What's Going On In This Country?

April 30, 2018 Edition
BY: SANTIAGO VERDUGO

We’re doing swell. For the first three months of this year Baja California Sur (our state, Bunky), remained first place in the nation in creation of jobs. We also had the highest salary, although salaries are still pathetic. These hotels and restaurants charge American prices and pay their employees in Mexican wages. As in $700 for semi skilled work. Professionals earn about $900 a month.

Compared to the first quarter last year, we added 7.5% formal jobs. Formal jobs means tax paying jobs, not itinerant vendors working under the table.

In real numbers we’re talking 12,027 new jobs. This year over last. Do we have new schools? Hospitals? New roads? New housing? Not so much.

Governor Mendoza said it was important to keep track of these figures because they are a tool for planning public policies in training. Infrastrute to support this growth wasn’t mentioned. 

AMLO, a perinial runner for president, may just make it this time. People are pretty fed up with the corruption of the party in power. And he’s got goodies to give away, always effective with any electorate.

He’s promised no new taxes, salaries will go up a vague amount, gasoline will come down a vague amount and there will be no more foreign imports.

During a campaign stop in Los Cabos last week he announced he will get people cracking on creating tourist development on the outskirst of the city and not just rely on the current tourist areas. Sure, our tourists are going to get off their ocean front lounge chair and drag it out in the desert and plant it in a cactus patch. You bet.

Sailors! We love our sailors, they have cut cartel crime back to practically nothing. We see them around all the time, they usually have “Marina” on their uniforms. They run every morning on the malecon in squadrons. (Battalions? Fleets? Flocks?) But. Two navy helicopters mistakenly fired at five Jalisco state police vehicles last week, exposing serious deficiencies in communication between Mexico’s security forces. This is the second time in as many months that Navy helicopters have let loose on the wrong targets.

At least the Navy guys have bad aim and this time there were no casualties. In the last screw up three civilians were killed.

Jalisco Governor Aristóteles Sandoval attributed the incident to confusion on the Navy’s part and a lack of coordination between the security forces, exacerbated by nighttime conditions. Yeah, it was dark out there. That will do it every time. Or at least two times in two months.

Not in Cabo. Last week in Cancun a beach vendor was shot at by guys on a Jet Ski. Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam! Four shell casings were found but neither the shooters nor the shootee were found. All this took place in the heart of the hotel zone. That should be quite a war story for the folks back home in Indianapolis. The beach was full of tourists.

It’s a pretty good bet the vendor was selling drugs to the foreigners on drug territory that was not his. He took refuge in a nearby restaurant and then got away.

Fallout from lousy police service. And a court system that barely exists. The abysmal state of police in Mexico have many consequences as people just get fed up and devolve into a mob mentality.

The president of the city electoral council of a town on the mainland was accused of stealing a motorcycle and was killed by a mob of about 100 people.

Two other lynching incidents have been reported in Puebla during the past week. First, a mob in Yehualtepec set fire to police headquarters before kidnapping, beating and lynching four alleged thieves they were holding.

Three days later, four men were accused of trying to rob a propane delivery truck. They had better luck: despite a mob demanding their heads, they were kept alive within police headquarters.

Here in Cabo it is common for police, if they ever do catch a thief, to let him go after a few days. There are various reasons for this, none of them very good.

These visitors don’t just fall from the sky. Mexico recently hosted an International travel show in Matzatlan with delegates from no fewer than 54 countries.

The 43rd annual edition of the Tianguis Turístico will also host companies and tourism personnel as well as key figures from the domestic industry and federal and state politicians. There were 204 national companies, 477 international companies and 1,100 purchasers, and there are 37,800 business appointments.

A key focus for the Mexico Tourism Board at this year’s event will be promoting the “Mundo Maya” (Maya World) initiative that aims to increase visitor numbers to the states of Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Tabasco and Yucatán.

Collectively, the five states are home to 47 different indigenous groups and feature a wealth of cultural, archeological, gastronomic and natural attractions.

But are they as pretty as Los Cabos? No.

People! We try to keep you informed. That’s our job and we do the best we can. But do we get any respect? Apparently not, because we posted a piece on our Facebook page about 22,000 stolen turtle eggs bombing down a highway in a pickup truck. Then our next post was about Justin Timberlake visiting Cabo. Timberlake got nearly 3,000 more likes and way more comments than the dead turtle eggs story. Turtles are endangered, Timberlake is not. I’m only a cat and I have more sense than that!

Voters to decide on Uber. The future of Uber and other ride hailing services in Quintana Roo, (think Cancun), will be put to a vote of the people July 1.

Uber started operations in Cancún in September 2016 but pulled out in December “as a gesture of goodwill.” As in other Mexican cities, Cancún taxi drivers protested the arrival of Uber, seeing it as a threat to their livelihood. Ugly physical clashes broke out preceeding this “goodwill gesture”.

Since the legislature doesn’t have the balls to allow Uber, we’ll see if the voters do. During the Easter period 19,000 people tried to access Uber on their phones to no avail.  But those are mostly visitors to the area, we shall see if the locals will vote for it. They probably would here in Cabo because the taxi drivers are even more rude to the locals than to the foreigners, refusing to carry them at all. Locals are precieved as bad tippers and refusing to be ripped off with bogus charges.