Roundup: A look at news south of the border
A roundup of news coverage from the Mexican side of the border, with stories from websites in Sonora, Chihuahua, Tamaulipas, and Mexico City.
Only a day after Human Rights Watch denounced the Mexican government's handling of the drug war, the Washington Office on Latin America said that the Merida Initiative, the main program through which the U.S. government helps the Mexican government fight the drug cartels, had actually generated more violence, rather than diminishing it, reported El Imparcial on Thursday.
Along the border, U.S. Customs at the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales found 3,000 pounds of marijuana hidden among watermelons on a truck, reported Nuevo Dia on Thursday. Authorities in Nogales, Sonora burned nine metric tons of marijuana and other drugs on Wednesday, reported Nuevo Dia. The drugs were left over from seizures made recently by local, state, and federal law enforcement. Law enforcement capitalized on a tip and seized more than 1,200 pounds of marijuana on its way from Hermosillo to Nogales, Sonora, reported Nuevo Dia on Thursday.
In national news about the drug war, six law enforcement officials in the state of Aguascalientes were arrested for allegedly helping drug cartels move their product. No names were released, reported El Diario de Juarez on Thursday. Ovidio Limon Sanchez, considered by the Drug Enforcement Agency to be one of Chapo Guzman's top lieutenants, with a $5 million reward for his capture, was caught in Culiacan, Sinaloa, reported El Universal on Thursday.
The federal police officers stationed in Agua Prieta, Sonora are annoying local residents by parking their trucks in more than one parking space, reported El Periodico de Agua Prieta. Photos taken last Friday show a federal police truck taking up at least two spots while apparently the driver went into a convenience store for some sodas. A few days later, an elite unit of the Mexican federal police was photographed searching random people on the streets of Agua Prieta, reported El Periodico de Agua Prieta.
A man was killed by machine gun bullets in the streets of Nogales, Sonora late Sunday night, reported Nuevo Dia. Two triple-murders, in separate locations in the state of Chihuahua, were reported by El Diario de Juarez on Thursday.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection inaugurated a new system designed to speed up the process of going through checkpoints at the border in El Paso. In the new system, pedestrians can use identification cards equipped with radio frequency chips, reported El Mañana on Thursday.
The National Forestry Commission warned residents of Mexico's northern states that the dryness of the past few months has created the conditions for fires from now until December, reported El Imparcial on Thursday.
The number of Mexicans living abroad who registered to vote in Mexican elections rose 239 percent since 2005, reported El Imparcial on Thursday. Mexican officials received 2,963 registrations, with 97 percent of them coming from Mexicans living in the United States.
The Mexican government announced a plan to keep shoppers on the southern side of the border during Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and reputedly the most hectic shopping day of the year, reported El Mañana on Thursday. Mexican shoppers will be able to take advantage of discounts on a wide array of goods so that they keep their business in Mexico.
Representatives from Atlas Advertising, Inc. met with business leaders and politicians in Nogales, Sonora to discuss how to make the city more attractive to investors, reported Nuevo Dia.
In two weeks, bidding will begin on the construction of a natural gas pipeline from Juarez to Chihuahua. The construction is expected to begin early next year at a cost of $600 million, reported El Diario de Juarez on Thursday.
Mexican President Calderon pushed for more agricultural production in greenhouses, saying that it was a more profitable way of farming and would spare Mexican farmers from losing their crops due to freezes, as happened last year, reported El Imparcial on Thursday.
Ivan Barona will meet with the Secretary of Communication and Transportation on Friday to show good faith in his offer to invest $400 million to save the state-owned airline, El Universal reported on Thursday.
Standard & Poor's elevated its economic risk rating for Mexico. Part of the reason for the change was the vulnerability of the Mexican economy to the economic cycles of the United States, El Diario de Juarez reported on Wednesday.
Curtis Prendergast also writes for The Sonoran Chronicle.