Friday, April 3, 2009

Cancun and Mexico News Bites

Hi, my name is Canucka and I have an addiction to the news. On a daily basis I read news from the national papers of Mexico, the local papers of Quintana Roo and the international news from Canadian news sources. I started reading the Mexican news as a way to improve my Spanish, but I find now that I am very interested in following ongoing stories and knowing what is happening in my community. On the days I have less time for reading, I will give up the international and national news, but I always find a way to at least catch up on the headlines of Cancun and Quintana Roo. Luckily Twitter and my Google reader keep it simple for me, I can sort the news based on category and read all the headlines, clicking further on the stories that interest me. I tried to take a "news free day" yesterday as I was feeling a bit world weary, but of course the headlines caught my eye and I cheated, but just a little! Feeling better today, I've delved into the "noticias" (news) and thought I would share a few of the stories I found.

1. Mexico Says Death Toll is Falling- Reuters and other sources are reporting that the number of people killed in cartel violence in Mexico is 25% lower in the first three months of the year than it was in the last three month period of 2008. It's still significantly higher than the previous year, with 1600 murders reported between January and March 2009 and 850 deaths between January and March of 2008, but any reduction in the number of casualties has to be seen as a positive step forward.

2. US and Mexico working together to fight drug cartels- Officials from both sides of the border are in meetings in Cuernavaca to discuss plans and coordinate efforts in the battle against the drug cartels and the violence at the border. It seems that talks are progressing slowly, no formal actions have been takien though both countries have the desire to stop drugs from entering the United States and guns and money from entering Mexico.

3. Cancun police have new reasons to stop drivers- Starting April 15th, Cancun police officers will be directed to stop cars carrying three or more men, cars with polarized windows and cars with out of state license plates with the intention of preventing deliquency and crime.

4. Canadian tourist drowns in Tulum- A sad story from Tulum this week, a Canadian man has lost his life in the Caribbean Sea. According to Noticaribe, the man's widow has said that he was intoxicated and entered the water in a restricted zone. Please, respect the sea, watch for red flags and posted warnings and do not drink and swim, tragedies such as these can be avoided.

5. Cozumel protests the extraction of sand for the beach recovery project- It comes as no surprise that the beach recovery project has hit another snag. The proposal for the project has sand being dredged from the north end of Cozumel, but environmentalists and local politicians are protesting the move, saying that the environmental impact has not been thoroughly studied or discussed. 80% of the sand required for replenishing the beaches of Cancun and Playa del Carmen is supposed to come from the Cozumel area. The protests will add yet another delay to this huge undertaking.

6. Mexico fires second coach in a year- With yet another loss under the belt of the national soccer team of Mexico, the organization has fired Sven-Goran Eriksson, the man they had hoped would revitalize the program. Eriksson was dismissed after the 3-1 loss against Honduras and no new coach has been hired. The Mexican Soccer Federation plans to have a new trainer in place before the next World Cup qualifying match in June. (eta: Just announced, the team has hired Javier Aguirre to replace Eriksson).

That's just a taste of what I've been reading today, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the issues. Love the news? Hate the news? Bored to tears by the news? Let me know what you think!


zannie said...

Cancun police officers will be directed to stop cars carrying three or more men, cars with polarized windows and cars with out of state license plates with the intention of preventing deliquency and crime.

I can understand why people in such vehicles may be more likely than others to be involved in crimes, but I still find this disconcerting. It seems likely to create a lot of problems for people who are not doing anything wrong at all. I don't know how common carpooling is there, but I can certainly imagine this being a big discouragement for men to do so, and I would certainly think twice about bringing my tourism dollars there if I were considering driving there from out of state. Polarized windows are one thing, but the other two seem like a good way to harass innocent people. Are they particularly unusual things for people to do if they are not committing crimes?

Sue said...

Here's my take on the news...

I like reading what you have already filtered for me. All the topics you posted about were of interest to me too. So thanks for doing the hard work and letting me be the slacker. Great job!

Sara said...

That's good to hear that the government says that the death toll is falling, although it was extremely high. Hopefully that is a trend that carried forward. Mexico is such a beautiful country and doesn't deserve the bad rap that it's been getting lately.

Steve Cotton said...

Great summaries. Keep it up. I may even be able to cancel my subscription to The Economist. :})

ElleCancun said...

I am like you - really enjoy reading whatever I can, and them forming my own opinions :) My poli sci degree may have something to do with that! LOL! (there's nothing else to do with it!!)

So this car thing - is that for real? 3 men or more and you'll be pulled over?

Erickson gone - I wonder how much that cost us? His million dollar a month paycheck?

Good reporting Canucka! LOL!!

I'll stay tuned... jajaja

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the news updates.
If a local police force targeted cars with three men or more to pull over in the USA I am sure it would be cause for law suits. Sterotyping and harrasment and a violation of their civil rights. It will be interesting to see if this is followed through on.

Islagringo said...

The State Commissioner of Human Rights has stated that the Mayor of Cancun has no right to stop cars for the reasons given. Remains to be seen if they ignore him or not.

The 3 men or more in a car gives me pause. Until recently, there were always 3 of us in the car whenever we went to Cancun. This'll keep me from giving any friends a ride to CostCo!

jeanie said...

In the US there is such a big deal about racial profiling. In Mexico since racial can't really be an issue they are NUMBER profiling? Things that make you go HMMMMMM.

zannie said...

Why can't racial profiling be an issue in Mexico?

CancunCanuck said...

zannie- I find it disconcerting as well, though I suspect they've been doing it anyway, making it a "formal" plan of action makes me uncomfortable. The out of state plate thing has certainly been happening anyway, whenever we see someone pulled over we check their plates and they are often from "troubled" states of Mexico.

Sue- Thanks, glad you liked the break down. I think I'll do it more often.

Sara- "Bad rap" is right, the media is doing its best to paint a picture of a country soaked in blood, but it's actually isolated events. In fact, I read a number yesterday that was valuable, (rough numbers here, no source except a twitterer), 7000 drug related deaths in Mexico last year, 40 000 in the USA. Ahem. :)

Steve Cotton- LOL, keep that subscription, the economy is not my strong suit! :)

On Mex Time- Yes, it's for real, at least it was in all the papers (for whatever that is worth, haha). And oh yeah, Erikson was earning a big pay check, not sure what his golden handshake amounted to. :)

jackie- I think the US is just better at hiding its stereotyping, for years the "pulled over while driving black" has been happening though everyone in law enforcement denies it. Officially acknowledging that it's happening is scary, though I guess it's better than the hypocrisy of saying that it's not. I'll be interested to see if the "new initiative" actually brings any kind of arrests or prevents any crimes from occurring.

IslaGringo- I guess if they say he can't do it, they'll just say "Shhhh, don't tell anyone you're doing it but go ahead" and make the whole thing a lot quieter. Well, I guess you can give one friend a ride to Costco and go back and get the other, but I suspect that you "white guys" should be ok. ;-)

jeanie- Racial profiling is certainly an issue here, there is a lot of stereotyping based on skin colour. The indigenous people have always faced discrimination. I've heard on several occasions "Oh you were robbed? Must have been a (insert derogatory term for a Mexican minority here)". And while they don't seem to target "white folk" as criminals, they will target them for traffic stops. But I agree, any kind of stereotyping, numbers, colour, state can be dangerous.

zannie- See my comment to Jeanie. :)

Cancun Mexico said...

Hi, once again I will write about this issue. The violence in Mexico is far away from the tourist destinations. We have to take security rules in anywhere. Cancun Mexico is very far from the US-Mexico border.

Sandman said...

When do you think they will start restoring the beaches?

CancunCanuck said...

Cancun- Have you checked out Good resource for clients who are running scared.

Sandman- Wellll, your guess is as good as mine now. I've got an update coming, there is yet another delay on the project, they've extended the time for bids on the project. They were SUPPOSED to start this month (April), so who knows when they'll actually get going. Probably right before a big hurricane hits. :) Will keep you posted.

Fned said...

The FIRED Eriksson???? Man! When did THAT happen???


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