What's Going On In This Country?

June 13, 2016 Edition
BY: SANTIAGO VERDUGO

Pemex thievery. Last year, Pemex filed 5,600 complaints with the Attorney General’s office for illegal taps into their gas pipes, thefts that totaled at least 6.9 million barrels of fuel and represented a loss to the oil company of  US $591 million. It’s not getting any better.

During the first four months of this year, 1,871 illegal pipeline taps were detected throughout Mexico. The states with the highest incidence of the crime are Guanajuato with 400, followed by Puebla with 389, Tamaulipas 244 and Veracruz 197. It is estimated that about a quarter of the gas you buy at the pump has been bought from his back door, by your friendly corner gas station.

Stupid chick tricks. A woman was caught bringing $3,000 worth of drugs over the border in fake burritos. The woman was hired for $500. Instead of being stuffed with cheese and chicken, they were stuffed with heroin.  She was caught by an alert dog who smelled the difference between drugs and burritos. Must have been a Mexican chiwawa

Heavy load. An 18 year old turtle was drafted into a project that not only seeks to protect turtles but ensures that compensation is paid in the event of an accident that causes environmental damage.  The Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, after depositing 88 eggs on the beach in Veracruz, was briefly detained by staff at the Veracruz aquarium while they attached a satellite transmitter to its shell. Then turtle was tossed back into the sea.

Aquarium biologist Raúl de Jesús González Díaz Mirón explained that the transmitters costing $1,800 are part of a project to determine the mama turtle’s natural capacity for responding to large scale oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico. Should there be another spill such as that caused by the accident at the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in 2010, the tracking data gathered by satellite will provide evidence that turtles travel to U.S. waters after laying their eggs in Mexico. There was no compensation paid to Mexico for possible turtle harm following the accident because there was no information available regarding the movement of the sea turtles.

The project has funding for about 100 transmitters which will be divided up between four species, all classified as endangered species.

More border wars. President Barack Obama has slammed Donald Trump’s proposal to make Mexico pay for a border wall, but his own administration is spending $75 million for border security on Mexico’s southern border.

Since 2013, the Obama administration, through a partnership with the Mexican government known as the Mérida Initiative, has already spent at least $15 million helping Mexico secure its southern border, according to a nonpartisan Congressional Research Service report. With U.S. support, the Mexican government has been implementing a southern border security plan since 2013 that has involved the establishment of 12 advanced naval bases on the country’s rivers and three security cordons that stretch more than 100 miles north of the Mexico-Guatemala and Mexico-Belize border. The State Department has provided $15 million in equipment and training assistance, including NII equipment, mobile kiosks, canine teams, and training for INAMI officials in the southern border region. It plans to spend at least $75

It hasn’t always been this way; for much of American history, the U.S.-Mexico border has been largely unprotected. Only in 1891 did the United States start deporting illegal immigrants (a category at the time limited principally to Chinese workers as well as felons, paupers and the insane), and it wasn’t until 1924 that Congress formed the Border Patrol.