Old animosities between Gringos ends in murder

Translated by Fulano from an article in El Mexicano.

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SAN FELIPE – And old argument between two American residents ended in murder, when this morning there was a verbal fight at first, and then in another encounter one of the participants shot at Rodney William Rhoden, 38 years old.

The police were alerted via the emergency phone number, that two residents in the Villa de Las Palmas subdivision were fighting, and one of the participants, Darrell “N,” 70 years old, shot the man who is now dead.

Witnesses to the events told the police that Darrell argued with the dead man, he then left the location of the incident in his vehicle, a Dodge pick-up, headed towards downtown San Felipe. A few minutes later he returned, parked and returned to argue in the middle of the street. Next, Darrell pulled out a .22 caliber revolver and shot until the gun was empty.

Rodney William Rhoden had a bullet wound in his left side, in the abdomen, and was transported by the Red Cross from the Villas de Las Palmas project, south of the city, before the pier, to the health center, where he died.

After the attack, Darrell “N,” got back in his vehicle and headed back towards downtown San Felipe, and was intercepted at the entrance to the pier by the police as his vehicle matched the description. They found the firearm in the pocket of the shorts he was wearing.

The murderer and his victim had problems derived from the purchase of an automobile and both has accused the other of harassment and had filed complaints with the public minister. Instead of waiting for the authorities to resolve the matter, they both took an aggressive posture, according to what the neighbors said, as they were both residents of Villas de las Palmas, and lived across from each other.

How appreciation of the dollar hurts Americans owning homes in Mexico

Capital gains tax laws in Mexico require that tax is owed on the profit you receive when you sell your Mexican home or property. The current capital gains tax is computed two ways, and the seller gets to choose which computation to use, depending upon his circumstances:

  1. 25% tax on the gross sales amount; or
  2. 35% tax on the net profit

Let’s say you bought your house in Mexico on January 1, 2012 for US$100,000, and the exchange rate on that date was 13 pesos to the dollar. So, as far as Mexico’s tax agency is concerned, you paid 1,300,000 pesos for your house. Suppose you sold that house on December 31, 2016 for US$100,000. Obviously, there was no economic profit on your investment. Let’s say the exchange rate on the day you closed that sale was 20 pesos to the dollar. As far as Mexico is concerned, you sold that house for 2,000,000 pesos.

So how much tax do you owe Mexico on that sale? Let’s look at a simplified example:

  1. 25% of the gross sales amount. That would be 25% of 2,000,000 pesos, or a tax of 500,000 pesos, US$25,000; or
  1. 35% of your gain. Your taxable gain is the 2,000,000 peso sales price, less your 1,300,000 peso cost, times 35%. That works out to a taxable gain of 700,000 pesos, which when taxed at 35%, creates a tax bill of 245,000 pesos, or US$12,250. The notario handling your home sale will take that out of your sales proceeds and send it in. Imagine paying a US$12,250 capital gains tax on a sale where you did not make any economic profit. All this is because the peso has depreciated against the dollar while you owned your Mexican house.

If you and your home were in the United States, you would owe zero income taxes, as there was no taxable gain on the sale. In the example, you bought the home for $100,000 and sold it for $100,000.

There is also a United States federal income tax exemption on the first $250,000 of gain on the sale of a personal residence held for 5 years which was your principle residence for two of those five years; $500,000 for a married couple. Mexico has a similar rule, but which will not apply to most Americans. In Mexico, if you are a Mexican citizen, or a permanent resident, there is a tax exemption on your primary residence. In order to get this exemption, you must have used the house as your permanent residence for 3 years (5 years before 2015). The land area cannot be more than three times the building footprint, and it cannot have been used for commercial purposes, e.g. not rented out, even for a short period. Basically, you will have to sign a sworn oath under penalty of perjury that you are a resident of Mexico for tax purposes. If you have not filed any Mexican tax returns, don’t expect to qualify for this exemption. Notarios (notary public), who handle these transactions, are personally responsible for any taxes they failed to collect on the sale. It is difficult to find a notario who will not collect taxes from a foreigner when a house is sold.

Is that all? No it gets better (or worse, depending upon your point of view). If you pay a salesman a commission to sell your home, you also owe a 16% IVA (sales tax) on the commission you paid. In Mexico, sales taxes are collected on goods and services.

30% of Rosarito’s population lives in illegal settlements

Translated by Fulano from an article in Uniradioinforma.com

PLAYAS DE ROSARITO – Around 30% of the more than 100,000 inhabitants in Rosarito are in illegal homes which have no possibility of getting public services because of their lack of legal documentation on their properties.

The preceding was a part of the diagnosis carried out by the Municipal Development Planning Committee, said the agency director, Manuel Ochoa Magallón, who says urgent action is needed at the three levels of government to regularize the ownership of the land.

The problem is more pronounced in the southern part of Rosarito, one of the areas with greatest growth in the past years. There sub-dividers have illegally sold properties, without concluding the legal processes for a real estate deed.

In many of the new Rosarito colonias, there are properties which are still ejido land, and where no public investment, neither state nor municipal, can be carried out.

Ochoa Magallón was sworn in as director of Copladem this Wednesday morning during a meeting, where he announced the start of public meetings to develop the Municipal Development Plan, which will start this Friday in Primo Tapia, and Thursdays, December 22 in downtown.

Water war in the Guadalupe Valley

Translated by Fulano from an article in JornadaBC

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Ejido El Porvenir, December 12, 2016 – There is a war in the Guadalupe Valley. It is a water war. Hidden behind the glamorous boom of the Mexican Napa Valley, large vineyards and ejidos are fighting, each time with more rancor, access to the vital liquid.

The table is not even. No more than 18 wine producers use more than 50% of the water resources in the region. Meanwhile the communities even lack drinking water. Thirsting for justice, desperate, the farm workers who have worked these lands for three generations, and some 1,000 Kumeyaay, who inhabited this territory for at least 4,000 years, threaten to take other measures.

Here in El Porvenir, says Marco Antonio Orozco, adviser to the Ejido Union of Northern Ensenada, there is not even one drop of water in the homes. The residents have been battling for months with this problem. This is in spite of the national water laws give a priority to those who have rights to the liquid, and those first in line are human settlements. The community which has no water has the first rights.

Crossing with fear from San Diego into Tijuana

Translated by Fulano from an article in Frontera.info.

TIJUANA, Baja California – Crime is one of the main problems impacting pedestrians at the Tijuana and San Ysidro crossing, reports a study carried out by students at the Baja California Autonomous University.

“When first returning to Tijuana a sense of security is felt, as the building is guarded by Army personnel, however, when a person faces what they describe as the place where the street vendors gather, along with deported persons,” said the project coordinator, Amparo López Vizcarra.

He stressed that the lack of security adds to the lack of an adequate infrastructure, public lighting, and the unorganized mob of street vendors.

“Even though the image in the nearby area in the new San Ysidro entrance called PedWest has improved, no attention has been put on safety and public lighting,” he said.

To obtain the results of the survey, they consulted with 655 users at both entrances in San Ysidro and the exits in Tijuana.

The Image and Tourist Certainty Project at the pedestrian crossing is in its preliminary phase, said the person responsible for the project, Adriana Ríos Vázquez.

The first stage was from August through November, with the participation of 20 students, 15 from the School of Tourism and five from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Growing crime in Quintana Roo

Translated by Fulano from an article in Diario Respuesta.

The double murder Sunday at the Mandala night club, and the gunfight at The Congo Bar, coming from three motorcycles driving in the Hotel Zone of Cancún, make public that now, in Quintana Roo, drug trafficking and organized crime are more powerful than the government because they have infiltrated and colluded with governmental agencies, said Hernán Cordero Galindo, general coordinator of the Citizen Angel civil organization.

The former president of the Business Owners Confederation of Mexico (COPARMEX) told Diario Respuesta that, “we have a huge advantage: there have not been high impact crimes, battles between drug cartels and SUVs full of hit men, like up North, so this state is perceived as safe, when in fact on a per person basis we are the most unsafe state in Mexico due to crimes.”

“We are the number one state in crimes such as home robberies, family violence against women, suicides and extortion,” and he called for caution when speaking and saying “these are isolated incidents,” because they are not.

The activist said that “what we need is for the authorities to admit and speak of matters as they really are. It is a dramatic fact, crime has them overwhelmed, we have to do something. I want to hear for the first time from some attorney, prosecutor, governor or mayor that things are bad and things have to be made better, we have to act.”

Cordero Galindo condemned “he who wants to cover the sun with a finger,” who says “nothing has happened,” because that is absurd, out of context and primitive in a country and state which is globalized with communication such as the Internet and social networks.

He further warned that the incident at the Mandala night club is fatal, because the drug cartels are now operating in public locations, and aside from the tourism, it affects us now more because the image is international and “and there is now no reason to think this is going to stop. On the contrary, we are starting to see things we have not seen, we are going to see it get worse if we do not act.”

With the deaths from the attack at Mandala and the Congo Bar, there have now been 59 murders in Cancún so far in 2016.

Two Puerto Nuevo restaurants failed to comply with environmental regulations

Translated by Fulano from an article in Ecos de Rosarito.

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The Environmental Management Department opened administrative procedures against two Puerto Nuevo restaurants which failed to comply with some environmental regulations.

One of them is the problematic Ángel del Mar, which was accused of having its workers throw rubbish and waste into the ocean, according to a video distributed days ago, which was the key to the arrest of the person responsible.

The Coordinator of the Environmental Management Department, Giovanna Guadarrama, pointed out that in spite of the limitations as a municipality, it intervened to investigate and fine such a violation for contaminating the ocean, which is in the purview of the Federal Environmental Protection Agency and Federal Water Agency.

For all the problems presented by this case, she clarified that the testimony provided by the man arrested was insufficient to act against the restaurant, as there was no way to prove the garbage tossed into the ocean was from that business, since the man arrested denied it.

“Waht we did was implement inspection operations in two restaurants to see if they complied with environmental regulations,” said the head of the department.

The inspections showed that both businesses failed to comply with certain regulations for managing waste and contaminants, and there are suspicions that the Ángel del Mar restaurant is not connected to the sewage lift station.

In spite of the fact that the owner said his restaurant was connected, in the 3-day period he was given to prove it, he could not.

According to Giovanna Guadarrama, after the 3-day period, there is a 30-day period in which the municipality will issued a fine and notify the owners.

If the fine is not paid, they will proceed to close the restaurant.

What was accomplished was the proper collection of solid waste, grease traps and covered trash cans.

“Right now we only inspected two restaurants, but we warned that these inspections will continue, we are going after all the rest with more severe fines,” said Giovanna Guadarrama.

Hit men in San Jose del Cabo use grenade launchers and .50 caliber weapons. 8 dead

Translated by Fulano from an aricle in Colectivo Pericú.

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An impressive fire power was used by gunmen who attacked two homes in colonia El Zacatel, that were presumed to have operated as drug sales ceners. Today it was reported they used M32A1 grenade launchers and .50 caliber weapons.

According to the preliminary report, six people died in the attack (later raised to eight) and two more were gravely wounded. Among the six dead is a child. There were two simultaneous attacks at approximately 3:30AM.

It appears they used a distraction against the police

Everything indicates it was a planned attack, as a little before 3:30AM there was a call to the emergency number warning of a pursuit of an automobile shooting an AK-47 on the highway to Miraflores. The police went to the location where they found a car afire with a plastic mannequin inside.

After to police were out of range, some 35 kilometers from the attack site, the gunmen in two vehicles strafed at close range a home on calle Solidaridad and Francisco Fisher, where three people were wounded and two died at the location, one of them a child. At 10AM it was reported the third person died while in intensive care.

While this was going on, another armed squad was outside a home on calle Fortún Jiménez, where the front was shot up with rifles and grenade launchers. Outside of the house was a Cadillac with person who tried to flee. However he was captured by the hit men and his body was found at kilometer 17.5 on the tourist corridor, near Tule with several bullets wounds. Inside the home another person died.

Then there was a pursuit of a white 2015 Nissan Pathfinder, in colonia Monte Real Residencial, and the gun men caught up to it and strafed it with automatic rifle fire, killing the driver.

This was the bloodiest attack in the history of the municipality, and is linked to disputes between organized crime groups for drug sales sites.

Mexico’s Immigration Institute asks Mexicans to curb expressions of hate

Translated by Fulano from an article in Uniradioinforma.com

Mexico’s Immigration Institute asks Mexicans to curb expressions of rejection and hate against African descendant immigrants in Mexico

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TIJUANA – After asking the Baja California population to stop expressions of rejection for the presence of thousands of African descendants on the border as immigrants in transit, the representative of the National Immigration Institute, Rodulfo Figueroa Pacheco, reported that the Secretary of the Interior could activate mechanisms to legalize them with permanent residency, in the case where the United States could suspend its legal procedures to grant them political asylum.

Figueroa Pacheco recognized possible changes to the immigration policy of the United States government, in light of the recent announcement of the new Secretary of Homeland Security, which was to suspend refugee policies and also to initiate massive deportation of Haitians.

“But there is no reason to become alarmed, for a country of 120 million inhabitants, it should not be a problem to receive 4,000 Haitians,” said the official.

He recalled that this is the same as what happened in the Spanish Civil War, at the end of the 1930’s and during the armed conflicts in Chile in the 1970’s, where Mexico has had a tradition of humanitarian support of populations whose institutions were collapsing, such as the case with Haiti and The Congo.

“In addition, the business sector is very interested in what this could bring, due to the labor shortage in Baja California,” he suggested.

“We are receiving in Baja California 5,000 deportees from the US, so there is no reason to be startled about 4,000 Afro-descendants,” he suggested.

Migrant care in Tijuana complicated by the presence of Haitians and Africans

Translated by Fulano from an article in JornadaBC

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Mexico City, November 16, 2016 – Civil and religious organization which assist in many ways the migrants in Tijuana warn that there is a grave problem in the region which take on the aspects of a “humanitarian crisis” due to the increased number of deportations of Mexicans, and also from the growing presence of Central Americans, Africans and Haitians.

The also said that by year’s end, the number of deportations from the US will exceed 65,000 just in Tijuana, and in all of 2015 there were 50,000,

According to information from the National Immigration Institute, Mexicans deported from the USA exceeded the 207,000 in 2015, a figure which will certainly be repeated in 2016, based on what has already been recorded.

Baja California is the state which gets the most deported Mexicans

According to the data for Baja California, specifically in border crossings in Mexicali and Tijuana, the state gets 41% of the deportations from the USA. Sonora gets almost 35%, Chihuahua 7% and Tamaulipas 17%.

The Casa del Migrante in Tijuana, Scalabrini Center, reports that in the past five  years, almost 85% of the people attended to have been migrants deported from the United States.

Father Pat Murphy, director of that shelter, stressed that the situation of the workers who arrive in the border cities has become extremely delicate.

Murphy said, via telephone, that in spite of the border wall and the more aggressive political promises of Donald Trump, it will be “very difficult” to dissuade the thousands of migrants who keep coming, intent upon getting into the United States, because they are fleeing poverty and violence in their countries of origin.