San Quintin: Two Men Tortured, Murdered

[Fulano’s note: Looks like Bajagringo didn’t move far enough south. Well, there’s still Bahia Asunción. One of the bigger fallacies put forth by the BajaNomads these days is that only the border area of Baja is unsafe and that once south of Ensenada all is OK. They seem to think there is an invisible force field that the criminals won’t cross. Or maybe somebody sprinkled magic fairy dust all around. ]

Two men were found dead in the early hours of Friday 10 June, under the Las Parritas bridge in San Quintin, located 110 miles south of Ensenada.

According to initial data from the attorney general, the bodies were reported around 8:00 am.

The bodies were of young men between 20 and 25 years old, one of which was wrapped in a tarp and another in a sleeping bag. Both were killed violently and were tortured before dying.

At the moment none of these two men has been identified. Both youths were wearing jeans and striped T-shirts.

Link to article is Spanish.


Hanging Around Tijuana

Man found hanging from the Pemex bridge this morning over
the free road to Rosarito.

…and in other news

Murders Increased 350% in Baja California Over The Past 10 Years

In the last decade, Baja California has become a battleground where not only have violent deaths increased by 350%, but where such deaths were taken to the extremes of hanging bodies and severed heads placed in public areas.

According to information provided by the transparency page of the State Government, in 2000 143 people died because of injuries attributable to firearms, while five others were burned.

In 2010 bullets had killed 654 people, another 30 people were burned to death and 5 were found hung in public spaces such as bridges and traffic intersections.

Link to hanging article in Spanish.

Link to crime article in Spanish.


The Strange Death of María del Rosario del Villar Gutiérrez

María del Rosario del Villar Gutiérrez lived in a humble house in a neighborhood of Ensenada called “La Picosita” [Spicy] along with three of her children and one grandson. She and her children and grandson all perished in a fire of her home early last Tuesday morning. Maria was 42-years old. Also killed were Maria Esmeralda, 14-years old,  Alfonso, 13-years old, Nahomi Ruth 11-years old and Daniel Antonio, 9-months old.

Four days before the fire, Villar Gutiérrez gave an interview on the local TV station complaining about criminals in the neighborhood. In the interview, she complained that the previous Friday, a house belonging to one of her sons caught fire, then her home caught fire and then several others nearby. Those fires were extinguished.

“The truth is we do not know what happened, we just know that last Friday my son’s house burned, a half-hour later my house burned and others burned the following Sunday, a total of five.”

“We filed a complaint but nothing has happened, nor have they done any investigation to find out why they are doing this to us, there are people who come into this area who do not live here and do bad things to people who just mind their own business.”

Here is the TV interview of María del Rosario del Villar Gutiérrez:

Later, the state attorney general arrested an unnamed couple in connection with the fire. The man is 49-years old and the woman is 34-years old. Investigators did establish that the fire was intentionally set.

Link to article in El Vigia in Spanish.

Link to article on in Spanish.


From Another Blog

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Death in Tijuana

My younger brother, Daniel, had gone to Tijuana for the weekend. Everyone was worried when he didn’t show up for work on Monday. An aunt contacted the morgue today, and he was there, dead, having allegedly fallen down and hit his head and died from the injury. However, I think it is much more likely that he was “rolled” and died by someone hitting him in the back of the head.
This is a very sad day for our family. My brother was only 37. I never would have guessed that his life would end in Tijuana, which, despite being so close to us, is such a foreign and dangerous place.
People regularly disappear there, though it’s not politically correct to say this. My late father knew a family of four daughters from Tijuana, one of whom just disappeared off the streets one day while she was walking home from school. He was good friends with the two older daughters, Herlinda and Dalia, and he talked about this kidnapping so often during my childhood, that not a day has passed that I haven’t thought of this lost sister. This tale inspired me to be very cautious. I too, often wonder what happened to Herlinda and Dalia’s sister.
So when I got an e-mail today from a family member, stating that Daniel had gone to Tijuana on Saturday and hadn’t returned, I knew he was no longer with the living. My mother said she knew right away, too. We talked and consoled each other. She really loved him so much.
I will not be visiting Tijuana any time soon. My brother’s body will be shipped back to Los Angeles and his funeral will be held soon. There is no way to find out what really happened, who might have killed him or exactly why. I guess it’s not for me to know. And you know, sometimes it’s better not to know.
Best Wishes,


From Another Mexico Message Board

Fulano often reposts messages from other English language Mexico or travel message boards so readers can get a more balanced view of what really goes on in Mexico. There is an ever larger — and untapped — population of messages about Mexico on the Spanish language message boards and blogs. These are messages and comments posted by Mexicans, for the most part. Here is a message posted on Monday, April 18, 2011 in the local San Felipe internet website El Crisol De San Felipe. The message is a response to a video editorial by the publisher about the violence and anti-social behavior on the malecón of San Felipe and the lack of a police presence.  First the original message in Spanish, and following that is Fulano’s translation.

juan says:
18 April, 2011 at 1:51 PM
En verdad mis respetos para usted señor Martin Pero se quedo corto en sucomentario y esto para que lo sepa el Sr. Delegado usted nada mas se esta refiriendo al área del malecón y al turista pero en verdad nosotros los del pueblo ya no aguantamos a los rateros ya son tres ocasiones que se meten a mi casa y dos a mi negocio y ninguna policía hace nada, ahora tanto departamentos que hay de gobierno y ninguno sacamos una solución; pero que tal los sueldos de ellos no les falla, y el pueblo reprimido, en verdad ya es hora de exigir y pedir , se me pasaba como a usted ya se perdió la vida de una persona en las dunas el sábado cuantas se esperan en semana santa y la prevención BIEN GRACIAS., GRACIAS SR. DELEGADO Siga así espero que le alcancen los dedos de la mano para que cuente a los muertos ahora este fin de semana y los traiga en su conciencia.

juan says:
April 18, 2011 at 1:51 PM
Indeed my respects for you Sr. Martin but you came up short in your commentary, and this comment is so that our municipal delegate knows you are only referring to the malecón and the tourist area when the truth is we townfolk can not stand the thieves. There have been three occasions that they entered my house and two at my business and not one police officer has done anything. Now we have so many government departments and none of them can come up with a solution, but they sure get their salaries while the people are repressed. Indeed it is now time to ask and demand. I see it as you do. Someone died in the dunes last Saturday. We hope for so many people to come during Easter week, along with police protection. WELL THANK YOU. THANK YOU SR. DELEGATE. Keep it up. I hope you have enough fingers on your hand to count the dead this weekend and it registers in your consciousness.

[Fulano’s note: The person who “died in the dunes” refers to an accident that occurred late Saturday night when a ministerial police officer of the Baja State Attorney General’s office was racing his dune buggy in the dunes at El Límon. The driver, Alberto Varela Rodríguez, 40 years old, was reported to be drunk when he rolled the buggy, killing his passenger, Alejandro López Curiel, 22 years old. Link to accident article in Spanish.]


From Another Mexico Message Board

Twenty-five year resident of Mazatlan

12 Apr 11 at 11:52 pm
I have lived in Mazatlan for twenty-five years. What is happening here is unprecedented. Only the bad guys have guns. As a result, the Banditos act with impunity. Police protection is nonexistent. I see caravans of masked police driving around the streets of Mazatlán (three or four pickup trucks full of masked machinegun toting cops following each other). They will spend a half hour or so at a local gas station laughing and joking around with each other then mount up and drive across the street and hang out at the local OXXO then drive around town, a couple miles or so and do the same thing all over again. They are totally ineffective and a waste of taxpayer’s money.

Meanwhile people are being gunned down every week with impunity. There are dozens and dozens of murders happening here in Mazatlán. Virtually every weekend someone is murdered. There are so many that I lose count.

The common misnomer is to say it is all drug related crimes. This is just NOT true. I have firsthand knowledge of murders that occurred because business owners would not kowtow to the extortionists.

Right now as I write, a major local restaurant-chain is being extorted under the threat of murder. Several restaurants have closed down under the threat of extortion. Some of the owners have fled to other cities only to be hunted down and murdered.

Any business that is making money is a target… and if you, a tourist or a local citizen happen to be in the profitable business when the extortionist come you are just as likely to be murdered as the owner who refused to be bullied. Alternatively, if you happen to be driving a vehicle that an extortionist wants to use in his next crime you are likely as not to be murdered in his attempt to take your vehicle.

Those who would have handguns banned to the populace of the United States need to look at what is happening here in Mazatlán to see what the results of that folly would be.

If the local populace were permitted to own handguns, and the laws amended to permit self-protection the preponderance of the crime would SOON disappear. These bad guys are not suicidal. They would not be able to carry out their murders with effrontery as they are now doing. Every time they tried to commit a crime they would be taking a chance of being killed.

The cops here are not effective but it does not matter how many cops we have they will never deter this crime wave. These bad guys are too brazen and the cops are afraid of them… and rightly so. The bad guys go after the cops and their families. That is why the cops wear masks.

Furthermore, an armed populace would not be subjected to the political corruption that is so daunting. Business owners would be able to protect themselves if they had a mind to. When you look at the type of people that have the gumption to start and run successful businesses the likelihood of these people protecting themselves, given the chance, is enormous.

Link to message.


From Another Mexico Message Board

Posted April 5, 2011
I too was a long-time visitor to Acapulco for over 20 years. We have only been back once in the last 8 years. I too think it is dirty, corrupt and unsafe. Don’t drive a car you will likely be stopped for nothing and shaken down for as much cash as you have on you. Many years back I also thought it was the hottest spot ever. Being stupid then I left my guard down and had a necklace ripped off my neck, but with my husband in hot pursuit of the 16 year old caught the little bugger and had him arrested. Spent most of the balance of our trip waiting for a preliminary hearing — kid never brought down from jail supposedly and after two weeks they just figure the visitors will return home forget the case and they can let the kid go to do it all over again to someone else. The cops share the loot if they don’t get caught. If they do they prolong the hearings until we go home. The great restaurants of yesteryear I would never frequent, as the last time I did I got very sick. I believe the food is not of the highest or freshest quality. Hotels steal from you. All my good Victoria Secret underware was stolen from my hotel room at the Hyatt Regency, shoes and a dress from The Condessa del Mar, etc. No help from the hotel.

Let’s face it, the world is not a safe place. I would suggest that you at least travel in places that has a better less corrupt government. 

It’s too bad the weather is perfect in winter, and the people are friendly but you can never be off guard for a second. 

Good bye to Acapulco, I am too old now to fight the young criminals that have blackened the reputation of such a fine resort.


The Real Mexico – Spontaneous Acts of Brutality

There is a cute fluff thread going on over at BajaNomads. The title is The Real Mexico – Spontaneous Acts of Affection. In order to keep things real, here is a rebuttal showing eight pictures of events that occurred in Mexico during just the past week! Consider it “The Real Mexico – Spontaneous Acts of Brutality.”

Click on the photo to make it big. This is only the tip of the iceberg of what is going on in Mexico.


Retired Canadian Officers Fight Off Gunmen in Mexico

TORONTO — A retired Ontario couple who spent the winter touring Mexico in a Winnebago says their years of police training helped them fend off eight gunmen during an ambush near the U.S. border.

Jack and Eileen Appleton were a few miles from the bridge that would take them from Matamoros to Brownsville, Texas last Thursday when a gold SUV sped up beside them and a man wearing a balaclava and waving a rifle ordered the Canadians to pull over.

Jack and Eileen Appleton and their dog Nigel 

That’s when their police instincts kicked in — both the Niagara Falls residents spent 26 years in law enforcement.

As the gunmen swerved into their lane to cut them off, 62-year-old Jack slammed on the breaks and threw the 10-metre-long motorhome into reverse. The former Mountie then sped to a nearby gas station while his 66-year-old wife, a retired Toronto cop, snapped photos from the passenger’s seat.

“There’s not many people in their life who get to stare down eight guys armed to the teeth,” he said. “We weren’t heroes or anything. You just do what you’ve got to do, and that’s what we did. Maybe we just reacted on our training, although it’s 40 years out of date.”

The SUV followed the Appletons, pulling into the gas station trailed by two other vehicles carrying six more men with guns. Two of the attackers stormed over to the Winnebago and demanded the camera. Eileen refused to give it up and stuffed it down her blouse.

Nigel, the couple’s 55-pound airedale terrier, started barking madly and one of the men put a rifle to the dog’s head.

“I said to one of the kids, ‘Que pasa?’ What’s going on?’,” Jack recalled in an interview Monday. “And he said to me in English, ‘You’re acting suspicious.”‘

During the struggle that ensued, one of the men grabbed Eileen and ripped open her blouse, snatching the camera. She attempted to hit one of them with a roundhouse kick but missed. All eight attackers then got back in their cars and sped off.

Nobody at the gas station would admit to witnessing the 10-minute incident.

The Appletons still aren’t sure why they were targeted.

“To this minute, I cannot figure out what the hell these guys wanted,” said Jack. “It just does not make any sense.”

Perhaps they were after the Winnebago, or wanted money, he speculated. Local police said the men could have thought the couple was transporting rival gang members.

Mexican authorities took a report but didn’t send out any cars or take any action, the couple said.

“You’d have thought we were trying to report a stolen bicycle,” said Eileen. “They weren’t concerned at all.”

U.S. border guards also took a report, and the Appletons are considering approaching the Mexican embassy and their local MP when they return to Canada. They’re currently spending a week in Texas.

The Appletons have spent the last 16 winters in Mexico and said they were aware of the risks tourists face in some parts of the country.

Foreign Affairs has a travel advisory in place, warning Canadians to avoid non-essential travel to Mexican towns close to the border.

An expert on tourism to Mexico says travellers should stick with organized group tours rather than venturing out on their own.

“There is a history of all kinds of undesirable events,” said Gabor Forgacs, a professor at Ryerson University’s school of hospitality and tourism management. “There are known pockets where there is frequent drug-related violence. Those are locations people should stay away from.”

Canadians may not be prepared for the difference in culture and language, said Forgacs. Staying in a resort is the safest way for tourists to enjoy Mexico, he added.

But the attack hasn’t deterred the Appletons, who say the weather in Mexico is the best on earth.

“As far as I know, we’re heading down next winter. We may just change our exit strategy a little,” said Jack. “We’ll come through in the morning instead of late in the afternoon.”

Link to article.