Que Pasa in Baja?

This week we talk about how the totoaba could be back on the market soon, the Margarita cocktail turning 69 (at least in Ensenada!), about how a crooked lawyer swindled money from a group of retired americans, how our beloved Baja’s feelings got hurt, the importance of checking your pets for ticks and lastly about the influx of tourists this year.

The totoaba could be back on the market! Guillermo Haro Belchez, head of the Mexican federal protection agency, just announced that there is a possibility that these fishies could be taken off the protected species list and thus begin their commercialization worldwide.

The totoaba, endemic to the Sea of Cortez in Baja, has been infamous because it’s illegal exploitation has harmed the vaquita population that is now down to just a couple specimens. The fish is sought for by poachers because of the unusually high prices that their bladders can command in Asian markets, these bladders can reach up to $3,600 USD per pound, making it even more expensive than cocaine.

Haro said that the agency believes that the population of totoaba is back to normal levels due to the programs that were crafted to protect it, and that they are doing the pertinent tests in the area to confirm these statements.

The Margarita turns 69. The famous cocktail that was, arguably, created in the Andaluz Bar in the Riviera Hotel in Ensenada (Now the city cultural center), turned 69 years and was celebrated with a big party.

Jose Luis Gonzalez, head of the historic building, said that on August 21 of 1948, the cocktail was created there by “Negrete”, the bartender, as a way to please the hotel owner wife who he was in love with.

The margarita has been traced back to Tijuana, Chihuahua and even Texas, but there has been no real consensus on where it really originated. Now with the food, wine and beer hype in Ensenada, the city has tried to position its Margarita claim on top of the others; after all it’s just a matter of publicity.

One less crooked city official. Ensenada Mayor Marco Novelo just fired Carlos Castillo, his newly appointed head of the local ZOFEMAT, because of a media scandal involving the American community.

ZETA, the Tijuana newspaper, published an article regarding the fraud he committed to a group of retired Americans living in Punta Final (near Bahia San Luis Gonzaga, south of San Quintin) that had hired him as their lawyer in order to help them fight a 300% rent increase on the land where they had their homes.

Carlos told these fellas that everything was going perfectly and that they needed to pay him the usual rent so he could deposit this money in the courts and that they wouldn’t be evicted because he already had gotten an amparo for them.

As it turned out, he was just pocketing the money (just about $86,000 USD total) these poor people where giving him and doing nothing at all to help them out, so they were finally evicted from their homes, leaving everything behind; because even at that last moment when they wanted to pay their landlord he kept saying to not pay and that they were going to be okay.

Baja’s feelings get hurt. Last week the San Diego Union Tribune printed a cartoon on its front page depicting Tijuana as a dark city with a bullet hole ridden sign that says “BIENVENIDOS A TIJUANA”.

Baja’s state government and Tijuana Mayor quickly sent a letter to the newspaper expressing their disapproval of the image, saying that it lacked truth on how they were portraying the city.

Although they maybe exaggerated a little bit, Tijuana did have three restaurants robbed during last weekend, even though in two of those robberies the perps where caught by the police.

Better check your pets! 9 people have already died in Baja this summer season due to Rickettsia; this disease is transferred almost exclusively through ticks on your pets, so go ahead and check your pets for ticks, I’ll wait…

If you find those nasty bugs in your pets, make sure to take them to the vet ASAP so they can be treated; and if you are already feeling an intense fever, don’t hesitate to go to your doctor for a checkup. Twenty-nine cases of the disease have already been confirmed in our state, although most of them where treated in time and people made a full recovery.

So that’s why we just can’t print enough papers! The state government announced that this year, over 13 million 400 thousand tourists visited our state. This meant an increase of 6.3% over the visitors we had last year for the same period last year.

An interesting figure was that the numbers of cars on roads in Baja grew 10%, meaning that we increased a little bit more on people driving to our state, which by the look of the US/Mexico southbound border crossing every Friday, could be traffic coming from the States.

Author: Oliver Quintero

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