American tourist complains of sexual abuse by Rosarito hotel security guards

Translated by Fulano from an article in Frontera.

ROSARITO, Baja California – An American woman tourist accused two private security guards at a Rosarito hotel of sexually abusing her while they accompanied her to her room to get documents. Those accused deny the charges.

The events happened at 4:10AM, although the police complaint was made at 11:30AM, when an American tourist and resident of California, asked for help hours after there was a fight with her husband. The people in charge of security at the hotel called for the municipal police.

When the police arrived, they asked the woman for some identification, but she told them she had that with the remainder of her things in her hotel room. She told them she would would go upstairs for them, and the two private security guards accompanied her. She told the police that when they were in the elevator, the two security guards sexually abused her.

She said she reported the events to the police, but they ignored her complaint, so with the lack of a response, she went to complain to the hotel management. The hotel management called the police, who took the complaint and took the couple to the magistrate.

Additional information from other news articles:

The victim was  Melissa A. Townley, from Brick, New Jersey. She claims that once in the elevator on the way up to her room, 1701, the two security guards put their fingers in her vagina and rectum, causing vaginal bleeding. The victim and her husband, Jason H. Townley, went before a Rosarito municipal judge to make their statements. The Townley’s lawyer followed up with a Rosarito magistrate, who reported there is no log entry of their appearance and the judge in question denies any knowledge of the incident. The police report does not even name the two accused security guards.

There appears to be a concerted effort to cover up the entire incident by the ownership of the Rosarito Hotel.

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50% of the real estate properties in Baja California have defective titles

Translated by Fulano from an article in Frontera.

TIJUANA, Baja California – Half of the occupied properties in Baja California do not have a legal title, 30% is due to ejidos that were subdivided and 15% are federal land that was subdivided clandestinely.

Gilberto Corvelli Gómez, a member of the Commission for the Regularization of Land Ownership in Baja California, said this involves land taken over or sold illegally.

The Mexican federal government owns all the lands in the nation, and the only way that a federal land can be made private, he explained, is with a land title deed issued by one of the federal agencies.

Among the ways to privatize federal land is through ejidos, federal subdivisions, land purchased with private legal funds authorized by municipalities or states for urban development and lot subdivisions.

Baja California, he explained, is one of the states with the most amoung of properties lacking legal titles, and he added that in order to comply with the federal program created for horizontal growth of the cities, it is urgent they be legalized.

It a a serious problem, he said, without legalizing these properties, electric services, potable water, sewers, pavement, schools and hospitals do not arrive. This causes social problems. Baja California measures 69,000 square kilometers and between legal funds, ejidos, private property and federal lands 62,000 hectares are claimed, which indicates there are many properties with more than one owner, said the official.

According to the Ministry of Territorial and Urban Agrarian Development (Sedatu), there are 74 ejidos in Baja California was large urban settlements and which are growing, many absorbed by the urban sprawl.

THE ORIGIN OF THE PROBLEM

Many of the ejidos sold the lands, the settlers, as are called those who are not ejido members and who live on the ejido, have deed but are not the legal owners.

“Most of these plots do not have a plat map authorized by the municipal property registrar and do not have property parcel numbers, if they do have one, it is only provisional which the municipalities use for property taxes,” said the representative of the Regularization Commission.

There are also lands owned by the federal government, that are on the periphery of the municipalities, that were fenced off by a person who wants but them. The problem comes when they are subdivided and sold illegally.

It is not illegal to take possession of national land as long as it is only being used for productive purposes. Subdividing and selling it is illegal and subject to penalties.

Rosa does not know if the lot purchased with some sacrifice in El Niño is national land or private, she only knows that several different owners have come forward to collect money. “We went to the municipality and they say the land is unregistered, and they cannot give us papers for it. But they come to me to collect money and threaten me, saying if I do not pay they will evict me and I will lose everything I already paid,” she said.

“I keep paying, I want my house, but how am I going to find out who is the true owner,” added the domestic worker who prefers to not give her last name as she fears her complaint will bring reprisals.

In Tijuana, Sedatu estimates that 50% of the homes do not have a property title, and after signing an agreement with the municipal government, they project they will legalize some 15,000 properties.

Among the neighborhoods benefited is a section of 3 de Octubre, Mariano Matamoros, specially the area of Las Torres and colonia El Monumento, at the second entrance to Playas de Tijuana, said Corvelli González.

In Ensenada, Maneadero has almost 80% of the properties under dispute, meanwhile in Mexicali after a census, they located 78,000 homes without property titles, he said.

TITLES VS. DEEDS

A home is not legally owned by a family if it does not have a property title, deeds are a help, but are not a substitute, added the federal official.

“It is perhaps a misunderstanding of the population, who believe that paying property taxes and having a property tax lot number solves their problem, but it does not,” said Diana Nieto Adame, director of the Tijuana Municipal Property Registry.

Property tax lot numbers vary depending upon the zone and are established for tax collection purposes, one still needs to have legal possession to the property, she said.

“Many people come through their leaders and contact the Registrar, on many occasions they have the records, the buy-sell contract among the parties and they give it to us,” even though there is no recorded record that they are owners.

Collecting property taxes, is only for the use of the land and the services provided to the property or in the surrounding area, like highways, street lighting and other things.

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Parasailing tourists end up in high voltage lines in Cozumel

Translated by Fulano from an article in Sipse.com.

COZUMEL, Quintana Roo.- A couple of American tourists where close to death after the parachute they rented to see the island landscape from the air had a failure. The strong winds that were occurring on the Cozumel island at the time dragged them inland and the ended up among the high tension cables a few meters above the ground.

The accident left the hotels, beach clubs and homes in the southern zone without power for several hours. This was the area where the event occurred. The boat captain who was towing the parachute fled the scene, leaving the tourists to their fate.

Moments of panic
At 3:49PM on Friday, there was a report to the emergency 066 number, that at kilometer 9.5 on the southern coastal road a parachute with two tourists was tangled in the cables and that both had hit the concrete power pole.

People driving in the area and Public Safety elements kept the parachute from blowing away with the strong winds and held lower the tourists, who were identified as Remy Pine and Brandon Nydam, originally from Denver, Colorado.

Looking for the person responsible
The tourist ride boat was inidentifieds the “La Anita,” and belongs to the Scuba Doo business, which has its facilities at the Presidente Intercontinental Hotel, but the registration has not been confirmed. The state attorney general is trying to find those responsible for the accident.

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Rosarito tourists complain of police extortion

Translated by Fulano from an article in Uniradio Informa.

PLAYAS DE ROSARITO – Many of the foreign tourists who visit the municipality of Playas de Rosarito have been victims of police extortion, according to what tourist service personnel reported to Uniradio Informa.

They revealed that most of the cases reported in the information booths that were made during this vacation period have been against State Preventative Police and municipal police, in one of the cases in involved a municipal judge.

They say that these extortion’s are for less than 2,000 pesos (US$160).

In the case of state preventative police officers, most of the tourists described a convoy of vehicles headed up by two pick-up patrol vehicles from the State Preventative Police, together with two white SUV’s.

In another case, a Greek tourist reported when he made a turn in an inappropriate location, a municipal police motorcycle officer stopped him and demanded 2,000 pesos in cash. As he did not have that money, he was taken to the Municipal Judge, who took him into a private room where he demanded the same amount of money, but the tourist told him he only had US$47, which he gave the judge to let him go.

The tourist filed a complaint and physically pointed out the judge and the municipal police officer, who had to give him back his $47, but he could not determine if any sanctions were given to them.

Tourist sector personnel say these acts of corruption which arise happen with more frequency in high seasons and these acts affect the efforts they make to recover tourism in the region.

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California pilot crashes in ocean off Los Barilles, Baja California Sur

Translated by Fulano from an article in El Sudcaliforniano.

La Paz, Baja California Sur.- Due to mechanical failure a 4-place Cessna 400 fell into the ocean at 6PM yesterday at playa Norte, offshore from the town of Los Barilles, in the municipality of La Paz, reported state ministerial police in coordination with municipal police and the Mexican Army.

The pilot, Martin Satow, 42 years old, and originally from Salinas, California ended up with contusions to the head, which were not life threatening and will take than less than 15 days to heal, according to the doctor on duty at the Hospital Health Center of that town.

According to the information obtained, moments before the crash, the airplane had taken off from the airport at the Punta Pescadero Hotel, headed to Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, and due to a mechanical failure it crashed into the ocean.

The airplane, N8080Z, which is silver with a red strip, was later recovered.

Red Cross paramedics went to the location and took the pilot to the hospital. Ministerial police went to the hospital and interviewed the physician, who reported the injured person is Martin Satow, 42 years old, and originally from Salinas, California, and lives at 25315 Camino del Chamizal, Salinas, California. He is the president of an audio-visual company.

When admitted to the hospital he had multiple simple contusions to the head, injuries which will normally take less than 15 days to heal and do not place his life in danger, as diagnosed by the doctor on duty.

The injured man was interviewed at the hospital, and he said that he took off from the Punta Pescadero Hotel, in El Cardonal, Baja California Sur, in his airplane with the destination of Cabo San Lucas, BCS.

Suddenly he lost control of the aircraft due to a mechanical failure and then crashed into the ocean, with the results described. A Mexican Army infantry lieutenant assigned to the Ministry of Defense is aware of the event.

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International human trafficking ring discovered in Tijuana

Translated by Fulano from an article in El Mexicano.

TIJUANA – A case of human trafficking which was discovered by the Municipal Police also disclosed an international prostitution network.

The Chief of Police reported that everything was uncovered by a presumed victim, originally from Colombia.

In colonia Castillo, located in downtown Tijuana, officers in that sector responded to a call for help from Yennis Lisst, 24 years old.

She told them she had escaped from a house where she was held against her will for almost a month and a half.

At the house was Luis Martín Alvarado Bautista with his girlfriend, Katiuska Scarleth Bermúdez Daza, 23 years old.

He had told her to not give any food to Yennis if she refused to work as a sex worker at a bar in the Zona Norte.

The victim said that while a captive she met Rosa N, also a Colombian who is 33 years old, who was also prostituted out.

Both of them agreed that they were tricked into coming to Tijuana, where Luis Martín had promised them work in a restaurant.

To do this, he used false documents and they passed without problem through the immigration checks at the International Airports in Mexico City and Tijuana.

Police managed to arrest Katiuska Scarleth, who appears to also be a Colombian, and she is being held as a witness at the disposition of the Public Minister, where the investigation into human trafficking will continue.

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Tourists jailed and extorted in Ensenada

Translated by Fulano from an article in Milenio.com.

Ensenada – A couple of tourists who traveled to Ensenada for medical treatment and recreation ended up being jailed for 36 hours, at the jail cells of the federal Attorney General, for possession of psychotropic drugs, which turned out to be medicine prescribed by a psychiatrist.

Monday morning, Miguel Mercado, 35 years old and his wife, 28, who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, went to eat at a location on calle Calafia in colonia Popular 89, they had come from the United States.

There were travelling in a late model Honda, which had been in a minor accident in the past, and when they arrived at the location they were stopped by State Preventative Police.

While being interviewed by the police officers, they were told it is illegal to drive in the city in a vehicle with dents, and for this reason they were asked for their documents on their vehicle, which they gave them, except for the title papers.

The couple said that they had US$3,100, in cash and a pill bottle of Clonazepam, with no prescription, in the glove box. The couple said the police took the money and at the same time asked for US$200 in return for not turning them in to the Federal Public Minister.

As they refused to give them the money, they were arrested and taken to the federal Attorney General’s installations, where they spent 36 hours under arrest. During the time they were being detained, the woman suffered four attacks due to her lack of medications, and she received medical attention in the jail cell.

The couple had plans to visit Ensenada to receive psychiatric and dental treatments, in addition to spend the weekend in the tourist zone of San Carlos. Both of their doctors, when they realized they did no come to their appointment, started to look for them.

They couple said that at the federal attorney general’s facilities, they asked for US$1,500 to “speed up the process,” but they also refused to pay it. They also said they had committed no crimes.

Administrative personnel at the federal attorney general responded about the supposed bribe, and asked the victims to file a complaint against the ministerial police who tried get money in return for freeing both of them.

The couple were set free at 10PM on Tuesday, and although their money and medication was returned to them, they had to go back to their home city, produce a legal title and pay the impound fees.

During his experience, Miguel said the most difficult part was the treatment they received by the state police, because they used threatening language. He figures the arrest cost him around US$1,000 for attorney fees.

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Chinese man drops dead at Adelita’s in Tijuana. Waiters toss him in the street.

Translated by Fulano from an article in El Mexicano.

TIJUANA.- A foreigner died of a heart attack, presumably when he was inside the popular Adelita Bar in the Zona Norte, but the waiters decided to “toss him out” in the street.

Yesterday around 10:50PM there was a report of a death of a Chinese customer, which mobilized the municipal police to the scene of the event.

The victim was a few meters from the entrance of the business he had visited.

Upon arriving, the authorities cordoned off the area to avoid contaminating the crime scene.

While the ministerial police from the homicide unit arrived, inside the bar the music played on and the “DJ” was delighting those inside with the show of the moment.

Witnesses told El Mexicano the dead man “was in the bar, and had a heart attack in there, but the waiters took him out, saying he was very drunk and they left him lying there.”

Municipal police officers said the victim showed no visible signs of being hit and according to the bar employees, the Chinese man walked on his own to the exit, then stumbled and fell. For that reason they believe it was a heart attack.

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Police Water Boarding Gringos in Cabo San Lucas

by Carrie Duncan of the Gringo Gazette

In the last two weeks, two cases of the state police water boarding Americans has come to light. In the first, Jim Porras, a 60 year old man from Oregon,, was arrested for murdering his wife. Melissa Porras was found with her throat slashed a few hundred yards from her house. The husband was arrested immediately despite there being no evidence he was involved. The Porras’ were high school sweethearts and were not known by neighbors to be incompatible.

Porras was held with no food or water for 28 hours, beaten in the torso and head, and water boarded four times, in an effort to get a confession out of him. He somehow resisted, he said because he had nothing to confess. Tough old guy. When his neighbors suggested the police check out another neighbor who had been making unwanted advances on Mrs. Porras, the police picked Marco Rojas up and he quickly “confessed”.

Within hours, Mr. Porras was finally given the water his friends had brought him earlier and the secretary to the head of the Ministerio Publico bought him some food from her own funds. The ministerio publico is similar to what we would call the district attorney. When contacted for this story, assistant prosecutor Mario Zazueta denied any mistreatment, saying he was taken to a back office because the jail is under construction and they arrested Porras because the neighbors reported they had been seen feuding. Porras and all the neighbors who employed them denied they ever saw them feuding.

In the second case of water boarding, Bradley Lawrence, a long time resident here, a timeshare closer and a known drug user, was picked up under circumstances that he refused to make clear, but even he admits he is no choir boy. He too was water boarded, punched, and kicked. At press time he was still in jail. This paper called the local American Consulate and was told they were not allowed to talk to the press.

Porras said he never saw anyone he could identify as a consulate employee, but that he was under so much duress he couldn’t be sure some American official wasn’t present some time during his 28 hours of incarceration. After he was released, he heard nothing from them and doesn’t know if they are aware he is out. Or ever in. Lawrence has told this paper that someone from that office has been in touch with him but can or won’t do anything to stop the abuse.

Moving up the food chain, we contacted the United States Consulate in Tijuana, which over sees our local Consulate in San Jose. Amy Grier, the public relations officer, promised to get back to us on that. When she didn’t, we contacted her again and were told, “We are formulating an answer and will get back to you tomorrow.” When asked if they were looking for something to tell the press, or were working on a plan of action against the water boarding, we were told they were working on an answer for the press. They never called us back, and after calling three times a day for three days, we were told they would have no further statement other than what they were sending in an email. They never sent an email, nor ever took any more of our calls.

Andrew Erickson is at the top of the food chain in Tijuana, his title is United States Consul General of the Tijuana District. He is a professional foreign service officer, a career diplomat. He has visited Los Cabos many times, twice that this reporter has met him. The first meeting, he was asked here by Zacatitas residents who were concerned about their health, as the San Jose dump was experiencing near constant fires, causing what they feared were toxic fumes wafting into their neighborhood. Erickson toured the dump site with Mayor Agundez and reported to the frightened neighbors that in his opinion the dump wasn’t so bad and San Jose didn’t have the resources to stop the fires.

In another appearance here, he awarded the police a plaque for excellent service to the foreign community. Of course the city made sure the presentation with the picture of Erickson and the police was in every local paper. The Gringo Gazette declined to print it. Is Consulate General Erickson that out of touch with reality that he doesn’t know the police are constantly shaking down the foreign community for every dime they can get out of us? Or is it more important to suck up to his hosts? We know through back channels who won’t go on record as talking to us because they are not authorized to, that Erickson is aware that United States citizens are being brutalized in the local jails. If he is doing anything about it, they are not sharing that with the press.

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Mexican immigration and federal police to hunt hippies in Caribbean resort areas

Translated by Fulano from an article in Sipse.com.

TULUM, Quintana Roo – Considering the large number of foreigners who are in the country illegally and the problem which is exacerbated as they carry on all types of street business, transportation and tourism tours, the director of Municipal Tourism, Jorge Portilla Manica, warned that in order to restore order in the area, he has asked for intervention from the authorities of the National Immigration Institute and Federal Preventative Police, to carry out a raid, mainly against the so called “hippies.”

Portilla Manica said, “It appears they are undocumented and represent unfair competition for organized business, it is time to prevent people from competing without work permits in Mexico from invading Tulum.”

He stressed that the immigration and federal police personnel in the next few days will have the delicate responsibility to immediately confirm the identity and legal situation of every foreign person located and working on their own account in the municipality.

The director of tourism said that the request from the Office of Municipal Tourism to the immigration authorities is a result of the concern during the last year that there has been an increase in illegal foreigners entering Tulum, who walk around, work and freely beg for money after dancing or singing, without any authorities saying anything or punishing them.

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