What's Going On In This Country?

March 5, 2018 Edition

Mexican President says no to Trump Tentative plans for Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to meet with President Donald Trump in Washington were trashed this week after a testy phone call between the two. Of course, the problem was who’s going to pay for the wall.

The call was 50 minutes long, and mostly about the wall.  A Mexican official said Trump lost his temper, but U.S. officials characterized Trump as being frustrated.

Both accounts confirm it was Peña Nieto who put the kybosh on the meeting to be held in Washington. 

"The problem is that President Trump has painted himself, President Peña Nieto, and the bilateral relationship into a corner," said Arturo Sarukhan, a former Mexican ambassador to the United States.

In January 2017, just days into Trump's presidency, Peña Nieto called off a planned trip to meet Trump in Washington amid angry words, again, over Trump's border wall proposal.

Trump said, "The fact is, we are both in a little bit of a political bind because I have to have Mexico pay for the wall," Trump told Peña Nieto. "I have to. I have been talking about it for a two-year period.  If you are going to say that Mexico is not going to pay for the wall, then I do not want to meet with you guys anymore because I cannot live with that."

Meanwhile, NAFTA talks stumble on.

Still fighting over tourist tax The governor of our wonderful state is still scheming a way to collect a new $16 tax.

Seems the gov can pass the law but he can’t make anyone collect it for him. Cruise ship officials refused, so the state agreed not to charge anyone who isn’t overnighting. Now hotels are saying they won’t collect it either. And airlines say they’re not in the tax collecting business, so who does that leave? Maybe the state can leave a collection plate at the airport and hope for the best. Good luck with that.

Billion dollar embassy The United States government has started building a new embassy in Mexico City. The tab will come to about $943 million. No, that’s not pesos, and no, Mexico will not pay for that fu**ing building, to paraphrase former President Fox.

Mexico’s undersecretary for North American relations said building a new diplomatic headquarters represents the start of another chapter in the relationship between the two countries, to the benefit of all.

In other news in the same week, Mexican President Pena Nieto cancelled a planned trip to Washington over disagreement about who pays for Donald Trump’s wall.

38 dolphins rescued in La Paz 59 were found after what dolphin experts believe was attack by other dolphin species. They do that?

38 dolphins out of 59 washed up on a beach were rescued. Experts said that bite marks found on the injured parties show they were attacked by bottlenose dolphins.

An autopsy will be done on two, while the others will be buried.

Who says Mexico is clueless? Well, not us, we know better. The Mexican state of Jalisco (think Guadalajara and Ajijic), has 12 universities, including Tecnológico de Monterrey.

In the past four years $120 million has been invested in more than 300 high-tech start-ups.

Mexico has half as many engineering graduates as the US but has only one-third the population.

The state leased more than 100,000 square feet and built individually wired turnkey work spaces, charging high-tech start-ups minimal rent. And they poured in, one and two-person operations, forming small clusters of educated people. People visiting here tend to think all of Mexico is like Cabo. No, Cabo is the wild and wooly frontier.  It is not real life Mexico

Oaxaca is not real life Mexico either We hope. Thugs in Oaxaca started thumping on 120 parents who tried to get them out of their children’s school. It pains us to call these men striking teachers but technologically they are.

The teachers belong to CNTE teachers’ union. More than three years ago it was decided that CNTE teachers would no longer be allowed to work at the school after they had repeatedly abandoned their students to participate in strikes that many parents believed were unjustified. They were striking because they didn’t want to take competency exams. The strikers were replaced. But last week the ousted teachers showed up again and tried to forcibly evict their replacements.

Parents retaliated and in the ensuing fight, the fathers of two students were badly hurt. Nevertheless, the parents managed to repel the invading teachers, while the strikers managed to steal six computers and three televisions. Earlier that same week, they had vandalized the school building.

Over the past years these so called teachers have hijacked hundreds of buses, a half dozen Coca Cola trucks, and assorted highway toll booths.

We don’t make this stuff up Homeowners have been offered free gas and some money to look the other way when they look out their kitchen window and see thugs digging up their backyard

People in Cuernavaca are learning that their homes have been built over active gasoline pipelines. Thieves are tapping into those lines.

A woman who has lived for two decades in the northern part of Cuernavaca began seeing unusual after-dark activity in her yard five months ago. She soon realized that a pipeline was buried there and thieves were tapping into it.

“They offer gasoline and about $150 US to keep those of us living here quiet,” one resident said.

Do they take the money and roll down their blinds? Well, if they don’t it’s not going to go well for them, so they do. But they do put out that cigarette they might have lit up.

No-tell motels get lucky Love hotels, those that rent rooms by the hour, got a 30% boost this Valentine’s Day.

Ewww. Is that romantic? Sticky sheets for the day of love?

The president of the Puebla Hotels Ass. explained that rooms of that sort in that city costs about $14.50, on average but if the fella is a big spender, add-ons mount up fast. Add-ons. We didn’t ask.

One of our very own Cabo love hotels is on the road to Todos Santos, in front of the Humane Society.  You can tell it’s one of those establishments by the wall around the parking lot, the better to hide from the wife.

Pssst, hey buddy The latest global corruption index indicates Mexico continues its slow but steady downward slide and remains within the ranks of the world’s most corrupt countries. The 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index ranks Mexico in 135thplace on the list of 180 countries with a score of 29, one point less than the previous year.

Compiled by Transparency International, the index scores countries between zero and 100, zero being very dirty and 100 squeaky clean.

Sitting at the bottom of the index, with a score of nine, is Somalia, while at the top is New Zealand with 89.

The index found that more than two-thirds of countries scored below 50, meaning Mexico is far from alone. It is also far from being unique in terms of worsening levels of corruption.

Transparency International said this year’s index shows that the majority of countries are making little or no progress in ending corruption.

Mexico has seen its score drop consistently since 2014 when it was 35th.