Mexico closes operating rooms after death of Australian woman

Translated by Fulano from an article in AFN Tijuana.


Mexicali BC, March 30, 2015 – Cofepris [Mexico’s federal health ministry] closed three operating rooms and the intensive care room at Hospital Quirúrgico del Valle in downtown Mexicali. It was there the young Australian, Eva Nicole Sarmonikas, 28 years old, had a liposuction on her abdomen and buttocks.

The federal health inspectors found diverse anomalies which violated the General Health Law and its regulations, so they proceeded to place seals which suspended activities in the operating rooms, the intensive care room and the storage area for Dangerous and Infectious Biological Residues at that Hospital, which rents out those areas to cosmetic surgeons and other health professionals, as stated in a communique.

Last March 20, 2015, Sarmonikas underwent cosmetic surgery by Dr. Víctor Manuel Ramírez Hernández, which killed her. The doctor is the subject of an investigation for possible medical malpractice by the Baja California State Attorney General, which could determine his criminal responsibility.

During the inspection by personnel from Cofepris, they found diverse irregularities, such as:

– Finding expired medications and medical supplies, unmaintained equipment, lack of a nursing center and lack of a filtered air system in the intensive care room.

– The operating rooms did not have strategic areas marked, insufficient medical equipment, delivery room contiguous to an operating room and the recovery area without physical divisions.

– They also detected inadequate handling of Dangerous and Infectious Biological Residues, medical personnel without complete documentation, such as licenses and professional titles.

They are getting ready to fine the hospital

In addition to closing these areas, Cofepris is preparing to fine the Hospital for failure to comply with legislation, a criminal complaint to the federal Attorney General and hold a hearing with the National Medical Arbitrage Commission, to determine responsibilities in the doctor’s case.

With this closure, there have been 80 medical consultation offices and cosmetic medical clinics suspended for irregularities so far in the administration of President Peña Nieto, in various Mexican states.


Mexican cosmetic surgeon blamed for three deaths so far this year expelled from Surgery Association

Translated by Fulano from an article in El Mexicano.

MEXICALI – Because there have been three deaths attributed to him just this year, and many others in prior years, plastic surgeon Víctor Manuel Ramírez Hernández has been expelled from the Mexican Association of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Specialists.

The death of the young Australian woman has generated an alert among those persons interested in this type of operation, affecting the image of the city which received a large amount of income from this, not only from local patients, but from foreigners who come after being attracted by the low costs of liposuction and other surgical procedures to improve appearances.

This exit from the national association was decided by the group’s Ethics Committee, after last March 20 when they were notified of the death of the young Australian woman who came to Mexicali for cosmetic surgery with the doctor.


Deaths from cosmetic surgeries have increased in Baja California

Translated by Fulano from an article in Frontera.

MEXICALI, Baja California – Deaths caused by cosmetic surgery have increased between 45 and 50% in Baja California over the last five years, reported the Chief Coroner.

Francisco Acuña Campa said that there actually are physicians who have that specialty, but who are not certified, and others are unaware of the surgical protocols.

The preceding was in response to being questioned about the case of Australian Eva Nicole Sarmonikas, who died a few days ago in a Mexicali hospital.

The forensic physician explained that cosmetic surgeries are always risky and involve a special procedure.


Mexico: Always on the ragged edge of failure

Many people have tried to compare Mexico to the United States, with the usual goal of demonstrating how much better the US is than Mexico in almost every way. Such comparisons are really a Sisyphean task. The main reason is that Mexicans don’t want to hear it. Mexicans, politicians in particular, have a canned, knee-jerk response to anything bad that can be said about the socio-economic status of Mexico: It is all the fault of the United States. The US took Texas…the US took the Southwest…the US has meddled in Mexican affairs…the US wants Mexico to be poor because we want cheap labor….yada, yada, yada.

Mexicans are very good at placing blame on anyone but themselves.

So, instead, of another comparison of Mexico to the United States, let us compare Mexico to Japan. There is good reason to make such a comparison. The two countries have many similarities, at least on paper. The United States is Japan’s number one trading partner, same for Mexico. The population size of Japan and for Mexico are
similar. However, the modern history of the two countries is very different.

After World War II, Japan was basically just a skeleton of a country. Japan had squandered almost all its capital on prosecuting the war. Much of its infrastructure was destroyed during the war. In 1945, the United States Navy sailed into Tokyo Harbor to accept Japan’s unconditional surrender. The United States then occupied Japan as a conquered nation, and the US actually wrote Japan’s new post-war constitution. How’s that for meddling?

In 1950, the per capita gross domestic product (GDP) of Mexico was actually greater than Japan’s. Mexico had a huge advantage over Japan. Mexico had natural resources such as oil and minerals. Japan had none. The arable land in Mexico was, and still is, greater than the entire land mass of Japan. Mexico did not have a World War II, it actually had a healthy business selling raw materials to the United States for its war effort.

While Mexico started out with a huge advantage, in the 70 years since the end of World War II, Japan’s per capita GDP has grown to be seven times greater than Mexico’s.

Japan v Mexico Per Capita GDP

So what happened? How did Japan beat the socks off Mexico? Well, for one thing, Japan does not have a significant corruption problem:

Japan v Mexico corruption

Japan does not have a rampant crime problem:

Japan v Mexico hmicides

And Japanese workers are far more productive than Mexicans:

Japan v Mexico agricultural productivity

Mexico is the oldest country in the New World. It is five centuries old, and in all that time it has always been on the ragged edge of failure. There is no plausible reason to expect anything to change.



American citizens were trapped in San Quintín: US Consul

Translated by Fulano from an article in Frontera.

TIJUANA, Baja California – The demonstrations by farm workers in San Quintín have us worried about the blockade of the Transpeninsular Highway, said Consul General of the United States, Andrew S. Erickson.

“During this season there are many people heading south and many heading north from Los Cabos, so we are always concerned when people cannot pass,” he said.

The diplomat said he spoke with Baja California Governor Francisco Vega de Lamadrid, who told him that the situation is more stable.

“For us, the concern is simple, we do not want our citizens who are visiting Baja Calfornia to have problems on the highway because of a lack of security,” he said.

Without saying how many, he said there were American citizens blockaded in San Quintín for several days and this was unfortunate.

“This is an internal Mexican matter, what matters to us is that our visitors do not suffer from this political activity which is occurring,” he emphasized.

I understand that the highway is now open, that the people can transit it and the lack of security has diminished.

Erickson believes that the conflict in San Quintín will not be a determining factor in the travel alerts issued by his country.

“We have a close relationship with Baja California, we had clear contacts with the federal and state police and the Governor, and we do not have that type of concern,” he said.


The problems in San Quintín: Editorial on slavery in Mexico

Translated by Fulano from an editorial in AFN Tijuana.

Tolerated Slavery

by Gilberto Lavenant

The Mexican Constitution clearly establishes that “Slavery is prohibited in the United Mexican States,” and warns that slaves from abroad who enter Mexican territory, just by this event, are freed and provided the full protection of the laws.

However, in practice, unscrupulous employers act as if they are unaware of the Magna Carta. They take advantage of the needs of many Mexicans, especially the indigenous peoples, farm workers, and they exploit them as if they were beasts of burden. It appears to be an exaggeration, but it is true.

Last Monday, March 16, the head of the Ministry of Work and Social Security, Alfonso Navarrete Prida, announced, almost as if it was a discovery and great feat, that his state had rescued some 200 Tarahumaras who worked in exploitative and sub-human conditions in Comondú, Baja California Sur.

Comondú is located in the center of Baja California Sur. It is obviously Mexican territory and yet it can be considered as a slavery zone.

The indigenous people were recruited in Creel, Chihuahua by a company named El Cerezo, Rural Production Society, LLC, based in Guanajuato. With false promises, they were transferred to Comondú, Baja California Sur.

They worked at harvesting potatoes, and were paid 200 pesos per week (US$13.50) as an advance, with the promise they would be paid their entire salary at the end.

Of these workers, among whom were their families, 13 of them minors, at least 167 of them were not registered with the Mexican Social Security Institute, and as such had no medical services. The lived crammed into small huts and with serious water limitations.

The only thing missing was to put shackles on them. They brought them from far away, making it difficult to return by their own choice.

Shamelessly, Navarrete Prida said that they had received the complaint one year earlier. That is to say, for 365 days they lived and labored in those conditions. To deny that this is slavery, and totally contrary to the Constitution, is a lie.

One situation, almost the same, is what is happening south of Ensenada, in the San Quintín Valley. There farm workers are also exploited, indigenous peoples brought from other Mexican states.

The agricultural businesses of San Quintín are among the most prosperous in Mexico. They freely exploit the farm workers. Nobody dares to stop them, because they are the most powerful men in the region. As a practical matter, they hire and fire government officials.

Complaints that anyone dares to file over exploitation and violation of human and labor rights, generally are not acted upon. They end up in the dead files.

This is with the knowledge of the federal, state and municipal authorities. They have always known and little to nothing has been done to stop it. This is what can be called tolerated slavery, underhanded and dodged. This is why the southern part of Baja California is burning.


American man on Spring Break in Cancun falls from second floor

Translated by Fulano from an article in Azteca Noticias.

Cancún, Quintana Roo.- Investigators from the state Attorney General in Quintana Roo are looking for a witness, apparently a woman, to provide information on the fall from the second floor of an American tourist at a Cancún commercial center.

In a communique, the agency reported that the Public Minister assigned to the hotel zone started an investigation, 13/2015, on Davis Austin L., a tourist originally from New York, for events which probably constitute a crime.

He said that early yesterday morning “there was a report at 3AM that a foreign male jumped from the balcony of the Blue Bar, located at Plaza Forum, in the Cancun hotel zone.”

This was a location with a large number of nightclubs frequented by tourists, in this case “Spring breakers,” who were enjoying their vacations.

The report also said that the injured tourist was taken to Victoria Clinic in this city, where he remains from the previous day in intensive therapy, and his condition is reported as grave.

It was also reported that the injured man could not make a statement and the Public Minister is trying to locate a witness.


Body found in San José del Cabo arroyo is a Canadian man

Translated by Fulano from an article in BCS Noticias.

Los Cabos, Baja California Sur – The State Attorney General reported that the man found dead near the El Tule bridge was identified as Marty Gary Atwood, 50 years old, originally from Canada.

The causes of death were severe head injury and a fracture at the base of the skull, both of the injuries were produced by a heavy object.


Mexico closes eight cosmetic surgery clinics in Cancún and Playa del Carmen

Translated by Fulano from an article in La Jornada.

Mexico City – The Federal Commission for the Protection Against Health Risks (COFEPRIS), reported the closing of eight aesthetic medical clinics and consultation offices in Cancún and Playa del Carmen for operating “at the margin of health laws.”

Among the beauty clinics closed was that of “Doctor Juan Arturo Hernández Montejano, located in Plaza Pabellón Caribe, number 22, consultation room 211 in Cancún, Quintana Roo, who recently carried out a liposuction on Daniel Guevara, who is in grave condition at a Mérida hospital.”

Also closed was the Taxistas de Cancún medical clinic, Hospital Pabellón Caribe, Medica La Luna, Hospital Playa Med Cancún, Hospital Americano Cancún, Hospiten Riviera Maya and the Centro de Medicina Integrativa Sanar.

COFEPRIS warned that it will continue to inspect the medical services of consultation offices and beauty clinics in the country and recommended to the population they verify that the doctor is certified by the Mexican Association of Cosmetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, and that they have a professional license on display. Also verify that the consultation office is licensed, has a health officer and that the medications the medical equipment is registered.


25 tourists robbed at gunpoint in Baja California Sur

Translated by Fulano from an aritcle in BCS Noticias.

La Paz, Baja California Sur (BCS) – A group of 25 tourists, most of them foreigners, were assaulted by three armed subjects on Saturday around 1:30PM, as they rested and ate near Playa Ensenada Grande, on Isla Espiritu Santo.

The victims who were Mexicans, French and German, had traveled to the site in three different boats, and were intercepted by the assailants. The assailants suddenly arrived at the location in a boat, then got out and with a weapon in hand, threatened the visitors to give them all their belongings.

In addition to taking what the tourists had with them, such as money, cameras, telephones, wallets and even passports, they stole the three boats used by one of the groups to tour Espiritu Santo.

To prevent being followed, said a victim to BCS Noticias, who preferred to remain anonymous, the thieves took the keys to the remaining boats. The boat captains had to hot wire the motors to return to La Paz after the theft.

The tourists, who remained stranded on Espiritu Santo for a moment, filed a complaint with the authorities. As of the moment, the status of the investigation is unknown.

The victims believe that their embassies should contact the Foreign Minster of each country so each of them issue a travel alert to not travel to Baja California Sur.