“Forgive me for not having the money to pay your ransom”

“Forgive me for not having the money to pay your ransom,” says mother of murdered daughter

“Forgive me daughter because I did not work hard enough to pay your ramson and they killed you,” were the words written by Gabriela Mar Betancourt on her social network pages after the murder of her daughter, Itzel.

The body of the 24-year old woman was found Saturday on the Tancoco, Veracruz highway, after being being held captive for several days.

“Daughter, I love you, rest in peace Itzel Mar. Forgive me for not having enough money to pay. A kiss for you my love, may God receive you with open arms and that your father, Ramon Mar Betancourt help you in the Kingdom of heaven,” added the mother.

Armed men kidnapped Itzel Mar on November 8, as she left a gym to go to a kindergarten to get her son.

Several news sources said the criminals demanded a ransom of millions of pesos to free her.

The crime has caused a commotion in Veracruz, and so far nobody has been arrested.


Migrant complaints of being deceived by NGO and Pueblos Sin Fronteras

Translated by Fulano from an article in http://jornadabc.mx/tijuana/09-12-2018/migrante-denuncia-enganos-de-ong-y-pueblos-sin-fronteras .

Tijuana, December 9, 2018 – For Juan, the expectations of earning pesos in Mexico turned out to be just as frustrating as earning Lempiras he received as salary in Honduras. In his anger, because almost everyone had a pact of silence, he gave some clues about the vicissitudes of the migratory phenomenon that we call the Migrant Caravan and which today is camping on calle 5 de Mayo in the Zona Norte of Tijuana, crosses into the USA and surrenders to the Border Patrol or is looking to survive in Tijuana.

He is among the group which resists going to El Barretal, the shelter set up on December 3 and controlled by the federal government. He explains his reasons for not trusting the authorities and the non-governmental organizations which convinced him to come to Tijuana. These are the same groups which today say his sole option is the El Barretal shelter.

“This is a prison here, the human rights groups and Pueblos Sin Fronteras brought us here with deception about what awaited us in Tijuana! We thank God that so many Mexicans have given us food, and support with mattresses, but Mexican Immigration has us held captive. They had to turn us loose due to all the pressure on them, but they had us detained back in Agua Prieta.”

He said the people staying on the calle 5 de Mayo were a part of a group of seven buses which was travelling behind the group which had an incident at kilometer 233, the Caborca – Sonoyta highway last November 16. A Sonora state police patrol “took us from Hermosillo to Agua Prieta. I really felt like I was in Honduras, because there they grabbed somebody, they did not let them make phone calls, there were women and children, and we were all very afraid. It was pressure from the human rights groups that made them turn us loose. In the end the Mexican Immigration was very nervous and they had to let us leave for Tijuana.”

“In Honduras, nobody summoned me to join the caravan. I heard on the radio it was best to come in a caravan and I moved up my planned trip, I was going to come anyway.” Juan told the same story as many here. Once they crossed the border into Mexico, non-governmental organizations encouraged them to head directly to Tijuana.

The conditions they had at the Benito Juárez Sports Unit, the failed hunger strike at El Chaparral, the massive attempt to enter the the United States by rushing the gates, like they did at the southern border with Mexico — using women and children who ended up getting tear-gassed by the Border Patrol — is partly the responsibility of those who guided them to Tijuana. For all that, he ended up “imprisoned” a repeated subject of his interview.

Juan does not even trust his own shadow, even though Alejandro Solalinde tells him his fear of deportation is “dumb.” He also does not want to go te El Barretal and have to mix with those who brought him here or an Immigration agent, and he approaches the line were the priest makes a list of those who want to get a job in Tijuana or some other part of Mexico.

Solalinde wants to mediate very carefully, he says nobody was forced to come to Tijuana, and now it is about finding a way out of the situation. He does not want to “get mixed up again” was the rest of the caravan a they have already “split off” from some of the organizations which participated in the caravan. Solalinde and the president of the State Commission on Human Rights, Melba Olvera, have been at the street camp since Saturday trying to convince them to leave the Zona Norte.

Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum said he does not know why the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) never allowed him to keep track of them. Now the National Immigration Institute has started a census of those who are in the shelter and will give them a credential that allows them to enter and leave.

During a coordination meeting this weekend, in which the three levels of government participated, it was reported that a report sent to them by the CBP for the period from November 13 to December 6, on the border that runs from San Ysidro to Yuma, Arizona, 2,109 Central Americans were arrested. Many of them crossed over to “surrender” to the authorities.

Of those 2,109; 929 are Hondurans; 902, Guatemalans and 277 Salvadorans. There were also 292 Indian citizens who were arrested along those 180 miles of the border with Mexico. In that same meeting, Mexican Immigration reported that 2,800 members of the Caravan have already applied for a visa and work permit in Mexico, which is in process, and 129 got documents and are working with the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS).

Around 2,000 have already been repatriated voluntarily or deported for having committed some crime, reported the Honduran ambassador in Mexico, Alden Rivera Montes. Prior to December 1, there were many arrests for infractions; from urinating in public to participating in a fights (always between them). The municipal police reported in the meeting this Saturday that no migrant caravan members committed a single crime that affects the local population, at least there is not a single complaint.



Our Reporter Travels With Migrant Caravan

Well, for a couple of days we embedded her, she’s not going to be climbing the mythical wall

Ale was sent by this paper to embed herself with the migrant caravan, and this is what she took away from It after several days on the road. She also writes the cooking column and the Ask A Mexican piece each issue. She is working her way through University, majoring in industrial design. Her mother works for the paper full time, and her grandmother worked here before her.

Most of us have read the news about the “caravana migrante”, some of us empathize with them, some of us not so much. Depending on where the migrants are coming from, is the reason they left their country, but the caravan had been in planning for longer than what we all think, it was not spontaneous. Most of the people from Salvador, are running from or involved with “Maras” a tough gang. While it is true that some people who escape the Maras do so because they unexpectedly came asking for money and a part of someone’s small businesses. But some others, especially young men, are running because they owe something to the organization, either money, blood or drugs. Some young kids had to leave their country because they got in the gang thinking it was cool, but did not have the guts to stay when they saw what was expected of them, and it is difficult to get out of it.

Some others come from Guatemala, where a volcano erupted and slowly ate away their businesses or ran them out of their homes, but also some of them just want to make a pretty good life without working so hard. Some who come from Nicaragua are tired of the government, and the people from Venezuela… well, I think we all know why they are trying to get to the U.S.

There is a wide spectrum of the people who are travelling, some of them even have high school diplomas, only a handful have degrees, most are very uneducated, less than Mexicans, and some of them really just want to make more money in an easier way. Some of the kids travelling have been instructed to say that who they are travelling with is their mother or father, when really, it’s a neighbor who their real parents paid to take them to the U.S. where they often have relatives to care for them.

Some of them also raised a significant amount of money for the journey, about $4000 USD, and they don’t need the charity they are getting from Mexicans. In the shelters, they are being provided with food, but they don’t like it and throw it away, they would rather go out and buy pizza and coca cola. Some others belong to the santero religion, which came from the Caribbean slave trade, and they truly believe they are being poisoned so they throw the food away. Some others just don’t like it and put the whole plate in the garbage as it comes to their hands.

They also can’t carry much, so most of the things they are given they leave behind, unless it’s a good coat or jacket, or a good blanket, but they will not carry the shirts they are given with the president’s party on them. The fact that some families are travelling is not only dangerous to them, but also for the rest of the group. Lately, a lot of women and children are
being kidnapped, and the single males are getting nervous they will get caught in the crossfire when the Mexicans come to get these women. On the other hand, some of the families do not want to continue travelling with the single men, as they often drink, or smoke weed, and get in trouble with the police.

The immigrants have asked plenty of times to the police to put under arrest those who break the law in the caravan, but the police just won’t do it, as they have orders to try to leave arrest as a last resort, and maybe because jail is an expense this government can’t take. Fights are common, especially at night when they men (mostly, but there are also some feisty ladies) want to go out and buy alcohol, which Mexican police has been trying to contain.

Local shops and mini markets that are close to the camps either limit entry or close down for the day, afraid to get robbed. One reason these people are moving north so quickly is local towns are paying hiring buses to get them to the next town, and then that town hires buses to take them from there. The immigrants are also conscious that they are not very welcome in the country, so that has made them be a little more reserved and probably defensive. Some of the women are on the lookout, like hawks, for any “help” disguised as bad news, but sometimes they don’t even trust each other.

The leaders are chosen irregularly, but the choice is collective. It depends on who looks more alert, wise, responsible and brave. Most of the leaders were some kind of leader back in their country, either teachers, community politicians or something similar. Most of them also rotate the position, because they know they can easily slip if they’re tired enough. Not all of the caravan is planning on going to the U.S., but most are not worried about how they are going to get over the border, they just know they will get in to the U.S., no matter what. Each one of them seems to think they are the exception, either in a fervent belief in help from their God, or help from the wad of cash they’re carrying, or their own cunning. If they get a fair chance, and the luck to go through the border or find someone who is sympathetic enough to help them, fine. If not, they are willing to pay $1200 USD to get legal papers and work in Mexico. None of them think going back is an option.

Most of the caravan fell in love with Queretaro, a state near Mexico City, but some of them are quite afraid of Tabasco and Veracruz, where they experienced crossfire. The children are starting to realize this trip is not a vacation, and do not behave like regular kids would. They don’t scream, cry or play. They gather food and water and bring it to their mothers, who don’t put the supplies in their bags because they would be too heavy to carry, and anyway they know they will get help in the next town. Other kids are now used to the community and even walk around alone, as long as they are with the group, while their mothers rest or eat. They do know to stay with the group, as everyone fears being kidnapped by Mexican gangs and pressed into the drug trade, pimped out, or ransomed.

All of the blankets that have been donated and placed in the places where the caravan is supposed to concentrate, are left there and the government still doesn’t know what to do with them. Same goes with clothes donations, and the people from the companies hired to clean up after the migrants are the ones getting their wardrobe full. One thing they do all have in common in faith. Be it whatever religion they follow, they all pray or meditate and strongly believe they are protected by some almighty force. If the caravan works for them more are to come, if it fails, Mexico might get a couple thousand more citizens. Hopefully citizens that add to the economy and society.


Cancun exceeds 500 murders so far this year

Translated by Fulano from an article in Noticaribe.com.mx

Cancún, Mexico, November 28, 2018 – An attack last Wednesday night in the Paseos del Mar subdivision, in Region 251 left one person dead and three wounded. This also broke the symbolic ceiling of more than 500 murders in Cancún so far in 2018, a total never before seen in this tourist destination.

With the three murders today, the murder total is 501.

[Note: With only one month left in 2018, and a population in Cancún of 661,176, the annualized homicide rate is 83 per 100,000 population.]


Ensenada businessmen ask Mexican immigration to act against the Central American caravan members

Translated by Fulano from an article in El Vigia.net

The Ensenada business sector asked those in authority at the National Immigration Institute to address the issue of the Central American migrants in Tijuana whose presence is now causing economic damages in the state.

Jorge Cortés Ríos, president of the Business Coordination Council of Ensenada, said that the problems generated by strengthening the searches at the border crossings, due to the presence of the migrants is affecting commercial and tourist activities in the entire region.

The National Immigration Institute must promote their repatriation when it is seen they cannot achieve their objective of entering the United States, said Cortés Ríos.

They are also worried these migrant groups will end up being moved to other cities in the state, possibly Ensenada, where municipal authorities lack the capacity to attend to them.

Many tourists have stopped coming to Ensenada out of fear of an incident at the border crossing when they return.


Gangsters shoot, wound a 6-year old girl and her grandmother for not paying extortion

Translated by Fulano from an article in Frontera.info.

MEXICO CITY, A 53-year old woman and her 6-year old granddaughter were wounded by gunfire after neighbors in colonia Abraham González, in the Álvarod Obregón district chased them and beat two extortioners with rocks and sticks. They had come to demand extortion money from a dairy store in the district.

The incident happened last Saturday, when two armed men came to beat up the business owners in the story on avenida Roque Velasco, at the corner with calle Romanso. Customers saw the extortion taking place and they started to struggle with with criminals, trying to stop them from taking the 2,000 pesos per week they demanded from the owners to not damage their business.

The extortioners said they were a part of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, and told everybody from that day forward, every business, no matter how small, had to pay a monthly fee or they would be attacked.

50 or so neighbors responded to the calls for help, the organized and blocked the criminals inside the dairy store. They called for police who took some time to arrive. The criminals tried to escape and the residents started beating them. As the criminals fled, the started shooting and hit the grandmother and her granddaughter.


No Soy Monedita de Oro

Nací norteño hasta el tope,
me gusta decir verdades,
soy piedra que no se alisa
por más que talles y talles,

soy terco como una mula
¿a dónde vas que no te halle?

En tu casa no me quieren
porque me vivo cantando,
me dicen que soy mariachi
y que no tengo pa’ cuándo

comprarte el traje de fiesta,
que el tiempo te estoy quitando.

No soy monedita de oro
pa’ caerle bien a todos;
así nací y así soy,
si no me quieren, ni modo.

El cielo tengo por techo,
nomás el sol por cobija,
dos brazos pa’ mantenerme,
un corazón pa’ tu vida;

ve, corre y dile a tus padres,
a ver quién da más por su hija.

Ay, corazón bandolero,
relincha ya cuanto quieras,
por esa potranca fina
que amansarás cuando quieras;

tú y yo no tenemos prisa,
ai, nos “quedrá” cuando quiera.

No soy monedita de oro
pa’ caerle bien a todos;
así nací y así soy,
si no me quieren, ni modo.

[Fulano’s translation]
I’m Not a Little Gold Coin

I was born a Northerner up by the border,
I like to speak bluntly,
I’m a rock you can’t polish,
no matter how hard you rub me.

I’m as stubborn as a mule.
where can you go where I won’t find you?

Your family doesn’t want me in your home,
because singing is my profession.
They tell me I’m a mariachi,
and have no money

Buy the party dress,
I’m wasting your time.

I’m not a little gold coin,
which everybody loves.
That’s the way I was born, that’s the way I am,
if they don’t like me, so what.

The sky is my roof,
I have only the sun for a blanket,
two arms so I can support you
one heart for your life.

Go, run, and tell your parents,
to see who would give more for their daughter.

Oh, bandit heart,
winny as long as you want
for that fine, young mare,
which you’ll tame whenever you want;

You and I are in no hurry,
We’ll want each other when we do.

I’m not a little gold coin,
which everybody loves.
That’s the way I was born, that’s the way I am,
if they don’t like me, so what.