You Know Things Are Bad When….

…Mexico runs out of death certificates.

Los Mochis, Sinaloa – Due to the excessive number of deaths that occurred in recent months, Mexico has run out of printed death certificates, said Jaime Astorga Hernández, head of the Health Delegation 001, which includes the northern part of Mexico.

According to the person in charge of social work at the General Hospital, they ran out of death certificate forms on November 1 of this year. This is more than a minor problem, as Mexico is a very form oriented country. Widows cannot receive their social security pension payments until they can produce a real death certificate for their husband.


The Redhead

Gabriela Elizabeth Muñiz Tamez

Gabriela Elizabeth Muñiz Tamez, age 31, known as “La Pelirroja” (The Redhead) was arrested on July 6, 2009 on charges of kidnapping and extorting shopkeepers in the southern part of Nuevo Leon state, whose capital is Monterrey.

On December 27 four guards were taking Muñiz Tamez from Topo Chico prison to Monterrey’s University Hospital when they were intercepted on the road by a squad of criminals, who managed to free her without firing a shot. The guards escorting her are being held for questioning about the Monday night escape.

This morning, her body was found hanging from a bridge in Monterrey.


Wikileaks on Situation in Monterrey, Mexico

Link to cable February 28, 2010

A leaked cable on Wikileaks from the US Consulate in Monterrey, Mexico paints a grim picture. The cable shows the US consulate does not believe the stories told by Mexican officials. Furthermore, US officials believe the police force is totally penetrated by the cartels:

While Nuevo Leon Secretary General Javier Trevino Cantu has characterized the coordinated attacks as a reaction by organized crime to the state government’s security efforts, this explanation is not persuasive as the state’s programs are still notional at best. Neither the recently-announced military/federal/state plan to install roadblocks (68 checkpoints in 19 cities) along the Monterrey to Reynosa, Tamaulipas corridor nor the state’s new plan to install checkpoints in 11 Monterrey metro area municipalities to stem car theft have begun. Given the thorough penetration by the Zetas of the police forces in those municipalities that were hit, a much more likely explanation is that the attacks were a signal from the Gulf cartel to the police to cease/desist their support of the Zetas and switch sides. 

The cable goes on to say that the Zetas are in retreat from the border and heading to Monterrey, not due to government action, but due to a full-court press by the rival Gulf Cartel:

Locally, the Monterrey public is worried as citizens fear that if the war between the cartels were to hit the city in earnest, Monterrey could experience the rampant violence seen at the border. The continuing wave of car-jackings/car thefts — the DTOs appear to be using the stolen cars to fulfull their transportation needs — has many on edge. Citizens are curtailing trips to the border, and several bus companies are cancelling runs to outlying cities in the state. Indeed, if high-value targets fleeing Tamaulipas take up residence in Monterrey and nearby Saltillo, Coahuila, violence here between the cartels and between the cartels and the military (both army and navy) will increase. During the previous week reliable witness reported carloads of gunmen, with automatic weapons hanging out the window, retreating to Monterrey along the highways linking the city to Reynosa. Indeed, DEA confirms a rolling confrontation between the military and retreating Zetas on February 27 in the Nuevo Leon municipalities of Zuazua and Pesqueria, both to the north and east of Monterrey.

The cable also indicates that the amount of violence in the region is significantly underreported by both the press and government officials:

A recent poll done by the Monterrey-based Grupo Reforma — publishers of the influential local daily “El Norte” — revealed that 58 percent of Tamaulipas respondents had seen or heard gun battles or violent acts that the media/government had not made public. From here, it looks as if Nuevo Leon residents share this view. Indeed, post law enforcement has learned that six died during the Zuazua/Pesqueria shoot-out, an incident which has not been reported in the local press. 


Feliz Año Nuevo

[This is a reprint from earlier]

The Spanish alphabet has more letters than the English alphabet. Just how many more letters is subject to much debate. Not all authorities agree on which letters make up the alphabet. Some don’t include w (sometimes referred to as doble ve) and k, which exist almost exclusively in words of foreign origin, such as kilowatt. And some lists count rr (erre), which isn’t pronounced the same as r.

The extra letters that everyone agrees upon are ñ (called the eñe) and ll (called elle). That little squiggly line over the ñ is called a tilde. Ñ is pronounced like the ny sound in “canyon.” This is an important distinction. For instance, the Spanish word for “year” is año. The Spanish word for “anus” is ano — without the tilde. Big difference!

There are many Americans living down in Mexico. Not that many of them have ever taken the time to learn the language, much less the culture. They tend to be a cloistered group, who are content to spend the autumn of their lives in gringo ghettos associating only with other gringos, usually the one on the next bar stool. Little things like a tilde are under their radar.

While these expatriates don’t have much Spanish, that does not stop them from trying to impress some other gringos who have been down in Mexico even less time than them with their “expertise” in all things Mexican. To accomplish this, they will sprinkle their English with the few Spanish words they know. A lot of these people hang out at their internet watering hole, BajaNomads.

If you want to have a chuckle, just hang out there around New Years and count how many of those Mexico experts wish each other, “Feliz Ano Nuevo,” which is to say, “Have a Happy New Asshole.”


US Citizen Killed In Tijuana

Link to article in the SDUT.

Henry Abalayan Acejo, 45, was found dead of numerous wounds on Dec. 18, the Baja California Attorney General’s Office said in a prepared statement.

A popular professor, he taught at three colleges in San Diego County, and was described by a fellow teacher as “an angel on Earth.”  Acejo was stabbed to death at his Tijuana apartment, Mexican authorities said Tuesday.

Acejo, who was from the Philippines, taught Filipino language courses at Southwestern College and at San Diego State University, and English as a second language at those two colleges and at Mid-City Community College in San Diego.

Now for the news the media are too politically correct to tell you. Acejo was gay and was killed by two men whom he invited into his apartment. Neighbors saw him enter his apartment with the two men, and later saw Acejo banging against his window screaming for help.


American Killed In Sonora

Mexican media identified the victim as U.S. citizen Christopher Elecnis Mandil, a 26-year old musician from Arizona, who was dining with his girlfriend when he was shot Wednesday night at Tacos Sonora, a restaurant in the north-central section of Sinaloa’s capital, Culiacán.

Link to article.

Another news source reports that the young man was a member of a mariachi where he lived and his father is an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. However, the FBI has reported that the victim is not related to any of its employees, past or present.


US Housing Prices Heading Back Down

Standard & Poors produces a housing price index which is widely viewed as the most accurate measure of what is happening in the US housing market. Most other housing indices measure average or median sales prices, so they can be skewed by a change in the market mix. For instance, if in a certain month more people purchased large new homes than old small, cheap homes, the index would show a rise. This could be confused with an increase in the value of homes, when it was really an increase in the purchase of higher-priced homes.

The S&P Case-Shiller index does it differently. They track same house sales. For instance, if a specific home sold for $300,000 in October, 2010, they would go back through the records and find out what it last sold for. Then they would compute the change in value of that particular house. These sales from all over the country are then aggregated into an index. Here is the Case-Shiller Index for October, 2010 (which actually is an average of the prices for August, September and October, 2010). The chart graphs a 10- and 20- metropolitan area price change.

Click on chart for larger image

As can be seen, housing prices are heading back down. Traditionally, housing and housing related services are 17-18% of the Gross Domestic Product in the US.


Family of Slain Mexican Activist Flees to U.S.

Link to article.

Ciudad Juarez – The husband, surviving children and grandchild of Marisela Escobedo, an anti-crime activist gunned down Dec. 16 in front of the Chihuahua state governor’s palace, have fled Mexico for the United States, Chihuahua officials said.

The late woman’s spouse declined Chihuahua’s offer of support and protection for 4-year-old Rubi, the granddaughter of Marisela and daughter of Rubi Marisol, whose 2008 murder spurred her mother’s crusade for justice, state government Secretary-General Graciela Ortiz told reporters.

Two days after Escobedo was slain in Chihuahua city, husband Jose Monge Amparan’s lumber yard in Ciudad Juarez was burned down. Jose’s brother, Manuel Monge, turned up dead a day after the arson attack.

Marisela Escobedo led numerous protests in Juarez, located across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, and in the state capital, to demand justice for her murdered daughter.

The 52-year-old woman was fatally shot Dec. 16 by one of the three men who approached her and initiated an argument as she was picketing in front of the state governor’s palace in Chihuahua city.

[Fulano’s comment: Has anyone noticed how many Americans go to Mexico to flee the law, while many Mexicans go to the US to flee the lawless?]


Improve Your Spanish #16 – At The White House

La residencia oficial de la Casa Blanca estaba repleta de cucarachas y ratas, y no había quién pudiera sacarlas. Desesperado, el Presidente Barack Obama anuncia que dará lo que sea a quien pueda limpiarla de bichos y roedores.

A los dos días llega un tipo y pide que le muestren el lugar. Luego de un rato le dice al secretario de la Presidencia que le busque la cucaracha más chiquitita que encuentre. Se la trae, la agarra, le habla al oído y la deja en el piso. La cucaracha enfila para la puerta y todas las cucarachas de la Casa Blanca la siguen.

“¡Muy bien, felicitaciones! -exclama Barack-. Haga lo propio con las ratas y le daré lo que pida”.

El buen señor hace lo mismo con la rata más chiquita y todas las demás desaparecen. Encantado, Barack Obama lo besa, lo abraza y le dice que pida lo que sea, que él personalmente se lo va a conceder.

El tipo lo mira y le dice: “Tráigame al democrata más chiquito que tenga”.

*  *  *  *  *  *  

The White House official residence was full of cockroaches and rats, and there was no one who could remove them. Desperate, President Barack Obama announced that he would give whatever it takes to the person who can clean out the bugs and rodents.

Two days later a guy comes and asks to be shown the premises. After a while he tells the President’s secretary to look for the smallest cockroach to be found. It is brought to him, he grabs it, speaks into its ear and places it on the floor. The cockroach heads for the door and all the cockroaches in the White House follow.

“Very good, congratulations”, exclaimed Barack, “do the same with the rats and I’ll give you what you ask.”

The good man does the same with the smallest rat and all the others disappear. Enchanted, Barack Obama kisses, hugs him and tells him to ask for whatever he wants, and he will personally see to it.

The guy looks at him and says: “Bring the smallest Democrat you have.”


It’s Cheaper To Deport Every Illegal Alien Than Allowing Them To Stay

Link to article.

On December 3, Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs, Nelson Peacock, responding to request from several U.S. Senators, including Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), wrote: “Our conservative estimate suggests that ICE would require a budget of more than $135 billion to apprehend, detain and remove the nation’s entire illegal immigrant population.”

In July 2010, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) released the results of a study which examined the costs of illegal immigration at the federal, state and local levels. The study found that U.S. state and local governments shell out $84.2 billion annually in various services (law enforcement, schools, social services, etc.), with California taxpayers alone, spending $21 billion on illegal aliens every year.

The same study found that $29 billion is spent every year in federal funds on illegal aliens.

So, while it would cost a one-time fee of about $135 billion to deport every single illegal alien in the country, it is actually a bargain considering the fact that it already costs us $113 billion annually to keep them here.

In other words, the mass deportation would pay for itself in a little over a year.

Incidentally, in 2007, the DHS estimated the cost of deporting all illegal aliens to be approximately $94 billion