In a major development for Mexico Riviera cruising, industry giant Princess Cruises has canceled calls in Puerto Vallarta for the rest of the year, citing safety concerns.
The move comes three months after Princess and several other lines pulled out of nearby Mazatlan, Mexico, also over safety concerns.
“As the safety and security of our passengers and crew is our highest priority, and based on the continued violence in these areas, we’ve made the decision to cancel our calls to Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan,” Princess spokeswoman Karen Candy tells USA TODAY.
While several lines have dropped calls in Mazatlan this year, Princess is the first major operator to cancel calls in Puerto Vallarta, and the move raises questions about the viability of the Mexican Riviera as a cruise destination.
[Fulano’s note: With Puerto Vallarta now being bypassed by cruise lines, as well as Acapulco and Mazatlan which were dropped earlier this year, the remaining Mexican Riviera destinations of Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada also become less viable. Fewer people will be willing to take a 7-day cruise if they can only disembark in two Mexican ports.]
Jorge Castañeda, a professor at New York University and former foreign minister of Mexico, is the author, most recently, of “Mañana Forever? Mexico and the Mexicans.” He writes:
“A willingness to make deals with criminals attests to another deeply ingrained Mexican trait that I deal with in my new book, “Mañana Forever? Mexico and the Mexicans”: an extreme disregard and lack of respect for the law. A recent poll carried out by Banamex and Fundación Este País asked respondents whether they thought citizens of Mexico respected its laws. About 49% said rarely or never, and only 6% replied always. The rule of law does not really exist in Mexico today, in big and small matters alike.”
Imagen Radio ran a poll on what Mexicans thought of former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon’s release, after being charged with possession of 88 weapons. The results: of 5,390 respondents 96% said that the rich avoid justice, while 4% said he was innocent.
Clenbuterol is a steroid that when fed to cattle causes them to rapidly add muscle, and hence value, when sold for slaughter. When the meat is eaten by humans, it can cause heart palpitations and rapid breathing. In this video interview, the cattle rancher is saying that 60% of the cattle in Mexico are contaminated with the steroid and the authorities know about it, but are corrupt.
A group of 21 undocumented immigrants being held in New Mexico is asking not to be deported to Mexico through the northern states of Chihuahua, Coahuila or Tamaulipas, where they fear they could become victims of organized crime, the El Paso Times reported.
The group, detained at the Torrance County Detention Facility in Estancia, said in letters written to the immigrant-rights group, No More Deaths, that they feared falling prey to violence, extortion or forced recruitment by the Zetas drug cartel, the Times said.
A No More Deaths news release said the detainees are asking to be deported through the Mexican state of Sonora and have called on Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano for help, the paper reported.
“They’re not asking not to be deported,” said Sally Meisen Helder, a volunteer with No More Deaths. “The immigrants asked us to intervene to avoid being deported along the Texas and New Mexico borders because their feeling is that it’s all Zetas territory.”
One member of the group said in a letter that he had been deported before through Texas and was kidnapped and held hostage at gunpoint by local police when he returned to Mexico, the Times said.
Hundreds of scantily clad women marched this city on Sunday to protest the blame and shame assigned to victims of unwanted sexual attention or assault.
The women took to the streets in fishnet stockings, short skirts and tall heels carrying placards reading “My body is mine!” and “No means no!” Dozens of men participated, too.
“We are demanding respect from men,” said Veronica Martínez, 35, who marched with her 13-year-old daughter, also named Veronica.
Demonstrators, who organized largely over social media, said they were protesting a pervasive macho culture that too often faults women for aggressions against them.
This, in a country where the mayor of a small west coast town recently proposed banning miniskirts to prevent teen pregnancy, and in a city where hit-and-run spankings of women are not uncommon.
Despite progress, vestiges of misogynism remain evident even in Mexico’s penal code. According to Mexico City’s Human Rights Commission, in populous Mexico state, which surrounds Mexico City, sex with a female minor under the age of 18 is a punishable crime but charges cannot be brought against the perpetrator if he decides to marry the victim. In a similar vein, rape of a minor is punished with six months to four years in prison—a lighter sentence than that attached to stealing a cow or goat.
During the first quarter of 2011, the number of international tourists in Mexico fell 3.2% from the same quarter in 2010. Tourist revenues in the first quarter of 2011 fell 9.2%, compared to the same quarter in 2010. This is based upon a report released by the Center for the Study of Public Finance of the Mexican Congress.
The Attorney General of Baja Calfornia, Rommel Moreno Manjarrez, in a press conference Tuesday afternoon, has accused the former mayor of Tijuana, Jorge Hank Rhon, of the murder of the common law wife of his son Mario Hank Kraus. María Angélica Muñoz Cervantes, 24-years old, was murdered in August 2009.
The prosecutor has said he has a witness who has accused Hank Rhon of ordering him to commit the murder.
This murder has been added to the two others that were uncovered when guns recovered in Hank Rhon’s home were linked to other murders in Tijuana. Minutes after announcing the new charges against Hank Rhon, he was released from custody by a judge who cited weak evidence.
Former Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon, who was arrested last June 4 on charges of possession of illegal weapons, was ordered released from prison early this morning by a federal judge. The judge ruled there was lack of evidence to hold Hank, presumably as she has disallowed the evidence of the search of his home where 88 weapons were found.
However, Hank never made it out of the jailhouse door. The Baja California Attorney General immediately detained Hank for investigation of murder. Two of the weapons found at his home were linked to the murder of two men in Tijuana. Hank is currently at the offices of the Attorney General in Playas de Tijuana. Hours before Hank’s release by the federal judge, Fulano predicted he would be immediately rearrested.
Click on image to enlarge.
UPDATE AT 9:25am It is now being reported that the state Attorney General has charged Jorge Hank Rhon with murder and he is being arraigned.
UPDATE AT 12:15pm Jorge Hank Rhon was arraigned for a period of 40 days under state of Baja California charges of possessing weapons linked to two murders. The other eight persons who were arrested with him were released.