What’s Going On In This Country?

November 16, 2015 Edition
BY: SANTIAGO VERDUGO

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Check it out! Check it out! My girllfriend Fluffy made the cover of the Baja Safe calendar for 2016! This is not a paid gig, it’s for charity, helping to raise money for the animal shelter.

calendar.JPGI sent her picture into the competition so long ago I forgot about it and now she’s on the cover as Miss January. Gosh, I hope being chosen to be a calendar girl doesn’t go to her head, and she falls for a handsomer guy. Oh! Lucky for me there is no handsomer guy! ja ja ja!

If you would like to buy a calendar and support the shelter, go to www.bajasafe.com or email et.safe@hotmail.com. I don’t know how much it costs, just throw money at the shelter. Hey, you’re a Gringo. Aren’t all Gringos rich? Yes, I’m pretty sure about that.

 

Bombs away. Bombs that exploded on four transit buses over on the mainland were the work of an anarchist group protesting “the frenzied advance of modern development” and the threat it represents to nature. Oh for god’s sakes. Can’t they come up with something better, like at least sterilizing boy doggies that chase girl doggies and contribute to the population problem? Or, how about, maybe a stretch here; world peace?
A group calling itself the Pagan Sect of the Mountain claimed responsibility for placing the explosives, and vowed it would continue such attacks as long as civilization continues to “destroy nature.”

The buses targeted were all part of the state-owned Mexibus line. We could publish their entire manifesto here, but why? We will give you the Readers Digest version. “If civilization is going to destroy nature, we will respond in the same manner. Fire and explosives against civilization!”

A few hours after the bomb attacks four Mexibus stations were vandalized when windows were broken, but no one has claimed responsibility. Is that their best shot? A Halloween soaping of the windows? Ja ja ja. We laugh in their face.

Hurry, hurry. The Rolling Stones will perform in Mexico City next March. There is speculation that Stones will perform in Cuba, also in March, fueled by a report that guitarist Keith Richards said the band was interested in a concert there. Well, far be it from us to be unkind, but at their advanced age, is it smart to be advertising a date so far in advance? We mean, even if they’re still alive, they could be undergoing hip surgery or some damn thing.

Short on dignity. The Mexican government is under fire after it was revealed they have paid the makers of  the latest James Bond movie $28 million to portray Mexico City in a flattering light. Hacked Sony emails in March revealed that producers were offered tax rebates and financial incentives from local government and tourism agencies to change the script of the new film Spectre that’s just out, to omit mention of Mexican drug lords and corrupt police. Well, what would be left of that movie then?

The opening four minutes of the movie shows James Bond at Mexico City’s Day of the Dead festival.

The producers agreed to portray that the film’s assassin was not Mexican, but instead an “international figurehead”. And the mayor of Mexico City, as well as the Mexican police, would be replaced with a “special police force”. This dishonesty has angered local activists, who are calling on the Mexican government to justify why they spent taxpayers dollars on sweeping the country’s problems under the carpet. Mexican actress Stephanie Sigman was also part of the white wash, critics say.

“How many teachers or doctors would that cash have provided for? It is a disgrace how our leaders put Hollywood before its own people. The move to edit scenes comes after it was recently revealed Mexican police are paid as much as $108 million a month in bribes from cartel bosses.

Spectre producer Michael Wilson dismissed the Mexican deal at an emergency press conference, denying it had influenced the script. “Everywhere we go, we have incentives,” Wilson said. “Sometimes they’re tax incentives, sometimes they’re other kinds of incentives. You can get cooperation or you get things you would have to pay for free.”

We are not alone. Foreigners are defined as individuals born in another country but residing in Mexico. According to the recent census, almost a million (961,121) foreigners were living in Mexico in mid 2010. Yes, five years ago is the latest info.

There are slightly more males than females (50.6% versus 49.4%).

Though almost a million foreigners sounds like an impressive number, foreigners constitute only 0.86% of the Mexican population, compared to 21% Canada and 13% in the USA.

Baja California has the most foreigners with almost 123,000, followed by Jalisco (84,000), Chihuahua (80,000), and the Federal District (72,000).

The states with the highest percentage of foreigners are mostly along the U.S. border. Baja California leads with 3.9%, followed by Chihuahua (2.3%), Tamaulipas (1.9%), and Sonora (1.7%). Other states with relatively large percentages are either historical sources of immigrants to the USA or retirement havens like Colima (1.44%), Quintana Roo (1.40%), Nayarit (1.35%), Zacatecas (1.22%), Jalisco (1.14%) and Michoacán (1.10%).

Uh, hellloooo, we are here! Los Cabos! The state of Baja Sur, to be exact. Did anyone send a counter around here? Yeah, those of us who weren’t at the beach, were hiding under the bed at the knock on the door.

Mexico’s Supreme Court has voted to allow a group of activists to legally grow and smoke marijuana. The ruling deemed unconstitutional aspects of the national health law that prohibit marijuana use. Although the decision allows only the plaintiffs to consume the drug, it sets a precedent that could, and probably will accelerate efforts to pass legislation permitting recreational or medicinal use of marijuana.

“Absolute prohibition is excessive and doesn’t protect the right to health,” Justice Olga Sánchez Cordero said.

The Catholic Church in Mexico came out strongly against legalization. An editorial this week in an archdiocese publication argued that the Supreme Court debate “confuses the public” about a dangerous product.

Pot sales go up in smoke. What about the poor drug cartels? Are they gonna be OK?

Yes, they are going to be just fine, if marijuana is legal, they have already diversified their activities in recent years. They are now more involved in kidnapping and extortion and protection rackets, they will land on their feet. Besides, there’s still the market for meth, cocaine, and a display case full of other goodies the foolish among us are never going to get enough of.

Mexico trucking along. Even though personal income rates are just 15-30% of those of other members, Mexico is considered an industrialized country and is therefore part of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Mexico, however, still shows many characteristics of a developing country: rising urbanization, age of population, and economic growth centered in cities, just to name a few.

Mexico’s economy is rapidly growing, and the country’s debt has been upgraded. The country is the second largest economy in Latin America and now has an unemployment rate of just 4.4%, compared to 7.5% for first place Brazil. (The United States is officially 5%). Looking forward, the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that Mexico’s GDP will grow by over 80% by 2030.

They’re laughing at us! A national newspaper has picked up the story of our empty, deteriorating convention center built for us by the feds three years ago. The feds turned the three story center which has 10 rooms and holds up to 6,400 people  over to our city, which was like tossing it in the ocean, as our city fathers did nothing to market the beautiful facility, and in fact didn’t even keep the $73 million building maintained.

The once proud building that hosted world leaders of the G20 now sports shattered windows, gaping doorways, collapsed ceilings, peeling walls, and broken flagpoles. A green wall with 2,000 square meters of indigenous plants, once dubbed the largest of its kind in the world and considered the center’s most attractive feature, is now overrun with rotting vegetation.

Our state Tourism Secretary thinks things are improving and it will be open for business again through a public-private partnership, and tells us that foreign investors have expressed interest in becoming involved.

Meanwhile Mexicans from around the country are aghast that we’re not taking better care of our gift.