Date rape drugged, beat up and extorted in Cabo San Lucas

From a posting by a poor soul on TripAdvisor.

Jan 30, 2014, 11:33 PM
Went to Mexico for 6th and last time over Christmas and New Years 2014 with my spouse. We thought we were being safe by booking a bottle service at the most high end party at a resort and club for new years night but were targeted and drugged by the server in our mix as soon as we paid our bill. I was lured into an elevator by guards where i was assaulted and robbed by them. I was taken down to the lower level where the cops were waiting and cuffed me and hit my leg with a baton twice when i wasnt even moving. I was thrown into the back of their baja truck with cops with guns and taken to Mexican jail where the guards stole my phone and $250 in my wallet. By law they have to provide you with an interpreter and lawyer, they came and said I had to pay $1500 US to get out without ever saying i had done anything wrong or was being charged. This was the first English I heard in hours and had no choice but to agree to the extortion. I was then forced to drive around to ATM’s and finally bypass lines at clubs with them so i could charge my credit card through the machine to get them all their money or they were going to kill me!

We are smart travelers who have traveled to many countries and we did everything we could to not get into a bad situation. We were not getting random drinks at the club , we were not drunk, and we were not being loud or offensive.

We were targeted by the club staff as being a Canadian couple and easy to drug and extort. These people do this professionally and all share in the take and had this all planned out and do it every day of every week. These are the Cops, Interpreters and Lawyers that did this to us at the nicest club and hotel in Cabo. Mexico is not safe for travelers young or old anymore. We thought we could mitigate the risks but we were wrong there is no way to guard against professional criminals. Shame on you Mexico!

It can happen to you because it happened to me. Stay away from Mexico or your life is at risk.

This happened at Nikki Beach on New Years Eve, 2014.

 

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Tijuana is the hope for people from Michoacán

Translated by Fulano from an article in El Mexicano.

TIJUANA – “Now it is not the narcos, it is the vigilante groups that now threaten us,” she says almost shaking. Terror overcomes Ofelia.

She came to Baja California because the so-called community self-defense groups that are battling the Knights Templar Cartel in Michoacán, outweigh even the authorities.

Like her, there are more than 80 families in Tijuana, who have left the Tierra Caliente area of their state because men and women where forced to leave their homes and take up arms, because mothers live in the uncertainty that their children older than 15 years will be “enlisted” to defend the territory and battle that Cartel.

“We came because of that. We live in fear!” raising her almost broken voice as an act of protest.

Many like Ofelia and her family arrived with signed and sealed letters from administrators in her homeland, hoping to find political asylum in the United States, but not all are lucky.

BETWEEN GRENADES AND BULLETS

“Boom! that is how it sounds when the grenades thunder,” said little Saúl while open his eyes wide.

“And the machine guns are next but very loud, traca, traca, traca!”

Only ten years old, and he no longer goes to school. Because of the insecurity in Tepaltepec, he stopped going. What he does know is how to distinguish between bullets and grenades, because that he learned from early childhood in Michoacán.

He is Ofelia’s son. His neighbors were witnesses when in early January, at 9PM at night, self-defense groups broke into their house.

“There were seven pick-up trucks, they were well armed, they started yelling at my husband that he was an asshole, and why would he not join with the self defense groups,” the woman sobbed while holding in her hands a few photographs of her humble home.

The humble brick home was destroyed. They vandalized it because they would not join the self-defense group.

Neither begging them, nor the money which they gave them often, because they were forced to, so they could buy gasoline, saved them, she said.

They sold the refrigerator, bed, fan, everything of value, borrowed money and fled their own home, “all because of the self-defense forces.”

“When we came to Tijuana, we were scared, even my husband and he more so, for me it was amazing and it sounds amazing, but it’s true,” she bemoans.

“We were also tired of hearing the grenades or the bullets, and then a 20 minute gun battle where we lived, we heard it, but very loudly,” she recalls as she closes her eyes and takes on a look of disgust and sadness and describes it as a nightmare.

The people of Michoacán have lived like that for a year and say the community police have been gradually strengthening. They are said to have initially been created as a defense, but now breathe fear into the people.

These groups have grown so much that even on the Internet some of its members have become famous, as in the case of “Commander Bonita,” a woman who went from a fashion manager to a self-defense group leader because she was tired of the crime.

Or as in the case of “Papa Smurf,” a man who went from being a doctor to carrying a pistol in defense of his land.

In Michoacán, says the woman who wants no part of the self-defense groups, we must flee and it is most unfortunate that many do not have money, because work was cut back as a result of the violence.

THERE IS NO POLITICAL ASYLUM IN THE UNITED STATES

They did not come to Tijuana with empty hands. In addition to clothes, they brought a letter signed by the government of Michoacán.

It says: “The family [name] originally from and residents of Tepaltepec since 24 February, the inhabitants of this town, as well as the municipalities of Buena Vista, Coalcoman and Aquililla are being threatened with death by organized crime, as there is a wave of violence and crime in both their homelands and on the highways, and so far the situation has not improved. As such, we strongly recommend you provide the support and protection they ask for as they have now decided to leave their homes while the danger in their state persists.”

The letter is signed by the Chief Property Registrar, Ramon Contreras Orozco. It is dated January 20 and has the seal of Buena Vista Municipality, amid the golden eagle and the words “United Mexican States.”

Ofelia, her son and her husband arrived at the San Ysidro International Border with that paper, it was their hope to get political asylum, but ended up only with hope.

They approached the agents from Customs and Border Protection.

They said they gave them the letter, but the United States Department of Homeland Security gave an pleasant response.

“We were told that there was no political asylum, it was a lie, and they asked who had told us there was, and we only told them the truth, which is we were afraid of being killed back where we were from,” says Ofelia .

“So we brought along a phone that they never gave back to my son, it had a recording of the hand grenades,” and also showed a newspaper page from his native Michoacán that says in large letters, ” Apatzingan in flames, city hall burned during gunfire.”

But this was to no avail, they returned us to Tijuana and we were only given a paper with a photo of little Saul, and on the back it says, “Withdrawal of Application /Consular Notification”. They had no luck.

VIOLENCE SEPARATES FAMILIES AND TIJUANA RECEIVES THEM

Esmeralda Siu, coordinator of the Coalition for Defense of Migrants, said this phenomenon started last year due to the conflict between various criminal groups in “Tierra Caliente” .

“Many people started migrating because of the violence and drug trafficking, whole families come to Tijuana to get political asylum in the U.S., but not everyone qualifies, and in the process applied under international laws of refuge and asylum, they must demonstrate a well-founded fear that there was a direct threat, not just a general threat to the community,” she explains.

She regretted that there are about 400 families in the United States being held in the process of being eligible for asylum, and the majority are women and children.

She explains that the coalition she heads has noticed a considerable increase in the population at the Casa del Migrante and that there are many women’s husbands in the Mother Assunta Migrant Home.

Then she mentions that “there is a very high number who have applied, but have not qualified and are then deported, but many women are waiting for their husband to leave, if they do not apply.”

This is the case of Lupita, which is what we call her, who says she is not in homeland and fears for her safety.

She arrived at the Mother Assunta Migrant Home in colonia Postal a few days ago with her three children.

She had asked for political asylum, but she says she was denied immediately. It was different for her husband, he has been detained.

“Well now I don’t know what will happen, they told us only ‘no,’ we are here we’ll see what happens.”

For this reason, the head of the Coalition for Defense of Migrants stresses that this is a problem that is starting to worry migrant support groups, “we are concerned that the criteria used by authorities in the United States in order to be classified as having a viable asylum request is causing the separation of families.”

Many mothers are fleeing violence, and when they reach the border, U.S. authorities separate them,” it is somewhat shocking so we are working with these issues.”

The problem, says the activist, is exacerbated by the treatment from U.S. federal agents.

“We are told that their minor children are treated like adults, they are handcuffed and separated from them once you do not qualify. They separated from the husbands who are in the well-known application process,” she says .

Meanwhile, Lupita is waiting for her husband. It has been several days since she has seen him. She knows nothing about his fate.

In an interview with EL MEXICANO, she says she does not know what to do, but she is sure she will not return to Michoacán.

“They threatened us and I do not wish that on anyone, they came and broke the windows,” she said.

As if it were a movie about the Old West, she talks of the reality experienced by the residents of Aquililla, and for that reason they came to Tijuana.

“They just come and grab people and if they do not want to join with the community police, they kill them or force them to join,” says Lupita, just 24 years old.

When thinking about their children, she claims that over there when they are 12 they are forced to be part of the Self-Defense Groups .

Just in her community, she says, there are about 100 families who left, hoping for help from the U.S. government, “and the worse is that there are some who are not allowed to even get their clothes, and they tell them they have only two hours.”

“I don’t know, but I think I’ll stay here in this town, in Tijuana, I won’t go back there,” she sighs.

FORCED MIGRATION

Meanwhile at the Casa del Migrante in this city, more citizens continue to arrive who are fleeing the Community Police .

“People are still fleeing, for us it is something new and we don’t know how we are going to end up,” said Father Pat Murphy, who heads the place which helps migrants.

The corridors of the shelter echo the stories of those who experienced moments of terror in their Southern Mexican communities.

“People are still fleeing in search of peace ( … ) they are concerned for their children, they are asking for money to shop, their homes and land were taken, and it is a forced migration. For this reason they arrive with their letters from their governments,” Murphy bemoans.

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SEEKS TO REGULARIZE THE SELF-DEFENSE GROUPS

On Tuesday, January 28 it was disclosed that the state of Michoacan and the Federal Government signed an agreement with the Defense Groups.

Coming more than a year since this movement started to defend themselves from the Knights Templar and take back control of various parts of the state, the agreement is to start an “institutionalization”.

With this signature, the federal government hopes that the Community Police will be incorporated into the Rural Defense Corps under the law and this will be a temporary measure.

The mission: “to cooperate with the federal troops in the activities they carry out, when requested to do so by the military command.”

THE LAST HOPE

For now, those seeking peace are living in migrants shelters, some do not know what will be their fate and others, like little Saul, dream that someday he will go back and play in the backyard of his home.

“There are times when the grenades boomed, he did not know if it was thunder or hand grenades, but then he knew that it was exploding grenades.”

He says he would like to tell the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, that he only asks for, “peace, that there not be so much violence, I want to go to school.”

Then he recalls and says, “I want to play in the yard at my house, but without bullets.”

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A brief expedition to Tijuana’s La Coahuila

Translated by Fulano from an article in Zocalo Saltillo.

Tijuana – She has the smile of a woman who could be loved when you want her. Enormous and brilliant eyes and a mouth with the same seductive power as her body. The perfect image for those who look for caresses in return for money. She only lacks glamour.

It was noon and I was eating tacos at a street stall on avenida Constitución, two yards from the narrow entrance door to a cheap hotel where other women, younger and less striking, awaited customers with sunken spirit, watched by their exploiters. The taco stand has more dealers than customers.

It is what it seems. In reality they are the watchers and drug dealers, camouflaged in the enormous network of small operators who cover the block with the alley and Coahuila, in the heart of the zona norte, the zone of tolerance, a microcosm of corruption and the openness which allows criminal enterprise, not only in the city, but the entire country. The brothel with your hotel beside it, the taco stand and the fake businessmen who multiply like a hall of mirrors in this urban meat gallery.

There are dozens of visitors in spite of the hour and the miserable appearance of the buildings. But the historian Josué Beltrán says this depressing appearance is one of the biggest deceptions. “The authorities allow everything that happens here because it is an area with a very interesting economic strength. It is common knowledge that some former mayors have their own businesses there, although it is impossible to confirm as the great majority operate under borrowed names.”

Around from the taco stand, a group of Chinese tourists walk as if they were on the Walk of the Stars in Hollywood. The gather in front of the Hong Kong, the most legendary strippers club on Coahuila, the internationally famous street which can only be rivaled by the Red Light District of Amsterdam, according to the club’s official website. The Hong Kong, and almost all the nearby establishments, operate 24 hours per day. More than 100 girls constantly wait for customers who can make use of an integrated ATM and hotel.

At this location, in the evening, Tony Ley explains manner of the fascination shown by the tourists for the squalor. “(It’s because) everything one wants, is here, legal or illegal. This is the true heart of Tijuana,” he says and flashes a large smile while he points to the sidewalk where a Christian temple shares walls with the other two emblematic sex sanctuaries: Adelita Bar and Las Chavelas. The temple is an inexplicable whim as it was open here for 50 years when La Coahuila was just a sort of cocoon, at the point of becoming a butterfly. Tony Ley is, for his part, the person who came when the transformation was complete. Tony is the antithesis of a dandy, wearing tennis shoes, jeans and a shirt. Just like any other person who walked around there looking for women, alcohol and drugs. The difference is that he had literally lived in these streets for 15 years, when he was still adolescent. As such, in some way he is a celebrity, a type of promoter of the city’s night life. He speaks with the same familiarity of drug dealers, notable businessmen and television personalities with extravagant airs.

It is probable that Tijuana is the most buoyant border on the planet. It is at one end of the richest corridor in North America, where San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco align. Nine decades ago it was an ejido, but the Prohibition Era in the United States changed its destiny, doubling its population every 10 years, a pace matched only by Ciudad Juárez, the other border municipality that was impacted by the Volstead Act. The Tijuana of today is the home of one of the most resonating cultural revolutions in the West. However, all this is not enough to shake off the stigma acquired thanks to the Zona Norte, where La Coahuila is the core.

“To speak of La Coahuila is to speak of a street that has transcended historical importance,” says Gabriel Rivera Delgado, coordinator of the Tijuana Historical Archive. “In the local imagery, it is a street of bars, cantinas and brothels, and as such it has also transcended in the imagery of movies and stories made of the Zona Norte of the bad, the forbidden, all of which have left an imprint and perception of what the city is like. As such, many people think that Tijuana is the Adelita Bar, or that Coahuila is the most precise synthesis of what we are.”

The street’s fame, in effect, is transcendental. Tourists and residents who dare to go — and they do so in massive numbers — appear to be touched by the gift of ubiquity. The know perfectly where they are going, which cantina, which brothel, to which dealer. It is this same idea that causes, for those who observe, significant numbers of immigrants who get confused with the those buying sex who enter and exit the hotels. They appear at night, searching for a pollero, as if they knew their fate. “When speaking of La Coahuila, whether one is from Tijuana or not, says Gabriel Rivera, one knows what it all about: it is the red light of the cantinas, of the brothels, where there is drug addiction and migrants, although not so much now as before they built the border fence.”

About the kidnapping of youths in the southern Mexican states for sexual exploitation, so much has been written that the institutions charged with punishing the crime view it more as a nuisance than a concern. Up to now, Marisa Ugarte, director of the San Diego-Tijuana Bi-national Security Corridor, an organization which for two decades has worked to rescue and counsel victims of human trafficking and exploitation, maintains that none of the 5,000 criminal cells which operate the business in Baja California have been touched by the authorities. And in the public arena this is tangible, it is here that the municipal police stop any kind of action against the network of human trafficking and drug distribution. Nobody punishes these flagrant crimes.

The mayors left behind the farce of closing the brothels 40 years ago. But his has sparked a growing movement of the rank and file people of Tijuana to censor what goes on here. Or, better stated, to detach themselves from the reality of “La Cagüila.” The street with this nickname is known as being where there have been no closures for a long time.

90 years ago, the sale of drugs was legal, until the Mexican government said, “no more,” and organized crime was born, those people who run the drug trafficking and human exploitation in the red zone. Josué Beltrán wrote about them in his doctoral thesis.

No longer does the atmosphere of corruption cause resentment among the old Tijuana families.

In July, 2008, Jaime Martínez Veloz, director of the Commission for Dialogue for the Indigenous Peoples of Mexico, publicized a letter in which he asked the city council of Tijuana to change the name of Coahuila in that area where hundreds of descendants of the natives are forced into prostitution. Martínez was the spokesperson for a group of Coahuila Indians, like him, who live on this border. “The Coahuila people contrast noticeably with the status, activities and the history of the street with this name in Tijuana,” he wrote. “…I am convinced that this is not a minor concern. Those who care for Tijuana share the desire to disassociate the Coahuila name from the activities which take place on the street of the same name.” No positive response was received.

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Canadian dies in fall from condo in Mazatlán

Translated by Fulano from an article in Noroeste.com.

MAZATLÁN. – A Canadian citizen lost his life falling 10 meters (33 feet) from a condominium located in the Sábalo Country subdivision, where he lived with other people, last Saturday night.

The dead man was identified to the Public Minister as Leoyne Joseph Cassey, 75 years old, who was originally from Canada.

The accident was reported to the authorities at 9:20PM, at a condominium located on Avenida Tiburón, almost at the corner of Avenida del Calamar.

People who were at the location reported to the police that at the time mentioned, the Canadian was living with others on the 4th floor of the building.

Apparently in a moment of carelessness, the tourist who appears to have been drinking, lost his balance and fell from a spiral staircase to the second floor of the building.

Immediately, the person who saw the accident went to help the elderly man and he was still alive, and so he called for the rescue personnel.

Paramedics from the Red Cross went to the the site to examine the Canadian, and confirmed that he had died, and so the Public Minister was called.

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Carlos Ibarrondo Ortega of Acapuclo tweets no more

Translated by Fulano from an article in Yucatan.com

Communications media in Acapulco are reporting the murder of Carlos Ibarrondo Ortega, a well-know Twitter user in the state, who was followed on the social media networks as @Ybarronorte.

Ibarrondo Ortega used this communication platform to criticize the government and defend animals, and was well known in the Acapulco Twitter community with 3,681 followers and had sent as of last Tuesday morning 112,658 Tweets.

The victim, who was an employee of the Guerrero Education Ministry, was found dead and with a bullet to the head on colonia Bocamaren, where was found a spent .380 caliber cartridge, which was secured by the authorities.

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Band of pickpockets arrested in Cancún hotel zone

Translated by Fulano from an article in Sipse.

CANCÚN, Q. Roo.- Foreigner D.L.W. got onto a passenger bus in the hotel zone. At plaza la Isla, four subjects stole his wallet, and they then got off the bus and got onto a grey vehicle driven by another person to flee. This is the operating modus of the band of pickpockets that was arrested yesterday by the Tourist Police.

The state Attorney General started an investigation, file 38/2014, for the crime of robbery, against William Joseph Daher, 52 years old and an American citizen; José Antonio Pérez Jiménez, 42; Gerardo Pérez Guzmán, 18, both from Tabasco; Rodolfo Parra Pérez, 45, from Chiapas, and Abelardo Canché Martín, 44 years old and from Quintana Roo.

The victim said that one of the subjects took his wallet from his pants. He was standing in the bus, and the accomplices covered while he committed the robbery.

The operating modus of the band consists of getting on buses and detecting their victims, mainly in the hotel zone. It was Pérez Guzmán who committed the robbery, while the others gathered around the victim to cover for their accomplice. They then get off the bus and split the loot.

According to the investigation by the State Judicial Police, the band has committed three robberies in the same manner: two in the hotel zone and one in the area of “El Crucero,” of which as of the moment their victims have not filed a complaint.

Pérez Jiménez and Pérez Guzmán arrived in Cancún four days ago, and have traveled on several occasions to the tourist destination to commit petty crimes.

The foreigner, William Joseph Daher, got out the Cancún Prison six months ago, after completing a sentence for robbery.

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US$17 million diversion of funds for the poor discovered in Ensenada

Translated by Fulano from an article in El Mexicano.

ENSENADA.- A diversion of 211 million pesos (US$17 million) by the past administration of mayor Enrique Pelayo Torres, was the preliminary result of an investigation carried out by the Municipal Trustee and was announced by the trustee, Iván Barbosa Ochoa.

The funds belonged to the Ramo 33 program, an earmarked budget to reduce extreme poverty in the municipalities. They were resources that date back to the 2012 and 2013 period. Currently the work of the trustee is in the compilation of records.

Those involved is this diversion of funds can receive a public reprimand, denial of public office or even a criminal complaint against those who end up being responsible for the crimes. The diversion of the Ramo 33 funds last 15th and 26th of November were 61.5 million pesos (US$5 million) and the same amount was replaced by a loan the prior administration received from the state Congress.

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Sonoran tourist coordinator intervenes in boat seizures

Translated by Fulano from an article in Reporteros.

The coordinator for the Sonora State Tourism Development Commission, Javier Tapia Camou, confirmed he has talked with authorities with the Tax Administration regarding their process of seizing yachts that was carried out by the federal government in Sonoran ports.

“I spoke with the customs director, he has much knowledge about what is happening, but it is not an area under his control, he does not agree with how these matters were carried out, however it is not his area of responsibility, it is something that has been done, and now they are helping those who have their papers in order so that they are freed from any obligations.”

He said that most of the boat seizures were in the area of San Carlos and Guaymas, but they are now being freed.

“Yes, surely, we have read in the North American press that this has created problems, we have asked the federal authorities that when they carry out an operation, the do so with a firm basis for it, and then we cannot oppose it, the problem is that many times the operations are unsubstantiated.”

The Tourist Development Commission coordinator hopes these situations do not affect the arrival of boats in Sonora.

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Home robberies increased in Tijuana in 2013

Translated by Fulano from an article in Frontera.

TIJUANA, Baja California – In 2013 home robberies in Tijuana rebounded in comparison to the prior year. Violent home robberies increased more than 15% and non-violent robberies increased more than 7%. It was during the Christmas season when they increased the most.

This was shown by the official figures on the internet page of the Baja California state government, which were provided by the State Secretary of Public Security and the State Attorney General.

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Unjustly jailed for four months in Baja California Sur

Translated by Fulano from an article in Colectivo Pericú.

San José del Cabo, B.C.S.- As you know, on September 9, 2013, I was unjustly arrested due to a criminal complaint made by Sr. Alejandro Federico Velasco Cano against me personally, my son and my wife. I was in jail for four months, in spite of not having committed any crime.

Since the beginning of this matter, strong proof was presented of our innocence, as the crime for which we were charged never happened. In spite of this the agent for the Public Minister asked for an arrest warrant. We suspect that Sr. Velasco intervened to manipulate the evidence for the Attorney General, as there were several items that caught our attention:

1. The agent for the Public Minister lost one of the witnesses declarations.
2. There were multiple contradictions between the declarations of the person making the charges and his surveyor.
3. The lack of coordinates to identify the location, shape and dimensions of the land.
4. The fact that the land the judge ordered to be delivered is not same that the person filing the complaint says he had received.
5. The fact that while the entire body of evidence was in our favor, the Public Minister had asked for arrest warrants against us.

Finally, after 122 days in prison we proved our innocence and I was freed and totally absolved of the charges.

Due to the number of anomalies that occurred during my process, we are reviewing with our lawyers the legality of the actions of Sr. Alejandro Federico Velasco Cano to bring the appropriate action according to law. At that time, the authorities will determine if they were proper as we believe they could be acts constituting a crime.

We deeply appreciate the support and solidarity of our friends from the College of Engineers, the communications media that reported this injustice to the public, and the people who believed in our innocence and helped us overcome this event, however our struggle has not ended as the lawsuit that gave rise to this injustice is still in process.

With respect to the original lawsuit, on February 10, 2014, at 10AM, there will be a hearing at the Court of Second Instances in La Paz to present the allegations.

We will continue our efforts, until we enforce our rights to our property.

Ingeniero Heriberto Anaya

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