News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Friday, September 22, 2006

80,000 violent felons run free on U.S. streets

Congressman says U.S. must turn back effort to weaken law enforcement

Posted: September 22, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2006

With America facing a surge of 80,000 violent criminals on its streets, the U.S. House of Representatives has approved a plan that would enlist as many as 700,000 state and local law enforcement officers in the battle.

The 277-140 vote, according to plan sponsor U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood, R-Ga., affirmed the authority of state and local law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration laws while in the course of their regular duties such as traffic stops and drug arrests.

"The margin by which this bill passed sends an unmistakable message to the Senate from the people's House that the nation demands action on this issue," Norwood said. "All across America, people have witnessed horrific crimes committed by criminal illegal aliens, who were released on our communities because we failed to enforce immigration laws."

Officials investigate latest Tijuana killing spree; six bodies dumped

By Anna Cearley

September 20, 2006

TIJUANA – Mexican authorities are investigating the slayings of six men whose bodies were found dumped around Tijuana yesterday.

The latest killing spree follows the discovery of seven dumped bodies Friday night and Saturday morning. One of those victims was a Mexican federal police investigator.

Drug groups often are behind such killings, and the recent surge of dumped bodies comes about a month after U.S. authorities arrested suspected drug cartel leader Francisco Javier Arellano Félix and other suspected members of the region's Arellano Félix cartel.

Some U.S. and Mexican investigators say the Arellanos are going after rivals and people who have betrayed them. A note left near one group of bodies found last week indicated they were killed for being traitors.


Tijuana officials seek army intervention

Recent killings may be caused by drug cartel
By Anna Cearley

September 22, 2006

TIJUANA – A string of killings is plaguing Tijuana a month after U.S. authorities detained suspected drug kingpin Francisco Javier Arellano Félix, and some authorities are taking the violence so seriously that they have called on the Mexican army to help restore order.

The latest victim was a city police assistant chief, Arturo Rivas Vaca, who was in his patrol car when he was gunned down about 8 a.m. yesterday. Jorge Eduardo Ledezma Magallon, a police officer who was Rivas' bodyguard, and Luis Francisco de Santiago Ferrer, a bystander, were injured in the attack, according to Luis Javier Algorri Franco, the city's secretary of public security.

Vaca was the fifth law enforcement official to be killed this month, an unusually high number for such a short time frame. None of the deaths has been officially linked to the Arellano Félix drug cartel.

122 illegal aliens arrested near Buckley Air Force Base

The aliens arrested were illegally working for subcontractors building military family housing

AURORA, Colo. - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents this morning, in partnership with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI), arrested 122 illegal aliens here who were working for subcontractors responsible for building military family housing for Buckley Air Force Base.

The illegal aliens were working for Hunt Building Co. LTD building multi-family housing units.

The aliens were arrested after they were determined to be illegally residing and working in the United States. Those arrested are citizens of the following countries: Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. All are men ranging in age from 18 to 50 years old.

Bush ready to OK border barrier

By Charles Hurt
Published September 22, 2006

President Bush will sign the bill to construct 700 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border if it is approved by the Senate, the White House said, as Congress continued yesterday drafting more legislation to combat illegal immigration.
On Wednesday night, Mr. Bush told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that he would sign the bill if approved by the Senate, which spent the past two days debating whether they should even consider the fence bill.
Late yesterday, Democrats finally agreed to allow the bill to be taken up.
The House, meanwhile, approved a slew of new bills to speed the deportation of illegal aliens, outlaw tunneling under the border and close loopholes that allow criminal aliens to be released into the U.S.

Mexico Pledges to Extradite Drug Lords

Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- President Vicente Fox said Tuesday that Mexico is willing to extradite any drug lord in its custody wanted by the United States.

Fox said Mexico currently has 16 "big leaders" of drug gangs in jail along with 75,000 lower level members of various cartels.

"We are fighting hard and attaining very important results," Fox said of Mexico's fight against drug dealers. He was speaking at a news conference in New York where he was attending the United Nations General Assembly.

The U.S. is believed to have requested the extradition of at least three suspected drug kingpins: Benjamin Arellano Felix of the Arellano Felix smuggling syndicate; Osiel Cardenas, reputed head of the Gulf Cartel; and Hector "El Guero" Palma, a reputed leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel.

"We will extradite all of those who have pending matters with U.S. justice," Fox said.

It was the first time Mexico's president had made such a sweeping commitment to send wanted drug lords to face charges in the U.S.

Fox Doesn't Expect Leftist Opposition

Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Mexico's outgoing President Vicente Fox said Tuesday he does not expect the country's leftist opposition to militantly oppose his successor even though it has declared a parallel government.

Fox, in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly, also said Mexico is willing to extradite all drug lords in its custody who are wanted by the United States - his most sweeping commitment yet to send kingpins to face U.S. justice.

The Mexican leader said he did not expect the opposition's rejection of President-elect Felipe Calderon, a member of Fox's conservative party, to destabilize Mexico or hurt its economy.

Supporters of election loser Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador declared him president of their "parallel government" over the weekend. The declaration came at the end of seven weeks of intense protests with Lopez Obrador supporters camped out in the center of Mexico City, clogging the heart of the capital.

Feds chase proceeds, assets of drug family

By Louie Gilot
El Paso Times

The U.S. government is going after the drug proceeds and assets of an El Paso-Juárez drug-smuggling family, asking for $10 million and the forfeiture of three El Paso residences, officials in the U.S. attorney's office said Thursday.

Officials said the $10 million was derived from the criminal activities of Hector Leonel Marquez Ramos, his sister-in-law Diana Marquez, Horacio Fernandez and others who conspired to smuggle thousands of pounds of marijuana to the Midwest in the past several years.

Diana Marquez was found guilty Wednesday of drug conspiracy and money laundering charges. She is a former Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission toll collector at the Bridge of the Americas and the wife of alleged ringleader Mario Alonso Marquez Ramos, who is on the run.

During closing arguments this week, her lawyer, Ray Velarde, sought to depict her as a neglected wife who was kept in the dark of her husband's affairs.

"This guy is a macho in the family; he lives for himself," Velarde said. "Diana is only a second thought."

But prosecutors listed a long series of large checks by Fernandez to Diana Marquez and of deposits she made to a Mexican bank account that were inconsistent with the $18,000 a year she said she made working in a booth at the bridge and inconsistent with the $37,000 Fernandez said he made as a real estate agent in San Antonio.

"The money coming in did not match the money coming out," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jose Luis Acosta. "The only consistent source of money for the Marquez family has been drugs."

Migrants' free return flights to end

Report: Program impossible to link to border deaths

PHOENIX — Free flights to Mexico for illegal immigrants caught in Arizona will end on Sept. 30, and U.S. officials have not yet decided if the repatriation program will resume next summer.

Since July, the Department of Homeland Security has given more than 12,000 undocumented immigrants free flights into Mexico City as part of a three-year-old program federal officials have credited with saving lives in the Arizona desert.

However, a new Government Accountability Office report found no direct correlation between the number of border deaths and the repatriation program.

The GAO found it was "not possible to determine the program's impact on recidivism rates and deaths with certainty," adding that deaths fluctuate based on a number of factors including Border Patrol enforcement efforts.

Top Homeland Security officials have pledged to cut costs for the repatriation program, which has an annual price tag of about $15 million.

The U.S. Border Patrol made 1.1 million arrests last year, but only about 1 percent of undocumented immigrants took advantage of the free flights.

House approves 3 bills on immigration

Nicole Gaouette
Los Angeles
Sept. 22, 2006
12:00 AM

WASHINGTON - The House on Thursday approved three new bills targeting illegal immigration, including one that would make it a crime to tunnel underneath U.S. borders and another making it easier to deport gang members who are not citizens.

The action followed House approval of a proposed 700-mile fence along the border with Mexico - legislation the Senate is now debating - and passage of a bill meant to prevent illegal immigrants from voting.

One of the new measures would authorize the indefinite detention of some illegal immigrants. The bill would allow the Department of Homeland Security to quickly deport non-citizens if it believes they are gang members.

A second bill would speed the ability of immigration officers to deport people and limit their access to appeal. It would strip people from El Salvador of a special immigration status that has protected many of them from deportation. And it would affirm the right of state and local law enforcement to help enforce federal immigration laws.

The third bill would impose a 20-year prison sentence on anyone who digs a tunnel under a U.S. border.

'Virtual fence' to go up near Tucson

Peter Pae
Los Angeles
Sept. 22, 2006
12:00 AM

From their Huntington Beach, Calif., facility, Boeing Co. engineers crafted a plan to line the Mexican border with 1,800 towers equipped with sensors that can spot when illegal immigrants step onto U.S. soil.

Infrared cameras will detect the body heat of intruders, and radar will track vehicles used to smuggle immigrants and drugs into the United States.

On Thursday, Boeing's plan won a key contract, one that could lead to a "virtual fence" along 7,500 miles of the U.S.'s borders with Mexico and Canada.

Department of Homeland Security officials said Thursday that the initial three-year contract was worth $67 million and called for Boeing to build its tower-based system along a 28-mile stretch of the border south of Tucson. But analysts said the project could be expanded and total more than $2.5 billion.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

DEA finds tunnel in Calexico area


The Drug Enforcement Administration announced last night that it has discovered a tunnel under the U.S.-Mexico border in Imperial County that apparently was used for smuggling drugs.

The 400-foot tunnel reaches between a residence in Calexico and a residence in Mexicali, Mexico, said John S. Fernandes, DEA special agent in charge.

It is about 20 feet underground, equipped with lighting and bolstered with wooden beams every few feet. It is accessed with a ladder.

The DEA was uncertain what group was using the tunnel, he said.

Attack kills 3 in Tijuana restaurant

By Sandra Dibble and Anna Cearley

September 15, 2006

TIJUANA – Heavily armed assailants ambushed a restaurant where police were eating yesterday evening, killing one federal officer, a waitress and one other person, state authorities said.

The attack occurred about 6 p.m. in one of the city's oldest neighborhoods, Colonia Libertad, adjacent to the San Ysidro border crossing.

The victims' identities weren't immediately available, and it was unclear how many were wounded. The assailants fled the scene.

The dead officer worked for a section of the Federal Preventive Police that patrols highways, said Ernesto Álvarez, a spokesman with the state Attorney General's Office.


Residents left shaken by ambush
One family hid as gunfire erupted
By Anna Cearley

September 16, 2006

TIJUANA – A day after assailants opened fire on a restaurant where police were eating, killing one officer and two other people inside, Armando Scott brushed the broken glass from his shot-up car, which had been parked nearby.

“I'm an ex-Marine, and I've been in Beirut, and I was in Desert Storm, and I've seen this stuff before,” said Scott, a U.S. citizen, as he surveyed the bullet holes riddling his 1989 Mercury Cougar.

Scott, 47, of Chula Vista said he was spending time with his wife in Tijuana, where they also have an apartment, when the attack took place. Mexican authorities said about 20 assailants ambushed people in the Mi Chante restaurant across the street. As the family hid in the apartment, at least 10 bullets passed through Scott's parked car.

The gravity of the Thursday evening attack was sinking in yesterday for residents of the neighborhood near the San Ysidro port of entry, for others in Tijuana, and across the border.


Co-workers mourn woman slain in Tijuana
By Anna Cearley

September 19, 2006

The U.S. woman killed Thursday night when a group of men opened fire at a restaurant in Tijuana has been identified as Shaleece Louise Santiago, who worked at a Chula Vista Wal-Mart.

Santiago, 30, and a waitress were apparently innocent victims in an attack on a group of police eating at the restaurant, Mexican authorities said.

Lorena Blanco, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana, said yesterday that Santiago, who was married to a Mexican national, was from El Cajon.

Employees of the Chula Vista Wal-Mart at 1150 Broadway said that more than 100 of Santiago's colleagues attended a memorial service for her in Tijuana over the weekend.

“Everybody here is really hurt by her loss,” said Marian Wolover, a store employee. “She was a beautiful person inside and out. She was helpful and a very hard worker.”

The attack at the Mi Chante restaurant also killed a federal police officer. Four police and diners were wounded.

Eldest Arellano Felix brother arraigned in S.D.

By Onell R. Soto

and Debbi Farr Baker

3:04 p.m. September 18, 2006

SAN DIEGO – The oldest brother of the man authorities say is the leader of one of the largest drug cartels in Mexico pleaded not guilty in San Diego federal court Monday to drug charges two days after being turned over to U.S. officials.

Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix is charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and cocaine distribution under a 1980 grand jury indictment issued here. He faces up to 30 years in prison. U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony Battaglia scheduled a bail hearing for Thursday. Arellano is currently being held in a location that prosecutors would not reveal.

More Mexican Migrants Speak No Spanish

Associated Press Writer

WOODBURN, Ore. (AP) -- Inching along the dusty field under a broiling sun, Simon Santol tossed garlic bulbs into buckets and chatted with the other stooped-over Mexican workers. The conversation wasn't in Spanish.

Instead, they spoke Santol's native Triqui, or Mixtec, Zapotec or other languages indigenous to the poorest regions of Mexico. Many of the workers can barely get by in English or Spanish.

"It was hard at first," the 28-year-old Santol said in halting Spanish. "We would look for someone who spoke our language and Spanish. Now I have learned a little Spanish. Grace of God."

Immigrants who have not adopted Spanish or English can struggle to find housing, jobs and fair interest rates, advocate groups say. Navigating the legal system is tricky - sometimes it's difficult just to communicate.

Mexico's 'Parallel' Gov't in Question

Associated Press Writer

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Now that Mexican leftists have acclaimed defeated candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador president of a parallel government, the question is will they settle into the role of a normal democratic opposition or try to press their agenda through more militant resistance.

Lopez Obrador, who lost the July 2 presidential election by 234,000 votes to conservative Felipe Calderon, led a massive protest for seven weeks with followers camped out in the center of Mexico City clogging the heart of the capital to demand a full vote recount.

The protest culminated in a self-styled convention of delegates who packed central Zocalo plaza Saturday night and voted by a show of hands to form a parallel government with a Cabinet and plans to swear in Lopez Obrador as president on Nov. 20.

Lopez Obrador, who championed the rights of the poor during his campaign, said Saturday the parallel government will work on proposals to rewrite Mexico's constitution to guarantee the right to food, work, health care, education and housing while overhauling "corrupt" public institutions.

Saturday's mass convention held back from vowing to pay taxes to the parallel government or break existing laws. But it pledged to wage a campaign of peaceful resistance to undermine Calderon at every turn during the single six-year term allowed by Mexico's constitution.

Mexico Reevaluates Venezuela Relations

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexico said Sunday that it is reevaluating its diplomatic relations with Venezuela after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez accused the Mexican government of stealing its country's recent presidential election.

Chavez said last week that his government had not recognized the victory of Mexican ruling party candidate Felipe Calderon because of concerns about alleged election irregularities.

Chavez apparently expanded on his allegations Saturday when interviewed by CNN at the Nonaligned Movement summit in Havana. According to a CNN anchor, Chavez again accused Mexico's conservative National Action Party of stealing the election, and said Calderon's campaign had "destroyed" the opportunity for good relations with Venezuela.

Attack ads by the National Action Party compared leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to Chavez, calling the candidate "a danger for Mexico."

Mexico Drug Kingpin Extradited to U.S.

Associated Press Writer

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Mexico extradited accused drug kingpin Francisco Rafael Arellano Felix to the United States on Saturday, making him the first major Mexican drug lord to be sent north to face trial on drug charges.

Mexico's extradition of the man who once ran the Arellano Felix drug clan was a victory for U.S. officials who have been pushing Mexico to send them more drug lords.

After serving a 10-year sentence in Mexico, Arellano Felix was loaded into a helicopter to the Mexican border town of Matamoros, then flown across and handed over to Texas officials in Brownsville. He will be taken to California to face trial on charges stemming from a 1980 case in which he allegedly sold cocaine to an undercover police officer in the United States.

U.S. authorities requested Arellano Felix's extradition on June 2, 2003. A federal judge approved that request in 2004, but it took two years for the Foreign Relations Department approve the extradition.

After 3 Months National Guard help Border Patrol Apprehend more than 10,400 Aliens

Washington, D.C. — Since the beginning of Operation Jump Start, U. S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol has credited the National Guard with assisting in the apprehension of 10,479 aliens, and the seizure of 37,288 pounds of marijuana and 1,738 pounds of cocaine with an estimated value of more than $85.4 million.

On Sept. 12, CBP Border Patrol agents, with the support of Texas National Guardsmen, rescued four individuals that were hidden in a sealed airtight wooden box at the Sarita Border Patrol Checkpoint in Texas. Texas National Guardsmen assisted Kingsville Border Patrol agents by prying open the boards of the wooden box in order to rescue the individuals. National Guard members have assisted in the rescues of 45 aliens.

Since June 15, 394 CBP Border Patrol agents have returned to direct border security duties as National Guard troops relieve agents of non-law enforcement responsibilities in support of Operation Jump Start.

Deaths of women crossing border doubled in seven years


TUCSON - Deaths of illegal immigrants crossing the Southwest border have surged since the mid-1990s, with the majority of the increase between 1998 and 2005 concentrated in Arizona, according to an analytical report to Congress.

Meanwhile, the report found the number of deaths among women illegal immigrant crossers has more than doubled in those same seven years - and more than half died in Arizona.

The report took the Border Patrol to task for not having a uniform standard nationwide for collecting data on migrant deaths.

While most deaths have involved men, deaths among women shot from 9 percent to 21 percent of the total between 1998 and 2005, according to the Border Patrol's data. "Deaths among women in the Tucson sector accounted for the majority of the overall increase in deaths among women in all sectors," the study said.

The Border Patrol's Tucson sector encompasses about the easternmost three-fourths of the Arizona-Mexico border and has been the nation's busiest point for illegal immigration for years.

House again OKs fence along 1/3 of U.S.-Mexico border

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The House voted for the second time in a year to erect a fence along a third of the U.S.-Mexico border, part of a Republican effort to keep illegal immigration an issue before voters.

A new 700 miles of double-layered fencing won approval on a 283-138 vote, a bigger margin than last December when the House passed it as part of a broader bill that also would have made being an illegal immigrant a felony. The nearly 2,000-mile border now has about 75 miles of fencing.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said the separate fence bill was needed to show Americans "we can take meaningful action to secure the border."

Illegal entry down 45% in N.M.

The Associated Press
Published: 09.16.2006

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - A commander of the National Guard's effort to bolster the U.S. Border Patrol along New Mexico's southern border says illegal crossings from Mexico have fallen 45 percent since troops were dispatched in June.

Col. Jim Morgan, commander of Task Force Zia, discussed border security with the Legislature's Courts, Corrections and Justice Committee on Thursday.

Guard troops from New Mexico, Arkansas, Georgia and West Virginia have been building vehicle barriers and providing surveillance and other assistance for the Border Patrol from U.S. 54 south of Alamogordo to the Arizona border, Morgan said.

Currently, 770 National Guard troops are working in southern New Mexico, he said.

"We are at locations determined by the flow of people," he said.

117 pounds of cocaine seized at San Luis port


Federal officers made a pair of cocaine seizures during the past two days at the San Luis Port of Entry, netting a total of 117 pounds of cocaine, authorities said.

The first seizure happened Wednesday morning when a 1997 Jeep Cherokee entered the port from Mexico. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer selected the vehicle for an inspection as it was crossing, said Customs spokesman Roger Maier in Texas.

A Customs drug-sniffing dog, Folger, searched the vehicle and alerted to the roof area of the SUV. Further examination revealed a false compartment in the ceiling, where agents found 25 cocaine-filled bundles weighing a total of 60.6 pounds, Maier said.

Felipe de Jesus Lugo Soto, 44, of San Luis Rio Colorado, was arrested in connection with the failed smuggling attempt, Maier said.

The second seizure occurred less than 24 hours later when a 1998 Ford Ranger entered the port from Mexico. Using equipment to detect
density, an officer detected hollow compartments in the truck's door panels. A search revealed 23 cocaine-filled bundles weighing 56.6 pounds, Maier said.

Assaults on illegal immigrants on the rise


Assaults on illegal immigrants crossing the border by "coyotes" and other "bandit acts" have dramatically increased over those reported last year, U.S. Border Patrol officials said.

In 2005, 18 assaults were reported to Border Patrol versus 203 so far this year, said Border Patrol spokesman Chris Van Wagenen.

The Border Patrol classifies the assaults as "bandit acts," which include physical assaults, robberies, rapes and, Van Wagenen said, he is aware of at least two murders.

The culprits, he said, are usually the smugglers, or "coyotes," who are bringing the people across, and criminals tagging along with groups making their way to the border or waiting in ambush at the border or along the way.

"The smugglers themselves are doing the robbing," said Van Wagenen. "They are always in the right place at the right time."

Judge orders Western Union to submit wire data for Arizona probe

PHOENIX (AP) -- A judge has ordered Western Union to provide Arizona authorities with data on wire transactions to recipients in the Mexican state of Sonora as part of investigations into drug and human smuggling.

Judge James Keppel of Maricopa County Superior Court issued the order after state officials and the company could not agree on the state's authority to compel disclosure of the data, Attorney General Terry Goddard's Office said Monday.

Western Union had refused to honor a subpoena for the data, Goddard's office said.

Excerpts of Keppel's order released by Goddard's office stated that the judge found that the state had authority to request the data, that the data was relevant to investigation of racketeering offenses and that Goddard's office was "demonstrating appropriate respect for the privacy of the transactions involved."

Senate set to consider fence bill

By Charles Hurt
Published September 19, 2006

The Senate, which has been the major obstacle to strict border-security legislation this year, will take up a bill this week that calls for constructing 700 more miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border.
"It's time to secure the border with Mexico," Majority Leader Bill Frist said last night before filing the parliamentary motions to force the House-passed bill onto the Senate floor in a final effort to get a major immigration bill on the president's desk before the elections.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Message from the U.S. Consulate in Mexico

September 14, 2006

This message alerts U.S. citizens to the rising level of brutal violence in areas of Mexico. This violence has occurred throughout Mexico, but has been particularly persistent in the city of Nuevo Laredo within the state of Tamaulipas. Americans residing and traveling in Mexico should exercise extreme caution when in unfamiliar areas and be aware of their surroundings at all times.

Public sources suggest that narcotics-related violence has claimed 1,500 lives in Mexico this year. In recent months there have been execution-style murders of Mexican and U.S. citizens in Tamaulipas (particularly Nuevo Laredo), Michoacan, Baja California, Guerrero and other states. U.S. citizens have also been involved in random shootings on major highways outside of Mexico City, Nuevo Laredo, Tijuana and other areas throughout Mexico. In recent years there have been dozens of kidnappings involving U.S. citizens in Nuevo Laredo with more than two dozen cases still unresolved; recent incidents indicate a possible resurgence of kidnappings for ransom. Mexican police, as well as other government figures, have been murdered in Guerrero, Nuevo Leon, the Federal District, Tamaulipas and other states. Drug cartel members have been known to follow and harass U.S. citizens traveling in their vehicles, particularly in border areas including Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros.

Though there is no evidence that U.S. citizens are targeted, criminals look for every opportunity to take advantage of unwary travelers. If you feel you are being followed, you should notify officials as soon as possible. U.S. citizens should make every attempt to travel on main roads during daylight hours, particularly the toll (“cuota”) roads, which are generally more secure. It is preferable for U.S. citizens to stay in well-known tourist destinations and tourist areas of the cities with more adequate security, and provide an itinerary to a friend or family member not traveling with you. U.S. citizens should refrain from displaying expensive-looking jewelry, large amounts of money, or other valuable items.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at where the current Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States, or, for callers from Mexico, a regular toll line at 001-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). American citizens traveling or residing overseas are encouraged to register with the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate on the State Department's travel registration website at For any emergencies involving American citizens, please contact the closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

The U.S. Embassy is located in Mexico City at Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, telephone from the United States: 011-52-55-5080-2000; telephone within Mexico City: 5080-2000; telephone long distance within Mexico 01-55-5080-2000. You may also contact the Embassy by e-mail at: The Embassy's Internet address is


Ciudad Juarez: Avenida Lopez Mateos 924-N, telephone (52)(656) 611-3000.
Guadalajara: Progreso 175, telephone (52)(333) 268-2100.
Monterrey: Avenida Constitucion 411 Poniente, telephone (52)(818) 345-2120.
Tijuana: Tapachula 96, telephone (52)(664) 622-7400.
Hermosillo: Avenida Monterrey 141, telephone (52)(662) 289-3500.
Matamoros: Avenida Primera 2002, telephone (52)(868) 812-4402.
Merida: Paseo Montejo 453, telephone (52)(999) 925-5011.
Nogales: Calle San Jose, Nogales, Sonora, telephone (52)(631) 313-4820.
Nuevo Laredo: Calle Allende 3330, Col. Jardin, telephone (52)(867) 714-0512.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Cubans flee detention site in Tijuana, cross into U.S.

9 men being held at Otay Mesa jail
By Onell R. Soto

September 13, 2006

A group of Cubans awaiting possible deportation from Mexico broke out of a detention facility in Tijuana last weekend and showed up hours later at the San Ysidro border crossing, where they requested political asylum.

Ten Cuban men broke through a fence at the detention center sometime after 10 p.m. Saturday, Mexican officials said. They were accompanied by a man from Guyana.

Nine of the Cubans made it to San Ysidro and requested asylum, they said. It's unclear what happened to the other Cuban.

U.S. officials confirmed that the Cubans are in local custody but declined comment about asylum.

Doing Nothing on Immigration

By Dick Morris | September 13, 2006

This column was co-written by Eileen McGann.

The decision by the Republican leadership not even to try to pass immigration reform before the election smacks of punting when they should have gone for a touchdown. America is begging for tough immigration reform and looking to the Republican Party to exercise its traditional role of leadership in law and order issues. But even without a real threat of a Democratic filibuster, the Republican Party has tripped over its own feet and given up its attempt to meet the needs of the country and of its constituents.

The Republican failure to pass immigration reform despite controlling both houses and the presidency reminds one of Hillary’s inability even to get healthcare reform reported out of committee despite enjoying a similar advantage in 1994.

Republican voters are not likely to forgive GOP ineptitude and failure. With a 30-vote margin in the House and 10 in the Senate, they will find the lack of action inexplicable.

The release this week of “Border War,” a film produced by the conservative grassroots group Citizens United, brings the issue home in a way that voters in general and Republicans in particular will not forget. One can only hope that congressional Republicans who have failed the country will watch the movie and reflect on their missed opportunity. The film will have very wide distribution, by DVD and in at least 125 theaters throughout the country. (Disclosure: We are working with Citizens United on a film due out this spring on our old friend Hillary Rodham Clinton but we had no involvement in “Border War”.)

With more than 10 million illegal immigrants in the U.S., the GOP failure to pass a bill is hard to understand.

Mexican Officials to Burn Ballots

Associated Press Writer

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Electoral officials said Tuesday that they will burn the ballots from the disputed presidential election despite calls from both candidates to spare them.

Luis Carlos Ugalde, chairman of the Federal Electoral Institute, or IFE, said in a letter to President-elect Felipe Calderon that a 1990 law clearly called for the burning of the ballots from the July 2 election.

"The IFE is obliged to destroy electoral documentation once the electoral process is concluded," Ugalde wrote.

No date was set for the burning.

In his own letter to Ugalde, Calderon wrote that saving the ballots would guarantee "citizen certainty and confidence in Mexican institutions."

Gunmen Kill Police Chief in Mexico

Associated Press Writer

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Gunmen ambushed and killed a police chief in the Mexican border state of Nuevo Leon Tuesday in the latest slaying of a law officer in a region ravaged by a war between drug gangs.

Enrique Barrera, police chief of the town of Linares, about 135 miles southwest of the border at McAllen, Texas, was shot dead as he left his home to go to work, said Nuevo Leon Attorney General Carlos Trevino.

Trevino said the killing had the hallmarks of an organized crime hit, but he needed to gather more evidence before making a conclusive statement.

A lone gunman killed Nuevo Leon's top investigator, Marcelo Garza, last week outside an art gallery near the northern city of Monterrey.

Spanish dies in grandkids, study finds

By Louie Gilot / El Paso Times
El Paso Times

Irma Salazar had such a hard time in school in the 1950s -- because her Mexican immigrant parents had taught her only Spanish -- that she made the choice to speak only English to her own children.

"I didn't want them to have the trouble I had when I started school. I had a hard time communicating with teachers," Salazar said.

According to a recent study, her decision follows a national trend that sees Spanish dying off as the dominant language in immigrant families within three generations.

The study -- published in the September issue of the Population Council journal Population and Development Review -- shows that about 35 percent of the U.S.-born children of Mexican immigrants spoke Spanish, only 17 percent of their children did so, and only 5 percent of the next generation was fluent in Spanish. The language life span was even shorter for non-Spanish-speaking immigrants such as Asians and white Europeans.

Cocaine and Six Fugitives Intercepted by CBP Officers at Andrade Port of Entry

Cocaine Valued at Almost $1 Million

Andrade, CA. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers conducting routine border security operations at the Andrade border station apprehended six fugitives with outstanding warrants and intercepted 73 pounds of cocaine from September 2 through September 10, officials announced today. The six fugitives were wanted on local, state, and federal warrants.

CBP officers arrested 20-year old Evan Vargas, a U.S. citizen, when he came through the port as a pedestrian at about 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 2. A law enforcement query revealed Vargas as the subject of an outstanding warrant for dangerous drugs and a weapons violation out of Maricopa County, Arizona. Vargas was transported to the Imperial County jail to await extradition.

A second arrest occurred on Saturday at about 4:00 p.m., when CBP officers apprehended 51-year old Rick Comer from Lake Havasu City, AZ, when he entered the port as a pedestrian. Comer was taken into custody after CBP officers discovered he was wanted out of Louisiana for failure to register as a sexual offender.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Mexico's president-elect met by hordes of protesters in first public trip in home state


MEXICO CITY – Mexican President-elect Felipe Calderon was greeted by hordes of protesters during his first public events in his home state of Michoacan on Friday, but did not cancel any of the activities as Mexican news media earlier reported, a spokeswoman said.

Calderon, confirmed by the nation's top electoral court earlier this week as the victor in the July 2 election, changed the order of his schedule to accommodate state members of his conservative National Action Party, who arrived early at an auditorium in the state capital, Morelia, the spokeswoman said, speaking on customary condition of anonymity.

Calderon initially had planned to meet with the party members after placing a floral offering at the monument of Mexican independence hero Jose Maria Morelos in an outdoor plaza in the capital, the spokeswoman said. Instead, he went to the auditorium first and to the plaza later, she said.

Mexican news media reported on their Web sites that Calderon canceled the floral offering because at least 100 protesters, including teachers allied with Lopez Obrador's Democratic Revolution Party, showed up at the plaza, screaming negative epithets over a bullhorn. The news reports said Calderon's security team decided it was not wise to continue the event, even though the plaza was heavily guarded by state police and members of the presidential security force.

Mexico arrests major suspect linked to Colombian cocaine cartel, sends to U.S.

By Julie Watson

MEXICO CITY – Mexican authorities have arrested a reputed major figure in one of Colombia's largest and most feared drug cartels responsible for nearly half of the cocaine smuggled into the United States, U.S. officials said Friday.

Jaime Maya Duran was arrested Wednesday by agents of Mexico's attorney general's office in Mexico City and flown immediately to New York, where he is under indictment on drug trafficking and money laundering charges, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, said in a news release.

Maya Duran's arrest “shows the determination of U.S. and Mexican law enforcement authorities to pursue the most dangerous criminals, including those who thought they were untouchable,” U.S. Ambassador in Mexico Tony Garza said in a statement.

New border policy debated

Some say passports will ease crossing
By Diane Lindquist

New procedures expected to start in January 2008 that will require all U.S. citizens and foreigners entering the United States to have passports could help speed traffic through area ports of entry, Adele Fasano, the local director of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, predicted this week.

Many San Diego and Baja California political and civic leaders disagree. They fear that waits currently averaging more than an hour only will grow, thus harming the border economy.

“It doesn't take much to make that border wait totally intolerable,” said Ron Raposa, public relations director for the Rosarito Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We keep being told things are going to get better, and it just gets worse.”

Border documentary cheered at S.D. screening

By Tanya Mannes

A documentary that depicts the U.S.-Mexico border as a conduit for crime and drug trafficking made its San Diego debut this week.

Cheered on by a standing-room-only audience in an AMC Mission Valley 20 theater Wednesday night, the film described the porous border as a problem “that no one wants to talk about.”

“Border War: The Battle over Illegal Immigration,” profiles five people, including San Diego resident Enrique Morones. He is the founder of Border Angels, a faith-based volunteer group that leaves food and water in the desert for illegal immigrants crossing the border.

The film emphasizes the ease with which criminals can enter the United States. For example, it includes footage of an underground tunnel in which cartels passed drugs from Mexico to Arizona.

Corrupt cops face test of loyalty

By Anna Cearley
September 11, 2006

TIJUANA – These are troubling times for police who have aligned themselves with drug groups.

Since U.S. authorities arrested suspected drug cartel kingpin Francisco Javier Arellano Félix last month, Mexican federal authorities have vowed they will purge police agencies of officials linked to the Arellanos.

At the same time, rival drug gangs are rumored to be enlisting the support of police, creating a dangerous challenge for corrupt cops who have had a long working relationship with the Arellanos.

“The loyalties to the Arellanos run very deep because they have worked here so long” and have so many obligated to them, said Victor Clark, a Tijuana human rights activist who follows drug trafficking trends.

Update: Two dead, six injured fleeing border patrol


A 13-year-old boy has become the second person to die from injuries sustained this morning in an SUV rollover on the Tohono O'odham Nation as the driver fled a U.S. Border Patrol agent and Tohono O'odham police, border patrol spokesmen said.

The boy died at a hospital some time after the crash on South Mission Road near West Valencia Road, said Senior Border Patrol Agent Jim Hawkins.

The crash also injured three woman and three men, Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Jesus Rodriguez said earlier today.

An agent spotted the SUV heading north on Mission south of West Valencia Road and for some reason, Rodriguez said, the agent suspected the SUV was carrying drugs or illegal immigrants, turned on his emergency lights and siren and tried to pull over the SUV.

Boss gets lesser term 23 years for smuggler who let 19 illegal immigrants die

The Associated Press

Published: 09.12.2006

HOUSTON - A man convicted of participating in the nation's deadliest human-smuggling attempt was sentenced Monday to more than 23 years in prison.

Victor Sanchez Rodriguez was convicted in February on 18 counts of smuggling. The case stems from the 2003 deaths of 19 illegal immigrants who were crammed into an airtight tractor-trailer found abandoned in Victoria, about 100 miles southwest of Houston.

During the trials, survivors testified that they screamed and clawed at the sweltering trailer's walls.

Judge refuses to block Arizona voter ID requirement

Associated Press Writer

PHOENIX (AP) -- A federal judge on Monday refused to block implementation of a 2004 state law that requires Arizona voters to present specified types of identification when casting ballots at polling places and to submit proof of citizenship when registering to vote.

U.S. District Judge Roslyn Silver's order came one day before Tuesday's primary, the first statewide election during which the identification requirement for voting at polling places will be implemented.

The 2004 law, which appeared on that year's ballot as Proposition 200, requires that voters at polling places produce government-issued picture ID or two pieces of other non-photo identification specified by the law. It requires proof of citizenship when registering to vote.

Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 - My Original Respose!

What follows was originally written just days after the origianl attacks on NYC - Sept 11, 2001

The disasters of recent days sound a trumpet of warning on the wall for those who name the name of Christ.

As a result of the tragedy that fell upon the United States on September 11, 2001, three words have been circulating through my mind and heart– justice, forgiveness and freedom. Within this teaching, I would like to take a look at these words, these concepts in the context of the Bride of Christ in America.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Lopez Obrador's continuing fight frustrates many

Common belief is Calderon will have messy term if El Peje keeps it up
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

MEXICO CITY - The fabled Mexican revolution that began in 1910 but was never quite finished will have to stay undone a little longer.

In winning the Mexican presidency officially on Tuesday, conservative Felipe Calderon defeated a leftist rival who vowed to bring radical change to the country.

But Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is continuing his quest for revolution and promises to set up a shadow government aimed at toppling Calderon.

Whether Emiliano Zapata and other historic Mexican revolutionaries would be sharing afterlife tequila shots in the leftist's honor — or spinning in their graves — is uncertain.

"Dangerous times," is how Homero Aridjis puts it.

"Lopez Obrador is destabilizing the country," the Mexican writer said. "Mexico is on the verge of a nervous breakdown."

Turmoil In Mexico: Calderon Named Mexico's Leader

Felipe Calderon convinced Mexico's top electoral tribunal that he won Mexico's July 2 presidential election. He still needs to persuade the nation.

Protesters outside the tribunal wept Tuesday as the decision was announced declaring Calderon president-elect after two months of uncertainty. They set off firecrackers that shook the building.

"We aren't going to let him govern!" Thomas Jimenez, a 30-year-old law student, screamed as hundreds of protesters threw eggs and trash at the courthouse.

It will be Calderon's task to overcome such feelings if he is to have credibility. He now must win over millions of Mexicans angry that President Vicente Fox, who is from Calderon's party, didn't make good on promises of sweeping change -- and fend off thousands of radicalized leftists who say they will stop at nothing to undermine his presidency.

Cops plan ID checks of jailed immigrants

Tapping federal database could flag illegals, aid in deportation
Staff Writer
Published: Tuesday, 09/05/06

Thousands of illegal immigrants who are arrested in Davidson County for other crimes would be deported each year, under a proposal being pushed by local law enforcement officials.

By installing a federal immigration computer system in the Metro Jail and placing an immigration officer in the lockup full time, local authorities would be able to quickly identify criminal suspects who are in the country illegally and keep them from being released.

The proposal is contained in an Aug. 15 letter from Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials and comes on the heels of several high-profile crimes in which illegal immigrants are accused.

Several of the illegal immigrants had been arrested repeatedly — and not deported — before committing more serious crimes.

Brazilian Woman and Man Charged With Running Prostitution Ring Involving Illegal Aliens

Boston, MA. A Miami, Florida woman and man, both Brazilian nationals, were charged his week in federal court with running a prostitution ring, based in Burlington, Massachusetts, which employed illegal aliens.

The indictment alleges that from July 2004 through February 2006, LOPES and MELLO conspired together to profit from a prostitution business which took advantage of the vulnerabilities of Brazilian women who were in the U.S. illegally. According to the indictment, LOPES and MELLO recruited women for the business, advertised them through the Internet and then directed the women to various locations throughout Massachusetts and neighboring states for prostitution. The indictment also stated that, in order to keep the women from quitting, LOPES and MELLO used various threats against them, including the threat of deportation.

CBP Newsltter: Frontline News Sept 2006

In this issue...

1. Summertime surge in ecstasy smuggling at JFK Airport
2. Border Patrol agents arrest homicide suspect
3. Northrop Grumman to develop port security pilot program
4. CBP aircraft direct interdictions of more than 10 metric tons of cocaine
5. Newsbytes

Political unrest tough to tame as Mexico boils

Chris Hawley
Mexico City Bureau
Sept. 6, 2006
12:00 AM

MEXICO CITY - Conservative Felipe Calderón could be in for months, perhaps years, of political unrest even after a court on Tuesday upheld his razor-thin victory in Mexico's July 2 presidential election.

The election has exposed seething discontent in this country of 103 million people. Many Mexicans are exasperated by Mexico's persistent poverty, feel ignored by the government and are convinced that Calderón used fraud to beat leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

"There is a real danger of a deterioration of the entire political system," said William Ackroyd, an expert on Mexican politics at Arizona State University. "There is a hard core of people that are really alienated."

The drawn-out election and court process are unprecedented in Mexico, where for decades one party picked presidents in back rooms, dissent was squashed and the biggest worry was whether the peso would devaluate as the old leader left office.

This time, the new president will face serious resistance from both average citizens and a powerful political opposition.

Drugs not only things seized at U.S. border


U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the U.S. Port of Entry at San Luis, Ariz., have more than just drug smuggling and people trying to enter the country illegally to prevent.

According to Port Director Michael Freeman, the majority of the seizures conducted and fines issued by agents are the result of individuals trying to bring prohibited food and agricultural products back into the country from Mexico.

"If the person has declared what they have, we will just seize the product if it's forbidden and they won't be penalized," Freeman said. "But if they don't declare it, we will seize the product and fine them for failure to declare on the spot."

The most unusual case of someone trying to bring a prohibited item across the border in recent memory happened on July 2, Freeman said, when custom agents discovered a Gila monster in a backpack that was lying on the back seat of a car being driven through the port.

Border residents react to election ruling

Sep 5, 2006

Residents along the San Luis border say turmoil from Mexico's presidential election can be felt in the neighboring communities.

Mexico's top electoral court voted unanimously on Tuesday to reject allegations of fraud and certify Felipe Calderon's victory as president-elect. Calderon defeated his leftist rival, Andres Manual Lopez Obrador, by 233,831 votes out of 41.6 million.

The tribunal's decision is final and cannot be appealed and came almost two months after voters cast their ballots. In recent months, protests throughout the country have furthered a political divide.

Emma Torres, executive director of Campesinos Sin Fronteras in San Luis, said she believes the bitter election dispute has torn Mexico.

"I think that most Mexican people are probably a little confused," Torres said. "Nothing like that has ever happened. I think it is sad Mexico is so divided. People are not pleased."

Conservative President-Elect Calderon Focuses on Poor After Strong Challenge From Leftist

Sep 5, 7:36 PM EDT

Associated Press Writer

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- President-elect Felipe Calderon, a pro-business lawyer educated at Harvard, has pledged to pursue his predecessor's free-market policies. But a strong challenge from his leftist rival is forcing him to focus more of his conservative party's attention on the millions of Mexico's poor.

Calderon, 44, opposes abortion and the legalization of drugs, and has promised to wield a "firm hand" against crime, a pledge applauded by the business community

He said his policies would be centered on bettering the plight of poor families - the mantra of defeated leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Shortly after the disputed July 2 elections concluded, Calderon - leading by less than 1 percent after an initial vote count - asked those who had supported Lopez Obrador to give him a chance to show that he, too, could provide social policies aimed at lessening poverty and increasing equality.

A lawyer who holds a master's degree in public administration from Harvard University, Calderon is a member of the conservative National Action Party, or PAN, founded in 1939 by a group of politicians including his father.

Mexico's Political Future Remains Uncertain After Court Declares Calderon Next President

Sep 5, 5:55 PM EDT

Associated Press Writer

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Protesters still occupy Mexico City streets. The country is still divided along class lines. Two candidates each still claim to be the next president.

A ruling by the Federal Electoral Tribunal on Tuesday ended two months of uncertainty over the winner of the July 2 elections but did little to clear up Mexico's political future.

In a way, it couldn't have. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the leftist who claims fraud robbed him of victory, had already said the court was corrupt and vowed to run his own government from the streets.

The key question is how many supporters Lopez Obrador has left, and how far they are willing to go to defend his cause.

Calderon named Mexico's president-elect

By WILL WEISSERT, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 36 minutes ago

MEXICO CITY - Defeated leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador rejected a court decision awarding Mexico's presidency to Felipe Calderon, insisting he will never recognize his rival's legitimacy and vowing to create a parallel government from the streets.

Calderon celebrated his long-delayed victory by reaching out to the millions of Mexicans who did not vote for him and calling on his main adversaries, including Lopez Obrador, to help heal the nation's divisions.

Lopez Obrador's supporters threw trash at the headquarters of Mexico's Federal Electoral Tribunal, whose seven magistrates voted unanimously Tuesday to declare Calderon president-elect. The decision rejected Lopez Obrador's allegations of systematic fraud and awarded Calderon the presidency by 233,831 votes — a margin of 0.56 percent. The ruling cannot be appealed.

"I do not recognize someone who tries to act as the chief federal executive without having a legitimate and democratic representation," Lopez Obrador told thousands of supporters in Mexico City's main Zocalo plaza.

"To hell with their institutions," the former Mexico City mayor cried, to raucous applause and chants of "Felipe, the people don't want you!"

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

López Obrador's support dwindling

Mexico is starting to turn its back on Andrés Manuel López Obrador because of his refusal to concede defeat in the disputed presidential election.
Cox News

MEXICO CITY - In the days after ballot results showed him losing an agonizingly close presidential election, candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador was in fine form, leading the largest rallies Mexico has ever seen and convincing most Mexicans of the need for a recount.

Six weeks later, the Mexican public has largely turned its back on the charismatic leftist, who has been transformed into a marginal figure -- to a degree even within his own party.

If the July 2 election were held now, conservative Felipe Calderón would trounce López Obrador by 24 percentage points, a recent newspaper poll showed.

Some analysts say the former Mexico City mayor has done irreparable harm to his political career by sowing unrest and refusing to accept the constitutional rules for resolving the close election.

Mexico in 2006 is often compared to the disputed U.S. presidential election of 2000 between George Bush and Al Gore, where results in Florida and elsewhere were questioned. Initial results showed Calderón with a razor thin lead amid allegations of balloting irregularities.

The difference is that López Obrador, 53, has refused to recognize the authority of the court that ruled against him or concede defeat in the name of political harmony, analysts say.

The metaphor often used in the Mexican press is that of a martyr, burning himself alive.

Calderon named Mexico's president-elect

By WILL WEISSERT, Associated Press Writer 40 minutes ago
AP Photo

Felipe Calderon was declared president-elect Tuesday after two months of uncertainty, but his ability to rule effectively remained in doubt with rival Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador vowing to lead a parallel leftist government from the streets.

The unanimous decision by the Federal Electoral Tribunal rejected allegations of systematic fraud and awarded Calderon the presidency by 233,831 votes out of 41.6 million cast in the July 2 elections — a margin of 0.56 percent. The ruling cannot be appealed.

Calderon now must win over millions of Mexicans angry that President Vicente Fox, who is from Calderon's party, didn't make good on promises of sweeping change — and fend off thousands of radicalized leftists who say they will stop at nothing to undermine his presidency.

Lopez Obrador, whose support is dwindling but becoming more radical, has said he won't recognize the new government and vows to block Calderon from taking power Dec. 1. Protesters outside the tribunal wept as the decision was announced and set off firecrackers that shook the building.

UPDATE 3-Mexico's Calderon declared president-elect

Tue Sep 5, 2006 1:27 PM ET
(Updates with court declaring Calderon president-elect)
By Catherine Bremer

MEXICO CITY, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Conservative ruling party candidate Felipe Calderon won Mexico's July 2 election and is president-elect, a top court said on Tuesday after a long fight over fraud claims that has plunged the country into crisis.

Seven judges at Mexico's top electoral court ruled unanimously that pro-business Calderon won by a razor-thin margin of about 234,000 votes out of some 41 million cast.

The judges, whose decision cannot be appealed, had already thrown out leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's claims of massive fraud.

Calderon's victory is good news for the United States as he will be a key ally in Latin America, where left-wing leaders critical of Washington have taken power in recent years.

Calderon, Mexico's Next President, to Embrace Rival's Agenda

By Adriana Arai and Patrick Harrington

Sept. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Felipe Calderon, certified by a court as Mexico's next president, may be compelled by the street protests and legal challenges following his election to embrace the agenda of the candidate he defeated.

Calderon, a 44-year-old lawyer from President Vicente Fox's National Action Party, plans to add 60 billion pesos ($5.5 billion) of spending in his first year to broaden access to health care, housing subsidies and other handouts for Mexico's poor, Ernesto Cordero, who is in charge of public policy in Calderon's transition team, said in an interview.

Those policies were more closely identified during the campaign with second-place finisher Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, 52, whose challenges to the outcome of the July 2 vote resulted in today's court ruling. Calderon's move toward Lopez Obrador's causes means that some of his own campaign initiatives, such as opening the state oil monopoly to private investment, may have to wait. ``We have to be patient,'' Cordero said.

``Calderon will have to incorporate themes of Lopez Obrador's platform because everyone is demanding it,'' said Soledad Loaeza, a political science professor at Colegio de Mexico in Mexico City and author of a book on the history of Calderon's party.

Lopez Obrador plans to continue his fight to challenge the results of the closest election in Mexico's history. He called on supporters to gather in the capital Sept. 16 where he vows to declare himself the nation's ``legitimate president.''

Mexican court names winner in disputed election

MEXICO CITY, Mexico (AP) -- Felipe Calderon became president-elect of Mexico on Tuesday, two months after disputed elections, when the nation's top electoral court voted unanimously to reject allegations of fraud and certify his narrow victory.

Chief judge Leonel Castillo's recommended that Calderon should be certified as winning the ballot by 233,831 votes out of 41.6 million cast, down slightly from his earlier lead of 240,000.

The Federal Electoral Tribunal's ruling cannot be appealed, and Calderon's leftist rival, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, already vowed to ignore its finding, which came after weeks of legal challenges and street protests that have disrupted Mexico City's central district.

Tuesday's long-awaited ruling is unlikely to end potentially explosive protests or close the growing political divide gripping the country.

Castillo's recommendation was greeted by thundering fireworks, set off by dozens of protesters gathered outside the court.

"This has been fraudulent from start to finish. Today, nothing will be decided," said Claudio Martinez, 23.

The draft recommendation rejected Lopez Obrador's "dirty campaign" allegations.

Calderon named Mexico's president-elect

By WILL WEISSERT, Associated Press Writer
4 minutes ago

Felipe Calderon became president-elect of Mexico on Tuesday, two months after disputed elections, when the nation's top electoral court voted unanimously to reject allegations of fraud and certify his narrow victory.

His leftist rival, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, had said he would not recognize the ruling. His supporters wept as the decision was announced and the courthouse shook as protesters set off fireworks outside.

"Felipe Calderon didn't win. Fraud won," opposition supporter Francisca Ojeda said, screaming to be heard over protesters throwing trash at the court and screaming "Fraud! Fraud!"

The court found no evidence of systematic fraud, although it threw out some polling place results for mathematical errors, irregularities, and other problems that trimmed Calderon's 240,000-vote advantage to 233,831 votes out of 41.6 million cast.

"There are no perfect elections," Judge Alfonsina Berta Navarro Hidalgo said.

The tribunal's decision was final and cannot be appealed.

Boycott over illegals: Dump Miller Beer

Groups say American brewery giant supports unlawful immigrants, amnesty
Posted: September 5, 2006 1:00 a.m. Eastern
© 2006

American patriots first dumped tea over taxes; now it could be beer over lax immigration enforcement.

More than 100 groups are being organized to support a national boycott of Miller Brewing Co. and parent company SABMiller plc, because of what is viewed as the corporation's support for illegal immigrants and amnesty for them.

"The boycott message is simple. Miller Brewing Company supports illegal immigration by giving money to groups that support amnesty, marches, and benefits for illegal aliens," the announcement on Monday said. "Citizens are encouraged to 'Dump the beer! Dump the stock.'"

Consumers should avoid Miller Lite, ICE House, Miller Genuine Draft and Milwaukee's Best, according to organizers who have posted their documentation and petition plans at

"It is time for these large corporations that are using their financial influence to open America's borders to be punished!" said William Gheen, of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC. "It is time for the immigration enforcement movement to show these unscrupulous corporations what we can do when we all work together."

The coalition is pursuing the boycott under the auspices of the National Illegal Immigration Boycott Coalition, and will be headed up by Gheen and Jason Mrocheck of and FIRE Coalition, officials said.

FIRE is the Federal Immigration Reform and Enforcement coalition.

Mexican Court Leader Sides With Calderon

Sep 5, 10:35 AM EDT
Associated Press Writer

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- The president of Mexico's top electoral court recommended Tuesday that the full tribunal uphold the slim lead of ruling party candidate Felipe Calderon.

The recommendation must still be approved, but Leonel Castillo suggested that the seven magistrates certify a final vote count showing Calderon with a 233,831-vote lead out of 41.6 million cast. That would trim Calderon's earlier lead of 240,000.

Such a decision has been widely expected, and the leftist rival candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador already has vowed to ignore the ruling, which comes after weeks of legal challenges and protests and cannot be appealed.

Experts said it was unlikely to close the growing political divide gripping the country.

"The court is going to say, 'The election was valid and Calderon is the president and that's the end of it,'" said political analyst Oscar Aguilar. "But that won't turn the page. That won't end anything."

Mexican Court Expected to Favor Calderon

Associated Press Writer
AP Photo/Dario Lopez-MIlls

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Ruling-party presidential candidate Felipe Calderon quietly prepared for victory while his leftist opponent vowed to never concede defeat, hours before Mexico's top electoral court was to announce a final ruling in the hotly disputed July elections - an unappealable decision expected to favor Calderon.

Tuesday's long-awaited ruling by the Federal Electoral Tribunal - which comes two months, three days, and tens of thousands of pages of legal challenges after voters cast their ballots - is unlikely to end potentially explosive protests or close the growing political divide gripping the country.

"The court is going to say, 'The election was valid and Calderon is the president and that's the end of it,'" said political analyst Oscar Aguilar. "But that won't turn the page. That won't end anything."

No signs of voter boom after pro-immigrant rallies

Sep 5, 3:15 AM EDT

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- During the spring protests that brought hundreds of thousands to the streets, Hispanic immigrants chanted a promise and a threat to politicians they deemed anti-immigrant: "Today We March, Tomorrow We Vote."

So far, however, there is no indication that such a potent political legacy is developing.

An Associated Press review of voter registration figures from Chicago, Denver, Houston, Atlanta and other major urban areas that saw large rallies shows no sign of a historic new voter boom that could sway elections.

G.O.P. Sets Aside Work on Immigration


WASHINGTON, Sept. 4 — As they prepare for a critical pre-election legislative stretch, Congressional Republican leaders have all but abandoned a broad overhaul of immigration laws and instead will concentrate on national security issues they believe play to their political strength.

With Congress reconvening Tuesday after an August break, Republicans in the House and Senate say they will focus on Pentagon and domestic security spending bills, port security legislation and measures that would authorize the administration’s terror surveillance program and create military tribunals to try terror suspects.

“We Republicans believe that we have no choice in the war against terror and the only way to do it is to continue to take them head-on whether it is in Iraq or elsewhere,” said Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the majority leader.

A final decision on what do about immigration policy awaits a meeting this week of senior Republicans. But key lawmakers and aides who set the Congressional agenda say they now believe it would be politically risky to try to advance an immigration measure that would showcase party divisions and need to be completed in the 19 days Congress is scheduled to meet before breaking for the election.