Municipal official of Cabo San Lucas found with looted merchandise

Translated by Fulano from an article in Colectivo Pericu.

Cabo San Lucas, B.C.S. – Just as was suspected, officials of the Los Cabos government were involved in the looting of shopping centers which happened the day after the passage of Hurricane Odile.

Thanks to citizen’s reports, ministerial police have managed to recover much of the objects which were stolen.

Much attention has been called to the case of Municipal Civil Protection coordinator Joaquín Téllez Alamo, in whose home was also found stolen merchandise.

The man responsible for Civil Protection and a member of the association of corrupt politicians called the “Grupo Los Cabos,” instead of working in aiding the population with the disaster which occurred, instead coordinated a looting brigade which stored the looted products in his house.

Tuesday, September 16, just as the looting was occurring at Walmart and Sam’s Club, Téllez Álamo was seen in colonia el Arenal in an official vehicle of the Los Cabos administration.

With all the information obtained by the investigating agents, they went to this house located in colonia el Tezal, where the stolen articles were found.

Joaquín Téllez Álamo, 48 years old, is originally from Mexico City.


A Mexican talks about what is going on in Los Cabos

Translated by Fulano from a posting on Facebook by Rocio:

Two weeks without power or water. It’s difficult, more so if your neighbor runs his noisy diesel generator 24 a day….he’s not a bad person, but he does not want to sleep without a fan nor spend the day without cold water to drink.

The rest of us are resigned to sleep soaked in sweat (out nighttime’s hover around 90 degrees, with 78% humidity, which gives a heat index of 97 degrees, during the early morning hours it drops to 75, but it feels like 82).

It is estimated it will take three months for electricity to be 100% repaired. Crews are working near the neighborhood, but I think they are lacking transformers and fuses, as they are only putting up fallen posts and running new cables, but they are still not connected.

For the first time, yesterday I saw federal policemen. They were delivering water from a truck, another with food and another with mats near my neighborhood. Many people have lost everything and are in need of help. They come out like ants from everywhere, by foot, with their children and babies and baby strollers, and even the dog. The men are temporarily employed in cleaning work (a SEDESOL program), where they are paid 132 pesos (US$10) per day (and they spend at least US$2.30 for transportation.)

Personally, the first three days, and in spite of not having lost even one window (at least 60% of the windows in Cabo broke) I easily removed 200 gallons of rainwater mixed with leaves from my house, and I could not declare it a “dry” zone until the forth day.

Cleaning up was somewhat strange. I started from the exterior and ended up in the closets. I immediately emptied them and gave away almost all the contents to people on my block who nothing dry to wear. I arrived in Cabo eight years ago. I came on a vacation and brought eight changes of clothes and two pairs of shoes. This time around, I have been left with ten changes of clothing and three pairs of shoes. I started out with almost nothing once, and I can go back and do it again. I have always liked challenges. Without a doubt, I am a survivor. I don’t worry about myself, I worry about the people who don’t take the chance to leave their comfort zone and test their true capabilities.

The municipal and state government stink. The free food distribution “disappears” or else they sell it for 200 pesos (US$15). The reopening of the supermarket food chains has helped control the prices. While they were closed after the looting, the price of a kilo of eggs went to 150 pesos (US$11.50).

There is no lack of people who want to profit from this. The local government is in its pre-campaign, pandering and proselytizing. They are opportunistic parasites who do not want to understand that they have a time bomb in their hands which could explode in their face at any moment. The overused sociological explanation is that some people have committed terrorizing acts of vandalism for 48 hours due to the total vacuum of authority, power and police, which could only be controlled when the federal government regained control implementing the DN3, with the presence of the armed forces.

The heroes? At first all the citizens would help each other and provided us with security in light of the threat of theft and total uncertainty. Now, the armed forces have returned confidence and order so we can continue on. The power company brigades are working tirelessly fixing what the next hurricane which comes our way will knock down (but it is going to happen, after all this is Mexico, right?). Citizens can now start their business activities. The next few months will be difficult, but we still have a lot of will. Crises are also moments of opportunities, and we are betting on it.



Groups of foreigners forming self defense groups in Los Cabos

Translated by Fulano from an article in BCS Noticias.

Los Cabos, Baja California Sur – Groups of foreign residents of Los Cabos organized their own self defense groups after the fear created by the looting of the businesses and some homes after the passage of Hurricane Odile.

Agency AFP reported that Antonio Lucero, a 76-year old American, is standing guard in front of his community were foreign residents have organized to protect against thieves.

The violent looting of stores and supermarkets which happened last week after the passage of potent Hurricane Odile, set off the alarms of many residents of this iconic Mexican tourist resort, which is very much enjoyed by Americans, who have been seven days without power, water and telephone signals, and with hundreds of homes and hotels destroyed.

“I don’t feel threatened, but vulnerable. The same mentality of looting stores could come to your house and here we have no kind of protection,” said Lucero to AFP, with a white beard and large eyeglasses, during his turn at watch with another neighbor in his isolated residential community in Los Cabos (283,000 inhabitants).

In spite of the fact the government has reinforced with 8,000 police and soldiers in the area, and the psychosis and initial chaos is in the past, some inhabitants who have remained at the resort continue feeling unsafe, with the windows and doors of the their homes broken and with no way to call the police.

In Antonio’s community, where most of the residents are Americans and there is no security guard nor protective iron bars, they decided to stand watch 24 hours per day with clear instructions. They have blocked the entrance with trucks, nobody can enter who has not been previously announced by a resident. They write down all the information of visitors, and in case of an assault they have to give three honks of the horn.

“Firearms are not permitted in Mexico. So, how does one protect himself?” asks this American from Colorado, who understands that some neighbors are standing guard with machetes and sticks, although he imagines this “is no guarantee” as nobody has formal training.

Everybody in this community of 200 were in favor of the self protection plan, led by Russell Klaesson, a 47-year old boat electrician, who emotionally recalls the difficulties which have occurred these past few days.

“We are not here to attack, we are here only to try to defend ourselves and will continue doing so until the community decides that it is no longer needed,” said the Californian, who had a large knife in a leather sheath hanging from his belt.

In Los Cabos live a little more than 5,000 foreigners — many of them retired — of which 85% are Americans and almost all of the rest are Canadians, according to the regional Secretary of Tourism.


Foreign businessmen leaving Los Cabos

Translated by Fulano from an article in BCS Noticias.

La Paz, Baja California Sur (BCS). People who live in Los Cabos, but are from other states or countries, recognizing the time it will take to reestablish electricity, have decided to leave their businesses and properties to await until the situation improves.

One of them is Gerardo Romero, an insurance agent for Monterrey Insurance and who also has a business in shoes and souvenir arts. Traveling on Baja Ferries, he and his wife have decided to leave for León, Guanajuato.

“We were gripped by the desperation, all the supermarkets were looted, not even one has anything left, it was about getting food, but everything was looted,” he said. He leaves behind his rented home, “and our property, we told a neighbor to take care of it,” he stated.

Ricardo de la Cruz Musalem, national director for Civil Protection, said that 2,000 tourists will have left by sea since last Thursday. That same day, 700 passengers were looking to sail to Topolobampo, Sinaloa.

Port workers were making lists of the people because they ran out of tickets, they are awaiting the next departure.

Every day the boats leave for the Sinaloa port. The California Star has a capacity of 1,500 passengers, and the La Paz Star 300.

Miguel Cano, originally from Durango, has lived for eight years in Los Cabos. Six months ago he met his girlfriend, an American who he works together with in arranging weddings in Los Cabos, but that all went away with Hurricane Odile.

“We are looking to see if we will stay here in La Paz, for at least three weeks to a month. I don’t believe we will return to Los Cabos,”he said.

But not everyone is leaving the state. German Romero says family patriarchs are removing their wives and children, but they will remain to protect their assets, with the hope of avoiding being assaulted or robbed.

He believes there was excessive panic, but recognized that organizing helped to guard the neighborhoods where they lived. Miguel Cano, said he was going around with a knife to help in the patrols of his neighborhood.


“Odile was not the worst, it was the people”

Translated by Fulano from an article in Peninsular Digital.

Los Cabos, Baja California Sur. – Hurricane Odile has passed now into the modern history of Baja California Sur as the strongest the strike to peninsula.

With winds of more than 95 MPH and six hours of rain, Odile hit the night of Sunday, September 14, and the 15th arose with massive blackouts, flooding and a lack of water in the entire municipality/

Hotels such as the recently inaugurated Hyatt Place or Best Western Aeropuerto were left completely useless. Meanwhile the Sheraton, Mayan Palace and Westin Regina appear — according to the workers — “war zones.”

Not even eight hours had passed from the disaster when the looting of supermarkets and convenience stores started, taking not only food, but electronic items like plasma TVs, washing machines, refrigerators and including games, exercise equipment and even couches.

It is estimated that more than 3,000 families living in the area of the arroyo were left homeless, and they remain in the shelters set up in schools in San José del Cabo and de Cabo San Lucas.

The looting had so concerned the population as there had been reports of robberies in homes. Residents in many colonias say there had been intrusions into home to steal, so they had formed their own night guards, placed barricades and bonfires where residents of both sexes and all ages guarded the entrances and exits armed with bats, golf clubs and even machetes.

“We cannot say we are a self defense force and we do not have firearms, we only want to be sure that nothing happens to us. These scoundrels took all the food in the supermarkets and now they want to come into our homes,” said Ricardo Chávez, who was standing guard together with his adolescent son and other neighbors.

“Odile was not the worst, it was the inconsiderate people,” said Claudia Gálvez. “They don’t think, and now they caused a shortage that was not necessary, if we were organized there would be enough for everybody.”


Exodus from Los Cabos

Translated by Fulano from an article in BCS Noticias.


La Paz, Baja California Sur – The State Government has confirmed that up to 200 vehicles per hour are entering La Paz, coming from Los Cabos, what has been called “The Exodus.”

Andrés de los Ríos Luna, General Coordinator of Sustainable Development for the Ministry of Promotion and Economic Development in Baja California Sur, said that due to this they have established a road block at which the vehicles wait up to two hours to cross. At the roadblock they are searched to learn who is entering the state capitol and what they are bringing.


Looting and desperation in Cabo San Lucas after Odile

Translated by Fulano from an article in Noticieros.


MEXICO CITY – September 16, 2014 – One day after the passage of Hurricane Odile there is looting and shortages in Cabo San Lucas.

Naty Ayarini, victim: “We lost everything, we have nothing.”

Juan Gabriel Ramírez Soto, Red Cross coordinator: “We are struggling with food and water.”

Early Tuesday morning, hundreds of people arrived at different shopping centers to loot them.

The took refrigerators, washing machines, big screen TV’s, and sound equipment.

Romigia: “My name is Romigia, and I am the store manager, but everything has been looted.”

In spite of the presence of federal forces, at this time there are approximately 600 people vandalizing this shopping center.

The steel curtains which resisted the onslaught of Odile did not protect against the efforts of the vandals.

The multitude grew, hundreds of people entered to steal.

Lady: “Food, it’s about food. There are no stores to buy any.”

Patricio Romo, manager of a supermarket: “It’s confusing, there are groups of vandals and people with real needs.”

Juan Carlos de Jesús Jimenez, director of the state Ministerial Police: “We have not arrested anybody, the situation is complex in the sense that there are 600 to 700 people against 20 or 30 police officers protecting.”

There is also no diesel nor gasoline.

At the few gas stations were there is still fuel, the sale is controlled by Army soldiers and large lines have formed to purchase just a few liters.

There is no school, no power, no money in the ATM’s, nor satellite signals.

The authorities met to coordinate which actions to take.

Oscar Lex: “We are reorganizing to see how we can start to send aid to each of our neighborhoods, as the people are desperate.”

There is no electricity, land line nor mobile telephone.

It is hoped that in the next hours help will arrive and be distributed.


Tourists trapped by Odile arrive in Tijuana

Translated by Fulano from an article in Zeta Tijuana.

A few moments ago, around 296 tourists, 15 of them Mexicans, arrived in Tijuana from Baja California Sur.

The came aboard two Boeing 727’s from the Mexican Air Force and Navy. Those affected by Hurricane Odile, landed at the Air Force installations at 6:30PM.

There they were given alternatives to arrive at their places of origin: the Tijuana International Airport, the bus stations, the San Ysidro border crossing, and the San Diego Airport.

The statements of the foreign victims pointed out the lack of planning and information at hotels and airlines. They said that the tourist destinations where they were staying assured them that Odile would not touch land, right up until the phenomenon hit the peninsula.

The vacationers urged the people to send necessities, as they saw the Baja California Sur residents “in great need.” The said they were witnesses to looting’s of convenience stores, including people coming to blows over products and food, there were even persons in that instead of taking what was necessary, were taking electronic devices and televisions, among other objects.

“Very ugly, at night it was OK and suddenly in the morning everything broke loose, the people crying, fighting over food, it was very ugly, I wanted to go home,” bemoaned Larisa, 25 years old, originally from Mexicali.


Amnesty International reports two serious cases of torture in Baja California

Translated by Fulano from an article in El Mexicano.

TIJUANA – Amnesty International found two of the seven worst cases of torture in Mexico in the state of Baja California.

The two cases were committed on the same day, September 26, 2012, by the same group of State Preventative Police officers, in Tijuana and Rosarito.

In Tijuana, the group broke into a family dinner with an assault operation in which they arrested 23-year old Luis Ángel Zazueta Cornejo.

The police tortured the arrested man and demanded that the family pay them money to set him free. As the family lacked the resources, the police team arrested Zazueta Cornejo under the charges of having been arrested in the street with one kilogram of cocaine in his backpack.

The court accepted these charges and refused to receive evidence which the family, neighbors and friends filmed and recorded.

This was described an aunt of Zazueta Cornejo, Elvia Rosa Zazueta Núñez, who reported that a judge demanded through a third party that the family pay US$50,000, in cash, to let the young man go Free. Zazueta Cornejo continues a prisoner in the La Mesa Penitentiary without being sentenced.

Another case is of Adrián Vázquez Lagunez, initially arrested in Rosarito when he was mistakenly believed to be the drug trafficker Gonzalo “El Macho Prieto” Inzunza Inzunza.

The Amnesty International delegation that traveled to Baja California to interview both of the arrested men and to present a report on torture in Mexico, reported that Vázquez Lagunez, a prisoner held in the El Hongo Penitentiary, is still in poor health with fractures and internal injuries.

The two cases, work of the same team from the State Preventative Police and coordinated by an officer nicknamed “El Chiguilin,” form part of an file of seven cases in which Amnesty International filed a lawsuit at the International Criminal Court in The Hague for “crimes against humanity” yesterday.

In spite of the seriousness of the case were Amnesty International has selected Baja California with two of the seven most prominent among 7,000 incidents, Governor Francisco Vega has refused to meet with the Amnesty International team.

“We think it is unfortunate that the governor could not meet us. We think it is unfortunate because human rights have to be one of the priorities, and making it a priority is demonstrated with discussions and programs and concrete actions,” said the Executive Director of Amnesty International in Mexico, Perseo Quiróz.

When asked about this, the Director of the Northwest Citizens Commission for Human Rights, Raúl Ramírez Bahena, said that perhaps Governor Vega did not understand the importance of the meeting he declined.

The report, “Out of Control: Torture and other mistreatment in Mexico,” says these cases have increase 600% in 2013, when compared to 2003.

In 2013, there were 1,505 cases in Mexico.

Between 2010 and 2013, the National Commission on Human Rights received 7,000 complaints of torture and other mistreatment, but only presented recommendations for 44 cases, and only seven were investigated.

Amnesty International also reports that the National Commission on Human Rights does not appropriately investigates complaints of torture.


Parasailing American in Cozumel crashes when rope breaks

Translated by Fulano from an article in La Verdad Noticias.

COZUMEL Quintana Roo. – According to unofficial information, the events happened before noon when the boat Hakuna Matata was offshore from the Mia beach club in the southern part of the island, where the incident happened.

According to witnesses, the person fell from a height of more than 35 feet when apparently the rope tied to the boat broke. The boat had left from the San Francisco beach club in that zone.

The person who fell when the rope broke hit the water and was rescued and taken to the hyperbaric chamber clinic. As of the moment neither the identity nor the status of the victim in known.

The authorities have also not provided information and Civil Protection says they have no knowledge of the incident.