unaccepted by their home countries cannot be detained indefinitely. Jacques was held for 205 days, but ultimately freed less than six months before he killed Chadwick.

Casey Chadwick was killed just over a year ago in her Norwich, Conn., apartment. (Fox 61)
"For the sake of Casey and thousands of other Americans who have been victimized, it is time we start putting the safety of our citizens first and stop this revolving door that is allowing dangerous criminals who should be deported back onto our streets," Babin said.

A House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing in April documented that since 2013, 86,288 illegal immigrants have committed 231,074 crimes after being released from prison. Many of those illegal immigrants are ultimately deported, but some 2,166 who had served their time for various crimes were released last year when their home countries refused to take them back.

Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, believes his bill has a great chance of becoming law.
Babin's bill would require the Department of Homeland Security report to Congress every three months the names of uncooperative countries. The federal government would then withhold foreign aid to those countries while the State Department would suspend travel visas.

Under President-elect Donald Trump, the bill faces "renewed interest" because Trump "has voiced his strong support for punishing countries that refuse to accept deportations," Babin said.

The problem is "getting out of hand," agreed Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies.

There are now more than 20 countries that refuse to cooperate with the U.S., and more than 60 that make the process extremely difficult, Vaughan said.
"It's not just Cuba and Cambodia anymore; now it's China, Bangladesh, Nigeria and many others," she said.

The State Department has imposed visa sanctions only once, on Gambia, just a few months ago, which worked right away, Vaughan said.

"All they had to do was stop issuing visas to Gambian government officials, and they suddenly started cooperating, within weeks, which is fast in the diplomatic context," Vaughan said.

Under current law, the State Department must impose sanctions upon request of the Department of Homeland Security, but that rarely happens, said Vaughan.

Claude Arnold, a former U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations, said in past administrations, DHS would raise this issue to the State Department but nothing would ever happen. He believes under this proposed bill, will be more Congressional oversight.

"The U.S. is the center of international trade. As soon as businesses are not allowed to come to the U.S. to do business internationally, that's all it would take," Arnold said. "Those countries would start accepting back their deportees immediately because they would get such pressure from their citizenry who would be hurt financially."

Neither the State Department nor the Department of Homeland Security comments on pending legislation.

But a State Department official told FoxNews.com facilitating the removal of aliens subject to a final order of removal, particularly those who pose a danger to national security or public safety, is a "top priority."

"Stepped-up diplomatic efforts by [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] and the State Department have resulted in significant increases in cooperation among the 23 countries currently on ICE's Uncooperative list, with nearly half of these countries improving their records of issuing travel documents, accepting charter deportee flights with deportees, and agreeing on formal arrangements for future removals in recent months," the spokesman said.

A spokesperson for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement said the agency is working through "diplomatic channels" to ensure that other countries accept the timely return of their nationals in accordance with international law.

But Babin said he will fight for tougher restrictions.
"Many of these countries are getting millions and millions of dollars from the American taxpayer, and then not taking their criminals back," Babin said.

Malia Zimmerman is an award-winning investigative reporter for FoxNews.com focused on crime, homeland security, illegal immigration crime, terrorism and political corruption. Follow her on twitter at @MaliaMZimmerman


Tuesday, January 17, 2017



Note: photos, video at link.

Former Mexican president signs deal in Tucson for business partnership
By Gabriela Rico Arizona Daily Star 13 hrs ago


Mamta Popat / Arizona Daily Star
Former Mexican President Vicente Fox, left, talks with Justin Williams, director of Innovate UA, as they walk across the University of Arizona campus on Friday January 13, 2017. Fox was in Tucson to finalize his partnership with Startup Tucson.

In a whirlwind visit to Tucson, former Mexican President Vicente Fox signed an agreement to partner with the city on a project to incubate startup businesses and replicate a community college program south of the border.

The partnership was first proposed to Fox during a visit in Guanajuato, Mexico, in October, in which Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and Startup Tucson CEO Justin Williams led a delegation to ask for his assistance and extend an invitation to visit.

On Friday, Fox made good on the promise to visit and spent about 25 hours in town, touring Pima Community College, the University of Arizona, Visit Tucson and the spaceport, and he met with some startup tech companies in the area.

"I foresee Mexican companies setting up in Tucson and the city being a trampoline to the rest of the world," Fox said during an interview before flying home Friday afternoon. "Tucson will be the platform to launch startups from Mexico who will come here to incubate and learn how to enter the world market."

The aim of the pilot program is to identify Mexican companies poised to grow and export and mentor them in Tucson for up to two years on how to enter the global market.

The benefit to Tucson is it becomes the U.S. headquarters for these companies, and the benefit to Mexican businesses is the access to the experience of entrepreneurs who have come up through Startup Tucson.

Fox, who was Mexico's president from 2000 to 2006, said it was a first-of-its kind partnership between the two countries.

He also plans to launch a two-year community college program at his foundation Centro Fox, with the guidance of PCC.

"This is a movement of hope," he said. "We want to return optimism to the country."

Fox lauded the mayor for his efforts to push the partnership.

"I've never met a mayor so involved on a personal level," he said. "I am returning home very pleased and full of hope now that I've seen the many people who will be navigating this effort."


The first step in the Startup Tucson Thrive Latin America program will be to identify potential entrepreneurs in Mexico and host a pitch event to select those who will come to Tucson for incubation.

The event will be held at Centro Fox in Guanajuato.

Now that the partnership is official, Tucson organizers will get to work on the logistics of hosting the Mexican entrepreneurs, Williams said. "It was everything I hoped for," he said of the visit with Fox, "it really was."

The creation of a binational venture accelerator program will bring much attention to Tucson, Williams said.
"It's unique because it gives us the opportunity to grow U.S. jobs," he said. "This will get people's attention and increase our ability to be more competitive."

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During the visit, Williams said, it became obvious that Fox shares Tucson's desire to promote the similarities in the two regions. "He genuinely believes in it," he said. "This is an emotional investment for him, and I was happy to see that."

Fox has also asked that Pima Community College send professors to Guanajuato to help replicate the two-year college certification.

Mexico does not have a community college system, which Fox said can serve a larger population and students who cannot afford university tuition.

"I was extremely pleased by President Fox's visit to Tucson, and we accomplished the goals that we had hoped we would accomplish," Rothschild said. "We set the foundation for staying the course of excellent international business relations with Arizona and Mexico."


Since leaving public office, Fox and his wife, Martha, have dedicated their efforts to the Centro Fox foundation and supporting efforts to create educational and entrepreneurial opportunities for disadvantaged youth in southern Mexico.

"This is what we do," he said. "We want to construct bridges, not create distance between our two countries."

Fox was impressed with the relationship Tucson has fostered in northern Mexico.
"I want to duplicate that relationship in southern Mexico," he said. "We are friends, we are neighbors, we are partners."

A vocal critic of the U.S. president-elect, Fox deliberately avoided the topic during his visit in order, he said, to focus on the positive Startup Tucson-Centro Fox partnership.

During a visit to the UA campus, he met with several students from Mexico who spoke to him about their work in robotics and medical technology projects.
"Good for you for uplifting the Mexican flag," Fox told them.

One of the students, Antonio Dias de Leon, was giddy after the visit.
"It was an honor," he said. "He is a public figure that was the face of our country. Meeting him was impressive."

The visit to Tucson was not his first to the city, but Fox said it had been many years.

"I was very surprised by the growth, especially downtown," Fox, 75, said. "I look forward to returning on a regular basis now that this partnership has been formalized.
"But, next time I want to stay longer."

Contact reporter Gabriela Rico at grico@tucson.com.


Former Mexican president joins Tucson bid to expand cross-border business
Former Mexican president joins Tucson bid to expand cross-border business
Vicente Fox, meanwhile, asks Tucson delegation to help develop a two-year college program in Mexico.
'Modernize' NAFTA, Mexico's new ambassador to US says in Tucson
'Modernize' NAFTA, Mexico's new ambassador to US says in Tucson
Restoring a guest-worker system could address concerns about illegal immigration.
Gourmet Mexican bakery chain enters US market via Tucson
Gourmet Mexican bakery chain enters US market via Tucson
Suspiros Pastelerías, based in Hermosillo, Sonora, has 263 shops throughout Mexico.


Monday, January 16, 2017



Note: a update from last week. Being juveniles, they will not be ID'd.

Teenage boys charged with shooting Border Patrol vehicle
Posted: Jan 14, 2017 2:05 PM MST
Updated: Jan 14, 2017 2:05 PM MST
Written By Hannah Palaniuk


SIERRA VISTA – Cochise County Sheriff's deputies have identified two teenage boys accused of shooting a Border Patrol vehicle in December.

The suspects, from Hereford, are ages 15 and 16.

Their parent's turned them in on Jan. 12 after seeing their photos on Cochise County Sheriff's Office's Facebook page.

Two boys are charged with endangerment and felony criminal damages.
They were released on their own recognizance, according to the Cochise County Sheriff's Office.

"We appreciate the families coming forward in this incident," said the Cochise County Sheriff's Office in a Facebook post.


More: In response to several questions. Some AZ laws on the subject. At the links.

Several provisions.

H. A person who is adjudicated delinquent under section 8-341 for a felony does not have the right to carry or possess a gun or firearm.

Several provisions including:
7. "Prohibited possessor" means any person:
(b) Who has been convicted within or without this state of a felony or who has been adjudicated delinquent for a felony and whose civil right to possess or carry a gun or firearm has not been restored.

4. Any felony offense involving the use or threatening exhibition of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.

Depending on many factors, they could also just get probation.

Saturday, January 14, 2017



Note: another update, more to come?

Sheriff: Hunting party members fired on each other
By Lauren Villagran / Journal Staff Writer
Published: Friday, January 13th, 2017 at 9:22am
Updated: Friday, January 13th, 2017 at 10:29pm


A Texas sheriff says that a New Mexico hunting guide and his client who were wounded by gunfire on a hunting trip near the Mexican border last week may have shot each other — countering an account that "illegals" attacked them.

The wounded hunting guide's father says that "friendly fire" may have injured the hunter but that someone else shot his son.

In a statement to the Journal based on the accounts of the guides and hunters, Bob Daugherty said his son, guide Walker Daugherty, interrupted an attempted armed robbery, possibly by un‐ documented immigrants. The hunter may have been wounded by "friendly fire" amid a confusing scene, Daugherty said, "but the shot that wounded Walker was not."

So who shot Walker Daugherty?

Daugherty, 26, remains hospitalized in El Paso with a bullet wound to his chest and can't talk, according to the family and Presidio County Sheriff Danny Dominguez. Edwin Roberts — a 59-year-old chiropractor from Pensacola, Fla., who contracted with the Daugherty family's Redwing Outfitters for an exotic big game hunting expedition — returned home after being treated for a bullet wound to the arm without speaking to law enforcement.

Dominguez said bullet shells recovered at the scene came from weapons belonging to the hunting party and there was no sign of human traffic to or from the ranch the night of the shoot‐ ing, Jan. 6.

As many as a dozen shots were fired, Dominguez said; shell casings recovered at the ranch have been sent to an El Paso crime lab for testing. But the bullet that hit Daugherty — which could tell what weapon shot him — is lodged dangerously behind his heart and cannot be recovered, according to the family.

The group was hunting aoudad, or Barbary sheep, on the 15,000-acre Circle Dug Ranch near Candelaria, Texas, west of Big Bend National Park and just a few miles from the Mexican border.

The family had called Border Patrol several times in the past month to report illegal traffic across the property, including a previous robbery, Daugherty said.

"There is no evidence that suggests 'cross-border violence,'" the sheriff's chief deputy in charge of the investigation, Joel Nuñez, said in an emailed statement. "This incident was a result of friendly fire among the hunting party, with contributing factors."

Dominguez told the Journal that neither he nor his deputies had interviewed the wounded victims.
Efforts to reach Roberts at his practice and by email were unsuccessful.

Daugherty said the sheriff's conclusion "doesn't seem to tell the whole story or take into ac‐ count what the hunters saw and heard, and what Walker and the others saw and heard."

The hunters heard a rattling at their RV door and voices threatening to steal the RV, accord‐ ing to the elder Daugherty's written account.

They began screaming for help, and Walker Daugherty, staying in a nearby hunting lodge, responded with a double-barrel shotgun, believing his clients were being taken hostage. Another hunting guide began firing, as well.

"Our boys responded to what they believed was a possible hostage situation," said Jennafer Daugherty, Walker's mother. "They are brave and, in the eyes of our hunters, they are heroes."

"We do not deny that friendly fire is what injured the hunter, but the shot that wounded Walker was not," Bob Daugherty wrote. "That shot came after the shooting had stopped and it came from a different direction."

Local dispatchers received a 911 call around 9:30 p.m. Nuñez arrived at the scene first. More than 30 Border Patrol agents and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations officers also responded.

"There were no bullet casings or projectiles from weapons other than those belonging to the individuals hunting on the ranch, nor in the RV belonging to the hunting party," Nuñez said in the emailed statement.

Border Patrol expert trackers and CBP officers using an aircraft with night-vision capability "concluded that there was no sign of human pedestrian traffic leading to or from the ranch that night," he said.

The Circle Dug Ranch is situated in a known smuggling corridor, according to Border Patrol and the Presidio County Sheriff's Office.

The Daugherty family has leased the Circle Dug Ranch for hunting expeditions for eight years. Border Patrol confirmed that, in the past month, occupants at the ranch had called at least twice to report illegal activity.

Redwing Outfitters charges $4,900 for four-to-six-day hunts in the area, according to its web‐ site.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017



Note: "the United States should make a commitment to work in a responsible way to stop illegal arms trafficking to Mexico, as well as curb illicit money received by criminal organizations."

Mexico will not pay for the Trump wall: Peña Nieto
Rosa Elvira Vargas and Georgina Saldierna
Wednesday, 11 Jan 2017 16:31


President Enrique Peña Nieto, in the meeting with ambassadors and consuls. Image taken from Twitter account @PresidenciaMX

Mexico City. President Enrique Peña Nieto said that Mexico will not pay for the wall that the next US government intends to build.

Before ambassadors and consuls he emphasized that in the negotiation with the American administration will not accept anything that goes against the interests of the country nor of the dignity of the Mexicans.

At a luncheon with diplomats, he rejected threats by US President-elect Donald Trump against private capital.

Peña Nieto admitted that the world is aware of how Mexico reacts to two new challenges: leaving behind the old scheme to fix the price of gasoline and start a new stage in the bilateral relationship with the United States.

In the first case, he said, we observed how we made a difficult and unpopular decision but also an urgent decision and for which many countries have already moved, and there is understanding towards the measure adopted.

Regarding the new stage in the ties with the United States, he assured that the world sees Mexico as a country that with boldness and pragmatism will with dialogue and understanding to reach agreements, to achieve concrete benefits for Mexicans.

We will promote an open and complete negotiation. All issues of the bilateral relationship are on the table: security, migration and trade.

"We will never accept anything against our dignity as a country or our dignity as Mexicans. Basic principles such as our sovereignty, national interest and the protection of our nationals are not negotiable, "Peña said after the press conference given by the president-elect of the United States.

And he continued: it is clear that we have some differences with the next US government, as the subject of a wall that of course Mexico will not pay.

He assured ambassadors and consuls that they will work to have a good relationship with the United States and its president.

For Mexico any negotiation with that country should include these goals: that the United States should make a commitment to work in a responsible way to stop illegal arms trafficking to Mexico, as well as curb illicit money received by criminal organizations.

The second objective is to ensure that any repatriation of undocumented persons continues in an orderly and coordinated manner, guaranteeing human treatment and respect for the rights of Mexican migrants.

The chief executive said that the free flow of remittances from the nationals in the United States, which totaled more than 24 billion dollars by November of last year, should be maintained. The livelihood of millions of Mexican families depends on these resources.

Regarding the North American Free Trade Agreement, he said he would seek agreements that would give certainty to investment between Mexico, the United States and Canada, and that it extend to companies that have chosen Mexico as an investment destination, a productive platform and for exportation.

"We will defend domestic and foreign investments in Mexico. We are going to make sure that Mexico remains a reliable and attractive destination to invest, "he said.
There he rejected any attempt "to influence the investment decisions of companies based on fear or threats."


Peña Nieto responds to Trump: 'Mexico will not pay the wall'
The President said that closer ties would be sought with countries such as Argentina and Brazil; Special attention will be given to Europe, he mentioned
11/01/2017 16:24 EDITORIAL



President Enrique Peña Nieto responded to US President-elect Donald Trump: Mexico will not pay for the wall.

We have differences with the US, such as the wall that we will not pay ... but we will have a good relationship, "said the President in the framework of the 28th Meeting with Ambassadors and Consuls of Mexico.

The chief executive said:

We will seek agreements that give certainty to investment and trade between Mexico, Canada and the United States. "

He said: "We will negotiate with confidence in our strengths and with practicality", adding that the North American Free Trade Agreement will seek agreements that give certainty to trade and investment between the countries that comprise it

We will defend national and foreign investments in Mexico. "

We are going to make sure that Mexico remains a reliable and attractive destination to invest. "

He outlined the four axis that should be established in any relationship with the new US government.

Among them he pointed out that we must work in a responsible way to curb the trafficking of arms and resources of the United States to criminal organizations in Mexico and the protection of the compatriots in the American Union.


Also: (Spanish)




Tuesday, January 10, 2017



Note: Look like a lot more to come from this story. Thanks to the good folks over at Borderland Beat

Monday, January 9, 2017
US Citizen arrested in shooting of consular official in Mexico
Original article available at Siglo De Torreon
Translated by El Wachito

Mexican authorities in coordination with the FBI, arrested Zia Zafar, a US citizen of 32 years of age and who according to recent investigations, had recently converted to Islam. He is responsible for shooting a US Embassy employee, last Saturday January 6, in Guadalajara, Jalisco.

The location of Zafar was discovered through the information obtained through a credit card payment in a coffee shop of Colonia Arcos Vallarta, in Guadalajara.

Zia Zafar was arrested at his home, were the sunglasses and the wig that were used during the aggression were also found.

After the attack, investigators reviewed the images captured by the security cameras of the area, and from there they tracked Zia Zafar till the moment of the attack.

The cameras revealed that he was at a Starbucks moments before the attack. According to images obtained from security cameras of Starbucks, he was wearing the same wig and the sunglasses , that he was wearing when he attacked Christopher Nolan Ashcraft, who was identified as the victim by the British newspaper The Guardian.

According to investigations, Zia Zafar arrived to Guadalajara on the 25th of November of 2016, flight 5939 of the American Eagle Airline from Phoenix, Arizona.

This Sunday afternoon, during a press release, the PGR and the Secretary of Foreign Relations informed that the arrested individual would be sent back to the United States.

Zia Zafar was born on January 1st of 1985 and it was confirmed that he recently converted to Islam.

Nolan Ashcraft received a single gunshot to the chest; therefore the authorities believe that Zafar has training in firearms.

The FBI is participating in the investigations and offered 20 thousand dollars in exchange of information involved with the case.

Law enforcement personnel of Jalisco, Eduargo Almaguer Ramirez, claimed that the victim was in charge of immigration visa interviews.

Borderland Beat Reporter El Wachito Posted at 1:38 AM

Also: https://www.elsiglodetorreon.com.mx/noticia/1300214.expulsan-a-estadounidense-que-disparo-a-diplomatico.html



Note: A update from Albuquerque Journal, adding to the "confusion"?
Will the narrative change on the 21st?

NM hunting guide wounded in gunfight near border
By Lauren Villagran / Journal Staff Writer
Published: Monday, January 9th, 2017 at 12:50pm
Updated: Monday, January 9th, 2017 at 10:32pm


Walker Daugherty, 26, in an undated photo from an elk hunt. He was guiding a hunt in West Texas on Friday for his family's New Mexico-based business when the group was allegedly attacked.(Courtesy of Gila Livestock Growers Association)

No one knows for sure what happened, and the people who do aren't talking about it.

Five miles north of the Mexican border on a remote West Texas ranch, a New Mexico hunting guide and his client were wounded over the weekend in an alleged gunfight that a family friend described as an attack by "illegal aliens" and an attempted kidnapping.

The Presidio County Sheriff's Office appeared to question that account in a statement Monday, saying "there is no evidence to support allegations of 'cross-border violence.'" A Border Patrol spokesman called the alleged incident "highly unusual for our part of the border."

The following is an account of the events.

Hunting guide Walker Daugherty, 26, of Chloride, N.M. – a ranching community about three hours southwest of Albuquerque near the Gila National Forest – was guiding an exotic big game hunt near Candelaria, Texas, on the border when his party was allegedly attacked by unknown assailants.

Daugherty and his fiancée, another hunting guide and his wife were staying in a lodge at the Circle Dug Ranch. Edwin Roberts, the hunter, and his wife were asleep in a rented RV nearby when gunmen attempted to take the vehicle by force.

Daugherty was shot in the abdomen when he tried to stop the assailants from taking the RV with his clients inside, according to a statement issued by the Gila Livestock Growers Association that described the attack as a kidnapping attempt. Roberts, 59, was shot in the arm.

The RV was "riddled with bullet holes," the statement said.

Daugherty and Roberts were taken to an El Paso hospital and were in stable condition Monday.

Rancher and Gila Livestock Growers Association President Laura Schneberger issued a news release about the attack, based on the Daugherty family's account. In addition to their hunting business, Redwing Outfitters, the Daugherty family runs a ranch near the Gila National Forest. The family could not be reached Monday.

"The attack has the family concerned that the attack was not just an attempt to rob the property," the growers association statement said. "They believe the assailants intended to kill all the party. The attackers were strategically placed around the lodge, and the men were fired upon from different areas."

Sheriff skeptical

The Presidio County Sheriff's Office responded to a 911 call around 9:30 p.m. Friday from the Circle Dug Ranch, a two-hour drive from the Presidio County seat, Marfa. Chief Sheriff's Deputy Joel Nunez responded to the scene.

"We are still investigating details of the shooting," Sheriff Danny Dominguez said in a statement. "However, there is no evidence to support allegations of 'cross-border violence' as released by some media sources."

The terrain of Presidio County, near Big Bend National Park, is rugged like New Mexico's Bootheel and notoriously difficult to patrol for both local law enforcement and the U.S. Border Patrol.

The sheriff is tasked with securing more than 3,800 square miles – New Mexico's Hidalgo County is about 3,400 square miles, by comparison – and the area is a known corridor for drug mules and smugglers leading migrants illegally over the border.

By phone, Dominguez said that despite the illegal traffic through the area, violent incidents like this one haven't happened.

"This is out of the blue," he said. "Like they say it happened, something violent like this – no."

Border Patrol Special Operations Supervisor Rush Carter said agents aided sheriff's deputies in securing the scene.

"It's highly unusual for our part of the border," Carter said. "Any kind of gun violence just doesn't happen. I wouldn't say 'at all,' but very, very few incidents. If we have gunplay in our area of operation, it's not folks coming from Mexico doing that.

"We just don't see it in people who are trying to smuggle aliens or narcotics. If you think about it, when something like that happens, you see the amount of law enforcement presence that comes into an area and the attention it gets, which is bad for them. It will make it that much tougher for them" to make their illegal crossings.

Tourism business

The Big Bend area of West Texas is a magnet for hunters and hikers. Tourism is big business from the hip, artsy town of Marfa into the wild reaches of the Big Bend National Park, which borders Mexico.

Daugherty's group was hunting aoudad, also known as Barbary sheep, a type of big-horned North African sheep introduced in West Texas. Redwing Outfitters charges $4,900 for a four- to six-day aoudad hunt, according to its website. "In our camps you will find a Christian atmosphere, fun hardworking professional guides and real homecooking," the website says.

The Circle Dug Ranch, where the party was spending the night, advertises bird-watching, cave exploration and photography workshops and promotes guided hunting packages. An email to the Circle Dug Ranch requesting comment went unanswered Monday.

"It's a tourist attraction in the Big Bend area, and nobody wants to talk about it, but a lot of ranches have seen a lot of terrible things," Schneberger said by phone. "This is personal."

A GoFundMe website account set up to provide financial support to Daugherty had raised more than $18,000 by more than 200 donors in two days. Daugherty is expected to undergo surgery and does not have medical insurance, according to the site.