What's Going On In This Country?

May 30, 2016 Edition
BY: SANTIAGO VERDUGO

Anyone want to throw in with Pemex? Pemex is seeking partners to operate its money losing refineries. Pemex is finally seeking private sector expertise to make its six domestic refineries more efficient, as an extended crude price slump and years of underinvestment has battered the company’s bottom line. As in battered the bottom line into a bloody stump. Negatives.

They hope private operators could bring much-needed efficiencies to the company’s refining unit, its worst-performing division over many years. Of course they don’t lose at the pump, if they do, they just “adjust” the pumps to steal more from us chumps.

This cracks us up. Former President Vicente Fox has famously been recorded saying, “Mexico will not pay for that fu--ing wall”, but now Trump has invited him to lunch in his digs in New York City. Fox has said he will break bread, (tacos?) with Trump only if he apologizes to Mexico and its people for his offensive statements. Yeah, and make Trump crawl over broken glass on the way to that apology, Vinnie! You go!

Whales goof up. 24 of 27 pilot whales who stranded themselves on beaches in northern Baja have died despite heroic efforts by Profepa officials, volunteers, and Army and Navy men to push them back to sea.

It is not known why they beached themselves, as they all appeared healthy, but that behavior is not so unusual for them. They are highly social and will not leave a fellow whale that appears to be in trouble. They are called pilot whales because they are led by a pilot in charge. Maybe the pilot led the suicide mission?

Pilot whales are primarily squid eaters, but will feed on fish, as well. They are notorious for stranding themselves on beaches, and several theories have been proposed to account for this behavior, but nobody really knows for sure. Whalers in a few countries continue to hunt them.  Hellllooo Japs, we’re talking about you!

Pena Nieto Care in Mexico?  President Pena Nieto is trying to bring one cohesive health care system to Mexico, combining ISSTE, IMSS, and Suguro Popular into one system.  The change  is expected to offer improved medical care.

Beginning next month, any beneficiary will be able to receive medical attention at any Social Security Institute (IMSS), State Workers’ Institute (ISSSTE) or federal or state health secretariat hospital, regardless of the institution to which the patient is affiliated.

This first stage towards a planned universal health system will consist in the exchange of 700 medical services, those which have been identified as the most needed among the general population. Under the new scheme patients with specialized medical needs not available in the state or federal level will have the opportunity to go to other IMSS or ISSSTE hospitals, and vice versa.

The new exchange system is all about reducing costs, as expensive equipment is often underutilized in some hospitals. Sometimes patients are sent to another city or state when a facility in the same city, but of another institution, has the necessary equipment. This exchange of services is a big step towards the Universal Health System. A new cancer treatment center here in Baja California Sur illustrates the benefit of sharing.

In related news. The construction of a new oncology center will begin in La Paz in a few weeks. The number of patients using Seguro Popular would not justify such a facility, but when the patients from IMSS and ISSSTE are taken into consideration, a center like that can be justified.

“Health in this country should not be based on an individual’s employment status, but in every Mexican’s right to have access to all medical services,” said President Pena Nieto.

Next! The Education Secretariat began dismissal proceedings this week against 4,253 teachers in four states after they failed to show up for work during a strike called by the CNTE teachers’ union. Education Secretary Aurelio Nuño told a news conference this week that the teachers being dismissed have 20 days to respond to the firing. The Education Secretariat has said there are 26,000 teachers lined up and ready to take the places of those who are fired. Nuno also said the teachers who didn’t show up are “necessary but not indispensable”.

The teachers have said they will stay on strike indefinitely until authorities agree to negotiate a list of demands. Among them: repeal of education reforms, and no more competency exams.

Ha ha ha ha ha! El Chapo, the biggest fish to ever be caught in Mexico’s drug wars, is awaiting extradition to the United States. He is fighting that extradition tooth, attorneys, and nail because he knows he can’t escape so easily in the States and that he will never see the light of day again. And he knows he is likely to be held in 23 hour a day isolation. Now he is saying he will drop his fight against extradition if certain of his jail conditions are met. Guzman, your ass is grass and we’re not making any deals! Well, we better not.

Border crossing. The governments of Mexico and the United States are pleased as punch (whatever that means), to announce that the Pedestrian West Facility (PedWest) in El Chaparral-San Ysidro will begin processing northbound pedestrians on July 15. Travelers to the United States will be able to cross through the west side of the El Chaparral port of entry and reach the new Pedestrian West entry building and the new Virginia Avenue multimodal transit facility in San Ysidro. PedWest will eventually process southbound pedestrians and include a multimodal transit center in Tijuana as well.

Mexico and the United States would like our precious readers to know they continue to work closely together to complete the expansion, modernization, and processing capacity of the El Chaparral-San Ysidro port of entry, the largest crossing point on our shared border and in the Western Hemisphere. Over 50,000 vehicles and 25,000 pedestrians cross the border in each direction every day, linking the communities of Tijuana and San Diego in a vibrant binational region. Well, that’s their press release, (more or less), and they would like us to pass it on to you.