Family Terrorized in Mexican Time-Share Scam

From the Toronto Sun.

WINNIPEG — A Winnipeg woman and her seven-year-old daughter watched in horror as the girl’s father was roughed up and threatened with death after being duped into looking at what was billed as a time-share while on vacation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Earlier this month, Sue, who has asked only to be identified by her first name, and her family were on the popular beachside boardwalk at the Pacific Ocean vacation destination when they were approached by a man who offered them a $300 US “gift” to attend a time-share presentation.

He said he was from a company that owned the resort where the family was staying, which they had booked through a time-share trading service, Sue said. After some convincing, the family finally said OK.

The next day, as arranged, they met a taxi and were given most of the money promised – about $230 US. The rest would come after the presentation – and the cab took them on a narrow, winding road up a hill, past gated properties to the resort.

It was only after giving their home address and credit card numbers to three different representatives that the couple learned from the salesman what the property was – and wasn’t.

“This gentlemen went on to explain that it wasn’t (a time-shares) … these are condominiums that are being sold to potential residents who want to live here or tourists who want to come for the winter,” Sue said.

When they explained they wouldn’t be able to buy anything, the salesman told her he did not want to waste anyone’s time so he would find the family a cab, said Sue.

Soon after, Sue said another employee approached the couple and suggested they return the cash “gift” for going to the presentation because that’s how staff make a living.

“You shouldn’t make agreements, lying to people and just curl up and give the money back. It’s wrong,” she said.

The employee then said he wouldn’t call a cab, so the family started walking down the hill. The man followed.

“He came in a white pickup truck, pretty much drove in front of us to keep us from walking down this hill, pretty much blocking our way, got out and was yelling profanities at us and calling us every name known to man, in front of our seven-year-old daughter,” Sue said.

Sue handed him some of the money.

“We’ve done nothing wrong but here’s ($150) back. We think that is more than fair considering we’ve been lied to, you’re scaring my daughter, you’re scaring me,” Sue recalled in her interview with QMI Agency.

He took the cash and left. Moments later, a black pickup truck pulled up and another, larger man got out.

“(He) rushed straight for my husband, grabbed his shirt, twisted it up by his neck, grabbed his throat and told that him he would die if he didn’t give the money back, and that his family was going to go to prison and that he worked for the police,” Sue said.

She stepped in and handed over the rest of the money. He took it and, fortunately, left without asking for anything else, Sue said.

The family eventually found a bus stop and with the help of a local resident, safely made their way back to their resort.

The experience hasn’t completely ruined Mexico for Sue, who says she would travel there again. Her husband, Don, isn’t so sure.

“The taste for Mexico is definitely lost. I don’t think I’ll be going back.”

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Cancun: Springbreakers Not Wanted

[Translated by Fulano from a news story.]

Cancun Hotel and tourism businesses this year do not look forward to the luxury of springbreakers, even though an estimated 15 000 will arrive this season, which begins on Saturday, stated the director of the Trust for Promotion of Tourism of the Riviera Maya, Darius Fleet Ocampo.

On the other hand, Business Coordinating Council consultant, Sigfrido Paz Paredes said that Cancun should reduce the number of these young students from the U.S. and Canada or “springbreakers.” The economic gain is minimal compared to their demand for special care making them difficult market sector.

“Businessmen in the tourist sector say that much of the bad image of Cancun was generated ten years ago when the city became a favorite of those 18-year old tourists who come to Mexico, attracted by the temptation to drink without limit and experience excesses which are not allowed in their countries,” said Paz Paredes.

Lenin Gonzalez, travel agent in the United States said his company canceled a package of 1,000 springbreakers due to the low economic profitability. Other agents said it’s not worth working with groups of 1,000 students who travel with very low fares. Furthermore, from the time they get off the plane they must take care of them, transport them to the hotel and ensure they do not miss the return flight home.

All this is without considering how they leave the rooms so dirty that they must be cleaned thoroughly, it is double work, all springbreakers mean is double the work and less benefits.

The only people that support these visitors are low-cost agencies like Best Day, owned by Fernando García Zalvidea, who hoteliers believe is the springbreaker promoter.

The president of the Mexican Association of Travel Agents, Humberto Garcia said that this is a controversial segment, for some it is a business but not for others, but it is still a market that Cancun is seeking,” he said.

Link to article in Spanish

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Mexico’s Calderon Not So Happy With U.S. Drug War Cooperation

[Fulano’s note: The following blog entry by Tracy Wilkinson of the Los Angeles Times, describes a typical Mexican “set-up.” President Felipe Calderon of Mexico leaves office in 21 months. The war on drug cartels will be no more resolved then than it is now. That is to say, things will be just as bad, or worse, when he leaves office in December 2012. He, and Mexico, will need to blame this failure on somebody. Guess who?]

In unusually candid comments, Mexican President Felipe Calderon has criticized U.S. agencies for failing to do their part in the fight against powerful drug cartels.

Calderon said that while Presidents Bush and Obama have been cooperative, the “institutional cooperation” has been “notoriously insufficient.”

He said the U.S., which is sending $1.4 billion in training, equipment and other drug war aid, had failed to curb drug consumption or the flow of weapons into Mexico.

The comments came in an extensive interview with the Mexican daily newspaper El Universal, published Tuesday. Here’s the complete interview in Spanish, along with various video and audio components.

Calderon, who enjoys pretty consistent public support from Washington, said recent revelations from highly critical leaked diplomatic cables have hurt and distorted the relationship. He said U.S. diplomats “pour lots of cream on their tacos,” an expression meaning they tend to exaggerate.

“They always want to raise their own agendas before their bosses, and they’ve done a lot of damage with the stories they tell,” Calderon said.

Link to the blog.

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How Fulano Does It

Many people have been asking how Fulano identifies who all these anonymous detractors are that come around here, posting their asinine comments via proxy servers so as to remain anonymous. I’m going to give you a little more insight. It is not rocket science and it does not involve computer hacking or any other form of computer programming. Anyone can do it. Fulano only uses free publicly available information.

By now, most are aware that Fulano’s most vociferous and spiteful detractor is a 57-year old Arab from Lebanon whose real name is Jihad Ezziddine Salman. He posts here and on BajaNomads as “JoeJustJoe” and posts on many of his favorite Mexican prostitution discussion boards as Rodrigo, Fireballs and Paco, among other names. Fulano first identified Jihad E. Salman six months ago, but kept it to himself. As explained in previous blogs, there were a whole cadre of detractors here, and Fulano had been busy identifying and exposing them. Jihad, who never stops talking and boasting and insulting, is a very good source of information. On BajaNomad, you will see him constantly complaining that Fulano has identified him as many different people. Fulano used Jihad to test out theories on the others while he slowly peeled back the onion, layer by layer. The people Fulano identified were all part of the team attacking Fulano, except for one ringer or two Fulano tossed in to keep Jihad distracted and talking.

Fulano first identified Jihad when he determined that he was the person posing as Jay Garcia in Wherein Joe Chews Out Michelle Malkin. That was back in August, 2010. Here is how it is done.

If you look at the email to Michelle Malkin, it says it is from “Jay Garcia monger600@yahoo.com.” If one goes to Yahoo and looks up the profile for monger600, this is what you see:

Yahoo profile for “monger600”

So, the information Fulano now has is that “monger600” told Yahoo that he is 40-year old Jay Garcia from Moreno Valley, California. This may or may not be accurate, as we already know he is very concerned about remaining anonymous. Fulano assumes this information is not true, but uses it as a clue.

The next step is to cross-check for anyone who uses the name or alias of “Jay Garcia” from Moreno Valley. There are several free internet services that can be used to find people. Fulano put in the known information on one of them:

Results of Peoplefinders.com. Click on image to enlarge.

So, this internet service says there is a person who uses the name of Jay E. Garcia, and who also is known as Jihad E. Salman and Jay Ezziddine Salman. He has a relative named “Haifa”. With that information, a simple 411 lookup will provide Fulano will Jihad’s addresses, phone numbers and the names of people living with him. Since real estate property ownership records are public, a free search of the county recorder’s records in several California counties identified all the real estate properties he owns under his name. The state of California’s website allows free searchs for licenses, and Fulano determined that Jihad has a California real estate salesman’s license and also learned the name of the real estate broker he works under. A free check with the California Secretary of State’s webpage shows Jihad is associated with two California corporations, both defunct. Another quick check with California shows he had a construction company and an inactive contractor’s license.

So, in a matter of less than one day, Fulano had opened up Jihad Salman’s entire life like opening up a can of beans with an electric can opener. Here is his resume, which he has published openly on the internet:

Jay Salman
xxxxxxxxxxx,
Temple City, CA 91780
(909) 262-xxxx
Jay_salman@hotmail.com 

Objective Apply my considerable entrepreneurial expertise in Construction Management, civil engineering, and all phases of construction to contribute to the success of a dynamic organization. 

Experience: 

Hillside Engineering, Sherman Oaks, CA Engineer 2005 – Present
Involvement with developer/Land owner from design concept to selection of materials in order to meet their goal within budget. Supervision of Design process, coordination with architects , Landowners and City Officials for a timely completion of all Blue Prints to meet all specifications and City approval. Negotiation with subcontractors and supervision until completion and timely delivery to principal.

SJ Homes, Inc, Temple City, CA Project Manager 2002 – 2005
Founded and managed this construction corporation that handled all aspects of development from cradle to grave Designed three different floor plans for 19 single family homes Negotiated terms for a $3.2 million construction loan resulting in minimal exposure to shareholders. Selected all construction materials from rough carpentry to finished product. Scheduled all activities of project for all subcontractors to insure smooth and timely completion. Supervised the construction of all utilities, curbs, gutters, and streets for aforementioned single family homes. Negotiated, contracted, and managed over 35 subcontractors in the different construction phases of this project. Devised a marketing strategy emphasizing our niche in a competitive local market. 

Woodland Hills Estates, Woodland Hills, CA Consultant 1993 – 2002
Coordinated between land owners, the homeowners association, Mulholland Scenic and Santa Monica Mountains Conservancies to process and approve a 65 acre land parcel for the purpose of single family dwellings. 

Affordable California Estates, Moreno Valley, CA General Partner 1991 – 2005
Developed multiple business plans and raised capital through partnerships to insure the success of land development projects. Investigated and evaluated suitable land tracts. Acquired raw land in marketable locations that were suitable for developing single family residences. Designed and subdivided several tracts of raw land Managed design phase from acquisition to completion of final tract maps. 

Safe Contra Development Corp, Moreno Valley, CA Vice President 1986 – 1991
Managed the acquisition, design, and construction of various construction projects including public street improvements. Conducted market analysis, optimized home sizes and prices Successfully managed all office and field activities. 

Engineering Projects Establishment , Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Site Engineer 1981 – 1986 Delivered this $25 million project on time and under budget Consisted of building a 10-KM (6-Miles)freeway bridge, public works, entrances, exits, Mechanical and Electrical underground utilities. Coordinated with consultant engineers, overcame construction related issues, and maintained a safe construction site. Supervised 2 engineers, 3 superintendents, 5 foremen, and over 180 employees in various capacities. 

Mega Construction, Hollywood, CA Project Manager 1980 – 1981
Cost Estimated and managed construction projects for senior citizens and built schools for Los Angeles Unified School District. 

Education: 

University of Southern California(USC) Masters Degree: Civil Engineering – Construction June 1980
University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Bachelor of Science – Structural Engineering June 1978 

Licenses and Affiliations 

Construction License
Real Estate License
Member, American Society of Civil Engineers

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Jihad On Jews

As discussed in the blog just above this one, Jihad Ezziddine Salman has “issues.” He seems to have “issues” with just about everything, but he shows a particular hatred for Jews. During the months that Jihad hung around The Fulano Files, he posted many comments. Actually, he posted hundred’s of comments. After he posted a message last Summer in which he threatened to kill another BajaNomad, Fulano stopped publishing his comments. However, this did not stop Jihad from making comments. He continued on as before, even though he knew the only person who could see the comment was Fulano. Fulano saved those comments. Every last one of them.

Here is a sampling of the comments Jihad Ezziddine Salman, the immigrant from Lebanon, has on Jews.

Well, Jihad, I sure hope your extended family and anyone you intend to do business with in the future Googles your name so they can read about what a bigoted, sexist asshat you are.

As-Salamu Alaykum

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Four Decapitated Men Left on Display in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas

Fulano had stopped posting the gory photos of what is really going on in Mexico for awhile. There was concern that people would just become desensitized to it all, and turn it all off from information overload. But, it’s time for a refresher. Here is an event that happened yesterday evening around 9PM in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas. This scene is at the intersection of Paseo Colón and Leandro Valle, in Nuevo Laredo. This is one-mile from the United States. One mile. This is not some isolated event. This is happening every single day all over Mexico.

A group of heavily armed men arrived at the site where, according to witnesses, they took their own sweet time positioning the bodies and staging the scene.

The four men, who were decapitated and with their pants pulled down to their ankles, were seen by hundreds of people passing through the area before authorities arrived on the scene.

The narco banner next to them reads:

“ESTO ME PASO POR RELAJE Y PANOCHON PERO LES JURO QUE NO LO VUELVO HACER. ATENCION CDG SIGUE MANDANDO MAS PENDEJOS DE ESTOS PINCHE BOLA DE PANOCHONES IGUAL QUE SU PATRON OSIEL”.

Loose translation:

“This happened to me for being a snitch and a pussy, but I swear I won’t do that again. Attention CDG [Gulf Cartel]: Keep sending more assholes from that bunch of fucking pussies just like your boss Osiel.”

Don’t watch the video if you are squeamish:

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Two Americans Jailed in Tijuana For Human Trafficking

Two Americans were arrested by authorities of the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) for trafficking in persons smuggled into the US through the border at Tijuana. The attorney general named them as Gary Rodriguez del Valle and Mike James Allison.

They were arrested thanks to a citizen complaint, and members of the Federal Investigation Agency (AFI) carried out an operation near a restaurant in the Central Zone of TJ, where the Americans where were caught with two people who they were going to smuggle into the US illegally.

According to the preliminary investigation it was established that the suspects recruited people with a classified ad in the newspaper, offering them work in the United States. They said the would get the people to San Diego and provide them with false work documents and work at a cleaning company.

The PGR has four complaints from people duped in the same way.

From and exchange of information between U.S. and Mexican authorities, they were able to determine that in Rodríguez del Valle has a prior history of crimes in the US for vandalism, assault, robbery with a deadly weapon, possession of narcotics, possession of firearms, violation of probation and human trafficking.

Link to article in Spanish.

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Two Get Prison in Fatal Sea Smuggling of Migrants

Two smugglers were sentenced to five years in prison Friday for leading a boat packed with illegal immigrants into rough surf, killing two passengers in the only known deaths from a spate of sea smuggling on the Pacific coast of the United States that began several years ago.

Fernando Figueroa, 51, and Javier Jimenez, 46, apologized and said poverty in central Mexico drove them to try to their luck at smuggling.

“Poverty just makes you do these things,” said Jimenez, described by his attorney as a farmhand who occasionally fished for shrimp.

An 18-year-old Guatemalan woman and a 34-year-old Mexican man who tried to save her died after a rope got stuck in a propeller, capsizing the boat at Torrey Pines State Beach on Jan. 16, 2010. Neither wore life jackets, according to witnesses.

The government wanted a sentence of nearly six years for bringing in illegal aliens for financial gain resulting in death, but U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Miller said the men should be punished more in line with smugglers who get into fatal traffic wrecks.

“Unfortunately, we see more and more of these efforts,” Miller said.

More than 20 people crammed onto a 26-foot boat that launched from the fishing village of Popotla, just south of the border, and traveled at night without lights.

Figueroa and Jimenez had led a failed smuggling attempt only a week earlier, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman said. Stranded, they were rescued in international waters by the U.S. Coast Guard and Mexican Navy and released by Mexican authorities [Fulano’s comment: WTF?].

Smugglers who charge about $5,000 a head are seeing business boom off Southern California waters. Braverman told the judge that the trend was “a ticking time bomb.”

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security reported 110 seizures of watercraft and related equipment in Southern California from October 2009 through September 2010, up from 49 seizures a year earlier.

There were 867 arrests in from October through September — all related to immigrant smuggling except for 39 related to drug smuggling — up from 400 arrests during the previous 12 months.

Seizures have continued to rise this year, prompting federal authorities in California to start targeting migrants for prosecution, not just the smugglers. Until now, the customers have been spared criminal charges.

Authorities have been warning passengers that they may be charged with a felony if they are caught again at sea, said Michael Carney, deputy special agent charge of investigations for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Diego.

The first felony charges under the new policy were filed Wednesday in San Diego. Victor Valdez and Erika Solorio were charged with re-entering the country after being previously deported after being arrested at San Onofre State Beach, 65 miles north of the border.

“Our efforts at prosecuting the smugglers haven’t had the desired effect, so we had to come up with something else,” Carney said

Link to article.

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